Friday, June 19, 2009

Trouble sticking a fork in it

Every once in a while I look at my little "About the Blog" blurb and think I should update it to clarify in that space that I am no longer TTC. True, I say so at the end of the insufferably long "About the Blogger" list. Longtime readers know it. But, well, targeted communication is my real-life business, and it bothers that side of me to see a blog description of mine that doesn't quite capture what's going on in the blog's present.

I do know what's really eating me: The thought of adding promises of child-free-living talk to my blog's theme makes me ill.

For one thing, I am childless, no thank you very much. "Child free" — to me — still carries the connotation of choice, a happy circumstance. I mean, come on, free is "because I decided so, on purpose, to suit my own needs and desires." Or. It's just plain GOOD. Without restrictions. At no cost.

Carefree, debt free, error free, cancer free, drug free, allergen free, worry free, wrinkle free, cling free; free admission, free food, free beer, free samples, free estimate, free concert, free puppies; free country, free speech, free time, free will, free spirit, free love; free on bail, buy one get one free, don't tread on free, free-for-all, free and clear, home free, set me free, free to be you and me, free at last, free at last . . . free, free, free, free, free, YIPPEE!

For another thing, I don't think I'll spend a lot of time blogging specifically about life without children. I am still processing/blogging about IF, loss, and stepping off the family-building path. "No kids" is part of that. But I feel like adding any sort of "life without" thingy to the blog description invites the assumption that someone might come here to read about day-to-day observations on life as a childless person. Granted, that's the situation. But it's not the accurate bent, if you will, of the blog.

Also, although I'm moving along and trying to evolve, I'm not all the way ready to COMPLETELY evolve the blog so that it no longer does what I created it to do for me: provide a safe haven for semiprivately discussing private hopes and fears on the way to whatever conclusion our TTC journey reached. One can and should argue that said conclusion made its appearance a while back. It's just that I'm still working on accepting it. Oh, I've committed to it. But the associated feelings are still raw sometimes, and my head can still spin when I realize not just how things turned out but that they did, in fact, turn out. Past tense.

As labels go, I think "infertile" still fits until I hit menopause. "Childless" is how I feel at present, but I don't like that as a descriptor for myself or anyone else (although, re me, "Area Childless Woman Wins the Lottery" wouldn't bother me too much). And "child free" just doesn't apply to me.

None of this is to say, you understand, that I go around throwing any of the terms into my everyday conversations.

Me: Hi, I'm Lisa.

Other Person: And what do you do, Lisa?

Me: I'm an Infertile. Have been for years. I love it!!

Me (alternate answer): I'm a childless writer. You?

Sorry for that digression. Anyone still with me?

I wasn't at all sure that I ended up making the point I had in mind when I logged on. Then I caught sight of the post's title, which pretty much says it all.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

19 Things

It's June 14, an anniversary for DH and me: 19 years ago today, we had our first official date. (Saw Eraserhead at the art-house theater. Debated its meaning over drinks, tortilla chips, and fiery-hot salsa that really was too hot to take. And so on. For those familiar with the flick, I ask you: Should I make anything out of the fact that the movie we credit with starting our relationship begins with a creepy sperm-like creature and features a mutant baby?)

That date was on a Thursday. By Saturday — after we'd both spent Friday scrambling to tie up any loose ends that might interfere with us spending every spare second together for the rest of "who knew?" — we were ON with no looking back.

To honor our shared journey, I thought I'd do one of those sweet tribute posts listing good stuff about my DH. I'll keep the items topical to the blog's theme.

19 Things I Love About My Husband That Led to My Wanting to Start a Family with Him, Helped Me Cope with IF, and/or Served as the "Positives" I Focused On This Past Year to Keep Me from Killing Him (or Worse)
  1. He has never said an unkind thing to me or tried to humiliate or "stick it to me." Not in public and not in private. Not ever.
  2. I can still see the total devotion on his face as he held a newborn niece for the first time and cured her hiccups by draping her over his arm (tummy first, her head supported with his hand and chest) and tapping out a simulated heartbeat on her back to help slow her breathing. He just made that up on the fly. The baby's mother, grandmother, and aunt-to-be (me) all swooned, and we still talk about it behind his back 15 years later.
  3. His smarts and dry wit make me happy.
  4. At family gatherings, he'll patiently play/talk with the nieces and nephews for hours on end.
  5. He was my "nurse" through two lengthy recovery periods after major surgery, and each time — despite knowing him as well as I do — I was blown away by the amazing level of care he provided.
  6. He makes great waffles, pancakes, French toast, biscuits, and pizza dough.
  7. I never have to wonder whether he's telling me the truth.
  8. When it was time to do his fertility testing, he acted like a grownup — not a baby.
  9. He was often pretty quiet at the clinic but came alive during strategy/statistic/scientific discussions with the REs.
  10. He's able to laugh about such things as bad sperm and bad clinic porn.
  11. Once while he unpacked from a business trip, my heart soared upon seeing a baggie full of Mu.cinex and a few pairs of brand-new, moisture-wicking, "crucial area"–cooling underwear. He'd done all that on his own.
  12. Although thoroughly skeptical about potential benefits, he completely backed and encouraged my use of acupuncture, supplementation, diet changes, and meditation during treatment cycles.
  13. For 2 years prior to starting IVF, he traveled a lot — but he always made it his business to make it home for the ol' fertile window. (Such that it was.)
  14. He would have been content to not pursue fertility treatments at all. But he supported every last minute of my need to push on. He made my need, his need.
  15. Each time I was pregnant, he immediately jumped into "What can I do for you?" mode.
  16. The dog has a giant, obvious crush on him (and vice versa). It's very cute.
  17. He gamely takes on the list of items to fix and problems to solve that my parents/his parents present to him each time we visit.
  18. He lives to try to make me do a spit take.
  19. A longer anecdote from the day I knew that I would always choose being with DH over the alternative: One Saturday about a year and a half into our relationship, I felt crazy-desperate for some alone time. I decided to go bra shopping. Solo. Then-boyfriend DH thought he'd tag along, but I said no for the first time in our history. This was fine with him, of course, and he set out walking to his downtown office to occupy himself till I was done. About 19 minutes later, I passed him in the car and gave him a beep. He waved, looking cheerful; I felt good that he felt good instead of left out. Soon I was parked, in the store, and standing blissfully alone in Lingerie, thinking beyond bras to perhaps socks, makeup, and even calling a friend for coffee. As I zeroed in to touch — and I do not exaggerate — my very FIRST bra of interest, I felt a familiar hand on my back. My heart actually sank for a split second. Guess who???!!!??? Why, it was my beloved. The one I'd tried to ditch. The man I would joyfully marry down the road. He grinned, hit me with his full-of-adoration brown eyes and said, "Surprise! I saw you drive by and figured I'd pop in for a quick hi. Are you enjoying your time alone?" With that I realized just how glad I was to see him . . . even when I didn't want to see him. Being with him felt right, as it always had and always would.