Tuesday, July 27, 2021

A Day Without Demands

I don't know what I'm going to do today. 

I know what I am NOT going to do. I am not going to work because it's my day off. I am not going to run errands because I spent a lot of time in the car yesterday. I am not going to unpack because I just plain don't feel like it. 

I've had my new job for two months now. I've learned a lot and I'm definitely better at it than I was when I first started. But still... There's something there that I can't quite put my finger on yet. There is something that I don't like about my new job. But for now... I am gaining experience and getting paid and for that I am grateful.

The move is behind us. The rental property is no longer in our life. Everything I own is either at my new house or my old storage unit (which I will move out of sometime in the next year!). I'm functional here. There's food in the kitchen. The washer works. My clean work clothes are hanging in the closet. The bathroom is unpacked. The tv is set up and we have internet streaming so I can watch Turner Classic Movies, my new favorite channel. Who knew I liked old movies?

My car is repaired. My boyfriend is vaccinated. And I saw my parents for the first time in two years this past weekend. It was a great visit!!! I was honestly a little anxious and a bit stressed about it, but we could not have planned a better visit. They saw my new town, my new home, where I work, and got to try take out food from my favorite restaurants. We visited. We went on walks. We napped in the living room. We watched baseball and the Olympics together. It was perfect!

Which brings me to today. My day without demands. 

I don't know what I'll do today, but I'm not doing much. I'll go back to work tomorrow. I'll cook and clean and unpack and organize later. With each passing week, I'll coordinate home projects as we settle into our 105-year-old home that needs some repairs and updates. But today I'm giving myself a break.

Can a mother ever truly give herself a day without demands? I suppose she can arrange for childcare. She can tell her loved ones she needs a day to herself. Worst case scenario, she can wait out the 18 - 25 years until the youngest kid grows up. So yes and no.

But, like I've written before, that doesn't matter. That has nothing to do with my life. The facts are I am living MY life and I don't have kids. I am not parenting. Nor am I a caregiver at this time. I can take a day off just for myself. I can give myself a day without demands.

Not raising children wasn't my choice, but I will take the advantages that can come with it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Needle Phobia

I've been wondering how many people want to be vaccinated, but their extreme fear of needles is preventing them from getting the shot (or two).

I'll never forget finally mustering up the courage to go see a fertility doctor after two years of trying to get pregnant without medical intervention. We met with the doctor, went over our data and history, and she recommended IVF. But, she said, we could try IUI first if we wanted. She just said our best chances would be with IVF. 

Terrified, absolutely terrified of IVF, I said I wanted to try IUI first.

She said okay and began telling me about the medication I would be injecting.

Cue me losing my shit in her office.

Injecting? A shot?? I have to give myself shots?? I wasn't yelling, but the terror in my voice and the tears streaming down my face were unmistakable. And by the look on my doctor's face, I could tell she was surprised by my strong reaction.

She didn't know she needed to wade gently into the idea of a medicated IUI with injectables with me. She did not know who she was dealing with. (Have I mentioned before that I hate medical stuff and I'm a very nervous patient? Yes, yes I have. Many times. But it's worth repeating... I *hate* medical appointments, hospitals, and even the simple smell of rubbing alcohol.) 

My doctor wasn't forewarned; she had no way of knowing. She quickly backtracked into comforting me before moving forward. She downplayed the whole experience, saying how small the needles were and how it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Bless her. She tried. 

I knew I didn't have a choice. Well, we always have a choice. But I knew how badly I wanted to have a baby and I knew I would be giving myself shots in order to try and get pregnant. In that moment I was so angry. I was so scared. 

I had no idea how I was going to get through it.

Long story short, I faced my fears and gave myself a shot. Over the next six months, I gave myself many, many, many shots. I went through five medicated cycles (3 IUIs, 2 IVFs) and I hated every second of it. But I wanted to have a baby and that's how strong that drive can be. Even my extreme needle phobia couldn't stop my pursuit to get pregnant.

It just makes me wonder about people getting vaccinated during the pandemic. No matter how badly someone wants to be vaccinated, there can still be that irrational, but very real and very huge fear of needles preventing some people from getting injected.

I know going through IVF fundamentally changed me. When the first vaccine clinic came to my county, I signed up as soon as I could. If I hadn't already been through IVF, I don't think I would have had the courage to do that. I'd like to think that I could find the courage to voluntarily get a shot, but I wonder if I could... Had I not been through what I survived.

It has just been on my mind. There are probably people who really want to be vaccinated, but their fear of needles is getting in the way. I empathize. I know what it's like to have needle phobia. I know what it's like to be angry and scared.

I'm also grateful for my hard-earned fortitude.

"I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it 
because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your foot." -Nadia Comaneci

Monday, July 12, 2021

Fifth Time's the Charm

Hello! I've missed you!! How have you been doing??

I... Have been moving. While still learning this new job that's kicking my butt. It's been nonstop work, in one way or another, since I wrote my last post. You haven't missed anything fun. Even my sewing machine is still boxed up. It's just like the saying goes, "When it rains, it pours." Moving is terrible, but I am so grateful for each one of my moves.

I have now moved FIVE times since knowing I won't be raising children in this lifetime, and two of those moves have been during the pandemic (something I highly recommend NOT doing if you can avoid it).

So let's revisit those moves briefly...

Move #1: This one SUUUCKED. I packed the nursery that never saw children, hired various people to make repairs, and put the house that I bought for my children on the market. It sold the first weekend. Thankful it sold so quickly, I still cried throughout the whole process. It was awful. It was devastating and heart-wrenching. It cemented the fact that I would not be a mother. (Although I was relieved to get out of the suburbs...) I moved back into the heart of the city. I moved to the same area where I went to college and had my first two jobs after college. Moving back to a familiar area where I had good memories gave me some comfort. Then I started graduate school, ha! Grad school sucked so bad. But, it was a means to an end. And, like most things, grad school eventually ended and I could move on to where I really wanted to be.

Move #2: This one was HAAARD. After living in an overpriced rental for two years while going to grad school, I was chomping at the bit to move out of state. Ever since realizing I wasn't going to be a mom, I wanted to move to a different state and live a different life. But my practical side wouldn't let me leave the place I had called home for 25 years until after I had gone back to school (gotta take advantage of that in-state tuition!). I used to think, "Why doesn't everyone just move if they're unhappy where they are?" Silly me, nothing "just" happens easily. Moving out of state is difficult and expensive. But we did it! Well, at least I did anyway. My husband never even looked for a job... I left our marriage three months after moving. (There were many other contributing factors, but living alone in a cool apartment in a new, fun city when I was married and lonely was one of the last straws for me.)

Move #3: This one was a CONFIDENCE BOOSTER. I did it!!! I realized my dream. I was living in a new state and I had moved out of the city. I had a job that paid my bills (even if it was teaching, my old career, instead of my new career in healthcare) and I lived in a rented condo surrounded by nature. I quickly realized my new town was not where I wanted to settle down, but I enjoyed the area for the year that I lived there. Plus, I got a weekend job at a hospital that I really enjoyed and it got me started in my new career.

Move #4: This one NEARLY BROKE ME. It really was the nightmare move from hell. Even though we did it, I don't know how my boyfriend and I did this move. After waiting two extra weeks for a rented moving truck, we had one day to move everything 4 hours and 2 mountain passes away. We made two trips to move everything within 24 hours and then we collapsed at the end of our seemingly never-ending day. We were painfully sore for weeks. It was truly awful. It was long, hot, physically demanding, and extremely stressful because it was in the middle of the pandemic so we didn't even feel safe stopping for gas or the bathroom. Plus, our new rental was so, so hot. And grimy from years and years of renters. Again, we knew we had moved somewhere temporary. While thankful for housing, we dreaded moving again in another year.

Move #5: This one was hard, but it also FELT GOOD. My boyfriend and I moved into OUR home, a house that we bought, a place that we won't have to pack up and move again in 364 days. It's been long, but it's been worth it. We definitely don't take it for granted. We did not want to move again, especially during the pandemic, but we love our new place. It's an old house (105 years!) so it has lots of imperfections, but it is perfect for us. I'll write more about our new home later. The fact is, we are here now.

Moving is awful. It's hard work, it costs money, and it makes you live with disorganization for months. But... When you get to where you want to be, it is so worth it!!! Six years ago I decided to move to this state. I had no idea I would end up in the small town where I am now. I just kept moving away from what I didn't want and moving toward what I did want.

And now I am here.