Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Baby Blues

Yeah I'm definitely singing the baby blues. What else is new?

It's almost as if everything around me has conspired to remind me of The Issue.

Still...it's fall and I'm loving it! It makes everything less...painful, somehow. It doesn't change the problem at hand, or the long uphill battle we're facing - but it changes my perspective of things, at least occasionally.

Of course part of that is due to the fact that I've started spending more time at home. To be honest, I just can't foresee when something is going to strike a chord with me and bring on the waterworks - and, to me, it's still such a private thing, at least in terms of not bawling in front of people and so on. So, I'd rather stay away from situations where it's going to become a really big deal. It's not like I'm turning into a total hermit - this time of the year makes me want to spend more time at home anyway.

It's strange how, when you get that "yearning" or whatever you want to call it, you suddenly see it everyone. Just like when you're single and, on that occasion where you feel sorry for yourself or bemoan your singleton status, people invariably feel the need to "console" you with advice like "it'll happen for you" etc. You can't get mad at those people who actually mean well - because, let's face it, what else are they supposed to say? How about: "Sorry, but all the good ones are taken." Hmpf. Or, maybe: "I know you want a baby, but it's not going to happen so just suck it up!" Well, no one in their right mind would say that, obviously.

And then there are times, like today, when I catch something that makes my blood boil. On tv, today, there was this sob-fest about some 24-year old, unmarried girl who already had a kid and was 5 months pregnant with the second. No dad, no bf or anything - clearly that ran in the family since it was just her and her mom with the kids. Oh and, lest I forget the cherry on top: she was a heroine addict. And there she was, on tv, blathering on in her pity-me manner, how she wanted to try so hard to quit because of her unborn baby...and how she was going to give it up for adoption because it was the right thing to do. UHm, OKAAAAYYYY. So then someone else has to try to deal with a heroin baby. THANKS! Not to mention - what I really wanted to know is: how exactly do you get pregnant when you can't even take care of your BORN child, nevermind raise another one without a guy in the picture and no job.


No way, Jose - my give-a-damn's definitely busted when it comes to that kind of stuff. When I think about the fact that I'd give anything for Kenton and I to be able to just have a baby, the normal way - and here's this dumb blonde who can't keep her legs crossed anymore than she can keep a needle out of her veins, it just makes me STARK RAVING MAD!!!

Well, there you go - I guess my blog entries just swing back and forth between sad and angry. But then, is that really surprising?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Soundtrack Of My Aching Heart

Today was not good. It's not even that the day has been particularly bad or otherwise unpleasant - far from it, on the whole. But it's just been one of those days only a woman longing for a child can understand.

Everywhere I went, there was a cacophony of baby sounds: laughing, giggling, parents oohing and aaahing their offspring. Most of it was terribly endearing - especially this one guy I saw. At first sight, he looked like someone who might belong to a gang: baggy pants, big sweater, goatee and just generally a bit aloof. But he had a little daughter who was just the cutest thing - not even so much that she was particularly pretty from an objective point of view, but she was just adorable. And you could TELL from the way he was talking to her just how much he loved her - that he would be the kind of dad who would always be there for her, dry her tears, always try to make her world whole. It was with a heavy heart that I thought about Kenton, what kind of a father he would make - maybe never will be able to make. He said a few days ago that it tore him apart, too - and, for the first time, I put myself in his shoes and tried to imagine what it must be like for him: seeing all these other guys with their kids, loving, caring, doing what every man should be able to do with the woman he loves.

It was ironic, really - there I was sitting in a coffee shop, listening to this song that sounded vaguely familiar but that I couldn't have told you the name or singer of, and I had this strange feeling that I could've been the central character of a dramatic movie of sorts - the quest for a baby. It was unreal - I was listening to this song and saw everything else in slow motion: the woman bending over the carseat in which her baby was slumbering safely and quietly; the woman who was having a little snack with her toddler; and one particular woman with an infant so angelic that it broke your heart to look into such an innocent face. In other words, it was like stepping into Hades without your summer clothes.

As I looked around in between reading a few pages in a book, I caught the eye of the woman with the baby in the carseat. Our eyes seemed to lock for a couple of seconds - and I was absolutely horrified at the thought that I had been caught red-handed, that it was OBVIOUS that I didn't have any kids and that it was breaking my heart. I felt completely exposed - sort of like in that all-too-common nightmare of being in school and realizing that you're completely naked, with everyone pointing and laughing.

It's hard not to be resentful, but when I see adorable kids with happy parents, I always compliment them - I always find something nice to say, because I know that, for those people who really love their children, they are their pride and joy. So when I was driving home I struggled not to cry; unwilling to give in to feeling sad again. And as if to drive home the point a little harder, this song came on the radio: Want To Grow Young by Andy Griggs. It talks about these two people, so in love, who want to "grow young" together so that they can spend more time with each other.
It really hurt, those lyrics - not just because I know that this whole baby thing has every chance to drive a wedge between Kenton and I, but also because it made me think about how this whole situation is making me feel OLD. It's not something I feel very often - most of the time I don't think about age at all. But I couldn't help but wonder, as I have before: would we have had these problems if we hadn't been so careful NOT to get pregnant when we first got married?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's driven mad by what-ifs - and in this situation they seem to be all the more toxic. So I did what any respectable young woman in my situation would do: I went shopping. LOL Yeah, I know I'm really being sarcastic about that - but retail therapy seems to be the only thing that's mildly helping. I bought a pair of gorgeous shoes and some other things. And it made me think about all the stuff people buy when they have kids - and I started wondering what kind of mother I would be. I will admit that I drooled over Gwen Stefani's Gucci baby carrier - and while $800 are definitely NOT just lying around at our house (or, as the maxim goes, growing on trees), I remember thinking, mmm that might just be worth it. And then, of course, I started looking up Bugaboo strollers a while back - although even I have to say that, for all my love of shopping, I can't imagine throwing away $2000 on a stroller.

I know what you must be thinking: what on earth is this woman going on about? What's the point of thinking of all that when she doesn't even HAVE a baby to begin with - and, what's more, how are material possessions even RELEVANT to this subject matter?
No amount of money can compensate for or take the place of having the ability, so often taken for granted (and I'll admit that I was definitely one of those people) to bear a child. It's what Kenton told me he worries about with me so much: that it hurts me MORE because he may never be able to father a child and that, consequently, I may never be able to give birth. There, I've said it. Sometimes, when I think about all the issues surrounding this topic, it feels almost dirty, almost vulgar to talk about it - to describe in detail the almost feral feelings that come with being on the receiving end of the infertility-doody-bag.

So I thought I'd share a few choice "words of wisdom" that I've appropriated in the time since we got The News. One of the things I've found that helps me a lot is to read books that make you feel less intimidated (read: jealous) of motherhood. This is obviously not for everyone, but the book I started reading right now is called Momzillas - and it's absolutely snort-inducing! From the beginning of the book, which has a short glossary that'll make your eyeballs pop out, to some of the phraseology the author uses, so far I'm thinking that this is going to go into my Emergency Kit (which I'm now thinking I need to start building: you know, one of those kits that you go to in times of emotional distress like, say, when someone you totally HATE gets pregnant).

What else? I've slowly come up from my low earlier, and now I feel a little less...sad. The other day, when I posted several times, I was really wound up - not just about the baby thing but about a million and one other things - and I needed to VENT. Sometimes I just need that...thanks for listening.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Exsqueeze me? Baking powder????

(In case you're not a movie buff, I believe this line came straight from Wayne's World. Party time, EXCELLLLLENT!)

Ok so, last post for today I SWEAR. I just couldn't help myself after I went back to the WTE website (which I'm finding to be a distinctly hair-raising experience). I decided not to keep a separate blog there but, for s & gs, thought I'd browse the blogs in search of light or, failing that, at least someone who might be interesting to talk to about all this stuff. Here are the highlights of the first page:

" I'm 20 yrs. old and I'm pregnant!"

Hello everyone! I am a follower of Jesus, a health nut, and a housewife!"

Im a very nice person and I love babies and kids I want 12 but i will have to go with what I can get so heres my life and things that happen to me an how my life is in general on a day to day basis."
(No, really, there WAS no punctuation.)

Ok so, let's just say that I went from shaking my head, to laughing, to wanting to gouge out my eyes. Yes, that's terribly judgmental of me - and yes, I do realize that. But as this is my blog I am totally going to claim all rights to turn into Judgy Van Holier Than Thou when confronted with people who, erhm, how should I put this delicately...should really just not put themselves out there. In the words of one of my many heroes, Happy Bunny:


'Nuff said.

PS: Lest you should think about cursing my evil ways of pointing out the obvious (e.g. inability to spell, stupidity, etc), this is a totally censored and moderated blog so, uhm, BITE ME.

Ode To The World Of Blogging

In line with one of my favorite maxims, "Appearances can be deceiving.", I know I shouldn't really even care about what my blog looks like. BUT I DO. I am my blog. I want this blog to be an ambassador of good faith, so to speak, in my quest to find others who are in the same boat as I am - or can, at least to some extent, relate.

But try as I might, I can't get this damn this to look anything but like what it is: the feeble (aka unsuccessful) attempts of a html-challenged person. I wish I could make my blog "sing", to be like a phone conversation with your best friend: instantly recognizable. I wish I could just make it look the part instead of some haphazard hack-job, which is pretty much what it is at the moment. I tried to toy around with layout and colors for a bit, only to change barely anything - with the result that I now like the look of it even less than I did before. Hmpf!

I guess I should do something about this. I should arm myself with information and tackle this insubordinate blog until I've beaten it into submission (that is, transformed it into the virtual glamazon of blogs that I really envisage myself penning in the months to come). A tad over the top? Perhaps. I don't know what it is - maybe just the idea of being able to connect with others and share this unforunate journey, in hopes of giving and receiving support in a situation that, quite frankly, no woman should have to suffer through.

But maybe there's an interesting lesson to be learned here. I've always been one of those people who are all about instant gratification. Why go for a small cup of coffee - only to have to buy another one half an hour later - when you can buy the ginormous one to begin with? In that vein, I've yet to organize my ever-increasing list of internet favorites - and, quite frankly, if they ever invented a machine that, without any or only the tiniest minor side-effects, could effectively remove all UNWANTED hair at the drop of a hat, I'd be first in line. Maybe I'm just lazy. Or maybe I just don't like to waste time of things that, in my own personal opinion, should be signed, sealed and delivered to me in exactly the way I want them - rather than me having to do the 21st century's equivalent of coal mining to get to it. Such as with this businesss of blogging. I mean, come on: why can't I choose from a bazatrillion layouts, templates etc (that I'm sure are floating around SOMEWHERE on the internet) right here, right now? Why must I be satisfied with this lame, boring setup - when I should have 3D Marilyn Monroe-esque lips floating around in tailing the cursor movements of a new visitor? Why, oh WHY???

Alright. That's it for my ranting today. I feel the distinct need for caffeine sneak up on me. (And on that, last, note: how come there's not some sort of Jetson's-type machine that can simply be TOLD what I want my coffee to be like - is that REALLY so much to ask??)


I've been trying to distract myself by reading about anything EXCEPT infertility.

On some level, I know that the best thing to do right now would probably be to arm myself with information. But, then again, how is that information going to compete against FACT? And, to be perfectly honest, I've found the entire experience, so far, entirely unsavory.

Not that I should've expected anything else. But then - I didn't expect ANY of this... I got this book from some website/foundation called Resolve. It's an outdated copy but I thought I'd look through it to see if there was anything dealing with the actual EMOTIONS surrounding this kind of harrowing experience. I even went to the website - only to find out that you have to PAY for the "privilege" of actually accessing any of the information, support groups etc. I was so angry that I just wanted to scream! What kind of a sick, twisted organization tries to make money off of the misfortune of others? Not just misfortune, but being, in effect, denied a basic, fundamental HUMAN right: procreation.

But maybe that's the point: it's not a right, is it? Only now, after all this time, am I beginning to understand the monumental concept that giving birth is a gift. Sounds cheezy - to me, especially - but that's the best way I know to describe what I'm trying to say.

So...then I magnanimously decided that rancor was NOT the best way to approach this entire situation - that, perhaps, the reason why this website for Resolve charges a membership fee is to fund research or something (one can dream, can't one?).

I registered on www.whattoexpect.com, which has some forums for trying to conceive, infertility etc. Is it just me or is that a bit ridiculous? Seriously, how many of those of us poor souls who have to deal with the unthinkable - maybe NEVER being able to bear a child ourselves - want to be lopped together with a bunch of happy-go-lucky moms posting pictures of smiling babies, playing kids, or mothers-to-be with their countless trackers, blog bling etc announcing to the entire world, look at me, I'm a Fertile Myrtle! Cynic? Me? You're damn right I am!

Last night I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking about Kenton - how lucky I am to have him, and whether I shouldn't just be grateful to at least have a loving, loyal husband instead of bemoaning the fact that we may not be able to ever have children - or, at least, not the easy way. There's a part of me that is completely scared witless at the huge responsibility of motherhood - to say nothing of the fact that your life, as you know it, is effectively over at conception. The truth is that it's "frowned upon" for women to think about the fact that a baby is, among many many other things, a time constraint. Then again, I can't imagine being like a lot of these women I've come across: lugging their off-spring around like cattle from one brain-dead activity to the next, punctuated only by early-addiction pitstops at McDonald's et al.

In my mind, I keep thinking about how I would do it differently. No, scratch that - BETTER. Yes, I know - I sound totally snooty, especially given the fact that my experience in the department of child-rearing is, well, close to non-existent (bar humoring the children of close friends and relatives). But I can't help it! When I see kids wearing an entire panoply of food groups strewn across their Walmart clothes, screaming like little banchees, I can't help but think of how I would act so differently. Maybe I'm kidding myself; maybe in NOT being able to just get pregnant, I'm safely tucked into this Utopia where our kids would be completely gorgeous, well-behaved, and of course the envy of everyone.
Why? You know, it only just hit me in writing this why I keep thinking that. The truth - as embarrassing as it is to admit that - is that I want those people who go around having a million and one babies (without then even taking proper care of them) see HOW IT'S DONE.

I have this fantasy. It's probably kind of sad, but then I'm hoping maybe someone out there can relate - and maybe that person will read this and think, Thank God I'm not alone! So here goes. I have this idea that I find out that I'm pregnant - of course, in this little fantasy of mine, there's not even a discussion or any hint of infertility issues, ergo the term fantasy, right? And of course, from the moment I find out, we're both deliriously excited and happy - and I put nothing but good food into my body because I know that whatever I eat, the baby "eats". Not like half a grapefruit because I'm more concerned about my post-baby body than the health of my unborn child. Not rounds and rounds at fast food joints so that my baby can come out looking like Ronald McDonald or, as I've witnessed more times than I can remember, learning fast food related words before ANY others. (Sad, but true: I know several women whose children have no verbal skills - yet, somehow, even without being able to talk in any coherent way under any other circumstances, they still manage to say something like "chicken nuggets". Talk about SCARY!). And then we have this baby - which, in my mind, is always a girl, always with dark eyes and dark hair - and she's just the most amazing thing I've ever seen. The sad, painful irony of this fantasy is that I have an almost tangible picture in my head - and it's really, truly harrowing. Not in so far as it would be morbid or weird, but because the entire prospect of having a baby with Kenton is so...normal, so natural - so EXPECTED.

Isn't that just the most ironical twist of fate, this play on words? What to expect when you're expecting. Except that most of us EXPECT that we'll be able to get to the point of expecting, that is, getting pregnant, in the first place!

Ok so I know this post is really confused and confusing. I'm sure most of it doesn't make much sense because it's all a bit of rambling from all the different corners of my heart: the sadness, the anger, the denial, the sheer envy. How come no one ever tells you NOT to expect that you'll get pregnant at the drop of a hat?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Waiting Game

In a situation where, in my mind, time is of the essence, Kenton was just told that before he can even get the urologist to see him, he has to take another sperm test - in THREE MONTHS. Needless to mention, I was just beyond aggravated when I heard that - and then we ended up getting into an argument because, of course, Kenton being a MAN, hadn't thought to tell whatever "genius" on the phone that we hadn't used contraceptives for, oh, about 4 years now - and that, clearly, SOMETHING was wrong.

But we did finally have a talk about it. He said that, knowing how close this issue was to my heart and how sensitive I was about it, he just didn't want to be the one bringing it up or starting a discussion about it. I tried to explain to him that I felt bad to always bring it up and that it would actually help me if HE would occasionally bring it up - but I can kind of see, now, where he's coming from.

Yesterday was much worse than today though - in terms of my mood, that is. I seem to be swaying between feeling like the world has just crash-landed on my heart, and just feeling removed and numb. Either way, I passed a woman yesterday who had a really cute little girl - and when I stopped to say how adorable she was, the baby actually SMILED a big, fat happy smile at me. Here's me sighing at the sheer irony that babies - and kids in general - have always loved me.

Then, today, I saw a woman AT LEAST 15 years my senior, with a head full of gray hair - and a big pregnant belly. Incongruous! Without wanting to, I find myself feeling increasingly resentful that it seems all these women from all walks of life, all sizes and ages, are pregnant! It's just not fair. But I know that I'm only seeing one side of the coin - and that I have no way of knowing how many of these women conceived easily; how many of them had to have fertility treatments or other types of support and help. All I know is that I feel so...deprived.

Still, I feel a little less raw today. Which is ironic considering that I couldn't even get my caffeine fix today - but perhaps also due to the weather, this wonderful, sunny fall weather, and the fact that a truck-load of mail came in today. I always love to get mail.

I talked to mom and dad today, for almost an hour, which was nice. Sometimes it makes me sad that I can't really talk to them about this issue - but I know that telling them would bring me no comfort because they just wouldn't be able to understand where I'm coming from. Plus, to be honest, I just can't even begin to tell them that Kenton has - or, pending that second sperm test, may have - problems producing a child.

When we talked about it last night, lying on the bed together and finally, it seemed, actually opening all the doors, I tried to think about what our alternatives are from a REALISTIC point of view. It's all good and well for books or people to tell you which options are out there - but, let's face it, how many people can actually AFFORD all these treatments? How many people can afford to go through in vitro more than once, maybe twice? And as for adoption - that, alone, can cost as much as a new car.

So...today is just one of those days where things are sort of up in the air. I feel weird, somehow - but there are other things that are taking my attention away from feeling too sad, too upset, too hurt.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When Everything Hurts

There are moments in time when everything around me seems to disappear, and the only thing coming into sharp focus is The Issue. I watched a movie and cried; saw a preview for another movie and got choked up again. It seems almost ridiculous.

After reading through parts of one of the books I have on infertility, I felt more confused and scared rather than reassured. In aiming to provide a comprehensive analysis of available options, the book somehow managed to twist the knife just a little bit more. The options discussed in the chapters I read include things like Donor Sperm - which I found really disturbing - and a host of different surgical procedures, some extremely invasive, that Kenton would have to undergo depending on what the specific problem turns out to be. It's daunting, to say the least - and I find myself struggling with the ache of wanting a baby and the love and concern I feel for the man that I love. How can I ask him to undergo surgery in the quest for a family of our own?

And then, of course, there's adoption - something we'd already discussed a while back, before we ever really started trying. It's almost as if, instinctively, we both KNEW that we would have to seriously consider it at some point or another.

Just when life is throwing us these curveballs, it seems harder than ever for either one of us to talk about what we want. How far are we willing to go? I don't even know that I can answer this question for myself, even without considering how Kenton might feel about all of this. The other day I got so mad at him - I felt that he'd just taken this information we got on board, and then conveniently filed it away somewhere in a DO NOT DISTURB pile.

I'm ashamed to admit that, intitially, I felt a strange sense of relief when we got the lab results back. Because it meant that it wasn't my fault. Which is ridiculous - because no one can foresee or change these kinds of things, and it's not a question of fault. Yet, presumably, it's not entirely uncommon for people to inclined to point the finger at someone. Maybe that's because of the magnitude of this kind of information - the impact it has on a marriage, on a person's sense of self.

The worst thing for me, perhaps, is that I think Kenton doesn't even begin to realize the depth and extent of my pain. I don't think he understands just how much this is taking out of me. Or maybe he's just dealing with it in his own way - in the way that men tend to deal with these kinds of things: head down and keep moving. I, on the other hand, find myself completely paralysed. I feel, at times, that I turn into an automaton in public: smiling, commenting on someone's baby, feigning interest. Whatever envy I may feel towards another woman who has a newborn or a slew of kids is compounded by what I often perceive as lack of interest in their offspring. I turn into Judgy Van Holier Than Thou amid comments on strollers, toddler clothing and diaper bags - all things that, for a woman, should be as much a normal part of life as make up and sanitary products.

As a child, I had a bad habit of picking at scabs. I got some sort of perverse pleasure of ripping them off - knowing full well, after the first few times, that it would just end up bleeding again and therefore take longer to heal. Similarly, I feel an almost irresistible urge to keep looking at things that drive home this void ever more forcefully. Masochistic? Perhaps. Destructive? Quite possibly. Normal, given the circumstances...? Who knows.

For some reason, I've had a few country songs randomly play in my head - just snippets, really. Why not us, why not now...Is there a cure for the broken-hearted...All those songs that Frank would've called crying-in-my-beer music. Then again, I've always been a sucker for wallowing in these kinds of songs when I feel that I've really hit rock-bottom...

I tried, again, to find some sort of self-help group or a support network. I went on Oprah's website because I remembered that they used to have groups on there a few years ago - different ones for all sorts of different issues. Well, apparently they've done away with that in the years since I last checked it - figures, right? So I started to browse around and came across an article by Gena Rowlands, who is one of my favorite (and, in my opinion, one of the most underrated) actresses. And not 3 lines into the article I am hit, abruptly, with yet another affirmation to torment me:

"Mothers are the most powerful people in the world. "

Of course this has nothing to do with power in the sense of controling people or anything like that; nothing to do with power in a political or scientific sense. But I read over the sentence several times and thought about the simple things mothers take for granted: a baby clutching its tiny fingers around your finger; a broad smile that lights up an entire face and all that is around it. I walked past someone at a shop this afternoon and the woman was engaged in some sort of conversation with a very young girl, maybe 3 years of age. And there was something so...easy, so relaxed, in her manner. I smiled, sadly, almost unable to look away. It's kind of like that theory that you can't NOT watch a car crash or something like that - how, as things careen out of control, everything seems to proceed in slow motion and you can't tear yourself away.

Why not me, why not us?

I've struggled long and hard with my decision to chronicle this journey I'm about to embark on. Part of me shies away from openly committing to these issues; part of me hopes to find solace in trying to find others who, like me, are confused, angry and sad.

Last Friday it became official: Kenton is unlikely to be able to father a child. Staring at this sentence, I feel a wave of surreal pain wash over me. How could this happen to US? We did everything "right", the way I thought you were supposed to do things. We got educated, traveled the world, didn't rush into marriage and didn't try to conceive the minute he'd carried me over the threshold. We thought we had time. We thought we were being smart - planned parenthood and all that.

As we sat in the doctor's office, listening to him explain the lab results, I found myself nodding to indicate that I understood what he was saying. It was like having an out-of-body experience: I was there, sitting in the hard plastic chair, looking at this man who was calmly explaining to us that we may not be able to have children by conventional means. As if it was the most normal thing to say. As if he'd just told one of us to take an asprin for a mild headache.

We left, neither one of us really saying anything; the piece of paper burning a hole into the pocket of Kenton's cargo pants. I felt numb, almost as if I had been given sad news about someone else - vaguely concerned, a little sad.

I went home by myself - Kenton had to go back to work. It was, after all, the middle of the day. I sat in the driveway for what seemed like forever: tears slowly running down as my vision became increasingly blurred. Once inside the house, a sound escaped from my mouth that was like the howling of a wounded animal - because, in all truthfulness, that's how I felt: wounded. As if, somehow, someone had deliberately injured me, delivering a potentially fatal blow to our plans and hopes for the future.

The worst part was the aftermath of that day. Kenton acted as if nothing had happened - jolly-go-lucky, goofing around like there wasn't that proverbial elephant in the room, constantly begging for attention. Alone, I cried like I haven't cried in years: anguished, broken. I listlessly stumbled around search engines in hopes of finding a support network, but nothing seemed to fit the bill. I couldn't join a group of women trying to conceive - knowing that, any day, someone might post that they'd finally gotten pregnant. I started reading about infertility, options for treatment - all the while thinking: why did this happen to us?

For a while I'd had an inkling that something might be wrong with one of us - like some sort of premonition or 6th sense, I've had this nagging feeling for years that we wouldn't be able to conceive, wouldn't be able to have what most people take for granted. In a sea of people, it seemed I was surrounded by women proudly displaying variously advanced pregnant bellies: beautiful women, plain women, skinny women, large women, young women, older women. I felt like I had been snubbed; like being turned down by a maternal sorority of sorts.

I am completely unprepared and unarmed to deal with this situation - to handle the cascade of unexpected emotions. I was angry at Kenton - I still am. Not because of his condition but because he doesn't seem to care. I know that he's just in denial - when I finally cornered him the other day, amid tears, and asked him whether he wasn't even the least bit upset, he grudgingly admitted that he was, that he just couldn't dwell on it like I did. But what else is there to do? How can I possibly just brush this under the carpet, pretend everything is alright - when it so clearly ISN'T?

I try not to think about it. I try to ignore all the pregnant women around me, the little girls with long hair and April Cornell dresses...so much that I had hoped for myself. But more than anything, I feel so completely ALONE. That, more than anything else, is probably what I was least prepared for. I feel like there's no one I can talk to: not mom, who didn't even know we had talked about wanting to try; not either one of our sisters (one of whom would put-put some platitudes of no help, while the other would launch a diatribe of finger-pointing).

I can't even bring myself to call Kathleen, my best friend, the one person who's as close to me as any blood relative - who, when we talked about this subject a couple of years ago, said that if we couldn't conceive she would be a surrogate for us. I tried to write her a letter, to tell her all I was feeling and the overwhelming pain that I couldn't even begin to lend credence to in words...and I failed, miserably, because I couldn't see out of my eyes once I started to unleash the pain and anger, the sense of injustice...

So here I am. I feel empty, cold, like something is missing. I look at a magazine and an ad for The Children's Place makes me cry. I watch a woman cradle an infant in a cheap blanket and think, my baby would have something much warmer and softer. I cuddle and talk to the children of my friends and acquaintances, trying to ignore the lump in my throat. And then, sometimes, I just sit there: staring into space, shivering, not knowing where to turn.