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The List *Updated*

March 28, 2008

Believe it or not, I can remember a time when I wasn’t trying to get pregnant, getting treatment for infertility, being worried while pregnant, or dealing with a miscarriage. I hardly noticed pregnant women and if I did, frankly, I was immensely relieved that it was not me.

Sweetie and I just lived. We renovated our house, raised our kitties and enjoyed the first few years of being married. I look back on that time now and wonder, can I do it again? I don’t know the answer to that question. I certainly don’t think that I can live in the same blissful ignorance that I did back then – we had no idea we were going to have problems. In fact, I was incredibly paranoid about not getting pregnant. It turns out that this paranoia was totally misplaced as I was almost 100% infertile due to completely blocked fallopian tubes.

But, I think the first step to taking a break and regaining my non-infertility life, is to go back to that time and remember what made me happy. It was pretty simple: Sweetie, my kitties, interior decorating, planning our renovation (we renovated a 75 year old house and it turned out fabulously), doing the renovation, my job, learning, and enjoying time with our friends, all of whom were just married or engaged.

We now live in a different city and do not have a 75 year-old house, but rather an 18-year old house that used to have carpeting in the bathrooms (I shit you not) and most of those friends who we used to hang out with live in our old town and have kids. But, there are still things here that bring me joy – planning on how I am going to renovate the kitchen, gardening, sewing, cross-stitch, and of course, the furry beasties (including Sweetie). It occurred to me, though, that if I am going to take a true sabbatical from infertility, which is what I had planned, I should fulfill the purpose of a sabbatical: to learn a new skill or fulfill a goal.

As a multitasker and chronic overachiever, I actually have multiple goals. Here are the main ones:

* Learn how to be happy with what I have, not what I want. I have no problem with this with respect to material things like cars, houses, etc. I don’t covet my neighbor’s Yukon (particularly not with these gas prices) and I don’t want the giant house down the street (its disproportionate). But, when it comes to pregnancy and babies, I can’t seem to get past the envy and WANT.

* Learn some new distracting skills. I think I want to learn jewelry making and how to play bridge. Luckily, our local school district offers classes in both.

* Read, read, read. I’m seriously behind in my magazine reading (I subscribe to the Atlantic which I love, but I’m still on October 2007’s edition – and it’s a monthly!) and I’m still on a quest to enhance my literature repertoire. For example, Great Expectations has been sitting in my nightstand drawer for years and I still haven’t read it.

* Reconnect with Sweetie in areas other than infertility. Without a doubt, infertility has strengthened our marriage, but so many of our conversations these past few years have been about the trials and tribulations. We are starting to talk more about non-infertility plans and futures. I want to continue with that.

* Get a pooch. We have two of the most adorable kitties on the planet (seriously, mine are way cuter than yours. Really.), but I’ve always wanted a dog. We have gone to the shelter twice now in search of The One and so far, no luck. But we are in no hurry and we know that we’ll find The One eventually.

* Be more comfortable with pregnant women. I know this sounds strange and strangely infertility-related, but I have to do this. It’s the only way that I will be able to make it through however much longer we have before we get the two-legged non-furry child that we want. I can’t keep avoiding them and getting depressed.

New Additions

* Limber up. My friend reminded me that I wanted to also start doing yoga again. I had given it up because of concerns about twisting my drug-swollen ovaries (Dr. Uterus did have a patient who did her favorite pose – a head stand – in the middle of an IVF cycle and ended up with ovarian torsion). Once they have settled down, I will check out the new studio that is near my house. Sweetie and I have also started a daily exercise regimen. We walk every evening after work in our neighborhood and are slowly working up the number of miles. We also did some hiking. I was extremely fortunate that I didn’t gain weight on stims (in fact, I got thinner), but I lost a lot of muscle mass which I want to get back.

I’m sure I’ll think of some more, but as you can see, I have a pretty full and challenging agenda. All of it, though, is designed to reach that true nirvana – peace, no matter what we end up getting in this crap shoot called life.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori permalink
    March 28, 2008 4:01 am

    I’ll be following along here. How else am I going to stow away to Paris?

  2. loribeth permalink
    March 28, 2008 12:01 pm

    These are all great goals (many of which I share!), & good luck with them!

  3. March 28, 2008 1:00 pm

    This post touched on so many of the tender places in my mind-if I am not thinking/planning or actually ttc- where would I be, what would I be doing, who would I be doing it with, how have my friendships changed, my plans outside of ttc been altered, etc.?

    I am in awe of your list.

    (btw, my kitty cat is pretty adorable too!)

  4. Hey permalink
    March 28, 2008 2:24 pm

    I think your list is great (and one vote for bridge!)

    Have you considered taking up a new physical hobby as well, like dance or yoga or tai chi? I was just thinking that after going through so many different frustrations with your body and it not doing what you want it to do it might be helpful to do something to “reconnect” with it, in a way.

    (This comment is probably half inspired from the woman I’ve told you about who got a lot out of belly dancing lessons after recovering from breast cancer as a way to get back in touch with her body and half inspired by seeing A Chorus Line last night and wanting to go take dance lessons myself now!)

  5. Ms Heathen permalink
    March 28, 2008 3:55 pm

    Infertility is so insidious – it has a tendency to creep, slowly but surely, into all areas of our lives. I wish you well in your attempts to reconnect with the things that make you truly happy – funnily enough, these sound remarkably similar to the things that give me the greatest pleasure in life: spending time with my husband, reading and taking on creative projects round the home.

    I hope you find your perfect pooch soon!

  6. March 28, 2008 6:29 pm

    Great goals..and I know you will do well at reaching them. I checked “getting a pooch” off my list, and working on the others that you list–I have lots of reading to catch up on too!

  7. apronstringsemily permalink
    March 28, 2008 8:52 pm

    I’ve got to see pictures of the fur babies! But those are great goals to have. I’m all there with the being more comfortable around pregnant women. That and being grateful for what I have …

  8. Mrs.X permalink
    March 29, 2008 3:23 am

    Lori – I don’t know how Sweetie will react when I pull you out of the luggage. How about I just post lots of pics?

    Loribeth – thanks. I hope I can actually fulfill these!

    jp – I admit that yours is pretty darn cute. I’m glad that you like the list.

    hey – I forgot to include yoga – so thanks for reminding me. I gave it up with all of the ovarian stimulation – they complain if I even move sideways, so for now yoga is still just a plan.

    ms.heathen – thanks so much. I think there is something so satisfying with doing creative things around the house. I’m glad that you get enjoyment out of it too.

    jj – I want your pooch! I admit that will be a fun goal to fulfill.

    emily – unfortunately, I think my kitties are pretty well known IRL, so I can’t post pics lest my cover is blown. But, take my word for it – they are adorable!

  9. shinejil permalink
    March 29, 2008 1:47 pm

    We, too, had carpeted bathrooms in our house, which was like a time machine to 1978. They were brown shag, brown like everything else in the whole place, except the sunroom which was GRAY.

    I’m excited to see what dog you wind up with. And jewelry making sounds like a very absorbing way to be creative, with direct, tangible results.

  10. Denise permalink
    March 29, 2008 3:01 pm

    That is a very ambitious and admirable list. Looking forward to hearing more about your progress towards achieving your goals. And pictures of Paris are always a welcome distraction!

  11. FarmWife permalink
    March 29, 2008 4:40 pm

    Good luck with Great Expectations. I still cannot read Dickens…is something wrong with me?

    And I’m with you on the carpteted bathroom thing. It sucks!! My bath has carpet & LOATH it!

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