Month: December 2013
Status

Resolution

Personally, I think New Year’s resolutions are complete bullshit.  And apparently RDJ agrees with me.

I mean, seriously… are you really going to lose that fifteen pounds?  Okay, then, maybe you will.  Maybe you’ll use your Christmas cash to join a Crossfit gym or something, and maybe you’ll bust ass for two whole months…

But let’s be honest.  Are you going to keep it off once the Easter ham and Cadbury Creme Eggs hit the table??

It’s not that I’m hating on people trying to better themselves.  I’m not, I swear.  My issue is the freaking pressure.

Okay, so 2013 is ending and now it’s time to look back on a year – a whole YEAR!  365 DAYS!! – and analyze what you did and did not accomplish.  We will now allow you one day to lament your shortcomings, and tomorrow is the day you reverse it all.

January first.  BAM.  Time to put those resolutions to work!

UGH.

Let’s look for a moment at the word itself.

res·o·lu·tion

noun \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən\

: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something

So, if we’re breaking it down, a New Year’s resolution is literally the act of resolving a problem or issue once the New Year begins.

Yeah.  NO PRESSURE OR ANYTHING, amirite?

Let’s look now at the usual resolutions:  lose weight, save money, relax more, get a better job, take a vacation… Get pregnant.

Okay, maybe that last one is just mine.  Either way, a lot of these “conflicts” might be impossible to actually resolve, setting us up for failure before we even begin.

Lose weight?  Okay, sure.  So the resolution is just to lose it, right?  Not to keep it off?  Oh… no?  So then you’re a total failure if you resolve to lose fifteen pounds, manage to lose twenty, and then gain ten back before 2015?

FAIL.

Save money?  …But don’t spend it, right?  What if you have an emergency?  Your water heater blows, your cat needs a liver transplant, you have to get your car towed 200 miles to a shop that knows what the heck they’re doing while you’re taking your New-Year’s-resolution-vacation… You have to fund fertility treatments out of pocket.  Where’s all that saved money now, huh?

FAIL.

That raise or new job you want?  Totally out of your control.  You can be the best employee ever and still not get to make a single job-related move in the next year…

FAIL.

Vacation?  HAHAHA.  See *Save Money, above.

FAIL.

How about the relaxation resolution?  That’s something you can totally do, right?  Spend more time at home, read more books, get a massage once in a while, sleep in on the weekends… Totally do-able.

Except for the fact that now you’re working out at 6am every morning, can’t afford luxuries like massages because you’re saving money for whatever disaster happens next, need to get into work early and stay late in the far-flung hopes that you might get laterally promoted to another menial middle-management position where you might, maybe, get a little paid vacation time, a vacation, might I add, where you can basically stay home in your sweatpants for a week because you can’t afford anything else, largely because you’re spending every last dollar saving money for a medical procedure that may or may not help you with your other resolution: getting pregnant.

FAIL FAIL FAIL.

And so, I say this again:  RESOLUTIONS ARE BULLSHIT.

Why put this pressure on ourselves at the beginning of a whole new year?  Why make ourselves miserable in the pursuit of… what?  Competing with the Joneses?

Maybe you need to de-friend the Joneses on Facebook, that way you won’t have to look at their beautiful, fertile family that runs a 5k together every damn weekend.

And maybe de-friend the Smiths too, while you’re at it… Their social media posts about how they scrimped and saved themselves out of debt and are now taking quarterly vacations to Fiji are not helping you in any way.

Besides… The Smiths and the Joneses don’t have to pay for IVF.  Or IUI.  Or acupuncture and herbs.  Or meds from overseas because they’re just a smidge cheaper than here in the US.

This is what I’m getting at…

We’re all different people.  We’re traveling different roads in life.  What others have is NOT a reflection of what we have, nor should it be a jumping off point for what we want.

Ever hear the saying “Comparison is the thief of joy”?

It’s simple enough, but so true.  Comparing our lives with the lives of others does nothing to better our own life.  It only serves to suppress the satisfaction we should be feeling for what we ourselves have managed to accomplish, despite what life’s put in our path.

We are badasses, dammit, and no one else’s badassery should be allowed take away from that!

And that’s why I don’t like New Year’s resolutions.  I don’t like the thought of competing against others for a life that’s not my own.  What I need is not what others may need, and what they want doesn’t need to influence how I view what I already have.

And so, in closing, I will repeat once more:  Resolutions are bullshit.

…With a few minor exceptions.

I resolve to live every day in the next year for myself and my loved ones.

I resolve to do what I need to do to make that life a happy one.

I resolve to be flexible and open to receiving what life throws my way.

I resolve to look within to determine my needs, rather than looking outwardly and comparing my life to others’.

I resolve to encourage myself instead of pushing.

I resolve to be kind to myself instead of punishing.

I resolve to allow myself to fail without apology.

I resolve to get back up and try again if when I fail.

I resolve to admire myself for how far I’ve come.

I resolve to be my own hero.

I resolve to live my life, and not attempt to live the lives of others.

I resolve to live my life.

*****

I want to wish you all a very happy New Year, from my home to yours. 

I wish you the wisdom to see how much you really have in a world where it has become increasingly difficult to see past the pretentious displays of others’ grandiosity.

I wish you hope today, tomorrow, and for every day to come, and may it not be taken away in the face of failure. 

I wish you the clarity and acceptance that comes from looking within yourself, and I wish you to see the inspiration that you are to others. 

I wish you peace and understanding in 2014.

And I wish you love. 

May you have it in spades, and may others be inspired to resolve to have a love like yours in 2015.

*****

Image

Five Whole Years…

Five years ago today,

I took a new name, a new life, and became part of something bigger than myself.

Half a decade of ups and downs,

big changes and small ones,

new homes, new jobs, new facial hair (ha),

and I’m still excited to start every single day with my best friend and co-conspirator.

Dearest husband,

I love you, and cannot wait to see what adventures await us in the next five years.

All my love,

Tracy

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Status

Test Your Ta-Tas

As most of us who have pursued fertility treatments have heard, there are studies that aim to prove that long term use of hormonal medications can increase the rates of cancer among their users.

Now, as with anything, there are just as many studies proving that this is NOT the case, but let’s face facts here:  We live in a world where cancer is extremely prevalent, and it behooves us all to be advocates for our health in every way possible.

Did you know that One in Eight women in the US will get breast cancer? 

Those are the same odds as couples who suffer from infertility…

So, you know… It can and will happen to us or someone we know.

That little bit of information is basically a lead-in to tell you all that I freaked myself out recently, and thought I had found a lump in my breast.

I noticed during my last cycle that while I had the usual breast tenderness the last week or so of the month, it did not clear up after Aunt Flo left town as it typically does, and the tenderness that was left over was concentrated to one spot.  Upon further inspection, I also noticed that there was a definite bulkiness to that small area that didn’t feel quite like the rest of my breast tissue.

I have to say that there is no history of breast cancer in my family, so I know that doctors wouldn’t exactly consider me high risk, but the use of so many different hormonal medications on top of the plethora of complete lifestyle changes I’ve made in the past few years is enough to cause at least minor concern.

Luckily, I was able to get in to see my wonderful OB-GYN, Dr. B., and he assured me that what he felt was very normal and not at all worrisome.  Likely just a duct or gland structure that is slightly more dense than other areas around it, and possibly a fibrocystic area, which is quite common (and frequently due to caffeine consumption!  Huh, you learn something new every day!).

*WHEW*

Still though, it’s very important that we are all vigilant about our health, even while trying our damndest to procreate.  Dr. B. recommends the usual annual exam, even when seeing a fertility specialist on the side, and he also recommends monthly breast self-exams.

We’ve all seen the little instructional cards being handed out at women’s health fairs and at our lady-parts doctor’s office, but do we really look at them?

I know I hadn’t.  At least not until I was afraid that something was wrong…

And so, the girl who has literally zero experience with breast cancer, breast exams, mammograms, or pink “Save the Ta-tas” bumper stickers, is going to give you a quick tutorial (which I poached from good ol’ Pinterest) on breast cancer in general, and frisking your funbags for preventative medical purposes.

Because it’s important, that’s why.

Everybody got that?

Love your lady lumps, mmkay?

Love them monthly, and don’t hesitate to bring any concerns to your doctor, because as we all know (and as I repeat CONSTANTLY):

YOU ARE THE BEST ADVOCATE FOR YOUR HEALTH.

 

*dismount soapbox*

Status

Thirty-Three

Howdy, friends!

I know it’s been quiet around here (all of my recent posts seem to begin with some incarnation of those same words, I knooooow…), but I honestly just don’t have a whole heck of a lot going on right now!

Well, that’s not entirely true.

Since the last time I posted, there’s been a development.

I’ve AGED.

GAH!

Another year older, another year wiser smart-assier, I guess.  The thing about birthdays is that they used to be fun for me, a reason to celebrate.

Recently though, each birthday inches me closer to our wedding anniversary later in the month, which just reminds me that it’s getting closer and closer to that FIVE YEAR mark of trying, and failing, to build a family.

I want to point out that while I am feeling physically great lately, and have so much faith in the TCM treatments I’m receiving, there’s only so much confidence can handle before it starts to falter under the crushing weight of statistics and odds…

I guess I wouldn’t really care about getting older if it were just gray hairs and wrinkles I had to deal with, but each birthday I think about my poor, sad, aging eggs, and I wish on whatever birthday cake, pie, cupcake, or plate of bacon that they can just hang in there for ONE MORE YEAR.

Honestly, I just need them to feel all rejuvenated like they’ve been at the egg spa for the past few months, which is how I justify spending out of pocket for acupuncture treatments and gobs of Chinese herbs…  Those pampered bitches probably feel like some desperate housewives up in here, but it’s time for them to earn their keep!

Anyway, I know that thirty-three is not the end of the reproductive road, and as Doctor McStabby keeps telling me, I have time on my side.  At least part of me believes him, but the other, darker side of my subconscious thinks that I started this journey at age twenty-eight, basically on the later end of the average woman’s reproductive prime.  Now I’ve reached the final stretch…

Thirty-five is the point at which you start dipping your toes into the “advanced maternal age” pool.  If we’re looking at odds here, they get lower and lower with each year that goes by, and the more I age, the less chance I have at a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Sometimes it feels pretty bleak to think about the uphill battle I feel I’m fighting.  Sometimes it all feels like too much, as I see childless friends of ours living their lives to the fullest.  Sometimes that seems like maybe not such a bad life…

And then other times I see my friends who had kids when they planned to, friends whose reproductive capacities haven’t dictated the terms of every month of their life, and those friends are seeing their offspring off to school every day, working on their careers and their social lives, and generally just living a whole, full family life.

This is what I see all around me, and I feel like I’m in such a rut.  The worst part is that I feel like I’ve taken people down with me.  The poor husband, our families, all of our friends.  We’re in that awkward married couple tween phase where we’re not quite newlyweds but we’re not quite parents either.

And we’ve been in that awkward place for almost five years.

That shit gets old real fast, yo.  And not just for us, I’m sure.

Some days I wonder what we would even be talking about if we weren’t on this rabid pursuit of parenthood.  What if we had decided that we didn’t need to have kids?  What would we be doing now?  Traveling?  Climbing corporate ladders?  Spending every last dime on making sure our house is outfitted with the very newest of every Apple product on the market?

Maybe.  Except the Apple part… We’re Droid folks.

And what if we had managed to have a family right away?  Would we too be shuffling a kindergartener off to soccer and ballet and whatever else it is that the kids practice today?  Would we be potty-training and watching Yo Gabba Gabba and child-proofing our cabinets?  Would we spend that precious after-work time helping with homework and making a family dinner rather than cooking meals for two whilst watching Jeopardy in our sweatpants?

Maybe.  Probably.

But that’s the wicked What If’s leaking in… There’s no sense in going there, as it only leads to heartache and regret, neither of which are conducive to fat, happy, relaxed, and mature (but not too mature) eggs.

I suppose the best I can do is try to be happy with the life we’ve made for ourselves while living day to day on this seemingly never-ending path.

And by day to day, I obviously mean in two week increments.

*****

If you’ve been trying, failing, and living with infertility for some time, what are some of the “infertility milestones” you’ve reached? 

How have you dealt with them?  And have they caused you to reconsider your path?

At what point do you just say “Stop.  This is far enough.  It’s time to go back…”?

I’m not there yet, but I can see it in the distance. 

There’s light at the end of this tunnel, but these days I’m not entirely sure it’s the light of a resolved infertility journey, or the light of accepting a childless life.

Where are you in your journey?

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