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Buzz Buzz Buzz

24 Aug

This is a bullet point post. I do this not because I am lazy (well mostly not). I do this because, in the immortal words of someone: Heady-explodey. Today has been one of those days that I wish I had a pensieve. Stupid me being a stupid muggle. Ahh well.

So – it’s a list. I like lists. You like lists. Sometimes. I’m rambling. I’m tired. Buzz buzz. Here we go:

  • Thank you all for your comments on yesterday’s post. I think we’re gonna go the try try again route. I don’t think I’ll regret this in the long run. The fact is, that there simply isn’t enough info about my past losses. If we have a fourth (FSM forbid), then we will either know it’s an ectopic and take out Ole’ Righty, and then go for IVF, or we’ll have more info and then go blow the $300 bucks. For now, just like the Russian said, we’ve done all that we can outside of experimental treatments. RPL is a biyatch.
  • So now I really want to try again. Like, NOW. And Shmerson is concerned that I’ll go batshit just like I did last time. He keeps on saying (and he is right) that I can’t just spend my time wishing for a baby, because if that’s where all of my energy is, I will have an inevitable crash once we do get our little one. I know he’s right. And I’m really making an effort to work on me a bit more. I don’t THINK I’ll freak out as much as I did last time. But I’m not sure.
  • On the other hand I hear the tick-tock. My cycles are gradually getting longer and I’m ovulating later. I know what this means – my PCOS is kicking in and it’s only a matter of time before I stop ovulating again. In fact, the Russian said that if we don’t get preggo within the next few months then we should start considering Clomid. So yeah – tick tock tick tock.
  • I also kind of feel like if we’re going to have a fourth loss, I just kind of want to get it over with. I don’t know if it’s healthy, but it’s how I feel.
  • I’m just afraid that I want this for all the wrong reasons. And in my crazy buzz-addled brain I keep thinking that the reason for my three losses is because we jumped in for the “wrong reasons”. Urgh. This is stupid. Luckily we have about a week and a half or so before a follie pops so we don’t have to decide yet. In fact, I’m thinking that we shouldn’t decided. Just kinda do it and see what happens (though knowing me I’ll still be using pee sticks like there’s no tomorrow).
  • Enough of the TTC stuff. Moving on:
  • I’m going to Dr. Happy Pills tomorrow, and insisting on changing my meds. They work, in that I’m better than I was after my brain broke back in November, but I feel like they’re band aids, and are not doing what they’re supposed to. He insisted on zoloft, which helps with the depression (most of the time) but causes increased anxiety. So he added xanax. Then the zoloft pooped out (it was a low dosage) so he upped it. Then I started having trouble sleeping, so he added ativan to the cocktail. Now I’m tired. All the time. And I feel completely unproductive 90% of the time, and anti-social. I think it’s time to wave bye bye to Zoloft. I don’t know what we’ll do though, since very few anti-depressants are ok with the preggo. And I assume I will eventually be preggo and I’d rather not be preggo and in happy pill withdrawal. Lexapro was a complete bust when we tried it. Now I have no idea what to do. I’m afraid to go off them completely because of the brain breaking thing, which was no fun. I like my brain unbroken thank you very much. Even if it makes things a little hazy. Urgh. We’ll see what he says tomorrow.
  • Bleeding Tulip has a great post about decision fatigue up on her blog. It has made me realize that I suffer from a new disease that I have just invented: Chronic Decision Fatigue Syndrome. I think I want to do something about that. No clue what, but there ya go.
  • I no longer fit properly into any of my jeans. This is a bad thing. Muffin tops abide and they must be destroyed. Something needs to be done about it. I’ve started by taking a page out of WWH‘s book and making low fat breakfast smoothies. Non-fat yogurt, with fruit, agave syrup, and spinach. Yes, spinach. You can’t taste it and it has vitamins and stuff. Today, I had one at 10am and wasn’t hungry again until 2pm. And even then, I wasn’t THAT hungry. I think this may be good. We’ll see.
  • I want to go back to yoga. But again, i can’t seem to get my ass off the couch. I hope some form of new happy pill will help with the getting off of the couch thing. That would be good.
  • I have now officially started playing “find the infertile” on every single reality show I watch. Married? Over thirty and no kids? Infertile. Looks over 40 and has a 2 year old? Infertile. Puts her children in beauty pageants that include fake tans? Well – that’s just crazy. Nothing to do with being infertile. Just putting it out there.
  • I think that’s enough of my buzz buzz for one night. But I’m throwing in a cute bunny for good measure. Note: I do not own bunnies. That’s Marie‘s department. And hers have magical psychic powers and jump up and down to answer my big existential questions (well I’m actually not sure about that, but I take her word for it because a) it funnies me and b) I have no visual proof to the contrary).

One of Marie’s bunnies telling me that everything will be ok. Artist’s rendering. Not to scale.

  • However, I do find bunnies unbelievably cute and they make me smile. So here are two more bunnies. In cups:



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The Empty Room

22 Aug

Today my mother and I went to the apartment that is soon to be mine and Shmerson’s. We haven’t made the final payment yet so it’ll be a couple of months before we move, but we want to re-do the kitchen, so we had a guy come in and take measurements of the place. It was the first time I’d seen it empty. A blank canvas for us to build our new home.

I kept on saying to my mother – I want it to be bright and happy. My mother reminded me that the happiness part is up to us.

The apartment is lovely. A big balcony overlooking a green valley, lots of sun, and really spacious. It has three bedrooms.

The master bedroom, and another, smaller bedroom is on one side of the hall. On the other is another small room and a large bathroom.

I went around the house, furnishing it and decorating it in my head. Figuring out where our bed would go, our big work desk, our chest of drawers.

I furnished the master bedroom. I furnished the bedroom across the hall.

The small bedroom next to the one that will be ours – I left empty. I will not be putting furniture in that room. Not yet. I’ll be painting it begrudgingly. I’ll be putting in wood panel floors. But no furniture.

This room will be our baby’s room. And until our baby comes, it will stay empty.

I sat outside on the  balcony, feeling the breeze, and hearing my children calling me and asking me to fill up the small inflatable pool that would be on the balcony.

I saw Shmerson standing at the grill making them burgers on a summer day just like this one.

This is going to be our home.

This will be the home where our children are born.

So I’m leaving room for them until they come.

Not All There (Here, Actually)

20 Aug

You know what the problem is with this whole TTC break?

Taking a break does not make the baby-crazies go away (surprising, right? I know, totally.).

In fact, since losing Ole’ Lefty I believe my baby crazies have reached peak levels. We’re talking 9 on the richter scale. Code Red. We’re so high up we need oxygen masks.

You know how sometimes you read IF blogs, and the blogger writes about not being able to look at babies? And you feel for her, you really do, but yet you think to yourself – “eh, that’ll never be me!”

Well, here’s a warning to all you IFers in training. It could very well be you. I too was convinced there would never come a day when I would have serious problems looking at other people’s babies, talking about other people’s babies, or seeing preggo bellies.

Now I know better.

The last couple of weeks have been crazy on a lot of levels. But the baby crazy has ramped up to levels that I thought were unreachable.

I have now officially done the following (yay! It’s time for a list!)

  1. Avoided going to a birthday party because I knew there would be several preggos there (including the birthday girl), even though I truly love the birthday girl. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
  2. Went to a family function where there was a six-month-old in attendance that I didn’t know was coming, and held back tears while watching the rest of my family coo over said six-month-old.
  3. At that same family function, told off two family members for telling me their “oh! I know this couple who went on vacation…” stories. Trying to explain to people that a vacation does not create neon arrows leading a fertilized egg to your uterus is hard work.
  4. Hid a preggo friend on FB. (Ok, she’s an acquaintance, so that’s ok right?)
  5. Had several crying fits that were completely unexplained, except that they immediately followed thoughts about babies, or seeing a really pregnant woman out in public. Or hearing about another person who just gave birth. Ok. I guess they’re not really unexplained.
  6. Playing rounds of “find the infertile” while watching reality TV. Toddlers and Tiaras is an awesome platform for that game, by the way. I highly recommend it for masochists. (Don’t worry! I’m totally gonna post about that one of these days!)
You always think “It’ll never be me.”
Then you find yourself in the middle of AF, sitting in a bathroom stall and blowing your nose while looking down at this month’s proof that once again, nine months from now, you will not be a mommy.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been told by a bunch of different people how great a mom I would be. I know! Right? Maybe we should do something about it?
Alas – not yet. Shmerson and I have set some strict ground rules. Sanity, stability, and a second (or is it third at this point?) opinion from an RPL specialist before jumping back in.
I think I’m on the losing side of the sanity part of that checklist. I’m currently a few fries short of a happy meal.
Off my rocker.
A beer short of a six pack.
Nuttier than squirrel poo.
I’m going slightly mad.
I’m really ok though. I swear. (Shmerson, pay no attention to the baby crazy woman behind the curtain!)

Waiting for the Inevitable Night of Hell

17 Aug

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while. It’s been a crazy week, and I’m suffering from a serious case of writer’s block. Don’t know if they’re related. Hopefully they are because I hate going so long without writing.

So I started spotting this morning, five days late, which I guess is understandable considering the lap. I’ve been teaching tenth graders all week so I’m exhausted, and today my body decided it was time to not like me any more.

Stabby pains every hour or so, a splitting headache, nausea, and so so so tired.

Since spotting started almost 12 hours ago, and Aunt Flo hasn’t gone full-on commando yet, I’m assuming the stabby pains are just a preview of the lovely day or two I have ahead of me.

I’m not looking forward to this, if the sporadic stabby pains are any indication of things to come.

I think I will get my behind to bed. But after some ice cream. It feels called for.

So does this bunny:

Wish me luck! Hopefully Aunt Flo will clean out not only my uterine lining, but my writer’s block. (Wow, did that come out gross? Sorry. Me incoherent.)

A Tale of Two Tubies

7 Aug

It was the best of tubes, it was the worst of tubes. It was a day of anxiety, it was a night of drug induced craziness…

Chapter One: An Afternoon of Peeing

I arrive at the hospital with Shmerson and my mom at 4pm as scheduled. I’m freaking out. My mom’s freaking out. Shmerson is freaking out but hiding it using stupid jokes.

I get checked in, and the nurse checking me in notes that the anesthesiologist, with whom I had met a couple of days earlier, had put in my chart that I should get some happy pills pre-op. In a moment of jest, I ask that he carve a smiley face in the Valium. He was not amused. Too bad those darn male nurses don’t have much of a sense of humor.

In the pre-pre-op room, I down the Valium, and go to pee for what is most likely the 20th time that day. Apparently I am a nervous pee-er. Since I hadn’t had any water for the last 5 hours I was surprised that there was liquid coming out of my bladder at all.

The operating doc came in. Let’s just call him the Russian. Cause that’s cool and gangsta, and he was Russian. The night before in a fit of panic, I had called him and asked him to talk me through the procedure. So when he came in I was all set. Just waiting for the happy pills to start kicking in because really – this was getting ridiculous and I needed me some drugs. The Russian asked if I had any more questions. My mom and Shmerson looked at me expectantly. After all, I am the annoying know-it-all patient. They were sure I had a bunch. I did, but they were taken care of the night before.

It was a pretty anti-climactic conversation. It basically went something like this: I don’t care what you find, you’re not taking out my ovaries. Oh – and please press extra hard on my stomach after you’re done so that most of the air comes out.

For some reason, the Russian was not amused either. Something about this hospital keeps people from being amused. He gave me this look that said “I’ve done this a million times, I’ll squeeze the freaking air out.”

I smiled and said: “Forgive me, I’m a blogger.” I think the Valium had started to kick in, because I’m sure this made sense to no one except myself, and perhaps Shmerson.

From the pre-pre-op room I got wheeled into the pre-op room. That’s when the real fun began. First, I grilled every nurse in the room: “Tell me this has been done a million times and I’ll be fine.” They all looked at me kind of strangely. Nodded. Nothing more. Yeah, no humor whatsoever. After another nervous pee or five, the mood became elevated. It was time for pictures!

I believe this was me attempting to dramatize my anxiety for the sake of you, dear readers. Apparently I'm not such a good actress when I'm stoned.

Ahh, dear Lefty, this is the last we ever saw of thee.

Did I mention I was stoned out of my gourd?

I don’t know who’s idea they were. But I’m assuming mine. Now they’re up here for posterity. Not sure that’s so much with the wise either. Ahh well.

Chapter Two: An Evening of Drugging

After too long a wait I got wheeled into the operating theater where the Russian was hanging out, waiting for me. I was hauled up onto stirrups, and the anesthesiologist walked in. He was wearing one of those head covering scrub-thingies doctors wear, only it was covered in pot leaves and the jamaican flag. At least one guy in this place has a sense of humor.

I started feeling heavy. I asked rasta-dude if he’d already started the drugs. He said yes. My intelligent answer: Well, that explains that. Then I looked at the Russian again and asked “It’ll be ok right?” He smiled and said good night. I think. I was pretty much knocked out at this stage.

About an hour and a half later I get woken up with an oxygen mask on my face and a burning in my cooch. Not ideal, but hey – I’m still here. So that’s all good. I ask a nurse what time it was. And I asked when I can see my husband. I also think I told one of the nurses about a dream I had when I was under. But that part is kind of a blur. Nice to know you can dream during these things though. Too bad the nurse didn’t write it down. Silly nurses.

They wheel me into the room where I’d be staying for the night, shared with two other  women (one with a husband with a penchant for snoring – more on that later). Shmerson and my mom come in. I kiss Shmerson and tell him he’s the love of my life. I remember saying it once. He has since informed me that I said it 4 or 5 times and after the 5th, when he kissed me, he decided that my mouth tasted like a dentist’s office. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. Oh, the romance of it all!

At 9:30pm the visiting hours police came around, and I told Shmerson and mom to go in peace. I was a-ok and drugged out of my mind.

So much so – that I actually outed myself on facebook by accident. This was a good one. At 10pm my FB status read thusly: “Drugs are good, mmmkay? Especially the post-general-anesthesia variety.”

At the time I thought this was witty. But lo and behold, it actually brought my situation to the attention of several FB buddies who had no idea that I was a crazy infertile with a tendency to lose babies in the first trimester. After a concerned comment, I had no choice but to answer: “Had lap surgery to take care of a blocked tube. Stupid infertility. Ahh well.” This was all good in the end because a swarm of my friends who knew about my situation finally felt free enough to comment about sperm swimming inside my uterus and other such fun things. I guess my lady parts have finally crossed into the final social media frontier. Maybe now I can post some bitter infertile statuses. That would be nice.

I think I also may have skyped with Elphaba at one point. And I’m pretty sure a couple of friends called me. But most of that was a blur. I was also starting to get hungry. But the nurse suggested I wait, to avoid puking. So I did. But I drank. A lot. This would complicate things later.

Chapter Three: A Night of Awkward Flatulence

So all of the visitors are gone, the lights are out, and I can’t sleep. Not because of the pain, but because all of the leftover air in my abdomen has decided to begin it’s graceful exit out of my back end. Now, generally speaking, this wouldn’t have been a problem. Except that in the bed next to me was a scared looking woman who’s husband had snuck back in to spend the night. She was scared so I didn’t want to tattle. But really, farting in front of a completely strange man put me in quite the uncomfortable position.

So I snuck them out quietly for the first couple of hours. One little bit at a time, grateful that they were of the silent-but-not-deadly variety. Then, I was ready to pee.

Now mind you, I was still in a buttocks-exposing hospital gown, no underwear, and covered with iodine. And there was a a rather large man napping next to my bed. I was stoned, gassy, stitched up, and connected to an IV.

I won’t go into the gory details, but making it to pee took some serious maneuvering. Oh, and it hurt  like a mo-fo. Apparently, they put a catheter in you while they do this stuff. Now I truly know the meaning of “it burns when I pee.” Yet another fun experience to add to my infertility checklist. Oh! I should totally make a checklist! Maybe in the next post.

So back to bed I awkwardly go. Now I’m pretty much ready to sleep. But loyal hubby next door apparently likes to snore. Loudly. I am not a happy camper. So in retaliation I let one rip in the hopes of waking him up and making the snoring stop. No dice. Ahh well, at least more air was expelled.

Chapter Four: A Morning of Impatience

I get woken up at 5am to get my vitals checked and my IV removed. I’ve only been asleep for an hour thanks to Snorey McSnoreson in the next bed. Then a disgusting breakfast is served. It’s been 24 hours since I last ate so I down the roll on the tray hungrily, and am grateful to Shmerson when he shows up an hour later sporting a large pineapple-mango smoothie. But before all this, I have a very big decision to make: Snorey is in the room, I’m half naked and covered in iodine, I’ve got three X’s of stiching on various points of my stomach, and I need to get dressed.

Somehow I decide to wait until we get home to shower. Somehow I maneuver the curtain enough so that Snorey doesn’t get any glimpses of my currently brown-tinged lady parts. Somehow, with no assistance I actually manage to dress myself just in time for Shmerson, the smoothie, and the Russian coming in to give me the post-op.

Still not clear on the details. I think that’s for another post. But basically, he only made 3 incisions because Ole’ Righty was just fine, but we kissed Ole’ Lefty goodbye because she was dysfunctional. So now I’m asymmetrical. That’s very infertility-chic, don’t you think?

It took them another freaking hour to discharge me. By that time I was grumpy, bloaty, itchy, and smelly. And I was pretty sick of sneaking around with the passing of the gas. But finally I was let go to sweet, blessed, farting-friendly freedom.

Chapter 5: A Day of Abhorrent Caloric Intake

I come home to a care package courtesy of Squish and Me0Me containing chocolate, and lots of it. Later in the day, my mother brought over yummy food. And – gasp! – baked goods with white flour and sugar in them. If you knew my mother you would understand that this is a first. I take the blessed shower, check out the weird tic-tac-toe game I’ve got going on on my abdomen, and sleep. And sleep. And sleep some more. Oh – and eat. A lot. So much so that I actually resorted once again to Dr. Google. Apparently excessive hunger is a side effect of invasive surgical procedures. Who knew! Yet another fun factoid for my little list.

Finally, the farting stops and the shoulder pain starts. Ahh well. I knew it was too good to be true. At least I have a heart shaped heating pad and plenty of advil to get me through it. But really, I think I preferred the farting. Not so much with the lady-like, but far less painful. I’ll make sure to let my body know that if I have to go through this again, to please release all air and gasses through pre-made orifices. That’s what they’re there for. Maybe it’ll cooperate. But who knows, my body is kind of weird, and I’m sure rather upset at me for this whole cutting it open thing I just made it go through. We’ll see in the coming days what amount of revenge it decides to partake in. For now, well, we’ve got a heart shaped pillow! Bonus.

Epilogue: An Ode to Ole’ Lefty

Lefty, oh lefty, I thought you were good

I thought you would survive when they looked under the hood

I thought that your sister Ole’ Righty was the bad one 

But apparently it was you who was troubled and barren

Lefty, you left me,  now I’m out of the stirrup

I hope Ole’ Righty is ready to knock me up

If Righty is right then we should be okay

And I should be a preggo keeping ectopics at bay

Lefty, oh Lefty, I can’t say I’ll miss you

I’m sure you caused more trouble than good

Lefty, oh Lefty, you were such a bother

So I’m glad that you left when they looked under the hood

And now, I leave you with a song, a tribute, a goodbye to my left tube. Good riddance.

Happy Pills, Pee Sticks, Babies, Crazies and General Randomness

26 Jul

So – I am absolutely exhausted, but I figured it was time for an update. So pardon me for the bullet points, but this is all a random jumble.

  • I resisted POAS the last couple of days (thanks for everybody’s feedback, BTW!). Today I saw the coveted EWCM so I ended up doing it, just because it’s only CD 14 and I haven’t O’d this early since I started tracking. It was positive, but one of those half dark lines, so I’m not completely sure where that falls. Even if it counts as negative, it means I’m close. Which makes me really happy. First, because I have no idea what side I’m popping from which will make resisting baby making much easier, and second, I think the progesterone, as torturous as it was, did some good stuff for my cycle. We’ll see on what CD the red lady shows up. I’m curious.
  • Dr. Happy Pills changed around my dosage last week, and that’s doing good things as well. He added Ati.van to the mix, and upped my zo.loft. It makes me hella tired, which is good, because I’m actually going to bed before 4am most nights. Downside: I don’t get to skype as much with my ET/PT time friends (sorry Marie!). Upside: I’m actually conscious before noon most days, and functioning waaaay better.
  • My house has become a train station. Ever since we advertised the place as being for sale, my phone has been ringing off the hook and we have people here all hours of the day. I would restrict it, but I want to get this place sold. The sooner we sell it, the sooner we’re in our new place. And I want to be in our new place. It’s time I get to some serious nesting action.
  • I’m suffering from a serious case of Harry Potter withdrawal. I had spent the last couple of weeks writing that series of columns for keypulp, and now I’m in need of a fix. I’ll probably end up doing a review of the last film after all. As soon as I have time to breathe. Which I don’t right now.
  • I went to visit PM today and got to hold the little one for like half an hour as he slept. I think it was the most at peace I’ve felt in a very long time. I have a lot more to say about what I’m learning from her, but that’s for a longer, less rambly post. But in general, that kid is just so precious. I didn’t imagine I’d love him as much as I do. But I do. It’s not that I’m not a bit envious, because I am. But my awe and my love for PM and the kid completely overshadow that. I’m incredibly grateful. It’s teaching me a lot about this journey.
  • I’m looking for a full time job, outside of the house, because this whole work at home thing does not do good things for my psyche. So far, no luck, because there are very few content-driven companies in my city and I don’t want to commute. The funny thing is that the more I look for full time work, the more freelance jobs fall in my lap, plus a possible opportunity to actually get a feature film made just fell from the sky last week (I won’t talk about it more now – it’s still too early and the status of the project is up in the air, so I don’t want to jinx it). The Flying Spaghetti Monster has decided to lob meatballs at me or something. Things are WEIRD.
  • The thing is, this is the busiest I’ve been in MONTHS. As crazy as things are, I’m loving every minute, and it makes for a great distraction. I only find myself getting a case of the baby-crazies about once a day, which is NOTHING compared to a few weeks ago. There’s apparently something to this busy thing. I think I’m gonna keep going at it. Having a life – it’s not just for fertiles anymore!
  • Shmerson and I went in for karyotyping today. It will take a couple of months before we actually get results, but I’m happy we have one more test under our belt.
That’s about it. I’m going to bed, because I have yet another train station day tomorrow. Wed. is our lap consult, so I’ll update you guys with news on that. In the meantime, fare thee well. I am, to quote Shmerson: collapsedizing.

*Insert Witty Title with the Word “Lap” in it Here*

21 Jul

I was going to title this post “Lap it Up.” But really, that is hella lame. Jump in my lap? Nope. Ahh well, I guess there just isn’t enough in the world of laproscopic surgery humor and/or puns. I should work on that.

So as you may have already guessed, Twofer was very clear cut today. There was no need to beg. Two minutes into the appointment he said very clearly: “Well, I guess the next step would be a lap surgery to figure out the source of the pain and remove the tube while they’re at it.”

He referred me to a really good gyno surgeon, and we have an appointment with him next Wed. Bing bang boom. Done.

Well, not really. There is the whole issue of my PARALYZING FEAR OF GENERAL ANESTHESIA. So when we’re there on Wed, I’m definitely going to explore all of the options before signing on the lap dotted line. But even with the anesthesia fear I felt a certain lightness after leaving twofer today. I think that we made the right decision by addressing this issue with some more serious medical intervention. I’ll keep you all posted.

On an unrelated note – it’s Marie’s Birthday today! If you feel like it, and you should – go over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday!

Marie – over the past 6 months you have become one of my closest friends. It’s almost surreal to think that we’ve never actually met face to face, because I feel like we’ve known each other forever. I love you to bits, and if I could I would fly over to you to give you a huge birthday hug. But I can’t, so I’ll make due with another cute bunny gif:

Have an amazing birthday hon. Wish I could be there to celebrate with you in person!

Revenge of the Preggo Blogging Meme

14 May

I’ve been stopping and starting deep emotional blog posts for the last 24 hours. But I’m not there yet. Today, I’m just annoyed. This post is gonna make me look like a bitter infertile, and I don’t care, because, well, this has to be done.

There’s this blogging meme going around, a preggo questionnaire.

I have about 50 IF bloggers on my google reader, and a few of those are newly preggo IFers. They used to be eloquent, funny, emotional bloggers.

Now that they’re knocked up, they’ve decided to become smug preggos and just plain lazy.

Seriously, there are a couple of bloggers who just post this questionnaire once a week and that’s it. Blogging done! “Look at me! I’m happy and pregnant!”

No – you’re smug and obnoxious. I’m sorry. But you are. Look, I’m really happy for you. Really. But have you forgotten that your blog is read by infertiles? That that’s where you yourself started? I get it, the questionnaire is cute and all, but it just reeks of smugness. And did I mention it’s just plain lazy blogging (yeah I did. But it’s worth mentioning again)?

I’m getting to the point that from now on, if you’re a newly preggo infertile and post this thing, I will unceremoniously remove you from my reader. I don’t care if we’re blogging buddies. I don’t care if I used to comment on your every post. I will be breaking up with your blog. Go stand in the corner with the easily preggo fertiles. Cause you’re acting like one, and really, I thought you were better than that. You disappoint me.

And now, you leave me no choice but to post the meme myself. Because this is the only way I can make you feel guilty enough about it to freakin’ stop. No offense, but to paraphrase an old saying: “If you don’t have anything interesting to blog, don’t blog anything at all.”


My reader is clogged up with smug. Please make it stop. I am taking a stand! Bring on the meme!

Week 50- Weekly Update 

(why 50 you ask? That’s how long it’s been since my first BFP)

How far along: Well, it depends on which pregnancy. My first would be two months old about now. My second is due in two weeks. I’d be 8 weeks preggo with my third. So let’s just call this one a bust, shall we?
Size of baby: It’s a peanut! No! It’s a blueberry! No! It’s an orange! No! It’s a garbage can full of extra thick sanitary pads!
Maternity clothes?I wish. Then I’d have an excuse for the latest early pregnancy two pounds I gained. Now I just look a bit fatter than usual and with nothing to show for it.
Sleep?Not that much, since I’m waiting to see what instruments are going to be stuck up my uterus in the coming weeks.

Best moment of the week: The one day when I went into my google reader and didn’t see a single post with this ridiculous meme.

Movement: I’ve been told to start doing half hour walks to both relieve my anxiety and prep my body to actually hold a pregnancy to term. Does that count?

Symptoms: Well, I’ve got this recurrent stabbing pain in my right side, which is a constant reminder that there may be something wrong with my tubes. Other than that, it’s a sore throat and stuffy nose… Oh, right, sorry, those last two are symptoms of my COLD, not a pregnancy. Oh wait, I’m not pregnant! So I guess it’s all good.

Food cravings/aversions:I’ve been told to move to a low sugar diet to help ensure a baby sticks around next time. And I really want a hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream to comfort me while I feel endless grief and frustration. Ahh well, too bad for me!
Gender:Up until a few months ago, I would have said I wish it would be a girl. Now I don’t give a crap. Just give me a baby.
Belly button in or out:In – and will most likely remain that way for the unforeseeable future.
Stretch marks: Oh! Yeah! A bunch! But they’re mostly non-pregnancy related.
What I miss: Morning sickness. I loved living off of crackers and knowing that this meant that I had a baby growing inside of me.
How is Mommy Feeling? Bitter. Haven’t you noticed?
How is Daddy Feeling?  Depressed and nihilistic. Check out his blog post from a couple of days back.
Total weight gain? About 15 pounds during the last three pregnancies. Mostly due to numbing my feelings with carbs.

What I am looking forward to: A day when this blogging meme gets wiped off the face of the earth.

Message sent. Hopefully it will be received.

Housekeeping

2 May

Hi All,

So I think this is a new record for not posting – I mean, it’s been like two days! That hardly ever happens!

I’m just a bit out of it. And with good healthy reasons! So – here’s a quick update and after that I need your feedback!

So – I went to Dr. Happy Pills two days ago and switched from zoloft to lexapro. It was my decision to try it because I felt like zoloft was only doing half the job (as in dealing only with my depression and not doing as well with the anxiety), and now that we are on a forced TTC hiatus, I figured it was a good time to give lexapro a try. So I’ve spent the last couple of days kind of weird because of the med transition. I’m hoping things will even out in a week or so. This is the downside of happy pills – the adjustment period. Fortunately, since I’m already on one form of SSRI it won’t nearly be as bad as last time.

I had a weak moment yesterday and I actually smoked a cigarette. It was after spending an entire afternoon with my awesome nephew – but also surrounded with like – hundreds of other parents with their kids and I think it just became a bit much so I broke down after my brother dropped me off. But I haven’t really wanted one since so I’m just blaming the lexapro for now. I’m trying not to get too mad at myself. I mean – I’ve had a crappy couple of weeks. I deserve one moment of weakness, right? Right? (This is where you comment that you’re not mad and it’s ok that I had that one and your forgive me. K. Thanks)

There’s still one more thing I’m kind of dreading and that’s going back to yoga finally tomorrow and telling my instructor about what happened. He’s going to want to know why I’ve been gone for two weeks and of course I’m going to need to tell him. I know it’s not going to be fun. I kind of feel like I need to get past this already. And I kind of already am. I think. So I want to get all the “technicalities” over with.

Speaking of those – I’m down to very light spotting and I’m thinking of going in tomorrow for another beta. I’m not sure if I should wait until tuesday or even later just to be sure that they’ll be down to zero when I test – but again – I want to get this over with! I guess I’ll decide tomorrow when I wake up. I really want them down to zero already.

I don’t want you guys to misunderstand – I’m not completely down. I’ve been productive, I’ve been active, I’ve been leaving the house. I think that’s a huge accomplishment considering what’s been going on (the last time I couldn’t function for two months). I’m just – I guess I’m in a lexapro transition haze. Or in denial. Time will tell. (I’m also not trying to force myself to handle things in a certain way. I think that’s the best approach. I don’t know how I’m “supposed” to feel. So I’m just feeling what I’m feeling). Ahh well.

Now for a little blog housekeeping:

1) I have given Shmerson his own user on the blog. He’s now officially authorized to post without having to go through me. I just thought it was time. I know the muse is upon him sometimes so I figured why the hell not? So yes – you may see him around here a bit more often and slightly less censored (Ok – I don’t really censor him. Right? RIGHT?!?? Shmerson this is where you chime in in the comments and tell me that of course I don’t and I’ve the best wife ever).

2) I want to update my blogroll! It’s completely out of date and I know it! The thing is – I follow about 50 ALI blogs, and of course that includes every person who I know reads this blog regularly (Hi lurkers who don’t comment! know you are loved as well!). I know a few of you have put me on your blogrolls (thanks!) and I really want to reciprocate. But I also don’t want my blogroll to be completely useless because it’s so freaking long. So – first thing’s first:

If you want to be added to my blogroll please let me know in the comments or by using the handy contact page linked above.

And I want your opinion: Should I keep my blogroll in the sidebar? Or should I get all stirrup-queeny on your butts and do a whole separate page? Because seriously – I follow like 50 blogs at this point and if I put them all in – well, then we’ll be having some trouble.

Vote Below!

That’s all for today folks. Hoping to be out of the lexapro haze soon!

The Giant Earring

13 Apr

Ok – I’ve had an absolutely nuts 24 hours and I’m beat so today I will be keeping it short and fulfilling a promise made a long time ago.

Shmerson and I were at a wedding yesterday, and he took some cell phone pics of me with the giant earring!!!

so – enjoy! Or stare perplexed. Whichever. I promise to be more coherent tomorrow!

Happy Birthday Squish!!!!!!

12 Apr

To an amazing woman.

An amazing friend.

One of the strongest people I know.

I know I give you hell sometimes.

I know I’m no picnic.

And I don’t tell you often enough just how amazing you are and how important you are to me.

You have literally saved my life more times than you know.

I know you feel bad sometimes that you don’t “understand”.

But your listening makes everything easier.

I hope I am as good a friend to you as you are to me. And if I’m not, please tell me so I can try to do better.

You’re beautiful, talented, strong, and funny as all hell. I hope this year brings you everything that you wish for, and everything that you deserve – which, in case you were wondering, is far and above what you wish for.

I wish you all the happiness in the world.

I love you Squish!

Happy Birthday!

If there was a maid of honor, it would have been you. Happy Birthday my Squisher!

Dinner for Two – Fajitas!

12 Apr

So it’s been a dramatic few days. Time for a break!! JJiraffe started a great recipe swapping project – cooking with capote. I’m a little late to the party due to all the drama, and you’ll forgive me for not posting pics, right? Good. Here we go!

I love to cook. Love love love it. My cooking is usually divided into two categories: Dinner for two and dinner for four.

Dinner for two is cooked when I know that we won’t be eating at home the next night, and that leftovers would go to waste. Usually it something special, like Gnocchi with shrimp, or salmon over pasta. It’s also usually a bit indulgent.

Dinner for four, I also call my practice dinners. The kind of stuff I know I’ll be making for the future mini-shmersons: Chicken fingers, Lasagna, meatballs, that kind of stuff. Things that we usually eat for two nights in a row.

Tonight was a dinner for two night since we have a wedding tomorrow. And tonight – it was tex-mex!

Let me elaborate: There are very few things I miss about living in the states. Mostly my friends, The Arclight and the Grove in LA, South Street in Philadelphia, Disneyland, Vegas, and – the food. Well, at least the food that you can’t really get in Israel.

My old roommate AK’s grilled cheese sandwiches – nobody makes them like she does (when she came for my wedding she was forced into grilled cheese servitude).

Proper chinese food. Don’t know why – but there’s not one single decent chinese place in the entire country. Thai? Sure. Japanese? Definitely. But you want some kung pao chicken? You’re out of luck.

Ranch Dressing. Yes. There is no ranch dressing here. Or – at least it’s really hard to find. Same with Bleu Cheese dressing. Us Israelis like our salads with olive oil and lemon. But I don’t. I loves me some hidden valley.

Up until recently it was also very hard to find a good cheddar cheese around here, which is strange, since our milk products are generally awesome. But the cheddar here was always a bit too mild for my taste. They finally started making a brand here that is sharp enough a few months back.

And finally? Tex-mex. It’s funny, I hate uncooked tomatoes, so I’m not one for guac or salsa. But man -I love fajitas. I love tacos. I love refried beans, nachos. Oh – and shrimp tacos specifically. Love those!

I didn’t think I would get to enjoy good tex-mex until the next time I went to the states, but at this year’s oscar party I decided to try to make it on my own, and since then – I’m hooked! It’s not perfect – but it’s darn well close enough!

Since the oscars, about once every two weeks, I make us fajitas – complete with all the “fixins” including refried beans and tomato-free guacamole – something that squish and I invented while prepping for the oscar party which, as it turns out, I love! I never touched guac before because of the tomatoes. Now I’m addicted and I make it all the time.

So, without further ado, I give you my recipes for refried beans, tomato-free guac, and chicken and zucchini Fajitas! (look for shrimp and beef variations at the bottom).

Warning – I don’t do measurements. I usually “eye” it. So I’m kind of guessing on some of these amounts – but that’s part of the fun – play around with it and see what works for you.

Let’s start with the guac!

Mo and Squish’s 5 minute tomato-free guac

What you’ll need:

2 large ripe avocados

1 small red onion

Juice of half a lemon or one small lime

tobasco sauce

Salt and Pepper

Optional: 1 small Jalapeno, fresh cilantro (I hate cilantro so I always skip that)

Tools:

1 medium sized bowl

A fork and a knife

A cutting board.

Instructions:

Dice the red onion as fine as you can get it. Same with the Jalapeno, seeds removed. Set them both aside.

Halve the avocados and scoop their contents into a bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon or one small lime. Add a dash of salt.

Mash the avocado with a fork while stirring in the lemon. Once it’s the consistency you like (I like mine just a tiny bit on the chunky side) stir in the onion and the jalapeno. Add a dash of tobasco and stir again.

At this point give it a taste. Add more salt and some pepper if needed, and if it’s not spicy enough for your taste, feel free to add a couple more splashes of tobasco. I suggest you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before partaking to really let the flavors meld. Just remember – it gets spicier once it sits for a while!

Of course, if you insist on tomatoes, you can always add one, finely chopped, into the mix. Your call.

Mo’s Mega-Easy Refried Beans

What you’ll need:

1 package of dried black or red beans OR 2 cans of either – make sure if you’re using the canned stuff, that it’s just straight up beans, no added sauces.

If you’re using the dried stuff, rinse out the beans, pre-soak if you want, but I usually don’t feel the need. Just chuck them in a pot and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil, and then down to a simmer. Check in every ten minutes or so and add water as needed. DO NOT ADD SALT – THE BEANS WILL NOT SOFTEN. The beans should be ready in about 2 hours.

Or save yourself the headache and use the canned beans, they’re just as good.

You’ll also need:

One red onion, chopped

Canola Oil (or if you’re feeling sinful, bacon fat or lard. I use canola).

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Tools:

1 large Skillet

1 potato masher

1 spoon

Cover the bottom of the pan with the oil (I’ve actually never tried this recipe with bacon fat, though I’ve heard it’s awesome. It’s just not so much with the heart healthy).

Saute the onions until they’re clear. Add the beans, and mash them as they’re frying in the oil. If they start getting a bit dry in texture, add a little bit of hot water to moisten them up.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Easy-peasy!!

I know – almost too easy right? I was really surprised when I first saw this recipe. Turns out it’s really all you need and it comes out really yummy!

Mo’s not-so-famous yet yummy chicken fajitas for two (feel free to multiply if there are more people)

What you’ll need:

1 large whole chicken breast

4 small (or 2 large) zucchini

1 medium white onion

For the Marinade:

1 small Jalapeno, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic – crushed

Juice of half a lemon or one small lime

about 2 tsp ground cumin

Salt and Pepper to taste.

A dash or two of tobasco sauce – depending on how spicy you like it.

Olive oil – I think about a quarter of a cup should be enough to cover it.

Tools:

One Steak Pan or Plancha (or anything that resembles a grill but can be used on a stove top)

Tongs

Large Ziplock Bag

Knife

Cutting board

(duh on the last two – I know!)

Peel and slice the onion into half rings. Separate them.

Clean and thinly slice the zucchini

Place onion, zucchini, and chicken into the ziploc bag.

Mix the marinade, and pour it into the bag. Zip up so there is no air left in the bag. Shake well to make sure marinade spreads evenly. Let sit for at least half an hour – or up to two hours in the fridge (that gives the best results!).

heat up the steak pan/grill thingy, whatever. Really heat it up. when the stuff hits it, it should sizzle.

pour contents of ziplock bag onto the pan, spread out evenly.

Now – here’s the trick: Don’t be afraid to get this stuff scorched! The reason I keep the chicken breast whole is so that it will get burned on both sides. Not charcoal guys – but nice and Grill-like.

I can’t really give you a cooking time on this, you’re just gonna have to eye it. keep an eye on the veggies and make sure to flip them often. The chicken should be flipped only once, especially if you want those nice grill marks on it.

Once all is cooked, cut the chicken into strips. You can do that ahead of time, but cutting it after the fact makes the meat much juicier.

Serve with flour tortillas. refried beans, guac, shredded lettuce, grated sharp cheddar, salsa or chopped tomatoes, and sour cream.

Yum!

Shrimp variation:

Add a shot of tequila to the marinade. You can replace the zucchini with or add some corn (fresh, canned or frozen). Shrimp cook quickly, so add them a few minutes after the veggies.

Beef Variation:

Marinade the same as the chicken. Add half a can of beer if you’re feeling courageous.

Replace Zucchini with red and green peppers. Do not marinade the veggies at all, and marinade the beef for at least two hours.

Cook the beef first, until it’s done to your liking. While the meat is resting, scorch the onions and the peppers in the juices left in the pan by the meat and the marinade.

I’m sure there are several people of hispanic descent who may find these recipes sacrilegious.

I find them sacrilicious!

You know what would really relax me? Punching you in the face.

10 Apr

Ok. I love my family. I really and truly do. They may be messed up in certain ways, but in general, we’re a small family who are very close. I really love them to bits. My cousin’s kids are like my neices and nephew. I love having heart to heart conversations with my aunt. Everybody is in everybody else’s business, and we’re ok with that.

But today – I wanted to punch the lights out of almost all of them.

It was my second cousin’s 30th birthday today. Again, we’re a small family, so my second cousin and I spent most of our early years glued at the hip.

A surprise party was thrown and of course the whole family came. Shmerson couldn’t come with me because he had to work.

I’d usually be completely fine with that.

Today I guess I was particularly sensitive, considering that I was gearing up for the day of doctors tomorrow.

So I had it on my mind. So I naturally wanted to talk about it.

So first I talked to my aunt. And the conversation basically went like this:

Me: So I’m going to that doctor tomorrow…

Aunt: Ok. Why?

Me: Because I don’t feel like Dr. Blunt gave me any answers.

Aunt: You know what you need to do? You really just need to relax.

Me: (trying my hardest to keep my anger at bay) I’m relaxed. I’m just trying to take control of my care.

Aunt: You’re not relaxed. Seriously. Just stop thinking about it. Everything will be fine.

Me: (through clenched teeth) But you don’t understand…

Aunt: I do. But it’s a known fact that the less you think about it the easier…

At this point I lost my cool.

Me: OK – did you have two miscarriages?

Aunt: No. And I can’t imagine what you must be going through…

Me: Exactly. So don’t tell me to freaking relax.

At this point I really want a cigarette. I work hard to regain composure. I decide to step outside, where my mom is standing with my cousin. Hopefully there I’ll get some sympathy. And some second-hand smoke courtesy of mom.

Me: So – I’m really sick of people telling me to relax.

Mom: But you really do need to relax!

Me: *fume*

Conversation continues. I explain to my cousin about why I’m going to Dr. Twofer. My cousin, who I love and I believe is probably the sanest person in my family tells me the following:

Cousin: You’re looking for validation for your choice to keep on testing. I get that. But you won’t get that from the family. We all think you’re taking this a bit far. I mean, get the tests if that’s what will make you feel better. But we all think you are too stressed about this.

Me: I am as relaxed as I freaking can be in this situation ok? I CAN’T HAVE ANOTHER MISCARRIAGE. I JUST CANT!

Mom: See – this is the problem with your thinking.

Cousin: You’re in the middle of it so you can’t see it. Just stop looking for validation and do what you need to do.

Me: Fine.

I walk away again.

*****Half an hour later******

We’re sitting at our table. My mother and I are having a jaunty conversation while I stare longingly at a little baby at the table next to us. I look at my mom in a moment of weakness.

Me: God, I want one so bad.

Mom: I know. But you need to relax. you need to lay off of it. You know so and so? They had two kids right after they adopted because they stopped thinking about it….

Me: *turning bright red again* Please stop telling me to relax. I am as relaxed as I can be, ok? I need to go to that doctor’s…

Mom: You’re living from one doctor’s appointment to another. And this is all you ever talk about anymore.

I know she’s right. I argue anyway.

Me: I do not only talk about that! I talk about other things!

Mom: You talk about it with everyone. Everyone here knows about your miscarriages. You share everything.

Me: (knowing she’s kind of right) I only answer if I’m asked!

I walk out again. Ahh – there’s my brother. A voice of sanity.

Me: Sissy, do I talk about my miscarriages and wanting babies all the time?

Sissy: Yeah. pretty much.

Me: Really? I’m that obsessed?

Sissy: Um, I read your blog, remember? (PS – hi sissy!)

Me: Yeah  – but that’s the blog. What about everywhere else?

*crickets*

Me: If one more person tells me to relax I’m going to punch them in the face.

Sissy: Ok. But you should relax, though.

URGH!!!

Help me out here. Seriously. What if they’re all right? I mean, Elphie got her BFP when she relaxed. What if it’s freaking true?

HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO RELAX?

I don’t think all of the xanax, cigarettes, yoga, and pee sticks combined would make me relax at this point.

I’ll say it again:

URGH.

 

PS – thanks to everyone who chimed in on yesterday’s post. There’s  still almost 24 hours until I get to Dr. Twofer’s so please feel free to add anything else that comes to mind. Of course, I will be describing the Day O’ Docs in detail tomorrow. Maybe after that I can relax. No? Yeah, didn’t think so. Frak.

 

My Response Letter to PETA

7 Apr

I’m in a crappy mood today. So I’m sure you can all guess how happy I was to receive what was obviously a form letter from PETA regarding the protest email I sent them yesterday. (For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about – click here)

So, I won’t copy and past their stupid form letter here, but it was basically them telling me that it’s legitimate that men get vasectomies, that I should just adopt, oh – and they asked me to donate money to them! Lovely.

They signed it “the PETA staff”

Thanks guys. Real personable of you.

So – since I’m in complete and total hostile bitch mode today, I figured, what the hell – I may as well take out my hostilities on these assholes.

So before I reveal my – ehem – polite letter to them, let me suggest some choice viewing in the form of a rather scathing expose on PETA done by the show Penn & Teller: Bullshit a couple of years back. Check out part one here and the rest can be found on that sidebar.

Anyway – without further ado, my hormonal bitchy response:

Dear PETA Staff,

Thank you for the form letter, which I assume you have sent out to the hundreds if not thousands of angry women who have contacted you in the last 24 hours. I’m sure the copying and pasting is getting very tiring for your mouse hand.

Unfortunately, you are ignorant of the point we as a community are trying to make.

Give away as many vasectomies as you’d like.

Just don’t do it to “honor” Infertility awareness week.

I suggest that if you are so passionate about the issue of animal adoption, next time you want to create a buzz,  offer to help a childless couple adopt.

I would love to take in an abandoned and neglected child, and give them the love and the home they need.

That process however, costs about as much as it would to feed and clothe that child for about a decade, and alas, I don’t have access to those kinds of funds, and therefore hold on to hope that my currently unfriendly and barren uterus will eventually be able to hold on to a baby that I have created, so that I have an outlet for that love sometime before I rob a bank.

Countless  Infertile women spend their days in shame and darkness, and you making light of their medical condition doesn’t make things any better for them, and makes you look like ignorant bastards.

If you’re so concerned about the overpopulation of the planet, why don’t you mandate all of your pregnant employees to have abortions?

Because that’s about as sensitive and intelligent as your vasectomy campaign. And I’m sure all of your female employees will go right along with it because of their lofty ideals.

You people are a bunch of freaks. I don’t know why anybody supports you at this point. I hope you enjoy alienating some of the biggest animal lovers on the planet because of your sensationalism and ignorance.

Oh – and fuck you.

Sincerely,

Me

Ahh – I love the smell of flame emails in the morning (especially when I’m in raging hormonal bitch mode).

And the Winner Is…..!

25 Mar

Actually – yesterday’s poll was too close to call between Squish and Me0Me. How fun is it to have a tie between my girl BFF and my boy BFF?!? So guess what? You get both of them! Starting with my boy BFF! Me0Me – take it away!

Hi!

A clarification first: Mo and I have always signed our emails to each other ‘me’, and ‘me’ was unfortunately either too short or taken in wordpress when I came aboard the odyssey, so I stuck a 0 and added another me. Hence the weird nick.

Mo’s note: he jumped on board the comments before I could give him an appropriate fake name. Bad me!

Mo and I have known each other for 16 years now. We met as we were both in our slutty phases, as well as putting the best of our energies into The Rocky Horror Picture Show and into making friendships that would last a lifetime (more than you would believe). It’s safe to say that in some ways we know each other better than anyone else.

I’ve been on a self discovery journey of my own in the past few months, something that started around the time this blog went up, oddly – or predictably, seeing how Mo and I seem to share life transitions – enough, and the other night I saw a meeting of our roads in my head.

I was coming home on the subway, talking to a guy who’s singing with me in an opera, and he was really nice. This was after a rehearsal for “Carmen” during which another guy singer was also really nice to me. Now, this all probably seems very normal, but I don’t really have guy friends. In fact, other than one gay friend that I used to be involved with before we (actually!) became really good friends, I really don’t have relationships with men other than the one I’m married to (love you Bubi!). So after nice subway guy switches trains and I stay on I start pondering why this is and I realize – I’m a competitive S.O.B. I know this. I rarely show it to the people around me, but inside my head, either I’m the best at what I’m doing at any given moment, or I’m kind of a loser and I should really stop what I’m doing.

Being gay, I automatically have a handicap, if you will, on masculinity. I’m not culturally supposed to be as much of a man as a straight guy. Taking into account the vast chauvinistic roots in our culture that I believe are only slightly less rooted than the homophobic ones (remind me again, why is it that when a man is called/labeled anything feminine it’s funny/demeaning yet when a woman is called/labeled anything masculine it’s cool/elevating?) I will always be, on some cultural level, less than the straight man I’m interacting with.

And then I thought of Mo’s jealousy post, and suddenly it dawned on me. My masculine “handicap” is not unlike the feminine “handicap” that a woman dealing with IF/MC is dealing with internally. How can it not be difficult to face someone who is, because of simple existential facts, “better” than you for reasons you can’t control?

I had never directly confronted feelings of jealousy toward heterosexual men, but there it was, an inferiority complex just looking me in the face!

The good thing about all this is that it was hitting me because of the nice things that were happening that I wasn’t used to – in fact, that Monday evening’s rehearsal and subway ride serve as a kind of havaya metakenet for me. Seeing that I can talk to another guy without having to deal with sexuality, with singers’ competitiveness, with cultural inferiority. As one human being to another. Because we do each have our own journey.

We all go through and make our special life story. There are times at which it’s tough to disconnect ourselves, our selves, from the annoying, chauvinistic, judging lens on our inner all-seeing all-judging eye. But maybe, if we remember (and the big spaghetti monster in the sky knows that’s a whole journey by itself) that the cultural biases we’ve been raised with our only that – cultural biases, things we don’t wholly approve of – we have a better chance of enjoying the journey.

I’m a bad, bad blogger

24 Mar

These last few days have been insane! I’m running around like a maniac to get stuff done, so I haven’t been keeping up with ICLW (promise to make up for it on saturday when things calm down!).

Bad bad me.

I think I’ll have someone do a guest blog for me tomorrow since I won’t have time. For my regular readers who know who the heck I’m talking about – vote below! For those who have no idea – pick randomly!

Edit – I just asked squish and she would be honored to blog. Yay squish! So feel free to vote for her, sans guilt. 🙂

The Power of a Word

23 Mar

Ok Let me start with a bit of an apology. I started this little corner of the weboverse as a place for me to vent and share my experiences with others. It was never meant as a virtual soap box. In fact, I tend to shy away from bringing politics into this space for the simple reason that I live in Israel, and I’ve had my fair share of experiences in which I was hated, and even verbally abused, strictly because of where I’m from. So in short – I tend to keep politics out of here because this is not what our community is all about (BTW – welcome ICLWers! For more about me – feel free to click here,  here, or on the “about” page above).

But today I’m going to step a bit outside of my usual ranting to voice an opinion. First, for those of you who don’t know me, a little background:

Though I was born and currently live in Israel, I spent about half my life in the United States. 8 years as a child, and another 7 as an adult. The result of this is that a) I think and write primarily in English (exhibit a: this blog) b) Nobody guesses that I’m not American upon talking to me or reading this blog, until I point it out to them, or in real life, they hear my name. c) As a lover of politics in general, I am especially a lover and follower of American politics. In those terms, I consider myself a staunch Democrat. Even a stereotypical one. I get my news from the Daily Show and Rachel Maddow.

Now that I’m done with all this prefacing it’s time I get down to it.

During one of my undergraduate women’s studies classes, which talked about women and Judaism, my professor (who I to this day consider a role model and a mentor), brought in an expert on the Hebrew language, to speak to us about its built-in gender bias.

I won’t go into the talk in detail, but during it – apart from pointing out certain linguistic inequalities, this expert also pointed out how in Hebrew, some words are casual, whereas their English counterparts are incredibly “charged”.  As an example, this expert used the word “fetus”.

In Hebrew, “fetus” (or Ubar)  is a word used rather casually. This is how pregnant women refer to their babies before they know whether it’s a girl or a boy. This is a word doctors use often. In English, at least in the United States, “fetus” is a charged, almost taboo word.

I think this is because abortion in Israel is not a controversial topic (let’s face it, we’ve got enough controversy without it). It’s legal, it’s done. It’s not debated. Israel is a country with universal healthcare, and legal abortion. Here, if you want to get an abortion, and have it funded through government healthcare, you have to sit in front of a committee comprised of three people, 2 of them doctors, and one of them has to be a woman. Statistically, these committees authorize over 98% of the requests.

If you don’t want to go through a committee, you can opt to fund the abortion in a private clinic. No muss, no fuss.

The result of all of this is that apart from the religious right, there isn’t much of an anti-abortion movement in Israel. This is, I believe, because Israel was founded based at least partially on socialist values that go hand-in-hand with individual rights. Each time someone has tried to pass anti-abortion legislation in Israel, this legislation has not even gone up for a vote, because it is looked at as infringing upon a woman’s individual rights.

There was a TINY bit of controversy (again – from the religious right) when the morning-after pill was introduced here. But it passed quickly, and now it’s openly sold in pharmacies, and several cute commercials with smiling girls wearing pink tank tops were aired on prime time TV.

So yes  – here, fetus is not a dirty word.

In terms of American politics, I’ve always considered myself Pro-choice (being a staunch Democrat, it kind of comes with the territory). However, I also knew that when it came to my own body, I probably would not have an abortion.

Of course, now that I’ve had two miscarriages my opinion about my own body has become even more solidified, and yes, I admit, I would look sideways today at a woman – say in her mid 20’s and with relative financial stability – having an abortion. But this is just because of my own experience and issues. At the end of the day, it’s her body, her life, and her choice.

The results of the 2010 elections in the US shocked me. Mind you, I have some issues with what Obama has done as president, but I still could not fathom, after so many years living in the damage that a Republican administration had done to the country, why anybody in their right minds would vote Republican.

It’s not that I don’t understand (and sometimes even agree with) Republican policies. But what Republicans promise on the campaign trail (more jobs, less taxes, fiscal responsibility and the like), is worlds apart from what they do once they are in office. I could write for hours about the ludicrous union-stripping that’s been going on in Wisconsin for example. But in all truth, considering my own experiences over the past year, I am far more upset with the sheer weight of anti-abortion legislation that is happening all over the United States.

Because I’ve always been pro-life when it comes to my own body, I never openly advocated for a woman’s right to choose. I would give pro-choice picketers the thumbs up sign happily, but you would never find me holding up a sign, because I always found myself a bit detached from the topic.

Now that I myself have become a “repeat aborter”, I find myself wanting to get on a plane and march on washington.

Some people may think it’s ironic that a person like myself – who has a newly-found appreciation for the preciousness of pregnancy – would all of the sudden feel this way.

But to me, it makes total sense. As a part of this community, I’ve read the stories here of women who have had to go through heartbreaking late-term abortions because they had no choice. I’ve followed bloggers who rely on planned parenthood for their birth control because they can’t afford to have it any other way. I’ve seen the true implications of the silent victims of anti-abortion legislation. It’s the women of this community – who sometimes feel like they have no control over their own bodies – who need laws in place to at least retain their right to choose what to do when it comes to their bodies.

There are Republicans in Washington currently trying to de-fund planned parenthood.

There is one nutcase Republican lawmaker in Georgia who is trying to make MISCARRIAGE a crime.

There is a bill in Indiana that is trying to force doctors to warn women that abortion could possibly cause breast cancer.

Keiko Zoll, an IF blogger who I read regularly, speaks and advocates about this far more eloquently than I do. So I strongly recommend you hop on over to her blog every once in  a while to see what she has to say.

But I feel the need to speak out about this because seriously – and there’s no other way to put this: This is getting frakking ridiculous.

We in the ALI community should be doing everything we can to stop this kind of legislation from happening. If I had the money, I’d hop on a plane and march on washington tomorrow. But I don’t, and I seriously fear for my friends living in the United States. I sincerely am afraid of the consequences of these laws on their lives.

And I find it maddening that in a world with such harsh words as “death”, “terrorism”, “tsunami”, “infertility”, “poverty”, and “hunger”, the word “fetus” is getting all of the attention, and for all the wrong reasons.

Those are just my two cents. Thanks for reading.

People on TV I Want to be Friends With

20 Mar
I’m in a bit of a silly, useless mood today (I’m actually listening to Bon Jovi out of some strange sense of nostalgia. This is a bad sign). Soooo I figured I was overdue for a silly useless post.
In case you don’t know (though it’s kind of hard not to notice) I’m a bit of a TV junkie. Since I work from home, I end up watching a LOT of stuff in the background while I’m doing other stuff.
But there are some shows, and some characters, and some people, who will always make me ignore whatever I’m working on in favor of fantasizing about our fictional friendship/romance/uncomfortable conversation/all of the above.
So, since I love me some lists, here’s one of people on TV I want to be friends with!
Fictional:
  1. Abed from “Community”
  2. Lorelai from “Gilmore Girls”
  3. Phoebe from “Friends”
  4. Pacey from “Dawson’s Creek” (I actually wanted to marry him at one point. Then I met shmerson. Oh, and before that, I realized that you can’t marry fictional characters).
  5. Chandler from “Friends” (see Pacey above)
  6. Hurley from “Lost”
  7. Liz Lemon from “30 Rock”
  8. Jim from “The Office” (see Pacey and Chandler)
  9. Lilly from “How I met your Mother”
  10. Barney from “How I Met your Mother” (I know he’s an ass – but I don’t care!)
  11. Leonard from “The Big Bang Theory”
  12. Cameron from Modern Family
  13. Miranda Bailey from Grey’s Anatomy
  14. Jack from Will and Grace
  15. Angel from “Angel” and “Buffy”
  16. Willow from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (look at that! Alyson Hannigan made it on here twice! Good for her!)
  17. Xander from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (see Chandler, Pacey, and Jim, above)
  18. Fred from “Angel”
  19. Lorne from “Angel”
  20. Wilson from”House”
  21. Chuck from “Chuck” (see Xander, Chandler, Pacey, and Jim above)
  22. Seth Cohen from “The O.C.” (see Chuck,  Xander, Chandler, Pacey… well you get the point. I like geeks. I married one. Duh)
  23. Veronica from “Veronica Mars”
  24. Mercedes from “Glee”
  25. J.D. from “Scrubs”

I could probably go on and on. But 25 seems like a nice round number, no?

Real People (this means people who go on TV as themselves, not actors playing characters):

  1. Jon Stewart (Also wanted to marry him at some point. Then found out he was spoken for. Major heartbreak ensued).
  2. Stephen Colbert
  3. Rachel Maddow
  4. John Oliver
  5. Ricky Gervais
  6. Bill Maher
  7. Joel McHale
  8. Conan Obrien
  9. Oprah – because who wouldn’t want to be friends with her?
  10. Boston Rob
  11. Gordon Ramsay (yes I know he’s an ass. But did you see how the man COOKS?)
  12. Alton Brown (he is my cooking guru forever and always)
  13. Dr. Drew (yes, he is smug. But I know he will most likely come in handy in the future. In fact, he would probably come in handy now, too.)
  14. Jeff Probst
  15. Jimmy Fallon (see Jon Stewart, only I got married first)
  16. Seth Meyers (see Jimmy Fallon)

I’m not adding actors here because really, this post is too long already, and that could go on for a while, and I think Shmerson’s head would explode with the sheer amount of lewd comments I would make (I’m talking to you – Johnny Depp, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Paul Rudd! Consider yourselves warned! Yum.).

Ok – I believe this is my cue to turn off the Bon Jovi and go to bed.

Or at least turn off the Bon Jovi. Reminder: I am no longer 13 years old.

 

Havaya Metakenet

18 Mar

What’s that jibberish in the subject line you ask?

(at least a select number of you are asking this)

It’s a much used saying in Hebrew. And a pretty good saying, if you ask me.

If you’re curious what it looks like in hebrew (just in case you want to tattoo it on your ass and not have an embarrassing mistake):

חוויה מתקנת

A recent email conversation with Marie brought up this phrase, and she suggested I write a blog post about it.

I have a tendency to listen to Marie’s suggestions, and anyway, otherwise most of today’s post would be me squeeing happily at the fact that shmerson is back. So, here we go.

Havaya = Experience

Metakenet = fixing, or repairing

Literally translated – “A repairing experience.”

What it is in practice is when you experience something absolutely terrible, or traumatic, and then either go into the same experience again determined to make it enjoyable, or without your determination, it becomes enjoyable. Your experience is repaired, and your trauma, as a result, is healed.

Let’s take a theoretical example: You eat sushi for the first time, the place where you eat it – the service is terrible and you end up having stomach cramps and other general ickiness. You swear off sushi for good.

Two years later your best friend tells you that you absolutely HAVE to go to this sushi place with her. It’s amazing, you’ll love it.

You resist. You pound your fists. You don’t want to do it.

Somehow – you get guilted into to doing it anyway.

You go into the restaurant. You order sushi because you have no choice. You pinch your nose, you take a bite – and it’s one of the yummiest things you’ve ever tasted.

You’re still skeptical. You give it 15 minutes to make sure all is well in your gastro-intestinal area. And all is.

You have one of the best meals of your life – made up purely of sushi.

Havaya Metakenet.

See – the problem is, that I think that most human beings are hard-wired to avoid situations that have been bad in the past. I also think that in this community of ours, we are even more prone to that, because, well, here, we’re not talking about sushi.

We’re talking about loss. We’re talking about grief. Anger. Jealousy. Trauma.

I will never ever be caught dead in the women’s clinic where I was first diagnosed with a blighted ovum. Never. In fact, I wanted to avoid it so much I switched health care providers. I wanted so little to do with that place I changed all of my doctors so I would never have to see that logo again.

I see a commercial for this company and I sometimes still get angry. The fact that Shmerson hasn’t switched providers yet and I still see their logo in the mail every once in a while makes me angry.

I get trauma. And I don’t think I’ll ever want to have a “havaya metakenet” with those assholes.

But I think we all need to be a bit more open to the concept of creating more “repairing experiences” in our lives.

I’m not saying we need to force ourselves into situations that we have found to be traumatic in the past.

What I’m saying is – if we find ourselves in that situation again, we should – from the outset – make an effort to make it a “havaya metakenet.”

And I mean go all out.

In my post a couple of days ago I quoted from an early draft of this post – about how I’m determined to make the next pregnancy a Havaya Metakenet. I won’t repeat those words here, because for those of you who have read it, you know that comes with so many roadblocks. But that doesn’t mean that my determination isn’t there.

But even if it’s not grandiose –  I think there are things all of us can do.

We all have places that we are scared to go, situations that we are afraid to put ourselves in, simply from the fear of the feelings those things may stir up.

But what if we all made a collective conscious decision to re-frame those types of experiences? To make something dreaded no longer dreaded?

Think of how much easier this precarious journey would be.

I’m not saying we can all just wave magic wands and make baby showers magically fun. Or go to a restaurant where we had food poisoning and all of the sudden love it.

What I’m saying is this:

In the past few months, I have been determined to break through my old fears and bad habits. In fact, I think these last six months have been one long “havaya metakenet” for me – to make up for 13+ years of crap.

So – I’m throwing down a challenge ladies.

Next time you’re up against a potentially challenging experience, see if you can make it a havaya metakenet instead.

It may make this road we’re all traveling on just tiny bit less bumpy. (wow, that was a cheesy closing line, wasn’t it? I promise to provide you with a less cheesy closing line tomorrow as a havaya metakenet).

Mo Can’t Come to the Blog Right Now

16 Mar

Shmerson’s back!

YIPPPPPEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

I’m sure he will be collapsing shortly after the amazing dinner I’m currently cooking for him. (Baked Salmon, Scalloped Potatoes, and Scorched Green Beans with Garlic) So maybe I’ll post later.

Maybe.

Oh – did I mention?

YIIIIPPPPPPEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

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