Owning your story

Exactly 11 weeks ago, I woke up with a start. I sat straight up in bed at 6:00 in the morning for the second day in a row. Resigned to being awake, I groggily made my way to the bathroom. I sat down and mid-stream decided to take a pregnancy test. I squeezed my pelvic muscles as hard as I could to slow the release of fresh urine, and scrambled for my designated cup (which was not in it’s designated place). Somehow, I managed to capture just enough. I set it aside cautiously, and fumbled unsteadily in the back of the cupboard for my bag of pregnancy tests, which had fallen to the bottom of the basket beneath my sink.

One eye open, the other still closed with sleep, I tore open the wrapping and carefully dipped the end into my meager cup. I watched detachedly as the absorbency line on the paper move up the strip, until one, and then two, lines turned pink.

Shaking my head and confused, I flung the strip aside, and hurriedly opened a new one. Both eyes open this time, I repeated the process. Just as before, two lines turned pink.

I tested a third time, this time running to the bedroom for my phone, and setting a 2 minute timer. There were two lines long before that timer went off. I called for my husband and he came, sure I was hurt, and soon we were both staring at the positive pregnancy tests flung haphazardly around the sink.

That had been the day we had planned to start our first round of IVF. The paperwork was still on my nightstand, leftover from a thorough reading the night before. Everything I had ever known about positive pregnancy tests had long since left my brain, and I googled every alternative possibility that could explain now four(!) positive pregnancy tests.

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I called my doctor. Blood was drawn, tests were run, an ultrasound was performed, and there was no mistaking it; I was pregnant.

Lest you worry, allow me to pause here and assure you that I am still pregnant; all is developing as it should. I am beyond grateful that we are both healthy.

So grateful.

But here I am, beginning to show, and enough people know, that we don’t seem to own our story anymore.

Family members have spread the news quickly and beyond our circle of comfort (though fortunately we are on the other side of the country, and minimally affected). Another family member alluded to it on my Facebook wall, despite knowing that we do not want anything about this baby on Facebook. A new friend is just a week further along than I am, and smiles at me like we have a secret bond. Some people use this miraculous conception to make claims about God – claiming it as an indication of His goodness and an opportunity to bear witness that “He keeps His promises”. My sister even exclaimed, “Hey! You’re not infertile anymore!”. Friends and relatives who have experienced pregnancy talk to me like I’m now part of this exclusive club, imparting such wisdom as “after maternity pants, trust me, you will never go back”. My sister even exclaimed, “Hey! You’re not infertile anymore!”.

I don’t particularly want people to know. I don’t want this to be just another baby, nor do I want to throw our story to the whole world, like pearls before swine. I don’t want the status that comes along with being an expectant mother. I don’t want my mother-in-law (or my grandmother or anyone else) telling her entire extended family that we are expecting. I don’t want to be told that so-and-so is also pregnant, but with their third (whoops! this one was an accident!) child. I don’t want people acting like this happens every day, but I also don’t want anyone who will make light of this child, or claim him/her for their own purposes, to be given any kind of advance warning of his or her existence. And I especially don’t want anyone claiming that my sudden knock-up-itude is due to any kind of righteousness or deservingness on our part. That’s not how biology works. And if our sudden fertility is due to any kind of interference from God (and I’m not ruling that out), then I don’t want it pointed out. It’s not anyone else’s miracle to claim.

We already cherish this baby. I joke about pregnancy being a bad idea (because, for real, the first trimester was pretty much like having the flu for two months), but this baby is not your average, everyday baby. This baby is the one we stopped hoping for, that is coming anyway. S/he isn’t a feather for anyone’s cap, and s/he isn’t a sign, and s/he isn’t a lifetime pass to the motherhood club.

S/he’s ours. And s/he doesn’t have to be anything else.

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Book Review: Baptisms & Boomerangs

Hello, All! 

It’s been a long time, but I’m a teeny bit twitterpated, and I needed to tell you all about it! 

My talented and beautiful friend, Sherrie Morreal Gavin, just published a fantastic book that explains to Mormon children the concept of baptism in a lovely and unique way. 

  
Baptism and Boomerangs is the a story of an 8-year old Australian girl who is nervous to get baptized. Her grandpa used the metaphor of a boomerang to help her understand that baptism is an important first step in the journey of “return[ing] to live with our … Heavenly Parents forever.” The book places heavy emphasis on trying again when you don’t do things right the first time, and on the importance of letting people who love you help when you can’t figure it out. 

Really, this message was my favorite part of the book; the idea that in life we keep trying to do what’s right, and sometimes we make mistakes, but then we try again. And that it works best when our families are there to help with that whole process. What a positive and healthy message for children to hear, particularly in a culture of perfectionism!

Finally, a great big shout-out to the Australian illustrator, Tatiana Lawton. The bright colors and beautiful depictions of the family bring dimension and humor to each page. The images are creative, and more than once I (literally) laughed out loud at the little details she had included. The characters come to life under her touch. 

For the children in your life who are near baptism age, Baptism & Boomerangs is a fun book with a great message. Families will enjoy the Australian themes and sayings, as well as the metaphor of the boomerang and the relatable characters. I hope it becomes a staple in Mormon homes across the world. 

Book Review: Baptism & Boomerangs

Hello, All! 

It’s been a long time, but I’m a teeny bit twitterpated, and I needed to tell you all about it! 

My talented and beautiful friend, Sherrie Morreal Gavin, just published a fantastic book that explains to Mormon children the concept of baptism in a lovely and unique way. 

  
Baptism and Boomerangs is the a story of an 8-year old Australian girl who is nervous to get baptized. Her grandpa used the metaphor of a boomerang to help her understand that baptism is an important first step in the journey of “return[ing] to live with our … Heavenly Parents forever.” The book places heavy emphasis on trying again when you don’t do things right the first time, and on the importance of letting people who love you help when you can’t figure it out. 

Really, this message was my favorite part of the book; the idea that in life we keep trying to do what’s right, and sometimes we make mistakes, but then we try again. And that it works best when our families are there to help with that whole process. What a positive and healthy message for children to hear, particularly in a culture of perfectionism!

Finally, a great big shout-out to the Australian illustrator, Tatiana Lawton. The bright colors and beautiful depictions of the family bring dimension and humor to each page. The images are creative, and more than once I (literally) laughed out loud at the little details she had included. The characters come to life under her touch. 

For the children in your life who are near baptism age, Baptism & Boomerangs is a fun book with a great message. Families will enjoy the Australian themes and sayings, as well as the metaphor of the boomerang and the relatable characters. I hope it becomes a staple in Mormon homes across the world. 

Big Red Monster

  

We’re visiting my parents – my mom has been wonderful, but my dad has definitely lost a lot since I last saw him. He can’t remember things day to day – often moment to moment is a real struggle. And he is suspicious; possesive of people and things. 

I’m pissed off at him. He’s been rude to Worf; suspicious of his movements, and ready to tear into him. 

There is a lot I can handle from my dad – even before he was sick, he could be a completely unreasonable asshole sometimes, and I often stood by him anyway. But if he is rude to my sweetheart, we are going to have some real problems. 

I’m pretty sure the anger is just a stage of grief, but in my defense, this big, red, suspicious monster is a real ass. 

Denial

 
Not sure what Microblog Monday is? Read the inaugural post  here.

I’m pretty sure I started my period, but I haven’t gone to check. It’s been over an hour and I haven’t gone to check. I’m wearing the slacks I need to wear tomorrow, and I still haven’t gone to check. Because two hours ago, I was trying to convince myself to take a pregnancy test. It’s that time of month. 

Damn you, Doc. Why did you have to say, “if you get your period…”? We’re talking about IVF, and you baited me with this bullshit hope… Like there’s a chance I won’t need it after all.

Damn it. 

Finally, A Non-Answer

 Diagnosis: unexplained infertility. My numbers are excellent. He gave us a few options, but he recommends IVF.

I’m sitting in the lobby, not quite ready to go home. Shell shocked, and not entirely sure that I won’t start crying, though that feeling is subsiding. 

I expected more, somehow, and I don’t know what to make of that.