3.31.2009

Slow Day

Yesterday, when Andrea asked me how my day was, I said 'slow.' Which in
this job means this: I was busy all day but at least my ass wasn't on
fire.

3.27.2009

What A Mess

http://www.slate.com/id/2214057/
Talks about a crazyass IVF case where the wrong embryo was transferred
into the wrong woman. In other words, she was (possibly) pregnant with
someone else's embryo.

That's just insane. And sad. Sadder still, since the pregnant woman,
who was in her 20's, aborted the fetus of the other woman, who was in
her 40's and may not get another chance at having a kid. (Yes, I know
that infertility strikes far and wide and does not discriminate. I also
know that someone in her 20's has many more cycles ahead of her than
someone in her 40's. So I'm sympathetic to that.) The pregnant woman
aborted that baby that may or may not have been hers.

I know the whole situation is fucked up and sad.

Were that me, inadvertently pregnant with the wrong embryo, created via
the many shots and pain that IVF requires, and the kernel of hope it
offers to the desperate, there is no way I'd abort that kid. Even if
carrying that kid to term and handing it over to the right set of my
parents broke my heart into a thousand pieces.

As to what I'd do if the situation were reversed and someone else wound
up with our embryo? Well, that makes me cry just thinking about it.
And that's as far as I can get.

3.24.2009

Happy Easter

Tonight Val picked up a rather un-glossed over children's book about the
story of Easter. Somehow, while she was reading it, Andrea mentioned
Mormon underwear to me, so Val's rendition of the Easter story goes like
this:

Flower fall down and the birds sign and the Mormon and the Jesus. They
pooed along and they tinkled.

So, Mormon of the Jesus came along and they said help me! Help me!
Help me!

It was came on and they said Jesus, help me. I'm cold.
And they wanted to be special.

Chickie and a Bible

In response to the skull lovingly depicted underneath the cross from
which Jesus hung: there's a pirate under the stick!

Happy Easter, peeps.

3.22.2009

Confession

I read many blogs, some only once, others I bookmark (which is probably
the old-school way of keeping track but it's true, one cannot be a Power
User of all things) and return to once in a while. Mostly this happens
when I wake up too early on a weekend so it's me and my sidekick surfing
through the morning. Like now.

These days, I peruse infer.tility blogs, looking for stories of hope and
life on the other side. I've found stories that are much harder than
ours at this point and I wish I was selfless enough to say that those
stories give me perspective. But they don't, no, I just count us lucky
that we haven't had that particular brand of heartache on this journey.

I should also add that this journey has taught me a very valuable
lesson. There are 2 and only 2 appropriate responses to any kind of
infertility-related news: I'm so sorry and That's awesome! The more I
think about it, these responses hold true for almost any situation.
Then you can let the conversation guide the next responses but you can't
go wrong if you keep to some variation of either one.

We've been lucky not to run into too many idiot comments since this
journey began but I can assure you that they're all still with me now.
So I urge you all, consider the heart of the person you're talking to
before you speak.

Anyhoo, my confession is that along the way, I've found a number of Very
Religious bloggers who, in lieu of much original content, fill their
bits and bytes with an endless stream of Bible quotes and proclamations
about how AWESOME god is.

These types of blogs bore me to tears. I suppose that if people wrote
blogs using giant quotes from any kind of book to set up a post (like
that whole pickle thing from Ethan Fromme or any part of Beowulf) I'd be
bored by that too. It's just that there are so many of these
religioblogs out there.

It's not exactly that I have issues with the overly religious, though,
really, I do. I grew up Catholic and for all the faults of that church,
one thing I like about is that it's not in-your-face. I've never opened
my front door to see Catholics going door to door in conversion attempt,
nor have I seen a giant school bus gathering the Catholic faithful to go
to Mass. No, the version of religion I know best is Mass once a week,
then some sort of 'keep God in your heart' message followed by 'see you
next week.'

This subtle kind of religion makes sense to me. So seeing the Overly
Religious in person, hearing people say they've prayed on a decision
about anything or inviting me to their church within 5 minutes of
meeting me, well, that's just odd to me.

I also don't generally out myself within 5 minutes of meeting people so
I think this is more about my respect for letting things evolve than
religion. But either way, there you have it. One bigass Bible quote
and I'm outta there.

3.18.2009

Don't Even Look At Me Like That

On the way back from Disneyland we stopped at Har.ris Ranch so Andrea
could have the experience. Imho, the food is nothing to write home
about but she'd never been. So we went.

The place is weird, it's like 3 restaurants, a gift shop and a butcher
shop all under one roof. We cruise past the shmancy-ish restaurants and
head to the Family Dining, where little critters are welcome.

We sit down at a table that's a bench on one side, chairs on the other.
Val is a bit squirrely so there was a fair amount of 'Val, please sit
down,' etc. etc. going on. I didn't think much of it, other than
thinking to myself 'man, this is getting a little tiresome. I hope she
settles down soon so I can eat this mediocre food.'

Then I notice the people at the next table aren't talking. I don't look
at them directly but I can feel their child-free, babyhating gaze on
me. Sigh. They don't say anything (as they shouldn't, since Val wasn't
being accept total terror, just a little squrrely after a weekend at
Disneyland and 4 hours in the car) but I almost wish they had. That
might've inspired them to maybe talk to each other and stop staring at
us.

As we left, Andrea gave the couple a smile and a 'sorry'. Which at the
moment, I thought yeah, that's the right thing to do. But the more I
think about it, it wasn't. We were at the Family Restaurant, for one
and for two, these people were so fucking busy staring miserably at us
that any inconvenience we caused them was strictly their own issue.

This is not to say that if Val is truly being a shit in a public place,
we'd hesitate to pick her up, screaming, and carry her skinny ass out of
there. Because we do and we have and I have no doubt that we will
again.

3.15.2009

This Was Unexpected

In line for some ride (yes, you diehards, I *know* that technically
there are no 'rides' at Disneyland, that they're attractions but anyway,
get over yourselves) yesterday, I'm holding Val and she starts sort of
babbling. She's heavy (when you're holding her for a while) and
Disneyland is loud so I wasn't really listening.

Until she starts pointing at people and saying 'he's not nice, she's not
nice, she's nice.' I noticed that the 'not nice' people had darker skin
than ours. Internal heavy, heavy, fucking sigh.

So I start asking her about it. At first, she's quite reluctant to but
eventually confirmed that yes, the thing that made those people 'not
nice' was the color of their skin.

What. The. Fuck.

The fact that OUR OWN FAMILY is multi-ethnic (or, mixed like some
ignoramouii like to say, as if we're goddamned kool-aid or cake batter)
notwithstanding, there is nothing that we've done consciously to even
point out anyone's skin, let along associate any degree of worthiness
with it. So where did she get this idea?

I really don't know. We try to do so many things, both subtle and more
obvious, to lead a diversity-filled life. Until this conversation
happened, I was quite pleased that it's worked out that our circle of
friends includes such a broad range of ethnicities and abilities. I
naively thought that by simply having such a wonderful set of people
around her on a regular basis, that she would be automatically free from
prejudice.

But apparently, that's not enough. The best solution I could come up
with is that we just assume everyone is nice to start with. Then, once
you get to know them you can decide about their kindness, or not-ness.
I suspect that this is just the first of many discussions we'll be
having with her. I'm just bummed that we're having them at all.

3.14.2009

Disneyland!

I'd spent weeks planning this trip, arranging tasty sit-down meals and
thinking about how nice it would be to get the hell out of town. And it
is nice, awesome even, to have this break.

Thursday night, we loaded the car and drove down. The drive was fine,
Val slept for the first hour then stayed awake and happy until the last
20 minutes or so. At that point she was a bit cranky and I can't blame
her one bit.

I'd scored a night at the Hyatt for $45 with a little help from Mr.
Shatner. There was *nobody* at that hotel so the clerk upgraded us to a
2 bedroom 'suite'. This meant that everyone had their own bed. I fell
asleep before I even had a chance to ask Andrea to put Val to bed. But
they got the hint and Val slept like a little tiny log on the sofabed.

We checked out and headed to the park for breakfast with Minnie. We
were starving when we got there and of course we had the luck of trying
to get to our table while the characters did some kind of dance. Look,
Rafiki, that's cute but I'd really really like some ham.

The parks are more crowded than I'm used to and the onset of spring
break means many groups of teenagers are here too. Good thing we're not
whores for the big rides.

We hit the petting zoo, which has a coloring area so Val spent time
enjoying that. Goats and crayons, what could be better?

3.12.2009

Argh

Dear parents who let their kid jump ON TOP OF MINE in the foam blocks:
fuck you. And pay attention, you asses.

3.10.2009

All I Know

Is that somehow we got to Hooters last night. I don't think we'll ever
go there again.

3.09.2009

While I'm Bitching About Work

I realized just now (for about the thousandth time) that I've never in
my life worked so hard for so little rewards. And by reward I mean
hearing 'wow, you're doing a great job' every now and then.

Honestly, I think I was treated better by the pimply post-adolescent
management at the movie theater I used to work at in college. That more
than sort of sucks.

I'm So Trying To Make This Work

This job of mine. It has many many ups and downs, but in so many ways,
it's such a crummy situation. The work itself is fine but my agency has
so many administrative rules that seriously, I feel like I'm working
retail.

I try to pretend like I really work for Very Decent Company. Some days,
that helps but when my check comes (once a month, and with no benefits
because they sucked so bad, I declined them) and when my boss rides me
about something inane I can only sigh and ask myself, is this really
worth it?

I know that the job market is awful right now. I know that many people
would be grateful to have this job, this hidden message there being that
I should be grateful for what I have and shut the fuck up.

But I'm not so sure that the things that I'm started to find a bit
demeaning are worth it, just for a paycheck.

3.04.2009

These Times We're In

When Val was born, I was ambivalent about breastfeeding. In fact,
before she arrived, I was certain that we'd feed her formula and use
cloth diapers. That all changed when she arrived, suddenly I was a
committed breastfeeder who turned grey at my first poopy cloth diaper.

For her first year of life, breastfeeding, the pumping and washing of
parts by hand in the common breakroom at work, that loomed large in my
thoughts. It cast a cloud over that whole year for me and when she
turned one, I was free.

Not only did I hang up the pump, I gave it away.

And for six glorious months, I was free. My body was mine again,
nobody's life, health or well-being depended on me.

And then, out of nowhere, we decided to start trying to get pregnant
again. And the cloud descended again, this big thing that was beyond my
control and broke my heart, month after month.

All the while, Val grew aware of what we were up to and started asking
for a baby sister.

The day I was at my OB's for some help with our timing, I went for
bloodwork. As I rolled up my sleeve, I thought this, right now, is when
this gets a whole lot different.

That day was almost a year ago and you may have noticed that Val remains
an only child. As we embark on IVF, I've reached a peace with this
cloud over my head. This is the final stop on this journey. If it
works, fantastic. Fan-fucking-tastic, really.

But if it doesn't? Then we have done all we could do and my cloud will
lift regardless. Because it's cutting into Val's babyhood, toddlerhood
and now, her preschoolhood. And that's enough. She's enough.

She's more than enough.

Oh Yeah

Last month marked 9 years that I've been providing the 3 of you with
top-quality entertainment.