Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Still Counting

On Saturday Hubby and I went on a road trip with his mom to the Ikea in Atlanta to buy a crib. We weren’t originally planning on buying a crib because his sister gave us our nephew’s crib, but that didn’t work out. When we were putting it together, we realized there was a piece missing, but the piece was part of the drop-side. I figured we could just call the company and see if they had a conversion kit we could buy to make the side stationary, and then it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t have that piece. When we called the company, however, the number was disconnected. At this point, hubby got on Consumer Reports to get some info about the company and the crib. I am not exaggerating, this is what it said: “Case for case, this is the deadliest crib on the market.” Then it talked about the company mysteriously disappearing in December. Needless to say, we aren’t using that crib. We checked and the recall was too old for us to return it somewhere, so we went to Ikea to buy a new crib.

Whenever we go to Ikea, we play a game where we count the pregnant ladies. We usually get around 15 obviously pregnant women, and before we left Saturday, hubby pointed out that we didn’t have to play our game. We no longer had to take note of each pregnant woman and think ugly, bitter thoughts at her because I was one of those pregnant women. In fact, I actually ovulated on our last trip to Ikea. Looking back to where we were then–only seven months ago, and where we are now is staggering.

The truth is that I still struggle with pregnant women. Like a girl at our church who is due two days after me. They weren’t trying and didn’t even know she was pregnant until she went to the doctor with a lot of cramping and found out she was eight weeks along. She keeps talking about how she doesn’t know anything about pregnancy and babies and how this was totally unexpected (even now when we’re over 30 weeks). It just seems so unfair that this gift just dropped in their laps while we had to work so hard for it. I haven’t forgotten where we came from. I still feel the pain of what we’ve been through. I very openly inform people that this baby is a miracle–one we didn’t think we would ever have. Hubby and I have talked about it, and we both confessed that we sincerely believed that this pregnancy wouldn’t work–that I would never be able to carry a child.

Infertility leaves a mark that never leaves. Even now, I still count the pregnant women.

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Hanging On

I’ve been wanting to write on here for awhile, but graduate school is kicking my butt. This year I am teaching two freshman writing courses so I’m having to learn how to balance being a teacher with being a student because I’m also taking two graduate level courses. In the last two weeks, I’ve graded 46 papers, written a 20 page take-home exam, taken a very difficult in-class exam, written a seven page annotated bibliography, had one of my classes observed, wrote a proposal for the classes I’m teaching next semester, met with multiple students to discuss their plans to revise the first paper, done the regular reading for my classes, done the regular class prep for the classes I teach, attended to a wedding, gone to our first baby shower, and taken a weekend trip to a family reunion where I didn’t have time for any school stuff at all. I feel like I spent so much of last year learning time management and how to prioritize my time between being a student and being a wife, and now I’m having to do that all over again with yet another role added to my plate. Not only that, I’m having to adjust to a new level and schedule of productivity because I really can’t do any intense reading or work after 8:00 or 8:30 anymore because I am so exhausted. By the time I got to the end of the day Wednesday (marking my fall break that I am currently enjoying), I felt like I was just barely hanging on.

So that’s my life right now. It’s hard and pretty stressful, but I am still doing things that I love. I feel behind and I’m not doing as well as I would if I weren’t pregnant and actually felt better and more energetic, but I enjoy learning and I enjoy teaching. I’m just on a pretty steep learning curve this year.

I try not to stress about next semester because I know it will be much harder with me adding another role: mommy. I talked to the head of my department to see if I could defer my last semester to the fall, but that’s not possible. Apparently, taking off just one semester and therefore leaving a funding package unclaimed during that time signals to the graduate school that our department has more money than we need and we could lose it. So I’ll be taking two classes and teaching two classes again in the spring. I’ve worked out my schedule so that I’m only on campus two days a week with an hour and a half break midday to eat and pump, and my MIL is going to watch the baby for us. I just hope it works out. Worse case scenario, I can take an incomplete in my classes and get my degree with I finish them later in the year.

I keep thinking about how this timing is stressful and inconvenient. But then I am honest with myself and admit that I would not change it for anything. Every day I can feel our baby getting stronger and everything is worth it. I am getting everything I want–a degree that will let me do what I want to do and a child. It’s really hard, but it’s also an enormous gift that I refuse to take for granted.

Well, I was going to write more about the pregnancy and the baby, but that looks like enough for one day. Hopefully I’ll have time to give some more updates in the days to come–I miss you all and this space.

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