Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Curse

The Curse is what my grandmother called her period. This always cracked me up. She died when I was fifteen so I never got the chance to ask her so many things...and now that I've had a kid, I have SO many questions for her! What was it like having a baby in the 40s? Were my aunt and mother planned? Did they want a boy? Did she use birth control at any point? Does she think it's totally bizarre that her independent, business-running, home owning granddaughter has a child by an anonymous sperm donor?

Does she think it's bizarre that her nearly 41-year-old granddaughter can't wait to get The Curse back after a two year hiatus, so that she can maybe try for her last baby? That said granddaughter may actually need to take drugs to induce said Curse so she can try for another baby by said anonymous sperm donor? What does she think of all this, she that was born in 1910 and used to send Reagan hate mail?

What a world we live in, huh, when women actually want to get pregnant and don't want to get married? It must look like bizarro world to someone of my grandmother's generation, my mother's generation...hell, even my generation!

Yesterday in the supermarket I noticed they had those cute stick figure stickers for the back window of your car to describe your family - dad, mom, kids, pets. I always wondered where people bought those, and now I know. And I was tempted to buy a mommy stick figure and a little boy stick figure and broadcast to the world yes, we're a single parent family and I'm effing proud of it.

But then I paused. What if doing that exposes me to attention I don't want - men thinking I'm looking to be hit on and picked up (soooo not). Or even worse -broadcasting to the world "here's a woman alone, no man protecting her, she's vulnerable, she's a target." The fact that I even have to think about things like this pisses me off. It still creeps me out that all of my neighbors - and the parades of teenage boys, homeless people looking through garbage cans, and other random unsavories that peruse my street all day - know that I am a woman living alone in this house. They don't know I'm living alone with a .38 Rossi - this gives me some comfort in case anyone gets any bright ideas. But it makes me sad I can't even put a cute family sticker on my car for fear of men's sick impulses. Sheesh.

So in other news right now I am wondering if I'll get a weak little period or nothing at all, when/if to seek out the Provera, and if any "ovulation" that happens after this chemically-induced period would even be worth doing an IUI for. It's a tough call...but one I'm going to have to make in about ten days. Needless to say I've been feeling very foggy and preoccupied the last few days, just thinking about all this.

Didn't breastfeed B at all today - somehow got away with not doing a morning feed and survived despite getting home at 2 am and getting up at 6. Boobs getting a little angry but not too bad considering it's been 36 hours since he last fed. I will probably just pump them out again. I feel like if I keep feeding him it's only going to drag this whole process out longer - at least from his emotional standpoint.

Today I felt bad that we no longer have that cuddle time - and admittedly I've been holding him a bit at arm's length since every time I go to hug or cuddle him he tries to nurse and I don't want to tease him. So when he was in the high chair I started a game of leaning in so we could touch foreheads, and he loved it. I know it probably sounds kind of stupid, but I try up do these little games with him from time to time, because I know the thing kids want most is a connection with you - they want you to look them in the eye, touch them, pay attention to them. I read a really interesting blog on Pinterest where they polled little kids asking them what they wanted most from their parents, and the winners were private time without the other siblings and being told stories of what it was like when their parents were their age. Isn't that so true? I couldn't get enough of hearing about my mother's childhood. B of course is too little to understand, but at this age the touching of hands and head and connecting via eye contact and sharing a laugh or a smile I think is SO important (yes, even at 6 am when I'm groggy and just want to go back to sleep).

I mentioned in a previous post that I feel like having B broke some sort of curse I felt hung over me, that nothing good ever happened to me, that I "always get the bad things." Of course this was all just in my head, but I've said it before and I'll say it again - when you're a woman just shy of 40, and you've spent your life wanting nothing more than to be in a loving relationship and have children, and everyone around you gets this and you don't, and all of your friends are going on ten years of marriage and their second or third kid and you can't even get a guy to ask you for a second date - this, my friends, is traumatizing. It changes your brain chemistry and changes who you are. It makes you jealous, small, and petty. It shrinks your heart until there's no room in it for anyone or anything. I was listening to a podcast today where Hank Azaria described the process of having kids as a selfish, self-centered actor, and how much it changed him, and it almost made me cry it was so beautiful. I don't know what these leaky, squishy little creatures do to us, but it's the closest thing to magic I know of. My mother, of all people, asked me in an email recently how the first year had gone for me and what I thought of it all. I was guarded with her of course and just said it hadn't been as hard as I expected. I really expected parenting to be 10% joy and 90% pain in the ass. I've found it to be the opposite - more joy and fun than I ever imagined, with a just a sprinkling of fatigue, fear, and annoyance to keep it real.

So now that B is here, and we both survived pregnancy and labor, and he thrived, and my boobs didn't fall off, and he didn't crack his head open falling off the bed, and I didn't drop him on the concrete, and nobody got the flesh eating disease, and I didn't throw him out the window when he cried too much, I think I can no longer say "I only get the bad things." It's a real paradigm shift for me. It makes me expect good, something I haven't done since I was about six years old.

Going forward I have no reason to expect anything but good things for us and any new people that might want to join the party around here. I mean, why not? The Curse is broken!


  1. This is a really lovely post! And very reassuring to read, as I too sometimes imagine motherhood as 90% tough going. I used to have extreme jealousy of friends who got engaged or married or announced that they were pregnant. It hurt that they were moving ahead in life while I was still in the same spot. Once I decided to become an SMC, those feelings more or less went away. I still envied women in situations where they were able to easily get pregnant, but I didn't care about the weddings anymore. I suddenly became the master of my future (instead of waiting for the universe to provide the right guy and the right timing, with everything according to society's plan), and I think it's easier to control the ratio of good to bad when that's the case. I'm hoping for much more good in your future!

  2. "It changes your brain chemistry and changes who you are. It makes you jealous, small, and petty. It shrinks your heart until there's no room in it for anyone or anything."


    While my journey to get Finn - once I started IUIs - wasn't that long, I really feel like I can relate to married women who tried for years to get pregnant, just because of how long I tried to meet someone so I could do this the old fashioned way. Those women might not think they are at all similar, but I do.

  3. I really loved reading this. It's amazing how having a child will change you in ways you never knew, isn't it? I think I can relate to how you are feeling in some ways about needing to be careful. Although I don't have a child yet, I feel like this journey is something that I want to let men I meet know about after I get to know them a bit. But, I also wonder if that will open me up to the wrong kind of person. Like someone who wants to take advantage of me, who maybe wants to be a "donor," or worse, who would think that I would try to get him involved in a way he may not want to be. So, I tread carefully. As a parent, I would be even more careful. You're right; our grandmothers certainly never had to think of these things!

  4. "I really expected parenting to be 10% joy and 90% pain in the ass. I've found it to be the opposite - more joy and fun than I ever imagined, with a just a sprinkling of fatigue, fear, and annoyance to keep it real." Oh so well said!! Love it!

  5. This is a wonderful post!! I really love how positive you are about so many things. I have trouble being positive sometimes, so it's striking to see the difference. And you're so, so, so spot-on! The jealousy of weddings, kids, etc, and feeling like nothing good ever happens to you. Yup! Same here! And same here, too, that becoming an SMC has changed all that. I feel so *lucky* to have Jordyn, and I shudder to think that I wouldn't have her if I *had* met the man of my dreams.

    When I had made the decision to become an SMC but hadn't quite yet started trying, I went to a one-year-old's birthday party. It was exactly the kind of thing that would have typically depressed me in the past - every single person there was married and most of them had kids. And then there was me. In the past I would have felt totally out of place, been depressed, and quite frankly, may well have found an excuse not to go. But - because I'd made the decision to become an SMC, even though I wasn't one yet - I felt completely different. It was that whole "master of my own destiny" thing. So I totally get what you're describing here, and you're so right!

    The next to last paragraph made me LOL, btw. :)