Category Archives: crappy days

When even the family doesn’t get it

J here for my quarterly post. As T said, we’ve been spending lots of time with her family (our family really), especially her sister and new baby. I must admit that I’ve been having lots of feelings I don’t quite know what to do with regarding her situation. I love sis and new baby, but it’s really, really hard sometimes too–seeing T hold a baby with such ease like its the most natural thing in the world; holding her myself and thinking “yes, this is what it should be like” only to realize this is not my baby and who knows when I’ll get to do this myself. Blah, blah, blah. Yes, I feel sorry for myself and a bit jealous sometimes too. However, I’m learning to deal with those feelings and to enjoy being an aunt.

Still, there’s this hollowness that permeates my soul, this space carved out for our baby and no little one there to fill it. We’re childless mothers, and boy does it hurt to the core of my being. T has been so good about it, though I know she feels that emptiness in her as well.  We talk a lot about being mothers and what kind of mothers we want to be. There’s a friend of a friend of ours we recently saw on a visit to our old hometown. She has several children, and she yells at them–a lot. Neither of us is fond of yelling at children, but any time we have been around this woman in the past, we have kept our mouths shut about it. We know that parents don’t like advice or criticism from others about their parenting. In fact, it seems uniquely American to defend one’s parenting skills while requiring no help from anyone, not family, friends, or experts. But what Americans really hate is anyone offering advice who is not or has never been a parent. HOW DARE WE!

I guess then what happened the other night shouldn’t have come as any surprise. Not long after we discussed this experience with these people on our trip, T’s step dad made an off-handed comment that pierced a very sore spot. He was doing this weird thing with the baby where he would put her pacifier in her mouth, and as soon as she would start to calm down and fall asleep, he’d pull it out, and sure enough, the baby would start howling. He did this several times even though the baby was fussy and cranky. Then he turned to us and said, “See, this is where non-parents like you would accuse me of being abusive.”

Thud.

The only thing I could think to say was “I don’t think you should refer to us as “non parents.” But before I could even get that lame statement out of my mouth, T was off the couch and running out of the room in tears.

Non parents. Wow. That’s what we are to those in the parenting club. Not “aspiring parents” or “parents-to-be”, but non-parents, non-entities who have no right to even talk about child rearing. God, that sucked.

So, I went after T, and we had a good cry. Her mom came in the room and she cried too because she was reminded in all of her bliss over being a grandma that there was one of her children who was miserable and needed some understanding. The step dad apologized, though I’m not sure he understood why his statement was so hurtful. We went to bed that night and cried for a good hour. You know, that kind of crying that has no bottom and doesn’t make you feel good afterwards? Yeah, sometimes even the people you love the most just don’t get it.

We are not “non” anythings. We’re childless mothers walking around with big fucking holes in our lives–gaping empty vortices that ache and throb every second of every day. I ended the night with a plea:  “Please God, give us our baby.”

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Filed under childlessness, crappy days, family

better

Thank you all. Your outpouring of support has really helped me today. Why can’t you all move into my neighborhood? I would make delicious coffee and tea every morning, and we could sit out in one of our gardens and talk, and it would be lovely.

I spoke with my sister just a few moments ago. She’s exhausted and scared and emotional, and she needed me. I’m sort of known as the Vice Mom in our family as the oldest child/daughter, and so I’ve often filled this role for my siblings. When I called, my sister needed that, and she needed her older sister. I told her I was proud of her, that I loved her, that we would all be there for her. It felt good to be in that role and not in the childless mother, cry my heart out, jealous bitch role. That’s my ugly side, and it’s a side I’d rather not bring out into the light of day again. The sister is a better side. I’m generally a good sister, a good daughter, a good friend, even a good partner, but I have my ugly side. She can stay away for awhile.

One of the many things that made yesterday so difficult was that J brought up adoption before we even got out of bed. She suggested that we start trying to adopt while still trying to get pregnant. My warped little ears heard, “Let’s give up on getting you pregnant–since you’ve clearly failed–and try this other thing.” Of course, this is far from what she said, but it’s what I heard. This (rather, I ) started an argument and a very bad day. Ultimately, she’s just feeling the urgency of needing a child. The pain of not being pregnant and having this break and the birth of the niece overcame her. In case you were wondering, my reaction and warping of her words didn’t help matters. Ugh.

So it only made sense that my niece would be born yesterday because I was already a wreck, J and I weren’t getting along, and there was no way I could have handled it gracefully. Stillness was our solution for all of it, and it worked. We each had a beer, watched So You Think You Can Dance, and ate spring rolls and rice for dinner. Then we snuggled on the couch with cats draped over us. Good medicine.

Today I am better. We both are. Today, J and I are close and understanding each other. We’re preparing for our ladies’ poker group to come visit (and play cards!) for the weekend and getting excited. Today we are continuing to figure out our next steps toward getting me pregnant. But more importantly, today I am looking forward to meeting this (apparently) gorgeous, big, long baby (8 lb 4 oz, 21 inches long) with the beautiful head of dark brown hair whom I get to call my niece. I won’t get to do that until next week, but it’s going to be good.

See? I’m better.

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Filed under coping, crappy days, family, ladies' poker, niece

when it rains

J and I are both feeling so utterly blah. She’s being swallowed up by PMS and a lot of bad luck. It just sucks. Compounding this is some serious car trouble and potential legal trouble to boot.

Warning: I’m going to rant and complain and bitch and whine now about something completely non-TTC. You are excused from reading should this be of no interest to you. No note from home necessary.

Over a month ago, we were on our way to see my brother graduate from his firefighter officer’s academy when J’s car broke down. We were pulling into a gas station, and everything just died. After a couple of days, the guys at the service station where we broke down concluded that they couldn’t fix it; it was a serious electrical issue. So, we had to do something scary and choose a mechanic out of the phone book. We don’t know anyone here, so it truly was a crap shoot. The one we chose took several days to even look at the car only to find that the computer was blown.

The good news at that time was that it was the fault of the mechanic who conducted the tune up J got before we moved, so they can be held responsible for the repairs. The new mechanic even said he’d help J with it. Fast forward a month (it took nearly three weeks for the guy to fix the problem), and the guy is charging J over a thousand dollars for repairs to a car that is thirteen years old. The mechanic told her he’d help her contact the garage responsible for the problem and that he’d work with his lawyer to recover the charges from that garage. Yesterday in the mail, J received a letter from said attorney who has claimed that his loyalty is to the mechanic, and she needs to pay up now and pursue the matter with the mechanic on her own (or with her own attorney).

This is par for the course with us. We have bad luck with legal matters (don’t get me started on her parents’ probate case, which, after seven years, is still not settled), so the last thing we want to do is tangle with this, This just fucking sucks. Ultimately, we need a new car, but that’s not happening until we have some new jobs.

Oh, and on that front, J was offered a job with a for-profit learning center. When she applied, she applied for a full-time position. They want to offer her a part-time summer job. As though she were a student on break. We’re thinking she’s going to have to turn it down and keep searching. Meanwhile, our bank account is more and more anemic.

I’m so ready for something to go right. No pity, please; I’m just annoyed.

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Filed under car, crappy days, J, job hunting, legal matters