Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Love Project

The comments on my last post the reaffirmed my belief that love is a personal and subjective matter; no one of us feels the same love- for the same thing- in the same way. Love is not something that can be compared or measured; it is personal. 

After reading through them I decided that it would be fun to have host my own "Project Love" to share awareness of love's diversity. Sounds lovely, right?

If this sounds interesting to you and if you are willing to open up; either publicly or privately, about the love you have known then I'd love to share your story.

Contact me if you're game.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Knowing What Love Is

A few weeks ago my sister sent me this screen shot of a blog she reads (an acquaintance of hers writes it) and all I could do was chuckle. The post is a letter to those of us without kids- I don't know the background to her story but she goes on to say something like "life's not worth much, until you're lucky enough to fall in love with your child." Of course, my sister hated this post because she has no desire for children and feels ridiculed at times for that choice. Posts like these make her feel like the love she has doesn't amount to much and as if people judge her life as less important or significant because she chooses not to have kids. However, I do want kids and I even thought this view on love was a bit naive.

What's your initial reaction?

Screenshot of blog post

Here are my thoughts:

I am pretty sure we all know that nothing in life is all sunshine and roses all of the time; I am confident most moms I know would agree. However, there was a time when words like those above and images like the one below, would cause a flood of emotions and tears; leaving me feeling physically ill, because at that time, I believed them.

At first, it was the tears – lots and LOTS of tears. Seeing those tiny footprints, even though they’re digital, pushed such a fierce flood of tears from my eyes and nausea took over. I felt empty, broken and guilty. So guilty; after all, I was to blame for our inability to conceive.

Second – there was anger and frustration. Lots of anger and frustration. What did I do wrong in my life? Why am I being punished by not being able to conceive? Why can't I give my husband one of the things he has dreamed of; a family. Why are children allowed to be given to those who abuse them and not to us? Why am I the only woman in my family who has struggled this way? 

Then – there was confusion and still a tad bit of anger still mixed in there). How can anyone say that a person; with or without infertility, haven’t known love just because I've been unable to have a child? How dare someone be so presumptuous? Is it true that the love of a child is inherently different than any other kind of love? I can only assume so. Still, I refuse to believe that someone who doesn't have a child is somehow unable to experience love. So, I decided to think, and I mean really “think”, about the love I have known in my life. 

Lastly- there was peace. After too many failed treatments to count, we decided to take a break from trying to conceive and take life as it came. It's been a year since we were in the doctor's office for fertility related exams and though I am still not; nor have I ever been pregnant, I am finally in a peaceful, loving place. In my reflections about the love in my life I realized that while I may not have felt the love of; or for my own child, I have felt a deep, powerful, pain-staking love before. 

I have the love of my family and friends. Despite our differences and our distances, we have always been there for each other whenever one of us was in need. Each of us has our share of faults, but we stick together and know that there is nothing that we wouldn't do for each other. We support one another through the good and the bad. We encourage and motivate each other to be our best possible selves. Not out of obligation, but because of the love we have for one another.

I have the love of my fur-babies. Our dogs have been the closest thing to children for us; we love them like children. When we leave town and drop them off and "Grandpa and Grandma's" house our hearts feel heavy; leaving them behind is not something we like to do, we are family, and family sticks together. It doesn't matter if we are gone for a day, or a week, we always call to check in on them like parents do. If one of them is hurting, in pain, or just not themselves; we know and they known when we are feeling something. Isn't that what love is? 

I have the love of my husband. My husband has taken what I consider to be a broken woman and made her whole. He is my rock, my best friend, my one true constant, and the love of my life. He’s dried my tears, calmed my fears and shown me more love than I ever thought possible. More than I thought I deserved. He’s rubbed my back through my break downs, worked his tail off to pay out-of-pocket for every doctor, test and medication we've ever needed, driven me to the doctor 3 hours away at the drop of a dime, done things in a doctor's bathroom he never thought he'd do, helped me through every negative pregnancy test, put up with my infertility drug-induced craziness and has told (and shown) me, time after time, that being able or unable to have a child does not define me and does not define our marriage. He refuses to let me be anything less than what he knows I can be. At any given moment, I would give my life for him if asked – and I have no doubt that he would do the same. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

I have the love of all of the children whose toes I've counted, hands I've held, and who's little booties I've had the privilege to wipe over the years. I am the second to youngest in a family of ten, and am lucky enough to be “Auntie Teresa” to seventeen precious nieces and nephews. So I have done everything that image describes. I have been blessed to hold countless babies in my arms throughout my life, and even more blessed to have been able to spend more than a significant amount of time with each of them. Most of my nieces and nephew are grown now, but to them I will always be “Auntie Teresa”. They may not be my own children, but I will forever love, cherish and protect them as if they were. It is my job to let them know that there will always be someone, besides their parents, who is there for them, who loves them, and who would move mountains for them if need be. And that sounds a whole lot like love to me.

I may not ever get to count the little fingers and toes or wipe away the tears of my own child. That is my reality. And that’s the reality for many of us, whether we like it or not. So, while it may be true that the love you have for your children is a “different” kind of love than any other love you’ve known, it isn't true to say that we “haven’t known love” simply because we are childless (some by choice - some by fate).

 We have known love.
 We do know love.
An no matter what the outcomes of our struggles are...
 We will know love.

NIAW 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week starts tomorrow!

I made a couple FB covers for my blog, as well as my personal page, and I wanted to share them with you in case you wanted to use them, too!

Just click on the photo and save!

I will post some real writing soon... I have a few drafts that I am finishing up; I promise!
 (in case you cared)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fork In The Road

I hate feeling lost. I hate not knowing which way to go when faced with a difficult decision; I've never been good at making up my mind even when it comes to the dinner menu. I thought that maybe if I wrote some of my thoughts down, I might find some inner peace or direction. Besides, some of you said you would follow my blog no matter what I wrote about; as long as I wrote. So, here I am.... writing.

A year ago I started with the office I am currently working at. I was approached via Facebook about the position by the practice owner. I knew him from the physical therapy office I was working for at the time as he was a patient and I ran the front office and was the billing manager; after seeing him week after week we became some-what "friends". I was happy that my personality left that much of an impression on him that he sought me out for a job.

I don't want to get into a whole lot of detail here but let me just say that in the year I have been with this company it has been constant transition, training, turn over and drama. I am not kidding. When I was hired I was "warned" by a couple employees about a certain employee and her inability to take responsibility or to be dependable. Let me just say this: they were right! Man, were they right! I hate to be cynical here but anyone who calls into work the last two days of the work week on a bi-weekly basis, is not ill- they are habitual and after a long weekend. 

However, the one who warned me of the shady employee forgot to mention she was one as well! This girl can NOT stop shit talking each and every person or patient in that office. She loves to call people out in front of anyone and everyone. She is seriously like a bull in a china closet; not the type of assistant you want chair side; I swear. She may know her stuff but she is loud, clumsy and flat out annoying! In fact, one night we were all out for a benefit and Mike was so annoyed with her and her loud mouth that he actually cupped his hands over his ears to shut her out- not shitting you! It was hilarious!!

And then there is the retiring doctor.... oh my gosh. I have never in my life met a grown man act like such a girl in high school. Honestly; he is worse than any brat I went to school with! He is so immature that he gave two if us the silent treatment because we were friends with ex-employees of his and went out for drinks and he didn't appreciate seeing the photos of us all on Facebook. He told us all once that if we saw so and so we had "better walk the other way or turn our backs". It is that petty. 

Here comes my fork. 

In January the practice sold to a husband and wife team. They are younger than me and my youngest sister, but they are super awesome and I want to believe they will thrive in the practice they have taken over. However, the drama continues.... as a matter of fact, I think it has gotten worse since they have taken over. There's a definite disconnect in the office. I feel like there are a few people who are very untrustworthy and backstabbing. I feel like someone is always trying to thrown someone under the bus and it's so easy to get wrapped up in drama; I hate it! 

Today, I was offered a management position with a chiropractor that a previous employer had recommended me to and the other day I was called back by a doctor I had interviewed with a year or more ago; I even declined her offer back then because we were too focused on trying to make a baby! Even though I never submitted a resume- I've got two job offers that could potentially lead me out of the drama zone I am in--- and I don't know what road to take. Do I stay or do I go?

I brought the issues to the new owners today and I told him of the offers I have on the table. I explained that I want to see them succeed and that I would love to help them to do so, but that I was unable to continue toward that goal with them, the way things are now. I suggested a communication course for the team, or, to have an HR consultant take a look at how we communicate to help us identify the struggles and ways we could over come them as a team. I even offered to remove myself from the equation completely once the doctor told me he didn't even want to come to work because of the drama! How sad is that!?

Right now, it basically feels like I've got my fork and zero appetite. I wish someone would tell me what I'm having. 

Side note: In the past 4 months I have had a 70 day cycle, a 13 day cycle, and now probably a 28 day cycle as I am spotting on CD 26.... weird!