Again, Happy New Year, to all my Jewish friends. And also Happy New Year to whoever else wants to borrow the traditions. I grant you Jewishness for a day. It's on me.
We keep adding to Operation Heads Up all the time. Which rocks. So contribute, contribute, contribute. And I keep expanding the book list, so send other ideas for categories. There is now a space for videos and audio recordings (especially meditation tapes that worked for you). And books for speaking about infertility with kids. So send your recommendations. You can access the list via the icon (and hyperlink) on the side bar.
But...now the blogs.
Spanglish at Welcome to the Cysterhood has two amazing posts that took place between last Friday and today. One was about how she made the decision to end fertility treatments. Which is not to say that she is necessarily stop trying to conceive. But she has said enough is enough. And that's just an amazing brave idea to express. Her other post this week was about how much she loves her students. And as a former teacher, I can definitely relate. It's a great post for anyone who ever wondered whether your teacher cared about you and enjoyed being with you as much as you enjoyed being with them. And, yes, it is true. We really enjoyed all that time we spent together. I don't miss waking up at 5 a.m. each day or creating lesson plans or grading papers. But I do miss the students. And there is a certain heartbreak that exists when you're an infertile teacher. You spend more awake hours with these kids than their own parents, but they leave you and go home and it just reminds you of what you don't have. It's like attending a baby shower every single day of the year. But it's also amazing to watch them grow and change. And learn. But it's so hard because you invest so much of yourself into these kids, and then they leave, and you never learn how their life turned out.
Just below her, linkage-wise, from my blogroll is Dr. Spouse over at What am I? She had such an interesting point inside a recent post: "So, another cycle, another wasted test. It's now 2 years since we started trying to get pregnant. If I calculate it rationally, that's a maximum of 26 cycles (28 days each) but of those I was pregnant for, say, 3, having a break for 2, on medically enforced abstinence for 1 and out of the country for the crucial week of another one. So that's 19 cycles and probably 3 measurable pregnancies. So I would imagine your average infertile would laugh me court of court if I claimed to be infertile too. Even if there were only 2, that's 1 every 9 months. But I don't feel very fertile. Again, I don't feel as if I've had so many pregnancies and so many miscarriages - not compared to some people - some of whom seem to get pregnant really easily, perhaps that's how they fit in so many miscarriages? Or am I just misperceiving the time because time in my world goes slowly, but only reading their blogs it seems to go quickly in their world."
Okay, so two interesting points. Both present the idea of what makes someone infertile and what makes someone Infertile. As in, with a capital "I". Is it a matter of attitude? Is someone who gets pregnant with their first IVF attempt less infertile than someone who needs 5 tries to conceive? And how many miscarriages qualifies you for the big "I"? I'm saying this because, in my opinion, when you get the diagnosis of infertility, you are infertile. And we all have varying degrees of difficulties getting and maintaining pregnancy, but does it really matter? This quantifying of infertility? I mean, if a person can't get pregnant, they can't get pregnant. Or if they can't carry to term, they can't carry to term. I don't think 5 miscarriages trump 3 miscarriages because...well...there should be no trumping in general. Tragedy is a tragedy is a tragedy and frustration and sadness are frustration and sadness. There are people going through infertility who have never been pregnant therefore they've never miscarried. And is that worse or better than a person who can get pregnant easily, but miscarries each time? And this is my opinion: neither is better or worse because (to quote Smarshy) "they're just a different bag of ass."
Which brings us to Smarshy. Oh...Smarshyboy. I just found him. Can you believe it? I know the rest of you all knew about his blog long ago (okay, so not that long ago since he started blogging in August), but I just found him and I'm excited because he (now, don't move too quickly and scare him) provides the elusive male point of view. We know it's out there. We know that infertility is biting you in the ass as well. That you want a child just as badly as we do. I think your blog is so important because it gives voice to emotions that women have always suspected were being experienced by their husband's but had no tangible proof. And now we have your words. So, thank you. And keep up the good work. And I hope I didn't smother you with this virtual hug.
Lastly, Barely Sane over at Infertility Licks is talking about the hoopla (wait for it, wait for it, this is a very funny pun) of hoops (there is was. Wasn't that hysterical?) that people believe she is jumping through during the adoption process. In my opinion, the general public has such a small breadth of knowledge when it comes to what it takes to do fertility treatments or what it takes to adopt that they can't even begin to imagine any of these processes. They know we did fertility treatments, but they have no idea what went into it. And I don't think that the general public's perception of adoption is that you fill out some paperwork and they hand you a baby. Hence why they say stupid things like, "you should just adopt and then you'll get pregnant." Anyway, if you actually want to know what going through fertility treatments is like (as if you didn't know), head over to her site. It's a great post.