Update at bottom of the post:
A few weeks ago, as we were driving out of New York, we got stuck next to Ground Zero. We were staring out the window at the construction site, trying not to think about how different the landscaped looked a few years ago. How the buildings used to stand firmly in place, as stable as the front teeth that complete your mouth. Josh blinked at the fencing for a moment where pictures were tucked years ago. "How the hell are we ever going to explain this to our kids?"
Amy at A Somewhat Ordinary Life asked this question this week: "It makes me wonder why I cry so hard over not being able to bring a child into this crazy world!" The events at VA Tech have shaken us to the core. On one side is the response of how can we work this hard to bring children into a world where people die as they're working on an accounting project in the Twin Towers or studying history in a classroom. On the other side is this overwhelming anxiety that you need to reproduce now. That life can change in an instant, and even if you don't need your spouse's genes, you need to know that you shared this child with them. That the two of you are the parents and you will share that link forever.
Either way, it's enough pressure to make me want to curl up on the sofa and stare at the sensible tan pattern until I forget everything I've seen this week.
I question the repetition of images too just as I did when they kept reshowing the planes entering the towers over and over and over again. I had a nightmare last night where the shooter arrived in the same pose that is being repeated on the cover of every newspaper--stark room and a gun in either hand. He told me to take money out of an ATM machine and afterwards, he would kill me. And I just stood there paralyzed with fear. I knew that the moment I gave him the money, I would be shot. No more Josh. No more twins. But I was all alone. Not giving him the money was only prolonging the inevitable.
I woke up feeling a bit ill with these thoughts today.
My ostrich-like way of turning away from these images is not meant in any way to disrespect the people who are mourning intensely this week. I feel like we do have an active responsibility as fellow human beings to comfort rather than turn away (how many times have we all wondered where family and friends went the moment we're processing a loss--the women who pull a YJSATLAIDKWTSSIPTIDSY?) . But you can only stand so close to your worst fears for so long before starting to feel dizzy.
And I can't believe I'm going to write this, but let's talk about infertility and pregnancy loss instead. What kind of world do we live in where this kind of pain feels like an easier topic?
Let's start with a little hope. Sara at Of Course You'll Get Pregnant has made a wonderful offer on her blog this week. She left yesterday for a trip to Israel and she has offered to print out a note from any other blogger and put it in the Wall. She has instructions on her blog on how to send it. The only catch is that she needs to have it by Saturday night in order to get it into the Wall in time. For those who are scratching their heads right now and saying, "um...what does she mean by Wall? Is this a reference to Pink Floyd?" The Western Wall is the retaining wall for the Temple Mount where the Temple once stood. It is considered one of the most holy places in Judaism. It is a tradition to write a note and fold it up and put it into the cracks of the wall. Many times, when someone is going over to the Kotel, they will offer to put in notes for other people. Don't be shy--she is offering to do this for any other blogger in the community. So click over and send her a note. It certainly can't hurt.
I'm breaking my own rule by including a post that was technically posted last week (before last Friday), but I think it was so well-written that everyone should read it. And since I missed it until Friday night last week... Omega Mom posted an ode to thinking through choices when it comes to adoption. It was followed by two more posts about adoption and emotions. They are all excellent reads, written by a mom who adopted 7 years ago (so she has the gift of perspective). So head on over and read them.
Aunt Sassy from Rotten Eggs has a post called "Motherhood: From the Other Side of the Glass" that I loved this week. I think this is my favourite line: "And as our mothers tell us “just wait until you have a child” when we are misbehaving. I just took for granted that I would." How brilliant is that? Though it is written for someone fertile to read and understand how someone infertile looks in on motherhood, I think it is a post that everyone living in the Land of IF will read and nod.
JJ at Reproductive Jeans has a post comparing braces to infertility--as if that's not intriguing enough to make you click over to read it! I felt exactly the same way about braces--I wanted them so badly not because I wanted to be in pain, but because with braces came a sense of belonging. It's a lonely thing to be the only girl at the table without braces as everyone complains about their braces. And she makes a brilliant analogy between female factor and male factor infertility. Beyond that, this particular post has a great idea that JJ is guiding that will bring more mail to everyone's mailbox. And what beats snail mail except perhaps when they include a free additional pee stick in a box?
Forever Hopeful at Wishing It Would Get Easier has a beautiful post about the pain one may still feel even as they're experiencing hope. And how while others may be eager for us to move on, it's a personal journey that works on a unique timetable. I love this line because I think so many people will recognize it in themselves: "This isn't like me normally but I don't know who I am anymore because infertility changed me." Wishing you much peace, Forever Hopeful.
Lastly, it's here it's here! Sign up is now open for the second leg of the International Infertility Film Festival (IIFF). The theme is "seasons," and Bea has a great post outlining the theme and sign-up. We have already signed up and entries will be posted July 28th. Bea has fantastic resources on the IIFF blog for making a movie so even if you have no movie-making experience (as I had none until Bea came around), you can make a simple cartoon or slide show of photographs.
On that note, we have decided to change Infertile Myrtle's name. I'm not really sure why, but it feels like the right move. The new name we had decided upon was Barbara Barren, but when I said it to my mother last night, she wrinkled her nose and said, "I don't like it at all." We threw out Brenda Barren and Britney Barren. And even Karen Barren. But now we turn it over to you. (1) Which name do you like best for my cartoon-version alter ego, (2) which name do you hate beyond belief and hope we don't use, and (3) do you have another suggestion.
The choices: Infertile Myrtle, Barbara Barren, Brenda Barren, Britney Barren, or Karen Barren.
I came too late on the scene to read Naked Ovary so I didn't know about Karen's nickname for herself (or character?). Therefore, a name closer connected to me (thank, Aurelia, for the suggestion) would be Sharon Barren. What do you think? Another option.