"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. "

06 July 2010

Celebration, Frustration & Relaxation

B and I splurged on an amazing dinner this past Thursday night. Its likely the best we've had ever in Madison. We were celebrating. 

Some of you may know that I'm an Actuary and in order to be an official Actuary, there is a series of nine exams that need to be passed. I recently found out that I passed my final exam. I did it! I'm officially a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (read Super Geek)!  These exams have been a very large part of our lives for the last 5 years. Over 300 hours of studying for each one. And I say ours, because B has been a fantastic supporter of me and helped to pick up the slack around the house during 'study season'. So as a reward, we went out and did it up right!  

My family has been very supportive as well, and they are all thrilled for me too, but the first thing out of my dad's mouth (after a congrats of course) when I called to tell him the good news was, "Maybe now that you are done, you can finally relax and get pregnant." And I politely laughed a bit and said something like, "Yeah, maybe..."  

But inside my head I was thinking, "SERIOUSLY? OH MY GOD! HAVE YOU NOT READ OR HEARD ANYTHING I'VE SENT OR SAID TO YOU IN THE PAST 3 YEARS. DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS THIS STRUGGLE AND HOW IT HURTS TO HEAR THOSE WORDS. I've even sent you this very well written article twice,  Infertility Etiquette , and you still haven't read it or try to know why those words, specifically the word relax, are hurtful and insulting to me? "

I know he didn't mean it to hurt my feelings, but I just see this as another example of how some people can't really understand how intense this is and how best to support me through this. I love my dad, and we get along great most of the time, and I know that he thinks about B and I frequently and how life changing this has been for us, but that word 'relax' really pisses me off and I've tried really hard to express how much that specific word is crap.... If getting pregnant was as easy as relaxing.... I mean, it just makes me feel like he really really doesn't understand that this is a disease and this is NOT something that I have control over, no matter how much I fucking relax. 

I actually think this is somewhat of a common theme or misunderstanding of this disease among the 'fertiles' of the world.

So, not only was I irritated about the comment from my dad, but on our way out of dinner a very young, skinny somewhat downtrodden woman was walking outside of the YWCA with a 2 yr old in her hand and a baby almost ready to pop to of her belly as we got in the car after a thoroughly relaxing and enjoying dinner... And I asked myself, "Really? Really? ... Seriously?.. UGH!I don't understand that if there is a god out there, especially the one I was raised with in the Catholic church, that that god, who controls things and teaches lessons and puts the stars in the sky, if there really is that god, why the fuck is there suck inequity in the baby arena, huh?"

I don't mean to get into a religious debate here and I've long since made my peace with where I stand on religion, spirituality and its place in my life, but I see these obviously frutsrating snapshots of others lives and I think to myself, I just don't get it... I truly don't.

So instead of focusing too hard on the things I can't control, I reveled in the relaxing feeling of 2 glasses of wine, an amazing dinner, a kick ass chocolate dessert and I opened the sun roof as B drove us home. It was a beautiful evening and I asked him to drive me around our neighborhood through all of the beautifully old oak and maple trees that line the street and make the moonlight dance on the night sky while the stars twinkle through the bare spots. And I looked up through the roof and let the breeze float past my face and I thanked the world for giving me the fortune to go celebrate my achievement with B and be able to appreciate the perfect mid summer's evening in this way.

And now I try to hold onto that feeling and hope that someday I will hold my baby to my chest and show him/her that same wonder and awe at the beauty that we live in and think, "There... do you see? This is the sign that there truly is something magical in the world. We just have to know where to look for it."


  1. Don't you just hate that whole 'relax' speech! I loved this post. Even people who know everything we have physically wrong with me which is hampering our efforts to concieve (a blocked tube, PCOS, polyps) STILL say 'Have you tried relaxing? Or another one 'You know you can only get pregnant at one time of your cycle don't you?' Um . . . really?! Best of luck on your journey! Hope you enjoyed your dinner, your wine and chocolate desert! Yum!

  2. I think you would appreciate this - was out to dinner last Friday with my parents, three aunts, and an uncle. One aunt and the uncle had not seen me in almost four years and my aunt chooses to say to me right off the bat, "Your mom told us how sad you were when your sister got pregnant because you were trying to and couldn't." I said, "Yes, I was very sad." and tried to change the subject. Again later she said that to me and something about how it didn't take that long after all - I told her well, a year and a half feels like a long time when you're in the middle of it. Her comments (and the fact that my mother will tell anyone anything apparently) bothered me well past dinner and I came up with a half-dozen perfect retorts such as "'Sad' is the understatement of the year," but of course it was too late.

  3. K, I hear ya. The word "relax" in this instance is total and complete crap. Then again, I hate it for anyone to tell me to "relax" about anything. Feels like that word poo-poo's someone's feelings.

    I am so excited for you completing the awesome milestone with passing all of your exams - you rock!
    Jen Searle