Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Chucking Cheese

I wrote the following back in 2005--a year after Troy and I started trying to have a baby...

Inane Ramblings of a Cheese Chucker

This morning, I contemplated throwing a block of cheese through my kitchen window. It isn’t that I actually want to pay for a replacement pane, or that there is something fundamentally wrong with my cheese. There’s no mold, I can’t even see any of that flaky white stuff that I judge to be some type of pre-fungus phenomenon. It is, in fact, a delectable hunk of Tillamook’s finest. Yet, with my entire being I ached to hurl the cheddar through the window. I know it’s asinine. The logic is flawed. But that is what this has reduced me to, a pathetic heap of cheese chucking estrogen. And I had these thoughts before nine am.

Later, I got to contemplate whose bright idea it was to put the diapers directly across the aisle from the tampons and the rest of the feminine hygiene menagerie. It wasn’t the work of the barren, that’s for certain. It’s like, there you are, passing mother after mother with baby after baby. You’re barely holding it together as it is. You turn the corner to throw your loathed tampons into the cart, mad at anyone and everyone who celebrates Mother’s Day, when wham—the Pampers baby screams at you with her bright blue eyes. It’s a conspiracy. Someone watching the camera for shoplifters gets a kick out of the occasional woman who unsuspectingly turns the corner and is instantly reduced to a puddle of hormonal tears. Personally, I want to pop that baby right in the jaw. Never mind that she’s adorable. Forget the fact that if someone left her on my porch I’d love her in a heartbeat. This morning, as I stood in the grocery store, I hated her. I despised her because some idiot put her across from my tampons. The tampons I don’t want in the first place. I don’t want to be looking at this side of the aisle; I want to be looking at that side—the side with the too-cute-for-her-own-good Pampers baby. Can the grocery store just maybe…move the baby section? Is that really too much to ask? Can it just get put in a corner? Maybe back where all the hard liquor is? Then all the drunks and all the mothers can just do their shopping together. Or perhaps, since that might perpetuate the notion of under aged drinking, we could put it in the back, behind a door that reads Employees and Mothers only. Or since that is probably some form of discrimination, maybe we could put it in the aisle with the matches and the Duraflame Fireplace Logs? Because really, how often do infertile women need to buy fire accouterments? I’ll even help move it all—well, no, for the safety of Pampers baby’s little jaw, I’ll send my husband to help. The point is that I really don’t care where it goes, just so long as it isn’t directly across from my tampons. Because really, think about it for five seconds. That’s just cruel and unusual punishment.

I did manage to escape the grocery store fairly unscathed, despite the fact that not one, not two, but every single magazine I saw in the checkout line had a baby story on its cover. From Ben and Jennifer; It’s a Girl! to Britney, with just weeks to go the mom-to-be celebrates with a baby shower! And as I shoved my cart quickly toward the door I had to dodge Mother-with-twins. I considered asking, “You have two. Mind if I take one off your hands?” I even contemplated just yanking one of them when she turned her back, but decided I didn’t particularly want to do jail time. I may be adopting my children. I don’t think an agency would just smile and say, “So, I see here that you were imprisoned for attempted kidnapping. Neat. That shows a real dedication.” So I forced a grin in their general direction and kept on toward the door. Personally, I think I showed a great deal of restraint. Perhaps a medal or special button is in order.

Once I got home, however, I had to use some serious control. I turned on my television and there were commercials for Home Pregnancy Tests, Johnson & Johnson No More Tears Baby Shampoo, even Chase financial services depicting love and then marriage followed very quickly by the baby in the baby carriage. Now, I’m not going to say that every channel needs to be infant free, even I know that would be asking way too much, but can we just have one? I don’t think there is anything on channel 87. Barren women unite! Children free TV. We bring you round the clock programming uncontrolled by baby paraphernalia. Featuring the new reality shows, “So Your Treatment Failed Again!” And “What The Heck Is Wrong With You Anyway?” In any case, as I do not currently own station 87 and cannot institute my policies, I had to keep my hand on the channel button so that at the appearance of any of these inconsiderate commercials, I could quickly rid myself of any impending evil thoughts. I considered calling the cable company and asking them to just turn it off—put me out of my misery—but I figured that then I would be childless and divorced. Instead, I decided to play computer Solitaire. Near as I can tell there are no babies in card games.

As afternoon drew to a close I decided to elect myself President of the I Hate Menstruating Club, ate a Little Debbie Fudge Round, got angry that she’s “Little Debbie” and not “Young Adult Debbie”, took an Excedrin for my pounding headache, scheduled my next appointment with my reproductive endocrinologist, and made a list of all the things I can do now that I know I’m not pregnant once again. The list includes, but is not limited to, getting drunk. Now, I very rarely drink at all and have never been drunk but I figure maybe you shouldn’t knock it until you try it? Bungee jumping. Buying a ticket to a major theme park and only riding the attractions that say, “Pregnant women should not ride.” Wearing nothing but a skimpy bikini for at least a week so that all the mothers in the world are jealous of me for a minute. Instead of the other way around.

And today was a pretty good day. You should see me on a bad one.

I'm kind of starting to think that I will always be that infertile woman...or, I will at least always process things like her...or maybe it's just that I will always think it's my personal crusade to enlighten the world about just how much it hurts. I mean for crying out-freaking-loud, I have one now. So why am I still so sensitive to the asinine comments and the questions? Why do I feel like it's my job to somehow telepathically distribute awareness? Why can I sometimes lose hours of sleep thinking about how some people should maybe have less and my dear friends should have ONE. And, obviously, God knows what He's doing. I know that implicitly in my soul. But my heart still breaks and my head still questions and I find myself growing but so far from grown. And I still dread the, "when are you going to have another one?" question. Because if I have learned anything through this journey it is that God's not in the business of letting me in on that specific information. So, just for the record, for all of cyberspace and anyone who happens upon my blog, if by "trying" you people mean "not doing anything in the wide world to stop it" than we're in the process, and we have been for longer than it takes most people to conceive and then get out of the first trimester. And no, I'm not losing sleep over it...yet...because I have my amazing son and, if anything, I've learned that the really great ones are on back order (please also realize that is a joke and I'm not calling your kid a dud). But I really have discovered that God's timing is perfect and I hope that this time around I can trust Him better. But I still hate the question. It still makes me feel like a failure. And I wonder if the other 12% of couples affected by this demon feel the same way...


  1. [[[hugs]]]
    We may have a full brood of little ones underfoot, but we learned not to take fertility for granted when our 7th daughter was stillborn.
    Every single one is a precious gift, from first to last, whether you have one or eighteen.

  2. I don't think it gets easier. We've had 2 miscarriages and one premature birth. Thankfully our preemie is a happy, healthy 2 year old.

    Unfortunately, in spite of our "success" I still feel like a reproductive failure. Throw in a few miscarriages and you get ready to throw in the towel!

    What I'm saying is, I guess, that the pain of infertility is something that haunts you even after you hold your child in your arms. All we can do is trust in God. It's so hard for me to accept that I am not in control of my fertility, but I know that it is true. Thankfully, we serve a great God who has all the days of our children's lives numbered.

    You'll be in my prayers.