Mother’s Day has been strangely bittersweet for as long as I can remember. The woman who carried me in her heart and in her belly for nine months and then spent the next 22 months loving me in her arms and fighting to stay here on earth with me – she’s been my Angel Mom since May 21, 1984. She’s now loving me from somewhere else.
Not long after she lost her battle with leukemia, I met my second mom, the woman who cleaned my scrapes, wiped my tears, helped me with homework and dealt with me as an angsty teenager, the woman who sat behind me on my wedding day.
I celebrate them both. I always have, and I always will. One celebration makes me angry and sad for the woman I never knew but blindly love; one celebration makes me give thanks for the wonderful woman I know and love.
I’ve been blessed with two women who love me no matter what. They are amazing for what they’ve done and for what they continue to do in my life. One continues to teach me that each day on earth is a gift to never take for granted. I can’t hear her voice, but I know her legacy. The other has taught me more than I could ever put into words and continues to give me new lessons all the time.
To my first mom, Debi, I love looking through your pictures and at the letter you wrote to me. I know that, even though I don’t know what your laugh sounds like, I’m going to hear your voice one day and know you’re my mom.
To my second mom, Louise, I am so thankful that you chose to be my mom and chose to stick by me and love me through all the good times and bad. Thank you for loving me.
Mother’s Day is complicated in my head, right? Now it’s even more muddled.
I’ve been just-barely-pregnant twice in the last year, long enough for those pregnancies to leave a lasting mark on my heart but not long enough for me to be among those traditionally celebrated today. I’d rather be rubbing my big, pregnant belly today, but instead I’m trying to decide what we’re going to do for our next cycle of trying to conceive the baby who will one day sit in my lap while I try to type on the computer, who will smother my face with slobbery kisses.
Happy Mother’s Day to those with simple celebrations. Happy Mother’s Day to those with complicated celebrations. I hope, for us all, that today is a beautiful one. After all, each day is a gift in itself.
“We were on a BREAK!”
Yes, I keep quoting Ross Geller in my head. Over and over and over and over.
I should be thrilled that I ovulated on my own for the first time since February of 2009. I should be proud of my little ovaries (since the productive party shall remain anonymous, they can both take credit). That should be then end of the story.
A am thrilled. I am proud. Sort of.
Except I never got that break I so desperately needed.
And I’m not pregnant, either.
And now I’m questioning whether I should move back into medicated-cycle land or if I should gamble another cycle with my fickle ovaries and see if they function again on their own.
It was SO nice to not feel the financial pressure of making something happen with the precious dough we normally spend on medications and copays. In that sense, I got my break.
The problem with that is, if I do ovulate without medication, I will most likely only release one egg. When I’m medicated, I have released up to three eggs. So, you see, medication increases our chances.
But are the increased chances worth the financial burden and the stress? Logically thinking, yes. Historically speaking, maybe. Emotionally thinking, I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE.
I have no fucking clue. Everyone has suggestions, but no one has answers. This is a Very Grownup Decision, and there is A LOT at stake. Each new suggestion, each new prospective treatment, each time I hear, “Just relax” – I question myself and my decisions.
Should I be doing acupuncture? (I had an appointment but canceled because the cost wasn’t going to work for us right now.)
Are the Gonal F injections worth the extra $100?
Am I putting too much trust in Western medicine?
Am I not giving my body a chance?
Is Metformin alone enough now?
Am I not pregnant because I didn’t actually throw my ovaries a party and instead scolded them for crashing my break cycle party?
If relaxing gets people pregnant, why doesn’t my insurance cover spa packages around ovulation time?
If we hadn’t fought that one night and spent the night on separate sides of the house, would I be holding a positive pregnancy test?
Why do doctors (of both Chinese and Western medicine) sell their (million possible and possibly long) treatments as The Thing that is going to work, and, without it, you’re fucked?
And since I’m having fun asking questions:
Why does pregnancy loss roll off the backs of some people yet it sits and hammers repeatedly on the heads of others?
Why did my break cycle that wasn’t a break have to have a two-week wait with an ending hovering around MOTHER’S DAY?
Why is it OK to be falter in strength, but no one can do or say anything to help during the weak times?
Sigh. I want to eat a whole pie. With whipped cream. And ice cream. And a tall glass of milk. But you know what? All that stuff has carbs, and carbs are might be EVIL to my stupid PCOS.
This sugar-free Jell-O doesn’t taste anything like the feelings I so desire to eat. I can’t fucking win.
We need to mow.
I saw that tweet pop up last night from my good friend Jessica. She followed it up with “I’m embracing my awesome this week, and making a habit of it.”
Claim Your Awesome. It’s a movement that’s catching on. And why wouldn’t it? Who doesn’t love being awesome? I certainly love it.
But a movement like this is also meeting resistance. People think claiming your awesome is conceited. At first glance, I thought that was downright ridiculous. And then I started to think about my own awesome. And the more I thought, the more I felt like I was being too boastful with my I’m-Awesome thoughts.
I flat-out admit in my About section that I’m a self-deprecator. In my loony little brain, it makes perfect sense to hit myself in the gut before anyone else can hit me because, then, I win. I beat them to it, and I win.
What do I win?
::cue the crickets::
Andbutso I read Jessica’s tweets, then Karen’s LiveJournal entries, and I’ve been thinking about all since then. I should claim my awesome.
But what awesome should I claim? I can claim __________ but that’s nothing special. I can claim ________ but I hate that I’m doing that.
And this, folks, is what the movement is trying to defeat within ourselves. Even after reading, after feeling the movement, I still sit here knocking myself down.
This. Should. Not. Be. Difficult.
I read a friend’s blog today about how much life sucks, but her daughter makes all the suck go away. I nodded along with the feeling of the suck, but then I kicked my injured self by thinking I don’t have children to make the suck go away.
I have myself. I have Rob. I have my friends. I have my family. I have my pets. I have my books.
No “but I don’t have __________.”
There is enough suck in this world – my little world and the big, giant one I only hear/read about – without me adding to it.
I am AWESOME.
I am fiercely loyal.
I am hysterical.
I am smart.
I am good at telling stories.
I am good at writing stories.
I have never broken a bone.
I am using my Infertility Suck to help others feel less alone and to educate people who just don’t know.
I am honest.
I am confident.
I am making a difference in people’s lives.
I encourage people to read.
I deserve compliments.
I deserve smiles.
I deserve hugs.
I deserve respect.
I deserve to respect myself.
How are you awesome? Spread the movement. Leave a comment and tell me about it. Write about it on your own blogs. Tweet about it. You are awesome. I am awesome. We? Are. Awesome.
Full disclosure: The self-deprecator in me tried to argue with each point I wrote, but I knocked that bitch down on her ass.
Holy crap. Can you smell them? CAN YOU?
Once upon a time I went to a restaurant in Raleigh and was passed a side dish my dear friend Laura ordered. Sweet potato something or other in a little crock.
Laura was sweet enough to share the taters with me that night, and we both declared the dish food from heaven, something we’d be more than happy to eat as a meal. With nothing else.
Tonight? That dream came true.
Laura had to hear me talking about it from two hours away, and for that, I apologize.
Laura, I’m SO SORRY.
But you guys. These are so easy and dreamy that I can assure you all Laura will be making this tomorrow night. She won’t suffer for long.
On with the show.
The basic flavors were sweet potatoes, onion and bacon. I figured I’d work with those, olive oil, maybe a little butter and maybe a little salt. Nothing else.
(Warning: I cook my bacon in the microwave because I CANNOT STAND the splatter burns, and I don’t have a splatter screen.)
Roasted sweet potatoes with bacon and onion
2 large sweet potatoes
1 large onion
5 slices of bacon
enough extra virgin olive oil to coat (maybe 2 tbs.?)
1 tbs. butter
1 tsp.(ish) kosher salt
Preheat oven to 425.
Wash, peel and scallop the sweet potatoes. Slice the onion and separate the rings. Set aside.
Line a plate with a paper towel, lay out the bacon, cover with another paper towel and microwave for 4 minutes.
Bacon won’t be crisp and maybe a little undercooked. GOOD. Wipe down a 9×13 glass baking dish with the bacon-grease soaked paper towel. Chop up the bacon. Load up the dish with the sweet potatoes, onion slices and bacon. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
After about 15 minutes, I peeked and saw that things were a little dry. This is where I stirred in the 1 tbs. of butter, then I covered the dish with foil. Maybe cover it at first and you won’t need the butter at all.
Um. So I didn’t check how long it took exactly. My nose told me when it was done. I think it was somewhere from 30-45 minutes.
I’m sorry this is in no way an exact science! I’m going from tastebud memory from almost two months ago, and this is my first (highly successful) attempt. To be entirely honest, I didn’t think it’d turn out this awesome.
Yay for surprises!
Shelves in progress
One shelf, made, painted, mounted and in use