Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Come on Irene

Some things are bigger than infertility.  Not much, I grant you.  As we all know, infertility (and the quest to overcome it) takes over your life and changes the way you see everything.  But some things are bigger.

Like hurricanes.  I live on the coast. And this bitch Irene may be headed our way.  There's nothing like the threat of natural disaster to put things in perspective.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

In-Between Days

Photo by David Speiser.
See more of his bird photos here

Years of infertility has left me with a split personality.  There's "Jenny on the Nest" and "Jenny In-Between."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Not to Say

I love that show What Not to Wear.  You know, the one where snarky New Yorkers descend on small-town frumps, mock their outdated sweaters and ill-fitting trousers, fly them to NYC for a $5,000 shopping spree and teach them how to dress appropriately.

I have an idea for a new show:  What Not to Say.  It would secretly film cocktail parties and coffee shops and wherever friends and acquaintances gather. Whenever someone made an egregious conversational misstep, the sassy hosts would barge in on the social bumblers, mock their cliched comments and tacky remarks, and teach them how to communicate appropriately.

There could be an entire episode on the subject of infertility.  Here's my Top 5 for What Not to Say: Infertility Edition.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ask Me About My Dogs

Seriously, ask.

I ran into a casual acquaintance the other day, a woman I was friendly with in grad school but see infrequently now.

We had the exact same superficial conversation that we've had every time we've bumped into each other in the past seven years:  "Not much, what's new with you?  Yes, work is keeping me busy, especially this time of year;  no, I don't live at the beach anymore, I moved into town with Mr Wren when we got married seven years ago;  yes it's been seven years; no I don't know where the time goes..." You get the idea.

And then, out of nowhere, she threw a conversational grenade right in the middle of our boring but harmless little chat.

Friday, August 12, 2011

So Long at the Fair

It's such a cliche it hurts to type it, but that doesn't make it any less true:  these past few months of IVF, pregnancy and miscarriage have been one hell of a roller coaster ride. There were dizzying ascents and devastating drops. I was thrown for a loop and spun around until I wasn't sure which end was up.

I'm only just beginning to get my equilibrium back.

Six weeks after the miscarriage, my hormones have leveled out and I'm feeling much more steady. It hit me today:  I feel like myself again. I'll always grieve the loss of our little boy (did I mention that last week I found out, entirely by accident and in a manner as casual as this parenthetical digression, that the baby was a boy?) but now that the hormones have stopped turning all my emotions up to eleven, I can deal with it much more gracefully.

Monday, August 8, 2011

All Summer in a Day

Infertility stole my summer.  Which sucks, because it's my favorite season.  I love sunshine.  I'm convinced that I have chlorophyll in my blood because I crave sunlight like a plant and without it I shrivel and wilt.  I love the heat, and even love the humidity that smacks you wetly in the face the second you step outside this time of year.  I love the beach.  LoveloveLOVE the beach.  I can spend hours walking up and down the shore, looking for shells and thinking about everything and nothing at all.  I'm so grateful to live near the coast.  I spend long lazy summers with salt on my skin and sand between my toes.

Except this year.  Summer is almost over and I missed it.  I feel like the girl from my favorite Ray Bradbury story who was trapped in a closet during the only day in seven years when the rain stopped and the sun shone on her planet.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cupcakes at Midnight

Photo by Gary Cruz.
Click here to see more of his work.

I've been wanting to write about this essay by Holly Finn since I read it last week. Much of it describes my own experiences and emotions so accurately that reading it was like looking in the mirror.

The author and I are the same age, both started fertility treatments in the fall of 2008, have suffered through the same number of hormone injections, spent roughly the same amount of time on our backs with strangers poking around in our lady parts, and even have similar hairstyles.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

(500) Days of Infertility

Sunday was my dad's birthday. It didn't go as planned.

Have you seen the movie (500) Days of Summer?  It's one of my all-time favorites.  There's a scene near the end (spoiler alert) where the heartbroken hipster Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) goes to a party at the apartment of his ex-girlfriend, the unattainable dreamgirl Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel.) As Tom arrives at the party, the screen splits in two. 

On one side, captioned "expectations" we see what Tom hoped would happen: Summer spends the entire night at his side, the spark between them re-ignites and they live happily ever after. The other half of the screen is labeled "reality": he goes to the party, stands alone by the bar, and from across the room notices Summer showing off the sparkly engagement ring she just got from her new boyfriend.  It's a powerful and poignant sequence that breaks your heart without a single word of dialogue.