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Tag Archives: motherhood

My Cup Runneth Over. Or Something.

14 Apr

I’ve had a crazy few days, so my apologies for not keeping up with you guys, and only posting silly things about birthdays, fajitas and earrings. Things are still a bit nuts around here, but yesterday, amongst the craziness, Shmerson and I had a very serious conversation, which I wanted, in part, to share with you guys.

Yesterday in therapy I realized just why I want to be a mother so badly.

I mean, think about it. All of us IFers, RPLers, etc, get so obsessed with MAKING the baby, do we even let ourselves think about PARENTING that baby? And about why we want to be parents as badly as we do?

I think for some people, making a baby becomes an obsession. Because the flying spaghetti monster makes it hard for us to make babies, we want it all the more.

But apart from the “screw you I will make this happen” aspect of it all. WHY?

I’ve been examining the whole “why I want to be a mother so badly” issue quite a bit in therapy over the last few months. Yesterday, it hit me that it’s because I love to love. There is nothing I enjoy more in this world than loving other people. Being there for them. Helping them. My cup runneth over. Or something.

So having that on my mind, while running around yesterday, the subject came up with shmerson while we were in the car driving from one crazy thing to another.

I told him: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I want to be barefoot and pregnant. Like, for the next 5 years. I just want to make baby after baby and cook for them and make a pretty house for them and be their mommy. I want to be a stay at home mom. And only a mom.

Now, of course, that’s impossible in our current financial situation. No matter what, even if it’s from home, I’m going to have to keep on working.

But a girl can dream, right (even if it is an outdated dream circa 1950 that is the complete opposite of the dream the same girl had not even 2 years ago).

Anyway, that’s where the conversation turned. To how my dream is impossible, and also about our financial situation as a whole in the past, present and future.

Sometime during the drive Shmerson said something very wise: Up until 10 months ago we handled our finances like a couple. Now we’re handling them as parents.

He’s right. With every single month that has gone by since my first BFP, Shmerson and I have become more mature, more focused, and more honest about our financial situation and our goals for the future in general. All in preparation for becoming parents. We are, in fact, becoming parents more and more with each and every day that passes.

Sometime during this conversation I actually had the thought that on some level, it’s a good thing that those two pregnancies didn’t stick. Because those babies would have been born into financial and emotional chaos. Now, when we finally manage to bring a baby into this world, that baby will be born to PARENTS. People that have already prepared financially and emotionally – as much as we can, for that baby.

Now, you know it’s not REALLY a good thing to have lost those babies, or to be infertile. Miscarriage and infertility suck, to say the least.

But think about it – we have the luxury of time. Of planning. Of learning how to be parents before actually becoming parents. (Not to mention appreciating the journey so much more once we get there).

Anyway, I think it’s pretty cool.

And I also think that I have an awesome husband for stating it that way. “We’ve been living as parents for the last 10 months.”

I love it. My cup runneth over. Or something.

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Beyond Pregnancy

30 Mar

Today in my therapy session, well, things went in a rather interesting direction.

I have been retreating into myself during the TWW and I was getting really mad at myself for not getting anything done.

My therapist, being her usual logical self, bitch-slapped me as she should and said a lot of things that make sense about how me being distracted will not make this next week go faster, etc. etc.

But then she asked – why is it that the possibility of being pregnant is keeping me from being productive?

At first I went to the usual places – fear of loss, etc.

But then I went to a completely new place. One that we don’t talk about here (as in the blogosphere) a lot.

I’m not 100% ready to be a mother. And that’s ALSO scaring me.

I mean, of course, you’re never 100% ready, are you? But I spent 15 minutes rattling off reasons why I could be better prepared and why we should have waited at least another three months before we tried again, but because of my biological clock, etc, we started now. But really, things would have been MUCH more stable had we waited longer.

On and on the ranty monologue continued. Half of me saying we’re pretty much ready and there are practical solutions to every problem I brought up, but the other half absolutely terrified.

Then I got to the heart of the matter. It’s not just that I’m terrified of another loss. I’m pretty much scared out of my wits to be a mom.

I mean, think about it. When we grow up, our little world is comprised of mother, father, and siblings. Everybody else is a supporting player. Our entire world, our comfort, our support, our belief system, our eating habits, everything (!) is shaped by our immediate family.

I am, hopefully soon but definitely eventually, going to become a foundation for a brand new immediate family. I, along with Shmerson will be the center of this child’s world. We will be responsible for feeding, clothing, love, support, upbringing – everything is in our hands.

Our parents, our brothers and sisters – once we have a child, they will become supporting players in our story.

The enormity of that responsibility hit me.

It’s not that I’m not ready for it. I am. I want it. But still:

HOLY CRAP!

Whew.

On another note, after therapy, I went on to my usual appt. with the Harley Hottie, which was enlightening in itself, but I won’t go into it today. Then I head home to see a notification of a package. Curious, I head over to the post office.

And then I find out how much Marie rocks.  Not only did she send me chocolate just for the heck of it, she also remembered me randomly mentioning that I hate the smell garlic leaves on my hands and sent me this special metal-type thing that you use like soap to get rid of the garlic smell. And to make things even cooler – guess what kind of chocolate she sent me?

Well – I’ll let the crappy and blurry cell phone pic speak for itself (I really need a freakin’ iphone):

Yep - that reads "Mo's Bacon Bar"

Yes – bacon and chocolate. And my interwebs initials! My two favorite things together in a strange, yet surprisingly yummy combination, and named after me!!

Yay Marie!! You rock!

 

 

Mourning the Loss of My Inner Smoker

10 Mar

First of all – thanks to everyone who’s been supportive to me over the last couple of days, both in the comments and in some great personal emails, skypes, and phone calls I got from some of you cheering me on. You are all awesome.

So – progress report – it’s been about 48 hours since my last cigarette. Day one – which was in the past the hardest for me, was surprisingly easy.

I credit this mostly to the fact that I had a solid plan – and I had the patch. That thing is truly a miracle. I don’t know why more people don’t go for it.

It took a huge burden off of me in terms of the chemical addiction, which allowed me to handle only the issue of breaking the psychological addiction.

Well, guess what? The psychological addiction is truly the real bitch here. Yesterday I was ok. With the exception of having a bit of trouble concentrating throughout the day I can count the amount of times I wanted a cigarette on one hand. This was a miracle.

Also – the fact that I went to two yoga classes straight (yes, that means three hours. one and a half of soft vinyasa followed by another hour and a half of fast paced ashtanga), tuckered me out enough that it got rid of the urge for the most part.

Today, on the other hand, was a bit tougher. I had kind of a weird sleep schedule. I woke up early to get some stuff done. I got it done, and then had about 3 hours to kill before my therapy session. I was exhausted and my back was hurting like a mofo (yeah – maybe three hours straight of yoga was NOT the stroke of genius I thought it was), plus it was raining like heck outside. So I grabbed the puppy, cuddled up, and went back to sleep. I put on the alarm for 11:30 and wouldn’t you know it? I turned it off in my sleep. I was supposed to head out to my therapists at 12:30.

Guess when I woke up? If you guessed 12:30 you win a virtual cookie!

Yeah. Not good.

See – usually when this stuff happens to me, I jump out of bed, throw on some clothes, grab a bottle of a caffeinated beverage, and chain smoke all the  way to the place I need to go so that I will be fully awake when I get there.

And allow me to remind you – that my plan for a peaceful wake-up  involved about 45 minutes of tea drinking and sun salutations. This was not an option today.

So –  I jump up, stick on the patch, and grab a few sips of coke zero (mega-healthy, right?) before hopping in the car. The whole way – jonesing for a cigarette, and in the meantime having a rather stressful phone convo with my dad. Here’s a tip for those of you quitting smoking: don’t do any of these things while on the patch.

The result is that I arrived at my therapist’s office 10 minutes late, and according to her description – rather manic.

Yep – I talked her ear off WAAAAY too energetically – all the while feeling rather spacey  since I hadn’t completely “woken up”. If I had called my psychiatrist at that point – he would have told me to come into his office asap so he could give me a tranquilizer (and mind you – I had taken my morning xanx -which makes all of this all the more disturbing). Yeah. Fun times.

Then I went to the Harley Hottie for my weekly needle sticking – and at least he managed to get my jitters down to a minimum, which was good.

But then I got home – and it was still cold and rainy. so what did I do? Why – go to sleep, of course!

Shmerson showed up about an hour into my nap and I cajoled him into joining me for a cuddle.

He had made dinner reservations for 8pm to celebrate my quitting (isn’t he the best shmerson ever?) but we both slept until 7:45. One look outside and I told him to cancel the reservation and let’s just order something in and cuddle.

And through all this, well, today I craved cigarettes. A lot. And at one point during my manic therapy session I managed to voice why.

Every time I’ve quit smoking in the past, there was always, somewhere in the back of my mind, the thought that it was temporary. That I would eventually go back to smoking. Even during my long quit it was there. Even after my first BFP I kind of thought to myself that after having the baby I may go back to it.

This time I’m going in it for good. I have to convince myself that I will never smoke again. I absolutely have to. Because I can’t go back. I can’t do that to myself again. Smoking is the most destructive habit in this world. It’s just as bad – if not worse than most drug addiction because it will kill you slowly. And I don’t want that. I really really don’t. So this time I need to keep it in my head that I’m quitting for good.

Now I know you all think this is a wonderful thing. And it is. On every single possible level it is.

Except in my own effed up mind. In quitting smoking, I am giving up a huge part of my identity.

Yes, it’s a self-destructive, poisonous part. But still – it’s a part of what makes me – me.

I love pictures of myself directing on set. I always look like shit in them, with my baseball caps and ratty clothes. But – nonetheless, I love them. I look badass. I look professional. I look like a “big girl”.

Guess what? I can go through a 100 pics of me on set. And in 99 of them you would find me with a diet coke in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other.

Of all of my friends – only three of them have known me as a non-smoker. Those are the ones who I’ve been in touch with since elementary school. Everyone else in my life, excluding my immediate family – knows me as a smoker. It’s part of who I am. Chain smoking through deep conversations. Lighting up after dinner. Grabbing a bottle of caffeinated something and chain smoking in the car when I’m running late. This has been me for almost two decades.

And now – I’m replacing that with tea and yoga. ME. The hard-assed chain smoking bitch is becoming a froofy mommy wanna-be who does yoga and drinks tea with fresh mint.

Now mind you – this hard-assed chain smoking bitch is not a person I liked very much. In fact, she’s anxious, usually miserable, almost always overweight, and has had two miscarriages. She’s the person who had a complete and total mental breakdown less than six months ago. I don’t like her very much. I’m very glad to be rid of her on so many levels.

But – me? A froofy yoga-practicing tea drinker? I don’t know. I guess it’s just weird.

My friends who are reading this get it – this thoughtful sensitive mommy-wanna-be who write this blog is not who they’ve known for the past decade and a half. She’s a relatively new invention – a person who has risen from the ashes of the old me. The old me that most of the people who have found me here on the blogosphere don’t know about.

The old me that curses like a trucker (yes – much more than I do here. Especially when I spoke english, up until a few months ago I would use the f-bomb instead of “um).

The old me that tore down everything in her path to get what she wanted (that person disappeared about two years ago after I fell into my post Grad School X depression). The person who once she got what she wanted, destroyed it in a heartbeat without looking back. Over and over. Fearless. Destructive? yes. But fearless. Due to a repressed anxiety disorder that she was ignoring? Yes. But still. Fearless.

The old me that was a chain smoking, caffeine drinking, fuck-it-all bitch.

Now mind you – I hate the old me. The old me led me down a slippery slope that ended in my life being shattered. I like the new me quite a bit. The one that listens to her feelings. The one that hates herself a lot less. The one that wants to be a mommy and is embracing her inner mommy each day more and more through teaching, through this blog, through being a better friend. Through being a better wife.

But still – i feel like with this one final act, I’m killing that part of me. That self-destructive, stubborn self-hating bitch. And well, she’s done some good things too, so it’s kind of hard to say goodbye to her. I think I spent most of today missing her – just a bit. Trying to hang on to her on some level.

But I didn’t have a cigarette. I didn’t let myself get back to her. I stayed strong.

And tomorrow I will go back to the tea and sun salutations. Hi there, new, froofy yoga-practicing-tea-drinking me. Nice to meet you. Please stick around, ok? Cause that other bitch is trying to elbow her way back in. And I don’t know if I want to be friends with her anymore.

You Are Now a Non-Smoker

8 Mar

Dear Me,

You have spent the last 5 months working hard to improve your life. It was hard at times, but today, you feel better than you have in years. You have finally become sensitive to your feelings, and to your body. You are taking care of yourself. You are calmer, and happier than you have been in years. You are moving your career forward at an amazing pace, with a newfound sense of motivation.

You are at the final hurdle. The one final act that will make you come full circle. No – things will not be perfect – life never is. But if you succeed in doing this one final thing – if you never smoke another cigarette in your life – you will officially be on the path to true health.

Whenever you want a cigarette from now on – please read the following reasons why you quit in the first place, so that you don’t fall back into the trap of this disgusting addiction, which has taken too big a part in your adult life.

  1. Heart disease and high cholesterol run in your family. You already have high blood pressure as a result of your pack a day habit. You want to live a long healthy life. If you never smoke again – that is far more likely to happen. Within a few years, the tar and poison will completely leave your body. You have yet to do permanent damage. But if you return to smoking – you just might.
  2. You spend more money on cigarettes per month than you do on your therapist. When you and Shmerson wrote out your budget a few weeks ago – that is the exact amount of money you were missing. Now you will break even. And with the newfound energy that you have, you will soon be earning more.
  3. Your anxiety is caused by nicotine, not relieved by it. Just the mere thought of quitting has brought you to near panic attacks in the last few days, when you hadn’t had one in months. You’re afraid of dying? Here’s a way of assuring it will happen sooner rather than later: Keep on smoking. Oh? You don’t want that to happen? Ok. Take a xanax and shut the hell up.
  4. Remember right before your wedding? You went to the dentist and asked him to bleach your teeth. He said there was no point in doing that, since you’re still a smoker. Now you look at your wedding pics and feel terrible about your yellow teeth. In a few months you can go back to the dentist, get your teeth whitened, and this time it will stick.
  5. Remember that period of ten months where you were a non-smoker? Yes – the first couple of weeks were hard. But – do you also remember how much easier it was for you to wake up in the morning as a non-smoker once that crap was out of your body? How much more easily you slept? How shmerson complimented you on your complexion? And there were stressful times in the middle of that period. And you got though them just fine, thank you very much.
  6. You have had two miscarriages. There is a good chance that the reason for your second one was, amongst other things, your smoking. Do you remember the guilt you felt? The pain at the thought that your filthy habit may have in some way contributed to your loss? You may miscarry again. If that happens – and you are a non-smoker – you can be assured that this will not be your fault. You will not have to deal with endless hours of guilt and self-flagellation.
  7. You want to get pregnant. And soon. this means that you will have to quit anyway once you get a BFP. Do you really want the stress of quitting to come right along with the stress of early pregnancy? Of course not. So go do some sun salutations and get over yourself.
  8. Don’t think for a moment that you will go back to smoking once you give birth to a healthy baby. First of all – you want more than one – and do you really want to put yourself through torture again? Second of all – you are quitting not only because you want to have a healthy pregnancy. You are quitting because you are finally learning to respect your body. You deserve health. Yes you do. Don’t argue with me on that. That little panic you’re feeling? That’s that little voice in your head telling you that you are not good enough. You are. Get over yourself.
  9. Plus – don’t forget that children of parents who smoke are more likely to become smokers themselves. Just look at yourself. Both your parents were at one point smokers. Your mother still is. You and your brother would give them hell when you were kids. Now you are both pack-a-day smokers. Don’t do this to your future children.
  10. How many times have you taken a drag of a cigarette and had that creeping feeling: “you’re killing yourself slowly” you’ve felt it thousands of times. You will never have to have that feeling again.
  11. How many times have you felt uncomfortable about lighting up? Most of your friends are non-smokers. You will no longer feel the need to apologize for your filthy habit.
  12. How many times has Shmerson wanted to kiss you passionately and you pulled away – because you knew your mouth tasted like a filthy ashtray? This will never happen again. Isn’t that awesome?
  13. You are publishing this. Everybody will read it. If you fail – you will have hell to pay from the amazing women who come on here and support you every day. Don’t disappoint them.
  14. Shmerson loves you, and wants you to stick around for a very long time. He hates that you smoke. It hurts him. He is an amazing husband. He does not deserve to be hurt in this way.
  15. You are strong. This may be hard. But only for a few days. Maybe a couple of weeks. You’ve been to hell and back this past year. This is nothing compared to that. Remember to keep that in perspective.
  16. You’re quitting! Do you know what this means? This means that you can try to have a baby again! This is amazing news! Rejoice in it! Embrace it.
  17. As I’m writing this, future me, I am smoking a cigarette. It smells bad. I have a headache and it’s not making it any better. I’m coughing. It tastes terrible. You don’t need to smoke another one to prove that to yourself. You now have it in writing.

Tomorrow morning you will wake up a non-smoker. You are scared – but that is just your addiction talking. The other half of you is rejoicing. Embrace that.

You will be a non-smoker.  You will be a non-smoking mommy. You will love and respect your body. Because you deserve it. Whenever you have a weak moment – shut your eyes and think that a year from now – you could be holding a beautiful baby in your arms. And this is your first step. And even if that baby doesn’t come as fast as you’d like it too – you know you have done everything possible in your power to make it come. You will be guilt free, because you are smoke free.

Good Luck!

Love,

Me

Ok, We Don’t Really Need a Second Dog

12 Feb

Me: Did you see that picture of the cute Shih Tzu’s that were rescued from a puppy mill and need to be adopted?

Me: yeah… So?

Me: Come on! They’re adorable! And we love Shih Tzus! They’re tiny and fluffy and cute.

Me: I’m assuming you have a point here?

Me: Yes. I want them.

Me: I see. Um, no chance in hell. We already have Luna

Me: I love Luna! But more puppies! Puppies are cute! They make me happy! And Shmerson pointed them out to us, so I’m sure he’s on board

Me: a. No he’s not. b. We made a deal with him: baby first, then we consider a second dog. And a second one. Not two more.

Me: um… that deal was made like, a year ago, before we married him. It doesn’t count.

Me: By that logic, he can claim to no longer be responsible for doing the dishes in the house and th-

Me: Shut up! You know he reads this!

Me: Well, you started it!

Me: I want a puppy! Yay! Cute cute puppy!

Me: eh-hem. Breathe.

Me: Puppy! Puppy! Puppy! Puppy!

Me: I hate it when you do this. Think.

Me: about puppies?

Me: Stop recycling jokes. Think.

Me: Thinking… Thinking… Thinking…. What am I supposed to be thinking about?

Me: Have you heard of a term called “transference”?

Me: Well, duh. You’re not the only one who went to college. I was there too, remember?

Me: Yeah – sometimes I question that.

Me: You’re mean. Can you just get to the point? I want to look at the picture of the cute doggies again.

Me: My point is that you don’t really want another dog. What you want is a baby. And since we’re using a bunch of self control until we try again, you’re transferring your longing over to the doggies.

Me: Stop analyzing me!

Me: Dude, that’s what we do. This is the point of our conversations.

Me: Is it? Because I think they’re mostly there to bum me out.

Me: Get over it.

Me: *sneaks off to look at the cute doggies*

Me: I give up.

For my sisters in blog-land

10 Jan

Since getting on wordpress I’ve gotten to know some pretty spectacular women and their own struggles. They are a bunch of strong ladies who have made me stronger, just by reading their blogs, and for their powerful and encouraging comments on my own entries.

I see so much of myself in you ladies.

Runny Yolk’s post today convinced me it was time to share this story with you.

So – here we go.

A while back I posted this. And I think that post was basically the beginning of my climb out of the mud pit and back into the light of day.

What ignited me was one small shard of hope which is slowly but surely becoming bigger as time goes by. So I’d like to share with you the story that gave me hope and strength, and I sincerely wish that it gives all of you ladies the same.

Angela was the casting director on my thesis film. My nickname for her was the “ask and you shall receive lady”.

That’s because she helped me get some serious powerhouses cast in my film. But that little nickname took on a whole new meaning as of late.

Angela and I have been friends on facebook for a while, but it was a passive facebook friendship.

Then some months ago she started posting these amazing pictures of her beautiful adopted son. She looked so incredibly happy. And the happy posts just kept on coming.

When I had a breakdown a couple of weeks back – on a whim – I decided to send her a message.

It was basically: Hi – I’m sorry we haven’t talked. But I’m falling apart here trying to be a mommy and hey- you adopted! So you probably went through something similar so please please please give me some indication of hope around the corner – ok? Sorry for being needy.

So Angela – being the amazing woman that she is, became once again the “ask and you shall receive lady”.

She hopped on a chat with me, and by the time it was done, a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

Here is what Angela told me:

After 3 devastating losses, Angela made a brave decision. She decided to stop trying. She and her husband decided to adopt. And some months – and a whole lot of work- later, they had a beautiful baby boy.

Angela says that from the moment she held him in her arms she was his mommy. She told me that yes, there was a bit of a sense of loss that they do not have a biological child, but their son is a constant source of joy and contentment for them both.

And then she said:

Just remember – you are already a mommy. It doesn’t matter how you get there, eventually you will have a child to fit that title.

I admire Angela so much for making the brave decision to stop trying.

I’m not there yet – not even close – but talking to Angela – for the first time – made that an option. And an option that could easily bring its very own ecstatically happy ending.

Just knowing and understanding that I always have the choice to stop – that no matter what, I am already a mommy – that gave me hope and strength. It gave me the insight to truly understand that it is my choice. I have control over what happens to my body, and I can choose to be a mommy in a different way if I can’t handle it physically anymore. I can stop at any time, and I will still be a mommy.

It gave me a whole new store of hope that is now finally starting to overtake the darkness.

The “Ask and You Shall Receive Lady” strikes again!

Thank you, Angela.

A confession

7 Jan

My name is mommyodyssey and I’m a baby-holic.

It’s been approximately two minutes since the last time I’ve fantasized about having a huge belly and wearing a novelty t-shirt.

I spend a lot of time worrying about taking care of myself and getting better and all. However, I want a baby. Like. Now.

I realize that this is not a healthy addiction. I understand that I must make peace with myself before trying again.

But when I close my eyes, and search for hope – all I see is me – huge, hormonal, and happy – picking out cribs. And then holding the baby in my arms.

I “practice cook” for my future kids, thinking about how to adjust the recipes so they love them.

I make home made chicken fingers and spaghetti once a week because I know that when my daughter(s) will finally discover the magical time that is PMS they’ll ask me to cook it for them because it will be their comfort food.

I read articles on parenting.

I see a little kid walking down the street and I smile at them. I can’t help it.

But I know it’s not time yet.

Darn you – voice of reason! I know I need to let you win here – but just for the record  – YOU SUCK!

Tattoo

4 Jan

After overcoming my first bout of depression and anxiety at age 17, I went out and got a tattoo on my back. It was a faerie, and I named her “Tori”. She reminded me of the three months I spent painting through my internal crap, while blasting “boys for pele” on a loop 24-7.

I got her as a symbol of the power of starting over. As a visual bookmark that always told me “you have strength and things get better.”

I’ve been thinking of getting a second tattoo. One to commemorate my losses, but also as a second, stronger reminder of my ability to crawl out of the mud.  I’ve had a few ideas. The lamest being getting the symbol of the deathly hallows from HP on my ankle (silly I know, but harry potter has always been a great place for me to escape to when I needed a pick me up).

Still – it’s a really lame idea. And surpasses even my unusually high level of dorkiness.

Last night I thought of another idea. I thought that maybe I should get two small stars on my left ankle to represent my lost babies.

And when my “found” babies come, I would get one small flower on my right ankle for every one of them.

I like the symbolism of it – but stars and flowers seem to be a bit cliche – no?

I am an endless well of lameness, apparently.

Any ideas for symbols of the less-cheesy variety? Or am I being too hard on myself? Comment away!

Feminine issues

30 Dec

Ok – I’m going to address something here that I doubt many women talk about after a miscarriage (though i have a feeling some feel this way too). But to be honest it’s something that’s been following me for much longer.

I don’t feel like a woman.

Here’s the thing: I’ve got some hardcore daddy issues. He’s a pig. Seriously. He can’t fathom a strong, business – savvy woman as something normal.

I’ve always been strong. So basically from as early as I can remember he’s been telling me not to walk down stairs with a skirt on because people will see my balls.

Paints a pretty picture – doesn’t it?

That’s not all – he also tells me sometimes that “he forgets I’m a woman.”

lovely. thanks dad. that does wonders for my self-image.

And it’s not like I did much to overcome this. My actions perpetuate it.

During grad school – very early on, one of the female directors got picked up (as in physically) by an actor on a set who proclaimed “you’re so freakin’ cute!”.

and of course, the mostly male crew stopped respecting her at that exact moment.

So – when I directed, I came in wearing sneakers, baggy clothes, with my hair up in a ponytail and a baseball cap (I hate baseball caps!).

No make up, no skirts. And make sure to let the camera crew talk openly about T&A around you. Say the word “tits” a couple of times and curse like a trucker. One of my most used phrases became “fuckety fuck fuck”. That helped.

I made a huge effort to be “one of the guys.”

Avoid getting emotional. Never ever EVER cry in front of the crew. That shows weakness. Never be girly. Because most of them are guys, and they will immediately stare at your huge boobs (I have double D’s. Baggy sweatshirts came in handy).

So I perpetuated it. Over and over and over.

I remember that on the day I finished grad school I got dolled up for the ceremony. Got my hair done, make up, a cute little black dress, heals, the whole shebang. One of my crew (who was also graduating) came up to me before the ceremony and proclaimed: Oh my god! You’re a chick!

I assume he meant it as a compliment. And – he was genuinely shocked. He was not joking.

My father to this day continues to treat me like a son – not like a daughter. He can’t handle it when I cry in front of him, for example.

The result is that I rarely put on make up, I don’t “dress up” for anything, I never buy myself anything pretty anymore (even though I have a serious shoe fetish).

My internal monologue is – what’s the point?

There were exactly two months in the last decade where I truly felt feminine. Starting from a week before my wedding and until my first miscarriage.

Having a wedding dress, a honeymoon, and a baby in my belly helped me feel grounded and whole. I found myself shopping online for pretty maternity clothes. It was fun. It was as if I had found a missing part of my identity. I could finally embrace my femininity. Embrace my “inner mommy”. The woman longing for a child.

And now – two lost babies later – i feel even less like a woman than ever before. How can I be truly a woman if I can’t keep a baby alive inside of me?

This feeling haunts me. I don’t feel sexy. I don’t even feel somewhat pretty. And I like feeling those things. I just don’t let myself any more. I’m in a bit of a gender crisis – to say the least.

Plus – I have PCOS, which means that as is, I’ve got a smidge too much testosterone in my body. So that doesn’t help matters much.

Oh – and I’m the primary breadwinner in me and schmerson’s little family.

it’s as if the second miscarriage was the final nail in the coffin of my femininity. Which sucks! Seriously. I wish I had a more eloquent way of saying that. But I don’t. It sucks and I don’t know what to do about it.

It’s amazing what an internal monologue of your own and daddy’s voice will do to decimate a person’s gender identity.

I actually LIKE the way I feel when I put on pretty, flattering clothes. I L-O-V-E shoes, and unique jewelry.

I have this earring – this amazingly gaudy earring that was made by a designer and cost a fortune. I LOVE the way I feel when I wear it. I haven’t worn it once in the last year.

I have – literally – a collection of unique shoes. Pointy heals, flowery boots, really adorable shoes that I LOVE. There was a point where I would stop and stare at a good pair of nine wests or mellisas – sometimes spending hours trying on shoes that i had no chance in hell of affording. I have at least 15 pairs of cool shoes (bought on clearance!). I barely wear them. I just wear the same pair of sporty flats until I wear them out, then I buy another boring pair of sporty flats. I barely window shop for shoes anymore. And did I mention I love shoes?

I LOVE the way I look in heals. Don’t wear them.

I LOVE how I feel when I get my hair done. I do it – at most – once every three months. I like having long, painted nails, but they’re “not practical.”

I don’t buy pretty clothes anymore. And none of my old pretty clothes fit me. So I wear ratty jeans and shirts. When I “make an effort” it’s a tunic and tights.

but still those same boring ratty shoes. If I feel daring I put on a ring that takes up half of my hand and is a giant butterfly.

That butterfly ring is nothing compared to that righteous earring. THAT made me feel like a little bit more of a woman. Especially while wearing a cute little black dress and an equally gaudy bracelet that matches the earring perfectly and was bought at the bargain price of 10 dollars.

The miscarriages just destroyed the last vestiges of my femininity. I have no idea how to get them back.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

You are what you watch

24 Dec

I feel like I’ve been rather whiny lately. I mean, supposedly it’s understandable but I’m not usually a whiny person so this whole “daily post about crappy stuff and revelations” thing is getting a bit tiring. So I’m going with a ranty analysis today.

I’ve been sharing this blog with friends. Not everyone, but people who are important to me, and some that I haven’t been in touch with for a while.

And the responses I’ve been getting are amazing.

Here’s the thing: I am very lucky. I have a lot of friends. Most of them I’ve known for years. Sometimes we lose touch for long periods of time, but they are those sorts of friendships that you know are always going to be there.

So the reactions I’ve been getting have been incredibly loving and supportive, but more surprisingly, a lot of them have been telling me that even though they aren’t going exactly through what I’ve been going through, they can relate to my struggle.

It’s funny – they almost feel guilty about saying that. As in – “I know what I’ve been through isn’t as hard as what you’re going through…”

But they really shouldn’t. Just the fact that they relate actually makes me feel a bit more, well, I guess normal is the word.

Most of the people who are saying this are people my age – as in – 30. I read somewhere about people these days having a “quarter life crisis”. perhaps this is it.

The one thing that keeps coming up – especially with my female friends is this careerist vs family struggle.

I’m actually only the second of my close girl friends to be married. I have more single friends than I do married friends, and none of my close friends have children.

20 years ago this would be unthinkable. Today, I really and truly think this is becoming a cause for turmoil and confusion for a lot of women.

I spent most of my 20’s living by a fairly feminist doctrine. Marriage was barely on my radar – let alone kids. It always seemed like a possibility in the distant future, but nothing even close to a realistic option until I met and fell in love with Schmerson.

Women in their late 20’s and early thirties – or at least my friends – who I admit come usually from well-to-do, highly educated families – are – in my opinion – getting smacked upside their heads by their biological clocks.

We were raised in a post-feminist generation. Ally McBeal, Buffy Summers, Veronica Mars, Elle Woods, and Rory Gilmore were our role models. Yes, sometimes those chicks got the guy. But you never saw Buffy thinking about a wedding. She was too busy kicking vampire ass. Veronica Mars in a wedding dress? I think not. Heck, going even further back, even Kelly Taylor told Dylan and Brandon “I choose me” back in the day.

I could spend hours making pop-culture reference upon pop-culture reference. Lord knows I love that. But I’ll spare you all and try (somehow!) to get to a point here.

I honestly do believe we are – on a lot of levels- a product of the pop culture that we consume.

Our fantasies are based on the ideals fed to us by the flickering images we watched on screens.

Just like every woman fantasized about being Donna Reed in the 50’s, I’m sure that the over achieving Rory Gilmores, Joey Potters, and yes, even Cher Horowitzes I saw flickering on screens for so many years made an impression on me.

To make matters “worse” – I minored in women’s studies in college.

And just in case not enough fuel was added to the fire, like a lot of my friends, my mother was – most of the time – a housewife.

So I rebelled – all of my 20’s were spent chasing a career. I in particular chose film – which is basically one of the hardest “careers” to actually achieve statistically. But I was invincible! I was unstoppable! I was going to conquer the world!

For two years during my first degree I researched female film directors – or lack thereof.

You would find me saying – at least twice a week – “do you realize that only two female directors have ever been nominated for an oscar?” “Do you know that only 4% of all working directors in Hollywood are women?”

Yes, Kathryn Bigelow finally broke the so-called “glass ceiling” this year with her win for hurt locker. But let’s be honest – this does not mean that things have changed much.

But I’m getting away from myself. I’ve spent the last two years having an interior battle with myself. I believe that this battle has been in large part responsible for the general feeling of “being stuck”. I’m torn. Is there really a way to have it all?

I’d always had this fantasy that the man I would marry would be a “house-husband.” I would bring home the bacon, he would take care of the kids. All would be well.

But it turns out the “who brings home the bacon” issue isn’t really the problem.

From the moment I realized that I wanted to be a mommy – I knew I wanted to be a “present” mommy.

I remember as a kid – my dad was never ever home. He barely had a hand in raising me until about the age of 14. The result is – inevitably – that I am far closer and more attached to the parent that was “present” – my mother. I love her more than anything – I would do anything for her.

I honestly can’t say the same about my father. I would never confide in him the way I do in her. I don’t feel as safe with him as I do with her.

I don’t want to be my dad (hell to the no! but that’s a different post altogether). I want to be a present parent. an active parent. I may want to work – but how in the heck can I “be a mega-superstar-film-director” and be a mommy?

Directors don’t sleep. They’re sometimes gone on shoots for months at a time. They’re shut away in editing bays and sound stages.

This was the ton of bricks that dropped on me about two years ago. Just as i was realizing that I wanted to marry Schmerson. And just as a feature I was working on was starting to come together.

Immediately the film project fell apart. And i haven’t been able to get it together since (get it together in the broad sense – not just that particular project).

It’s only now that I’m starting to realize the connection between these two events.

I kept on telling myself “I’m going to be a director” but I kept on feeling “I’m going to be a mommy”. For the last two years – those two thoughts have been basically canceling each other out.

Yes, there have been other factors – a sudden loss of confidence in my abilities amongst them – but at the end of the day I can’t ignore the coincidence here. The timing is just a bit too perfect.

You know, I have a tendency to end these posts lately with some sort of conclusion or revelation.

I don’t have one here. I honestly don’t. I think this is going to be part of my struggle. I don’t want to be my mother. I don’t want to be my father.  (oh! any psychology majors currently reading this are probably having a field day!)

I want a fulfilling career, and I want to be a mother that is always around and can be counted on. I’m going to have to figure out how to navigate that one.

Any suggestions will be happily accepted, then I’m sure – eventually forgotten somewhere between a sound mix and diaper change.

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