Friday, August 23, 2013

Ah, Freedom

As of today, I am now officially divorced!  One year of separation and 2 months and 20 days of paperwork and crap down, and I am now free!!

(And for the record, my ex and I are friends at this point and he's as happy as I am about it.  I hadn't texted him yet about it, so he called me to make sure I knew, and I told him I had been thinking of teasing him over text that he could go out this weekend and tell women he met that he was a single man.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Up, Up, and Away

The first time I watched Up, I wasn't infertile yet, or at least I didn't know I was infertile.  The ex and I had only been trying for about 4 months, and I still thought it would happen at any time.  So at that point, the infertility in the storyline didn't affect me any more than any other part.  Still, a friend that saw the movie with me and I came out of seeing it with the reaction of, "that is SO NOT a kid's movie!!"  Even without being infertile, the beginning of the movie basically says, "Hey, kids, you're never going to reach your life's dreams, even if you try to save up for them, because no matter how hard you try, life is going to kick you in the ass and take everything from you, and if you finally manage to reach that dream, you'll either be the one to die when it's about to happen or the one left alone to watch what you have left destroyed.  But hey, there's a talking dog!" (Bear adds, "Oh, yeah, and if you're a Scout, you should harass the old grumpy people when you go door to door.")

I tried to watch it again tonight, since there wasn't anything else good on and I wanted to record it for the kids.  When they do finally watch the recording, I'll be somewhere else when the beginning plays, because I don't ever want to see that beginning again.

On the other hand, I love Bear for asking if I wanted to turn the movie off (which I did after the funeral scene) and for holding my hand while I was watching it and for offering to put it on for the kids sometime when I'm not home.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

ICLW Intro

Hey, guys, nice to meet you!  I may have seen some of you before at my other blog, but I started a new one so that I had a place where I could talk openly, where my real life friends can't see it and talk.  I've left messages for a couple of y'all, because I want to still be connected to the bloggers I knew before.  I'm not trying to hide from the ALI community!  I just need a place where I can talk about TTC and not yet being a stepmom.

I guess the biggest descriptor for me and for my circumstances at this point is not having a neat box to fit into.  I'm not divorced yet (checking the mail and the court website every day waiting for the final decree to be processed).  I'm not a stepmom yet, I'm "Daddy's girlfriend," and as much as my boyfriend Bear tries to tell me that I am something real to them, I feel like I'm not because I have no real status.  It'll make a big difference when we get married, but we're not yet.  I'm not a wife.  I'm not even a fiancee yet, even though Bear and I are wanting to get married before the end of the year.  I'm not a mother. 

But I don't even know if I'm an infertile now, I don't fit into a neat ALI box either.  When I was with my ex, we had unexplained IF.  So I don't know if it's my fault.  I don't know if I'm infertile without him.  Bear and I have just started TTC last month, because we don't want to wait any more.  We both want a child, and we don't want to spend months not trying for what we want so badly. 

But whether I'm a "real" infertile or not, I have the feelings of being one.  I have the heart that is still broken in a million pieces.  Those pieces heal some when Bear's children follow me around or tell me they want me there or say "I love you both" at bedtime.  But those pieces also show how jagged they still are, slicing me six ways to Sunday when I see a baby or when one of my friends announces her pregnancy or even when Bear talks about when his kids were babies, because I doubt I'll ever hear him talking about our child that way or see him doing the things with our child that he did with the two he has already.

So I don't know where I fit in.  The only blogger I knew who was a step-parent has stopped writing.  Two of my close real life friends with IF, one of whom I've been friends with since the cradle, left their husbands and now are pregnant or have a baby with someone new, both unexpectedly.  The one I've been friends with forever has been a step-parent while infertile, but I don't want to burden her with my feelings while she's newly pregnant and excited and scared.  The other one will be a step-parent once she marries her baby's father, but she won't have ever been a "Daddy's girlfriend" or stepmom without a baby of her own, since she got pregnant right away.  But I don't, can't, think that will ever be me.  That kind of thing only happens to other people.

So yeah, I need to be able to talk.  And I want to be able to talk TO someone, not just out into the ether where no one's there.   So welcome!  Come have a cupcake or a biscuit or whatever I've been baking lately, and we;ll chat.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Pull Between Hope and Despair

My cousin posted this article about the increase in the rate of midwife-assisted births, and Bear and I talked about it.  Bear's children were born at a hospital in the area that is known as a baby factory and is proud of it.  I wouldn't want that if I was ever able to conceive, I do NOT want a place that is likely to rush me to induction or to c-section if I'm progressing slowly.  But I found myself feeling very vehement about that.  And I don't know why.  It's not like it's likely to ever matter.

Bear thinks it will matter.  Bear has also been researching IVF and talking to HR about how we might be able to work a flex spending account and the end of a year to cover half of the cost of a cycle.  My mom thinks it will matter, and my other cousin.  But I'm too scared to think that way.  I know there's a decent chance that I wasn't the problem, and that Bear and I will be able to conceive, or that I was the problem but that we'll be able to conceive with treatments.  But I remember having hope, and I remember how much it hurt to have that hope shattered, to have my heart and soul shattered.  When it comes to love and being treated like a real person who is worthy of respect, my heart and soul have not just healed, but become more full than they ever were before things started going wrong in my marriage.  But the infertility part of my heart is still broken in jagged shards that hurt when I try to move and grow.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What the hell has being a woman ever given me?  Nothing but a decade and a half of monthly pain, sometimes so bad I can't move.  Whoop de frickin do.

So yeah.  That's me today.  And I'm sitting on my couch stress-eating Samoas.  So sue me.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Does catching everything that can be taken the wrong way in Doc McStuffins count as parenting WIN or parenting FAIL?  Because Bear and I were trying hard to keep from snickering at the toy talking about squirting.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The L-Word

She said it.

The younger one, the one who was always more tentative about me in this role than the older one, said the L-word tonight.

When we put them to bed, Bear and the kids always say "I love you" to each other.  Tonight, the younger one specifically said, "I love you both."  Through my shock, Bear and I together said, "We love you too."  There was a little more talking, and then again the younger one said, "I love you both" and we said it back.

We came out into the living room, and Bear held me while I teared up.

Bear and I were watching Family Feud on Friday night, and one of the questions in Fast Money was, "On a scale from 1 to 10, how satisfying would you say it is being a parent?"  Bear looked at me, on our first night with the kids since moving in together, and asked me how I would rate being a parent.  I looked at him, a little startled, and he amended it to step-parent.  I've still been feeling like I don't count as anything to the kids, because I'm not their parent, and I'm not even their step-parent, I'm just Daddy's Girlfriend.

But now I don't feel like I'm nothing anymore.

She loves me.  She really loves me.

Friday, August 2, 2013


I moved in with Bear last weekend.

The kids are still trying to figure out what to make of it.  They were with their mother all week until tonight.  They were originally supposed to come home Wednesday night, but things changed and they came home tonight, which worked out well because it gave Bear and me two more days to work on unpacking what we could to make the apartment more liveable at least in the rest of the apartment outside of our bedroom.  The kids aren't thrilled with there still being a ton of boxes in there, but we had to focus our efforts, there just wasn't time to do it all before they got home, even with two extra days.

Before I gave notice at my old apartment, Bear talked to the kids to see what they thought about the idea of be moving in.  They were both for it, though one definitely more tentative in her agreement.  We didn't talk about it a whole lot with them during the intervening month, and it became clear last Friday that it hadn't fully sunk in.  They were asking for me to be over each night, and they were concerned that a potential part-time job for me would take time away from me being with them, but they didn't understand that furniture and things would move, and all of a sudden they were waffling.  When it's a little late because I have less than a week to be out of my apartment.  And then the day I gave my keys back, the day my divorce hearing was finally held (I did not go back home for it, since it was uncontested and I didn't need to spend the money or time on the trip), the day they were originally supposed to get home, their mother was saying they did not want me to move in.

We had already been stretching ourselves damn thin, staying up till 3 and 4 in the morning unpacking to make it nice and organized for when the kids got home, but after that I was starting to panic.  Well, ok, not starting.  I had already been panicking about getting things unpacked and organized enough that the apartment would be appealing again.  But then I was also panicking about what if this didn't work out with them.  It's done already.  I've given the keys back, I can't back out now.  But what if the kids resented me being there.  What if the kids hated everything I brought in.  What if they wanted me to leave.  What if they don't want me to marry their dad when the time comes.  What if, what if, what if.  We had made the decision to move me in based on their needs, but the things we were looking at aren't necessarily the same factors that the kids care about at their age.

Tonight, they weren't happy initially as they were coming home, but as Bear talked about some of the things I had brought in, the one who was more into the idea of me moving warmed up some.  When they hit the door, though, they swapped, and the one who was more tentative became excited about the new things she saw while the other one became sullen.  He was up and down through the evening, but after we put them to bed, he came out and wanted to talk to his dad alone, so I went to the bedroom to read.

When they came in to tell me they were done, he seemed to be in a better mood.  Bear told me after putting him back to bed that, among other things, he understands that I care about them (although I love them dearly, neither of us is going to use the L-word to describe it until they do) and that Bear trusts me with them.  One of the things he is most concerned about is the boxes in the bedroom and it seeming crowded and cluttered, which he is way too used to from his other home.  So hopefully as he sees that disappear quickly, that'll help.

I hope so.  I do love them, and I want them to be happy with me here.

But for now, I'm stress eating and taking sips from Bear's wine glass.