Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Infertility Etiquette

As I said in my last post, people sometimes say the dumbest things to you when you are infertile. I guess sometimes they are trying to be helpful, but most of the time it really just comes across as mean and insensitive.

Just days after we found out my tubes were blocked and it was impossible for us to get pregnant on our own, we had a big dinner party at our apartment. It was the beginning of December and all of our Christmas decorations were up (we didn't have much, but it looked like a good amount since our apartment wasn't nearly as big as our house is). Someone commented on how cute the decorations were and how they needed to put theirs up. Someone else there who I didn't know as well said something to the effect of "Yeah, it must be sooo much easier to make things like that a priority when you don't have kids."

Even though what she said was rude and she had no idea of knowing our situation, it wasn't as much what she said but how she said it. She continued to make comments all night about how my life must be so easy since I didn't have kids. Even after the party, another friend apologized for how rude this lady was. I was glad that I never saw her again.

Another lady at church used to say things to me quite frequently as well. Things like "You guys go out of town a lot, it must be nice to just be able to take off like that. Those of us with kids don't get to do that." Again, it wasn't really what she said but it was how she said it. She would make a comment about things I did that I wouldn't do if we had kids every time she talked to me. After a few months of trying to avoid her, she walked up to me while someone else was discussing my fertility doctor with me. The look on her face was clear that she had no idea we weren't able to get pregnant and from that point on she never made those kinds of comments to me again that she had always made before. I guess before she thought she was going to guilt me into have children. Who knows.

On a side note - people who seemed the rudest to me about having children were in Tampa. No wonder I didn't like living there much. Maybe it is because there are a lot more people around me here who have fertility problems so as a general rule people are more sensitive to it. This isn't to say that everyone I know from Tampa was like this - most of them weren't. But if you have ever wondered this is just one of the reasons I was slightly miserable there.

Everyone knows someone that is infertile (whether you know they are or not). If you are reading my blog, then I guess you know me (I don't think anyone reads my blog that I don't know outside of cyberspace). Because everyone knows someone infertile, everyone should be a little familiar with things they shouldn't say to people who are infertile. This article has some great information about things to say or not say to someone who may be having fertility issues. You can read the article in its entirety here, but here are some of the things that stuck out to me the most.

Don't Tell Them to Relax
I'm infertile, not uptight.

Don't Say They Aren't Meant to Be Parents
Someone once said something like this to me as she ignored her kids. I went home and cried. How could she be meant to be a parent and not me? That is just ridiculous.

Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy
It is hard to believe that this one has to be stated, but a lot of friends complained to me about their pregnancies before I ever got pregnant with Jacob. Even 2 years later, I don't really want to hear women complain about how uncomfortable they are/were the last month. I would love to be pregnant and go through that last month - at least then I would know that there was a better chance of my child being healthy and not worry as much about them having problems.

But something you can do:
Remember Them on Mother's Day
One of the most depressing days of my life was Mother's Day of 2007. Not only was it Mother's Day, but it was also my 30th birthday. Only 2 of my friends remembered me at all and called to talk to me. We spent the day with Justin's family and most of them didn't even realize it was my birthday. I felt like I didn't matter at all. It is terrible to have people forget your birthday, multiply that by 10 when it is Mother's Day and you aren't a mom.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Awareness week

I just found out that this week (more precisely April 24th - May 1st) is National Infertility Awareness Week. It looks like it isn't the same time every year, but isn't it interesting that exactly 2 years ago we were starting injections for in vitro?

Being infertile is the hardest thing that we have ever gone through (and continue to go through). And while most people are understanding, so many people say the dumbest things to you when you are infertile. I'll give people the benefit of the doubt though and say that I'm pretty sure they don't intend to be as mean as they seem.

If you don't know much about infertility, Infertility 101 is a great place to start.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Finally some new posts

The last month has been busy around here and mostly because everyone at our house has spent a bit of time under the weather.

I had planned to get a lot of stuff done over my spring break (including starting on those stupid curtains), but I started feeling lots of congestion on Monday of spring break week. At first it seemed like it was just some allergy problems and a couple days later I started feeling a little better. Then the next day I started feeling way worse. I then proceeded to have one of the worst colds I have ever had. Why do I always, always get sick over spring break?

This year, I decided to share my cold with Jacob. Justin didn't need my cold, because this year he has been suffering with the worst allergies he has ever had.

I have a very strong belief that no one on earth has worse allergies in the spring time than Justin has. His eyes have been so irritated and scratchy that he hasn't been able to wear his contacts for a month. That may not sound like a big deal to most, but since Justin has keratoconus it means Justin has been practically blind for the last month. And if Justin spends any time outside lately, his eyes turn all red and get all goopy. Yuck. Plus his eyes feel like they are burning.

Once spring break was over I was still sick, but the semester gets busier and busier the closer we are to the end. I feel like I am caught up for the moment, but in the next 5 weeks I will give 3 exams (2 of which I haven't even written yet) so I will have lots of work to get done before the semester ends.

After 2 weeks of being sick and another week and a half of feeling fine but coughing all the time, I think I am finally better. Now if we can just get Justin through the worst allergy season that Houston has ever seen...

Not a milestone to really celebrate, but...

On Sunday as we were driving back from Texas City we hit a milestone in our youngest car.
Align CenterWe really aren't liking the fact that both of our cars now have over a hundred thousand miles each on them, but we aren't willing to invest in a newer vehicle yet.

15 months old

We did take a few pictures of Jacob with his elephant a few weeks ago when he turned 15 months old (I have just been too busy to post them).
The last update that I did about Jacob was when he was a year old, so I thought I would tell a little bit about Jacob now and how he has changed.

At 1 year old Jacob had 2 teeth. At 15 months he had 7 teeth and he now has 8 (and has some molars trying to come in that are making all of us miserable).

At 1 year old Jacob wouldn't really eat solid food and many times when we tried to feed him he would gag and throw up everywhere. Over the last few weeks Jacob has gotten a lot better about being able to eat solids, but he is super picky about what he will eat. He still doesn't like things like apple sauce or mashed potatoes (I guess because of their textures) but he loves bread items so he eats french toast and grilled cheese a lot. He really doesn't seem to care for any fruits and he doesn't like most vegetables but I can get him to eat some of my homemade chicken noodle soup that has pieces of carrot and celery in it as well as cauliflower and sweet potato puree.

Even though he is eating solids now, he doesn't really get that these are his meals and wants to drink lots of milk. Because we know he doesn't eat enough to get all the nourishment that he needs we are mixing his sippy cups and night-time bottles with half toddler formula and half whole milk. In the last couple of weeks he has decreased his milk intake from about 40 ounces a day to more in between 25 and 30 ounces a day since he eats more.

At 1 year old Jacob was crawling everywhere. At 15 months old Jacob is pretty good at walking and usually prefers to walk, but when we want him to walk, he crawls instead. Stubborn kid.

Jacob loves playing with balls and taking them over to the tile floor so he can make them bounce (or depending on what type of ball it is, so it makes a loud noise when he throws it down). He also loves things with wheels. He loves to take toy cars, trucks and things with wheels and turn them over on their sides or upside down and spin the wheels.

At 1 year old, it was hit or miss if Jacob would sleep through the night or not. Now he usually sleeps until between 6:30 and 7 every morning as long as he isn't sick or something like that.

We love seeing Jacob grow and his personality develop!

Easter weekend

We spent our Easter weekend with friends on Saturday and family on Sunday making it a great weekend.

On Saturday we had some friends over for a cookout. We grilled, ate and visited while the kids ran around like crazy. Well, Jacob didn't do much running around. He was super fussy the entire time and made it difficult for both Justin and I to take turns eating. We kept trying to get him to try the food, but he didn't want any of it.

I made a bunny cake to celebrate Easter and it was delicious (and not at all good for you). I think the bunny may have turned out looking better the last time I made it, but oh well.

On Sunday morning the Easter bunny had visited and brought Jacob a few things.
Patiently waiting for his basket.

The Easter bunny knew that Jacob would like the Fridge Farm he is holding above because he really liked playing with it at Grant's house a few weeks ago.
A little boy can never have too many trucks, right?

After I spent the morning making rolls, we headed down to Texas City to Justin's cousin's house to celebrate Easter with Justin's dad's family. We got there just in time for them to start the egg hunt and the kids lined up outside for pictures.
We couldn't get Jacob to stand up with his cousins and then he decided that checking out the pretty pink flowers behind everyone was neater than having pictures taken.
A picture of the kids with great-grandma and grandpa before the egg hunting could begin.
Just as we thought, Jacob didn't hunt any eggs. He was too busy playing with leaves and grass, but he did enjoy the egg that we gave him.
We hope everyone else had a great Easter weekend!