I feel like an old, old woman. I had to buy a pill box. Good news: it’s stackable! Not sure why that was the selling point for me but it was. So there. Tomorrow I am supposed to start taking a prenatal vitamin (yeah I know, hold the commentary, I should have been taking it all along but I had a mental block about it), baby aspirin and DHEA. This is in addition to the birth control pills, Metformin, Vitamin D (I’m an Oregonian) and my Chinese herbs. Have I mentioned the Chinese herbs?? I love those. My acupuncturist sells them to me. They are freaking expensive but I feel like they mellow me out and just take a little bit of the edge off of my naturally irritable personality. I know nothing about these herbs except for that I took them to work to show my Chinese co-worked who said “ooohhh, this herb is for woman. Makes period less painful. I don’t know what the rest of this is. Are you sure it’s Chinese?” It wasn’t a total vote of confidence but it didn’t deter me either. I further interrogated her about her actual knowledge of Chinese medicine which she admitted was spotty at best and then reminded me she was a CPA and not a doctor. I do love my co-workers. They make me laugh every day. Back to the pills. While I felt no research was necessary with respect to the magic herbs, I do feel like I should research DHEA because I am told that it can cause problems if taken over an extended period of time. I guess that should be a cause for some concern but I kind of feel like I don’t really care about side effects and long term problems because it’s necessary now for me to achieve my immediate goal of getting knocked up by my doctor…er, my husband. Sort of. Anyway, with the addition of three new pills and the fact that I can barely remember to take my magical herbs three times a day I felt that a pill box was needed. So now my beautiful rainbow pill box sits on my counter waiting for me to fill it. Sigh, I think I’ll have some ice cream instead.
Thanksgiving Eve is also known as Drinksgiving in our house. We get together with friends and have a few glasses of wine or a cocktail and gripe about whatever floats our boat at that time. I may have over indulged in Drinksgiving a time or two. Literally a time or two and I cannot live it down! The problem is that usually on Thanksgiving morning we do the local Turkey Stuffer 5k with our Drinksgiving friends and one year I was not feeling it. I thought I might barf in someone’s yard. Later that day, I went all bulimia on myself and made myself ralph right before dinner and a rousing rendition of This Land is Your Land at my in-laws (seriously. I can’t make shit like that up). I even broke a blood vessel in my eye which my sister was quick to notice and point out and then laugh at when we got to my parents a few hours later. Reflecting back I would like to retract my “time or two” statement because really it was just that one time and we’ve been doing this for years. Anyway, tonight will be the annual Drinksgiving festivity. We will re-live the Turkey Stuffer fiasco of 2008…or was it 2009? Hilarity will ensue and for that I am thankful.
Drinksgiving isn’t the whole purpose of this post although I do really like it. The purpose was actually to write about Thankfulness. I know, I know, roll your eyes, I get it. These posts usually annoy the crap out of me when other people write them but it’s my blog and I don’t usually annoy myself so here we go… oh wait, one more thing…Thanksgiving is a bit of fiasco in our house. We typically go to my in-laws in the morning and then my parents in the afternoon. The in-laws include family members from afar that we see once a year so it’s not like we really spend time with the immediate in-laws (who I like) and instead I have to field questions from my mother-in-law’s cousins wife about when we are going to have kids. My therapists tells me it’s not healthy for me to be thinking up come backs in anticipation of her question but I can hardly help myself. They range from a simple retort like “shut your face!” to a polite “oh the time just hasn’t been right” to an inappropriate “well we’ve sure been practicing, haven’t we honey?? wink, wink”. Anyway, my therapist says I now need to do a mindfulness exercise… she’s probably right. Thanksgiving #1 at in-laws, Thanksgiving #2 my parents. This year we are doing Thursday with in-laws, Friday with my parents/sister. It will be better. Plus the in-law celebration is no longer a pot luck. You have no idea how great that is. The pot luck was nasty. Nasty, nasty food. I think I ate Turkey and mashed potatoes last year because I couldn’t ID who brought what in order to make good choices for the rest of the dishes.
I totally digress… This year I am particularly thankful for my parents and my parents in-law. My sibling and siblings-in-law are pretty great (I really am pretty damn lucky in that respect) but our parents are such a huge support in our life and gosh darn it, I just really like them. Here’s why:
My mom… My mom and I used to cook Thanksgiving dinner together. At least that’s how I remember it. Everything from making the grocery list to baking pies and figuring out the right time to put the turkey in. We are like bread and butter (two of our favorite things) in the kitchen. She goes left, I go right. It’s great. Since I got married we haven’t been able to do that because we split time. This year, splitting days has allowed us to go back to us cooking dinner. The difference is that it will be at my house and that she’s not going to be here to put the turkey in the oven and deal with all that nasty raw poultry but she says I can handle it. She might be right but I am not looking forward to yanking that neck out… gross. We’ve chatted nearly every day this week about what we are going to cook and who’s getting what. We leave my sister out of these talks as she’s not really on the same page with our cooking style. She’s all whole wheat and kale and we’re all butter, butter and more butter. In addition to being a fun kitchen buddy, my mom gets me. She just does and that’s the best part. .
My dad… my dad is the workhorse of all workhorses. My husband built a beautiful outdoor space for us this summer. By summer, I mean ALL summer… but it’s really an incredible space. My dad came and helped on this project weekend after weekend and the man (the 65 year old man at that) just works and works and works and works and works. You have to feed him every now and again but very rarely and he doesn’t take a long break to eat. Without his help, the project would still be going on. He also believes in my potential. He called me up a few months ago to tell me that he watched an interview with Sheryl Sandburg (Facebook lady who wrote Lean In) and that if anyone ever tells me I’m bossy to let them know I’m a leader. It was a very “we’re not gonna take it” phone call. Pretty cool, if you ask me. He knows that I get feedback from my bosses about being assertive and outspoken and his advice was loud and clear… keep doing what you’re doing and if they don’t like it, that’s there problem. He’s on my side 100%, no questions asked. Don’t worry, when I was a kid and got in trouble in school he rarely took my side… 🙂
My M-I-L… I spent a few hours with my MIL just chatting last night. Just the two of us. I stopped by her shop to get the real scoop on the Thanksgiving plan because it had been telephoned to me through my husband. We ended up just shooting the breeze. Like girlfriends. It was a very spontaneous conversation and everything from fertility to motherhood to working woman to faith was covered. We are very similar and I have fought this for years. I am finally starting to appreciate that being compared to her is actually a huge compliment.
My F-I-L… FIL is an older, more laid back version of my super laid back husband. He, too, was a huge help on our summer project. While I felt my day laborer needed to hurry up and spend less money, it was fun to see my dad, FIL and my husband outside working together. His presence is calming in a way that I can’t explain. He is so very thoughtful and insightful when given the chance. And kind. So very kind. He passed these qualities on to his son and for that I am so grateful.
My parents and parents-in-law are obviously the bees knees and I barely scratched the surface of their awesomeness. We have experienced a lifetime of awesomeness from these people and I know they would do anything for us, including gift us money for fertility treatments, if we asked (we got a bill requesting an $8500 prepayment for our IVF cycle so we just might ask). Their support both emotional and potentially financial will make this journey a little less lonely. They never know what to say or ask about and I don’t fault them for that, I don’t know what they should say either. They have never expressed the disappointment that I project onto them. All they have is love. So much unconditional love. We should all be so lucky.
Happy Thanksgiving… may you be surrounded by those that mean the most in your life and may your turkey be moist, your Riesling be dry and your pie crust be flaky. Cheers!
The first of the theme’s for this week could be a deep one but I am taking it to the shallowest of all shallow levels. I am seriously missing a football team that wins games. I love college football! I am even starting to love the NFL a little bit (thankyouverymuch Fantasy Football) but my team is struggling! Struggling to show up and play offense not to mention defense and that results in a struggle to score points or stop the other team from scoring points. Lame.
I have too many books going right now. I never have multiple books going but this girl got all crazy with the new Kindle! I am reading Lean In for my book club which I am loving. I am also a few chapters into The Light Between Oceans but my sister called me yesterday to tell me that I MUST wait for 3 years to pick it back up again. She was very emphatic. She went so far as to tell me to either throw it away completely (this one I have in real book form) or mail it to my mom. She doesn’t think it will be good for my mental state given the infertility challenges and considering she said she cried through the last 150 pages of the book, she may have a point. I will probably do as she says… she is older after all. Plus it hadn’t really piqued my interest. The book has to pull me in by the second page or I’m out. I do wonder how she came up with 3 years but I suspect she pulled it out of her ass in an attempt to make a point.
I will be drying out starting December 1 in preparation for the IVF cycle. No one told me to do that I just decided that would be a good date. There will be exceptions made for holiday parties…obviously. In preparation for D-day I have been drinking everything alcoholic… wine, beer, spirits! Bring it on! We’re not talking in excess or anything (well not every time) but I do feel this need to get in the good stuff while I can. Much to my husband’s dismay, I am opening good bottles of wine, filling up growlers on the way home from work or pouring a small taste of Pappy VanWinkle on a regular basis. It’s a good reminder to him that I like fine things. Bwahahaha.
You know what I am not eating? Meat. I kind of just don’t like it. Except steak. I like steak. Oh and prime rib. Other than that, I could kind of do without meat. Or maybe I could just do without the handling of raw meat. I don’t like to touch it. It grosses me out. Yuck. It’s just nasty. I’ve started making fried eggs on Sunday morning. Random but I like to eat those and there’s no nasty, fleshy, sickness inducing juices for me to worry about there.
So we moved into a new house… a year ago and I’ve been planning to finish unpacking but things just keep coming up. It’s not my fault! I’m the total victim here. The issue is that I don’t know what to do with the sh*t in the last 6 boxes! I don’t like to throw a lot of things away but I swear I’m not a hoarder. I do stack things around my house or hide it from myself if I don’t want to deal with it but there’s no garbage… So Thanksgiving Friday is when my immediate family will descend onto my house for a T-day feast so those 6 boxes have got to go!! Ugh. Don’t want to.
So that’s what’s happening ’round here!
I like my therapist. She’s nice and I didn’t lie to her…yessss, selfie high five! She has some funny mannerisms that sometimes distract me from her words but that’s totally minor. Anyway, she and I talked about planfulness (is that even a real word? my lady used it but I’m still not sure) the other day. In her attempt to fix me, which will not be an easy job unless she asks the exact right question, she was trying to figure out if I am actually planning or worrying. The thing is, it’s a very fine line. ultimately she determined that I am just really organized and on top of things. I suspect that I masked the real reason I plan… control. How clever am I? I tricked the therapist! In all actuality, she probably thought “oh crap we are running low on time to tackle this control obsessed person right now…” I don’t actually think I tricked her… scratch that, I actually do. Time will tell. Back to the point, planning things out helps me feel in control of my surroundings. It helps me meet the expectations of others and myself which is very important to me. When I have a plan, I am all in and I don’t really like it to change. If it does change, I am very quick to create a new plan and then be all in on that. This happens on a very micro level like if we can’t go to the grocery store prior to picking up my parents for the airport, there’s still time to go after we pick them up if we take their car to them at the airport. Get it? Plan then plan changed. Voila! Here’s the thing, I can’t do it on a macro level since my life plan got all effed up with this infertility bull sh*t. I can’t plan what happens after the embryo transfer. I have no plan for what’s next. Jan-Apr are very busy months for me at work so I know that in February I will be working on this client and that client with this staff and that staff but in my mind it’s this big blank page. Woa, I just got a little sick to my stomach typing that. I truly have no plan because I don’t know what February holds. There are several options which I started listing and deleted. My brain short-circuits when I start to go down this road. February and beyond is white space. Open. Available. Empty. I have the plan for December and January but then what?
The problem with having no plan for February besides the obvious (life must go on and all that jazz) is that I am not able to commit to concrete things that will happen in February. I got an email today about coaching Special Olympics basketball. This upcoming season, which runs from Jan-Mar, will be my 6th season and my 5th with the same team. The roster literally has only changed by 1-2 players each year. These guys (the team happens to all be men who range in age from 30-55) count on me to be their coach. Someone once told me that my face changes and my voice changes when I talk about my basketball team. It changes in a way that they can feel the passion and the love that I genuinely have for these people. It breaks my heart to consider not coaching them again this year but I am really struggling to go all in on that plan because so many variables are unknown. Will I feel up to it in Jan with the IVF cycle and my work schedule ramping up? Will I feel up to in February and March? I have no idea what the answer to these questions are. I always have an idea. The white space is very strange.
Currently, as in right this second, I am wishing I didn’t just do the Barre3 online workout that I chose. It was hard as heck and my legs are still a little shaky. I didn’t even know about this Barre3 business until a girlfriend of mine told me she was doing it. Because she was doing it, I determined (through no fact-finding at all but through simple deductive reasoning) that Barre3 was exercise for lazy people. Quite frankly, my friend doesn’t like to sweat so obviously she’s lazy. Haha! Amway, I haven’t really wanted to exercise much lately but I have wanted to eat a lot so I thought a lazy person’s exercise program would be great. Barre3 is yoga+pilates+ballet (somehow this supported my conclusion regarding the lazy factor which is crazy talk and I get it, I didn’t do all my research). You can go to “studio” classes but that’s so far outside my league it’s laughable. I start to cluckle just thinking about me and a ballet barre… However, they have online workouts for $15 a month. 10 minute, 30 minute, 40 minute or 60 minute and let me tell you, they are NOT for lazy people. They are hard. I have done a couple 40 minute workouts and a couple of the 30 minute workouts and while it’s easy on your body from an impact standpoint the shaky arms and legs are no joke. I know I’ll be glad I did the workout later but right now, I am beat!
My birthday was this past week and as a result I have been doing a lot of typing, in the form of emails, to long-lost friends. I am not great about keeping up with my girlfriends that don’t live close because at this point they all have kids and I feel like I can’t call because I don’t want to bug them and they are in different time zones, blah, blah, blah, excuses, excuses, excuses. It has been nice to reconnect these last few days and get the 411 on what’s new.
Last week I got the first box (and it was a big box) of meds that we will use for our IVF cycle. One of the meds has to be refrigerated and the rest just need to be stored. As a result I have been moving the meds in the fridge around to keep them out of sight of guests. The rest of the meds have been travelling a lot as well. Should they go in my bedroom, should they go in the bathroom, where is that sharps container? we have a sharps container, right? damn, these needles are big. I need to just stop touching them! I think, at this point, they have found their pre-treatment home… for now.
A couple of weeks ago I was in DC for a leadership conference specifically designed for women in the finance and accounting profession. At the conference I learned that women have been entering my profession in equal numbers to men for the last 20 years however the numbers of women at the partner level or CFO level are only at about 19% and 9%, respectively. These figures really highlight the issue that this profession has in retaining and advancing women. Since I have been back I have been thinking about how to start and then move a Women’s Initiative through my firm. I think it starts with educating the leadership team (8 men, 1 woman) and the first step in that will be to set the meeting and get put together a really compelling, informative, persuasive presentation. The life or death of this initiative will hinge on that… and on me.
Very few days go by where something doesn’t elicit some sort of snicker or giggle or laugh. I had cocktails last night with a girlfriend (and again tonight with another one! Yes, I am so popular!! har, har) and amidst all the laughing and a little bit of crying, there was a real sense of friendship. I have finally reached a point where I recognize the importance and the beauty of girlfriends. I was never a big girlfriend girl. I had one or two close friends but I was a tom boy and tom boys struggle to connect with other girls sometimes. As an adult, I have found that I have the confidence in myself to really enjoy other women. I love that my life is filled with smart, professional, caring women and I cherish my time with all of them.
A little back story to lay the groundwork as to why I had to come out to two bosses regarding our fertility journey. I’m a CPA that works in an accounting firm. People always ask me who my boss is and I answer that, at this particular juncture in my career, I have 9 of them. See as a manager in my firm you report to the entirety of the partner group because each client is serviced by a different partner and a different engagement team. That said, as a lowly associate in my firm, you report to all the senior associates, all the managers and all the partners. fortunately for me the chain of command is shortening.
It’s not like my co-workers are completely in the dark about this journey but the male-dominated bosses of this company likely are. The one female partner we do have doesn’t have a spouse/partner and is also currently living child-free. Anyhoo, the reality of the significant financial investment we are about to make was weighing heavy on me. All of the overtime I work during tax season is stored very nicely as extra vacation time and as a result, I have a lot. There have been times when, if your balance gets too big, you can cash it out. I am not sure if I have that much time but so instead of waiting to find out I wanted to see if I would be able to do. The punchline: I will be able to cash out some of that time which will be a big help. I went into the managing partner’s office, as he is the one who approves the cash out, and asked him if I could cash mine out. He asked why and said I didn’t have to say but I knew the answer would probably be yes if I told him. When I told him what I would be using the money for he responded emphatically “Wow, congratulations! That’s great!” I was stunned. What exactly is so great about it??? The shots? The ultrasounds? The fact that conception occurs outside the body? The fact that we’ve had to endure several bumps in the road to get here? It was such a strange response. I guess I thought he would say “Oh man I am sorry you have to go through that”…but no. Maybe he thinks that we just decided that we didn’t want to even try on our own and that we aren’t getting any younger so we proceeded with IVF. I mean it’s what all the celebrities do to fit children into their busy careers, right?? Gimme a break. fortunately, the conversation that followed was positive and supportive and he said all the “right” things from the standpoint of career progression, etc.
The story doesn’t end there. The retrieval and subsequent implantation are tentatively scheduled for a time that coincides when I would normally be out at a client so before we really set things in motion I wanted to get approval from the partner in charge of that client to be able to take a couple of days off. That partner’s response was almost exactly the same. I was flabbergasted! He too, was ultimately supportive and tried to make a few jokes because it can be an uncomfortable and very personal topic but again with the congratulations. Sigh.
I guess I learned that a lot of people truly have no idea what infertility looks or feels like. They can’t, in fact, comprehend it. Now I kind of regret telling either one of them. I sort of feel like I should have kept my mouth shut and said “I need to cash out some vacation for personal reasons” and “I need to take a couple of days off during this timeframe for personal reasons” but no, I opened my big mouth and now they know. What bugs me is that they know but don’t understand and they will figure out if it’s failed in pretty short order and they won’t understand that either. Oh well, what’s done is done. Hopefully the knowlege that motherhood might be in my future doesn’t slow my career progress… that’s another post.
On a totally unrelated note: I just spell checked this post and every word that ends with a “lee” sound, I misspelled. Are those adverbs? I can’t spell adverbs, is that it? I’ll work on that. No, I probably won’t. Suck it, adverbs.
What is it about Sundays? Am I the only one that finds Sunday’s to be insufferable? Sunday has always been cause for sigh for me and it really shouldn’t be. From a rational standpoint, Sunday is still the weekend! Sunday signifies the start of a new week, a fresh start. For me, however, it’s usually about what I didn’t get done this weekend. Ya, ya, glass is half empty… wah. The laundry is still dirty, the fridge is still empty and I find myself completely unmotivated to do any of it. During the week I look forward to weekends without a hectic schedule. The quiet days will allow me to get stuff done… or so I think. Come Sunday, I am wishing for something to do! Something on the agenda, something to break up the list of chores. Don’t worry, we don’t live in filth, the chores get done but I am much happier doing them when I don’t have all day to do them. When I can limit the amount of time I have to spend on them, I am more efficient and likely more effective.
So here I sit on melancholy Sunday… another melancholy Sunday. The sun is shining, I am watching the CMA’s, that I recorded last week in, our beautiful outdoor room. My husband is blowing the lovely red and orange leaves out of our front yard. What exactly do I have to be melancholy about? I am not dreading my week at work, I am not dreading the fact that I turn 32 on Tuesday (I don’t think… well maybe a tiny bit) so what’s the deal?! Whatever it was, it’s slowly passing as I allow myself to reflect on my surroundings and the fact that it’s only 3:00, dinner is in the crock pot and I have the rest of the day ahead of me. I could continue to stay in my grey state or I could break out of it and allow myself to see past the pile of dirty laundry (as long as I have clean undies for at least one more day), past the empty fridge (there’s lunch fixin’s for tomorrow at least) and be present. Thankful for this restful day. Thankful for a handy husband, thankful for a beautiful home and thankful for sun as it will be sparse from now until June.
Feeling better already… I think I am having my cake and eating it too when I really think about it. Perhaps the icing on such cake would be to have an actual piece of cake and a glass of wine. What could be better?!