Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

Oops. . . I Posed Nude While Pregnant Again

Jessica Simpson

Image via Wikipedia

Let’s face it–the media is both obsessed and saturated with pregnant celebrities.  Celebrities don’t have large stomachs, they have “baby bumps”.  They don’t name their children something reasonable such as Emily or Joshua, they name them Kiwi, Apple, Banana, or Moxie Crimefighter.  These actions I can deal with.  But why in the name of Penthouse and Hustler, do they have to drop their clothes?

Jessica Simpson is the latest pregnant celebrity to become a soft porn star bare all for a magazine spread.  Of course she is preceded by Britney Spears and the lady who started it all, Demi Moore.  Don’t get me wrong; I know beauty, or rather art, is in the eye of the beholder.  I know that pregnancy and maybe even a pregnant body is beautiful in its own way, but come on!  Did you check out these pictures

I know that some feel that pregnancy is glamourous but does it have to be sexualized for the whole world to see?  I’m sorry, but it looks like Jessica Simpson is having an orgasm in the first picture.  The placement and position of her fiance’s head tells the same story.  I suppose the second pic is supposed to tease us:  “Oh, I wonder what’s underneath her hands?  No, no, don’t tell me!  Her breasts and vagina?  Absolutely no freaking way!  Elle magazine, you amaze me!”

I know the media wants to shock us but I have to wonder what pictures like these mean for the infertiles of the world.  In essence, absolutely nothing, but it is hard to erase the image of the smug celebrity stroking her stomach in ecstasy as she announces her fertility to the world.   It’s not enough for me to know that she is pregnant.  I have to see her nude as well.  Did she think I didn’t believe her when her clothes were on or something?  I get it–you’re pregnant.  Shut up, cover up and get over yourself.  Save the nudes for, I don’t know, your husband??


Who Will I Be?

One day it’s going to happen.  It’s going to happen for me and it’s going to happen for you.  We will be mothers.

When I started this blog a few months ago, I had no idea what to expect.  Around that time I was in a very low valley, and sought help or any type of inspiring words that would prevent me from taking those last few steps to crazy.  Well, I stumbled on some great blogs that actually made me laugh at a time when nothing was funny.  I was so inspired I started my own blog and here I am.

Throughout these last couple of months, one question has lingered in the back of my mind (as I am sure has lingered in yours):  What happens to this blog when I finally get my miracle? 

I decided to write this post after reading Elphaba’s post a couple of days ago.  She is a new mother who went through her own painful journey before she got her daughter.  She stated that she felt she was in a place of limbo:  she no longer considered herself a person who was struggling with fertility issues, but didn’t feel quite comfortable joining the I’ve-always-been-a-smug-fertile mommy community.  

She is creating a new network called PAIL: Parenting/Pregnancy After Infertility and Loss and I think it is a great idea.  Many women do manage to finally get that BFP but feel guilty or odd to still be active in the ALI community.  Others are simply looking for a way to connect to mothers who can relate to the struggles they went through while they provide support to those who are still hurting and waiting.  That is what PAIL is for.  The best part is that you can be part of the PAIL network and still be active in the ALI network.   It’s simply a place to connect to others who may have triumphed over their losses and hardships. 

I think it’s hard to say for certain what kind of bloggers we’ll be after we become pregnant and have children.  We simply won’t know until we get there.  I ask myself: Would I hurt someone by announcing my pregnancy in this community?  How do I feel when someone else announces theirs?

I can’t answer that first question, but the second one is easy.  I’m actually pretty happy when I hear that one of my fellow bloggers gets a lucky break.  Yeah, it does remind me just a teensy bit of what I still lack, but I feel like we are a team.  I celebrate your victories and mourn your losses.  Though I desperately want to be in a position to join the PAIL community, I don’t think I could ever completely leave the ALI one nor could I join the hyper-fertile community of mothers who just had sex and got pregnant.  I simply cannot relate to the latter. 

Oh, but the day I do get to join PAIL. . .it’s going to be a great day!  The question is:  Who will I be? 



What I Was

 I am a statistic.  Tomorrow, my fertility officially decreases just a bit more.  I turn 36.

I have never felt “old” a day in my life, but would you believe that some doctors would consider me to be of “advanced maternal age?’   Quite the lovely moniker isn’t it?  Kinda makes you think of your grandma.

I can’t help but think back to the girl I was 15 years ago.  I didn’t know it at the time, but those were my carefree, glory days.  My main concern was having enough money to buy nice clothes and whether I should cut and highlight my long, dark hair.   I took myself seriously, but still could laugh at myself in the mirror.   Life, still brimming with opportunities and promises, was soon to be sweeter.  My sister-in-law Elle (name has been changed), who had been married to my brother for just under two years, announced her pregnancy.  I was going to be an aunt for the first time! 

I’ll never forget the day, Elle made the big announcement in the family kitchen.  Most of us already knew, but to my other sister-in-law, who I will call “Cee”, it was the first time she heard the news.  Needless to say, she burst into sobs.    She cried that she had wanted to be the first in the family to have a baby–to be the first to bring a grandchild into the family.  I can still remember standing in the corner thinking that, sure, it would have been nice for Cee to have the first baby (she had been married much longer after all, but it was obviously Elle’s turn, so we should focus on her).

But to Cee, it wasn’t about having the first baby:  it was about having a baby, period.  Cee and my brother had been trying to conceive for about two years out of their seven-year marriage.  I vaguely knew of their struggles and knew what certain medical terms meant, but couldn’t fully appreciate what it meant to be infertile.  I only saw the situation in terms of my own experiences which were very limited.  As the months passed, Cee almost reached the point of hostility towards Elle, accusing her of getting pregnant just to torment her.   She said some pretty cruel things to Elle and that upset me because I hated conflict. 

At the time, I did not have the maturity or personal framework to support Cee.  Like most people, I only was concerned about what I wanted out of my own life–to finish college, marry, form friendships, etc.  I honestly wanted Cee to have a baby, but she and I never had a conversation about it.  I stayed away from her.  Her constant breakdowns made me uncomfortable.  I did the unthinkable–I judged her at one of the lowest points in her life. 

It never occured to me that Cee probably felt a large lump in her throat every time she saw a pregnant woman.  It never occured to me that Cee’s behavior was a reaction to the helplessness she felt inside. It never even crossed my mind that she spent many restless nights laying in bed wondering “Why me?”  I hadn’t realized that her life revolved around a calendar, a thermometer and darkness.   When she held my newborn nephew in her arms at the hospital, with tears streaming down her face, it never occured to me that she was experiencing the rawest form of grief anyone could ever imagine.  

Fast-forward to the present, I understand the place Cee was because I am now living it.  Yep, life’s funny like that.  I couldn’t support Cee through her ordeal because I was too busy being me.   Now I can write a book about it. 

This makes me realize that people are only, well, people.  In the fertility world, they say and do the most asinine, imbeclic, thoughtless things to those who struggle, but only because they have never walked in your shoes.   I hope this realization leads me to a path of forgiveness to those who have made my struggle harder.  It’s a start at least.

One month after Cee held my nephew in her arms, she became pregnant with her own baby.  She gave birth to her son that November and now has a daughter with her second husband.  I don’t see her very often, but I wish I could tell her that I understand now, that I’m sorry.  Ask for forgiveness for my thoughtless actions.  Maybe somebody–someday.

What I would like fertiles (and the world at large) to know. . . part 2

After a few weeks of sickness, failed fertility treatments, “vacation” (don’t ask and I won’t tell) and utter exhaustion, I’m back.  Just when I thought I had told the world what I wanted them to know about infertility—-well, let’s just say I never cease to be amazed or inspired.  Here we go:

1.  Staring at my stomach won’t make a baby magically appear inside of it. (believe me, I’ve tried)

I want me to be pregnant. You want me to be pregnant.   I know this because you stare at my mid-section, because gosh darn it, it sure looks rounder than it did since last time you saw me (thanks for pointing this out; it’s what every woman wants to hear, ya moron!)  So logically, I must be witholding the fact that I have got a bun tucked away neatly inside because that’s the only reason a woman gains weight, right?  Newsflash!!  My “bump” is actually fat caused by consuming large amounts of sugar and not exercising because I spend too much time on the internet trying to find a cause for my infertility. . . And for looking cool comebacks to your insensitive infertility remarks!  Back off!  I have an excuse for my big ole tummy, what’s your excuse for yours?

Related to this. . .

2.  No, I am not “pregnant yet.”

Nor, do I have any special news for you.  We spoke one week ago.  Can I share some ground-breaking medical knowledge with you?  If I didn’t tell you I was pregnant a week ago, I probably won’t know if I am pregnant now.  Here in the real world, I have to wait to have sex a week or more after my period begins, wait another several days for any signs of implantation, and  allow another two weeks for a pregnancy to show up on a urine test (by the way, it never does). When you ask me if I have any news yet, you make me feel like a child who has failed to turn in his homework on time. 

I hope this makes you realize. . .

3. My conception abilities are nothing like yours.

I’m going to be honest:  your ability to conceive a baby with relative ease blows my mind.  Since you have reminded me that it took you a whopping three months to get pregnant, I’m going to assume conception is a no-brainer for you.   Sure, you possibly had to plan a romantic evening with candles and flowers.  Maybe you even had to convince hubby to take a night off from work. Well, it doesn’t work that way for me.  I am not wined.  I am not dined.  I am not relaxed.  I am planned.  I am pokedprodded, and examined (no, not by my husband).  I am scheduled.  I am medicated, diagnosed, and perfomed on.     Yep, I’m taking the road less traveled and let me tell you, it sucks. So next time you complain about your busy life, please, just once, go play in traffic.

I hate to even have to go there but. . .

4.  My sex life is nothing like yours.

I only bring this up because you have made it clear in obvious, passive-agressive ways that a good sex life leads to conception.    I guess you should know.  You have three kids.  Here’s a good guess as to what goes on in your little head during lovemaking:

‘Oh….that’s nice.  (Moan) Yes!   Oooh… yes. (stretching in ecstasy)   Mmmmm…oooh (Moan).  I am one lucky fertile!”

Here’s what goes on in mine:

“Did I make him do this?  I hope not.  (slight sensational feeling).  He’s not really into this.  I can tell.  No, wait!  Maybe he is.  (subtle, yet exhilarating sigh) Uh-oh, is he even inside of me? (repositioning hips) I think maybe I ovulated yesterday instead of today.  Should I bring that up now (slight moan)? Maybe I should be on top (re-elevating legs) Wait-no!! Then it will all fall out  (lofty sigh)!  Oh crap–did I call the RE back?’

5.  No, I cannot accept the idea that it may not be “meant to be.”

It’s funny how the most ordinary of you can turn in to astute philosophers when it comes to fertility.  Of course it’s easy to spout such garbage when you already have children of your own.  Honestly, when you say “If it’s meant to be, it will be” I only hear “I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, so I will use a trite cliche to make myself seem wise.”  Don’t talk to me about what is meant to be.  If we are being honest with one another, do you and I even know each other beyond this single conversation? If certain things were truly not meant to be, you and I would have never met.  

6.  No, I cannot just get over it.

Believe me, if I could get over desperately wanting to be a mother, I wouldn’t be spending thousands of dollars at the fertility doctor nor would I spend hours upon hours gathering the information that might lead to making my dreams come true.  The need to be a mother is so great and so consuming I have no words to describe it.  It drives every decision I make and affects every relationship I have, whether I intend it to or not.  Your suggestion that I placate myself with material goods and vacations is just plain insulting.

7.  You say infertility teaches me about character.  Oh really?

The only thing that infertility has taught me about character is that character is irrevelant.  A woman may make all the right choices, love everyone she meets, and give endlessly to others and still be painfully childless.  On the flip slide, a woman can abuse her body with drugs, treat others like trash, and care less about having a baby and still be “blessed” with multiple children.  I can honestly say being infertile has only taught me how unfair the world truly is.  If all I’m lacking is character, I can think of a million less heartbreaking ways to discover it than through infertilty. 

8.  Thank you, but I already know how old I am.

I realize that once upon a time it was the norm to establish your own family before the age of 21.  Heck, maybe it’s still done.  I don’t know.  But that’s not the underlying issue here and we both know it.  Numbers are important to you; I get that (well, not really) but do you realize that the tone of voice you use to call my husband and I “too old” to have children is the same one you use to scold your dogs when they have soiled the floor?  Maybe you think you’re being funny or merely expressing your opinion but you are certainly “old enough” to know better.  My RE did not roll his eyes in disgust when I told him I was 35 so maybe you shouldn’t either.

  9.  I can’t “not try” to get pregnant.

Despite my hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours reading about infertility and medical treatments, I am no expert.  I have no medical degree.  Yet, I am fairly certain that “not trying” will result in “no baby.”  By the way, this contradicts your earlier advice, “You have to have sex to get pregnant.”  Trust me, I have “tried” just about everything, including disregarding your medical expertise.  Please stick to your day job and leave me alone. 

and finally

10.  I hurt more than you can ever imagine.

On a good day, when you ask me why I don’t have kids, you will likely get blank stare from me (let’s face it, thinking on my feet has never been my strong suit).  On an even better day, I am able to put on a stoic face, maybe make some lame joke, and act like it is no big deal.   A bad day?  Well, I hope you never see one of those, but I bet you already have.  Underneath the indifferent expression, behind my laughing eyes,  there is a lump in my throat that never goes away.  I can’t tell you the number of times when I have stared off into space for a few minutes to just think about ordinary things (taking my medicine, paying my bills, wondering what’s for dinner) when I discovered tears on my face or welling in my eyes.  I feel robbed; I feel grieved–even though I have never carried a baby in my body. 

So, I guess this is what I could say to the world, if I had the chance.  I think it reflects my experiences quite well and I suspect it does the same for others out there as well.  If I had any “advice” for others, I’d tell them to just allow themselves to experience the spectrum of their emotions without fear or guilt.  Maybe, just maybe, if I express my bitterness to the nth degree, I can allow whatever healing that exists to come into my life.