#Thursdaythoughts – Abandoned Blogs

I have been blogging since 2009. When I switched from blogger to WordPress, I lost everything. (Mel’s weekly reminders about backups started AFTER that). So when Raven Rambling was born, I had to find the blogs I used to follow by goo.gling them…which, in case you haven’t tried, is more difficult than it seems since so many have different variations of the same name (and sometimes not at all related to their URL). I only recovered a few…and the rest I still wonder about.

One in particular that I’ve been thinking about, but can’t seem to find, was a girl who had a mid to late term issue come up with her pregnancy where they thought the baby had a terminal form of dwarfism, thankfully it wasn’t the terminal form – and they named him Jack (he’d be three ish now). Anyone remember?

Anyway, yesterday I was stuck at the Doctors office for one hundred hours three hours, so I decided to dig through Mel’s blogroll (since Mel is the gateway to this community!) to see if I could find a few that have been on my mind. I was surprised to find I recognized so many of the blog names, so I opened them up to see where they were at in life…

You guys…..

SO MANY have been abandoned. So many. And not just abandoned, but abandoned after a pregnancy or birth announcement. I can’t help but wonder…what does that mean?? Does it mean every thing went well and they’re too busy baby raising to blog? Or does it mean every thing went sideways and they’re grieving (like we all know happens far too often, sadly)? I see this in some of the blogs I managed to bring over to wordpress, too – they just stop writing.

There is no way to ever know what happened in their lives… but I am hoping they all had happy endings. You get to know their grief and struggles so intimately when you follow a blog for any length of time, it’s emotional to have their blog cut off suddenly like that. While I get it, I would love to just see an update here or there on how they are.

And remind me never to abandon my blog without a goodbye post – because we all need closure of some kind. Ok? Ok.

 

 

 

#microblogmondays – Being a rockstar Aunt…I am so blessed.

One thing (and possibly, the only) I am grateful that infertility has given me – is the ability to be a super, rockstar, 120% giving Aunt.

My own lack of fertility enables me to love my nephews with every single ounce of my soul. It enables me to spoil them, and mother them, and have a small taste of what I want most in the world. It enables me to experience all the wonders of parenthood – first smiles, first giggles, first holidays, first words, first days of School, theme parks, zoos, museums (that I wouldn’t go to on my own), Halloween’s, Christmas Morning’s, Easter Egg hunts, love and kisses, snuggles, the kind of hugs that make you sigh with happiness, park visits, beach days, birthday parties, kids movies, reading together, watching the world through their little eyes, being loved for simply being a part of their world…. and so, so much more. It enables me to be involved in every part of their life, acting as a third parent (or second, for Beans). It enables me to help shape them into the wonderful, strong, respectful men we all want them to be. There is very little in the world more precious to me than my role as Aunt. It enables me to have a part of something that I may very well never get to experience….and for that, I treasure every single moment with them.

 

I am so blessed to have sisters who want and encourage me to be in their sons lives as a permanent and constant figure. I love that my oldest nephew is approaching the age where he seeks me for advice and for secret keeping (within reason, of course!). I am so blessed that all three boys are so kind, and so funny, and so loving and charming (and healthy!).

I am just so blessed. I could do to remember that a little more when I am lost in the throes of infertility and failed treatments.

**For more on MicroblogMondays – and how you can participate too – click here.

#MicroblogMondays – Things I am not

Ah, another family centered holiday. This Easter, I am trying to focus on the true reason for the season – and the Hope it promises. I am not doing very well at it.

I have had so many great plans for my life, waylaid by my plans to have a family – and now none of those things have come true and I feel completely lost. I am trying to focus on saying good bye to things I am not, and focusing on the things that I am. If any of those things from the “not” side are able to come over to the “am” side, then I’ll be happy as a peach – but right now, they’re not on the am side and I need to make peace with that.

I’m not the perfect homemaker, with a PhD, who has stayed in touch with every friend from every stage, is a published author and a practicing musician and who is confident and secure in a small town, mothering the hell out of her darling offspring.

Instead… I am a dedicated and hard worker, a fiercely passionate violinist, a loving and loyal Wife and Aunt, a friend to many from all walks and stages of life…a woman who is strong and independent and is a slightly over the top superb fur-mama.

It’s not at all who I thought I would be at 30. Not at all who I wanted to be…but here I am, imperfect and lost…just trying to find my way.

Tell me you’ve all felt this way, too?? And that it gets better?

*Click here to find out more about #MicroblogMondays, and how you can participate too.*

 

 

 

Feeling kinda duped…

A position above me at work was abruptly let go in January. I was thrilled when they came to me and asked me to cover some of the workload while they hired a replacement, they also encouraged me to apply. Most of my coworkers encouraged me to apply, too.

After much weighing of my options, I decided not to apply – for a couple different reasons (including insecurity about whether or not I was good enough to do the job).

The first round of interviews took place, and they did not find a candidate. At this point, the VP approached me again and asked me to apply – saying this job was “made for me”. So, I decided to apply. I requested an exception be made since I missed the cutoff for the posting, which they granted (and they rarely grant them), and I applied. My interview went really well.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that they decided “to go a different direction” and hire someone with a specific kind of experience that is completely unrelated to the current role. I never expected to get handed the position, by any means, but it certainly seemed like they wanted me … I was completely surprised to find out I was unsuccessful.

I remained amicable and pleasant, like I always do, but inside I was licking my wounds. It’s always hard when you find out you’re not good enough for something. Especially when they have me doing the role (at my current pay rate, not the significantly higher rate the full time role pays).

I began to look forward to giving the work back that belongs to this role, and getting back to my regular stuff. It’s been really hard to balance both, and I can see why one pays higher – there is a lot more stress.

Well, today I found out that not only did I not succeed in getting the higher paying position, they’ve decided to revamp it and “let” me keep the work I’ve been covering – at my current pay rate, not the higher one the role receives. So I get to do executive work, with an administrative pay cheque…while everyone else who does that work gets an executive pay cheque.

Not that this is about money, because it’s not. But if I’m doing the same work as the others, and you’re paying them significantly more than me…well, that feels like a complete rip off. You’re getting me for a steal.

The thing is, and probably the whole reason I’m in this position, is I never complain and I am good at my job. I am not afraid to work hard. But now, they are walking all over me and I don’t know how to say anything.

 

MicroblogMonday – A Different Perspective

**Hop on over to Stirrup Queens to learn more about Microblog Mondays and see how you can participate too…**

I shared a very basic, general post on FB about being mindful of fake pregnancy announcement for April 1st – because pregnancy is not a joke to a lot of people. It was one of the very first things I’ve ever shared that may out me as an infertile to my friends and family. I’m sure most of them have made assumptions since I’ve been married 5.5 years without a baby – but I have not confirmed it.

Anyway, I thought it was a fairly general post and tasteful – and a couple of my friends shared it. One of them who shared it, and recently had a late term stillbirth (29 weeks) received this comment from her childhood friend:

“As someone who has chosen not to have kids and has been told by every infertile I know that I am ungrateful and beholden to them to use my body in a way they can’t…I am offended that you expect me to care about your feelings just because you’re infertile. I have a bad arm, but you don’t see me pretending to be butt hurt when you post gym pictures of you lifting weights just because I can’t do it. If you ask me it’s time for infertiles to grow up and grow a pair like the rest of us are expected too.”

While I have run across many people who are uncomfortable/refuse to talk about infertility or pregnancy loss – I have never run into someone who has an opinion like the above. I don’t know if what she says is true about what people have said to her, but the way she ended her comment – about “infertiles growing a pair” – makes me so angry.

I am used to seeing infertility/pregnancy loss addressed with shame, embarrassment, awkwardness, even the ever-insulting over simplifying “if you just try harder, if you just relax, if you just adopt you will get pregnant, if you just try this…”…but I have never seen it addressed with something akin to hatred and dislike.

 

Wordy Weekend – Prompt #1

I am using prompts from various locations including books, websites and a fellow writer with a very creative mind. I will always reference the source, as needed, with the exception of my writer friend who has given me permission to use his prompts.

The Apple Never Falls Far From The Tree:

Like my father, I am strong headed, frugal and box shaped.

Like my mother, I am intelligent and witty, independent and capable.

Like my grandfather, I am curious and love to read.

Like my grandmother, I am a minimalist who hates excess.

Like my aunt, I am curly haired and green eyed.

Like my cousin, I am barren and heartbroken.

Like my sister, I am big chested and curvy.

Like my best friend, I am accepting and open minded.

Like my husband, I am light hearted and cheerful.

Like my dogs, I am easy to please and love easily.

Like my nephew, I love a challenge and adventure.

Like my childhood bully, I am flawed and imperfect.

Like my high school teacher, I have a passion for writing.

Like my coworker, I adjust easily to changes.

Like my childhood friend, I am most happy when I am working hard.

Like my therapist, I am empathetic and caring, thoughtful and considerate.

Like my doctor, I am interested in life and always strive to do better.

Like my dog sitter, I am unique and honest.

From all these trees I fall, from all these trees I grow, from all these trees I am.

Handle With Care – Book Review

10 hours ago I finished Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult…and I could not wait a minute longer to share my thoughts with you.

If you have not read it, but might, stop reading here. There are spoilers in this!

Ok…so the only people still reading are not worried about spoilers, right?

For sure?

OK here goes:

What the fuckity fuck.

This book was awful – sad, painful, exhausting. It’s not just the controversial topic – a wrongful birth lawsuit of a disabled child who would have been aborted had the family known – but the series of tragedies, with ZERO resolution, that followed.

I know, I know, this is Picoult’s style. I get that, I really do. But this book was so damn sad and left me feeling so damn hopeless.

First of all – Willow was clearly a wanted child. Yet, through an incredibly difficult life that I could never understand, her Mother (Charlotte) wages a lawsuit where she is required to stand in front of a jury and admit that had she known how sick Willow was, she would have aborted her. Willow was 6 and old enough to understand, throughout the book she does numerous things to show that she feels like they will get rid of her because she’s “broken” – and still, it doesn’t slow her Mother’s resolve down.

Secondly – the person Charlotte is suing is her oldest, and closest friend. The woman she tells everything to, and have raised their daughters together (to be best friends)…pretty much a sister. Up until the moment the lawsuit is served, they are spending time together – shopping, being together, being best friends. The lawsuit destroys Piper – she is unable to return to work, she is lost under the weight of being sued by her very best friend, who she would do anything for, and who had never breathed a word of the thoughts that bred this lawsuit. Piper becomes a shadow of herself, just going through the motions and trying to figure out how to move on.

Thirdly – this lawsuit also destroys Amelia – Charlotte’s oldest daughter. She begins shoplifting, develops bulimia and starts cutting in attempts to make sense of what is going on. She loses her best friend (Piper’s daughter, who now hates Amelia and her family), she becomes an outcast at school. Her mother is so preoccupied with the lawsuit and Willow, she feels neglected and unwanted and she hates herself passionately.

Fourthly (I know, not a word), Charlotte’s husband Sean is in direct disagreement with the lawsuit. He refuses to say that he wouldn’t have had Willow, determined to give Willow a safe place where she is loved and wanted. He is horrified at the unfolding of the lawsuit and the way it is destroying everything. He eventually separates from Charlotte, and then files for divorce while testifying against her in the lawsuit that Willow was and is wanted.

 

Despite all of this unease and negativity – Charlotte presses forward, determined that this is the right thing for Willow. Even when Willow’s actions show she believes she is not wanted and not loved, Charlotte continues.

In the end, she wins the lawsuit at the cost of her marriage, her best friend, and both of her daughters mental health (Willow, at 6.5, slits her wrists during the trial and almost bleeds out). She then takes her 8 million dollar cheque and sticks it to her fridge, without even cashing it. All that ruin, all that damage, and she doesn’t even cash the damn cheque.

Then – in true Picoult fashion – Willow, the sweet girl that is the very center of this story, the girl that her mother lost almost everything for, the girl that is desperate to prove her worth falls through a frozen pond and drowns. The end.

I can’t even begin to imagine was Picoult was getting at. Was she trying to show the harms of a wrongful birth lawsuit? Was she pro-choice or pro-life? Is she just interested in making a controversy so complicated it’s impossible to pick a side?

The entire thing makes me feel sick. I cannot imagine birthing and raising a child, loving and caring for a child, and then suing the Doctor who diagnosed her with an illness – claiming that had I known, I would have aborted her. Especially if the Doctor was your closest friend. But then again, I don’t have a special needs child who’s needs are bleeding our finances dry – who I am afraid, every day, that something I cannot pay for will happen or that I will die and leave them with no one to care for them.

As much as I wanted to like and understand Charlotte, I mostly hated her. It wasn’t what she was doing necessarily (I understand it was truly about the money, and securing a future for Willow) – it was that she was willing to carry on, despite the cost of almost everyone else in her life, that made me hate her.

It’s such a complicated topic – but I like to think that if I were in her shoes, I would have backed down when I realized it was costing me everyone – my husband, my children, my best friend. But, then again, I suppose she was at a point where she realized she had already lost everything – why not carry on to at least having something at the end of it.

Have you read it? What are your thoughts?