Monday, March 26, 2007

This and that.

Am I crazy, or did bogger used to have a fun toolbar? That allowed you to insert links as, well, links? I don't seem to have that anymore. And the short cuts don't work...

Recent articles of interest to me from the New York Times...

MODERN LOVE; In the Grip of Nature's Own Form of Birth Control

Prevalence of Alzheimer’s Rises 10% in 5 Years

And I’m Not Your ‘Girl,’ Gramps

This I found amusing, mostly because I have used this agency and the Home Health Aides did not like to change a soiled bed, much less what they say they do in this article.

Promise to have a real post soon....

Friday, March 09, 2007

Life Isn't Fair. But That's Okay.

Life isn't fair. But that's okay.

A friend of mine and I had a conversation a week or so back. Her life is going great, mine not so much, and I dunno. I think she was looking for the silver lining in my current IF cloud.

"Of course this will all work out for you," she says, "because you're taking care of Mama."

Which took me a minute to put together. And then I asked her explicitly, just to be sure, that I understood her.

And I did. By her logic, I'm going to get pregnant because if I deserve to get pregnant.

Except. Who decides that I freaking DESERVE.

Two weeks ago, when Mama was screaming at me that I was the cause of all things wrong with both her and her life, I yelled back.

Mama never knew me before her dementia, before the Alzheimer's. So any memory she has of being healthy, happy and strong... doesn't include me. So every so often, her logic decides that I am responsible and she shrieks at me to get out. She screams and hits and hits and screams and demands that I get out, that I leave, that her son will be better off without me, that she will be better off without me, that I am fat, that I am ugly, that I am stupid, that she curses me, that I am cursed, that she hates me, that I am evil and deserve to die. And when she hits, she always (always) strikes me in the abdomen and occasionally adds "I kill your baby! I kill your baby!"

Sometimes (rarely) it rolls off my back. But this last time, I screamed back, loud and vicious. After a minute or two of howling, (mine and hers), I sat down quietly. While I can still see Mama (and she me), I cease to interact with her. I pray a little, focus on something (anything) else, and get my calm back. (I think of it as giving myself a time out.) And after a moment of two of quiet, she starts to talk to me. Can she do anything for me, she asks. Can she make me a sandwich? Get me a glass of water? Can she make me a cup of tea?

H called me at that moment, and I collapsed into tears. I crumpled, I whined, I demanded that he make it all better. And he tried, but he couldn't. So we fought on the phone and made up on a second call.

Mama was having problems finding her crayons and when I found them, she said "Thank you Nica. You bring such good things to my life. I love you." And she hugged me and kissed me and happily toddled off to color.

People routinely say something trite. How good H and I are to take Mama in, how good we are with her. Like I would instantly "deserve" to have kids, be pregnant.

But. If we don't have kids, is it because we don't deserve to? Did Mama deserve to have dementia? Does the woman with Alzheimer's deserve to be yelled at for what she cannot control? For how her brain does (and doesn't) function? Does my family deserve to be without health insurance? Does H deserve to have his wife scream at him at work? Did I deserve to have a chemical pregnancy?

Life isn't fair. Mostly, I'm thinking, because life is filled with humans. And humans are frail creatures with frailer bodies. And sometimes they fail -- both the human and the bodies -- despite the best of efforts and the best of intentions. And what's fair for me may not be fair for you, or for H, or for Mama. And if I forgive them -- Mama and H and all the other humans (including me) in my life -- and they forgive me for my frailty, for what makes my life (and their lives) unfair... and if I'm going to continue to try (and to risk failing or really screwing up)... then I have to make my peace with life being unfair.

Life isn't fair. But that's okay.

Feel free to disagree with me. It took me a few weeks to get to here...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What is In Vitro Maturation?

See above. What is In Vitro Maturation and how is it different from IVF? Anyone know?

See, I do searches periodically for news articles about fertility. I keep hoping that there will be something... something. Preferably with the headline "HEY NICA -- THIS WILL GET YOU PREGNANT!!"

In Vitro Maturation popped up a while back, and though I have g.oogle.d it, I'll be darned it I understand it. Because if it works so well... why aren't more folks using it? If anyone has a clue, feel free to share with the rest of the class...

And speaking of being confused by the news... Being overweight is bad for fertility, trans-fats are bad for fertility, but a diet high in fat is good for fertility.

My little head is hurting...

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Yesterday, I'm waiting in front of the building. It was shortly after 8:00AM, raining like hell, cold enough to be miserable (but not enough to make it snow). I'm waiting with Mama for the bus that takes her to daycare. And Mama, being Mama, is wandering around. I'm chasing after her, making sure that she's covered by the umbrella, and while she doesn't move fast, she has this superhuman ability to make sure that she's far enough away that I am constantly drenched. And because I am REALLY SMART I am wearing pink fluffy bunny slippers that are sopping and freezing and slipping off my feet and getting filthier by the minute.

And then the morning got bad.

Isa, Mama's former Home Care Attendant, comes walking by, on her way to the subway. She waves and runs up to Mama, chirping a greeting and (thank you Jesus) causing Mama to stop in her tracks. Isa then turns to me and says NICA, WHERE'S THE BABY? WHY YOU NO PREGNANT YET?

Yeah. We're Latin. Have I mentioned?

I was raised in the Midwest, by parents trying (and succeeding) to be middle class. Polite (ish). Small family. You know the kind.

I move to NYC, I marry H, and I am pulled into a large (although now, all moved away) Latin family.

And WHERE IS THE BABY is the way we get greeted. That, or WHY DON'T YOU HAVE KIDS (YET). Just after we were married, we'd respond we're trying!! with laughs and smiles. And then the smiles got thinner and the chuckles died away. And now while I am usually reeling from this hello, H (if he's with me) if giving whomever an abridged version of our attempts to procreate. Up to and including our maybe-chemical pregnancy. (My 2nd RE is convinced it was a real pregnancy, my OBGYN is not. Doc Fight!)

But H wasn't there, so I just stood there. In the rain, feet cold and hair sopping, I just stood there. And Isa continues, YOU'VE GAINED WEIGHT. I THOUGHT YOU WERE PREGNANT.


I wish I could be like H. I wish I could just tell people that we're trying, that it's hell, that it's hell. H actually told his boss that he needed a job that had good benefits because we were having fertility problems and needed great medical coverage. (H is currently working freelance). I wish I could make similar requests to my boss.

But I don't.