PH and I are Firefox users. We have always been Firefox users. Internet Explorer is for grandmas and capitalists. The idea of switching away from Firefox has never been seriously entertained in our household. When Google Chrome came out, we hissed and shied away, like undead creatures being exposed to a holy symbol.
But Firefox has been acting up lately. Crashing, of all things, which it never used to do, and running reeeeeally slowly. Sometimes the whole computer would seize and we’d open the task manager only to discover that Firefox was eating an extraordinary amount of the available memory – more than any other program running, including the anti-virus, Skype, and iTunes.
It can’t be my processor. Sure, this computer is two years old but we bought this computer with my video editing hobby in mind, and it’s a quad core processor. My RAM is only 4 GB, but that should be enough to run a web browser, you know? Even if PH and I do tend to leave multiple tabs running. When Firefox 4.0 came out, we thought the crashing would get better, but it didn’t.
So PH downloaded Google Chrome, against all of our natural instincts. I have to say, I really don’t like change, and there are things I don’t like about it – like, I had to re-add all my rss feeds to Google Reader, instead of having them handily in the toolbar or in an easy-access drop down menu. And it doesn’t have the little doohicky in the righthand corner so we can search Wikipedia or Rotten Tomatoes quickly.
I voiced all of these complaints and PH explained about Google Reader and figured out how to do those quick searches from the address bar and my reservations were temporarily stifled.
I have to admit, it runs a helluvalot faster, and it hasn’t hung up or crashed yet.
So I am giving it a chance.
I have to say, though, that the real reason that PH was able to talk me into switching browsers – even on a trial basis – was that he promised to install this capability:
I hate to write two bummer posts in a row – I’m not depressed, really – but I have to tell someone what I just experienced.
Babby and I were out for our walk with Beloved Dog, and while I picked up poop I could hear the screams of a tantruming child coming from a distance. In our family-friendly complex, this is such a common sound that it took me a while to register it on a conscious level. I began to realize that the pitch was… more urgent than a normal tantrum, and that the words that were being screamed were alternately “Mommy!” and “help!”
I looked around and spotted a small child, no more than three, clinging to the other side of the fence in the old abandoned school yard. People often take their dogs and kids back there to play, since there is a soccer field and playground equipment. I waited for a parent figure to show up and deal with the child, but no parent was in sight. I waited, and waited. No parent, just a small kid screaming for help.
My anxiety has been coming back lately. I’m dealing with it as I’ve been taught: facing the thing that makes me anxious, instead of putting it off. Trying to accept the anxiety and let it in instead of pushing it away.
But I wish I knew why it has come back, or what it is even about.
I’m not anxious about anything in particular, most of the time. I just feel the tightness of it, clawing at me. Like there’s something important that I need to remember. So I try to remember it, and instead I dredge up all the minor to-dos on my mental list, which just add to my stress instead of helping to identify it.
It might be related to the fact that my old workplace has shoved its way into my life again in a highly stressful way. The issues don’t directly involve me, but they strongly affect me and people and dogs that I care about (I obviously can’t share it publicly, but if any of you want to know, send me an email and I’ll share what I can. I’d like to share it with someone, but I’m not idiotic enough to post it here).
If so, then it’s not so much the anxiety of this particular event but the ghost of anxieties past, come floating with the new troubles, like an old smell. Maybe it arrived with the news but it lurks around corners, emerging when I least expect it.
It’s mostly just when I’m alone. When I have Babby with me, I’m never anxious.
Relaxed? Every time I nurse.
I feel bad for mothers who don’t breastfeed, because it’s practically impossible to be nursing ( when it’s well-established, I mean, not the first few weeks when it hurts like a mofo) and stressed at the same time. Hormones won’t let you. You might as well try to have a panic attack in a warm bubble bath with soft music playing.
Besides, how can you be anxious when you’re dealing with someone who makes this face?
Recently two amazing fellow bloggers, Big Dog Momma and Curiosity, tagged me with the Stylish Blogger award that has been going around. I am honoured, blushing, etc etc. I’ve taken forever to respond, because it requires the following:
1. Link back and thank the person who gave you the award.
That’s easy enough. I’ll even do it twice! Check out
Emotional Umbrella – Curiosity may be my secret Long Lost Twin. Our brains tend to parallel each other in creepy and inexplicable ways. Except she is much more hilarious than I will ever be.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
TOUGH, because I have to share seven NEW things that I didn’t share before in this meme.
1. I hate my hair. Seriously, I have the worst hair in the history of hair. It is limp, and hangs in greasy strings. It is extremely fine and gets staticky easily. You can’t volumize it. Legions of hair dressers have tried. Conditioner makes it hang in greasy strings. Mousse sometimes works if you blow dry, but the volume only lasts for an hour or so. After that, it hangs in greasy strings. Layering helps a little, because then it hangs in layered greasy strings.
You can’t put it up. It is so fine that it provides absolutely no friction. Pony tails slide out. They managed to get it up for my wedding (hee hee, that’s what she said) but it took over FIFTY bobby pins. PH counted them when he took my hair down at the end of the night.
Also, it only parts down the middle. People have assured me that if I part it elsewhere for long enough, I can “train” my hair to part somewhere else. I have been parting it on the right hand side dutifully for A YEAR AND A HALF, and it still rearranges itself to a middle split within an hour.
2. I like my skin. It’s pretty good skin. It doesn’t get pimply. The Christmas that I didn’t know I was pregnant, I got a pimple. I should have known.
3. Since Babby was born, my toe nails have gone from normal-looking toenails to weird, crunchy, chalky white things. It looks like I painted them with white out. I am baffled, but I assume that my doctor would be of no help to me.
4. I leave empty drink glasses all over the house. I can’t help it. I’m thirsty, I get a drink, I tote it around with me until its finished. I continue moving through the house. I get thirsty again. I go to the kitchen. I get another glass. I tote it around with me… Every now and then Perfect Husband passes me in the hallway with five or six glasses stacked in his arms. He gives me this really long suffering look, says “I love you…” and takes all the glasses to the kitchen. Since I’m supposed to be the house wife right now, I’m really trying to keep this sort of thing down to a minimum, but it’s haaaaaard!
5. I don’t like ice cream. Bleeeeyech.
6. I love apocalyptic stuff and post-apocalyptic stuff. Movies and books about the end of the world… Good, bad, it doesn’t matter (with the exception of Armageddon, which is so awful that I can’t even begin to have fun). I love The Day of the Triffids, as well as Independence Day… Except Independence Day would be better if the aliens won. I like movies that feature famous landmarks getting trashed and people having to start over again. Looooove it. Feel free to psychoanalyze why.
7. I have an extensive Baby Sitter’s Club book collection. It’s sandwiched between Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and The World of Pooh. Hey, laugh all you want, but at least Ann M Martin could use punctuation appropriately and wrote admirable characters, which is better than some drivel I’ve read lately.
3. Award 5 recently discovered blogs.
1. The Salted Tomato. Looking for a bunch of delicious (mostly) vegetarian recipes, often with an East Indian twist? Look no further. The Salted Tomato mixes in recipes with musings on life in an East Indian family, and it’s fascinating and mouth watering.
2. Mommy By Day. Not actually new to me, but stylish for shizzle. It’s a great photography/mommy blog and Natalie’s daughter is totally adorable. If that little girl wasn’t older than Babby (which I find creepy because I’m conventional like that) and if we lived in another culture I would be arranging a marriage between them. I would give many camels.
3. Don’t Mind The Mess. Jess has a super cute little boy who has recently been diagnosed with a form of autism. She knows how I feel when I talk about babies that scream all the time and don’t sleep. She shares my suspicion of what she calls “sack of flour” babies.
4. The Problem With Young People Today Is… Mr. Mills (you don’t get to call him Don unless you are well into your senior years) is cranky and I love it. I agree with everything he says about young people these days, so he has accepted me as an honorary Old Person. My decoder ring is supposedly in the mail. Presumably it will hock Ovaltine.
5. Reasoning With Vampires. You all know how much I love Twilight. This lady notices the things that I noticed – bad grammar, sentences that make no sense, Bella’s insufferable personality, and her tendency to lose track of things (such as where she is, what is happening around her, whether she is breathing, and where her lips are). Every day multiple SCANNED bits from the Twilight Saga appear, along with brilliant and incisive commentary and highlighting of grammatical errors. It’s hilariously nitpicky. Right now Dana is working her way through New Moon. I can’t wait until she gets to the part where Bella is “literally” up to her elbows in Comet while cleaning the bathtub.
4. Contact them and tell them about their award.
Yeah, I’m far too lazy to get around to doing that. They’re smart cookies. They’ll figure it out.
My mind reminds me of a bog, or tar pit. Memories of days gone by are sort of mummified in the depths, forever preserved, and every now and then a bubble of shifting gas brings something long buried to the surface.
Okay, that metaphor needs work.
My point is, I was watching Babby knock blocks together and then suddenly laughed out loud as I dredged up this old memory:
I am a bored teenager, pawing through my parents’ bookshelves for something I haven’t read a zillion times. On a high shelf I find a book about how to raise and nurture your gifted child!
I walk around feeling good about myself for a while, and then casually mention it to my mother.
Me: “Hey, Mum, I spotted this book about raising gifted kids on the shelf. Why do you have that?”
Mum: “Oh! I bought it when you were little, just in case I ever needed it.”
This is my first month joining ICLW and I’m loving getting to meet all of these amazing bloggers. However, whenever I read a blog like A Little Pregnant or Stirrups Queen, or Built In Birth Control, I feel like an imposter. I feel guilty when people find my blog from comments left on those blogs – and are confronted with pictures of my smiling baby. What am I doing, reading and commenting on these infertility blogs, when I am not (as far as I know) infertile?
I read infertility blogs because I feel a kinship for these women, even though I have been spared their struggles.
I grew up knowing myself to be a child of infertility. My parents were married for eight years before I was born, and I was told that they “sought professional help” in order to have me. My mother would occasionally apologize for not giving me siblings (one of seven children, my mother has always felt that you need siblings to be normal).
As a child I assumed that the problem lay with my father, because they would never go into details. I thought that my mother may not have felt comfortable discussing sperm counts and testicles with her 10 year old. As I grew older, I began to get the sense that the problems laid on my mother’s side. But I didn’t know, because my mother got vague and changed the subject whenever I asked about it. Could this be something I might inherit?
In other words, unlike many women, I never took it for granted that I would be able to have children with ease. I grew up being aware that some people struggle to have their children.
I can only think of two children’s movies that portray infertile mothers, and those are Dumbo, and Pixar’s Up. If you haven’t watched Dumbo since childhood, it’s time you did. It’s heartbreaking to watch Mrs Jumbo reach hopefully for each bundle of joy, only to see it drop into some one else’s arms. Voiceless, wistful, hoping, waiting, she longs for her own baby and wonders why he is so long in coming.
When he does finally arrive, he isn’t perfect. Though he is beautiful in her eyes, her friends see him as a freak: worse than no baby at all.
How many mothers have adopted a child over seas only to find that their friends don’t throw them a shower, or that their parents don’t treat the child like a “real” grand child? How many mothers have held their precious Down Syndrome baby, only to recieve commiserations instead of congratulations?
Then, when she rises up to protect her son from the cruelty of the world, he is taken away from her entirely. She is declared insane, locked away, and her little baby that she longed for weeps alone with no one left who loves him.
Tell me, what mother in the world wouldn’t weep over Mrs. Jumbo’s experiences? Do you need to have been infertile to imagine the yearning? The love? The loss? I didn’t. Even as a child, I felt the pain of Mrs. Jumbo’s story.
I believe infertility and child loss are topics that belong to all women. It could strike any of us, any time, but we keep it shrouded in secrecy and shame. While Michael J. Fox speaks out for Parkinson’s Disease, and Michael Douglas goes on talk shows to discuss his throat cancer, 45 year old movie stars pop out sets of twins and insist that conception was totally natural. They surround infertility with shame when they could be spreading awareness.
The desire to become a mother, the physical need to have a baby, is something that cannot be described to someone who has not yet felt the urge. Anyone who has felt the urge can comprehend the pain of an infertile couple who are still waiting for their baby.
I have felt the urge since I was 17 years old and fell in love with my Baby Think It Over. He was supposed to teach me about the horrors of motherhood, so I would use birth control (hardly a worry since I had never even been kissed at that point, and wouldn’t be for two more years). Instead I named him Jan Sebastian, cuddled him as much as possible, dressed him in a very cute sweater, carried him instead of lugging him in his plastic car seat, and asked the teacher if I could keep him.
She rolled her eyes. “There’s one in every class…” she laughed. Everyone else hated the damn thing.
In university a friend gave me a Baby Chou Chou doll, and I would cuddle her in her terry cloth footie pyjamas when I felt especially sad. The curve of a baby’s body on my shoulder satisfied some inner yearning that I could not explain.
Then, after university, I went through a serious breakup with my boyfriend of many years, and started over again with Perfect Husband. Even after we got married, that bout with depression held off my reproductive aspirations for another year. I wanted my children. I physically missed them – people I had never met, but whose projections followed me everywhere, asking me why water boiled and marvelling at statues in the Louvre.
On my 27th birthday, a coworker who was only two years older than me gave birth to her second child. Instead of a birthday lunch, we went to see my coworker and her new baby in the hospital. That night I wrote the following in my journal:
There’s just something about holding a newborn that feels… right. Like having PH at my side or a dog at my feet, it makes me feel somehow more whole. I marvel at the tinyness, at how someone born just yesterday, with barely one Earth rotation under his belt, can have such perfectly formed finger nails. Holding a newborn baby should have been a special birthday treat for me, but it really felt more like a cruel tease. I nearly wept with jealousy.
… it makes me ache that even though PH and I want desperately to start our family today… all “logic” says that we should wait, enjoy our freedom, pay off student loans and improve our careers until we can afford more happiness to sacrifice.
In my heart, I feared that infertility would prolong my wait for babies. I was afraid that I would become a Mrs. Jumbo, always reaching out to hold someone else’s baby, and always wishing I could be holding my own. I was so sure that I would have fertility problems that it took me a while to really believe that I was pregnant when it finally happened.
I am grateful for my son every moment of every day. Even when he’s screaming. Even when he has a poosplosion. I hold him close and kiss his tiny mouth and feel so grateful that I finally got my baby… and every day my heart aches for the women who are still waiting for theirs.
When I sing to him, I sing him “Baby Mine”.
and I read infertility blogs so that I can tell them that I understand… as much as is possible for someone who is not, herself, infertile.
We have leftover Indian food, but are out of rice. I go into the kitchen to make some more.
Five minutes later, I come back out, looking defeated.
Me: “I screwed up. I can’t even make rice without screwing up.”
Perfect Husband: “…How do you screw up rice?”
Me: “I measured the rice into the cooker, but the container wasn’t in there, so I just poured rice right onto the element. I tried to dump it out, but it seems to have gotten down into the mechanism and I can’t shake it all out. I suck.”
Perfect Husband: “You don’t suck; you’re amazing! Everyone makes mistakes.”
Me: “but I can’t even make rice!”
Perfect Husband: “I’ll go look on the internet and see if what we should do. This probably happens all the time. What brand is it, Cuisinart?”
Five minutes later.
Perfect Husband goes to the kitchen, picks up the rice cooker and starts turning it around and shaking it. Grains of rice tumble out and get licked up by the dog. From the sound of it, there are a lot more grains of rice in there that aren’t coming out. The rice cooker sounds like a rain stick.
Me: “Did the internet tell you what to do?”
Perfect Husband: “…No. Apparently this has never happened in the history of ever.”