Thursday, July 11, 2019

My Last Name

I was never going to change my name if/when I got married. But my (now ex) husband wanted his children to have his last name and I wanted my children to have my last name, so it just made sense for me to change my name. Plus, I liked his last name and so, after a lifetime of saying "I would never," I did.

I changed my last name solely for my children.

And now I am divorced and in the process of restoring my old name.

Every task related to changing my name back irritates me. Frustrates me. But I know what this is about. I've been here before. It's not about changing my name, per se. The irritation and frustration is about infertility. It's about shedding the last physical remnant I have left of my children.


Oh.


Well, that makes sense why it's so hard.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Cost of My Freedom

I see it in their eyes.

We will be standing there, both of us in our late 30s/early 40s, meeting each other for the first time. It may be at a work event or when making small talk while out and about town. They tell me about their kids and ask me about mine. I say I don't have any and there is a brief pause while I watch so many thoughts flicker across their eyes.

No kids?
Why not?
How old is she?
Is she married?
What does she do??
Oh wow, what does she do with all of her TIME???
Good gawd, what does she do with all of her MONEY???


It doesn't always happen like this, but it happens enough that it's worth writing about.

I know these parents love their kids. They love their kids unconditionally.
They just don't love the constant act of parenting 24/7.

They hear that I don't have kids and their overwhelming thought is: FREEDOM.


But their initial thoughts sell me short. Aside from the fact that I have the same 24 hours in a day that they do and that I make the same low salary as everyone else in my field...

Their assumptions leave no space for my losses, my trauma, my grief, and my hard work.

I'm not looking to turn every interaction into a teachable moment with friends and strangers alike, but I do appreciate having this place where I can vent about what annoys me. ;)


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Instigating a Baby Shower

To instigate means to urge, provoke, or incite to some action or course.
And that's exactly what I did. I instigated a baby shower.

Wait.
What.
Back up.

What?

The last time I went to a baby shower was over five years ago. It was for one of my best friends from high school and it was a nice shower--lots of people, presents, finger foods, and cute things. Even though I was in the middle of suffering from infertility at the time, I was simultaneously happy for my friend and wanted to celebrate her. I remember it took a lot out of me though. I was very, very tired for many days after. And I thought, man, I'm really not going to another baby shower unless that person is reeeally important to me, if ever again...

Flash forward to now.

I have made a really good friend here. I moved a little over a year ago and I met her about three months after I moved. We met through someone we both know and she and I just really clicked. And then she got pregnant fairly quickly after we became friends. Doh! I mean, good for her of course. I want anyone who wants to get pregnant and raise children to be able to do so. I was just selfishly thinking, dang, I just met this cool new friend and now she's pregnant. Oh well...

But then the cool part is that she wasn't annoying. She wasn't smug. She wasn't inadvertently rude or dismissive. I don't even think she knows about my infertility stuff. She was just never over the top about her pregnancy. It was pretty easy (for me, after years of grief work) to continue being friends with her.

I stressed ahead of time about her baby shower though.
Would I go? Would I not go? Would I tell her why?

But then...

It never came. I never heard anything about a shower. And her due date was fast approaching. I thought to myself. I know the formal etiquette is to not have family members host a shower and I wasn't a family member; therefore, I could offer to throw one...

I texted her mom: "Does ***** want a baby shower? I haven't heard anything about one, but we could get together and decorate onesies if she wants to."

It turns out she didn't really want a shower because she didn't know who would come or what we would do but then the idea of decorating onesies got her excited and that is how I came to instigate a baby shower.

Hahahaha. Life is freaking weird.

So I instigated a baby shower. We had it at her house. I made food, her mom made food, her sister made food, she made food, and we decorated onesies with iron-ons and fabric pens. I brought pink plates and purple napkins and mentally prepared myself for a strong emotional response post-party (shocker: I didn't. Although it would've been fine if I'd had).

Right when I got there, my friend hugged me and said, "Thanks for doing all of this for me."

I didn't want a bachelorette party when I was getting married, but my best friend from college kinda made me have one and I'm sooo glad she did. She did something small, but it was perfect for me and I have the greatest memories from it.

That's why I did it; that's why I instigated a baby shower for my friend. So she would be celebrated and have good memories about an important time in her life.

I may never go to another baby shower again, but, hahaha, I hosted a damn good one. ­čśé­čśé


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Good For Me

Moving has been so good for me. For years, I sat and did nothing. Then for years I sat and studied. Even when I moved here last year, it was from one state to another, so I hired movers to load up all of my stuff and deliver it. It was a lot and it was stressful, but the actual moving of my stuff didn't require much physical exertion on my part.

This move has been different. This move has been long and drawn out, full of one rental truck and many, many car trips between the old place and the new place. I packed every box, I lifted every box, and I moved every box into my new place or storage. (Ohhh my storage unit... Maybe one day I'll have a place with floor to ceiling bookshelves for all of my beloved friends books.)

It was hard, physical work. I woke up sore every morning. I was covered in bruises. And I felt great. I hadn't used my body like this in years. I'd been wanting to, I just hadn't been able to yet.

So, of course, moving sucks. And this one seems particularly long and challenging. But this move is also awesome. I love living somewhere quiet and beautiful, and I am grateful for my body's ability to move all of my crap here.

It feels good to move and it feels good to be home.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Moving

I'm feeling vulnerable from my last post. I thought about deleting it, but instead I'll just add another point to it haha. One aspect of loneliness that I forgot to touch on yesterday was how lonely it can sometimes feel to live in the fertile world, constantly hearing about everyone's kids and their normal daily living. It's not uncommon for me to be the only adult in a room without children (young or grown).

However.

I may feel a little lonely at times, but I feel a hell of a lot of other things too:
happy, content, grateful, and looking forward to the rest of my life.

A year ago I wrote about beginning again and I think it's pretty relevant to where I am today too. I'm in a new home in a new town, setting up and settling in. Although I've been cooking again for a year now (what I wrote about in the aforementioned post), I previously shared that I just recently decided to learn how to quilt. And I like it a lot. I like the ideas, the process, and the finished product. It's nice to enjoy something leisurely again, a feat that many people take for granted.

Recovering from major loss takes years and requires a seemingly unsurmountable amount of energy. Whenever I feel frustrated with myself in the moment, I try to remind myself of how far I have come. I hope you do the same for yourself.

"Everyday we're breathing is a day we've won." -John Fullbright's Moving


Lyrics:
Old man broke down on the side of the road
Stop and see if maybe I can lighten his load
He opened the door and he thanked me in kind
Told me the words that would open my mind

(he said)
Don’t worry about gasoline
We’re moving
Don’t worry about the tv screen
We’re moving
Don’t worry about the bombs that fall
We’re moving
Don’t worry about nothing at all

There’s a man in the alley just a’singing the blues
Telling everybody that they’re born to lose
Well one day he’ll wake up and see the sun
See that everyday we’re breathing is a day we’ve won

There’s times the lines get hard to see
And there’s days the haze takes over me
But in the end you’re gonna grit your teeth
And keep moving

Well the world will keep turning when I’m dead and gone
I’ll see you again and it won’t be too long
Maybe we’ll meet in a place where there ain’t no pain
Until that day my song remains

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Loneliness

I am here! I got a job (not what I just went to school for hahaha but I am still excited about it) and I moved out of the city. Jobs for what I went to school for don't exist much outside of the city (not full-time anyway, maybe I'll start my own practice, but that's a daydream for another day), and I just really had to follow through with my lifelong dream of raising children not living in the city.

And I did it!!!

And I am lonely.

Oh well... Nothing is perfect. Despite my loneliness, I am still very happy, excited, and grateful. Not to mention, I'm a little bit impressed with myself for making it all happen on my own...

But now I realize that it is safe to fall apart. I am not trying to get pregnant or get through grad school or move out of state or get through a divorce. All of that is done. I am safe in my new home, where I plan to take it pretty damn easy for a month before I start my new job.

I was lonely in my marriage. He was a great provider, but our friendship was disintegrating. We worked so hard on a new life plan that I thought we both wanted, but then he never looked for a job or expressed any interest in moving. In fact, he seemed to have lost interest in me. I am sorry to say that our marriage did not survive infertility.

I knew what I was compromising on when I got married, but no relationship is perfect. My former husband was an honest, hardworking man. He would have been a great father. But that didn't happen. And neither was anything else. I was grieving and growing and changing and, well, he...  Wasn't. I had to keep moving forward. I couldn't stay stuck. I had spent too many years of my life feeling like the living dead and I had to figure out something different for myself.

I thought I'd be less lonely once the divorce was final. But I'm not. The biggest loss for me in the divorce was losing the one person who was there for me through all of the trauma of infertility. The one person who understood what all I had been through.

On Sunday I got my period. They are really bad these days. They completely wipe me out with emotions and fatigue. And it was Father's Day. I am lucky to still have my dad and we have a great relationship, but every time I went to call him I just started crying. Hard. I couldn't do it. I sent him a text. He understood.

So here I am, 4 years and 3 months after my 2nd and final round of IVF didn't result in pregnancy, living in a cute little rental home outside of the city surrounded by nature. I have a job waiting for me, and my most basic needs are met. I still need to do some post-divorce name change stuff, but other than that I am almost done with boring administrative tasks for a little bit and can take a much needed break.

I'm lonely because it's such a big moment, but I have no one to celebrate it with.
Well, no one but you all. Hence, this blog post... <3

I'm back, I've got a lot on my mind, and I absolutely need to start writing again.

I'm looking forward to getting caught up on my reading. Wishing everyone a wonderful week! 

Love, Phoenix

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Running On Fumes

I am dropping by to write "Hello!" and catch up on some blog reading. Like the title of this post says, I am running on fumes. I am currently experiencing full body exhaustion. Will this fatigue ever end? Yes. Slowly, but surely, and by taking one step at a time.

I texted my best friend yesterday: "How do you get through a move? One box at a time."

Infertility is traumatizing, life altering, and absolutely and completely draining. Going to graduate school is also exhausting. So is moving to a new state. So is getting divorced. So is substitute teaching preschool. And now my lease is up this week and I don't have a new place lined up. Don't worry, I have plans to stay with a friend. I'd rather wait for the right lease to open up as opposed to signing a lease to live where it isn't right for me at this time. But it's still stressful...
And liberating. ;)

I went to my storage unit yesterday. I've written about my storage stuff before, how I couldn't initially deal with anything and just threw it all in storage and then how, over time, I've been able to go through the more difficult items to toss them or give them away. Looking at my stuff yesterday I just kind of marveled. I went from a big 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom house that I bought with my husband at the time for our children. Now I just have my things in a small little unit. It's honestly a lot of books and art supplies and I love it. I am very satisfied with where I am in life.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I do that when I'm tired.

I may be running on fumes, but I am very excited because I feel like I am at the very end of a very, very long quest. I am so close to living my dream of moving out of the city and living the rest of my life. I had a job interview last week that I am eagerly awaiting to hear back from. I spend all day hoping that I receive the news I want to hear. It brings back familiar, yet unwelcome, feelings of waiting and hoping, but I also have the knowledge and experience to know deep down to my bones that I will be fine whatever happens.

Overall, this blog isn't going anywhere. I just may be a little quieter than usual as I make yet another major life transition. But trust me, I have plenty of material "on the back burner" so to say. Infertility and divorce, infertility and dating, infertility and making new friends, infertility and employment... There is unlimited material to pull from. And now that I have a somewhat consistent sense of peace, I would love to continue sharing with you how I navigate my life after infertility without my children.

But first, self care! Which I will do by spending the next hour or two reading others' blogs and drinking my coffee... :) Wishing everyone a wonderful week!! Love, Phoenix