Category Archives: Weekly photo challenge
I am just sitting here thinking about how quickly the Jewish high holidays are approaching. I never seem ready for them. See, they may be the same date every year on the Jewish calendar but because they are different on our daily calendar, we often seem shocked by their arrival. Often you’ll hear Jews say something like “Can you believe the holidays are so early this year?” or “Can you believe the holidays are so late this year?” It’s funny because you’ll never hear us say, “Well, hot diggedy dog, can you believe the holidays are right on time this year?”
Now listen, many know of course that Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year..go Jews! And we also know Yom Kippur is the day of atonement..oy Jews! Rosh Hashanah is more celebratory and is a time to really begin our self reflection and evaluation. You know…to think about how we have treated not only ourselves that prior year but how we treated others. It’s also a time where G-d is said to be deciding who will live and who will die, who will be sick, who will be well that coming year and I suppose anything else that was going to happen. Well, I can tell you now people. This past year G-d had it in for me. I cannot believe that when G-d closed that book of life last year at this time, it was written for me to loose my uterus but to gain 20 pounds! And to think I agonized over every damn fattening thing I put into my mouth! Why didn’t I just enjoy it if that was what G-d wanted? OY VEY! Well, this year I am making damn sure I ask that some of my weight be removed and passed along to someone else. You know, pass it to someone like one of those fashion models. It would be charitable and such a good deed…yes, a mitzvah to take my extra fat and to give it to someone who could use a little “thickening” up as I like to say.
Now talking about that closing of the book of life thing. Isn’t that a bit harsh? Does anyone else kind of feel that way? So, we made a few mistakes during the year. Who doesn’t? But, I realize not everyone can live. I get that, but I must admit, like hell do I want to be the one left off the list. Meanwhile, for those who don’t make it on the list. Does anyone else feel it would be common courtesy to be told whether they made it or not? How terrible it would be for someone to always be looking over their shoulder wondering if tomorrow will be the day. How cruel it would be to have that person even think they made it and one day before the book of life is to be re-opened that person dies. Come on! Really? And after having spent an entire 7 days (from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur) making amends and apologizing to those we’ve hurt and it was all for nothing? At least tell us if we made the cut. Don’t y’all think? Speaking for myself I spend countless hours talking to myself and to others who have passed… oh and yes, sure, I speak to G-d if that’s what you like to call it. Anyway, during that time I’m always stressing what a valuable addition I am to have hanging around for another year. You know. I believe you can never stress that too much. Hey, it has worked for me so far so why quit now?
Listen, I understand many religions have a New Year holiday and a holiday to atone. But, I think the Jews have a special niche. Yes, a special niche. Oh, who am I kidding? We Jews can’t just celebrate and leave it at that. We have to celebrate but then remember something tragic that happened to us. Damnit, no wonder our people are “bipolar”. We’re happy but sad at the same time. OY VEY! For example take our weddings. During the ceremony we celebrate the union between two people but at the very end we break a glass. Why? Well, it’s to remember the hardships of our people and the trials and tribulations we endured throughout time. Really? It isn’t enough that our people experienced what they did but we have to constantly remember it? OY VEY! Gee wiz at what point in our history did it become wrong to simply celebrate? All of our holidays are filled with “we’re happy but only after all of this horrible stuff happened to us first” scenerio’s. No wonder our Jewish mothers are a bissel meshuganah! Listen, I know…it has been said that to remember is so that history doesn’t repeat itself. OK, folks- The Jews have over 5700 years of history where bad things have happened to them over and over again. Um, I’m not so sure remembering each event has helped one bit. If truth be told I’m guessing it was more about superstition. I can see it now: In order to keep the Kena hora (evil eye) away we always have to remember something bad (as well as spit three time) when ever we celebrate. But, there again after 5700 years of repeated history, you would have thought someone would have said that didn’t work either. It just makes me laugh. We’re happy…we’re happy…..WAIT! Time out on the happy….let’s not EVER forget how our people had to walk to school up hill… both ways… in the snow… and by the way there was a monsoon coming with a side of locusts.
Lets face it folks we Jews are somewhat dramatic. We seem to thrive on it. Look at our story of Chanukah. You don’t think it seems a bit over the top? Come on! The Jews were a tiny army up against the huge, large Syrian army. But of course that wasn’t all. The Jews didn’t even have the weapons that the Syrians had nor did the Jews have the money to buy the proper weapons. It is hard for me to believe that the Maccabees won by their strength (and oh yeah, because we had G-d on our side). Really? What made us so special? Chosen people, you say? Come on! Why would G-d choose a people? After all wasn’t G-d supposed to be fair and loving to all? I think if the story had any validity it was that the Maccabees had a better military strategy. Even my 10 year old son understands that truth to winning a battle. I’m guessing that was how the Jews won with of course a side of luck. After all, we are all brilliant, right? Meanwhile, let’s look at this more closely. Knowing how my people can tell a story, this is how I see the Chanukah story happening. What if Judah Maccabee was an old man and was sitting with all of his 50 grand children. Well, you know. They had lots of kids back then. Anyway, his grandkids were begging him to tell them a story from his childhood. Judah wrapped up in their excitement to hear a really good story, he by no means wanted to disappoint them. He takes a moment to think to himself and then realizes telling them about how he and his family fought off the Syrians barehanded without having had food or water for an entire month… Don’t worry, Judah decides to reel it in just a little bit but hell, he has to add some cool parts to keep his grandkids thinking Judah was really far out.
And so as Judah began telling his story, his grandkid’s were on the edge of their seats excited to hear every detail of Judah’s story. He tells the kids he remembers being a little older than them when he would watch the Syrian army train for battle. He tells them he remembers there being thousands of Syrian men who were as tall as the sky. In fact they were so tall he wasn’t even able to see the Judean mountains because of it. OK, so Judah sort of left out a little, minor detail. Did the kids really need to know that he was only 5 years old and was very short for his age? Why of course not! All that mattered was that Judah kept his grandchildren interested in his story. And so Judah continued by telling the kids he and his family along with a very small army of Jews singlehandedly fought off that very same large Syrian army from when he was a kid. He explained how they got their Temple back. Of course I’m certain the kids cheered at that part. He told his grandkids how his family was disgusted by all of the destruction the Syrian’s had done to their place of worship and how they needed to light the menorah first before even beginning to clean. He explained to them that when they saw the Menorah, they were shocked to see it was lying on the ground with large amounts of oil (which kept it lit) spilled out. He told them how the Jews panicked for fear there wouldn’t be enough oil to keep the Menorah lit day and night as tradition dictated. Now folks, the panic in having enough oil for the Menorah I’m guessing was the same kind of panic we Jews have when we worry about whether we have enough food for our guests at a dinner party. The thinking is there must be an over abundance and when an itty bit of it is burned, dropped or missing in action, there is suddenly a fear there isn’t enough. So, I’m certain there was enough oil but once those Jews started panicking there was no reeling them in to think more rationally. The Jews could only think about the amount that had spilled and not about the actual amount they still had. In their mind they had to replace the amount that had spilled…after all that was the extra they needed just in case. Listen, I could even see the scene now. Come on. I’m sure you can imagine with me on this. At least 20 of them were standing around the Menorah arguing about not having enough oil. All 20 of them had different ideas on how to handle the problem. While the argument ensued, a by standard (who we will refer to as the Shabbas goy) walked in and analyzed the problem. OK, so as long as the Jews felt there was no back up oil, they were going to panic and make everyone’s life miserable. Sound the least bit familiar? And so the by standard figured he could head out to the nearest town and return with more oil before the group of Jews could decide what to do. When he returned 7 days later the Temple was just about clean but of course they were still arguing over whether the oil would last. Now, lets be honest, here. How many kids do we know would have been interested in that Chanukah story? Not many. We all know kids like action and the element of surprise. Judah knew that and that was what he gave them. Come on. It wasn’t as if Judah was lying. He just gave the story a little Jewish seasoning that’s all. AND SO Judah told his grandchildren there was only a very very tiny amount of oil to keep the Menorah lit for only maybe (barely) one day. That worried the Jews because it was going to take someone about 8 days to go to a nearby town to get more. However to everyone’s surprise when that person returned from the nearby town with the oil AN ENTIRE 8 days later, the Menorah was still lit. Lo and behold it was a MIRACLE! Now you could only imagine how wide eyed Judah’s grands were at this point and how they must have been cheering. Judah seeing their adorable faces so interested in his story, I’m sure it was exhilarating. Listen, wasn’t it Judah himself who coined the phrase, “Embellishments just happen?” Meanwhile, does it really matter? Eh! Who cares? The important part was his grandkids would retell that story over and over again keeping Judah’s story alive. So what there were a few over the top parts to it? And if truth be told…aren’t we all kind of, sort of related? So, Judah was kind of, sort each of our own great, great, great (plus), grandfather. And what talent our relative had to keep not only his grandkids entertained but also his grandkids for generations to come.
Can you imagine what Judah could have done with that story if he had WordPress? Judah would have had his very own blog. How cool would that have been? And what if he had had Facebook? Can you imagine what he would have posted after telling his grandkids the Chanukah story? “Told my famous Chanukah story to my 50 grand’s today. Little Schmuel was so cute when he hid behind his brothers as I described in detail how barbaric the Syrians were to the Jews.”
What if Facebook had been around during biblical times? Could you just imagine their posts? OY VEY! What in the world would have Noah posted? How about Abraham or Naomi? Certainly some good material for a stand up comedian!
Oh my gosh, I can see it now!
Noah: A picture of two unicorns and him posting, “Missing! They were last seen hitched to my boat house. Please contact me if found.”
Abraham: “Spoke to G-d today. He told me I had to sacrifice my son, Isaac. OY! My wife is going to be really pissed after waiting so long to try to have a child! By the way open invitation to come to our tent for Shabbat dinner this Friday. No RSVP necessary.”
Naomi: “Oh, Ruth! Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”
Moses: “OH G-D is SO annoying today…never leaves me alone! You won’t believe what I have to do today! I have to walk all the way up Mt. Sinai! Do you know how hard that is for a man of my age? What is G-d thinking? I am really getting tired of being his messenger. At any rate if anyone is free and in the area early tomorrow morning feel free to meet me at the bottom of the mountain for a cup of tea.”
OMG! How about if King David had Facebook? Something tells me that man would have gotten into a ton of trouble saying way too much on his FB page. Can you imagine? King David: “Oh, today I fought off the Moabites, the Edomites, the Ammonites and the Arameans…no big deal. All in a day’s work. Oh, I saw a beautiful woman bathing on her roof top. Soon she will be mine.”
As I was thinking about those biblical characters and what they’d do if they had facebook, I began thinking about us today and how facebook has singlehandedly changed our society. Lets face it with the use of Facebook we can now keep in contact with literally hundreds of people all at once. We can easily wish 50 friends and family with a hit of the button a happy new year as well as keep them abreast on what’s happening in our daily lives. It’s really remarkable how we can reach out with ease to those we know. It’s incredible to see updated photos of friend’s children and of their wonderful vacation excursions. Let’s be honest before Facebook there was no way to have written to one hundred people daily to keep them updated on our lives. Some feel that is a negative thing but I don’t see it that way. I love hearing about my friend’s and family’s children and about what is happening in their lives. And especially when an illness or tragedy happens where I can help provide extra support. I find Facebook a useful tool. Facebook has truly become an amazing way for us to laugh, cry and be a part of so many friends and family’s lives.
Now having said all of that I did question (for a moment) how FB has changed our approach to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. For one as a child my parents would have sent out a card to each of their friends and family members wishing them well. Each card would have also included a hand written personal note talking about our family. Today, it is more common than not to simply post a generic “Happy New Year” to all. For those of us who were accustomed to the “old” ways, we can find it impersonal and somehow just not right. But, does that mean it’s wrong if someone does post a generic greeting? Does it make it any less personal? Well as a child, those cards my mom wrote to friend’s and family were the only time they received updates about us. And I must tell you more often than not my mom would write the same exact letter in each card. So honestly, how is Facebook any different? It’s just that on FB we are “upfront” about sending everyone the same card with the same message.
On the conservation side of things here there are some who feel we have too much paper waste by sending out a Happy New Year to all on FB, we are conserving – helping the earth. Don’t buy it? OK, I know. I must admit there is nothing like receiving something in the mail. Among all of the junk mail and bills I receive, I am like a little kid when I receive a hand written letter to me. I admit it. It’s nice.
However, the reality is times are a changing. By posting a New Year’s wish to all (on FB), it has allowed me to reach out to each and every friend and family member without the mistake of leaving anyone out. And plus there would be no way I could afford to send out that many cards. For me even when I post a message to all on my Facebook page it is a personal sincere message. My wishes are not any less meaningful. Listen, I get it. Many of us are from a different world. A world that was filled with strict rules and Etiquettes. But let’s face it. FB and other modern technologies are changing those rules. They aren’t as important anymore. Whether we like it or not, agree or disagree, we have no control over how the world around us is changing. Meanwhile, can you really imagine Moses posting on Facebook? Would he have resisted using it? According to the stories we’ve all been told Moses wasn’t one to quickly buy into what was popular. Regardless, it is certainly humorous and fun thinking about it.
You know when I was in Hebrew school back in the 1970‘s our teachers stressed the importance of making amends for our wrongdoings and taking this time to soul search for how we could make ourselves better. And in order to do so, it was stressed how we must contact those we’ve hurt in person and apologize. I remember a student asking if writing a letter was permissible. The teacher took a moment and then he told us, “Making amends is what is important. Sometimes we are able to speak to the person face to face and other times we aren’t. What matters is that we make the effort and reach out to the person we’ve hurt. There are times doing it face to face is not an option so that certainly doesn’t mean we are off the hook. We just have to look to other ways that are available to us.” Of course only as an adult could I understand what he was saying. Life is complicated. It’s never black and white. And so for me, yes, I could apologize to someone in person but I could never ever fully express myself as I could in a letter. So, that has been the method I use and has been even before Facebook. With someone with ADHD and learning disabilities, writing has been my saving grace. I look at it like someone who stutters but when they sing they don’t. When I speak to someone I can be off and running talking about this and that, but writing allows me that focus and the ability to say more succinctly and often more intelligible what I want to say.
AND SO, here we are about to head into our Jewish New Year and our week of self reflection. And here I am using Facebook to share these thoughts with over 500 of my friends and family (well, of those who choose to read it). I must admit my mother would be appalled because to her this just isn’t the proper way. But there again my mom’s world no longer exists and this is a new way of how we all express ourselves. Listen, you’ve got to admit it does force us to make sure we keep our stories in check because we know our friends and family will not hesitate one bit on letting us if we haven’t. I’m certain even if Judah Maccabee had written on Facebook, we all would have done the same to him as well.
FINALLY, I want to wish each and every one of my friends and family members a heartfelt, sweet and healthy new year. For those who have had a trying year, I wish you only good things to you for this next one. Please, know I have enjoyed all of your photo’s, your funny jokes, your political “arguments” (whether I agree with them or not) and everything in between that was posted on Facebook this year. Yes, you have made me laugh, cry and more than anything else appreciate the opportunity to be able to keep in touch with you.
Here’s to Facebook for allowing me to find “lost” friends and family and allowing me the opportunity to be apart of so many of their lives. I look forward to another (FB) year hearing about all of your wonderful families and the amazing celebrations you are having with them!
Just a year before my mother died, she game me some advice that I couldn’t understand. Of course today it makes perfect sense. At the time though I was 14 years old and very clueless by what she was telling me. Here was the thing…she knew her days were numbered and she wanted to tell me something she felt was important. My mom told me I was a person who had always and would always beat by a different drum. She said that I’d take a different path in life than most others and she wanted me to know it was OK. I remember thinking, “OK, what the hell is she talking about?” Honestly, she made me mad because she wasn’t being specific. “Dammit, stop talking so generally and just tell me what you mean!” G-d I was an awful 14 year old. But realistically even if she had told me what she meant I have no doubt I wouldn’t have understood and maybe have even been offended. I have no doubt she understood my ignorance but told me anyway with the hopes I’d remember (just when I needed to).
On that day she was talking to me my mom was barely able to walk let alone stand. Even so she made a point to walk to the kitchen where I was. While she was standing in front of me the grimace on her face said it all. She was in excruciating pain. However, my mom had a message to give and dammit she was going to give it. That was Momma. She continued to tell me that no matter how untraditional of a life I was to choose I was to always be proud of it and follow my heart. I remember thinking, “OK, and so what?” Listen, my mom banked heavily that I’d never forget what she told me and for some reason I didn’t. I suppose I knew it was important to her. Maybe it was because I knew she was dying? Maybe. Meanwhile, even as a snot nosed 14 year old, I stored what she said somewhere in that brain of mine. All I can say is I hope I have made her proud by doing exactly as she encouraged me to do.
Listen, all I could hear was my mom’s advice as I was going through each stage of my life. Her words allowed me to stand up to adversity, to maintain the confidence (that I had value in this world) and to have the ability to wipe myself off to continue moving forward. Her words empowered me to love another woman even though it wasn’t popular and may make others dislike me. My mom didn’t need a crystal ball to know I would have some up hill climbs in my life as a result of who I was. As much as I wished she could have been with me physically, I have no doubt she will always be holding my hand in a more spiritual way (as she had done to help me through so much in my life). More than anything though, I am most grateful for one thing and one thing only. That was that my mom gave me the strength, passion and drive to make my dream of having a child a reality. I am certain she was the one giving me all of those little kicks in the ass to keep me going so the brightest light of my life could emerge; our son, Judah.
Moving on to the real world after Judah was born I was amazed by the amount of support Carol and I had. I’m sure at first many friends and family were concerned for Judah. After all he was being raised by two moms and because of that they had the preconceived idea that he would be void of any male influence. Folks, how would that have been possible? And why would we have done that to him? Just because we are two women doesn’t mean we don’t like men. We just chose not to marry one. That was all. Meanwhile, Judah had (has) a wonderful array of uncles, male cousins and a grandfather all of which were (are) involved in his life. And then on top of that there are our adopted families who have loved Judah just as much as their own family members. It really does take a village to raise a child…any child no matter who their parents are. We are incredibly grateful (more than words could ever ever express) for the love Judah has gotten from my family, Carol’s family and from friends who in many cases helped raise me. Judah has been one very lucky boy.
OK, so now I would be remised if I did not mention Carol’s family. Listen as proud as I am of the unconditional love and support I have received from my sister, her husband and their two children, they are my family. I know them and I am used to their ways. They are mine. And the truth was Judah was directly related to them. However in mine and Carol’s relationship not being married in the eyes of the law it was uncertain to us how Carol’s family would react to Judah. Now before I can even get to Judah, I must explain the differences between mine and Carol’s family and their reaction when they first met me.
To say our two families were total opposites would have been an understatement. For one Carol’s family are Christian…from the Episcopal side. However, even though they are not church goers they do have a strong Christian belief system as their foundation. Christmas is a time for family to gather. They have traditions which are sensible and understandable. They were Southerners who took turns talking in a conversation. They hardly ever got loud. They were polite and always said “Sir” or “Ma’am”. Their food dishes of choice were black eyed peas and rice, green bean casserole and “Mama’s” macaroni and cheese. Carol and I refer to her family as “white bread” which means they are plain (in a very good way) without any added unnecessary frills. What you see is who they are. If they ask you, “How are you?” That’s exactly what they mean. No more, no less.
Then there is my family. We are Jewish in religion and culture. And as if I need to say more, I will for those of you who don’t know what that entails. We too celebrate our holidays and have our own traditions. However, our holidays usually come with tons of drama. For instance most of our holidays are about how others tried to kill us but through our perseverance we made it…we survived against all odds…we were the army of 10 in a world with armies of thousands who wanted us dead…get my point? In my family if you wanted to participate in a conversation you had to roll up your sleeves and get in there. The louder we spoke the more we were heard. And the thought of allowing someone to finish their thought was absurd. Why? Just get in there and say what you gotta say. Now, even though my mother was VERY Southern (being raised in Birmingham, AL during the 30′s, 40′s and 50′s), because my father was from Brooklyn (and I spent more time with him after losing my mom), I took on more of the NY ways. “Sir” and “Ma’am” were foreign to me. Funny, though, my sister says them. I suppose her being 7 years older and having more one on one time with my mom, she picked up a little more on the Southern ways. At any rate in regards to food our Sundays usually included pastrami and tongue sandwiches on rye or pumpernickel bread. Our dad’s breakfast usually consisted of sardines and bagels topped with a ton of cream cheese.And so we refer to my family as “pumpernickel”. We are spicy and all about frills (necessary or not) and we have a tendency to cause gas if you aren’t used to us.
OK, so basically when I first met Carol’s family, I saw them like soft cotton sheets just fresh out of the dryer and I have no doubt they saw me like burlap that had never been washed. Get my drift here? AND SO I know it wasn’t very easy for them to open their hearts and to accept me. I was the epitome of everything they weren’t and somehow their family member, Carol, had fallen in love with me. OY VEY was right. OK, so they weren’t saying, “OY VEY!” Maybe “HOLY SHIT” was more like it.
I’m not sure where it all turned around for Carol’s family to finally feel comfortable with me but (in time), they took me in as if I was one of theirs….well, one of their “adopted” ones. Maybe because they could see I loved Carol? Maybe. Or was it because I wasn’t going away and they had no choice? More than likely. But whatever the reason they welcomed me. Even so, I was terrified as to how they would accept Judah once he was born. I felt Carol’s parents would be Judah’s grandparents and Carol’s siblings would be Judah’s aunt and uncles. However, Judah was not genetically apart of their family. Hell, Carol and I couldn’t even be married in the eyes of the law. That meant there wasn’t even a way to justify to Carol’s family that Judah was her stepson. Her family being very traditional I was fearful they wouldn’t see Judah as one of theirs. And of course that scared me because I never wanted our son to feel like an outsider in a family he was to grow to love.
I have to tell y’all, my worry was for nothing because once Judah was born and once they got to know our sweet little boy, they couldn’t help but to fall in love with him. We were very lucky because Judah’s kind and easy going spirit was heartwarming which made it easy for others to open their hearts to him. Carol asked her mom if it would be OK for Judah to call her Gram and her dad, Papa (like the other grandchildren). I don’t know if Carol’s mom told her Judah could because she was more worried about upsetting Carol or because she really did see Judah as a grandson but honestly, it didn’t matter. What was more important was that our son was given a huge gift…he was given the love of another family which was so incredibly special to me. After all by the time Judah was four he would share that family’s last name, so genetically or not, he was one of them.
I will never forget when Judah was 3 and we were at a family gathering at Carol’s brother’s home. Carol’s sister, Rachael, was introducing us to someone and she said, “This is my sister, my sister in law and my nephew.” Said was able to introduce us casually and comfortably as if it was no big deal. Another time Carol’s father introduced me to someone as his daughter in law. And on my side of the family my sister and her husband introduced Carol as their sister in law.
Listen, Folks, Carol and I understand we are not going to be accepted by everyone. We didn’t expect to be even when we had been the brunt of that rejection (many times during our lives together). However, it was important that we be accepted by our families. It was important for Judah to have that support. Hell, it was important for us to have that support too. I am incredibly touched and moved to have so many generations of family members who love us for who we are. Lets face it folks, if two families like mine and Carols can do it then anyone’s can. Both of our families as a result have allowed us to give the most incredible and precious gift to Judah. He will be raised knowing he has an extended family who accepts and loves him as the individual he is. In a world where he will be judged time and time again, he will have the comfort of knowing his family will never past judgement simply because of the parents he has. As a result they are helping us empower him in the road of life he chooses to take. And so far, he’s taking a very good one!
A week later Carol and I were once again driving to the infertility clinic in Columbia, SC. This time though Carol was clearly concerned. As I have said in the past. She hid any of her fears or worries from me. However not on this day. The thing was she knew from what the doctor had said at our last visit (that if we didn’t get pregnant on the Clomid) then we’d take the next step (which were to do the injectables). Well, Carol had already checked with our insurance company and found out the injectables were not covered like the Clomid was. Here was the thing. Our insurance coverage had changed. If this had been when we were getting pregnant with Judah, it would have been covered. So on top of all of the usual infertility worries we were also frustrated that if we had possibly tried this earlier we would have had better coverage (or simply gotten pregnant without all of the problems we were having). But, easy to say..what do they say, “Hind sight is always 20/20?
OK, so Carol knew there was no way we could afford taking the injectable route. It bothered her too. She knew I wanted another baby more than anything, however we had agreed (before even starting with having another kid) we were not going to allow ourselves to get in debt over it. BUT, that didn’t matter to me anymore. When I had agreed to that I had hopes I’d get pregnant on the first try like we did with Judah. I never imagined we’d be in that predicament of trying multiple times. And so when Carol told me we couldn’t afford it, it upset me in the most frustrating way. Dammit! I wanted this. It wasn’t unfair! And plus, still reeling with the Clomid in my system that wasn’t helpful either in regards to my emotional state. I wanted to get pregnant and all I wanted was for it to happen. I suppose I got sucked in and at that point I was willing to do what ever necessary to get pregnant. Listen, it wasn’t Carol’s fault. I agreed with her. BUT, there was just that other maternal side of me that just wasn’t ready to hear the truth and to give up.
When we arrived at the infertility clinic it was close to lunch time, so the waiting room only had two other couples. One was a lesbian couple and the other was a bi-racial couple who had the most adorable child with them. I laughed and whispered to Carol, “Hey, if they have triplets, you think they’d mind at least giving one to us?” Carol knows I have always wanted to adopt a minority baby. Oh who am I kidding? I’ve always wanted a black baby. Even when I was a kid! In fact I used to have this baby doll that had been chewed by the dog (no more arms), I had cut her hair and drawn on her face with permanent marker. My parents were so embarrassed for me to take it anywhere so they took me to buy another doll. It was 1974 and I’ll never forget that trip to the store. My momma took me. Now at that time all dolls were typically white. And even at that age I noticed. Meanwhile, I never really liked any of them. I thought they all looked the same and none of them seemed pretty to me. Well, during this trip to the store I remember walking down the doll isle. My mom was certain I’d never be able to choose as there were SO many choices. However as I walked down that isle I saw no choices. Well, I didn’t want any of them until I walked by this one lonely doll. I was drawn to her. Her name was Zuri and she had the most beautiful black skin. Without even looking at my mom I rant to the doll and yelled, “Momma, I want her!” Now, let me tell you just a little bit about my momma. She was raised in Birmingham, AL in the 40′s and 50′s. She grew up in a wealthy Jewish family where black (or as my Momma referred to them as “Colored”) nannies raised you. And now her little red headed white child has chosen a clearly “colored” baby doll. WOW! I can’t imagine what went through her head. However, I want y’all to know my mom NEVER said one word to me. Instead she said, “If that is the doll you want, then we’ll buy it.” Now folks, my mom did try to show me other dolls. I won’t lie. But, I was a very persistent kid and aside from that Momma could see there was NO changing my mind. I do laugh because my parents where not the most open minded to those of a different color. I LOVE the fact that they wanted a new doll for me and that was what I chose. Awesome, yes? And if you don’t believe me, my sister can attest to it. I loved my Zuri doll! Here has been the best part too. When Judah was around 3 he wanted a doll. And so Carol and I took him to the store to pick one out. I couldn’t believe how many choices there were. I also hated the fact how the isle was sexist towards girls. Come on folks. My son will probably be a dad one day and he has to know how to be one. What not a better way than for him to have a doll and learn? Anyway, Judah went up and down the isle unable to decide. It was clear none of them tickled his fancy. Well, none of them until one seemed to have jumped out at him. Judah pointed and said, “I want the brown one.” Carol knowing about my Zuri doll smiled at me as I did to her. It was neat that our son had followed in my footsteps. And so we got that doll for Judah without any hesitation or reservations. We asked Judah what he wanted to call his new baby (as it was unclear to us if it was a he or she). Judah told us it was a boy and he was calling him “Toby”. Now, I thought that was neat because Carol loved that name and considered it as one of our choices if we had another baby. Pretty damn cool our kid was.
Anyway, back to my story. After the remaining people in the waiting room were called back, it was finally our turn. I was nervous and still upset about not getting pregnant from our first insemination. When the nurse called us back and placed us in an examining room, she clearly was sensitive to our plight. The kindness in her eyes said it all. About 10 minutes later the doctor came into the room. She sat down in front of us and told us she was so sorry that our first insemination didn’t work. However, she was positive. She told us she had a good plan for our next try and we needed to stay positive. Folks, those little moments were so incredibly special and appreciated. I just can’t stress that enough especially for those of you who may have not gone through any infertility. Now, I won’t lie that during those moments I couldn’t hear what the doctor was saying. I just wanted her to make me pregnant so all of the extra stuff what hard to hear. But, now looking back I could see where those kind touches actually did help tremendously.
As the doctor was talking to us she told us her new plan. Well, just as Carol surmised, the doctor suggested that we do the injectables for two cycles (to allow enough time to really produce more eggs). Then, we’d do our last insemination. As the doctor was explaining this to us Carol was shaking her head; no. The doctor stopped to ask her what was wrong. Carol explained to her that we were in a difficult position that wasn’t her problem. Carol explained she understood the doctor was creating the best plan for us which we appreciated but there was the reality involved of having to pay for it.
The doctor listened to Carol and then said,” We are here to help the two of you to get pregnant. And any problems or concerns you have we need to discuss them. We are a team.” OMG folks! Did we just hear her correctly? First, did she say she was there to help US get pregnant? Listen, I know I was on infertility medicine which made me more emotional but damn, all I wanted to do was to cry and give that doctor a BIG FAT hug. And then the next thing was we were astounded to hear her say how she was there to help us. Amazing! Sadly, we weren’t used to that kind of treatment. This doctor and her staff were clearly understanding and sensitive to the stress emotionally AND financially. AND they were there to make both as easy as possible. The reality was the cost but they were going to do whatever possible to help. To me that placed this doctor and her facility on a tremendously tall pedestal. I know I keep repeating myself but truly this was an amazing facility in our eyes. Dr. Gail Whitman-Elia was special.
The doctor asked Carol what her concerns were. Carol told her that unfortunately our insurance wouldn’t pay for the injectables and so there just wasn’t anyway we could afford it. Carol felt bad and starting rambling, “When we went into this whole thing, we had agreed we would not go into debt over it. We promised to not take away from the son/child we had.” I started to cry as Carol was talking. It was hard not to hear the reality of it all. When you want to get pregnant, you want to try whatever you can. It was so easy to go overboard financially. Infertility gets expensive and often one doesn’t realize it because you are going from one goal to another feeling as if you are so close to getting the baby. I suppose it can be compared to gambling. It’s when you look back that you realize how much money has been spent. BUT knowing that could happen Carol and I went into it with our eyes wide open.
It was at that point the the doctor stopped Carol. For one I was getting upset and this facility always seemed in tune to keeping the patient as stress free as possible. I must tell you the doctor never made us feel guilty for not being able to afford doing any procedure she suggested. She understood. In fact she agreed with Carol and complimented us for not taking away from Judah. She even said, “That’s commendable and smart.” However, the doctor felt there may be some options that had not been exhausted. She recommended letting her nurse (who was in the room with us) contact our insurance company to see if she could get them to pay for the injectable. The doctor explained that sometimes explaining to them that it is medically necessary then possibly they would do it. Carol and I were shocked. The doctor told us that it was worth a shot and she even said that if anyone could convince them it was her nurse. So, of course we agreed. It couldn’t hurt that was for sure.
The doctor asked that we stay put in the examining room for a little bit while they called. She told us it could be a good 30 or 40 minutes but to hang tight. Before the doctor left the room she asked us, “If you are able to get the injectable would this be the direction you’d be willing to take? We just want to make sure if we take the time to do this that you would want to take this route.” We didn’t hesitate to tell her that yes we would want to take this route. But Carol (with memories still very embedded in our brains from the last infertility clinic) said, “Yes, but only if the insurance will pay for the injectables.” The doctor repeated what Carol said and she and the nurse left the room.
It was a good 30 minutes before the nurse came back to our room. She didn’t have any news yet but told us they had not forgotten about us. She told us the person they needed to speak with at the insurance company was out to lunch and they were just waiting for her to call back. Folks, I thought I was going to go crazy sitting there. Waiting was not an easy task for me at all! Carol, during this time started preparing me for the worse case scenario (if they could not get the insurance company to pay for the injectable). Carol did not want me to be hopeful and then devastated if it didn’t happen. She knew me well and knew that nothing she said to try to prepare me was going to work (even though it was worth a shot on her part). I would be devastated no matter what.
Another 30 minutes went by and Carol looked at me and said, “I just don’t feel so positive about this.” UGH! I hated her negativity! But, I knew that too was her way of trying to prepare me. After waiting a total of over an hour the doctor and nurse returned. I tried to read their faces to see if they had good or bad news for us but I couldn’t tell. My brain started going crazy with thoughts. OK, if it was good news they would be smiling and the fact they weren’t then it wasn’t going to be good.
The doctor immediately started telling us the update. She told us the insurance company would not cover the injectables. She began explaining why which of course I tuned her out. In my head I began thinking how our dream was over. But before I could get too deep into thought the doctor touched my leg (to get my attention) and told us they had another option for us. Option? What did she mean? The look on Carol’s face was total skepticism. I know she was thinking, “Yea, right.” The doctor explained she needed to leave to do an insemination but that her nurse had some good news. As soon as the doctor left the room the nurse began explaining to us how they had another couple (who had been trying to get pregnant-obviously) who had donated their injectables back to the clinic. That couple understood how expensive it can all get and they wanted to give back to another couple (who maybe couldn’t have afforded it). And so they would like to give those injectable’s to us. Folks, Carol and I were speechless. Did we just hear correctly? They wanted to give it to us? How did we deserve that? REALLY? I thought I was going to fall to the floor I was so overwhelmed and SO HAPPY. This place was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! They really did care about their patients and created an environment where other patients also wanted to help. We had not expected that in a million years. If our insurance wasn’t going to pay for it then that would have meant we’d have to do the next insemination (with out the help of increasing my egg production) and hope for the best. But to have been offered such a gift was beyond words. We were very very touched and appreciative to say the least. I laughed because all Carol could say was, “WOW!” Over and over and over again.
Since we had promised the doctor that if we could get the injectables we’d proceed, the nurse told us she needed to give us a tutorial on how to use the injectable before leaving that day. And the reason was because we would be going home with it and would start the process at our next cycle (I mean my next cycle). Before the nurse was to begin with her instructions Carol and I really needed to know if that couple (who had donated the injectables to us) had gotten pregnant. We needed to know they had gotten their gift. The nurse told us that not only were they pregnant but they were already 15 weeks along and just found out they were having twins. Folks, I thought I would have been jealous hearing that but you know what? I was actually thrilled for them. Nothing more calming and reassuring than to know they were celebrating and not grieving. It made us feel relieved when using the medicine they had donated.
OK, here was the other thing. When the nurse started explaining how to use the injectables, the reality of what they were set in. OMG! I would have to give myself shots?! And they would have to be done in my stomach? OY! I wasn’t so sure about that but I knew I couldn’t back out then. The nurse explained when we were to give the shots. I had to take my temperature and at a certain point the injectable had to be given in my tummy area. It has to be given about a half a finger away from the belly button to be exact. Yeah, that made me cringe too. A SHOT IN MY STOMACH! HOLY SHIT! Yea, that was what I was thinking in my head. The nurse kept reassuring me that it wouldn’t be bad because the needle was very small and thin. She told me one thing that would help would be to ice the area before injecting and then I definitely wouldn’t feel a thing. Well, she was right. I honestly never felt it. BUT, if you thought I gave myself the shot, you are crazy. At first we had a friend who was a nurse do it and then Carol took over. And every time Carol injected me I’d say to myself, “Come on little eggy’s! Work your magic and produce many!”
Listen, even though this infertility clinic was amazing it still was an emotional ride. Each new procedure was difficult to accept. We’d always ask why us and why wasn’t it working? AND all of the waiting was even harder. Knowing this was our last and final insemination there was a multitude of emotions attached to it. For one there was a sense of relief. No more options to think about, no more thinking about the cost and most of all no more waiting. Living our lives with out having to pee on a stick, take my temperature, count down the days was a wonderful and relieving thought. BUT then there was the other side (if it wasn’t going to work). The sadness of never having another child. I have to tell y’all that was an EXTREMELY difficult one for me to think about because I wanted another kid so badly. So as the countdown began to our last and final insemination, it was hard to not have all of these thoughts rushing into my head. However, just as my partner, Carol, had done from the beginning (and through out every aspect of our lives together) she tried to keep me focused with living in the moment. Needless to say that was an uphill battle for her. In my heart I could feel something wasn’t right and somehow we were fighting against our life’s bashert. Only time would reveal the truth.
Our search for another infertility clinic wasn’t easy. We weren’t sure where to start. So, we started with the obvious. We asked our friend’s. We trusted the opinion of an Atlanta lesbian couple who had two children through inseminated. In fact one of the partners was the awesome woman at the Rainbow Center who helped us with our adoption. So, we valued this couple’s opinion and their friendship. They loved their doctor who did their procedure and they suggested we come to Atlanta to see her. We made an appointment. Listen, we were nervous to think we’d have to drive that far for our procedure. Atlanta was three hours away. However, we knew if we could have a less stressful experience, it would be worth it.
The earliest we could get an appointment was three weeks later. We hated the constant wait but what could we do? The day we headed to Atlanta, we were excited. We knew the facility to which we were headed was accustomed to having lesbians as their patients. This meant we wouldn’t have to go through some of the added crap we had to at our other clinic. That alone was very reassuring.
When we got to the doctor’s office the waiting room was packed. Judah was with us so we brought lots of stuff for him to do just in case we had a long wait. And thank goodness we did because it was a good hour before we were called to the back. Finally, when a nurse called my name, we were relieved. We only had so many activities for Judah and filling an hour wasn’t as easy as we had thought. Right before we were called back Carol started on her magic tricks. It was then that I knew we were at the bottom of the barrel. Folks, Carol’s magic tricks consisted of holding a coin in her hand and pretending she was pulling it out of Judah’s ear. It was so obvious it was hysterical. However to Judah it was awesome (which made us laugh even more).
Anyway, our friends told us the staff and doctor were terrific at this facility and they were right. Also, it was like a well oiled machine. I couldn’t believe the amount of staff that was in the back with everyone busy doing their individual jobs. It was incredible. We met with the doctor for a good 20 minutes. She was caring, compassionate and even though very upbeat, she was realistic about my chances of getting pregnant because of my age. Even so, the air of the place was refreshing. After speaking to the doctor Carol and I had decided we’d use them to do our next procedure. It seemed perfect. Well, perfect until we started talking to the doctor about the vials of sperm we had already purchased. And that folks was where we hit a huge snag. Carol and I had not realized they didn’t do IUI. Instead they did the other procedure which was essentially what Carol and I had done at home and it didn’t work. The sperm we had had already been washed and could only be used for IUI.
We felt as if we were so close in finding another facility and we liked this one. The doctor suggested we could have a facility that was 45 minutes away prepare our sperm. We could then pick it up and bring it to them and they would do the IUI. However, she told us there were problems with that idea. We’d literally be rushing against the clock, depending on the time it could be rush hour and there was danger the sperm could get damaged in the traveling. Listen, as much as we liked this place we knew we couldn’t jeopardize our sperm. We needed the highest chances to get pregnant. And so, unfortunately, this facility was not an option for us. We walked out that day thinking, “DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! Back to square one.”
While driving back home that day Carol and I started brainstorming. Where could we find another infertility clinic and one that we would feel comfortable. If this was going to be our last blow out try, we wanted it to be a good experience. We wanted to end on a good note sort of speak. Well, funny enough when we got home Carol had a thought to look in the phone book. What an antiquated idea. Of course there were the two local ones but then there was a listing for one other. It was a woman infertility doctor with an address in just the county next to ours. Carol researched her on the internet and discovered she had nothing but raving reviews. However, we had not heard about her. If our local facility was so bad why hadn’t we heard others going to this doctor’s infertility facility? We had more questions than answers. Then I remembered something. I had forgotten that we had a neighbor who’s husband was an OB/GYN. We met as our kids played in a park next to our homes. Over the years I had enjoyed talking to her and getting to know her. I really loved her family- really sweet kids. And the best part was she never ever thought twice about me and Carol. So, I told Carol that I would speak with her to ask her what she (or her husband) may know. I knew I could trust her and more importantly I knew she’d be honest with me. And so, that was what I did. Now, she wasn’t familiar with that infertility doctor so she told me she’d ask her husband and get back with me. The one thing she did know was she felt that doctor was actually based out of Columbia, SC and she wasn’t sure why the phone book had her listed with an address in the county next to us. After talking to her husband, he confirmed what she had thought. That infertility doctor was based in Columbia, SC. The other thing her husband said was that he had only heard good things about her. Well, folks that was all we needed as the go ahead to contact that facility. Listen, honestly, it wasn’t as if we had a lot of options. And the other thing was Columbia, SC was only an hour away at the most. It was definitely more doable than Atlanta was. It was farther than we wanted but certainly doable.
We contacted that facility to make an appointment. It would be another 2 weeks before we could get one. However, what could we do? WAIT, WAIT, WAIT and more WAITING. That was the story of our infertility life.
The drive to the infertility clinic in Columbia wasn’t bad at all. The facility was located just a little ways off the main highway. And it was centralized in what appeared to be where many of the medical buildings were located. It was nice. No back alley location at all! When we walked into the medical building we headed to the upstairs floor where the infertility office was located. Just off the elevator was the door of the infertility clinic. When we opened the door their waiting room was fairly small and filled with people waiting.The diversity was awesome. There was every kind of person represented which something we had NOT seen at the infertility clinic we had previously used. Folks, I know I keep harping on our past infertility clinic. But, you had to admit. THEY SUCKED! But more than the way they ran their facility and the conduct of one of the doctors, I realized when sitting in this infertility clinic in Columbia, SC that there also wasn’t any diversity in the patients who were there. That to me spoke volumes. Meanwhile, the patients in this place were beautifully diverse. WE even noticed another lesbian couple. WOW! Really? Alright, maybe this would become a good option for us. The doctor came well recommended AND there was another lesbian couple there. Very good combination. The other thing we noticed was a large photo hanging over one of the couches. It was of the doctor and all of the families (and their kids) she had helped to get pregnant. Carol noticed a LOT of multiple births. Apparently, this doctor was known for doing IVF and women having triplets. OY VEY! That was not something Carol and I knew we wanted. But, one step at a time. Not to panic yet.
After we were called to the back and once we met and spoke to the doctor we knew that was the place for us. The feel of the place was like a breath of fresh air. It just felt right. While speaking to the doctor we developed a plan of action. I was to have a vaginal sonogram to see how many eggs I was producing each month. I already knew that I produced two viable eggs but the doctor wanted to see if she could increase that number (even if I did indeed produce two). This doctor felt if we could increase the number of eggs per cycle then we could increase our chances to get pregnant. And since we only had two vials of sperm, lets increase our chances as much as we could. Her plan made sense to us and didn’t seem arbitrary (which our other infertility clinic seemed when they suggested doing different procedures). Oh, sorry. They weren’t arbitrary they were up selling. Anyway, we followed the advice of this doctor. Every procedure she suggested she always backed it up with a logical reason. And so we felt good about using this facility. The last thing we had to do before leaving the infertility clinic was to go to the check out counter. Once there the first thing the woman said to us was, “How are you?” And then she told us she already had our insurance information (which we had given when we had first arrived) and then told us the amount of our copay. We wrote her a check and handed it to her. She complimented us on the design we had on our checks, told us she would file with our insurance and told us to have a great day. Carol and I were so stunned. We ended up just standing there like two idiots starring at her. You mean that’s all? We’re done? You don’t need to yell at us for this payment or that payment? Folks, it was true. We were done and it was that easy. INCREDIBLE!
A couple of weeks later I returned for my vaginal sonogram and some blood work which was all done at their facility. Everything went without a hitch. Can you believe it? It was so easy and without any stress. OK, I was nervous but there was nothing added by the infertility clinic. In fact they did everything humanly possible to make me calm and to include Carol. I know I already said this but it was incredible! Now during my vaginal sonogram the doctor could see two good follicles (where I produced two eggs). She felt if we could increase that number it would be a wise thing to do. We agreed with her. She suggested starting me off with the drug clomid. I had heard not great things about that drug but she told me it would be a low dosage. She told me to start taking it and to come in for my vaginal sonogram during my next month’s surge. If I had produced enough eggs, we’d discuss doing our first insemination at that time. we agreed and off we went. Of course though we had to check out first. And of course there was nothing to it. Gave the woman our co pay and we were able to leave. No hassle at all! I don’t know why but we were surprised each and every time we checked out of the place.
During my next month’s surge we returned to have another vaginal sonogram. Luckily, it was during the week which made things a whole lot easier since the office was open. When the doctor did the procedure she was disappointed to only see that the Clomid only increased me to having three good follicles and possibly four. She had hoped for many more. The doctor spoke to us after the procedure. She really felt I needed to go one more month on the Clomid. First of all, it was a cheaper infertility drug. And the fact I had only been on it a month, she felt I needed to stay on it for one more month with hopes it would increase my egg production. And so, we took her advice and did just that.
I have to tell you something about the Clomid. At first while I was on it, I was fine. But as I entered my second month of taking it, oh, things didn’t go so well. My moods were TERRIBLE! I was sad one second and so mad the next. I was ready to hit my next surge and be done with the Clomid. I HATED the way I felt and I’m sure Carol wasn’t so happy about it either. In fact I know she wasn’t because I was driving her crazy. We fought a lot during that time. I had wished she had noticed it was the medicine doing a lot of the talking but you know what? I didn’t even know until I wasn’t on it anymore. Here was the thing even without the Clomid in the mix. All of the waiting and anticipation was incredibly stressful. It was more than we had ever thought. AND it was during this time the stress had hit it’s peak. The both of us I think needed the experience over and done. We were exhausted. Either I needed to get pregnant or if I couldn’t, we needed to move forward with our lives. Being in limbo was NOT a good thing for our relationship at all and nor was it good for us individually. Our infertility days needed to come to an end and soon.
When my surge hit the next month and we went back to the infertility clinic for yet another vaginal sonogram we were disappointed to see that my egg production had not increased. I had many more follicles but only three that were viable. And so, it was at that point that Carol and I decided to go ahead and have the insemination. Hell, I had gotten pregnant with two viable eggs with Judah and here I had three, so why wouldn’t it work? The doctor supported our decision. She also knew the stress was a lot on us. Our insemination was scheduled for the next day.
By the next morning as we were taking our hour drive to the infertility clinic I felt OK. Listen, by this point I felt like a pro. I knew the ins and outs (no pun) of what was going to happen. I was nervous. I won’t lie. BUT, I have to tell you. I was not at all as confident as I was when we got pregnant with Judah. In some ways I felt as if I had one of those kid toys where you have a box with the triangle, square and round shaped openings and you put the appropriately shaped blocks in their right hole. Well, for me I felt as if I was trying to SHOVE the square block in the circle hole. It just wasn’t fitting. In the same light I was trying to get pregnant but I just didn’t feel as if my body could do it. AND yet I kept trying. How many more times did I need in order to see it wasn’t going to happen. That square block was never going to fit in that circle hole.
When we arrived, we checked in at the front counter. We had fully expected to have to pay for our procedure the second we walked into the door. You know like the other facility where you had to pay before you could pass go. When the woman at the from desk told us it would be a 45 minute wait while they prepare our sperm, Carol asked her, “Do I pay you?” The woman looked at Carol funny and told her that was all handled at the time of checkout. NO FREAKING WAY!? You mean like other doctor’s offices? How humane to do that and to NOT do it in front of a filled waiting room. What a freakin concept.
Anyway, when it had come to preparing the sperm… they only began to prepare it once we had arrived which made sense. Never wanted to waste it. After we waited our 45 minutes we were called back to one of the rooms. Once in the room the nurse asked me if I was ready and then told me to try to relax. She told me to undress from the waste down, put on the robe they had and lie on the table. As she left she told us the doctor would be in shortly. Once I did all of the things she told me to do, Carol took my hand. There wasn’t much we needed to say at that point. We just both hoped it would work. A few minutes later the doctor came into the room. She asked how I was doing and also asked if I was ready. Listen, I have to tell you. There was a kindness and calmness to this doctor that was wonderful. It was evident she cared for her patients and I really needed that especially at that moment.
The doctor was ready to go so she told me to wiggle my bottom closer to her and place my feet in the stirrups. She confirmed our sperm donor and then she started the procedure. Everyone was very quiet. As she entered my vagina (with what Carol and I now knew was called the inseminator), she told me the sticky discharge I had made it perfect conditions for the insemination. That made me feel good and it made me feel relaxed. When the doctor was finished with the procedure she did something that was so sweet and special. After she was done she rubbed my leg and said, “We’re going to think positive thoughts that this will work.” The doctor then extended the bed I was on and rested my legs down. She explained how I needed to lie there for so many minutes. Before she left the room she placed her hand on my arm and said with a smile, “You did great.” Just before she left, she turned off the lights and left the room. It was funny because there was a timer on the outside of each room. It was just like an egg timer that goes tick tick… so I could hear her setting it and then it ticking.
And so there were Carol and I once again being left to our own demise in a dark room. Well, no worries folks. We were good. Carol just rubbed my tummy wishing good thoughts as I lie there for what seemed to be an eternity. After the clock outside the door went “ding” I got up from the table and got dressed. While we were walking to the check out counter the nurse wished us luck. Then once we paid for the procedure and were about to leave, the woman at the check out told us she was going to keep her finger’s crossed for us. We were just amazed by everyone’s kindness. Sadly, we hadn’t been used to it.
Well as many of you know by now, I had to wait another two weeks before I would know if I was pregnant. And as y’all know, it seemed to be an eternity for me. However, this go round I wouldn’t make it to the point of taking the pregnancy test because this go round I got my period. I was incredibly disappointed I was not pregnant. And yet in my gut I knew very early I wasn’t going to be. However, one always hopes to be wrong.
It was the first time that we had tried and it hadn’t worked. It was hard but I felt OK about it because I knew we had one more shot. Unlike the other infertility clinic this one wanted me to call whether pregnant or not. And when I called the nurse to tell her, the first thing she asked was, “Are you ok?” When she asked that question, I couldn’t help but cry. The nurse was amazing. She spent a long time with me on the phone. In fact she wouldn’t hang up with me until I was no longer crying. The nurse knew we were going to try one more time, so that was what she kept reiterating to me during our conversation. She also offered to make an appointment for us so we could meet with the doctor to go over our next course of action. I just can’t even begin to tell you how that infertility clinic stepped up especially when the reality of infertility became so hard emotionally. But, they got it and they understood. They were amazing.
My appointment with the doctor was going to be in a week. It was important during that week to grieve the last insemination and then move forward so that we could be positive for our next one. Listen, I had always been able to grieve quickly (if at all) and then move forward. Damn, it was the story of my life. However, this was getting harder and harder to do.
It was around this time I started to feel guilty for putting Carol and our son through all of this shit. Truthfully, Judah was a bit clueless about what was happening but he picked up on our stress which wasn’t good. Why did I have to have another child? Why was it SO important to me? Dammit, I had Judah who brought so much joy to my life. I should have been happy to accept just him. I should have been happy that I was able to have at least one child. But, G-d dammit people! I hadn’t realized how emotionally hard it was going to be to watch my baby grow up. And as he was growing up I hadn’t realized how much my heart would ache for another one. DAMMIT! DAMMIT! DAMMIT! Why did I have to have another one? Why did it mean so much to me? AND WHY COULDN’T I LET IT GO!?!
I tried hard to put all of those thoughts aside and focus on our last and final insemination with hopes of all hopes this would be the one to work.