broken egg

It is only the irony of life that keeps me laughing sometimes.

This week has brought new life into our home…well, our garage to be exact. On Sunday night, our neighbor came over to inform us that there were kittens “pouring” out of our garage. Two were spotted by him, only one of which I saw. We thought they disappeared until tonight when The Mister found either the same two or two more. Brooklyn the Dog seems just fine with the situation. I think she’s getting paid.

me

The irony of having spring bring life into my home in such a visceral way is not lost on me given my struggles with infertility. The fact that the apparent fertility of these grounds is discovered during  National Infertility Awareness Week is just ironic beyond measure.

The scars of infertility run deep and strike at the vital systems of my brain in ways that are immeasurably illogical at times but always somehow right on point.  I have two children. My family might be complete. Why would two (or four) kittens remind me so much of INfertility and not just be a cute (but decisively difficult) way to ring in the new season?

…because they’re a reminder that life normally reproduces and my body just doesn’t function that way.

I’ve made peace with my journey. I parent after infertility without letting infertility affect my parenting in negative ways. I’m not overprotective or overbearing. I allow risk and reward. And yet, every Facebook pregnancy announcement seems to bring a sting in a way that I wasn’t sure could still happen. I have no idea how these pregnancies came about, but it feels like the Universe throwing it in my face that people seem to be so easily fertile when I’m not.

This week I had lunch with a student who has become a bit of a mentee to me. As we were talking she asked about the girls. It turns out she is a twin as well. Her twin brother is one of two siblings–another is an adopted sister. She tells me somewhat matter-of-factly that her sister was adopted when her parents didn’t think they’d be able to have biological children and she and her brother were the product of IVF. I smiled and told her so were my girls.

It seemed so natural to her and she accepted it and moved on without a thought. It has taken me a full 24 hours to grapple with that. I don’t mind discussing infertility.  I’m pretty open about it, in fact. But seeing this brilliant and talented young woman know her family’s story so well and having it be part of the fabric of such a wonderful person gave me such hope.  She doesn’t carry around her parents’ burden but she tells their story…and my story, whether she knows it or not.  She is what I hope my girls are one day: testaments to perseverance, belief and a little bit of science.

There are two kittens who have hopefully reunited with their mother in my garage. There are two toddlers who have made me become a happier and stronger woman in my home.  Sometimes perspective is helpful. It may not take the sting out of infertility, even after my family building days are over. It just might give me hope that they weren’t spent in vain, though…that the struggle is bigger than me or my family but is something universal.

Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples. Maybe it’s time we resolve to know each other, to tell our stories honestly and openly and to acknowledge the everyday occurrences that both remind us of our hurt and give us hope that our struggles might mean a better tomorrow in some way, shape or form.

To learn more about infertility, go visit Resolve. They helped me immensely in my journey.

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The Tribe of RuPaul

by kim on April 14, 2014 · 2 comments

in Family, Friends, Life in general

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In my podcasting listening recently, I came across an interview with RuPaul. This was of interest to me for two reasons: (1) it was probably going to be an interesting interview; and, (2) I had time to burn in the car.  I will admit, though, that any time RuPaul is involved a cringe a bit…and it has nothing to do with RuPaul. It has to do with the fact that during the three months I spent working as a grunt at my local Wendy’s, some of the staff there–who never fully accepted me as one of their own–inexplicably called me RuPaul.

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I do not know where this come from nor did I take it as an inherently bad thing.  But when people who don’t treat you well generally start calling you a name–even if that name is Beyonce–you begin to think that you’ve done something wrong…that you are something wrong.  At the end of that three months when I quit the job and was told that because I was not giving two weeks notice I’d never be hired by any Wendy’s ever again I told my manager that not only could I live with that, but it was a comfort to me.

The story of my life has been the story of finding comfort in the company of others because I do not fit easily into so very many groups.  And in my own skin? Please…

So as I’m listening to RuPaul, I hear him (he wasn’t wearing drag during the interview as it was described, so I feel somewhat safe in this pronoun usage) say that when he left San Diego for Atlanta that he finally found his tribe. “My tribe,” he said again.  And I just thought…wow.  What a concept that I intellectually get, but never fully understood.

I’ve never felt fully embraced by a group created outside of my orchestration. In spite of this, slowly but surely I have created my own tribe out of life. I never did have that Oprah A-Ha (TM) moment where I finally fit in to a group like a three pronged plug into a new outlet. It’s always been a matter of breaking off that third prong even though you know it grounds the thing just to make it fit into the old-style two pronged hole.

But I can make a tribe.

And I did.  For years, I gathered people around me that made me feel comfortable. I introduced them to one another. I spent time with them…laughing, crying, mourning, loving. Although I do not get to see them as often as I’d like anymore, I still consider them mine. A tribe of misfits that, if I was going to guess, probably always felt like a three pronged plug in a two prong kind of world.

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At the end of February we had family photos taken. It was kind of steamy, being in a conservatory, but February in the tundra known as Michigan required sacrifice. When we got them back, I noticed something. For the first time in the history of ever I saw myself in pictures that surprised me with how happy I looked…how wholly part of my tribe I felt. Even the ones that aren’t with me in those pictures, they are there in my life.

I didn’t get a tribe. I fashioned one out of love, sweat, tears, money, science and the gumption that comes out of sheer despair.

I’m so happy RuPaul found his tribe. I’m so happy I’ve made mine. And with all of the frustration of life, it’s nice to know that maybe those idiots working at the Wendy’s back in 1998–who are probably still working there today–at least knew to compare me to someone who is amazingly out there in the world, doing life so unapologetically that it hurts.

My tribe, Ru’s tribe…we’re all just trying to make it in a world that would rather not bother. In the end, we’re the ones who will walk away better for it.

rupaul

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Songs in my Head

April 9, 2014

It’s been a LONG time since we’ve done this, but summer is just around the corner (thank the sweet baby Jesus) and it’s time to get our jams on. So let’s do this…   Ain’t it Fun by Paramore I’m going to be blunt: Paramore is hit or miss for me and usually miss. I’ve […]

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My Life Lately…A Tale of GIFs, Part 8

April 1, 2014

    When The Mister suckered me into buying a foreign car for the first time… When I enjoyed the car and needed to morally justify it to myself… When The Mister called me to let me know he hit a pothole and had a flat tire…in the brand new car… When that cost $200 […]

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Three Ring Battleground

March 12, 2014

February was a tough month. Busy from end to end, trying at every turn…it wanted to burn me down. And if that wasn’t enough (it never is), I found myself doing a lot of self-sabotaging. The biggest culprit? My incessant need to correct people. The never-ending trough of crap that is fed to us on […]

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Random Thoughts

March 6, 2014

If you don’t follow Honest Toddler on Facebook or Twitter, I feel bad for you. Even prior to having kids (or toddlers as they are called now, I guess) this shit was hilarious. I made the epic mistake of telling my mom that I intended on using Lent as a time of reflection on faith […]

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Uncertain Steps

February 24, 2014

When I was little I thought “getting grounded” meant you were literally put in the ground.  I also thought that tornadoes had something to do with massive storms involving tomatoes.  I sang “What’s love…cock-a-doo, cock-a-doo…” instead of “what’s love got to do, got to do with it…” …and I also thought that babies learned to […]

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Bodies and Bellies

February 19, 2014

I keep holding my breath and crossing my fingers and refusing to say it with out qualifiers, but I think, just maybe, I may have found a size friendly doctor. I literally held my breath when I typed that. That’s how scared I am of jinxing this.  For those of you who have not had […]

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An Ode to My Blog

February 12, 2014

I haven’t forgotten you, oh dear PCL. I swear on Hillary Clinton’s pantsuit collection that I have not forgotten you. Sometimes I’ll be driving down the road and think of all of the thoughts that I want to write about here.  And if I’m really lucky, they’ll stick with me long enough to really ferment […]

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These Aren’t Resolutions

January 21, 2014

I generally abhor new year’s resolutions. They are often trite and vain and just things that people should be doing anyhow (eat more vegetables) or things that are so idiotic that people shouldn’t be doing at all (lose 100 pounds). I don’t make resolutions because the calendar needs to be replaced. In fact, I still […]

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