26 February 2008

Can you hear the hissing sound?

I feel like all the air has been sucked out of my lungs. I also feel like the worst wife in the world. 

On our way home from work today Mr. JB told me that one his co-workers is pregnant with her second. She got married one month after us and she got pregnant three months later with her first baby. 

As soon as Mr. JB told me her news I lost it on him. As much as I adore his co-worker (she's so sweet and her husband is a soy farmer which I think is so cool), I just feel so absolutely jealous and sad. Mr. JB felt instantly horrible, but sometimes I don't think that he understands that I feel like an infertile loser. 

I suck. I know. But I'm human, right?

I just wish that my baby-envy wasn't choking me to death. 

24 February 2008

The Before JellyBelly

I find it hard to remember what my life was like before we started our TTC journey. Like so many I just took it for granted that I would get pregnant. I figured that we would follow the logical trajectory of boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy proposes to girl (which he had to do twice because I didn't quite believe him!), girl plans wedding (with boy hanging around to provide menial labour and to lift heavy things), boy and girl get married, boy and girl move into house then girl has a baby.  

Yeah, that baby thing....

Last night we saw one of our favourite bands, the Cowboy Junkies (if you've never heard of them you can check them out here). It was a great night. I've been a fan of the Junkies since I was a teenager but I didn't see them until Mr. JellyBelly and I were dating back in 2004. When I remember back to JellyBelly circa 2004 I pictured my life to be so different. I guess no self-respecting person would wish for two and half years of heartache, right?

I knew from very early into our relationship that Mr. JB was the one for me. I had just ended a long-term relationship and wasn't really looking into anything besides healing my life. We were fixed up by a common friend who had never really played matchmaker. He called me one night and we spoke for almost three hours! I tried every trick in the book to see if he was a psychopath or not -- I told him that I wasn't looking for a boyfriend, but I was in search for a husband. And that I also wanted four kids and I didn't want to leave the neighbourhood that I was living in. Well he bought it. Hook, line and sinker. He said that he was done with dating and he loved the area that I lived in. AND he also wanted to have tons of kids. We went on our first date three days later and we've been together ever since. 

I guess we looked at starting our family through rose-coloured glasses. After all we both come from HUGE Catholic families (his dad is one of ten, as is my crazy mother) that seem to pro-create on demand. I ignored the fact that my own parents had a hard time conceiving me (not that crazy mom talks about that) and that Mr. JB's mother had a hysterectomy when she was in her 30's. I looked around at all of the fertility around me: my best friend who got preggo on her first try, an old roomie that conceived on try two, our fruitful co-workers. The list seemed endless. After all, I was relatively healthy (yay colitis!) and I got my period every 28 days. What could go wrong? 

If I could go into a time-machine I would tell JellyBelly circa 2004 that she should be more realistic. I know that a big part of my frustration with my IF journey is the high expectation I placed on my fertility. I've always been task-oriented and I've achieved pretty much every goal that I've set out for myself (well, I failed at growing a couple more inches, but that was out of my control). I thought that my baby-making ability would just follow suit. 

I remember the night that we got engaged I planned it -- when I was going to get pregnant with baby number one (November 2005) and when I was going to get pregnant with baby number two (February 2007).  Babies three and four were in the master plan, but I didn't have an exact ETA for their arrival. 

So here I am, it's February 2008 and I have a fruitful blog, but no babies. I'd trade one for the other any day. I wouldn't even have to plan for it. 

21 February 2008

I'm it!!!!

I've been tagged twice so I'm thinking it's a sign that I better get cracking.... 

Thanks to Mrs. X  and My Reality for giving me an excuse to procrastinate!!! 

The rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules.
3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least three people.
5) Be sure the people you tagged KNOW you tagged them by commenting on what you did.

Alors voici....

1. I have to read the obits every morning with breakfast. I know that it's a morbid habit and I've tried to stop, but I can't. 

2. I lived in Paris, France in the tiniest apartment known to man.  The rent was ridiculous and I couldn't open my bathroom door when my sofa bed was open, but it was the one of the best experiences I've ever had. 

3. I have an addiction to lip products. At last count I have three types of lip balm, a lip gloss, two lip liners and two lip sticks in my purse right now. I also have emergency chapstick in my car, desk drawer at work, in the living room and in my yoga bag. I also go to Target to load up on medicated Chapstick because they stopped selling it in Canada. Whenever we cross at the border I'm afraid that they'll search our car and just find dozens of tubes of Chapstick. We'd get so arrested. 

4. I have an insane amount of Christmas decorations. Last summer when my husband was cleaning out the basement he found NINE boxes of Christmas stuff. I got rid of four boxes after being mocked openly, but I refuse to get rid of my snowman collection. 

5. I never remember movies. I am completely lost when people quote scenes. Even if I just saw the movie I can't recall what happened. I also can't remember jokes. 

5. I pretend to be really annoyed when Mr. JellyBelly watches the Young and the Restless, but secretly I'm just as addicted as he is!

6. I like to wake up before my alarm every morning so I feel like I win. But right after I wake up I hit snooze at least five times. 

So I'm tagging Io, and  Aurelia. I know I'm supposed to tag three people, but I could only find two on my frequently read list that weren't tagged yet. 

20 February 2008

Sometimes I really hate Facebook

I was just about to shut down the computer when I went to my Facebook page to see what was shaking. I saw the typical stuff. One buddy from high school posted some photos from way back. Another friend just added a photo album of her trip to the Dominican. I also wanted to see if one of my friends responded to my message from yesterday. And then I saw it. 

Teaching Nemesis' status update. 

She's entered her third trimester. What joy! She spent all of lunch today talking about buying maternity clothes and how she just didn't want to get any bigger. I struck up a conversation with the kindergarten teacher in an effort to tune her out. I almost succeeded, but her voice is just so loud! 

I don't begrudge her for being pregnant. It's absolutely wonderful that she is (and thank God that we're going to have some peace and quiet while she's on mat leave!). But all she talks about is being pregnant. Every conversation always leads back to her ever-expanding waistline. She also walks around rubbing her belly like Aladdin is going to emerge from her belly button and grant her a zillion wishes. 

And I do want to mention that I didn't like her before she was pregnant, I'm not being a petty infertile myrtle, I swear. 

I think I'm trying to convince myself and I don't know if it's working. 

Argh. Stupid Facebook. 

19 February 2008

Stir Crazy

I haven't gone outside since Saturday, which isn't necessarily a bad thing since the windchill is -20C. I also don't feel any better. Isn't that how being sick works? One catches something. One rests and takes various home/over the counter remedies. Then one starts to feel better. 

Alas, my body has a different plan. 

This is my first official sick day of this school year. I took numerous half days for visits to the evil fertility clinic and I took a mental health day last month, but this is the first time I've actually had to call in sick. I guess after almost ten years of working with kids that my immune system has prepared itself for battle. 

I used to feel so guilty when I had to stay home. My previous principal sent me home one day because I looked like death warmed over although I still felt like I could've stayed if I just didn't stand up. But today I feel absolutely not one iota of guilt. Perhaps it the state that this horrible flu bug has gotten me in? Or perhaps it's just the realization that I just can't fight with my body anymore. 

Surrender to illness is something I've had to deal with for a very long time.

As a child I was always ill. In retrospect it may have been a total over-reaction from my hypochodriac mother (who by the way is a health care professional!). I was born six weeks premature and thus had a myriad of health issues that brought us to Toronto's Sick Kids' Hospital on a regular basis. Not that JBCM will talk about why we went. I just remember being in kindergarten and thinking that it was perfectly normal that we were going to the hospital. Thirty years later I'm not thinking that it was. Thank God for all of the red lollipops and friendly doctors that made it seem fun! 

I also was one of the only kids in my class to have serious food allergies. I remember JBCM telling me, "Don't eat anything that the other kids give you." on the first day of school. I also remember my dad having an absolute coronary when my first grade teacher fed me ice cream that made me swell up like a balloon. Food allergies are commonplace in the 21st century school, but they weren't in the 80's. 

I was diagnosed with asthma at age eleven. I actually spent most of grade five at home because my doctor just couldn't get my medications right. We spent a great deal of time at the local ER with me attached to an oxygen mask. I'm really grateful that we finally found an allergist that medicated me properly. 

In my adulthood I've dealt with clinical depression -- what fun! And very early into my teaching career I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I spent the better part of two years on and off of steroids (I was nicely swollen for my wedding, how attractive) and because of my numerous allergies it took my gastroenterologist over a year to find a medication that didn't make me feel like throwing up or go the bathroom every ten minutes. 

So before I got on the unexplained infertility roller coaster I've had my fill of doctors. Not that I don't have the utmost respect for the majority of my doctors -- the team that has kept my dud of my body going for more than thirty years should get medals. I can imagine how difficult it was to deal with JBCM and her constant need to take me to the doctor whenever I sniffled or cleared my throat. 

I think it also explains why I am so hesitant about using the "conventional" infertility treatments. 

I realize that internal ultrasounds are quite different from a colonoscopy (different holes, the former not requiring the horrible bowel clean-out). I also realize that having a baby isn't absolutely necessary for my body's health. 

I've come to terms with the fact that I have to take medication to ensure that all of my internal organs function properly and that I will have to take these medications for the duration of my life. I've been taking meds for most of my life, so it's a routine like brushing my teeth or taking a shower. I've also come to a realization that I need to advocate for what my head and heart want, not just what some dude in a white coat is telling me. 

I admire anyone that has chosen to use ART, I just know that it isn't right for me. It isn't right for us. I'm tired of all of the poking and prodding in my nether regions. I can't bear another minute spent in yet another's doctor's office reading old magazines and wishing that I could be anywhere else. I refuse to let someone sell me hope when I really don't believe that IVF or IUI is the route for building my family. I'm hoping that using alternative medicine, however costly and not covered by our insurance, is going to help me treat my body as my friend, not as a science experiment. 

I'm also not going to the doctor for this flu bug either. So there. 

17 February 2008

Danger Pay

As an elementary school teacher I get sick a lot. Despite all of my pleading that my little angels wash their hands, blow their noses at the back of the room and to stay home when they are feeling under the weather, I inevitably pick up a bug every other month. 

Now I also practice preventative medicine: I get plenty of sleep, I exercise, eat healthy, take vitamins and wash my hands obsessively. I even have an arsenal of remedies in my purse and schoolbag. Unfortunately, the dastardly bug that seems to be going around (it's even closed the local emergency ward) has gotten me. I tried the positive thinking (which I believe works for colds, unfortunately not so much for the barren uterus). The Cold Assist (the no-name brand of Cold FX which is just as good) was taken as soon as I felt the tickle in the back of my throat. I even avoided my crazy mother (perhaps getting sick isn't so bad, after all!). 

But as I sit here trying not to throw up or blow snot at my lovely computer, I can't help but think at what my body is trying to tell me. 

I know that I've been pushing myself too hard. It's been a difficult balance with work, needy students, annoying parents (my own and my students'), a demanding online course, and yes, the babymaking (or non-babymaking which seems to be my current problem). Instead of focusing on all of the things that I should be focusing on I've been obsessing about the strangest things. 

Here's my current list:

1. I would really like a new table for the front hall. We picked up all of our tables for our main floor at the local gigantic grocery store. The tables were cheap and therefore have not stood the test of time. I also want some hidden storage. I don't need a new table and I also don't think that we can really afford one right now, but a new table would make me really happy. 

2. I want to move. Although I love my little townhouse relatively close to the water, I'd like a house where I'm not attached to my neighbours. It also doesn't help that our neighbours to the left of us are the loudest walkers in the northern hemisphere!!!!! I'd also like windows on all sides of my house so I can grow more plants. Our house is like a cave in the winter and even though I love my house, I feel the need to spread out a little bit more. 

3. In order to prepare my house for re-selling I'd like to do some renovations that don't cost too much. A tall order, I know. We're trying to figure out if it would be better to redo our kitchen or finish the basement. Both cost tons of money, but I know that we'll get it back when we finally sell this place.

4. I'd also like a new car. Part of our master plan was that I would get a new car when the little JellyBelly's came along, but since our offspring are taking their sweet old time, I'm getting a little impatient. It also doesn't help that we've had so much snow that you can't even see the front of my house for the mounds of it! My incredibly reliable sedan is wonderful and fuel-efficient, but it doesn't have the best traction in all of the white stuff. I've already found an AWD that I really like. But really we should just invest in winter tires. 

5. And of course, my lingering and constant obsession: my barren uterus.  I don't think I need to elaborate on this one.

Perhaps I can start a petition that teachers should get some sort of bonus or danger pay whenever we get sick. I know exactly which kid gave me this bug. Perhaps his parents should be paying for all of my antiseptic throat lozenges! It doesn't necessarily have to be money either. I could take payment in chocolate or Chai Lattes from Starbucks. Or even peace an quiet for half an hour so I could mark a quiz in class rather than take it home. Unfortunately I don't think my union would go for it. But I can dream, right?

16 February 2008

The Possible Office Re-Design

Way back before we were covered in an insane amount of snow I decided to re-do our office. We had just purchased our lovely MacBook and I decided in its honour we had to revamp my old university furniture to accommodate it. Nothing in the office matches. I have my old blue desk with "pine" shelving and my hubby's old futon taking up space. I have boxes of candles, pictures and teacher gifts taking up space in the closet. My old iMac which has been sadly neglected has been awaiting its move to my father-in-law's house (he's 71 and learning how to use the internet!) has been gathering dust. In December I went to the Umbra warehouse sale and purchased a new bulletin board. I have cute little baskets for all my whatnots. I even have art picked out. 

But I can't get the thought that the office was supposed to be our nursery and that it seems like we are so far from putting a crib in the room. 

Our little house was the first one that we looked at. We didn't even have our shoes off when my hubby announced, "I like it. Let's get it." I remember going upstairs for the first time and thinking that the little bedroom would be the perfect spot for our baby JellyBelly's since it's directly across the hall from our bedroom. I could picture a crib, a changetable and a glider. I imagined getting up in the middle of the night to change diapers. And most of all, waking up in the morning to collect my bundle of joy. 

That was all before my uterus went on the fritz. 

But is it really on the fritz? Evil fertility doctor and nice ob/gyn both say that there's nothing wrong with me. Hubby's little swimmers are in fine form. I have clear tubes and I ovulate on day 14. 

But it's been two and a half years and nothing. 

So do I just bite my lip and go to Ikea and get the furniture that I've been admiring in the catalog? Is it signaling defeat if I get rid of my old furniture? Am I saying goodbye to the dream that the room will be a nursery? I feel like I'm cheating on the hope of my future baby if I even get into the car and drive towards the store. 

I realize that the furniture can easily be moved into the guest room or even to the basement. I can take it apart as easily as I put it together (Mr. JellyBelly does not put anything together at our house! He lacks the male handyman gene.). 

Perhaps doing a little makeover will make it easier to work in the room. I know that pretty, organized spaces make me happy. I also know that the current state of the office is driving me a little batty. Essentially it's where all the crap goes when we don't know where to put it. It's my room of shame and no one is allowed to go near it. 

So what to do? Any advice out there in the bloggosphere?

12 February 2008

Take Time for Fun

I've been under a cloud of blah ever since my crazy mother called me last Saturday. It also doesn't help that we're getting our third snow storm in seven days and that the windchill has been ridiculously low since the weekend. 

Today on my way home from the acupuncturist I decided that I was done feeling angry with the universe and all of its injustices -- I had a LONG time to think about it since the roads were so crappy and my twenty minute drive doubled. 

The decision couldn't have come sooner. 

I've been a total ogre to my students and I've been feeling more and more antisocial. I've been hunkered down in my classroom listening to my iPod instead of talking to the adults that I work with. I've also been thinking of moving to a yurt in the middle of the wilderness. Perhaps I was generous with my 96% positivity rating....

My "take time for fun" philosophy came from an ex-boyfriend. In the deepest throes of my depression we would TTFF and do ridiculous things. I could forget for a short time all of my ails and act silly or eat an insane amount of candy or just watch a funny movie. TTFF has evolved since my university years. At one time TTFF was getting insanely drunk after a grueling exam, but tonight I took TTFF to a new height.

I flipped through the new edition of Canadian House and Home while lying in bed. 

Yes, the once hedonistic qualities of TTFF have been reduced to looking at a home decorating magazine! And not just any issue either. It was the home organization issue. I cannot think of anything better than looking at other people's home organization techniques and strategies. I felt my heart beat faster when I looked at a newly reorganized garage. I was practically shaking with glee when I turned to the section on how to reorganize the home office.  The magazine holders from Belvedere made me drool. 

So instead of brooding over the horrible weather, my barren uterus (yes, Aunt Flo has made her joyous monthly visit), my crazy class and annoying co-workers I am going to think of the beautiful cubby system that I am now coveting. The next time I feel pangs of jealousy at another pregnant friend I will think of the ultra-cool garage organizer that I saw in the magazine. And the next time my crazy mother calls I will think of the jewelry organizer that doubled as a cutlery tray. 

Too bad the magazine didn't come sooner. I would've saved myself a lot of grief. 

10 February 2008

More JellyBelly Rantings

I would say that 96% of the time I'm an optimist. I haven't always been this way and I went through the trenches of hell before I realized that I could live my life happily. 

I had a breakdown in university. One that was so bad that I had to be hospitalized more than once. I was suicidal, depressed and I couldn't for the life of me feel an iota of hope. Lucky for me I found a wonderful psychiatrist that helped me through it and ten years later I can't even imagine being that low. 

I took my last anti-depressant in February 2000 and I haven't looked back. I decided to change my life and the circumstances that made me sad. 

Don't worry I'm not going to go all Tom Cruise and say that anti-depressants are evil and that chemical imbalances don't exist. I was imbalanced. Horribly. If it wasn't for the yellow oval pill that I took for four years my life would be completely different. 

My experience with clinical depression has brought me many gifts. I am open with my feelings with the people that matter (and that listen). I try avoid people and situations that I know will cause heartache or stress. I also realize that things could be A LOT worse. 

Which brings me to today's rant.

My hubby's best friend and his wife just had a baby. Wonderful for them, sad for us. Yes? 

The sadness part is something that I've dealt with. My best friend is incredibly fertile. I have numerous friends that are pregnant and have become so with no struggle. I stamp my feet (literally and figuratively) and wail at the universe for a short period of time, then I move on. 

[insert disclaimer for selfish JellyBelly thoughts]

When we found out that hubby's friends were preggo I had the familiar pang of jealousy. A couple of months later HBF tells us that the baby was diagnosed with a cleft lip and palate and that his wife is really upset by this news. We both thought that her sadness would pass and that the excitement of the impending arrival would ease her worries. Well that didn't happen. She continued to be so upset that she said low until the birth. She didn't have a baby shower because she didn't want to face people. They'd cancel at the last minute if we made plans. 

I can appreciate that she would be disappointed that her baby was going to be born with an affliction -- a correctable one, but an affliction nonetheless. I'm sure that most mothers don't dream of their baby having any sort of difficulty and that it would cause great concern. But the one thought that I couldn't get out of my head was that she was pregnant. She was going to have a baby. A baby that had a problem that could be corrected.

Wouldn't it make more sense if I was wallowing in my childlessness? She still got to pick out baby furniture and buy baby clothes. She got to wear the pants with the panel in the front. 


I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that she was sad about a correctable problem. We have friends with autistic children. We work with children with Down Syndrome. I have a cousin that has ADHD and another who was born with a hole in her heart. 

I really wish that I didn't feel so resentful of this situation. I would take a baby, any baby, regardless of the affliction. I'm even willing to adopt a baby with a disability (although hubby isn't too hot on that idea). 

So here I am. I'd much rather be watching the Grammy's than ranting. But I knew that if I carried this around in my head for any longer I would be driven to distraction. I wish I could be happy and send them flowers, but instead I'm going to internally pout about this particular injustice. 

So this is where the 4% comes in, I guess. 

9 February 2008

I want to be a hatchling -- a Jellybelly rant

From a very young age I was convinced that I was hatched from an egg and that my parents just found me and took me in.  

Whenever I would get in trouble I would hunker down in my room and just pray that my "real family" would find me and take me away. 

Unfortunately, my "real family" never came and despite all of the searching I couldn't find any adoption papers. Dammit. 

My parents, particularly my mother, has been a constant source of grief. It took me a long time (and A LOT of therapy) to realize that her numerous unresolved issues are not my fault, even though she tries to convince me that they are.  It wasn't until recently that I realized that my mother is also a compulsive liar. Take this as an example:

JB: Mom, can you help me re-pot this plant?
JB's Crazy Mom: Sure, why don't you bring it over to the table?
JB: Here you go.
Fast-forward to the end of the plant re-potting which by the way is just beside my brand-new cream-coloured parson's chairs. I go to the other room to tend to other things (or to avoid her, I can't quite recall). 
JBCM: Here you go, why don't you put the plant back in the hallway?
JB: Thanks for your help mom!
JBCM: No problem daughter (yes, she calls me that!!!).
JB: (noticing potting soil on one of the new chairs) Uh mom, did you just get soil on the chair?
JBCM: No! What are you talking about? I have no idea how that got there! You must've touched the chair! I had nothing to do with getting your chair dirty! 

Yes, I have amazing teleporting powers and I can transport soil from the living room to the kitchen. I'm quite amazing.

Yeah right. 

My incredibly patient hubby helped me root through memories of my mother's lying antics and we discovered that she is nuts, selfish, guilt-manufacturing and incredibly manipulative as well. 


It took thirty some-odd years, but her craziness is her problem and I'm done with dealing with it. 

The last straw was my birthday lunch. It's family tradition that the birthday celebrant gets to pick where they would like to eat -- makes sense, right? Well this year my actually birthday fell on a Monday JBCM offered to go out on the Sunday which made perfect sense to me. When JBCM asked where I wanted to go I suggested a Korean barbecue restaurant that I really like. JBCM's response was, "I don't like Korean barbecue." And yes, I acknowledge that it was my fault that I didn't tell her then and there why that was a really bad response, but I was taken aback (which I always am since I always believe that JBCM isn't as crazy as she really is) and I couldn't think of anything to say. After that phone call I avoided her for almost a week and when she phoned to ask about when we were going out to eat I made up some crummy excuse that I was busy so we couldn't go out. 

Unfortunately she finally caught up with me and again she tried to manipulate a "going out for my birthday on her terms" date for tomorrow which was initially supposed to be today. A big issue with JBCM is that she thinks that I have absolutely nothing to do. She honestly thinks that I just lie around the house watching television and twiddling my thumbs and that I have absolutely nothing else going on. I refuse to miss yoga tomorrow afternoon because her plans have changed. And really, her lame excuse that she was going to visit my cousin's baby (yes, the daughter of the eighteen year old) isn't quite acceptable. 

Have I mentioned that I'm an only child? It's not like she has to manage a whole flock of children. Also we live in the same city. Twenty minutes away. But she acts like we're on the other end of the country and she complains that we live too far so she can't possibly come to our house to see me and that we always have to go to her house. My father-in-law who is over seventy and lives an hour away has been to our house more often than she has. 

My biggest worry is that I will be just as crazy when I'm a mom, although my hubby promises me that I am not completely whacked like JBCM is. Her horrible parenting example has shown me exactly what I don't want to be. 

I have worked long and hard to be honest with myself and with the people that really matter to me -- something that JBCM definitely hasn't even thought of! 

I just wish that I didn't carry around the guilt that her craziness is my fault. But really, how can it be? I know that she has her own issues to deal with and that she doesn't have the wherewith all even begin to tackle what is at the heart of her inner struggle. 

I honestly think that the way I live my life -- with passion and without fear -- frightens her. And the fact that I have a loving relationship with my husband (I'll have to deal with JBCDad in a future post) must really irk her, at least subconsciously. 

I've never been afraid of a challenge, but the little girl inside of me (yes, the one that was wishing for her "real parents" to rescue her) would really like a mom that she could depend on. 

Unfortunately I don't ever think that it's going to happen. Not in this lifetime. 

2 February 2008

Choices (My Love Affair With Yoga)

I started practicing yoga almost nine years ago. It was something that I was always curious about and I just had a feeling that I would enjoy it, so signing up for my first class was a pretty easy decision. 

I remember being about four or five and watching the yoga lady on PBS and trying to emulate what she was doing and thinking that it was so much fun. You see I was blessed with incredible flexibility and most yoga postures come easily. Since university I've tried running, weight training, aerobics classes and power walking, but nothing made me as happy as coming to my yoga mat. 

I signed up for my first class in order to help me get over a bad boyfriend (which I didn't get rid of until a few years later, but the intention was there), and I just kept going. Even though I stopped going to formal classes for a few years I continued with my daily practice every morning when I got up. I always tell my students that if I didn't do yoga before going to work that I wouldn't be so nice (sometimes I'm sure they wanted to tell me to do a couple of downward dogs to chill out, but no one ever told me that out loud!). 

Two years ago while reading Chatelaine I saw a blurb about a study to do with yoga and infertility. According to the study women that practiced yoga had a better chance conceiving because the practice helped them stay calm.  We had just started TTC and I thought that it was a sign from above that I should return to my yoga practice in a formal setting. Lucky for me I found a studio that wasn't too far from home that offered a $20 unlimited trial for a week.

After doing five classes in one week I was hooked. I started going almost every day, at least until my body gave out and I injured my back. My wonderful chiropractor told me to lay off and take it easy so I started going every other day. I signed up for a year-long membership and I've been a regular ever since. 

Not only do I love my yoga practice, but my yoga mat is the one place I don't have to think of my barren uterus or my friends that are getting pregnant (two more announced their news last week). I've graduated to the more challenging classes where there is no room for thinking and I leave the studio absolutely exhausted, but feeling accomplished. I've also made some really good friends -- the "regulars" that are also at the studio as often as I am. 

Yoga has brought so many gifts to my life. Having a fit body aside, it has also taught me how to speak to myself more kindly, and how to accept my body for what it is and can do. One of my teachers once said, "It's only yoga." during a particularly difficult class. And that is exactly how I'm trying to approach my infertility. Also I'm reminded that suffering is only temporary -- even if I'm in the most challenging pose, I know that eventually I will get out of the pose and the discomfort will stop. 

At the end of class last Thursday, the instructor read from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. The excerpt was about a poor man that had collected a bag of grain over a long period of time. When he had filled up his bag of grain he hoisted it with a long rope over the rafters of his house. In the middle of the night a rat chewed through the rope and the bag of grain killed him in his sleep even before he reaped the fortunes of his grain. The message of the story was that suffering is a choice -- he could've eaten the grain instead of hoarding it, and thus avoid getting crushed underneath it -- and that as human beings we have freedom to choose the state that we're in. 

That's how I see our childlessness. I'm choosing to see this time as a time of discovery, not of mourning. I've spent over two years crying out at the universe with anger and jealousy, and it's gotten me nowhere.  2008 is either going to bring me a belly baby or on the road to adopting one. That's my choice. 

I don't want to get crushed under that bag of grain, I've worked too hard to get here.