Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Damn cat / amazing doc!

I have wanted to write, but haven't been able to. Simply because this happened to my Mac power cord:


We have two kittens (I know, I know... lesbians we are). One of them we call the Golden Boy, because he does absolutely nothing wrong. The other is a little shit, who shits - literally - not where she's supposed to once a day, jumps on tables, chews through wires (see above), and has, as of yesterday evening, realized that she has the ability to jump on the kitchen counter. [Side note: if anyone has any ideas on how to train a very untrainable kitten, please tell!]

I don't really feel comfortable writing from work. I'm in a management position, and the last thing I want showing up is a web history that includes the URL "crazy lesbian mom". I'm out at work, but not *that* out.

So, I have had chronic pain for almost 4 years now, which if you want to get up to speed, you can read about. Long story short: I've seen so many specialists over this time, and nobody has been able to help me.

I ran into an old friend about 2 weeks ago, who asked about my pain. She is a medical researcher and is very sciency, so when she mentioned that she's been seeing a doctor of Chinese Medicine, I was a bit taken aback. And then she stated her case:

She suffered from chronic migraines for over a decade, went to this doctor three times, and has never had a migraine again. Her daughter-in-law couldn't get pregnant for 7 years; she went to this doctor and was pregnant within 2 months. Her granddaughter had chronic urinary tract infections; saw this doc... never again.

So what the hell, right?

I called, she wasn't taking new patients. I was asked whether I wanted to see her colleague, to which I replied no (looked him up - he's just graduated, and though I don't judge a doc necessarily on their experience, it wasn't him that got all the praise). I got on a cancellation list, was told there may be a spot in January. I'm used to getting the medical run-around, so that was no surprise.

What was a surprise was when they called and asked whether I could come in last week. I went, with an open mind and a curiosity that is still running strong. I can honestly say I have absofuckinglutely no idea what she did (there was a lot of tapping, rubbing, push and pulling), and the whole time I was on the table, I was thinking about how this would make a great Mad TV skit. 

I started out with a 10 out of 10 in pain. She also noticed (I have no idea how, considering she hardly touched me) that I had a shoulder injury, and issues with TMJ. So, I won't go into it too much, but what she did is based in NIS, which is Neurological Integration System, which has a basic principal that the brain is responsible for all the pain/symptoms in your body.

Basically, she worked on me for about 15 minutes, pulled back her chair, said I had 5 viruses, a fungal infection, issues with my kidneys, and problems breaking down carbs. Sure, whatever you say... but then I got up from the table. She asked me to check the pain level, and it dropped to a 5/10. I could raise my arm above my head for the first time in 10 years. My jaw - somehow - just stopped clicking and the pain is gone. She worked on me for another half hour.

She told me my eyesight was worse in my right eye than my left (true). She told me that there was an issue with my thyroid (true, which I didn't tell her about). She just kept telling me things about my body that was true, and that no - I didn't write down. The only thing she knew about me going in was that I was a female in my thirties and have had chronic pain in one area for 4 years. 

So here I am a week or so later, and my pain is at about 2 out of 10. I can still lift my arm above my head. I can open my mouth as wide as I want. Overall, I'm feeling a hell of a lot better... more energy, better sleep, digestive system WAY better. I can go grocery shopping, I can stand up long enough to cook - hell, to brush my teeth. I can walk to the train after work. I can take the stairs. I walked through the entire showroom at IKEA this week. Please, please, please make this be the end...

And yes, I talked to her about getting pregnant. She asked whether I was going to use frozen sperm, and I said "probably" (remember, D and I haven't even made a decision about having a kid yet). She told me to come to her when we were trying to conceive. She works with a lot of lesbians (and breeders too) who are doing intrauterine insemination - and other methods, for that matter - and without a hint of anything but a professional confidence, said that she could definitely help me work with the fertility clinics. She's apparently got a good track record.

Hell, if she can take this much pain away after so long, I will go to her for a simple hang-nail!

I go back to see her before Christmas about my chronic pain, and everything else she found, and I really really hope that this is the first step to painlessness... and a step towards being able to carry.

And just because I teased, here is a Mad TV skit for you:



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wish us luck...

Tonight, D & I look after our nieces and nephew for an entire evening. Doesn't sound so hard, but this is the situation:

- 1 six year old girl (going on 16) who is grounded for various reasons and who only wants to wear her headphones and listen to Justin Beiber, making sure we know it's up to *her* when she wants to go to bed
- 1 five year old girl who riles up her brother to the point where he's unstoppable and who talks like she's the last person on earth
- 1 three year old boy who is riled up and does not come down, no matter how much you run him out... he's like the energizer bunny with a gruff old-man voice
- 1 six-month-old niece, who is a total mama's girl, who cries when she leaves her mom's arms. Awesome.

I love these kids, but this'll be a good test!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Don't take this personally

I love my job but it’s tough to work when my mind is elsewhere.

I’m worried about D. Good news is, she finally made a therapy appointment for next week; she’s realizing she needs help, and although she’s dealt with many deaths before, she still needs to deal…

There is this book we’ve had around the house for years that we both try to follow the teachings of: The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. Although much of it is based in spirituality, he does not force his on you, and the teachings are wide-spread and relatable. 




Number 1: Be impeccable with your word
Number 2: Don’t take things personally
Number 3: Don’t make assumptions
Number 4: Always do your best

Some of these might seem easy to do, and sometimes it is easy to follow through on a promise. But some times, after a long week of work, even though you’ve told a friend you haven’t seen in three years who is coming into the city for one night that you will meet them, it’s easier to suddenly not feel well, or have car trouble, or get the dates mixed up… just because.

One of don Miguel’s thoughts is that when we take things personally, this is where deep insecurities in the form of invisible scars are affected. He suggests that when we get on someone’s nerves or hit a sore spot, we are ripping scabs off. This is what I think is happening to D. Not that anyone is ripping at her, but that old scars are being reopened with every new death.

I have a director at work that makes me work very hard at number 2: don’t take things personally. I know I do a good job, and I know I’m very good at what I do. I am often complimented and acknowledged for my skill, though if my director is stressed out, everything seems to be my fault – any little *bad* thing (no matter how significant the GOOD thing is) that happens, whether it is a misplaced comma or a 6-month project being half an hour late, that’s more important. And then my director focuses on me, because I suppose it is easier to put blame on me when perfectionism is their only goal.

I’m often reminded of the “it’s not you, it’s me” cliché, which I pretend my supervisor says every time I’m blamed for something out of my control. Perhaps it is because I myself am a bit of a perfectionist, and blame myself anyway… so the added blame is a bit of an overload. Anyway, number 2 has always been tough, but I’m working at it. 

As for me and D, I am not taking anything personally… how can I? I am being impeccable with my word and following through with everything I can do to support her. I have made no assumptions about her actions, and I am doing my best: as a partner and a friend. All the while trying to be a lover.

This summer when we had a big blow-up, I read don Miguel’s The Voice of Knowledge, where the author reminds readers of a profound yet simple truth: The only way to end emotional suffering and restore joy in living is to stop believing in lies - mainly about ourselves.

This book accompanied me to my little cabin in the woods that I went to for 5 days as I reflected on myself, trying to make some sense out of all that was going on. If you ever need to forgive yourself, this is the book to read.

D read The Mastery of Love, and it changed her life. I know that’s a powerful statement (she agrees), but it came to her at the right moment. It’s on my list of things to read.

I guess this post comes down to this: we need direction. We need outside help when we can’t help ourselves, our situations, our loved ones. I know too well the people I lost when I was seriously ill because they felt too helpless, and that they blamed themselves for not being able to “fix” my mental illness and to suddenly make me sane and happy again. I lost a lot of people because I couldn’t make that happen myself.

When things are deep… and things right now feel deep… sometimes it’s necessary to reach out to things you know can help.

Today, I will do my best. For me, that somehow always seems like the easiest of the four agreements to follow.



Sunday, November 21, 2010

A slutty night

Last night was all about sex.

I have very vivid sexual dreams, but most of them are all pleasure with no purpose. Last night I had a very different kind of sexual dream, which kind of freaked the hell out of me when I was in it (I have lucid dreams), but especially when I woke up.

It started off pretty innocently. I was with a friend, who was introducing me to some guy that I was going to have a quick sexual encounter with to get me pregnant. Purposeful fucking, so of course that makes sense. And then it wasn't enough. I freaked out that he was my one shot - literally - and what if it didn't work? So I went on a hunt.

For however long my dream lasted, I was manically seeking the father of my not-yet-conceived child. I started off with what (in the dream) I wanted in a father: brown hair, green eyes, smart, good-looking, healthy, kind and gentle. But then it turned desperate. I *needed* to get pregnant, and so, I fucked every guy who waltzed into my dream. Anonymous faces, with looks and charms slowly going downhill with every sexual encounter. I filled up my fictional dream calendar. There were only a few hours where I was at my most fertile, and it was my last chance. This had to happen.

So anonymous faces and penises came in and out (again, quite literally), and then apparently anonymity wasn't important to me anymore, so old boyfriends showed up, friends of my brothers, and then... my entire elementary school class of boys showed up, and I went to them all rabidly for one purpose. Yes, Peter Scholtz, then Andrew Liteman, followed by Jacob McFarren, and even Richard Templeton... it didn't matter who. As long as they had sperm.

[Photo credit: Getty Images]
I often have nightmares where I need to get somewhere or do something, and if I don't, I'll die. This dream seemed no different. If I didn't get pregnant, I don't know what would have happened. And I woke up before I was finished. I rolled over to my partner - still sleeping - and chose to keep this dream under wraps for the time-being. Is it normal to have these kind of panicky dreams?

My subconscious is obviously getting impatient. I'm just trying to keep my conscious mind sane. My time will (hopefully) come, without having to fuck an entire army of boys to make a dream come true.

Ugh.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

TTC is hard to see; poetry is easy.

Today, I've been reading all of the blogs I follow (on my blogroll and through Google Reader). There are some really positive ones, written by people I couldn't be happier for: couples who've just conceived, couples who are basking in the delights of new parenthood... but then there are endless entries from women who are at their wits ends with this whole TTC thing (I won't list them out of respect for their privacy and pain).

Their honesty has got me thinking about my own journey, which has hardly begun, and make me question whether I'll be able to stay sane through the process. Knowing my health isn't great on the best of days - will I be able to do this? 

I don't even know whether I'll be able to go on fertility meds with the meds I'm currently on. I don't know how screwing with my hormones is going to screw with my head. Fuck, I don't even know if my partner still wants to have a baby with me... whether we'll even go down that road. 

The process excites me, but freaks me out beyond belief. I feel like on top of the mad journey of TTC, I have so much else going on. So should we even start trying? Perhaps I'm writing this, and doubting myself, because I am still in my pajamas on a Saturday at 3:00 p.m., after sleeping for 10 hours because work is killing me right now, and I need a break. 

How the hell am I ever going to get by without sleep, stressed out about getting pregnant, or up every hour with a new baby? Does this innate parenting thing kick in that makes it possible? I'm not not looking forward to it - I know it will be worth it all... I just worry about post-partum depression, and though my shrink is confident that the odds aren't high enough for me to worry about, that's what I do: I worry.

I have a good friend who has a 7-year-old daughter (pregnant on the first date with her now husband). She's a wonderful mom, and she wants me to be a mom, but she says nobody tells you how much you worry. Granted, she's a bit of a helicopter mom whose child can do absolutely no wrong, but if I'm a worrier by nature, what will that translate into when motherhood arrives?

I work at a Children's Hospital, which is wonderful and sad. I see kids every day who are sick, and I can't help but wonder whether my health will affect my baby's. You see? My partner and I haven't even decided on whether we're going to get pregnant yet, and I'm already worrying about the health of my baby. Lord knows that if we do start this journey, our baby may not come for years. Can I keep up the worrying for that long, or will I just worry about something else in the meantime? Probably.

But then there's this other part of me that *knows* I'm going to be an incredible mom. I just know me... and I know, no matter what the circumstances, I will thrive. Maybe that's what gives me hope and is pulling me through.

D and I have less than a month and a half before we can start talking baby again (therapist helped us make a deal that we'd drop the subject for 3 months so that we could work on "us" first). 

I was flipping through my menstrual calendar app on my iPhone - amazing little things - and my birthday is in a few months. On the calendar, there is a big, dark box around my birthday: it is the day of the month that is my best chance of conceiving. Last year on my birthday, I told D that I wanted to be pregnant by this birthday coming up... that's nowhere near happening. 

But thank you, Apple, for reminding me of the cruel irony that for my birthday, I *could* be in a clinic office, with the possibility of conceiving on that very day, but instead, I will be worrying... about something, I'm sure.

I suppose I didn't have to download the app, eh?

 (Photo credit: here. And no, that's not my real birthday, nor my real cycle).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I suck at death

And no, that's not a vampire reference.

Death. I don't know how to deal with it. Or grief. Both. I guess they go hand-in-hand.

D and I have been to 2 funerals in the last 10 days. Including these two deaths, D has had six people in her life die in the last four months. This is a woman who lost both of her parents by the time she was in her early 20s. Me, I haven't lost anyone that close. My best friend's dad, a friend from high school, my amazing great aunt... all deaths, but none that has rocked me to the core.

D is used to grieving alone. She's had a life full of loss, and one specific death brought on a period of abandonment and forced independence (I've learned through her past that death brings out the worst in people). She's used to dealing with things - or not dealing with things - without the help of anyone else. Although she wasn't incredibly close with these recent losses, it is reminding her of the most important loss - her mom - and with every death, the scab gets ripped off yet again.

These days, it is obvious that she's hurting, that's she's having a hard time, but it's taken a lot of poking and prodding to get anything out of her mouth (never mind her tear ducts). Bottom line is, I don't know how to support a griever that well. I'm around to listen. I'm around to do chores that she doesn't have the energy or drive to do. I'm here to tell her how much I lover her... but I feel so helpless. I ask if there is anything I can do, but of course there isn't.

Of course it is affecting our relationship. She's withdrawn and angry and snippety. I'm frustrated and worried and feeling guilty that I'm thinking about how *I* feel when I'm not the one losing people. I don't know... there has to be a middle ground in a partnership around this. Where you get to grieve, but you can also be functional in a relationship. For now, I wait.

The latest death was a pretty personal death for me. The funeral was this afternoon. It was a friend from an organization I was involved with for over 10 years. I saw her every week for over a decade and went away with her twice a year. She was over thirty years older than me, but had more energy than I'd ever had. This woman ran a marathon in her early 60s. After she "retired," she backpacked through developing countries to perform 14 hours of surgeries for kids with cleft lips and palates and other "cosmetic" medical conditions (she was a nurse). She was one of those people who's energy and heart were too big for this earth. Diagnosed less than a year ago with one cancer, which turned into 3 cancers, she passed away merely 9 months later. That's the length of a pregnancy. Crazy.

And a note on Catholic funerals. No disrespect to Catholics, honestly - I welcome all faiths - but my god! (or rather, my God with a capital "G"...) How about talking about the PERSON a little more, and not about how God called her home, how because she was baptized, she chose to die with Christ, and has a special room in God's house? She hasn't been in a conventional church in over 30 years, and instead of celebrating her spirit, we were mimicking lines the priest spoke at us. I didn't really want to hear about Pope Benedict. I wanted to hear about how my friend made the entire operating room laugh during procedures. I wanted to hear about how she stayed up all night when we went away and looked after people when they were in trouble. I didn't want to be reminded of how bad my Latin and sight reading is.


It's weird. Last week's funeral was at an Anglican church, which is the church that I was brought up in (before I got caught by the Baptists... I'll save that for another post); a lot of similarities to Catholicism. This woman was a bit different though. She was a leader in the congregation. She was active in the church's HIV/AIDS outreach program. She even recently wrote her own eulogy, knowing she was going to die, which her sister read at the altar. She chose the verses she wanted read, she picked the hymns and, a few months before she died, she actually asked D's good friend to sing Amazing Grace at her funeral, which you can imagine was a wee bit emotional. It just felt more personal. Today just felt like it was the right thing to do.

So, to you G, who we said goodbye to today - may your house in heaven be as big as your heart was, and may your pain be gone forever. This is a picture I took on vacation this year ~ a picture that reminds me that no matter what our faith, a higher power is ever-present. Today, it reminds me of you.


And to D - I will find a way to support you, to be patient yet not stagnant, to make you feel as though you are not alone. Because you aren't. I ain't going anywhere.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The New Girl (and a thank you)

I'm new to all of this. New to a community who wants, is trying, or has expanded a single life or partnership into a family. New to a community who is versed in the conception lingo - TTC, IVF, HPT, 2WW... and a whole bunch of others that I've yet to learn. New to a community who are lesbians. That's right, I don't really even have "real life" close lesbian friends.

I don't live in a small town and I'm not sheltered by any means. I know gay people; I have gay friends. It's just that I don't make a point of making more gay friends for the sake of making gay friends. People come into my life as-is and I start relationships as-is, regardless of gender, sexuality, faith or age. I don't have a lesbian community, and until recently, haven't really felt the "need" to have one. I am just gay and living my life; nothing to see here. I married for love, not politics. I want equal rights, but I am not the woman you'll see marching with a flag in my hand to fight for them. I'm blessed to live in a country where I got to marry the woman I love by getting the same marriage license as the straight couple in the line in front of us at the local drug store. (Yay Canada!).

I haven't felt the need to seek a community, until now. When I first got serious about putting my dreams of being a mom into actions, I went online to read - to see how others have done it. And now, I'm scratching the surface... I started to blog about the beginning of my journey into motherhood, but I honestly feel as though I've been a bit of an imposter.

Life got in the way. Relationship troubles have put the baby plans on the shelf for the time being. Chronic pain has stopped me from starting the process of having a baby. My mental health has made the baby take the back seat. But, that is life. That's my life.

My wife doesn't know about this blog. It's not that I'm hiding it from her - I will show her next year, when we are "allowed" to talk about babies (according to our therapist and our decision). We made a deal that I would not pressure her to walk this road with me for three months, as long as she could tell me in January whether she's truly committed and ready for this whole TTC journey (an abbreviation I will have to explain to her). The next three months, we focus on us.

She bought us books last year to get ready. She dreamed with me about parenting. She thought up baby names with me. And then our relationship took a hit, and dreaming got put aside so that healing could start. And that's okay. I'm actually grateful for it; although this whole not knowing is tough, I recognize that I have an incredible woman who, regardless of whether it's just us and our cats, or us and our cats and a dog and a baby, I want to be with, am lucky to have, and can't wait to live my life with her.

So, for all of you who are ahead of me in the family or trying-for-a-family department, I just want to thank you for paving the way, for writing so honestly and openly about being lesbians and starting families - or having trouble starting families. I will join you soon, and I can't wait. I know very few of your names. But I'm getting to know many initials and nicknames, URLs, and some of your beautiful families through photos. I read every comment you write and truly appreciate the time you take to read, and feel supported by your responses. I feel as though I'm building a strong foundation before starting off on a treacherous and exciting journey, and that foundation  - this community - is vital. (I almost feel as though I'm coming out of the closet again).

For now, I hope that you'll let me be a part of your community: one that I'm realizing is stronger than I'd ever imagined would be out there. You are inspiring, you make me laugh, you make me cry, and I want to be like you. One day, I will be like you. I'm already on my way there.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Head, heart, and health

I’ve been to see my GP more than enough times over the past 3 and a half years. I’ve been to rheumatologists. I’ve been to neurologists. I’ve been to orthopedic surgeons. I’ve been to chronic pain clinics. I’ve seen shrinks. I’ve been to chiropractors and physiotherapists. I’ve changed my shoes. I got orthotics. I’ve had blood panels. I’ve had a full-body MRI. I’ve had a nuclear medicine bone scan. I’ve had CT scans. I’ve more than enough X-rays. I’ve had an EEG and numerous brain tests. I had “experimental” surgery this summer.

Nothing has worked.

Three and a half year ago, the dull pain in both of my feet turned into sharp pain that has taken away the possibility of activity in my life. I can’t go grocery shopping without being in constant pain. I can’t stand and wash the dishes without constant pain. I certainly can’t exercise without constant pain. I can hardly get by doing a desk job without constant pain. I am a completely different person than the woman I was when I could just “be” without pain.

But pain has become interweaved with my life now. It’s just there. And nobody knows why. There is nothing physiologically wrong with me (so far). It is not psychosomatic (according to more than two psychiatrists). It is inexplicable major chronic pain that has essentially taken my health away from me.

The sad thing? I do not have any mobility and my physical health is taking a big hit. I can’t do anything I used to be able to do. And yet, even though I am immobile and in constant pain, my physical ailment has nothing on depression. Having gone through both physical and psychological illnesses, mental illness wins in the “what’s worse” category.

I have to get back to work, as my lunch hour (where I’ve been stuck at my desk because the pain is especially bad today) is almost done. Though I will revisit this pain issue and how it has shaped the dream of having a baby… and how my mental health has teamed up with my physical health to make this an especially hard journey…

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Twins, Triplets: What's One More?

I just spent a lovely evening with my best friend, looking after her sister's five-month-old twins. One boy, one girl. Perfect. One shot and bam! - instant family.

I'm sure every reader who has twins or multiples is saying "oh god it's not that simple". And no, just having to change the boy's diaper while keeping an eye on the girl while my friend was in the washroom - I cannot imagine what it would be like to raise two babies at once. Two times the madness... but two times the love as well. Even two nipples ain't going to make the job that easy.

The babies are so different from each other. Physically, the girl looks like mum and the boy looks like dad. The boy giggles and smiles and dances and the girl is low-key, relaxed, a little less emotive and holy crap she's pudgy! They were actually a C-section just because the girl was almost 3 pounds bigger than the boy in the womb, and stealing all his nutrients. Hopefully (or not), she'll grow into her cheeks.

It made me think about the odds when couples are TTC. With the hormones, the potential meds, the clinical aspect, cleaning sperm so only the goodies can swim, making it the perfect place for conception. A lot of the moms I've read blog of have multiples. Does anyone know what the stats are? For any fertility treatments? IVF? Good ol' shoot 'em up turkey baster style?

Makes me think that the odds would be higher when I try to conceive. Can a woman who struggles with mental health, low energy, and pain really take care of two babies, let alone one? But the cards will fall where they fall, and I imagine that if it were meant to be that I somehow conceived twins or triplets, I'd just have to fucking figure it out like everyone else who is in the same boat does.

These twins tonight were so good and well behaved. The boy cried for about 30 seconds after I put him to bed. Everything was so easy... and then I thought about the other 21 hours of the day. What does mum have to go through to keep herself sane?

That's when I'm grateful I would have a supportive family nearby if I am going to have a baby. I don't know whether I could go forward on this journey without my mum around. I just wish she hadn't recently moved a ferry ride away.

Oh well, there's time. Perhaps too much time. Especially as I set the clock back tonight.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Preggo with a capital EGO

I've been spending more time than usual with one of my best friends. I don't know if it's just pure circumstance, or because she's pregnant and her husband is sick of hearing about it and/or she just wants to talk and talk and talk about it, and I happen to be around.

We've been friends since we were fourteen, and she's stayed with me through my crazy days, visiting me in psych wards religiously and just generally keeping an eye out for me when my eyes were full of pain. She's a great woman, wonderful at her job (social work with families) and I am genuinely happy for her. She and her husband are fabulous, and they're going to be amazing parents.

But here's the thing: since she made the announcement, nothing else in the world matters. And I completely understand that being pregnant - especially for the first time - is one of the most exciting things in the world, but there's a line, and I think she's crossed it.

She was barely three months pregnant when we had a particular dinner, which was interrupted every ten minutes because "the baby is pushing on my bladder". After said meal, she took my hand and put it on the top of her stomach, just underneath her breasts, saying that her baby makes this area feel harder after she eats. Now, if I'm not mistaken, a fetus at 12 weeks is about 2 inches, or the size of a small plum:

  

If you want to see it inside of you, in relation to all the girlie parts around it, according to BabyCenter, this is what a 12 week fetus looks like:


Is that really anywhere near her breasts? Not so much...

Now, I'm not saying that this size is not significant. This is the kind of thing Pro Life activists use to keep people from having abortions. This is a living creature growing inside of you, and it's an amazing thing.

Because she won't stop talking about it, and because I'm curious and can't wait to feel it myself, I ask her, "Can you feel it?" And she replies, "well, no; not yet... but I hear I'm going to feel butterflies soon."

I love her to pieces, I really do. But out of all of my friends, she is the one that knows how badly I want to get pregnant, and by no means am I asking her to hold back her excitement because I'm not where she is... but I wake up every morning to a text from her about a dream she had about a baby, or log into Facebook where she has already posted a "belly pic" profile shot (none of her friends have the guts to tell her that HER gut might just be a "generous" gut, without the baby's help) and is endlessly posting status updates about how her baby is doing today.

It took her and her husband two months of trying before she got pregnant, and they were "so worried" that they'd never be able to conceive, considering "it took that long". I have no idea what it's going to be like when my partner and I are trying to conceive with frozen sperm and a bunch of towels under my ass, getting injected by near-strangers in a clinic, staring at the ceiling and hoping one of the anonymous sperms is a good swimmer. Will it take 2 months? 2 years? Will it happen at all? Will I turn to her then? I don't know...

So while I'm ecstatic for her and her little plum, it's tough to listen to her go on and on about it. She gets to do this, and so far, she gets to do this so easily. I get that I'm jealous of her and I understand that it's okay to be, especially when I *am* happy for her deep down, but I don't know how many more coffee dates or walks we can take where I take a backseat and listen to how her life is evolving right in front of her - literally - while I feel as though I'm as frozen in the process as the frozen sperm that's potentially going to be involved in the conception of my (hopefully) future child.

I'm at the age where a lot of my friends are getting pregnant and having babies. It's tough and it's beautiful and it's inspiring and fucking frustrating. I can't make my breeding friends stop (and why would I try?) and at this point, I can't get my partner to move forward with our plan - because we lost our plan - so I feel as though I'm in limbo, surfing around in some sticky muck that may look a little like amniotic fluid, but with none of the nourishment or protection.

Empty.