Friday, September 26, 2008

A Glimpse into Motherhood

Recently, I was at a local Fed-Ex Kinkos making copies of some surveys in a real estate file. Although I am frequently at Fed-Ex Kinkos to pick-up/drop-off large copy projects for some of my work projects, I do not frequently use the over-sized copier nor do I make many copies myself that are outside of the standard 8 ½ x 11 paper size. Predictably, I was using the gigantic copier incorrectly, causing most of my copy material to be cut-off. As I was struggling to make this outer-space like machine to work for me, another woman was also struggling in the store. She was young with a bright smile and happy demeanor, trying to control her screaming 1 ½ year old in the long line of people waiting to speak with the sole on-duty employee. After I FINALLY got the copier to stop cutting off my copies (turns out I was feeding the paper in the wrong way), I got in line behind the young mother, glad that my struggle was over. At this point, her child was having a full-on tantrum. As I stood there on a Thursday morning, in my suit, copies in hand, making a mental list of the phone calls I needed to return and my afternoon meetings, this glimpse of motherhood scared the hell out of me. Although this woman was put together in her cargo capris and flip-flops, smiling while holding her screaming, wiggly child, I wondered how I could want something so badly that terrifies me so much. Although not an exact comparison by any means, I did not feel terrified before I got married. I was ready. I was looking forward to spending the rest of my life with Brandon. After we were married, I did have a mental adjustment period. Most of that “adjustment period” I blame on the fact that I worked solely in the area of family law. Dealing with ugly divorces day in and day out was an emotional strain, especially being a newly-wed.

In speaking with friends at the end of their pregnancies, I have been assured over and over again that, yes, by the end of that 9 months, you are pretty much ready for anything that will lead you to NOT be pregnant. I wonder if that includes being prepared for temper tantrums in small, professional settings (a term I use loosely when referring to FedEx Kinkos). However, if I compare it to being married, it’s true that I was not prepared for some of the difficult situations Brandon and I would be faced with. Our marriage’s “tantrums” were not all pleasant when we were in the middle of them, but we got through them and came out closer, somehow. I’m sure that I will feel the same way about my tantrum-throwing toddler, but sometimes, it really scares me to think about being that person holding the screaming child (mostly likely not wearing 4 inch BCBG heels) smiling at the suited, terrified woman behind me and leaving the store to get in my mini-van.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ovulation, Glorious Ovulation

Got the smiley face on Friday! Nice to know that other than not getting pregnant, my body seems to be functioning and responding to the Clomid in the way that it’s supposed to. I have been slightly more prone to irritability, and a little bit fatigued, but other than that, this month has gone the best yet. The only slight concern I have is that my first date of ovulation gets later and later each month. I’m trying not to worry about it and have a doctor’s appointment (appropriately entitled “Clomid Check-Up”) this month if I’m not pregnant.

It seems to never fail that right after the smiley face day everything in my world goes into a whirlwind… this month was no exception. Work is insanely busy right now and Brandon and I had friend/family events (all VERY fun) every night this weekend, with several more this week. This after-ovulation period is always the longest in the Living in Limbo world… waiting and hoping not to get a period and then gearing up for the actual pregnancy test, which is always very emotional. I can’t help but be super alert to any possible pregnancy symptom: Am I fatigued? Do my boobs hurt? Am I nauseous? Yep, this part really is the worst part of the month.

Thankfully, this month I have planned a trip to my hometown of Rainsville, Alabama at the end of the month to see one of my closest friends, Sarah. My last trip to Alabama in December of 2007, Sarah was having some pregnancy symptoms but was sure she couldn’t be pregnant since they had only just started trying. The first night I was there, she took a test. Convinced she wasn’t pregnant, we started to make cocktails while her husband, Chase, went to the bathroom and checked on the test results. I will always remember Chase’s nervous voice calling out from the bathroom “Sarah, Anna, what does a plus sign mean?” Thankfully we are all so close that the three-way hugs celebrating the news weren’t at all awkward. Sarah and I have been there for one another during some pretty important days in each other’s lives, but I never anticipated that I would be looking at her positive pregnancy test with her in the bathroom. It was fun being there when they announced their pregnancy to their families and our other friends. Baby Annabelle was finally born at the end of August, after much anticipation. I can’t wait to meet and hold her!

I’m also just really looking forward to taking some time away from the craziness of life. There’s something about going back to a place I’ve always called home that is so rejuvenating. It’s always a welcome adjustment to get there and re-learn all the benefits that come from a much slower-paced life. I’m also happy to have a distraction for my thoughts and emotions which I hope will make the waiting part a little more bearable this month.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Day 5 of Clomid, Month 3

I’m really happy that today is my last day of taking Clomid for month 3. Ovulation kits and naked bathroom to kitchen dashes here I come!

Last weekend was Labor Day weekend and I had a great weekend spending time with my husband and some friends. During a 6-mile walk last Sunday (that’s right - 6 MILES) with Brandon and our dog, Sally, we stumbled upon a children’s wading pool (complete with fountains and those water geyser thingies). There were probably 30 children squealing and running around, having an absolutely wonderful time on a hot, summer day. As I sat there and watched all of these beautiful babies and kids run around, I had what Oprah calls an “Aha! Moment.” Although we have had a tough year in some respects, with the whole not-being-able-to-get-pregnant thing, I am so fortunate in every other area of my life: I have the most caring, loving, attractive and giving husband; I have two very supportive and loving families; I have several groups of friends who have listened, hugged, fed and gone out with me each and every time I have needed it; I have a job in which I am challenged and fulfilled, with amazing co-workers and I have a beautiful home of which I am proud of and I enjoy spending time in. It struck me that these are things that other people want just as much as I want a baby. I have been so caught up in the wanting that I barely spend any time being grateful for the many other people and things that make up my happy life. This month, and hopefully every month going forward, I am going to make a conscientious effort to be happy with what I have now and not focus so much on the one thing that I don’t have and want.

To help with this effort, I made a list of the things I am able to do (and love) that I wouldn’t be able to do, or it would be much more difficult to do, pregnant and/or with a baby. They are in no order of particular significance:

1. Listen to music really, really loud in my car;
2. Drive faster than I should;
3. Talk on the phone while driving;
4. Text while driving;
5. Go on a 6 mile walk on a hot day with nothing more than a bottle of water;
6. Shop whenever or wherever I want;
7. Lay on the couch and watch hours of mind-numbing TV;
9. Eat cookies for dinner;
10. Eat cookies for breakfast;
11. Eat cookies for lunch;
12. Go dancing;
13. Sleep uninterrupted for 12+ hours;
14. Get into work as early as I want;
15. Stay at work as late as I want;
16. Hang out, in total peace and quiet, with my husband and our dog;
17. Travel;
18. Have a neat and clean home, with nothing out of place, 24/7;
19. Clean every other week (at the most);
20. Attend dinner parties with other childless couples to discuss politics, work, the arts and other grown-up conversation topics.

Hopefully if Angry Anna comes out to play anytime soon, I can re-read this blog entry and refocus my negative energies. I’m counting on the power of positive thinking!