Wednesday, December 23, 2009

lord of the flies

This has never happened to me before.

We put up the Christmas tree fairly early this year, for us - about December 4th. I'm usually more of a second-weekend-of-December kind of tree-putter-upper, but this year we had a party to get ready for, and the tree went up shortly after Thanksgiving.

It's a gorgeous tree. Probably one of the best we've ever had, apart from the weird left-leaning branch on top which makes the angel look like she's about to take off into the wall above the fireplace. Otherwise, it's perfect: lovely shape, nice green branches, very little needle loss, drinks water like a champ.

And chock full o' flies.

Has this ever happened to you? Because it's DISGUSTING. It started a few days after we put the tree up, when I found a strange number of flies in the living room. "Huh," I thought. "They must have come in while the door was open when we were getting the tree in here." I killed them with a flyswatter.

Then, the next day, there were about 10 flies in the front window. "Huh," I thought. "I didn't think the door was open that long." I killed them with a flyswatter, and then I had to clean the window because it looked like Fly Killing Field. Not very Christmas-y.

Then, the next day, there were easily 15 flies in the living room. "WHAT THE HELL?" I wondered, as I abandoned the flyswatter and went for the vacuum cleaner instead. I felt guilty about sucking them into the hose. I even turned off the vacuum cleaner and put my ear up to the bag, wondering if they were buzzing around in there. My mom taught me that, if you are going to kill a bug, you have to kill it DEAD so it's not suffering. I have a bit of a complex about this.

But I got over said complex within the next week, while I sucked about 50 flies into the vacuum cleaner. I kid you not.

Remember, we were having a party. "Festive holiday gathering," my ass. "Festering," more like it. A house full of flies does not exactly inspire confidence in the cleaning abilities of the host(ess). Which irritates me, because I actually have a ridiculously clean house.

Last night, my husband and I were chasing flies in the kitchen with the flyswatter and the vacuum. Oddly entertaining, actually. He sat all evening in his recliner with the flyswatter at the ready. We must have rid the world of at least 10 more flies last night.

Usually, I'm sad to take down the tree. This year, it will be a relief.

Happy holidays to you. Hope they are fly-free.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

grab your bags: it's on.

All kinds of good things today:
  • The Shared Risk people called - we're in! Woo hoo! (As an aside, they and the mail-order pharmacy I work with are all East Coast people, and I love their accents. It's like getting phone calls from the Sopranos. Only less scary.)
  • I talked with my nurse, and we set the dates - the calendar arrived via email this afternoon, and Day One? It's on my birthday. Sweet. Hopefully the beginning of the best birthday present ever. (Edited to add: I'm doing the Luteal Antagonist Protocol. Anyone have experience with this? Please share!)
  • The Kin.kos lady relented and figured out how to print my chosen hymn verse on the green cards I had bought. Apparently this is much more complicated than I thought. But it was nice of her to figure it out. Now, of course, this means I actually have to assemble these Christmas cards and send them out, which sounded like a GREAT idea about two months ago.
  • Also, there was no traffic on the way to said Kin.kos today, which is unusual.
  • And I have no evening meetings tonight, which means I may actually get to have a decent conversation with my husband before we both fall asleep at, oh, about 8:00pm. Because evidently, we are in the third grade.
  • My husband's not-so-good basketball team (he coaches the 7th graders at his school) actually beat their generally-much-better cross-town rivals last night. In overtime.
  • Good day all around, really. Hope you had a good one too.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

pieces of a week

Because I'm up to my eyeballs in writing at the moment, a bulleted list will have to do here:

  • After hearing nothing from the Shared Risk program for two weeks (as opposed to last time, when they emailed me within 48 hours), I called my clinic to discover that, oops! They forgot to submit the application. Not a big deal, really. They faxed it in yesterday and we should hear back in 3-5 business days. I'm trying to remain zen about this, as we have two more tries funded either way. It would take some of the pressure off, though.
  • Last Tuesday night I went downtown to the kids' hospital to visit a family whose 3-month old foster daughter was having surgery. Keeping the details confidential, it wasn't a life-threatening situation, by any means, but surgery for your child is scary no matter how low the risk level is. I heard the parents' story: how long they tried to have children, how many surgeries the mom had for endometriosis, how they took home one foster child only to have her removed by the state a few weeks later, and then how they received their older foster daughter, now thirteen months old, a short time later. And then how, ten months later, the state contacted them to say that the biological mom had another child (small aside: can you imagine? Giving birth to 2 children, 10 months apart? My hoo-ha hurts just thinking about it) - and that, if they weren't willing to take this second child, the first might be removed in favor of a home which would house both children. So, naturally, they said yes, and now they have 2 foster daughters whom they are in the process of adopting, and who are only 10 months apart. I thought about the biological mom, who is homeless. And I didn't think about how unfair it is that some people can have more children than they want: I thought about how profoundly complicated fertility is, both on the in-fertile and the over-fertile sides. "Too many" unwanted children is just as tragic as the ones you want desperately but can't have. And I thanked God for foster families.
  • That was not really a short bullet, was it?
  • But this one will be even longer. I also spent some hours this week with a couple in the midst of their second stillbirth. There are no words for this, except to say that it was a very holy encounter. They lost a child several years ago at 20 weeks, and this one at nearly the same time - and although they have a lovely, healthy, and delightful daughter, we all know that nothing can fix the grief of these deaths. I asked them how it felt this time, and the mom said quickly that it was easier for her, this second time, and when I asked why, she said plainly, "Because this time I know that it won't actually kill me," which opened a huge window into the depth of her pain at the first loss. I thought about the phone call from the nurse to tell me that my beta number was not as it should be, and I remember thinking, "maybe my heart will stop in the middle of her talking and I won't have to stand up and live through this." We talked a long time about prayer and God, and whether anyone is really listening to us, and they both said that the only thing anyone can really say now is something like, "this sucks, and I'm sorry," and that there just isn't much more that makes any sense. And I thought about how, when I posted the news of our bad beta, the only thing I could stand to read in the comments was, "I'm sorry," and absolutely nothing more, and how when people said, "I know how you feel," I wanted to reach through the computer and rip out their throats. I said almost nothing for an hour, because sometimes there isn't much to say. I would not have really known that two years ago.
  • On Sunday morning, a mom asked me why we had mentioned the couple above in the prayers, and I shared their news, which they had given permission for us to do. She shook her head and tears welled up in her eyes, and within a few seconds, she had said something which most people might not recognize, but which tweaked my infertility radar - and when I said, "I know what that is like," we realized that we are on a similar road. I would not have said that a year ago.
  • Sometimes, oddly enough, I am grateful for infertility. Because, in spite of all its attendant shitty-ness, it has broken my heart open enough to listen more carefully to the losses experienced by other people.
  • I wish there had been another way to learn that.

Friday, December 4, 2009

13 days away

Today I realized that, if our pregnancy had been viable, my due date would be 13 days away.

Sometimes I forget that I was actually pregnant.

Both of these things seem unbearably strange to me.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

adoption heartbreak

If you are a regular reader of Stirrup Queens, and especially of the LFCA, you may have seen this news today - that i can haz bebe, who was adopting a baby boy, had a terrible loss. The biological mother changed her mind at the last minute, and now the to-be-adoptive-parents are heartbroken.

Comments are turned off at the blog itself, but you can go to the LFCA post for today and leave a word of support. Please, no tidy cliches, no cheap promises, and no false hopes today - just a word to let her know that they are not alone, that even strangers out here in blogland are thinking of them.

Loss comes in so many forms. Too many forms. Too much loss.