April 27, 2010

RELAXING WON'T GET YOU PREGNANT!!!

I just joined a local online community group (to remain nameless). I thought it would be nice to try and meet some moms in my area, find some new playmates for Jack and just get out of the freakin' house every once in awhile. Not to mention just the daily need to vent and talk to other moms every once in awhile, even if just online.

A discussion thread caught my eye that absolutely made me livid from my head to my toes. A woman posted a discussion topic: "Any remedies on how to get pregnant?" And the questions looked like this:  

"Hi Ladies, I have a little girl who will be 3 in April and I am dying to have another baby soon, I don't want my kids to be so far spaced. However, my husband and I have been trying for the past 3 or 4 months to get pregnant and have been unsuccessful. Does anyone have any suggestions on what we could do differently to help the process? Any suggestions would be helpful"

Now the question itself doesn't bother me. Sure, I am a little annoyed that apparently 3-4 months is a REALLY long time to try and get pregnant (note my sarcasm). It is the responses that she got. From actual women. Just about every one of them said "Just relax. If you're not thinking about getting pregnant you'll get pregnant." or "Stop focusing so much on it." 

Huh? 

Let me tell you from experience. When you want it badly enough it is all you can think about. Sure, 4 months is nothing in the grand scheme of those who have suffered years and years of infertility, but I guess it feels like an eternity if #1 was an oopsie or first try baby. I hate being the cold, bitter infertile blasting out the advice of those who probably meant well. It is just... stupid advice. How about either not responding or giving some USEFUL advice. She was asking for something real to try, something tangible. Not RELAXING for god's sake. I confess. I kinda went on my soapbox. I called these women out on their crappy fertility advice. But, I hope I gave her some common sense stuff. Like reading TCOYF or learning how to chart through great sites like Fertility Friend. I suggested buying some OPK's. I suggested healthy lifestyle for both her AND her husband. I also said if after a YEAR she hasn't conceived to go talk to her OB and that secondary infertility is a very real fact (hello, secondary infertility right here). But at the end of the day, please don't complain that you have been trying for four LONG months when there have been couples trying for years or deserving couples that can't even have babies. 


This stuff frustrates me to no end and even tempts me to walk away from this forum altogether because I can't stand the thought of any further stupidity. 


This is all timely though as it is National Infertility Awareness Week. I am thinking of all of those women out there who have been trying for so long, struggling through infertility. Even though I somehow got pregnant and had a baby, which is still a total mystery to me, I haven't forgotten about my 2.5 years of infertility. I haven't forgotten my angel baby (who would be 3 1/2 years old now). I haven't forgotten the monthly heartache of BFN's and AF's wicked arrivals. I haven't forgotten how much Clomid sucks. 


I haven't forgotten how insensitive the fertiles can be.

April 22, 2010

Reliving the Past

Tonight, for some reason, I went back and re-read my blog. Not just a few random entries, but the entire thing.

I can't believe how much my life has changed since I started blogging 4 years ago or, how much my subject matter has changed. Importantly, despite all of these changes, I haven't forgotten who I am or where I came from. For the first two years of this blog, I struggled with infertility. I endured a miscarriage. I endured fertility drugs. Reading all of those posts brings me right back down to earth. I am reminded how blessed I am to be a mother. How blessed I am to have a baby. Truth be told, I have not forgotten those struggles. We have made the difficult decision to put TTC baby #2 on hold for awhile. I kind of chuckle at "putting it on hold" as if we have some sort of choice. However, since Jack was sort of a miracle, it is not out of the realm of possibility for us to have the potential of getting pregnant out of the blue. So... we're erring on the side of waiting. While I'd love to have a sibling for Jack closer to him in age, we are faced with high property taxes, expensive daycare and a bit of a need for Jack to be older and more independent before we bring another baby into the picture. I only pray that when the time comes for us to start trying again that we don't have to deal with miscarriage or any other types of awful loss or disappointment.

The one thing I found as I read through my blog is that I am really proud of this. I may not post every day, nor do I pretend to try, but I've really made a very solid effort in keeping up with this thing I call my Mixed Bag of Rant. I realized it is deeply personal. I realized that I don't have any desire to actually share this with close friends or family because on some level, I'm not sure I want them to know all of this about me. So, to my few readers out there who manage to keep up with all my bitching, I thank you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to vent my frustrations and share my joys. I hope along the way I can inspire a little emotion, but maybe a little funny in my ramblings as well.

What do I wish for my blog? Nothing really. I never really thought of this as a money making thing. It has almost become therapeutic for me to have this blog. Keeping myself somewhat anonymous, I don't feel like I have to have a mask on or filter what I say. Sure, I think a part of me still edits what I'm REALLY thinking about specific people or things in sheer fear of being discovered, but for the most part I am fully me on this blog. Raw and unfiltered. I don't hold a lot back on here and you know what? It feels pretty good.

April 09, 2010

Mixed Bag of Bon Jovi and Breastfeeding

Ha! I knew you'd love my title for today!

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to the Bon Jovi concert on Wednesday night and feel as though I must share my adventure with you. Since about 1997, I have gone to see Bon Jovi just about every time they have come to town which is approximately every two years. I don't know how these guys do it, but they just keep cranking out the great tunes. They also put on a wickedly awesome show every single time. After the last couple of shows I have been to, I decided that I didn't need "the best" tickets, but decent enough tickets to be able to catch this great act. So, I opted for club level seats. We were 1st row on the end and have been referring to them as my B & B (Beer & Bathroom) seats. My friend and I went out for a yummy dinner and then headed down to the Xcel Center. It was early, but I figured being able to sit there and talk as opposed to trying to have a drink in one of the crowded bars on W. 7th St was the better option. The opening band started up- they were local guys who one a contest to open for Bon Jovi. They were okay. I'm sure it was the biggest night of their lives so I give them some props for getting up to play in front of such a huge crowd. As I looked around, I chuckled. Seems that Bon Jovi's fan-base is growing old right along side the band. Just as the guys were about the take the stage, the rest of the seats filled in around us. The lights dimmed, the music started rockin' and we jumped to our feet to dance to "We Weren't Born To Follow". We pretty much stayed up on our feet (along with everyone else) and in the middle of "You Give Love a Bad Name" I felt a tap on my shoulder. "Miss, can you sit down- I can't see." I must have looked at the dude like he was nuts- I said "Get up and dance!" He replied, "Nobody else is standing. Can you please sit down." Confused, I looked around to see everyone but his row of weirdos and a few other scattered folks up on their feet rockin' out. I rolled my eyes at him and continued to try and have a good time. He called me a bitch and said, "I'll take care of this." During "Bad Medicine" a security guard came down and asked us to sit. My face full of shock and awe. I was asked to sit down. At a rock concert. At a BON JOVI concert. Not wanting to make a scene, I obliged and let the jerks have their way. They continued to mock us. Continued to call me a bitch. Called me ridiculous. The name calling got so bad to the point where my friend just couldn't take it anymore. She went up to ask the security guard what those guys said, and found that they spewed a pretty blatant lie. I never swore at them, I never threatened them. This was a group of GROWN MEN. WTF?? Anyway, they said it was in our best interest to get out of there  as these guys became more brave and aggressive so they moved us to a safer location where we could dance with others who were dancing and having fun. The whole thing killed what could have been an absolutely awesome night. I was so disappointed. I guess being as big a fan as I am of Bon Jovi, I really should've just paid the extra $30 for floor tickets where people were actually up on their feet for the whole 3 hours. This brings me back to the age of Bon Jovi's fan-base. Were these guys just old or was this potentially their first rock concert? I guess I'll never know the answer, but I'm starting to question whether or not I will actually go to another show if/when they come back again.

Now onto another rant... Most recently in the news, a woman was asked to leave an Old Country Buffet because she was breastfeeding her baby in the restaurant. Even though I was unable to breastfeed, I say- to each is own. I thought, it is no different than me giving my baby a bottle in a restaurant, right? Then I heard that she was doing it without any covering. I know, I know... breastfeeding moms around the world will strike me down for saying this, but seriously, have some modesty. Cover yourself up. Especially in a restaurant. Early in my postpartum days, my breasts were horrifying. Bleeding, cracked... nothing I really wanted to share with the world right there. Again, I could CARE LESS about women breastfeeding in public. Good for you for being able to do it, I say! What I don't understand is the need to feel like you have to flaunt it. Unless you are on a beach where you wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway, when you are in a place like a restaurant, just put a blanket on. Seriously. Then there is the commentary/blog on StarTribune.com call Cribsheet. This quote annoyed and pissed me off: "It's hard being a parent, and breast-feeding is challenging, but it really is the best thing for babies. Breast-feeding moms should be supported, not criticized." Nobody is CRITICIZING her choice of breastfeeding here, they are criticizing her for not covering that shit up! In a restaurant! Not only that, but come on... I am so sick and tired of hearing "it really is the best thing for babies." Put my amazing 19 month old next to your breastfed 19 month old and I'll bet you cannot tell the difference. He is just as smart and healthy as any breastfed baby. You would think I was feeding him rat poison for the first year of his life as opposed to formula (which has come a helluva long way thank you very much). I will say that I am grateful and thankful for the staff at my OB's office as well as my OB for NEVER ONCE pressuring me into thinking that breastfeeding is the be all and end all. After going through what I did in trying to breastfeed (not to mention some serious postpartum depression on the side to make it extra fun at failing), making the switch to formula was the best one I ever made. My son actually started to eat and gain weight and TA DA- he is perfect today. So perfect that he in fact refuses to eat any sweets (yes, we have offered him an array of them, because he is in fact a kid), he loves his fruits and veggies, he is growing like a weed, he talks and says more words than I can count and he even pees on the potty. So take that all the nay-sayers out there! My baby is just as good as yours. 

April 07, 2010

Mommy Guilt

New moms can relate... mommy guilt is the worst kind of guilt there is.

Mommy Guilt Definition: When mom's feel bad about doing anything for themselves.

I bring this up today because my husband made the worst possible comment to me in regards to my going to the Bon Jovi concert tonight that pushed my mommy guilt over the edge. He asked me to bring Jack to daycare and when I said I couldn't (work related conflicts) he said "Well, don't you want to spend any time with your son?" Cue my freak out. I cried the entire night after that. Perhaps daddies don't get the guilt like mommies do. Not sure. It might just be a genetic gender thing. So for the rest of the night between my tears, I cuddled my little boy like it was the last day I would ever see him. I didn't get a chance to eat dinner (it is was my turn for treat day at work so I spent my evening making brownies and by 8:00p, nothing sounded good anyway). I went to bed at 9:30p. Still crying.

So I sit here at work with my swollen eyes hoping that my little boy is having a good day, missing him, feeling sad and guilty that I won't get to see him until tomorrow night other than through the glow of his video monitor when I get home around midnight tonight. This begs the question, when is it okay to let yourself off the hook? How do I let go of my mommy guilt?

I guess it is one thing to think about my guilt from being a working mom and wanting to have some semblance of a social life amongst adults. It is another to be called out on it.

I was excited to go see Bon Jovi, re-live a little youth. I was excited to hang out with a friend that I rarely get to see anymore. Mommy guilt has washed all that away and I feel like I should just scrap it and just go home to be with my little boy. I hope that my very sad and depressed mood won't ruin what should've been a fun night for my friend.

April 06, 2010

New Mommy Realities

As you all know, my colleague has been away on maternity leave. Her first day back was yesterday and I've had a few chuckles in listening to her change in story.

Prior to her sweet baby being born, I heard a lot of, "My life won't change all that much." And, "If I don't want to breastfeed, I won't breastfeed." Let's not forget, "I don't anticipate sleep issues." That one is my favorite.

Now that she is back to being a full-time working mama, I'm chuckling a little more.

Firstly, I asked her how breastfeeding was going as she was well aware of my issues and my choice to quit early on. She replied, "Time consuming. My husband is adamant about me doing it though, so I don't have a choice." HUH??? My husband told me the same argument about how it is best for baby and in my early postpartum rage, I basically told my husband to take a flying leap off the nearest and highest bridge. I think these men often forget that they aren't the ones who have to do it! In retrospect, I often wonder if it is my fault in lack of breastfeeding that he is so prone to picking up every damn illness on the planet. I guess we'll see this week if her perfect baby picks up as many colds and crap from daycare as mine did. Don't get me wrong here- I have nothing against women who breastfeed. I was unable to do it so maybe I am a hair bitter.

My next chuckle came in her sudden change of hours. She went from a workaholic to wanting to be home with her daughter (and of course because of her intricate breastfeeding schedule). Gee. Imagine that. Wanting to leave at a reasonable time to be able to spend time with your family. THIS is what I've been begging for since I had my son! How interesting that the shoe is on the other foot now.

My last chuckle is more of a first time mommy chuckle story. I encouraged buying the Diaper Champ (which she described as the "cheap" Diaper Genie... no... it is a just as good version that doesn't require you to buy their stupid special bags to put in the thing). Well... she asked me the other day, "What kind of bags do you use for your Diaper Champ?" With a confused look, I responded, "Basic tall kitchen garbage bags- I recommend ones that have a scent guard. Why?" Turning red, she said, "So the paper Target bags won't work, huh?" I laughed and kinda gagged a little thinking of the smell.

It is nice to finally have another woman on the other side. One who understands the trials and tribulations of being a working mama. It isn't always easy and no matter how much you like your job, you still miss your baby every single day. I tell Jack every day when I pick him up. "I MISSED you and thought of you all day today!" And that, is not a lie.

This brings me to talk about my Gen Y'er colleague. She's a young, 23 year-old newlywed (good god... at 23 I certainly wasn't thinking about being married to anyone). Babies are about the furthest thing from her mind. With that, we can't exactly tell her that she can't leave early to go to her own doctor appointments or take care of other business, but at the same time... does she really have a reason NOT to work until 5pm? I changed my hours from 7:15-4:15 so I could pick up Jack and get home at a reasonable time, sit down for dinner as a family and have more than one hour with my son before he has to go to bed at 7pm. I love that he goes to bed early, but that doesn't leave much quality time left for us. I REFUSE to go back to working until 5p. Period. I've been the childless employee. Sure, it always annoyed me that people with kids seemed to work their own hours with their own agenda, but I never tried to work the system either. I never realized what it was really like until I had one of my own.

April 02, 2010

Rantalicious Friday

This week has triggered all kinds of things for me to rant about. Think of this like many posts in one.

1) Kate Gosselin on Dancing With The Stars. What a bitch! How on earth did she not get voted off?? I was supremely uncomfortable watching her go off on her poor partner. Dude totally does not deserve that abuse. She totally sucks dancing-wise as well so I have no idea who is voting for her out there.

2) Strep B online discussion. Innocently enough, in one of my many online communities, someone mentioned that they were Strep B positive. She had some concerns and asked what others' experiences were. In comes earth mommy. Earth mommy is the one that begs everyone not to vaccinate and continues to stand by the theory that they cause Autism despite that fact that it is being debunked OVER and OVER (even by Jenny McCarthy- the "face" of the vaccine/autism debate). She only believes in homeopathic remedies for things. In other words she's going to be a mom just like Daniel Hauser's mom- believing that something other than modern medicine can treat/cure cancer. Pardon me while I insert my eye roll here. I'm pretty passionate about Group B. I've posted about it before. My sister had it and her OB told her she wouldn't need to be treated for it since she was having a C-Section. 2 weeks after my nephew was born, he was rushed to the hospital- he had meningitis. He nearly died. She passed on Strep B to him at some point during the C-Section. Antibiotics for both her and Miles would've taken care of this issue. I was Strep B positive as well. I had antibiotics. It was a non-issue. Both me and my son happen to be perfectly fine and healthy post antibiotics. It just infuriates me that anyone would even THINK of chancing it or encouraging them not to be treated during labor. Just stupid. Stupid Stupid Stupid.

3) Am I a Bad Mommy? My little man has been sick. For a couple months now. The never-ending cold/cough/nose/ear combo. Last weekend was the pinnacle- he reached a fever of 103.7. Cue mommy getting worried and scared. Then goo started coming out his eyes. We made a trip to see his ENT and it turns out he had a really bad sinus infection. One that was likely there for awhile (thus the constant cough, not to mention a rare bloody nose occurrence a month ago). I feel awful. Like I should've seen it before, that I shouldn't have let it get so bad. He went to see a pediatrician twice! They didn't think of this? It has been a totally frustrating time- and again, and I should know this by now, always trust my mommy instincts. I knew something wasn't right, I should've insisted on him being seen. Insisted they think of other reasons for him coughing for so long. Just because it isn't pneumonia doesn't mean it isn't something else! He's on antibiotics now and is doing much better. Thank god. As I hang my head in shame.

4) My struggling musician friends. I have a friend and she is without question one of the most talented people I have ever known in my lifetime. In her quest to be a musician, her and her husband struggle financially (he is also a struggling musician). If there is one thing that bothers me more is when musicians EXPECT opportunities to fall in their laps. No auditions. No hard work. No working the pavement. No networking with industry contacts. Do they reserve the right to complain that they haven't made it and struggle financially if they don't do the work behind it? Why am I ranting about this today? I sent said friend an opportunity to send music in for a contest to open for Bon Jovi at 4 of their concerts throughout the country. Her response? "They make fun of me for even speaking of Bon Jovi." Leave it up to struggling musicians to turn their noses up at Bon Jovi (one of the most successful bands in rock history mind you). My response: WHO CARES ABOUT BON JOVI- can you say exposure? The chance to play in front of tens of thousands of people? Networking with big wigs? I guess if all they want to do is play in dive clubs and bars FOR FREE then that is their own choice. However, don't complain that you don't get any breaks. My husband and I don't bring home the money we do by sitting on our asses being complacent. We work hard. We speak up. We take risks. So my lesson of the day? Keep my mouth shut. Why bother?
 
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