Thursday, January 3, 2008

So It Makes Me Very Happy To Introduce To You . . .

Points for anyone who gets the reference for the title! You have to imagine it sung by a frog - big clue ;-).

My second post and already I'm a lazy blogger (sorry Carrie!). I have to plead Christmas and the lurgy (two lurgies, in fact). Being a teacher - and especially an infant teacher - the end of the winter term gets a bit mad. There's the intensive artwork to make cards and presents for parents, practising carols for the end of term service, the party practices (yes, with 90 primary 1s in the hall at one go, practising games is necessary) . . . and, of course, the Nativity play. This year's Nativity went very well, thank you. One day, I'll tell you the story of the Nativity that led to me uttering the sentence "I dont have all day to go round tying shepherds' dressing gowns!" through gritted teeth - shades of Joyce Grenfell, and I'm sure any other teachers out there will have similar moments.

We went to stay with my husband's mum for Christmas. My brother- and sister-in-law were there with their 4-year-old and 8-month-old. The heating had broken down, my BIL and nephew (the 8-month-old) both had nasty bugs and I had come down with the school cold on the last day of term. I can only hope that my BIL went away with the school cold, because the day we got home I started suffering from his throat infection. Can't blame the baby - although I spent quite a lot of time helping look after him - more in another post on that joy. I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself, with the sore throat, tickly cough and bunged-up ears and sinuses and resulting dizziness and headache.

Well, that covers my excuses for the lengthy pause between posts. Now I'd best get on with the introductions promised in post number 1.

I suppose my husband deserves to go first, since he's my unwilling fellow traveller. I'm really not sure how to refer to him here. DH, like on the infertility/miscarriage boards I frequent? Mr H (as in Hope for the Best)? Curmudgeon Man, since that's what I call him when he goes into one of his "the worlds done me wrong" riffs? Actually, CM sounds good and pretty much sums up his attitude to the situation in which we find ourselves - hey, who can blame him?!

We met almost 7 years ago, in our early/mid thirties (me early, him mid). The story of how we met deserves a post on its own, so I won't tell it now. A big anniversary is coming - not CM's and mine, but a sad one that led to our meeting - and I'll tell the story then. Anyway - we got married a year and a half after we met and started trying to conceive 6 months after that and that's what led me here. He's about 2 years behind me on the whole baby thing. Right now, he's dealing with the losses and the anger and sadness that brings. I've been through that, on to the "what if it NEVER works" and the "life isn't worth living without a baby" and have reached the outskirts of acceptance . . . I think . . . tho' I have a feeling there are probably some backwards trips to make as we contemplate a donor cycle and the possible real end to our hopes [actually, I've just let CM read this, and he informs me he has recently arrived at "what if it NEVER works" - good to hear he's making progress]. I expect a lot - if not most - women who find their attempts to become mothers thwarted by infertility and/or loss find their partners deal with it all very differently from themselves. I have friends I've made along the way whose partners are very similar to mine - would love to have kids but right now would be just as happy to call the whole thing done and get on with being childless if it meant a quieter life with less doctors involved :-). They're basically supportive but dont quite "get" what we're experiencing. As CM pointed out, since we've never even made it to a scan that showed anything other than empty, all he saw for each pregnancy was a couple of lines on a stick and it was hard to get emotional about it. My mum made me feel better when she told me that she reckons that when she was expecting me, my dad didn't really believe she had a baby in there till I came out! What I'm trying to say is that, we love each other, we'd both really like to have a baby but I'm the one doing the driving here.

Since I've already mentioned them, Mum and Dad had better come next. They shall be known, for the purposes of this blog, as "Mum" and "Dad" . . . but without the quotes. I'm very lucky with my parents, and I know it and appreciate it more than I can let you (or them) know. They are 66 and 71 respectively, still married after 42 years and Mum is in good health and Dad has recently gone into remission from cancer. I have a good relationship with both of them. Mum and I have words now and again, like most mothers and daughters, but mostly we're just fine and she's still the person I go to when things go wrong; Dad and I bonded when I was very wee - he was studying as a mature student when I was born and when my sister was born he was my main carer for a while, so we're close. I have my mum's sense of social responsibility and love of art and my dad's sense of humour and love of gadgets. I'm not telling which bad bits I got, for their sake and mine. Since CM lost his dad in his early twenties and many of my friends' parents have split and/or died and others have troubled relationships with their folks, I know how lucky I am and, especially after our losses and Dad's illness, I appreciate every minute of the time I have with them. This all sounds a bit mushy and twee, but since I know how much it hurts me when people with children complain about them and only talk about the bad things that come with parenthood, I've become more aware of how important it is to those around us, who might not be as lucky as we are in a particular area of life, that we express the good bits. That will not stop me moaning about them on occasions, so please refer back to this post at these times (and if the bitching gets really bad, then please remind ME of this post).

I'm not really sure what Dad thinks about the whole baby situation, except that I know he wants me to be happy and that he'd be a really fab grandfather (as long as we didn't have a child that loved football - then he'd probably disown them). Mum has been lovely throughout - except if she thinks I'm indulging in self-pity, when she'll give me a boot up the backside. Sometimes, I think it's OK to wallow a bit, so sometimes she gets a boot back. This is where the tension? . . . irony? . . . in the situation occurs. Mum and I have a lot in common, mentally and physically, but here, where the most basic function of being female comes up, our experiences are totally different. She produced 2 children with the minimum of fuss and in a timely fashion and I can't manage one. And on some level, this means she can't get it. But she does try and I know that she wants us to succeed more than anything. I honestly think that if she were the right age, she would have a baby for me somehow.

The lurgy has come over me again - I need p*rac*tamol and a lie down. In the next instalment: my sister and my best friend. They deserve a post to themselves because, sadly for them, they DO get it.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Eeck! How horrible to be ill whilst on holiday. That's really not fair.

I think men are altogether different in this whole deal. I'm not saying they aren't hurt/frustrated/angry but I don't think they feel it the same. I don't think it becomes part of them and, maybe most importantly, they haven't miscarried.

Technically I know it's not my fault that the miscarriages happened but on an emotional level I can't help but beat myself up. Quite different.