PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Infertility + Pregnancy = Pissed Off Boss

Literally on the morning I received the “Neena Comment” (see here for the blog post), I had my "End of the Year Review" with my boss. It’s amusing to me that in the same morning, both my boss and a total stranger would somehow bring up how much unhappiness my uterus has caused them. Take a number people… take a number.

As some of you may remember, I started the year off informing my boss that I would be doing a clinical IVF trial in February, which would entail me having to miss a few days of work (see here for that blog post). He was not only less than understanding but as memory serves, he actually physically backed away from me when I told him about my infertility issues... as if it were contagious.

Of course, the clinical trial failed and I eventually went on to IVF 3 around the end of May, which also required taking a few more days off from work. Given the current state of the economy and the overall job market, my “infertility trilogy” (which was definitely not as entertaining as ‘The Godfather’ trilogy) wasn’t looked upon kindly. And now that I’m pregnant and have regularly scheduled doctor appointments, I suspect my boss might have been rooting for my infertility to win. Sure, this would have meant I’d remain childless… but much to his happiness, I would also never have had any reason to leave my desk (except possibly to pee).

As you may or may not know, I’m a freelance writer and an occasional stand-up comic (I’m currently on a break from performing to avoid either throwing up or falling asleep while on stage). Even though I get steady writing jobs, it simply does not pay the bills... let alone for three in vitros. Therefore, I have a day job Monday through Friday where I use my B.A. in Theatre to portray a woman who finds expense reports, photocopying and meeting planning as exciting as an orgasm. I’m sure many of you can relate. It’s truly a rare thing to get paid for what you actually enjoy doing. I think Drew Carey said it best when he said, “You hate your job? They have a support group for that. It’s called everyone. They meet at the bar.

So, until I figure out a way to collect paychecks without working, I have no choice but to remain a corporate ho. Perhaps if I were a REAL ho, I could not only get paid, but I could lay down for a bit during the day… which admittedly… would be nice.

Getting back to my review though: My boss pointed out that I’ve missed work due to several appointments and/or medical issues (the medical issues being infertility and pregnancy). Going forward, he stressed that he needs me to be in the office as much as possible. In theory, I really do understand. My ovaries and uterine lining have had their own timetable this past year and they know nothing of my boss’s schedule. I can totally appreciate that my reproductive trials and tribulations have often cut into work time. However, the fact remains that I am finally pregnant and this means, like it or not, I do have to take time away from work. I mean, I consider myself talented in many, many areas but I’m simply not capable of giving birth in my cubicle without attracting some attention. If that’s what it comes down to, I’ll at least have to make sure I put out a tip jar. Why not?

The thing is even when I have been out of the office after various retrievals, for my polyp removal surgery, while I’ve been on various bed rests and most recently, right after my amnio, I’ve always plugged in to work from home… even when I was still waking up from anesthesia (which explained the very unfortunate email I sent to the Chief Operating Officer of my company telling him how many eggs we got).

My point is that even though I have missed time here and there, nothing has ever been dropped, I’ve gotten my work done and I’ve made every effort to do everything I can to balance both my fertility and my job. And I swear - if he had any idea what it was like to go through infertility treatments, an abundance of hormones and worst of all – negative betas, all while trying to work and appear normal, he’d not only be shocked that I’ve shown up to the office at all but that I've managed not to attack fertile co-workers with my pencil sharpener.

I just can’t help but wonder if perhaps I had never taken time off for the infertility treatments in the first place, whether he might have been more patient about the pregnancy itself. There’s just nothing I can do about that now though. If only in addition to maternity leave, companies considered infertility time. Or how about just a mental health day? Something! Throw an infertile a freaking bone Corporate America!

For now, my focus is on trying to schedule early appointments before work and resist the urge to staple things to my bosses head. Hopefully soon, somehow, my boss and I can start 2012 in nothing but a positive, happy place where he and I never again discuss what is and isn’t coming out of my birth canal and how it affects my day job.

Lastly, I did want to briefly acknowledge the overwhelming response to the Neena Post from last week. I have no idea if she ever checked back or if she read any of your many entertaining, humorous, blunt and hard core responses but I personally was blown away by how insightful they were. I also want to thank you for so many kind, encouraging words. It meant a great deal to me – truly. It was ‘Exhibit A’ that many who read my blog are supportive, generous, thoughtful, funny as hell, good people. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Calling All Infertiles: I Want to Hear From You

This morning, I received the following comment from “Neena” (I didn't correct any of the typos... I'm literally cutting and pasting exactly what was written, how it was written):

You should change your blog name from the Two Week Wait - because it is misleading. You are not in that place, and you stop pretending to be "one os us". As one of your comments said "Welcome to Mommy World" - you and all like you should be honest and say "Thank the fuck I am out of that Infertile World" - you have now joined "The Club", that the rest of us are still excluded from. Enjoy it and leave the rest of us to our grief for goodness sake. Oh and by the way, 3 IVFs and you are pregnant - GIVE ME A BREAK! Try 5 IVFs, numerous operations and surgical investigations and a dead baby "born" at 20 weeks and THEN tell me your "boo-hoo-but-yeah for-me" story. Vy the way you adopted and find for your treatments - I assume that you will have the decency not to have a fund for your new baby? I totally sympathise with the person who sent you the "horrid" comment - s/he is hurting like the rest of us and frankly when we first came to read your blog it rang "true" - now it is just bogus, and supercilious, because frankly, you should now be blogging as you truthfully are - thankful to be pregnant and away from the hell of infertility. You may think that you still have the right to write about infertility - I personally think you should keep your patronising "I'm going to be a Mommy" drivel to yourself - but heh, what Mommy-to-be EVER keeps her patronising drivel to herself these days. I am totally surprised that you did not post up your sonogram - that would have been more honest. Oh, and as for you writing to your relative - SHAME ON YOU. You had no right to appease yourself at her expense - you can NEVER understand what she has been through unless you have been there too (and I have, and even I would think thrice about writing to her!)and luckily for you, you have not .....YET.

First and foremost, Neena – I’m very sorry to hear of your loss at 20 weeks. No one should have to go through that and I wouldn’t pretend for one second to know what that is like. More than anything, you have my deepest and sincerest condolences.

As for my response, I could attempt to address each of your accusations, criticisms and frankly, some of your seemingly hate filled statements but would it change your mind? Probably not. I can only say this: It’s clear from your comment that you’re hurting and angry. And frankly, after five in vitro’s and a loss at 20 weeks, no one would ever blame you. However, the thing that’s also very clear from your comment is you absolutely don’t know me, who I am, what I stand for or what I care about in the slightest. If you did, you would know how truly off base and incorrect what you wrote about me is.

That being said, I do appreciate you sharing this very strong opinion. I have no doubt that others who have read my blog may feel exactly as you do. This is why I wanted to dedicate today’s post to your comment. I hope you will check back, read what others say and then, I'd strongly recommend you stop reading my blog. You seem like you'd be much happier if you simply don't read what I write and went on on to read some one else's blog you can better relate to.

So, let’s talk about it, shall we? Readers, commentors, infertiles, pregnant infertiles, new mom’s and anyone else who stops by and reads my blog, what do you think? I want to hand this over to you. If you also have "only" had three in vitros, did you not really suffer? If you get pregnant after dealing with infertility, should you never speak of it again and pretend you no longer care about people still going through it as Neena suggests? Is Infertility a “whose pain is worse?” contest? And most important and most seriously, even though I’ve asked this before, I’ll ask it again, should I retire this blog and just start a new one? Thoughts? Feelings? Suggestions?

And don't worry regular readers -- no matter what the future holds for this blog, I promise at least one more post that will be fun, funny, possibly include the word 'penis' and will return to my regularly scheduled life. I just thought this was worthy to open up for discussion, debate and comments.

As always, sending you all back love, light and humor…

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pregnant and Hated?

Since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve noticed a very slight increase in angry comments and pissed off emails and an even slighter decrease in blog followers.

Losing followers is one thing. It’s to be expected and frankly, I completely understand it. When I was in the thick of trying to get pregnant, reading blogs about others who were pregnant, even if they struggled, were not always my cup of tea. It really depended on where I was at emotionally and where I was at in my journey. If I was gearing up for an IVF, I found these blogs inspirational. If I had just received word of a negative beta and saw my savings account was down by a couple of thousand on a “wasted” cycle, my joy for others was not as enthusiastic and genuine as it could be.

Let me just say that if reading my blog upsets you, annoys you or doesn’t help you while you deal with infertility, then dear god – please feel free to stop reading. I will miss you terribly and I’d certainly hope you’d consider coming back at some point to say hello but I would never want to make anyone unhappy. Infertility is f*cking hard and if reading what’s going on with me doesn’t help, then I’d hope you’d do what you need to do to feel better. Any which way, with all my heart and soul, I wish anyone and everyone who reads my blog to have their happy ending… whatever and however they can get it.

Now, as for the angry comments and pissed off emails, getting those have not been what I would describe as a good feeling. It’s one thing to choose not to read the blog. It’s entirely another to go out of your way and actively express your hatred for me or for something I’ve said. (Example: Please see here)

I do try to remember that it’s not personal. Mind you - I don’t mean to diminish the fact that I’ve clearly said things on my blog that have upset people or perhaps have even gotten them to hate me on some level but at the end of the day, they don’t really know me. They wouldn’t even recognize me if they saw me on the street. I almost want to say to these people, “Hang out with me. Let’s have a drink! THEN, you can hate me if you want!” Truly - if you meet me and think, “I just don't like Jay. And can you believe what she said about Jennifer Lopez’s kids being ugly? How rude!” I just don’t understand why someone would go out of their way to tell someone they don’t even know, that they haven’t even met that I’m a bitch who deserves to die a miserable death soley because I mentioned that having morning sickness isn’t a sexy feeling.

(And a quick side note – I don’t blame Jennifer Lopez for her kids being… well… not the most attractive. I don’t want to name names but let’s just say that I think its someone who's name rhymes with Shmark Shmanthony’s fault.)

Anyway, I could be wrong here but I never got such emails or comments when I wasn’t pregnant. It’s since I’ve been pregnant that I seem to so easily tick off people. One thing that seems to irritate people the most is when I have the audacity to say anything negative about being pregnant... and at the risk of pissing off more people, I’d like to quickly address that:

A) Being pregnant doesn’t mean that they automatically revoke your “Sometimes I Need to Vent Card”. Of course, if all my blog posts were about how much pregnancy sucks, that I hated every minute of it, that I was disappointed in whatever the sex of my baby is (so you know, I would have been thrilled even if the baby were a hermaphrodite by the time I did my third IVF) or if I was endlessly bitching and moaning, I’d more than agree with people being for annoyed with me.

However, if I occasionally complain about being embarrassed about throwing up on a street corner in front of strangers, after almost three years of trying to get pregnant, I believe I've earned that right. Hell, if anything, I paid thousands of dollars to express the rare complaint if I want to!

Also, on the flip side, if I did nothing but marvel at how wonderful it is to have hemorrhoids, how getting an amnio was more fun than a trip to the Bahamas, told you how much I enjoyed my nipples changing colors so often that they were like mood rings and wrote non-stop about how pregnancy was an orgasmic cake walk of happiness, sunshine and lollipops, not only would you seek to have me committed, I’m pretty sure I’d get even MORE hate mail than I’m already getting now.

B) If and when I do occasionally have a complaint about being pregnant, that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful. That is one I’ve heard a lot. The fact that I’ve pointed out a few difficulties I’ve had while being pregnant doesn’t mean that I’m any less grateful. It’s like anyone who complains about their husband when they are happily married. You love him (hopefully) and you can’t imagine a life without him but when he uses all the toilet paper and doesn’t replace it, like it or not, it’s annoying.

I’ve worked very hard for this pregnancy. I’ve dreamed of being pregnant for as long as I can remember and to finally be here after going through so much and after beginning to think it was damn near impossible – trust me – I’m grateful. Actually, I’m more than grateful. I’m an emotion that hasn’t’ even been invented. I’m grateful, humbled, respectful, appreciative and thankful all rolled into one. I’m grahumresativeful.

Another thing that has bothered me the most as of late though was when I received an email from some anonymous person chastising me for daring to contact a relative of mine who recently lost her baby. Her issue was that I had no right to do so since I’m pregnant and having a pregnant person sending an email to someone who just lost their child is morally reprehensible.

On the surface, I understand the point and this person is more than entitled to their opinion. The problem is we’re talking about a woman who I’m related to. She just lost her baby and the fact that I’m pregnant doesn’t mean I don’t love her any less or that I don’t care. I can’t even imagine not acknowledging that she’s just experienced a heartbreaking loss and if the roles were reversed, I can't imagine a relative, pregnant or not, not reaching out to me. (This was discussed on the blog here and here).

The same goes for a few of my friends beyond the blogging/Twitter world that I know personally who are dealing with infertility. I love and cherish these people. To not send them an email or call them to say, “I want this for you”, “Are you ok?”, “Is there anything I can do?” or “I’m so sorry” to me is not only not being a good friend but it’s unforgivable. Seriously – If the fact that I’m now pregnant stops me from reaching out to people I care about when they are suffering, how big of an asshole would I be? I simply can't imagine doing that to anyone.

That being said, if they don’t want to talk to me or if they say, “Jay – I can’t deal with you now or your pregnancy”, I would completely respect that, abide by their wishes and do whatever they asked me to if it would help. That’s their right to take some space from me. But for me to automatically eliminate myself from their lives or their problems because I’m pregnant doesn’t feel right to me. Rest assured that I've expressed all of this to the friends I'm referring to, that they can tell me to F-off at any time and so far, none of them have.

That’s the other thing (and here’s another point that I’m sure will annoy someone): Now that I’m pregnant, it doesn’t mean that it automatically erases all the feelings I had over the last couple of years of struggling. I have no money in my savings account, I’ve attended baby showers and felt like a failure, I’ve done timed cycles with Clomid, I’ve done three inseminations, I did three in vitros and I’ve felt the pain of infertility as much as anyone else who has gone through it. I haven’t forgotten that. I have tremendous respect for anyone who goes through infertility and I would never intentionally want anyone to think anything to the contrary.

So, to sum up, I’m not saying you can’t agree with me and I also don't mean to give the impression that I'm whining that people don’t like me as much anymore. The only thing I’m trying to do with this blog entry is vent about the extra flogging I’ve been taking lately and to attempt to respond to some of the things that a few readers have brought up.

But putting all of that aside for a moment and to end on more of a happy note, the majority of people who read my blog have been nothing but gracious and supportive. For every poopy email I receive, I’ve gotten at least five lovely emails from people either fighting the good fight or who also have found themselves recently pregnant. For those people, I’m genuinely eternally grateful.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Pregnant or not, infertile or not, pain is pain. We need to help and support each other and if it’s a choice between being angry and hateful or understanding and kind, I’d choose the latter every single time.

In closing, to those of you who are about to write me a negative comment or critical email, you do what you have to do. This is my blog and I’m just trying to express where I’m at and how I’m feeling in the most respectful manner. If that offends you, I sincerely apologize as that’s never my goal. If you feel you can’t read my blog or if you have decided you don’t like me for whatever reason, please know that in return, I wish you nothing but the best. We can’t please all of the people all of the time.

And no matter what – I still think Jennifer Lopez’s kids are ugly.