Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I don't want to jinx myself...

I got a BFP.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Bragging Rights

Okay, most moms I personally know with toddlers right now are hating me, but I do have bragging rights, especially since they think that their children should do everything before Owen does (because he has Down Syndrome, right?). They are stunned, stunned!, when I tell them that he is 22 months old and almost potty-trained. One of my friends, who likes to think that her child is exceptionally bright in every way, was almost offended when I told her, as if my child should never be ahead of her child (and he's six months older than my son!).

But, since my job as a parent is to educate people, they should be aware that Down Syndrome children can be just as bright as the next child. Maybe they are in a body that doesn't work as well as a typical child, and maybe my son does have to wear glasses because he has poor vision, but it doesn't mean that he isn't just as bright as the next kid. There are things that he is doing that amaze me every day. Okay, sometimes I'm just like other people and I don't expect that my son is going to do something when he is supposed to, so maybe I jump the gun a little bit and try things earlier. But it happened to work with the potty, and maybe my son can't quite walk yet, but he sure knows how to give me the potty sign (yes, he also knows 25 words in sign language) and he holds it until he is sitting on the toilet. I just have to laugh when people get a little upset with me because Owen is doing better than their son...although I better stop, because one day he might not have any friends if I keep pissing their moms off.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A little bit of hope

Every month, I get to this point, when I am about one week away from getting my period, and I always experience that little flutter of hope. Well, it's been nine months of the wrong kind of flutter. I should be experiencing baby flutters, and instead I just gulp down great big mouthfuls of hope and my attitude is great for about the next five days, until I realize it's going to be just another month. Then the tears come, because everything gets to me. And after the great big sobfest, there it is. That little speck of hope starts growing again, because I know it's a fresh start and we can try again.

I wish that there was a different way to know, that you didn't have to wait two weeks. I mean, really, why wait two weeks? What was the point of that? Why couldn't you just know whether it took or it didn't as soon as you were done ovulating? Like a mole that gets darker, or your belly button has a red dot that appears? Something tangible, yet hidden.

They say women are stronger than men, and I think it's things like these that make us so. Every month, we have to live through the psychology of it, whether we are trying to get pregnant or not. Men couldn't handle that, and some days I am beginning to wonder if I can either. I wonder if I will have to live through the rest of my 30s and into my 40s constantly watching, waiting, and hoping.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my 38th birthday, and all I want to do is cry. I took my son to his Mommy and Me class today, and I watched as all the other kids zoomed around, intent on new things every second as if they were in warp speed, and Owen just wanted to sit there. I know that he is doing everything they are, he's just not a super energetic kid. But it makes me feel as if people look at me like "that poor mom, her kid just sits there." Today, I think he was tired, and a little overwhelmed because there were several dads who came to the class, and he has a hard time with men (this goes back to a bad experience with four male doctors squeezing his testicle before he had surgery for an undescended testicle...of course he's traumatized!). So, he just sat there, looking at the men and wanting to sit in my lap. Sometimes I feel like I should throw him in the middle of all the kids and walk away, let him fend for himself. But I know he's just sensitive, and the worst part of it all is that I just want him to do what the other kids are doing. But he's not like everyone else, and I suppose in a way I should be grateful, because who wants a kid just like everybody else's?

Then, to my horror, not only did the very pregnant mom show up with her 20 month old (yes, they will only be 22 months apart, and oh the disappointment when she found out she was having another girl!), but another one of the moms is positively glowing because she's pregnant again. She told everyone when she was seven weeks pregnant, and, of course, she's allowed to think it will come to full term, because her first one did. And, dejectedly, I think that it will probably will be fine, just like everybody else's baby seems to be.

What is it about birthdays and babies that make me want to cry? Why do I wish I could just be happy that I have a good life, a good husband and an awesome kid? Why do I just feel like my birthday marks yet another year that I am not going to be pregnant? I know there are some people, friends included, who started trying for kids at 38, got pregnant and now are thinking about their second one. I just wonder what went wrong between number one and number two for me. How did I go from being super fertile to not being fertile at all? I got pregnant twice, the first month we tried, and then wham, it all went away. Could it be mental? Could I be so absolutely, undeniably, hysterically afraid to get pregnant again that my body has been put into a semi-coma? Wake me up when it's over....

Friday, May 20, 2005

Stop the jealous thoughts

I just heard that another friend of mine is pregnant, after going through two rounds of IVF. I am happy for her, but there is a part of me that just wants to cry because I want to be pregnant again. After my miscarriage, she said to me, but at least you're getting pregnant, I'm not. Now, if we were keeping score, she has a beautiful, typical child who is five years old. I have a Down Syndrome child. In the books, I am the one who deserves to have another child because my first child is broken. So I don't understand why it's been nine months and nothing is happening. I know she really wants this pregnancy to succeed, and I hope it does, but I just wish I could not be so jealous of other people. I wish I could just be happy with my life and where I am at. But then I think about the whole IVF thing and I can't help but think it's cheating. I mean, women who couldn't get pregnant are getting pregnant, and I am being the dutiful person and trying it the old-fashioned way. For what? So I can say that I didn't go to any extreme lengths to get pregnant? Why am I trying to be so ethical?

I suppose it all washes out in the end. I really am happy for her, and I hope she carries the baby to term, because too many babies haven't made it and I gotta believe they are all up there somewhere just waiting to fly in on a cloud and make a home in someone's belly.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Is it the water?

I just don't understand what is happening. In a previous blog, I mentioned a friend of mine who was pregnant again following two miscarriages, and that she was happily living her life. I was really happy for her, I mean, I've only had one miscarriage, so I thought she had paid her dues (I'm not sure what we are all paying dues for, but someone, somewhere is keeping a log, because this can't just be a fluke that so many people are having trouble). My husband told me last night that they found out she had another miscarriage, her third.

I feel so bad every time I hear about another person having a miscarriage, or some sort of problem. Even though I get jealous that they are pregnant, I don't wish them harm. But, somehow, it seems as if every pregnant woman lately that I felt a tiny bit of jealousy for because they were pregnant again (there were about 10 of us all pregnant with our first about the same time), they have all had either a miscarriage or an early birth with problems. I guess this is my alarm to any pregnant women reading this: stop. Go away. Stop reading about my blog, and finish your pregnancy like a good girl somewhere else. Somewhere happy, where the flowers bloom and everyone wears Ralph Lauren.

So again I ask the great gods of nature, what is it in our environment? What is it that is polluting our systems so that we are unable to achieve pregnancy? All these people I know have had an uneventful first pregnancy, and then the trouble started. I had an uneventful pregnancy, well, with a glitch (that damn 21st chromosome!), when I was considered low risk. Then I had a miscarriage, and now I wait for my body to do something besides keep normal working hours. I suppose it's that damn plan again...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Life in Fast Forward

I decided to go part-time at my job, which is a big deal for me, and it is now week two of this new phase of my life. I am working on a book about my experience with my son, and as much as I really want to write this book, sometimes it just seems so much more fun to read other people's blogs or google some inane item that I could really care less about but at the moment it seems like I really needed to know.

And life races on.

Two weeks have gone by so fast, like when you go on vacation and it seems like it's over before it has even begun. The nice thing about this whole part-time gig is that I don't feel so guilty about leaving my son every day and spending an hour in traffic just to get to an office where some of the people I work with are more childish than my two-year-old. Did I mention that those are the men? I guess I really didn't have to.

It scares me a little (no, a lot) how fast life goes. I think back to when I was pregnant with my son and it seemed like I blinked and suddenly we had a baby. But during those nine months, it's as if someone stopped every clock in my house and taught the minute hand to slow to a crawl. Now, though, it saddens me that time has flown. I was 35 when I got pregnant, I am turning 38 next week, and suddenly I feel old. I feel as if I have no business trying to have another child, as if I was given a window of time and it is closing up. Whenever I see a pregnant woman, I am always covertly staring at her, trying to see how old she is, trying to guess if she has beaten time. The young mothers don't bother me so much, it's the older women, the ones who probably struggled with getting pregnant. I can see the victory in their faces, in their bellies. I can see that they won. And I envy that. I envy them their glorious, victorious bodies that are so carefully nurturing a child.

Perhaps, as everyone says, there is a plan. I just keep feeling lately that I have somehow karmically pissed someone off and they rewrote my plan.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Rethinking the Baby thing

I left my doctor's office the other day with a bunch of paperwork for this test and that one, to be completed on certain days of the week or the cycle, with my husband's very own cup for his test. On the way home, I started thinking about why I was doing this. I mean, it's not like I'm going to go to any great lengths to get pregnant, so why all the testing (not to mention we have to pay out of pocket for anything related to infertility or the tests associated with it)? I never thought I'd be here. I mean, really, I never thought I would be paying a lab to tell me all about our bodily secretions and the rise and fall of my hormone levels. I just thought we would be able to have another child at 37, er, I mean, 38 years old. Everyone else is doing it, why can't we?

I suppose, control freak that I am, I would just like to know if we can get pregnant again. I have a friend who has a 2-year-old, then had two miscarriages back to back, beginning last summer, and just recently got pregnant again when she "just relaxed and let it happen." She's now 12 weeks pregnant and tra-la-la'ing her way through her life. I've been trying to just relax for nine months now, and nothing has happened, nothing.

But when I got home, I didn't really want to pursue it. I just thought maybe we should forget about it for a while. I mean, who wants to be pregnant in the summer, when the beer is cold and the nights are warm?

I've been watching my son, Owen, who turns two next month, turn into this incredible little human being. And I wonder if I want to wind myself up trying to pursue something that would take time away from him? I see so many people struggle and worry and wait, and it takes a toll on their family. Why can I not be satisfied with the way things are right now? One child is easy. Now, it's fun. He's at that perfect age where he's learning things so quickly, and of course, he just started walking, which for me was a huge milestone. I waited 10 months longer than most parents do for my son to walk. But he's there now, and mixing in quite well with the other kids his age. Sometimes, I almost even forget, for a second or two, that he has Down Syndrome. So why would I want to blow it right now? Maybe there is something to this relaxing. Having said that, I'm going upstairs to relax with a glass of wine and some absolutely orgasmic brie cheese. If I still smoked, I'd follow it with a cigarette, but I'm saving that for another lifetime.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Big "I" Word

Yesterday, I went to visit my doctor, the one who tells me that there really is no reason I shouldn't be getting pregnant, and doesn't want to use the Infertility word yet because it's too soon. But I don't get it. My family breeds like rabbits: I have 8 brothers and sisters, my father was one of 12 (with 2 sets of twins) and I have 54 cousins. All my sisters and brothers have had to cautiously approach pregnancy because it happens so easily. This is just unheard of in my family, which is why I have begun to tell all concerned that we are not trying for a second child yet. But what I really want to say is, yes, we are trying, and of course it's not working because otherwise I would be shouting it to the rooftops that we are pregnant again. Duh!

It's been nine months since I had a miscarriage in August, and since then, nothing. My mom, the bearer of 9 children, had two miscarriages. She said it was at least two years before she got pregnant again each time (not that they were trying, obviously).

But I don't want to wait two years, I whined...

What pisses me off is that my brother and his wife are pregnant with their second, which they tried for when their first child was a year old, and now they are about to have another baby and I didn't. I hate how they tiptoe around me, too. "We didn't want to tell you until we were 12 weeks pregnant, because of...you know...what happened to you." Yeah, thanks for being so considerate, and might I add that I am secretly smiling every time my brother tells me how miserable she is during this pregnancy?

The thing is, you would think I would be terrified to have another child, since my first child was born with Down Syndrome. I was just 35 when I got pregnant, thinking I could be done with having my children by the time I was 40. Somehow, it all got mixed up. I thought the first would be fine and I would be taking a risk with the second. Actually, I really didn't think I had to worry about anything going wrong. But now, I see all these women getting pregnant well into their 40s, and I think that there has got to be some karmic fairness that is going to kick in one of these days for me. Besides, even if I had another Down Syndrome child, at least Owen (my son) would have a playmate. I couldn't stand for him to be an only child.

Which is why I went to see my doctor yesterday. I just want to find out why we are not getting pregnant again, and if we will get pregnant again. If we can't, I just want to know so I can start looking into adoption.

Maybe it's all mental. Maybe I should have been seeing the psychiatrist across the hall from my doctor instead.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

...my life

I thought I was in the driver's seat, but then somehow, somewhere, someone or something else took over. This wasn't the way I imagined it. This was not the road I would have taken. I have a son, who is 22 months old now, who was born with Down Syndrome. Except we didn't know that he was anything but fine until he was 7 days old. Then the test came back. Then they told us. Funny how the future collides with big scary events and suddenly your universe has experienced the Big Bang Theory. Like *Bang* we thought everything was fine, but so sorry, your son has Down Syndrome.

But let it be known for the record -- this is for all you tactless people who say stupid things -- we chose not to take any tests. Yes, we are well aware that there are tests to determine whether we are having a perfect child or not. and yes, we decided to take the risk and yes, we are the statistic. We chose not to mess with our pregnancy and take what we were given. And, in fact, we were given a healthy, loving little boy, who is amazing.

But we would like to have another child, and therein lies the problem.