Spare us the ETAs

I couldn't possibly create an ETA #4 for the previous post, because that would just be in bad taste not to mention very poor blogging etiquette.

I'm still harping on about the holiday card exchange, lest you think you're getting off easy. You know how sometimes you look at your stats and compare them to your comment tally and wonder why people are reading but not talking? Now I know there are people reading this, but only a handful (9 not counting myself) actually want to participate in the card exchange. To each their own and all that, but I just wanted to ensure that people aren't opting out for the wrong reasons.

If anyone is on the fence, please feel free to email me and I'll tell you who has signed up so far. They are bloggers you know, and they are safe, I promise. You can even visit their blogs to see that they are (reasonably) sane people. After that, I'll give you a lollipop and we can hug it out. C'mon, you know you want cards from around the world and the opportunity to hug it out with me.

Guess what? In a post entitled "Spare us the ETAs" I am going to do an ETA anyway. Bite me.

ETA: Someone just gave me a good idea regarding this card thing which had not occurred to me. Some people may be interested in participating but not want to surrender her personal details, which is perfectly understandable. If said person would like to send cards, just not receive, that is fine too! Just make sure you mention that fact in an email to me and I will make a note, then send the spreadsheet to you on the 7th along with the others doing an actual exchange.

Now, if perhaps I could just remember everything from the off so I don't have to utilise ETA...


The Power of Blog

With the passing of four months since the birth of P., as well as the one year anniversary of the retrieval/transfer of the embryo Enid/Betrand that evolved into P., I've been thinking a lot about the purpose of this blog. No, I will not be ruminating further on what sort of blog this is or whether I will continue blogging up to P.'s 40th birthday, as I know such posts have tested the devotion of even the most ardent BarrenAlbion reader. I'm such a drama queen.

Rather, I wonder where this blog stands in connection with my daughter. This blog will be two years old at the end of next month, and as I approach that landmark and that of the 200th post, I have been considering whether I will let P. read it when she's old enough. I am not speaking in the context of having the blog at that stage, but I would like to preserve my writing and the subsequent comments so she can see what my experience was like.

I remember rooting through my Mom's bedside table when I was 12 and stumbling across some of her childhood diaries. I took one at a time and retreated to my bedroom to devour the surely daring and adventurous tales of my Mom's youth. I was looking for "I made out furiously with Robert McNamara after stealing some Lucky Strikes from the General Store" (my Mom grew up in town with 10 people and a goat or some such). Instead, I got "I went to the fair today, rode the ferris wheel and won a stuffed rabbit. It was fun." Yawn.

This is not to say that P. would fare any better with my teenage diaries. I started a diary when I was 10, writing enticing entries about what I did on weekends and snow days (days off from school because of heavy snowfall for those who did not grow up in such climes). I occasionally got bitchy about people, going so far as to say about a friend of my best friend, "She's probably a child molester." I had no idea what it meant, but I guess I thought it sounded nasty. It's not exactly the most scathing insult you can give to an 11 year old. Hey, she bought my best friend a best friend necklace, which was essentially a declaration of war to this 10 year old. Additionally, all my entries at the time were signed, "Confidentially, Miranda", despite that not being my name.

At around 12 my musings mainly centred around being depressed, and my insistence the end of the world was nigh. The age of thirteen brought sunshine and light in the form of an obsession with a boy in my class, a crush which lasted the duration of my junior and high school years. Most of my diary entries were about him, and I'd rather like to forget the list I started in 10th grade which noted what said boy was wearing every day. Things got rather heated in the diary when Hot Boy started going out with Beak Girl, a tall, snobby blonde with a nose one could trip over. Unfortunately for my teenage self, Hot Boy was with Beak Girl for the rest of our time in school.

Post-high school ramblings were mainly about getting fat courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood endocrinological condition PCOS. I had to adapt to being no heavier than 110 lbs, to being considerably more. Once I met The Dude, my self-loathing extended to fertility issues as well. Five or six years of writing like that and I decided to share it with the world. A logical progression, no?

The parent-child dynamic leads most kids to only see their parents as the adults they know now. I know that prior to the covert reading of my Mom's diaries, she had no childhood or teenage years in my eyes. As far as I was concerned, she was born 42 years old with a bad perm. I want P. to have a strong sense of who I was before she knew me. Given all the naughty language and talk of sex and the onetime mention of The Dude as Ol' Wax Cock, she may have to wait a long while, but I do want her to read this eventually. Since I'll probably be playing Bingo and dusting off my Hummel figurines whilst watching my stories by the time she's old enough to read this, it will be refreshing for her to see that once upon a time her mother said things like "fuckwit".

On to a different subject entirely. Reading DD's post today gave me an idea. DD asked if anyone would like to exchange Holiday cards with her, and I thought it would be lovely if we could get a blogger card exchange thing going. A rather large scale, organised arrangement whereby bloggers can send and receive holiday cards from all over the place. I bounced this idea off The Dude, who thought it was hokey and cheesy as hell, but fuck him, he's a man and they are just like that.

So is this a feasible thing? My thoughts are that any interested parties can email me their name, postal address and blog address by a certain deadline and I will create a spreadsheet with all the info and email it back to all of those who emailed me. If a large number of people respond, I'll look to create groupings so that people don't feel obligated to send dozens of cards all over the world. My only suggestion would be that cards don't feature photos of kids or pregnant stomachs. All of us are at very different stages and I would hate for a fun and interesting gesture like this to turn into something negative.

Note that the operative word is "holiday", so this is certainly not centred around those who celebrate Christmas. If anyone thinks this is a good idea, please feel free to mention it on your own blogs, directing readers to my email address which can be found in my profile over there to your right.

Even if only 5 people are interested I will carry on because momma likes her some mail. I actually run downstairs every day to check the post, even if it only yields yet another offer for a loan with a low interest rate. A card from an actual real live person might push me over the edge of excitement, so watch out world.

ETA: For those rightly concerned with privacy, I do plan on ensuring everything is legit. I am only including fellow bloggers (sorry to the non-bloggers out there), and if I have any doubts I'll be sure to give the relevant persons a very intense interrogation involving small bits of wood, the offender's fingernails, and a very bright light. I understand if some of you are a bit paranoid, but the ladies who have signed up so far do not have criminal records, though some of them might be slightly eccentric.
ETA #2: I've set the deadline - Wednesday, 6 December. I plan on compiling the information as I go along, and I intend to send the spreadsheet out next Thursday. As the cards will be going to various points around the globe (so far Australia and of course UK), I want to ensure we allow enough time for them to get where they need to be.
ETA #3 (aka not very good at remembering to include shit): It has been suggested to me that perhaps we allow the sending of kid/belly photos if the recipient so chooses. In the email that you send me with your address and blog address, please let me know if you would or would not want to receive such photos. Feel free to say no, it's fine!


Self love

No, not that kind. Perverts.

Here is yet another meme. I can't help myself. Well, I suppose I can, but I'm in the midst of a subject draught at the moment so you're just going to have to suffer. I'm not in the manner of tagging people because I'm ignoring some, and I'm afraid that if I do tag some people and they never do it, that is an admission that they don't read me. My stats are wallowing in suck at the moment, so I don't think I can tolerate knowing for a fact that certain people have given up on me. I guess this is what happens when you do self-absorbed posts about what kind of blogger you are, like anyone but you give a shit.

Before I start my 8000th meme this year, here's another tangent. My use of "this is what happens when..." reminds me of something. The line "This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass" is uttered in one of my favourite movies, The Big Lebowski. I saw someone on TV the other day saying that they watched an edited network version of the movie (what's the point?) recently and the line was changed to "This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps." Quite similar to the original then. That is up there with the edited version of some Die Hard movie that was on TNT way back in the day. "Stupid motherfucker" became "Stupid melon farmer". Do the censors do this to be humorous? Can any of you contribute with what you may have heard in edited films?

Anyway, onto the meme. Since I'm not tagging, I welcome anyone to do to it if they are so inclined. Molly can do it on her toiletPod. I lifted this from Julia over at Major Bedhead. Blame her for my obsession with myself this time.

If your life were a soundtrack, what would the music be?

Here's how it works: Open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod). Put it on shuffle. Press play. For every question, type the song that's playing. New question - press the next button. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool !

Opening Credits: Sleep to Dream - Fiona Apple. Uh, I guess that would be better for the next question...

Waking Up: Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me - The Smiths. As it happens, another sleep theme! Go ZenMicro!

First Day of School: All These Things That I've Done - The Killers

Falling in Love: I Want the One I Can't Have - The Smiths. Weird. I didn't try that one either, and guess what - my first big crush (about 5 years duration) was on someone that had no interest in me whatsoever.

Breaking Up: Like a Friend - Pulp. Ok, now this is just eerie.

School formal: Christianssands - Tricky. Uh, my number one sex song, so no, no school formal there.

Life's Okay: Eskimo - Damien Rice

Mental Breakdown: I'm Alright Now - Johnny Cash. Again, creepy.

Why Can't We Be Friends: Discover - Tim Booth

Movin' Out: Pure Morning - Placebo

Getting Back Together: I Could Be Dreaming - Belle & Sebastian

Wedding: Just Like Heaven - The Cure. Heh.

Birth of a Child: Fell in Love with a Girl - White Stripes. It's official. My Zen has an evil eye.

Final Battle: Naughty Girl - Beyonce. Only I would have a Beyonce song as representative of my "Final battle"

Death Scene: What Can I Do? - Antony & the Johnsons

Funeral Song: KKK-Mart - Margaret Cho. Not so much a song, but a bit from Cho's stand-up about the KKK. Now that's the tone you want to set at a funeral.

End Credits: Drive On - Johnny Cash. Drive on indeed...

Now I'm off to take apart my Zen to see if it has a little being in it controlling its machinations.


Era of the Undefinable

First of all, enormous thank-yous to all who commented and sent emails regarding my last post. It means so much to me that there are other people out there that understand the agony that can be the first few months of your child's life. For those not fortunate to have gone through it themselves for whatever reason, I'm so pleased that you took the time to comment even if you didn't feel as if you could contribute with your own experiences. Just knowing that people care enough to say something is very moving. During the particularly rough times I was finding it difficult to get through each day, so each word gave me brief respite. Thank you so, so much.

Now, an update. P.'s body has appeared to adjust to the Gaviscon. In a bold move, we have recently upped her dosage as well now that she has gained some weight. To say she has become a different baby is a massive understatement. I now consider my days spent with her to be enjoyable rather than an exercise in torture, so that's always good when talking about your child. I try not to think that all of this could have happened months ago, because there is no point lingering on what could have been. The fact is that she's a happy baby now, and I'm a much more cheerful mother. Well, as cheerful as I'm capable of being anyway.

Moving on...today I came across a post at Jenn's regarding the nature of a blog once a baby (or babies as is the case with Jenn) is born. Pre-babies, Jenn wasn't keen on some blogs that had once been IF-centred but eventually descended into mommy blogs. I also felt that way before P was born, and I would often avoid new mommy blogs because I found them cloying and completely unrelatable. In some cases I wondered how these women could leave infertility behind so easily. Jenn and I find ourselves in a similar predicament - now we are on the other side, so have we become the dreaded mommy bloggers?

I hesitate to group myself in with mommy bloggers because I feel as if most of the members of that set are not cynical, jaded and pessimistic like me and where is the fun in that? However, I also acknowledge that I am a mother now, so chances are I will blog about my kid. I would love to consider myself an IF blogger, but I wouldn't have much to talk about. I had enough trouble finding stuff to talk about when I was going through treatment, so I think I'd really struggle to discuss many IF things now. I hope that any kid-related tales I do tell occasionally reflect my background as someone who knows what it's like in the trenches, but I can't see myself relating everything I write from now on to infertility.

I suppose my post from a month or so ago about masquerading as a fertile person has not inspired confidence as far as me keeping it real. I would like to clarify that at no point have I forgotten what it's like to be infertile. I feel like that woman every day, that the kid I look after is not really mine, but rather just a trainer baby for that one day when I may have one of my own. The post was written to say that for that brief, fleeting period of time in which I hang out with moms who have from-sex-babies rather than Creations by WHYBAML-babies, I like to pretend my insides aren't fucked up. It's so nice to do that if only for an hour every couple of weeks.

So what is this blog? I don't know. Maybe this is my opportunity to expand on other topics that this blog could include. I am an American expat living in the UK, and as of tomorrow, I will be an American expat living in the UK who has applied for residency status in Canada. I never really talk about my expat experience, because I know you usually come here for the swearing and stay for the infertility. As my infertility connection is only in retrospect at this point, maybe I should mix up the kid stuff with expat things every once in awhile. :::cue people exiting blog stage right:::

I like to think that even if I am classified as a mommy blog by some, it's from a perspective that is unique - that of a recovering infertile who refuses to elevate motherhood to a position of deification. I'm still me, and do not want to be defined solely as "mommy"...or "mummy" as I am here in the UK. I am soooooo not that girl. A long time ago in a blog post far, far away I wrote an entry entitled "So you reproduced successfully, what do you want, a fucking medal?". I stand by that statement now, so if you ever feel as if I'm crossing into that dangerous territory of mommyblogdom whereby I think the sun shines out of my childbirthing cooter, please, for the love of all that is holy, tell me to get off my pedestal.