Left Behind

3 Dec

I’m used to feeling left behind.  My friends started having babies so long ago that I’ve grown used to the fact that I’m the last childless person in my circle of friends.  When I started trying, my sister-in-law was single.  In the time that I’ve been trying to start a family, she met a guy, got engaged, got married and has had two children.  Younger coworkers who weren’t engaged when I met them are married and pregnant or have already given birth. I’ve been left in the dust.

I found solace in my support group though and met so many women who were in my position.  Lately, though, I’ve been feeling left behind there too.  There are so many new people in the group, it almost feels sad to keep going and to keep telling my story to these women who are just starting Clomid. Meanwhile, the women I started out with are thinking about child number two.

You’re not supposed to compare yourself to other people, right?  Don’t a million pins on Pinterest say that?  But how? We spend our entire lives being compared to other people.  You spend your school life being graded and ranked with your other classmates.  Classes are graded on curves. You’re separated out into different classes based on your talents. Then, all of a sudden, you’re supposed to stop. You’re supposed to stop caring about where your life is in comparison to your peers.  I understand that stopping the comparisons would probably make me happier but it’s a lot easier said than done.

I don’t live my life in a bubble.  I wish I could sometimes.  Instead I live in a world when I encounter other people getting the thing I most want all the time.  It feels inevitable to compare myself to them and to feel left behind.


24 Nov

What is there to say about waiting?  Very little it would seem.

Some days I forget that I’m waiting at all.  It feels as though this is my life now and always will be.  I go to work, I eat, I see friends and family and I sleep.  This is my life.  I’m 35. I have no children.  This is how it will be. There is little to nothing to say about that.

Some days all I can think about is the fact that I am waiting. I long for a child of my own. I can’t walk two steps without being confronted by my infertility. Pregnant women in Target. Ultrasound photos on Facebook.  A little girl on a train platform playing “I Spy” tells her mom that she spies ” a mommy” while looking right at me.  That little girl can’t imagine that a woman my age wouldn’t be a mommy.  I want to tell her she’s right.  I am a mommy. I don’t, though.  You can’t just go up to a little girl and tell her all about your dead baby.  I’m pretty sure that’s the type of thing that jeopardizes adoptions.  So, it would appear there’s little to say about that, too.

Most days, if I was honest and sat down to type out my thoughts, all I would type is: baby, baby, baby, please God, send me a baby. Over and over and over again.

I have no idea what kind of wait we are in for.  Is the mother of my child even pregnant yet?  There is no way to know. Will it happen in a week, a month, a year, maybe more?  There is no way to tell.

Will it even happen?  There is no guarantee.  People say there is with adoption but I know better.  There are no guarantees in this life.  I can hope for a happy ending but there is no guarantee of one. I hear happy stories but I hear sad and scary ones too.  I hear stories that break my heart and make me fear the pain that could be ahead.

Still, we hope.  We hope for the happy ending.  We hope for peace during the wait. We do so quietly, because most days it feels like there’s very little to be said about that.


5 Aug

The bad news is that I’m an awful awful blogger.

The good news is that we are officially on the books.


9 Jul

After discovering the typo, I had a panic attack.  It was 4th of July weekend and there was no way that any progress was going to be made until Monday.  I felt awful.  This was MY fault.  I approved that proof.  I can rant and rave about things that are out of my control but this was fully in my control.

I tried to read the profile on Friday and found another typo which sent me into a spiral.  We decided to wait until Saturday or Sunday to read through the book again because knew that nothing would get done until Monday anyway.  The best laid plans…

Somehow the rearrangement of our family room took over our entire weekend.  We have always hated the way our family is arranged so we decided to rearrange the furniture.  It’s not ideal now (the couch is too big in the spot we moved it to  so we’re in the market for a smaller one) but it’s a better set up.  No one has to contort their neck to watch tv anymore which I thought was a vast improvement.  I was wrong. Once moved, the couch was too far away from the tv and it was too much eye strain (or so I was told).  We needed a larger tv!

Luckily, the one my husband wanted was on sale about 45 minutes away from our home.  Unfortunately, we drive Corollas so there was no way the tv was going to fit in either of our cars.  We had to rent a cargo van from UHaul, drive to the store, buy the tv, drive home, drop the tv off, and then drop the UHaul off.  Once said tv was purchased, we realized that we would need a bigger tv stand. Off to Ikea!  It was one hour til closing so we zipped through and found something we liked.  When we got down to the warehouse, one piece was missing.  We were told it would be in stock the next day.

So the next day, we drove back to Ikea and picked up the missing part and a few other things we didn’t have time to grab the day.  We ran some other errands and by the time we got home it was around 4:00 or 4:30.  The tv stand that the guy at Ikea swore we could put together in five minutes took considerably longer than that to assemble.  Then we had to unattach ALL our electronics so that we could thread them through the freshly drilled holes in the tv stand and reattach them all.  Then we realized that our surround sound box thingy (that’s the technical term) was too big for the stand.  Luckily we bought a stand with doors on the two ends but an open middle piece so it’s okay that it’s hanging out a bit.  The system is pretty old and on the fritz anyway so let’s just add that to the list of things we need to purchase now.  By the time we were done, we were exhausted and ready to go to bed and it was Sunday night.  Oops.

So basically deciding on a whim that we were going to rearrange our family room turned into a weekend where time disappeared into a black hole and necessitated the purchase of a new tv and stand and is prompting the purchase of a new couch and surround sound system.  I’m still not sure how that happened.

Yesterday, we managed to give it another read through and found two more typos.  A friend read through it as well. She commented that it was much harder to proofread than a document since there were so many colors and fonts.  It’s eye-catching overall but distracting if you’re trying to proofread and read every single word carefully. That made me feel better about missing the things that I missed.   The typos have been corrected and now we’re waiting to hear how much the printing will cost and how much the shipping will be (expedited if it’s not too expensive).  So we’re making progress. Took a detour into tv land, but making progress.



4 Jul

Our profile book is done.  It was printed and delivered two days ago.  I showed it to some friends last night and everyone oohed and aahed.  And then someone found a typo.


I read that thing cover to cover ten times before I approved it to go to print. I read it in my head. I read it out loud. I read it slowly sounding out each word to make sure it was spelled correctly.   I sent that thing to so many people.  They found all sorts of other errors but not this one.  Another friend said she had looked at that exact sentence before because she really liked it and she never noticed.

Our instead of out.

An “r” instead of a “t” is all it took for me to go from happy to anxious.

I thought on July 8th, I would be dropping of my profiles to the agency.  I thought that was the day we would go on the books.

Now I have to read through the whole damn thing again.  I have to ask other people to read it again.  I have to make sure there are no other typos. I have to ask our wonderful designer to reprint that page.  I have to wait for delivery of that page and then we can send our profile in.

I’m so angry and upset with myself.  This could have been done already.  Monday, it could have been out of my hands.  Instead, on Monday I’ll still be focusing on this.

How did I miss it? How did everyone miss it?  When I look at the page now, it is ALL I see.  I can’t take my eyes off of it, it’s so glaringly obvious.  I checked the drafts.  It was wrong in the last TWO drafts.  So went through two rounds of edits missing it.

I’m so disappointed.  I know that a few days won’t make a difference but I just thought this was the end and now it’s not.

Real Life

11 Jun

One day, toward the end of a conversation I was having with the painter David Salle in his studio, on White Street, he looked at me and said, “Has this every happened to you? Have you ever thought that your real life hasn’t begun yet?”

“I think I know what you mean.”

“You know–soon. Soon you’ll start your real life.”

–Janet Malcolm, “Forty-One False Starts”

This.  This is my life.  I don’t even know what I can add to this.

Found on The Happiness Project blog.


10 Jun

Do you ever have just an unbelievably awkward experience where your brain just totally fails you?

I tried to walk into the bathroom at work.  This particular door swings into the bathroom to open.  There was a woman walking out at the same time.   She stepped back, which I took to be an indication that she was letting me in before exiting.  I was a little startled since I had just done that thing where you start to push in on the door and all of a sudden, it flies open much faster than you expect because someone else is pulling it.  But you have no idea that someone else is pulling it because your brain hasn’t made the connection yet and so you’re shocked that you are so powerful as to push the door wide open with so little exertion.

So, I realize that she is stepping back to let me in and I start to walk forward.  It’s too late though because she took my startled hesitation as a sign that I was waiting for her to step out.  So we’re both walking towards each other.  We pause, step back and then step forward again at the same time.  Except this time I don’t pause after that second step forward.  Something in my brain disconnects and I process the part where she steps back but not the part where she steps forward.  So we are both walking forward pretty much about the slam into each other.  She stops and I keep plowing forward.  She looked a little shocked and I said, “oh my gosh, excuse me.”  BUT I KEPT WALKING FORWARD.  So I pretty much ran this lady over, apologized while doing it and KEPT GOING.

It’s like my brain stopped working entirely.  I lost all sense of decorum.  No, wait.  I didn’t lose all sense of decorum.  I knew enough to apologize for what I was doing.  I just didn’t know enough to stop doing it.  She made a comment where she apologized like it was her fault.  I got the sense though that she was saying it in the way where you say, “Oh, excuse me” to someone who is being rude and you want to point it out to them in a passive-aggressive way.  I can’t really fault her for that.  I didn’t really need it pointed it out to me, though.  I knew I was being rude.  I just couldn’t stop my body.

I’m so grateful no one else was in the bathroom once I finally got in there.  Since I promptly walked into a stall, closed the door and said out loud, “What the fuck was that?” and then started laughing hysterically at my own stupidity.

You have to be so much better than you ever thought you could be

7 Jun

Stupid Stork wrote a post about infertiles in film and reminded me of a movie I had blocked out of my memory: Away We Go starring Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski.  I watched this movie right after I lost the baby.  I think.  I don’t really remember.  I know I watched it but I can’t remember when.  All I know is that when I watched a scene she posted on her blog, I had this feeling.  It was a feeling like “once upon a time this broke my heart into a million pieces and made me feel like dying.”  This feeling usually happens when I remember things that happened either while I was pregnant or after we lost him.  That’s not really the point of the story, though.

The point is that the part of the movie she posted on her blog was my favorite then and it’s my favorite now.  It’s when they visit their friends in Montreal who have a bunch of adopted kids and this seemingly awesome life.  Before they even walk into their house, they are awed by it. They have this gorgeous house, they are grown-ups (compared to how Maya and John’s characters feel about their lives) and obviously have it together.  They walk into the house and are greeted with a Sound of Music sing-a-long and the happy chaos of a big happy family.  They then go out for an awesome night on the town that makes it seem like this couple has everything they could ever want to be happy.  After a lot of drinking, they go out to grab a bite to eat and the guy (played by Chris Messina, who I also love) says this about parenting:

It’s all those good things you have in you. The love, the wisdom, the generosity, the selflessness, the patience. The patience! At 3 A.M. when everyone’s awake because Ibrahim is sick and he can’t find the bathroom and he’s just puked all over Katia’s bed. Patience when you blink, when you blink,  and it’s 5:30 and it’s time to get up again and you know you’re going to be tired all day, all week, all your fucking life. And you’re thinking what happened to Greece? What happened to swimming naked off the coast of Greece? And you have to be willing to make the family out of whatever you have.

Then his wife (played by Melanie Lynskey, who I also love so I think I just love everyone in this movie) says the title of this post.

You have to be so much better than you ever thought you could be.

She’s talking about parenting but she’s talking about so much more.  Later on, it is revealed that she has just recently had her fifth miscarriage.  That seemingly perfect life is not so perfect after all and they don’t have everything they’ve ever wanted.  Maybe I’m reading way too much into this but I feel like when she says that, she’s not just talking about being a parent this huge family she has created through adoption.  I feel like she is also talking about being a parent to those five babies that she lost.

Later on, her husband says:

I know she loves all those kids like, like they were her own blood. But, I wonder if we’ve been selfish. People like us we wait till our thirties and then we’re surprised when the babies aren’t so easy to make anymore and then every day another million fourteen-year-olds get pregnant without trying. It’s a terrible feeling, this helpless, man. You just watch these babies grow and then fade. You don’t know if you’re supposed to name them, or bury them, or… I’m sorry.

You have to be so much better than you ever thought you could be to watch those babies grow and fade.  You have to be so much better than you ever thought you could be to name those babies and bury them and to not want to shake those fourteen-year-olds and to not beat yourself up for waiting until what you thought would be the right time.  Most of all, you have to be so much stronger than  you ever imagined to try again.  I always get upset when people call me strong.  I tell people I’m not strong and that I’m just moving forward because it’s the only thing I can do.  But I’m wrong.  I am strong.  We all are.  Despite the loss, we move forward.  Even if you’ve never been pregnant, every failed cycle is a loss. My friend calls them misconceptions.  She’s right.  A loss is called a miscarriage but there isn’t a word to describe the loss of that hope of a baby month after month and year after year.  There should be a word for that.

Despite the failed cycles, the miscarriages, the stillbirths, we move forward.  We conceive again.  We adopt.  We choose to live a life without children.  We try to make our families out of whatever we have, whether it’s our biology or adoption or just making a family out of the two of you. We feel like we don’t have a choice so it doesn’t mean anything.   That’s wrong.  First of all, we do have a choice.  We could crumble, fall apart and never get out of bed again.  We don’t.  (And when we do, we realize we can’t do it forever.) Second of all, moving forward requires every bit of strength we have.  We open ourselves up to a world of loss again and again in the hopes of building a better life for ourselves, no matter which way we decide to resolve our infertility.

I have been beating myself up lately about taking so long with the adoption process.  I feel like we have dragged our feet every step of the way.  We have taken our sweet time with everything and I feel like people are judging us because we should be on the books already.  I feel like if I really wanted a baby badly enough, I’d be done already.  A couple that was in a class with us already has a baby!  I feel like I have failed already.

But it is HARD, people.  It is so hard.  Once we are on the books, we are opening ourselves up again.  There is the possibility of more loss out there.  Yes, if we stick with the wait, we will have a baby at the end.  In between now and then, we could still lose, though.  We could be scammed.  We could have a birth mother choose us and change her mind.  She can change her mind before the birth, after the birth, or after we take the baby home.  We can have a birth father decide to parent.  There is so much that can happen between now and our happy ending.  It’s really freaking hard and it’s really freaking scary.

So, I am being strong.  I am putting myself out there and it might hurt.  Our profile is nearly done.  Soon,we will officially be a waiting family and that is going to require me to be so much better than I ever thought I could be.  I’m going to have to stop being so hard on myself because there’s already enough stress involved in moving forward and I’m going to need my strength.

PS I don’t know why but I can’t put the video in here so here’s a link. 

Things that are driving me up a wall

29 May
  • The guy that wanted to talk about how I should let my dog come up to greet his dog… while my dog was jumping up and down and pulling on his leash and squeezing my hand off my arm because I had the leash wrapped around my hand.  Oh yeah.  This is a great time to discuss this.  Sure, I’ll let my dog greet your dog and when my dog gets excitable and jumps on your dog or nips him, whose idea will it be then?  Why don’t you let me walk around you like I tried to do to begin with?  I know my dog and I know when he is riled up  and obviously it’s a bad idea right now.  Especially since a toddler just riled the dog up by running towards him and the dog got so happy that he practically peed himself with joy.  Except that the toddler’s father had some sense and told the toddler it’s not a good idea to run up to a dog like that. 


  • Little Miss I’m 20 weeks pregnant by accident and I’m going to post pictures with obnoxious hashtags and who is just now starting to use a hair tie on her jeans.  You make me want to puke.  Two  weeks ago when you posted a bikini pic of how you still have your upper abs? That made me want to puke, too.  You’re pregnant. Please stop caring so much about ab maintenance and please stop posting pictures of yourself every 12 seconds. Trust me, we cannot forget you’re pregnant.  Every status update is about it.  


  • The person who posted inflammatory comments on a Facebook adoption site just to get a rise out of the people on the site.  You are obviously just there to cause trouble and upset people.  However, if you’re not there to cause trouble and you were serious about your comments, I’m so sorry that something happened to make you so bitter.  However, you’re not going to change anyone’s mind with rude comments, especially when they are illogical and incoherent. 


  • People who like all sort of random crap on Facebook and clutter up my News Feed.  Sure, sometimes you like something funny or sweet and I enjoy seeing.  However, you’re going to get hidden really quickly if you like 100 pictures of horses and saints and fill my feed with that kind of crap.


  • As you can tell, I’m in a bad mood today.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better and I will feel less like punching people in the face.

What I am…

21 May

1. I am watching: Strip Search

My husband reads this website and goes to this convention every year.  When he came home from the convention, he turned on an episode of this show.  It’s basically a reality tv show that airs on YouTube where they are looking for someone to draw an online comic strip. It is so random because I would have never watched this show on my own, but he just started playing a bunch of episodes and I became invested in these people and can’t wait to see who wins!

2. I am reading: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

This book got rave reviews from multiple people whose opinions I respect. It’s a YA book about teens in high school but it doesn’t really read like one.  At least the very beginning doesn’t which is as far as I’ve gotten so far.  From the beginning though, I was hooked by the writing and the characters.  Even though I just began the book and they literally had like one bus ride together, I’m dying to find out how Eleanor and Park’s relationship progresses.

3. I am pinning: Adoption announcements.

Because why not plan ahead?  Even though the profile isn’t done yet (but we’re close), while I wait for it to be completed, I look ahead to the future.  That’s where the fun stuff is!

4. I am listening to: The National

Their new album comes out tomorrow.

5. I am eating: Cinammon sugar pretzels

We bought one of those Auntie Anne’s at home kits and my husband made them tonight.  They were incredible!  He did such a great job.  Although it would be much easier just to buy them. 🙂

6. Different blogs I am loving: 

The Unslut Project

This is amazing.  This woman is blogging her old diary entries from when she was in middle school.  Reading them is almost painful because some of the entries could have come out of my own diary.  It’s crazy how dramatic everything was when we were young.  Emotions were high and every situation seemed like it could change your life.