Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Of Baby-making and My Writing Process: A Control Freak Learning to Trust the Universe

It’s no secret I have two kids.  My eldest is four and my youngest is 8 months.   But, what you might not know is how much effort went into having my two kiddos.  I’ll spare you the gory medical details and just tell you that I’ve spent so much time at my fertility specialist’s office over the last five years that I know all the nurses by first name, my son was given a Lightning McQueen toy by one of them for his birthday, and I spent almost a half hour last week gabbing with the receptionist when I ran into her at Walmart, complete with, “How’s your son enjoying his last year at college?”

I sent them a Christmas card last year.

I always wanted a huge family.  I’m one of three and loved having siblings.  My hubby is one of four and felt the same.  When we talked of marriage and family, we’d settled on at least three but probably four.  Four babies.  A house full of noise and chaos and mess and clutter and love.

After almost a year of working with doctors, we got pregnant and had our first, one of the best days of my life.   And a year later, we stepped back through the doors of our fertility specialist.  But, as the months dragged on, full of poking and prodding and drugs and diets and procedures, we began to worry our first would be our only.  I cried, I lost sleep, I followed every medical recommendation they gave me, I researched like a manic, all the while raging against the powers that be.  This wasn’t fair, I’d think.  We were doing everything they asked us to do.  We wanted four, not an only child.

I knew I was being selfish and I’m not proud of these feelings.  There are lots of women who have and have had worse experiences than me.  I know this.  There are women who aren’t able to have even one child.  I had one and I adored him to pieces.  With the problems I had, a hundred years ago I wouldn’t even have had that baby. I knew I was very lucky.  But I couldn’t help thinking that this wasn’t how I planned it.  When I dreamed of motherhood, this wasn’t how I pictured my future.

At my worst, I felt like a failure.  It was, after all, my stupid body giving us these problems.  I’d feel resentful of those who had babies so easily.  Of those who would say, “I just walked by my husband in the hall and got pregnant.”  Resentful and horribly, miserably jealous.  I wanted to be like them.  I’d smile, try so hard to be happy while my friends got pregnant and had gorgeous little angels.  And I was happy but a small, sad little part of me would still be thinking, why not me?  I’d see the news and I would wonder why God would send kids to abusive, horrible families that didn’t really want them and not to our family.

But, as I cried to my doctor after a very low time, asking why there wasn't more they could do--they made babies down the hall in test tubes!--she tried, very gently, to explain that science only goes so far.  After that, it’s out of their hands.  In her words, “There are just some things we can’t control, no matter how hard we try.”

Apparently, this is not an easy lesson for me.  My control freak OCD tendencies encompass lots of things, including my writing.  I spent the last year and a half trying to plot and plan my story, thinking that if I can just figure it all out, it’ll be perfect.  But, after planning it all the way through multiple times, I’d start to write only to find that it was missing the luster.

I realized a few weeks ago that this was definitely a case of “science only goes so far.”  I can plot and plan all I want, but really, the craft of writing can only take me so far.  After that, the rest of it comes from that intangible “something” that I can’t really control.  It’s just there, inside me.  It’s my voice, it’s my way of seeing the world, it’s the way I string words together and the things that make me, “me.”

“Science,” my reliance on craft, can get me a large chunk of the way, but in the end, great writing requires a leap of faith.

Because there are just some things we can’t control.  And that, just as in baby-making, is where the magical stuff really happens.

I feel like the craft part comes easier for me and the magic part is where I have difficulty letting go.  Are you like me, a bit of a control freak?  Or do you fling yourself into the magic (Chance?)?  I suspect it takes both to really excel in this industry—craft and the magic.  If you feel stronger on one side, how do you get yourself to incorporate what doesn’t come as naturally?  I know we can take classes to improve craft but what things can we do to help beef up the “magic” in each of our voices?


2nd Chance said...

Ah, Marn. The magic is within you, I think it just takes faith in believing you have it and...well...that fate, the universe, God, whatever you believe there inside you.

Trust and let go of the craft lessons... Tell your story and don't look at it as craft, look at it as...making love. Not making babies. Trust.

2nd Chance said...

I really wish I could state it better, Marn. I have no real idea how I do what I do and just let it pour out of me. I do know that I struggle the most when I try to filter as I write. And everyone on this ship knows that I get the shakes when I think about craft rules...

Quantum said...

Marnee, I think that you and your husband have done wonderfully well in creating two children. As the Doc said, Science can only take you so far. Scientific understanding is like a torch, it throws light but also casts shadows. New knowledge always brings new problems. Its rather like the poet said:

“Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum, And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on, While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.”

I think we all like to be in control, but to release the magic within, you have to let go. The plotting can take you so far but be sure to leave plenty of room for pantzing. Thats how you let the magic take over. IMHO 8)

Fascinating blog!

Marnee said...

Chance - I knew you'd be one to profess the magic. I truly think that ability--call it pantsing or letting the story flow from inside--is a real art.

I like how you say that you have the most problems when you try to filter. I think that's what I do, a lot. I filter. When my stuff sounds the best, when it resonates, is when I have the courage to dig deep and fill my words with my emotions.

I know I have it in there, but getting it on the page is scary to me, makes me feel really vulnerable. After I do it, I feel exhilarated. I think to my self "that's it!" And that rush keeps me coming back, like an addict.

But I wish it came easier. I doubt it ever will, but I wish it did. Because when I see myself shying from it, I feel like the worst coward.

Q - Thank you! I think we did great too, with our two. Don't get me wrong; they were worth all the poking and prodding. I don't regret any of it. And I'm thankful for the medical advances that did help me. I know that there are lots of women who still don't have the sort of medicine to help them, women who don't get the baby they want. I know I'm blessed.

But I certainly didn't make the process easy on myself.

Marnee said...

Aside: as a form of torture today, I have that Cee Lo Green song stuck in my head. Not cool, universe. Not cool.

Donna said...

Marn, I love the Cee Lo Green song. In fact, it's my new theme song. I've been bouncing to it for two days.

This was a great post. You've really described one of the toughest aspects of writing -- magic v. craft. The thing is, both are important, and, depending on our personalities, it's easy to lean too far to one side and neglect the other.

Magic is what creates that thrilling first draft, that keeps us inspired. But craft is what finetunes it, making it readable to others who can't see the story in our heads.

As for control. . .here's some advice I rejected when I was your age. LOL I was trying to control everything around me, tying my stomach in knots with my attempts to bend the world to my needs/wants. Someone told me, "You have to let go of the things you can't control." And I replied, "But those are the things I need to control!" I wanted to be the one steering the bus all the time, because I knew best.

Twenty years later I can finally follow that advice, but it was hard to do. I discovered the things I worried about either came true and were not as bad as I thought, OR they came true and they WERE as bad as I thought. In either case, I had to deal with what actually happened, not with what I wanted to happen.

To tie it back to writing. . .write your story. Don't think about how it will be received, or reviewed. That will stop you in your tracks, and you can't predict that result anyway. Don't try to control the story while you're writing it. It may seem like you have a better handle, but it's likely what's making you stall out. And it may make you miss out on something spectacular.

Bosun said...

Thanks for reminding me how lucky I am, Marn. :)

Gosh, there's already been some great responses. It still feels like I learn something new about this writing thing every day. I do have to plot, but there are always changes and revelations, direction changes and epiphanies. Those are the most fun for me.

Once I have a general path charted, then I just let go and write it. There are times it veers off a little too much, and I have to pull it back, but those are rare so far. Thank goodness.

Seems to be the concensus is let it go. I realize that in no way tells you HOW to do it, but trust and faith in your story and yourself seems to be the logical answer. The story is in you for a reason. It's your story to tell, and you're the best person to tell it.

So tell it. For you first, and then see what comes of it.

Marnee said...

Sorry, I just dropped the eldest at preschool.

As I was driving, I started to get a little self-conscious and wanted to start off here by saying that I, in no way, want to downplay or belittle anyone else's infertility journey. I was trying really hard to focus this on how I felt while going through it, my feelings of helplessness, as that's how I'd got to feeling about my book and the connection seemed significant to me this past month.

If anyone who's struggling with infertility now is reading this, I don't wish to offend. I'm sympathetic and sorry for anyone who has to struggle with reproductive issues. It sucks, there's no other way to explain it. So, for that person or lurker who might be dealing with it now, my prayers, thoughts, and hopes are with you.

Now, on to your comments.

Marnee said...

Donna - good heavens. “But those are the things I need to control!”

This is soooo me I can't even express.


I do try to do this. And as arrogant as it sounds, in the past I've felt like I could. If I just work hard enough, if I just do the "right" things, it's going to be perfect. I know. I'm an idiot. LOL!

And writing (art), as in real life, is too complex to control everything about it. There's my intention, the story in my head, how I write it down, how someone else reads it, their perceptions and experiences.... the list goes on. I don't have control over that stuff. Oh, I'd like to... LOL! But I'd be best off just sticking to the stuff that is in my power and not focus on stuff I can't control.

But boy, that's a big girl, grown up lesson, isn't it? :)

Don't think about how it'll be received. I'm going to try to do this every time I sit down.

Bo'sun - You know, writing this reminded me how lucky I am too. :)

trust and faith in your story and yourself seems to be the logical answer. This definitely separates the girls from the women, doesn't it? LOL!

This past few weeks I've been writing again (I'm in almost 10K words for the month, go me!) and I've been just trying not to focus on spreadsheets and whatever and just focusing on the story in my head.

I don't know if I'd be able to do that if I hadn't spent all that time thinking about the story, the characters, and getting a really good grip on them. But it's going really well right now. Maybe this is a chicken or egg thing....

Marnee said...

I just reread my last comment and I hope it makes sense. I'm super sleepy today, the littlest has another cold (I know, another?!) and had me up like a billion times last night. I sucked down all my coffee and just looked at the pot like, "why have you forsaken me?"

Bosun said...

I haven't slept a solid night since Saturday, and I'm not ALLOWED to have coffee. I'm so with you.

Bosun said...

I can't say I've learned any of these lessons yet, though I have learned not to sweat the small stuff. Partially learned at least.

But I do find the more I write and plot and think and stick with it, the easier it is to let go and let it happen. You've been writing and plotting this story in your head for months, you don't need a spreadsheet to prove it.

It's almost like you have to get out of your own way, but really, we have to get out of the story's way. Does that make sense?

Marnee said...

It’s almost like you have to get out of your own way, but really, we have to get out of the story’s way. Does that make sense?

An insane amount of sense. I'm going to add an Amen here, in fact.

How are you feeling today, BTW?

Irisheyes said...

I'm one of those baby makers, Marn. I apologize cause when I hear about people like you who have such a hard time of it I feel guilty about running as fast as I could from the DH whenever he got that look in his eyes. Or at least I feel a little guilty for about 2 seconds until reality sets in. He wanted 4 or 5 and I didn't think I was going to survive the 2 I already had. I do know I'm lucky in that respect though. I've got two really incredible kids. And you've got 2 lucky boys who have a mommy and daddy who loved them enough to go through a lot more than most to have them! Something to be proud of.

As for the control thing you're preaching to the choir again, sister! Like Donna, I eventually learned - age, a chronic illness and life have taught me to "go with the flow". Words that were definitely not in my vocabulary 20 years ago. I thought (no I KNEW) I was right and I had the answers. Come to find out that knowing the answers, whether they were right or wrong, didn't stop the S#&% from hitting the fan more often than not. So having the answers became way less important than figuring out how to stay sane and happy when what I KNEW shouldn't happen happened anyway! :)

I find the hardest part of the whole craft vs. magic in my writing is just putting it out there. Those that know me best and that I'm my most comfortable and safe around see my sarcasm, politically incorrectness, and irreverance - basically the way I look at the world. Writing that down (being my authentic self) is scary to my younger Irish Catholic self who feels the need to be proper and "not say anything if I can't say anything nice".

Bosun said...

I'm much better today, thanks for asking. Still moving slow but the constant pain is down to a small twinge. I'll be much better in a week or two when I've had more time to heal. All that acid did a real number on my insides.

BTW - Anyone have any tricks for sleeping sitting up?

Hellion said...

This blogs breaks my heart. I think you should have as many babies as you want. You're a wonderful mom.

But yes, to the question at hand: Hello, my name is Hellie and I am a control freak. Worse, I am a perfectionist. I don't want to really start anything until I know I'm at the right place. I don't want something messy and ugly and stupid. I want something BRILLIANT. Publishable. Adored by millions. I don't want an ugly baby.

Which is rather shallow of me, obviously, and I'm allowing it to give me a reason "not to write" instead of writing, which would make my writing better. I know there are no muse lightning bolts.

As Ron White would say, "You can't fix stupid." Which means, you can fix ugly...and messy, but you can't fix a plot that doesn't exist. So if you have a character--a real character and a real problem--then you're good. Just write it and don't worry if it's ugly. That's what makeup is for. Lots and lots and lots of makeup.

Irisheyes said...

There’s my intention, the story in my head, how I write it down, how someone else reads it, their perceptions and experiences…. the list goes on. I don’t have control over that stuff.

Pretty much sums up what I was trying to say. LOL Always worrying about whether someone else will see what I see as funny, sad, tragic, etc. etc. etc. I think we really gotta get out of our own way, as Terri said!

I'm with you also on the no sleep. Had a great day yesterday - spa day with my sister YAY! But my daughter was home with some virus and a nasty fever that keeps getting higher and won't break! Motrin is not even helping! I'm gonna have to dunk her in the tub or something. Then I'm heading back to bed.

Marnee said...

Irish - awh, no. There is definitely nothing to apologize or feel guilty about. People who have babies easy can't help that, same as I couldn't help not. It just is. I'm happy when people don't have problems, I'm just a little jealous too. :) I certainly wouldn't wish my last five years on anyone else, that's for sure. It's just such a hard issue because our culture really doesn't talk about it that much. It's like some dark dirty secret for a woman to admit that she's had trouble having kids. Or, if we do talk about it, it's so hard because every woman's journey is different.

So having the answers became way less important than figuring out how to stay sane and happy when what I KNEW shouldn’t happen happened anyway! Now that is advice worthy of Confucius. I love everything about this.

And your hardest part--putting your "true" self out there--is shared by many of us. It's hard and scary to get through all the stuff we know is appropriate to the real stuff underneath. But the real stuff is the really good stuff. That doesn't make it easy. I'd like to say I have advice here, but I don't. Just keep pushing yourself, I think. That's what I'm trying to do anyway.

Irisheyes said...

Glad you're doing better, Ter!

Bosun said...

Thanks, Irish.

And if it's any consolation, I'm jealous of you, Marn, for picking the right guy the first time, staying married and building a family. As you say, every woman's journey is different. And sometimes, they don't turn out at all how we envisioned.

Marnee said...

Ter - I'm glad you're feeling a little better. As to sleeping upright, I've fallen asleep upright while nursing. But I think it's less my positioning or any art to sleeping that way and more that I was just so tired that my body gave out. :( Therefore, I'm no help. :(

Hells - Perfectionists, unite!! And of course you have to go and bring this up, I’m allowing it to give me a reason “not to write” instead of writing, which would make my writing better. Hush with that. That's a sore spot. LOL! I do this too. I think I get fixated on it being perfect and then when it's not, I think, I can't write it until it is. And part of it is that I'm afraid to just let go and see what happens. What if I do and it sucks?!

Curse you, insecurity.

Just write it and don’t worry if it’s ugly. That’s what makeup is for. Lots and lots and lots of makeup. Going to repeat this to myself, times infinity.

Irisheyes said...

Thanks, Marn. I'm getting there, slowly but surely. Like everything else in my life I can't just listen to reason I have to have a battle of wills with myself! :)

Marnee said...

Irish - Oh no, about your daughter! I hope she feels better soon. Luckily, mine doesn't have a fever. Fevers scare me. Mine just can't breath through the snotty nose. :(

I hope she feels better and hope you get some sleep.

Bosun said...

I do hope your daughter gets better, Irish. My kiddo got a cold for the first time in a long time over the weekend. Since she's the size of an adult, I bought some good stuff and it knocked it right out. It was crazy with us both sick at the same time.

Hellion said...

BTW – Anyone have any tricks for sleeping sitting up?

Well when my horse did it, she'd have one foot cocked and she'd stand on the other leg. You can try that...

Marnee said...

Well when my horse did it, she’d have one foot cocked and she’d stand on the other leg. You can try that…


Marnee said...

And if it’s any consolation, I’m jealous of you, Marn, for picking the right guy the first time, staying married and building a family.

Man, isn't that ironic? That definitely just gave me a different perspective. It's so true, though, that we each get our own road. But man, whoever put the road signs up needs to do a better job, ya know? How about a little, "caution" or "beware of curve ahead"? Is that too much to ask? LOL!!

Bosun said...

Exactly! LOL! Or if we could just see the signs when we're 24 instead of 30. Grrrr....

Hellie - Cute. I said SITTING not standing.

Marnee said...

How about earlier?! Teens! I could have avoided a lot of BS if I'd just figured some of the stuff I know now out back then. Or if I'd just listened to my mom. Why didn't she tell me she's a genius!?

I guess that's how it goes. I keep trying to tell my eldest that he's going to think I'm brilliant someday. He doesn't look convinced. LOL!

Bosun said...

Well, I'll be 40 this year and I assure you, my mother is still not a genius. But that's a different story. My pre-teen looked at me a few months ago and the following convo occurred:

Her: "Why do people doubt you?"
Me: "Excuse me?"
Her: "You're always right."

I will bring this conversation up as often as I can, though she's clearly already forgotten it.

Donna said...

Sorry to hear about all the sick kiddos, and adultos. :)

Wouldn't it be nice if we knew in our teens what we know now? Yep. But we weren't ready for the information. We have character arcs in our life. We're also not meant to just walk from Point A to Point B. LOL If only! We are supposed to have experiences, some of them are messy and heartbreaking, and others are delightful and delicious. And they all make you a better writer. :) I've known since my 20s I wanted to be a writer, but I didn't have anything to write about until I'd gone through a lot of life experiences -- some of them were things I'd tried to avoid with my bad-ass control freak self. LOL

Irisheyes said...

Ter, I gather as many pillows as I can find and build a sort of soft ramp so it doesn't feel like you're sitting up cause you're all relaxed into the pillow softness. Sometimes you end up more at a slant than sitting straight up but it seems to work for us. Since the ramp is the width of the pillows you tend to stay in that position longer and less likely to slide down and ending up flat on your back. It may take a couple of tries. I usually have to work with it a good while before it feel right and I know I'm gonna stay that way through most of the night.

Otherwise, I'd find a good sturdy wall to lean against and follow Hellie's advice!

Codeine also seems to help me not care whether I'm laying down, sitting up or standing in the middle of the street naked! And I sleep like the dead.

Marnee said...

I will bring this conversation up as often as I can, though she’s clearly already forgotten it.
I hope you caught this on tape....


Irish - Codeine also seems to help me not care whether I’m laying down, sitting up or standing in the middle of the street naked! And I sleep like the dead.

Um, if codeine is going to get me naked in the middle of the street, I will continue to avoid said medicine like it's a controlled substance. *shivers*

Donna - I think it's so true about being ready to hear things. I know people have told me things that later I think, "I should have listened" or "THAT'S what they meant!" Silly human brain.

Irisheyes said...

As is usual when I get together with my sister, the subject of relationships came up. I think we figured out the same thing you did, Ter, every person's journey is different for some reason.

In one way I do feel very blessed with my DH and my kids. In another way, I feel like for the first time in my life I worked really, really hard for something and now I'm reaping the benefits. I don't think I put as much energy into anything else in my life as I've put into my relationships with my husband and kids.

I'm with you, Marn. They should have a class on all this stuff. Forget about biology and calculus - what about dealing with the opposite sex! That would be way more useful, IMHO!

Donna said...

I told my sister the other day, "I'm finally qualified to be in my 30's, but now it's too late." LOL

I have to keep reminding myself this is the oldest I've ever been, and it's the youngest I'll ever be. When I'm 80, I'll wonder why I had so much angst over stuff today that will seem silly to my older self in the future, even though it's important now.

Marnee said...

It's funny.... I also feel blessed with my DH and kids and like I put a LOT of effort into it. But sometimes I think a part of it is that I just got lucky to meet him, to fall in love with him, and was with it enough then to think we could make it work. I dated other guys I considered marrying but why did I marry the one I did versus the ones I didn't? Something about those guys didn't seem right. I have no idea what would have happened if I'd chosen them and I don't want to think about it.

When I stood there that day and agreed to marry him in front of God and everyone, I had no idea what kind of husband he'd be. Or dad. I didn't know how he'd react to some of the adversities married people face. I hoped. I suspected. I knew he was a good person. But good people divorce other good people every day.

It's all way more complicated than I could ever figure out. I try not to think about why it works too much for fear that if I prod it too much, it'll hurt it. I just am glad that it did work and that it does.

So, here again, it's that there is part of it that's about the craft of being married/part of a couple. Then there's a leap of faith, some bit of magic that's beyond definition. A bit of something that's out of our control.

Irisheyes said...

LOL, Donna! I sooooo agree. Every time I start feeling a little nervous about getting older I think about going back to where I was and I pick the getting older part in a hearbeat! I'll never go back!!!!! They can't make me.

Bosun said...

My daughter wants a boyfriend so bad. I told her if she did get one, he'd eventually open his mouth and talk and then she wouldn't want him anymore. But she's insistent.

I'm not all that excited about hitting 40, but I wasn't ready to leap off a bridge either. Then again, no one told me it would be at this point I'd start falling apart.

Marnee said...

Ter - I'll keep you in my thoughts these next years, as the kiddo goes off and starts dating. Wow. :)

Donna - Maybe life should be like school, that we shouldn't pass until we've proven aptitude. LOL!!

And Irish - I wouldn't do my past over if someone paid me.

Irisheyes said...

The falling apart is the hard part, Ter. It takes way more energy than I have to stay functional most days!

Luckily my daughter's BFF since she was 5 years old is turning into an airhead, boy crazy goof and it is driving my daughter crazy. It just isn't meshing with her logical self. Sometimes I worry she's too analytical about the whole process but then I figure she can worry about fixing that personality defect later in life and I can sleep easy through her teen years! LOL

Marnee said...

You all with your dating kids. Stop now. I have years until I worry about this. Can I get out of the pampers phase first, please? LOL

Irisheyes said...

I was pondering the other day the unfairness of giving me all this knowledge and contentment to finally enjoy life and then not giving me the body I need to do it properly!

Bosun said...

You'll get a kick out of this, Marn. My stomach has basically turned into a newborn I must feed every 2 to 3 hours. Not the same as nursing, but still somewhat inconvenient. LOL!

I don't think I'll have to deal with dating for a while. Kiddo is still pretty much taller (5'6") than every boy in her class. She's also a bit goofy so she doesn't come across as a mature girl who might be up for something a little more high school. LOL!

And I'm not letting her go on a date for at least five years, so there's always that.

2nd Chance said...

I’m not all that excited about hitting 40, but I wasn’t ready to leap off a bridge either. Then again, no one told me it would be at this point I’d start falling apart.

Sorry, had to skip ahead and laugh at this... You think hitting 40 means things start to fall apart? WAIT!


Marn, maybe try writing a different way. Meaning, longhand...just to get started in the morning. Have you ever heard of morning pages, ala Julie Cameron? It's a technique that can certainly free the brain from the confines of the 'perfection police.'

Now, back to catching up!

2nd Chance said...

Ah, if I knew then what I know now...I probably wouldn't know it now. I've written shorts where I have the chance to go back and talk to younger self...and I always say nope. I mean, I like who I am and where I am and even though there was a lot of heartache and bothersome crap to get made me who I am.

You don't mess with what worked! Not one iota!

I even say that about the heart stuff. Took me nearly four years to see it that way, but I do now.

Bosun said...

Chance - I didn't think that, until it happened. LOL! I had a full physical the first week of the year and was told I had nothing wrong with me. Six weeks later and I'm down to two or three things I can (will!) eat without suffering afterward. And suffering A LOT.

I may be having a pity party, but this week, I'm allowed. Feel free to tell me to shutup next week. LOL!

Marnee said...

Irish - I feel the same about "retirement." We save all this money for a rainy day. I hope my body holds out so we can do all the stuff we want when we can afford to do it.

Ter - every 2-3 hours, huh? Ugh. I know we're supposed to eat like that but I can hardly remember to brush my teeth. All that meal splitting, eating when I'm not really hungry, is just too much maintenance. LOL!!

And it sounds like your kiddo is so much fun. :)

Chance - I haven't ever heard of morning pages. What's that?

Marnee said...

You don’t mess with what worked! Not one iota! I see the wisdom in this. Grudgingly, but I see it. :)



I know we're not supposed to be hugging around the ship and Sin requests that whole three feet rule but I'm a hugger. Sorry.

That just sucks. :(

Bosun said...

I'll take the hug, Marn. You won't get a stiff arm from me. LOL! I'm going to find all the pillows I can and pile them on my bed tonight. Then, I'm hoping for a good nights sleep. And I keep telling myself I feel better now than I did yesterday, so I should feel better tomorrow than I do today.

Right? RIGHT??

I'm hungry every 2 to 3hrs because I can only put a little in at a time. So it's not so bad, it's just tough to keep stuff around. It's not a havit yet, but I'll get better.

I guess I can't say I'd change anything in the past. I have kiddo because of that choice I made, and I'd never give her up for anything.

Marnee said...

Thanks Ter. :) I hope you get a good night's sleep too. From my experience, not sleeping bites it.

And, to tell the truth, I was on a pretty strict diet for a few years as part of my fertility treatments, including the eating ever couple hours thing, lots of dairy, whole grains, and fruit. It gets easier, when you do it for a while. :) Not easy, just easier.

Marnee said...

If it makes it any easier to think of it, my dietician used to say that I needed to think of eating right like a pill I was taking. Necessary for what I was trying to do. It did help, when I was forcing myself to have an apple instead of cake.

Janga said...

I love the blog, Marn! One of my nephews and his wife went through fertility struggles too. They waited five years for baby #1 and another eight for baby #2, all while other family members were having easy pregnancies and thoughtless people were making comments on the number of children they lacked. Cultural attitudes are unfair to women with fertility problems and to women who choose to remain childless.

I believe in the magic most of the time. I even keep a line from children’s author Charles Ghigna on my quote board: “The Muse is full of magic, though her vision's sometimes dim.” I find it hard to keep the faith when the vision is weak. I also battle my tendency to compare my progress to that of other writers, a habit that can lead to writing paralysis. Some lessons, I find, must be relearned again and again—at least for me.

I hope all who are having health problems recover quickly. I’m discovering that whoever said age is a number couldn’t count. It’s lots of numbers—blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol (good and bad), bone density . . . Each is just another source of concern.

Ter, I think some situations definitely entitle us to pity parties, and I think 24 hours is just the right length, long enough to wallow in self-pity but not long enough for the indulgence to become habit.

Bosun said...

It might be easier if I actually liked any of the things I'm supposed to be eating. For a woman who doesn't eat a single vegetable, it's not easy to be told that's pretty much all I should be eating.

But suffering like this is NOT an option. And at this rate, I will be SKINNY by Nationals. LOL! Okay, I'll probably never, ever qualify as skinny, but I could border on "average" by summer.

Janga said...

Ter, when I had pleurisy, I could sleep only in a sitting position. I used one of those armed bed pillows that we called "husbands" back in my undergrad days.

Bosun said...

I thought of one of those, Janga! But I wondered if they're still around. I'll hunt one up. And thanks for the get well wishes.

As for comparing, if I compared my writing to yours, I'd quit today.

Marnee said...

Janga - I'm sorry for your nephew and his wife. You're right about our culture. I had more than one relation/friend ask when we were having one, more, etc. Don't wait too long, someone said. And I would think to myself that I wasn't trying to wait, for pity's sake. Someone said, you don't want an only child, do you. I didn't, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with only children. The way this person said it sort of made me mad. If my first had ended up an only I don't think that would have been bad for him or us. It was just different than I'd hoped.

Oh well. They weren't being purposely mean. But sometimes it was harder than others to smile while they preached at me.

I also battle my tendency to compare my progress to that of other writers, a habit that can lead to writing paralysis. Some lessons, I find, must be relearned again and again—at least for me.

Man, I do this sometimes. You're right; not healthy and a prescription for stalling out.

Bosun said...

I remember right after I had kiddo, people immediately started asking when we would have another, as if I was to be some kind of baby factory. As you said, I just wanted to get out of the diapers before even thinking about another one.

I do remember the day his mom asked if I was going to have another one and without hesitation I said, "Not with him."

She didn't even blink. She knew the situation as well as I did. For most of my 30s, I really wanted another one, but then I hit an age and did the math and decided one is perfect. LOL! I'll be 45 when she goes off to college. And then it's all about me. LOL!

Marnee said...

I was just at a party this past weekend and a few older women were giving a girl a little younger than me a hard time about how long she and her husband wanted to wait between kids. Four years, she said. And everyone had an opinion. Too short, too long, etc. I stepped in and said that there's no right way to do it and that she'd know how it fits her best.

The older women shut up and didn't look real pleased with me. But what I said was nicer than what I wanted to say which was unless they wanted a real hand in the raising of her kids, then they should just shut their meddling mouths.

I felt bad for her, all having to defend her reproductive choices to a roomful of people.

Bosun said...

That might be generational. I've never gotten into that "what's best" convo with a woman my own age or younger. The "what's best for us" yes, but not the be-all-end-all what's best thing.

Though my mom often says she had her kids young so she could enjoy them. She was 22 with my sister and 25 when she had me. Then she had my brother when she was 32 - he was a bit of an oops. Ten years later, the BIG oops came when she had Cody at age 42.

Ha! What's that about man planning and God laughing? LOL!

Marnee said...

Wow. 42, huh? I can't imagine doing what I'm doing now in my early forties. Bless her. LOL!

And I think you might be right about the generational thing. But just because you've carried an AARP card for a decade or so doesn't give you the right to be an asshole.

Irisheyes said...

And I think you might be right about the generational thing. But just because you’ve carried an AARP card for a decade or so doesn’t give you the right to be an asshole.

Okay, that definitely needs to be made into a t-shirt! LOL

I love the "not with him" comment, Ter. Classic.

I always loved the old guys that would offer to "get the job done", as it were, if the DH wasn't up to it! Ewwwwwwww! Those were some fun parties!

2nd Chance said...

HA! You mean that? AARP doesn't stand for arrogant asshole a required point?

Hee, hee. I don't know how we managed to never have that idiot run in with the major a-wipes...since I chose to have zero children!

Marn...Morning pages came from Julie Camerons and the Writers way. You get up and the first thing you do is sit and write three pages, longhand...whatever pops up in your mind. Lists, dreams, gripes...anything. And you don't edit and you don't reread. You just let it pour out. First thing!

I know, with two little boys I imagine this would be a real trick to accomplish, but that's how you're supposed to do it. I found my first book while writing morning pages when two characters just popped out and started coming out on the pages.

If you can't do it in the morning, do it whenever you can... Mine usually started about an hour after I was up and about...

It's a very good book to check out...all about freeing creativity.

Marnee said...

I'll have to check that out, it sounds like a lot of fun. :) The book sounds great, though I think I need to have a little more free time to free up my creativity. LOL!!

Right now I'm like Virginia Wolfe, begging for a room of my own. LOL!!

Irish - ewww about the old guys with their skeevy eyebrow wiggling comments. I just totally got nauseous.

Bosun said...

I'm not sure how'd I'd feel about random old men offering to empregnate me. LOL! But I know it wouldn't be good. ICK!

Bosun said...

Marn - My little brother had a completely different childhood than my sister and I. As you might guess, it was more like having older roommates. My parents were never strict, but Cody had NO parenting at all. And he's never lived with me or my sister, we were both out of the house before he was born.

In fact, my parents have aged more in the last 20 years than the did in the 40 before. LOL! It's all Cody's fault.

2nd Chance said...

Oh, Irish...that is just disgusting! I have nothing against old men, but old men for old women... Geez!

Marn - It's a good book with all sorts of angles to use, seeking to awaken the artist within. And actually, I think that is the name... The ARTIST Within... Since I write, I think of is as a writing tool...


Irisheyes said...

Sorry about the food restriction, Ter. That is just not fun! I'm coming to feel as if food=enemy lately. No matter what your health issue is they seem to track it back to what you're eating and that you need to stop it!

My sister is vegan and probably the healthiest person I know food wise (she's got a ways to go in the stress management department, so at least I can throw that in her face. LOL) She showed up last night with a bag full of green grass stuff for me to try - calls it superfoods and tells me if I eat a tablespoon a day it will give me all the nutrients I need. To which my son replied - yeah, looks like she could go graze in the yard and get the same stuff!

I think within the next 50 years we're gonna be eating pills for breakfast, lunch and dinner like the Jetsons! Which would suit me fine cause I hate to cook! I just hope I'm still around for it.

Hellion said...

Hey, hey, hey. My parents were 45 and 53 when I was born, and I did not age them more in my 20 years than my two other siblings did in their 25 with them. For one, of the siblings, I'm the kid who graduated with honors and went onto college, I didn't have any wedlock children or marry the first idiot who'd have me--though a few idiots did suggest they wanted to. Is Dad more gray and bald than when I was born? Yes, but he's 89.

Though I do agree that the parents that raised Eldon and Marsha were different than when I showed up. You know how you spoil grandkids and let them do stuff you'd never let your kids do? I was mostly in that realm. It drove Marsha nuts. Of course, there was lots of stuff I wasn't allowed, but my sister felt bad for me and made sure I had more of a childhood than she did. So it was like having 3 parents. *LOL* 1 young one, 2 grandparent like ones.

Of course, I was always boy crazy. I think the parents were nervous wrecks I would marry the first idiot I found--like my sister did, and he'd be thrice divorced, like my brother's wife was, and that I'd end up broke and back at home like both my siblings are. The other two didn't seem boy/girl-crazy and look how poorly it turned out. Imagine how much dumber the boy-crazy one would pick? *LOL*

Of course, now the worry is reversed: "She's NEVER going to marry, never mind reproduce." *shrugs*

You know, Marn brought up that thing about how modern society is constantly obsessed about if a woman has children or not and the judgments of when and how we do it, if we do it at all. And if you can't have kids, the silent stigma that there's something wrong with you--here we are a MODERN society, and yet that judgment about women is just as prevalent now as it was 100, 200, or 3000 years ago. If you can't have kids, you're not a woman.

Hellion said...

I think within the next 50 years we’re gonna be eating pills for breakfast, lunch and dinner like the Jetsons! Which would suit me fine cause I hate to cook! I just hope I’m still around for it.

This would depress me since I love both food and cooking.

2nd Chance said...

Irish, as long as the pills taste like chocolate, seems fine with me!

Hels - Don't you use the Artist's Way, too?

2nd Chance said...

I think within the next 50 years we’re gonna be eating pills for breakfast, lunch and dinner like the Jetsons! Which would suit me fine cause I hate to cook! I just hope I’m still around for it.

I just heard the voice of Charleston Heston... "Soylent Green is People!"

Though I'd still go for it if it tasted like chocolate!

And anyone going to get that quote?

Hellion said...

The soylent green bit--I only get that as a SNL reference, very vaguely. Otherwise, no.

I think so. Let me google.

Hellion said...

Ooooh, I've been looking at this woman's books lately, thinking about getting a couple of them. But I don't have any yet. The latest writer's book I got was Writing Begins With the Breath: Which is about as granola crunchy as the Artist's Way, I think but somewhat different.

Morning pages are a pretty common exercise, like a writer's version of a cup of coffee to wake up the brain, get out the junk and fog of worry and crap, and get the day focused around writing, rather than putting it off. Which is usually why it's better to do the pages in the morning than late at night. You can do either, but it's usually better to do the pages while you're still fresh enough to accomplish things rather than ready to go to bed.

Irisheyes said...

I just heard the voice of Charleston Heston… “Soylent Green is People!”

LOL I got it, Chance!! My DH says that all the time in a really creepy voice.

Bosun said...

Sorry, I don't get it. But then I tuned Heston out a very long time ago. Nutjob.

Bosun said...

I'm not sure it's if you "can't" have kids so much as if you "don't" have kids. I'm pretty sure my sister (and you) are physically capable. But my sister is 42 and dealt with her share of idiots on this topic. In fact, she's pretty touchy about it, and rightly so.

At a family wedding just last month, one of our cousins (female), who is a total and complete waste of human mass, asked my brother if my sister was gay. Simply because she's never been married. My brother told her to shut the fuck up and walked away. Which I was kind of proud of, even though I wasn't there to see it.

Hellion said...

At a family wedding just last month, one of our cousins (female), who is a total and complete waste of human mass, asked my brother if my sister was gay. Simply because she’s never been married.

When I watch Bridget Jones' Diary, I love that AWFUL dinner scene with the smug married couples and they're grilling her about why she's not married. It's SOOOOOO true. *LOL*

Yeah, pretty sure a lot of my family thinks that about me. *LOL*

Hellion said...

It's a B-movie horror flick, I think. I just remember Phil Hartman acting the part of Charlton Heston.

Hellion said...

I have to say reading that summary of that movie, I never want to watch it. It's too damned disturbing. And I never want to go to eating green pills for food. Nasty.

Bosun said...

Wow. I'll pass.

2nd Chance said...

Okay...the line was such a shock back in the day! The whole environmental disaster, food riots...saved by the government program of giving out soylent green...

It seems like some people will just bitch at you no matter what.

Have children? How could you do that to the environment?

Don't have children? God, you're selfish.

Have one kid? How can you do that to that child, they'll be so spoiled/lonely.

Have two kids? How could you do that to the environment?

Adopt? It just isn't the same.

Do it yourself? Don't you know how many children are out there needing a family?

People just like to know it all, not matter what!

I'd never heard of morning pages until Julie Cameron. So, I guess I'll have to look for that granola book, Hel! ;-)

Marnee said...

Sorry, it took me until now to get back. Ahh... real life....

Hells - I think my biggest problem culturally is that society seems to look at the woman like she somehow has something to do with her fertility. Like maybe I crossed a black cat's path more than my alloted amount of times and therefore, POOF, my reproductive capabilities expired.

And seriously, people say dumb shit. I had someone say that maybe my husband and I are incompatible on a cellular level. And another person said that maybe I didn't REALLY love my husband and my body knows that.

Um, huh? I'm pretty sure that my ovaries know little about my relationship with my husband. Last I knew, they were incapable of independent thought. But, hey, maybe I'm wrong.

Then I think that those people shouldn't be ALLOWED to reproduce. I'm fairly certain that our world will be fine without adding brain power like that to the gene pool. *eye roll*

Done with rant.

I think the whole have to be married, have to have kids, have to have so many kids, have to raise them to do certain things, I think it's all annoying. I think it gives people excuses to be judgmental and feel better about themselves. Bleh.

No Jetson's food for me. I like my glutton tendencies, thankyouverymuch.

Hellion said...

And seriously, people say dumb shit. I had someone say that maybe my husband and I are incompatible on a cellular level. And another person said that maybe I didn’t REALLY love my husband and my body knows that.

I would say this is unbelievable; however, being I've firsthand heard some incredibly stupid shit said at a funeral, I am quite sure people are just as capable of saying dumb shit in equally painful situations in which you just don't know what to say but you don't have the good sense to just not fucking say anything.

I've heard the "not compatible on a cellular level" though--they've played that up in a couple movies where there were fertility issues (i.e. Baby Mama), where she had a HOSTILE uterus and stuff like that. I think stress contributes. Clearly the ones who get pregnant passing in the hallway aren't worried about getting pregnant--aren't even thinking about it. Those who are trying are stressed to make it happen; and even more so when it doesn't come remotely easy. I think stress contributes to the majority of the things that are wrong to us health-wise. It's difficult to avoid.

But I don't want to downplay what you went through or try to figure it out. It sucked, but in the end, you've got two adorable wonderful boys. And who knows what the future will hold?

I guess people want a reason WHY something happens, something logical, explainable. And lots of things in the universe aren't explainable. Or predictable. Sure, we know lots of stuff about conception and reproduction et al--but it's still Magical. Miracles still happen all the time that cannot be explained.