We are in my husband’s hometown visiting his family for the holidays. I’ve been really looking forward to this trip for several reasons: I love his family and don’t see them as much as I’d like, it’s a break from doing much of anything, and we get away from the hustle and bustle of a big city. The other reason is that this was looking like a mostly baby free trip. The only kids I was really expecting to see are his niece and nephew and I wasn’t even sure I’d see them thanks to some family drama. But we will be and that’s great. I haven’t seen his nephew since he was less than a month old and he’s 17 months now.
Then today we were at my father-in-law’s house and he starts asking my husband if he’s going to see any of his high school friends. It turns out both of the ones he wants to see have kids under a year old. Awesome. We are definitely seeing one tomorrow night, I’m not sure about the other yet.
So this will not be the baby break I was hoping for but I will suck it up and deal because these are people who are important to my hubby and he wants to see them while we’re in town. At least I can drink if I need to, right?
School has had me really underwater this semester. I’m taking some rather challenging classes and a full load and it’s just a lot. So this blog is getting rather neglected. I’m only posting today because I’m skipping my morning class due to waking up in pain (sciatica and migraine). I should be using this time to do homework for tomorrow, but I thought I’d give you all an update.
The saline ultrasound did not happen this cycle. When I finally got back in touch with the clinic last week they said they didn’t have any appointments this month. So she asked when my next cycle would start. I told her I don’t know because they aren’t regular but I could guess. So we scheduled an appointment for next month which may or may not fall in the window of when I need this done. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to be out of town visiting my husband’s family during the next likely window. And then we’re looking at February. For just this one test so we can decide what treatments to pursue. I want to pull my hair out. Fingers and toes are crossed that my cycle cooperates and I can go ahead with the December appointment.
We have a house guest right now. One of my husband’s coworkers returned from a deployment and needed a place to stay. And since we are the only married couple without kids, aka the people with a spare bedroom, he’s been staying with us. It’s fine, it’s just kind of awkward because my husband doesn’t even know him well (my husband started working in the same office like a month before this guy left for his deployment) and I had only met him once before he started staying here. He should be leaving in a day or two to move in with another coworker from what I understand. Which is good because I should be ovulating any day now and his presence has put a hold on the sexy time.
I have a bit of a confession. I really lucked out with some timing. Every year the group I volunteer with throws a holiday party for the kids in my husband’s squadron. This year due to some circumstances out of our control, it is scheduled the weekend before my finals. So I have already told the ladies that I will not be at the event because I am really going to need the time that weekend to write papers and study for exams. That is the truth. But I was also really not looking forward to the event. Don’t get me wrong, supporting the squadron families is important. I wouldn’t do the work I do if I didn’t believe that. But it’s getting increasingly hard for me to be around big groups of happy families, especially when it’s for holiday stuff. So thank you Universe for letting me gracefully bow out of this particular event.
Perhaps it’s because I recently got hooked on the tv show Once Upon a Time, but magic has been on my mind lately. Not the Barney Stinson things disappearing in a puff of smoke in your hand Magic Castle kind (although that kind is pretty damn cool). And not really in the fairy tale true loves kiss kind either. More just the magic in everyday life, like rainbows. Around the holidays one of my friends on Facebook shared a status from one of her friends that expressed that what they love about the holidays is that it is a time when adults are encouraged to look at the world with child-like wonder and see magic around us. It was like the perfect crystallization in words of something I’ve felt for years.
As I am coming around to a positive place regarding my friend’s impending fatherhood news, I started considering what kind of relationship I would like to have with his child. Unfortunately this friend and I have a tendency to fall in and out of touch. At times we’re all up in each others business, but at other times I have no idea what’s going on in his life (hence the shock of his news). I would like very much to be a part of his child’s life. My above mentioned friend who shared that Facebook status is a “Fairy Godmother” to at least one child. I don’t actually know what this means for her and this child, but I love the idea. To me, it means acting as someone who is there to share the wonder and magic of the world with this child. Traditionally godparents, as I understand the role, are there to help teach children about God. Let’s be honest, most children are probably better equipped to teach most adults about wonder and magic. So the role of a fairy godparent would not be to teach, but to share. It would be an opportunity for adult and child to learn from and teach each other. And that, I believe, is awesome. So I told my friend that I wanted to put in my application as Fairy Godmother. I have no idea if he or the mom will take me up on it, but I put it out there in the world.
And then there is the issue of curses. I keep thinking that I have what I have been internally referring to as the Mommy Curse. As much as I am surrounded by babies, I am also surrounded by their mothers. I love these women but sometimes I wish there were more women in my life whose lives were more like mine. In particular on this military base, these women are difficult to find. Add to that the fact that, despite my willingness to share on the internet, in person I’m a pretty introverted person. Meeting people in general is difficult for me. I’ve really only recently started making friends on base and most of those have been though my neighbor, who is a mom, and they too are moms. And they know each other largely because of being moms. My husband joined the military at a later age than most. The people we know are either young and want to party or they have kids. I don’t know anyone on base who is close to our age and doesn’t have kids. And I haven’t the slightest idea how to go about meeting anyone like us. So my network here is moms. And they are great friends, but they live very different lives from my own. The kind of lives I want to live, but for now I don’t. It can get very lonely, and thus I feel cursed.
This post has been rattling around in my brain for over a week now. It’s not the most directly related to conception and I have a feeling it’s going to get a bit ramble-y, so my apologies in advance.
In anticipation of hopefully soon having children, this year’s winter holiday season was colored by my thoughts on what holiday traditions I want to pass on to those children. As I’ve mentioned before we are not a religious family. My husband is a hard-line atheist. I believe in a higher power, but don’t subscribe to any organized religion. I grew up in a family where my parents exposed me to multiple religions and every winter we celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah, and the Winter Solstice. However my household was essentially Christian. While we learned about other religious traditions, the focus was always on Christmas.
I love tradition and ritual. I find them enormously comforting. That is part of why I have adopted practices from various religions in my own spiritual practice. One of my favorite things about the winter holiday season is the traditions and rituals. Another is the sense of magic in the air. But I don’t really have any traditions that are personally meaningful to me. My husband and I don’t have any traditions that we’ve started together. I want to have traditions to pass on to my children.
But how can we create traditions around this time of religious holidays without them being about religion? In this country it is impossible to ignore Christmas. Regardless of how or if one celebrates it religiously, it permeates the culture. Can we create traditions that allow us to focus on the aspects of Christmas that we like and still maintain a separation from the religious celebration itself? The time spent with family and those we love and the spirit of giving are two things I would like to maintain in my family’s traditions. And our extended families are primarily Christian and celebrate relatively traditionally. How do we incorporate that without compromising our own beliefs?
I wish I could say that I had this all figured out. These are all questions that I’m still trying to answer. They are questions that will probably not be fully answered until we have had the opportunity to experience the holidays with children and put our ideas into practice. They are questions that, in all honesty, will likely have different answers for myself and my husband. I believe that we will be able to find a common ground to pass on to our children, although I am also certain that there will come a time when we will have to explain to them that our beliefs differ.
This past weekend was my grandmother’s memorial service. It was also a time when my extended family was given the opportunity to see if there are any of her possessions we want. Among those possessions were her Christmas ornaments and other decorations. I selected a few ornaments to take home with me. The only Christmas tree my husband and I have put up each year is a small ceramic one which belonged to my other grandmother and on which we cannot hang ornaments. I felt compelled to take my grandma’s ornaments despite not having a place to display them because they are a connection to my grandmother and her traditions. Although my beliefs differ greatly from hers, I don’t want to lose this connection to her traditions.
As my husband and I continue to try to conceive, these questions are among many that we will have to answer. It is a process. It isn’t easy. But it is part of having a family, which is ultimately what we most want.