Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our Parents' Essence of Us

As many of you know, I had felt dismayed over the way that my parents and my parents-in-law have treated me particularly in the last year when I was at my lowest with our infertility struggles.

I just felt like they didn't do enough. I'm still upset with my mother who seemed to have blamed me for one of our miscarriages (though working on getting over it & forgiving) and for overall just not saying the right things. And I still don't understand how my in-laws stayed silent throughout it all.

Here I was in the depths of sorrow, mildly depressed, no energy, jealous, sad, angry... and I just couldn't get the support from the people who are family.

What a disappointment.

And I'm beginning to become aware of this phenomenon that our parents like the essence of us but may not really know us.

They think they know us, but it's become apparent that they just don't. Both my husband and I feel this way. They hardly know what we do for work (which we both feel passionately about). And in general, they don't really ask probing questions about things that really matter to us, things we're into, what we care about...

I can't help but think that our parents love us, but if they are not in our day to day lives, they can easily get stuck in remembering us for who we were, back when we did live with them...

I've felt disappointed that they seem to place so much importance on family, but then don't seem to want to really know who we are, at our core. The relationships with them just don't seem as authentic anymore. I've felt this way for a long time.

About 5-10 years ago, I began traveling moreso than I had done before, venturing outside of my only-having-gone-to-Europe zone... to Thailand, Tanzania, Costa Rica... I'd plan my trips a year ahead of time, saving money each month looking forward to this, but my parents seemed only mildly interested. You see, they hadn't moved forward with who I was becoming.

And with my in-laws, I had had a big coming-to conversation over Thanksgiving this year, writing them an email ahead of time letting them know how I was feeling and that I wanted to talk about our struggles, that it hurt when no one ever asked.

And, after all that, my mother-in-law calls me yesterday. I haven't gotten a phone call from her in months, maybe even close to a year. And you know why she called? To find out the color of the tie that my husband wore on our wedding day. They are re-painting their bathroom and want to paint it that color.

"And you're doing well?" she asked, hurriedly from the store. "Yes, I'm fine, " I replied, knowing that she didn't really want to know.

And for once, I wanted to say yes, I am fine! Better than fine - I'm GREAT! And did you know I'm going to India this Friday??? She still doesn't know that. She doesn't really want to know...

It's just the essence of us that they want, it seems.

Friday, January 28, 2011

How We Need Our Moms

I had an a-ha moment this past week. A friend was over whose sister lost her husband a year ago. It's sad & tragic. They'd been together since college, had recently married and 6 months later died suddenly.

One of the hardest things about my friend's sister is dealing with her mom - who is a sweet woman but who just doesn't seem to know how to be there for her daughter.  And, in turn, it hurts their mother to know that she has to tip-toe around her daughter...

I couldn't help but relate it to me. And what me & my mom had gone through this past year. She just couldn't be there for me the way I had needed her to be. It hurt that during a time of the worst sorrow I've experienced, I felt like I didn't have my mom.

Everything she said (or didn't say) was wrong.

She said all the (empty-sounding) "comforting" words of don't worry, it will happen soon (oh, yeah, when?) and there are worse things that could happen (yeah, I know I'm not dying) and just relax (ok...) and you have so many blessings (yes, and it upsets me even more that I can't seem to focus on those instead!!!).

And what she didn't say - I'm sorry this is so hard for you/that you're going through this/that you're sad.

My friend's sister has a hard time calling her mom. And when they do talk, it lasts a minute or two. The words How are you? seem loaded to her.

I can relate. I can so relate.

That time my mom called to say are you mad at me, you haven't called in 2 weeks... Well, the reason I hadn't called was because it just took too much effort to talk to someone who wasn't there for me. It made me feel even more alone to not have her be able to comfort me.

And even though I couldn't see it then, I had to trust that it would pass. That my mom & I would be able to just be "us" again... somehow.

This weekend, I drove an hour to have lunch with my parents, not out of obligation, not because they asked, not because it had been too long, but because I wanted to.

Sure, it's still not great to think about how I needed her last year and she wasn't that person for me. But I feel like I'm past that now, living life again, and only now can I feel like we have our relationship (back) again. I say (back) because I know it's not exactly the same. It can't be. But it's close. Closer than we've recently been, at least. And it's only able to be because I'm not in the depths of my sorrow anymore.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Living Life!

Not much to report on the ttc-front except that I've been living life! And that, actually, is HUGE!

I have finally been approved to take my work trip to India. We opened an office there 8 months ago and I oversee HR for it, so am going for 2 weeks in 2 weeks! Huge! I'll also get to visit relatives there and have a stopver on the way home in Dubai to visit other relatives. I'm really excited about this travel. And for getting away to warmer weather during our winter :)

I am also discussing with B an overseas vacation this spring/summer. One of my goals was to get back to traveling, something I had loved doing but stopped doing these last few years because of the 'just in case' factor and then all the planning that goes into ttc. So, we're discussing Spain or Turkey/Greece. I am so excited!

And... I signed up for a 1/2 marathon in May! I did this one in 2009 but with all our treatments in the last couple of years, I didn't do it in 2010 (we actually were in treatment then with an IUI), but I am excited to get my life back on track and training again for this one in May! Which, of course, will mean hard work but I also have 3 more lbs to get down to goal weight and think/hope this will kick it into high gear.

We're also taking our nephews this afternoon to a really fun indoor pool & can't wait to spend time with those cuties!

So, there you have it - Living Life to its fullest & feeling good!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Can it be 2 full weeks into the new year and I'm still feeling peaceful? Have I achieved that state I've been longing for? Will it last?? I sure hope so!

It's taken a lot of work & reflection... and the book Sweet Grapes: How to Stop Being Infertile and Start Living Again has really helped. It's mostly about moving to a childfree state and while I'm not sure I'm there, I am sure that I want to be happy with what I do have and with our current situation, which does not include children.

Truthfully, I just don't want to put our lives on hold anymore. I want to live life without thinking 'well, what if we get pregnant'. That hasn't worked and doesn't bring me peace.

I never thought I could be a person who may not want to have children. In fact, I was ready to jump into foster care a year and a half ago! But, in getting to this peaceful state, it's meant embracing the fact that we don't have children. And reading this book on how to embrace life without children has got me thinking that that may actually be a good life!

And, I visited with my best friend yesterday, who has a 2 year old and a recent newborn and I had a BLAST as the auntie and helper. No jealousy, no sadness, no pining. How incredible is that? I never thought I'd get here.

Who knows where my state in mind will be in the near future but for now, I AM happy to say that I am embracing our lives the way it is. And that is the amazing peace that I've so been wishing for, moreso than a child.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Resolved in the New Year

I wish I could take all my zen-like feelings from our beach vacation into the new year. That's what I will strive to do.

I had some long and hard moments with myself and with B discussing how easy it can be once we're away from our daily lives to feel fine about our situation and to enjoy life for what it is, and not for what we don't have. It's a harder thing when we're around friends with children and back to our daily grind.

But...I am resolved. To trying. Trying to see the good in life. Trying to make the most of our situation. Trying really hard to enjoy being childless right now. Trying to take advantage of the things we wouldn't be able to do otherwise.

Yes, easier said than done. Especially since we've had another consult with our doc and talked about IVF and how I need to do more tests and bloodwork. Oh, how I don't want to go through all of these steps. We'll take it easy for now. Take small steps in some direction. But I refuse to stress over it all. We'll do what we can when we can.

And in the meantime, I need to fit travel back into my life. It revives me and it's something I haven't really done much of in the last couple of years. So, here's to fun planning ahead!