Monday, March 31, 2014


When Millenium Baby Fever was striking the nation, we were hoping to have our second baby. To understand my reaction to the radio station romantic weekend giveaways, you have to understand that we'd been fertility patients the first go-round, and things were looking like the same would be true again.

I remember stating my line over and over-- having a stock answer made me less likely to cry when asked about having a second child-- 'I don't care if we have the Millenium baby, a Christmas baby, or when said baby is born-- I just want to be able to have another baby!' I'd say it while laughing (another do-not-cry trick) to diffuse the awkwardness of the situation (yet a third trick; I was getting good at the mind games against myself). But yea, I wanted another baby, and I didn't care in which month he or she arrived, just that it was relatively soon.

Well, I think all 7 of you readers know how the story ends; we didn't win any romantic weekends away, but we didn't end up needing one. Girlie was the last baby born at our local hospital in the 1900s, which was actually way cooler to me than the having the first baby of the 2000s-- and my CPA mom was pretty impressed with our Tax Baby timing, too.

The point of all this is the reality of infertility and how many people it affects. We are the lucky ones-- it took some medical intervention, a little radical treatment options (acupressure people. Look into it....), and a whole lot of good luck. But it also helped me remember how many people want babies and can't have them for a multitude of reasons. So like she said in her post above, your harmful joke can actually hurt someone you love quite deeply. It's one thing to go back to pre-internet times and say it once in a break room or something. It's something else entirely to have to read multiple 'jokes' on a newsfeed. Infertility-- and unwanted pregnancy-- is not funny.

(And if any of my readers are struggling to have a baby, don't give up. Ask questions, demand what you need, and consider alternatives. Call me if you want. Consider adoption if you can. And believe...)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I want to thank you for letting me be myself again.

Over the weekend, I learned my old doctor passed away. I hadn't seen him since I was in college and still technically living at home-- let's just say John Hughes was still producing movies. He was a good doctor-- a really good doctor. He and his wife (who was also his head nurse) became friends with my parents, so I did get to know him a bit outside of his practice. I always trusted him. (As an aside, it seems I've always been very lucky with doctors...)

Because I am who I am, I wrote out a sympathy card. I didn't know if his wife would remember me, but I wanted her to know that even after 22 years, I still remembered them and their role in my life. And even though it felt a bit self important, I mailed the card to the street printed in the obituary, signed as both my married name and the daughter of my parents.

Today I received a strange call from my hometown. It was his wife saying that my card touched her deeply, and she wanted me to know. I'm not sure what I am more blown away by-- the power of my simple card, or the power of her simple call.

My adult life is defined by maintaining relationships. My bestfriend often jokes about the size of my Christmas Card list, and wonders just what someone has to do to get removed from it.
I like to check in on people, and leave them little notes and surprises. A colleague and I made a commitment to leave little treats in everyone's mailbox once a month, because we thought the staff needed it. And while the internet has made it easier to send quick messages, I do still like mailing cards the old fashioned way. Relationships matter to us because what good is it to have good news to share but no one to share it with? Or to have had a horrible day and no one to let you cry on their shoulder. Relationships matter, even if it's been two decades since the last interaction.

And without getting ourselves into a 'thank you for thanking me for thanking you' feedback loop, I am really glad she took the time while she was grieving to let me know that card mattered. And if you're ever wondering, send the card. If you want to send it, they will remember you, no matter how long it's been.