Well, after a rough start earlier today (right after I signed up, I had a sudden bout of stage fright – or writer’s block, would be more accurate) I finally poured out my story in my first blog … then accidentally deleted it.
I feel like I should have some deep or profound reason for starting a blog. But really, it’s for completely narcissistic reasons. I’ve found that most of life’s big milestones – graduation, starting a career, finding and losing love, getting married – are already growing fuzzy. And my wedding day was just 3 1/2 years ago. So, since the memory is apparently going, I decided I’d like to write some thoughts as dear hubby and I go boldly into another of life’s monumental milestones – attempting to start a family.
Most of my childhood was spent overseas where my folks were Baptist missionaries in Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines. In high school I went to Faith Academy (boarding school) in Manila. My brother Chris and his best bud Mark, who are 4 1/2 years younger than I am, spent their days in shorts on the beach. I swear they didn’t wear shirts or shoes ’til they hit high school. Our childhood totally rocked.
In ’89 I came back to Texas on my own to go to college at Hardin-Simmons University, where I finished a degree in biology and medical technology. During my last year in college my folks retired from missions to Austin, Texas with Chris and Mark. From the first time I came to visit them I fell in love with Austin and moved here as quickly as I could, and I’ve been here ever since. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one place.
Mom and Dad now live in Gatesville, Texas, about an hour and a half north of Austin. Dad pastors a Baptist church there.
Chris and Mark are both DPS officers, both here in Austin. Mark is married with three kids, a boy and twins – a boy and a girl. Chris is divorced and has two boys, Cayle (5) and Andon (2). He’s engaged to Joanne, and they’re getting married on Mother’s Day (May 9th). I’m in the wedding. It’ll be my sixth bridesmaid’s dress.
My dear hubby Troy was born and raised just outside Dallas, Texas, where his mom still lives. His dad passed away when he was a teenager, and she just remarried around the time we met. I met Troy when we were both 32, and I have to admit, my first impression of him was that he’d be an amazing friend, but was definitely not relationship material. He was divorced and had gone back to school, and he seemed happy to be just drifting through academia. But he seemed to adore me and although I kept our relationship casual, he never gave up. He just kept hanging around, and at some point, he made me feel like the most beautiful and amazing woman in the world, and won me over.
I keep telling him that if he’d just found me sooner, he’d have found the hotter, thinner me. Dad married us when we were 34, and today he’s 38 and I’m 37. In a couple of months I’ll catch up to him, but ’til then, I get to tease him about bein’ an old man. When we first married, it was a huge adjustment for me. Troy was the only guy I’d ever lived with. I was used to being on my own, taking care of myself. It was hard to learn to share my space and my things and my time. It was even harder to learn to let go, to allow Troy to be in control. When I was finally able to let him be in charge, he suddenly blossomed into the man I had wanted him to be. He grew up. I’m so proud of the man he’s become.
When I was in my 20’s, I couldn’t wait to meet “The One” and start having babies. In my mid-20’s to early 30’s, I just seemed to lose interest in babies. Singlehood was enough of a struggle. There were some really fun times, and some times when I struggled with being alone. By the time Troy and I got married, we were both iffy about starting a family. We talked about remaining childless and taking exotic trips abroad and going back to school and buying fun things. I felt really satisfied just being with Troy.
But more recently, we’ve started to re-think that position. For me, it has to do with how I feel about my husband. Somewhere along the way I shifted from being in love with Troy, to being bonded to Troy. Maybe it’s a new level of commitment, or a maturing of emotion in me. In any case, I’ve found a new longing to blend us together on a whole new genetic level. If anything ever happened to either of us, we’d have a part of each other. Selfish, I think. But I’m suspecting there’s a freedom from selfishness that I’ll learn when I experience motherhood.
So now, in our late 30’s, we find ourselves taking steps to start a family. I figured to be ready for pregnancy, I should set up some dr. visits. I managed to get them all in one day so I only had to take one day off from work. The first doc, my dermatologist, declared me free of any scary moles but displaying quite a lot of skin damage (childhood on the equator, anyone?). Next my GP declared me overweight with borderline high blood pressure. Finally my GynOnc announced that due to my advanced age, if I wanted to concieve we’d better take immediate and aggresive measures. There’s nothing like being declared by – not just one but three – health care professionals to be a weathered, obese, hypertensive, dried-up crone to make a gal feel old.
The deck does seem stacked against us, especially with my age and weight and having always had irregular periods. So to jump-start procreation, I just finished my first round of Clomid. To my absolute dread, I started having intense hot flashes about 3 days ago. I thought it was early menopause, for sure. Turns out, it’s a fairly common side effect of Clomid. I’ve also been a bit of an insomniac this week. Don’t know if that’s related or if it’s the Crystal Light I had at 4pm. Did you know they put caffeine in Crystal Light?! I’ve also had a tightness in my lower abdomen – not cramps, just tightness. On Friday I start the ovulation predictor kit, and then we make like bunnies for a few days. I tried to explain the whole process to Troy – pills, temperatures, timing – but by the time I got to cervical mucus he just gave me a horrified look and declared his libido permanently disabled. He actually went off to watch TV and fell asleep. Mental note – conversations about cervical mucus = not getting lucky.
Although I do hope we can concieve, I already know I’ve it hit the jackpot. I love my life. I work in the lab for a cancer treatment center, and Troy works in commercial support for Time Warner (free cable, yay!). We just moved into a wonderful rental house in Cedar Park, a suburb just north of Austin. I really miss the carefree, bohemian, hippy free-love vibe of South Austin, but it was time to settle down, and Cedar Park is a wonderful place to raise a family. It’s nice to not have to commute so far. We have quite the zoo, consisting of : three Abyssinian cats, Lila (the princess), my parents’ two cats, Poppy (the love bug), and Orphan Annie (the shy, adorable one) and two French bulldogs, Dobby (sweet and obedient) and Dude Lebowski (not the brightest of the bunch by a long shot … more the comic relief). I drive a lime green ’78 VW bus that I adore. I never have road rage. It makes every day fun. I call it Bus Therapy. Austin being the Live Music Capital, I can catch amazing live music with my girlfriends any night of the week, or a great movie at the Alamo Drafthouse with Troy (two of my favorite pasttimes).
Life is good.