Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Do you have any kids?

Graduate school is hard. I’m putting in way more hours as a student than I was working a full time job. But it’s also totally worth it because I’m doing something that I love. I love reading, talking about, and writing about literature, and that’s what I do all the time now. Graduate school also has a unforeseen perk: no one asks you if you have kids or if you are trying to have kids. Whenever I met someone new at my job, they would ask me if I have kids. When I would say no, they would ask if I want kids. I’m not really sure why this seems to be the culturally accepted thing to do when you meet someone new, but it is. At least in the area where we live. In graduate school, however, everyone assumes that you don’t have time for kids and even if you do want them, you will wait until after you are done. I’ve never seen a noticeably pregnant woman on campus, and not one of my friends at school has a child, so I don’t have to hear complaints or stories about them. As an infertile, it’s wonderful to not have the constant reminder.

Hubby isn’t so lucky and still has to deal with nosey people at work, as well as a boss whose wife had a baby a month ago. The other day when someone asked him if he has kids and he said no, they told him that he needs to get moving because the clock is ticking. Thankfully, his boss intervened at that moment because he knows our story and how upsetting the situation was for hubby. Plus, he probably didn’t want Kevin to guilt the man by telling him that all of our babies died. It’s the truth and the man probably deserved it, but it’s not really good costumer service.

It’s a problem every infertile has to deal with at some point or another: everyone has an opinion about whether or not you should have kids, and many will voice that opinion without knowing your story. It weird when you think about it. I spent a semester studying abroad in Germany, and I was amazed at how private the Germans are. Questions that are considered small talk in the U.S., like asking someone what they do for a living, were considered personal and rude. Maybe we should take notes.

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Where We Are Now

I feel like such a tease telling you all that I’m going to start writing again and then not immediately writing a bunch of posts. A lot has happened since I quit writing, but instead of playing catch-up with the last couple of months, I’ll tell you where we are now:

  • I’m going to school full time to get my Masters in English literature. I’m not really sure what the long-term plan is (teaching private high school, teaching college, applying to PhD programs, etc.), but I love what I am doing right now. I love reading, discussing, and writing about literature, and that’s basically all I do now. It’s hard, especially since I took time off after undergrad and had to relearn quite a few things, like how to study or write an academic paper, but I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing right now. Well, that’s a lie. I’d rather be a stay-at-home mom, but that isn’t happening right now, so this is the next best thing.
  • Hubby is in the hiring process at the fire department in our town. After he didn’t get the last job because they basically run on the “good ole boy” system, he started putting in applications at different departments. This department is completely different. Instead of hiring from the volunteer list, they have a multiple-step hiring process that takes months. Hubby passed a written exam back in September, and he is taking a physical exam next week. When he passes that, he’ll be able to get an interview. If he does well on his interview, he’ll take a psych evaluation (1 out of 4 fail it). If everything goes well, it will probably be February or March before he starts working, and if it doesn’t go well, we’ll move on to another department. Apparently, he was the only one out of over 100 applicants who showed up for the written exam in a tie, and he had two separate officers tell him that he made a really good impression, so we that’s a good sign. Also, he got one of the highest grades on the written exam, so that doesn’t hurt either.
  • As I mentioned in my last post, Hubby and I are going to start the process for foster adoption if he gets this job. As it is, Hubby gets paid on commission, and I get a small stipend from school so we have a hard time keeping our heads above water sometimes, especially with all of the medical bills from Hubby getting so sick this past winter/spring. The beginning pay at this department, however, would increase our income by almost $1,000 a month, and by that time, the medical bills should be paid off (assuming we don’t create any more), saving us a few hundred dollars a month. So that would leave us with some baby money. And as an extra perk, we could also afford to start eating meat again.
  • We got another dog at the end of August, Jack Jack. Molly was a very high energy dog, and she really needed a buddy to play with so that she wouldn’t be destructive, so we went to the pound and picked out a new best friend for her. Jack Jack was about nine months old when we got him. He was also scary skinny, and he had kennel cough. Looking back, I have no idea why we got this sickly, scrawny dog, but I am so glad we did. He is the best behaved dog I’ve ever had, and he learns very quickly. Plus, he’s the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen, especially now that he’s put on some weight. I’m sure you’ll agree:

Jack1

Jack2

It’s also nice that he matches our house so well, haha. The only problem is that Jack Jack is also a high energy dog and needs someone to play with–that’s why he was a perfect friend for Molly. Maybe we’ll go get him a friend in the spring because we’re not ready for another furbaby yet.

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Autopsy Results

I hate that I was gone for so long only to come back with such sad news, but I knew that this community was the only one that could truly understand how painful it was to lose Molly. We got her autopsy results this week and learned that she had a genetic heart defect that would have caused an arrhythmia. She had fibrosis in her heart, and she most likely died of a heart attack while she was sleeping. The vet assured us that there was no way we could have known that she was sick and even if we did know, there was nothing we could have done. She is actually the second pup in her litter that has died suddenly, and I told the woman who gave her to us, so she can tell the others who adopted pups from the litter.

In some ways, Molly’s results were a huge relief. We now know that no one hurt her, and that it is safe to leave Jack Jack outside. Also, it’s a relief to know that we could not have known or done anything. I went over that morning in my head more times than I can count, trying to see if there was some sign that she was sick, something we should have noticed. But there was nothing. She was her usual self–a happy crazy pup. Now we can move past worrying and wondering and just grieve the loss of our pup baby.

Last week I was talking to a good friend who is dealing with some heavy stuff right now. We hadn’t talked in a long time, so neither of us was really aware of all of the tough stuff the other has been going through. At one point, I just looked at him and asked, “Is this what it’s like to be an adult?” I feel really old. I feel tired and I feel like my heart is so heavy from carrying my losses. Is that what adulthood is? Adding to the weight of your heart?

I’m going to try to start posting again. Hubby is in the hiring process with our local fire service, and if he gets the job, we are going to start the paperwork for foster care adoption. And I don’t think I could go through that process without all of you. Plus, I’m getting a little overwhelmed without my outlet–I need you ladies.

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