May 15, 2008

The Fertile Friend

So I have this friend. No really, I do. And she has a friend who is in that brutal stage of infertility where you're beyond the naive newbie days full of hope and optimism (denial?), but not yet jaded and cynical and enjoying the ridiculously low expectations that are only earned after a certain amount of failure. Remember the horrible days when you made your first appointment with the fertility clinic? She's there.

And the fertile is a really fantastic friend so she's doing it all right: supportive, but giving her space, trying to be educated but not giving assvice. But she has a dilemma: she is ready to try for #3. Although they've been friends since well before the first two kids, this is the first attempt since the infertile got married and discovered the problem. At first the fertile put her plans on hold waiting to hear good news from the infertile friend, but now her daughters are almost five and six and she really feels like the right time is approaching. Because she is such a great friend, she asked my advice on how to handle things with the newly infertile.

I told her she needs to tell the friend. It might suck, and it might be tempting to just say nothing and then something apologetic like "I'm so sorry, I didn't want it to happen this way, I was hoping we'd be pregnant together," etc. I told her something like that would only make me feel worse. The last thing you want to hear is the oops announcement. On the other hand, if I knew a friend was trying I would be hoping along with her, invested in her hopes, and would be happier for her when it happened. This particular fertile is of the sort who really does seem to get pregnant at the mere thought of it, after three consecutive pregnancies on her first potential cycle. What do you guys think? What would you want a fertile friend to say? What's the best way to protect the friendship?

We all know just caring and sympathy isn't always the answer. Fertiles have to walk the fine line between not knowing what to say, worrying about saying the wrong thing, and actually saying the wrong thing because in fact they don't always understand (and can't be expected to). So to help her understand I sent the fertile Tertia's famous "How to be Good Friends with an Infertile" post. One of Tertia's main points is that the rules change all the time. Not just based on where you are in the infertility abyss or minute by minute if you're on Clomid as this particular infertile is, but also from person to person. Which is why I thought I shouldn't be the only one to answer the question, so please comment: What would you want your fertile friend to do/say? Had a positive experience? What made it so? And the easier one, what NOT to say?

May 8, 2008

Six Months

We did something really cool for Piper's six month birthday. We participated in our local Relay for Life which is a 24 hour event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. We took turns pushing the jogger (I highly recommend this one) around the track with all the other supporters, lit luminarias in honor of a few cancer survivors and victims in our lives, and won a Crate & Barrel ice cream sundae kit in the silent auction. It was a very moving event. The survivor's lap around the track and the team "Siblings of Survivors" really got to me. A great way to mark the 6 month milestone, I hope to continue doing things like this with her so she grows up with these experiences.

At the six-month check up she is still growing just fine, hanging in there around the 40th percentile (60th if adjusted for being early). She's 16 pounds and 26 inches long. This was good to hear since feeding has become extremely difficult now that she gets distracted and wants to be seeing/doing/chewing on everything around her. Vaccines suck and they seem to be getting worse each time. It's the saddest cry imaginable when she looks up at you like "How could you? Why are you doing this to me?" Of course that's my guilt-ridden translation, to her it probably just means "Oh my freaking lord that hurts like hell!!!"

I've started thinking about weaning now that feeding is becoming so challenging and things are going well with solids. I want to wait until she sleeps longer at night though, it would seem like a shame to make this far nursing only to have to make bottles in the middle of the night. I can make it a few more months I guess. It does get me thinking about heading back to the IVF clinic though. It was always in the back of my mind that since it took 5 years for Piper, we'd get back in there as soon as I was done nursing. But then I was thinking I'd nurse for a year. And ideally it won't take 5 years again now that we have that whole long "figuring out there's a problem/what should we do about it?" stage behind us. Still my 35-year egg expiration date looms this Fall, which makes me feel a bit of urgency.

Work is ridiculous right now, I barely have time to brush my teeth and we still haven't finished unpacking boxes from our move. I am really wanting to check in with all my blog buddies much more frequently than I've been able to. I am thinking about you all!