1. ivf (i’m [a] veteran [of this] fuckingprocess)
If only meeting birthmothers was as easy as meeting fellow adoptive parents.* For every subculture, there is a blogging sub-subculture, and last night I met up with a local segment of the adoption blogger sub-subculture, plus Heather of Production, Not Reproduction, who was in town for the BlogHer conference.
None of the rest of us are quite so committed to our blogging, but we were happy to commit to drinks at Magnolia. Can I just say how nice it is to be with a group of five women where I don’t have to assume, anytime someone orders a nonalcoholic beverage, that she’s pregnant? And then proceed to try to coax myself back from depressed resignation?
It was nice—and weird—to be able to talk in a sort of shorthand. “At first, I was so freaked out by the needles,” Victoria said of her IVF adventures. “It took me four hours just to do my first Lupron shot!” Hahaha! Because everyone knows that Lupron needles are skinny, and it’s the Menopur, Bravelle, and estriadol validrate needles that are really a bitch.
Heather did not know. She is the rare adoptive mom who is 36 years old with a six- and a three-year-old. In our mid-thirties, AK and I feel like we’re on the young end of most of our adoption meetings, so Heather and her husband must have felt like babies when they were going through the process. She projected the innocence (whether real or imagined by me) of people who manage to have kids just because they want to. I mean, by definition she had to work harder for it than the glass-o’-wine-and-sex crew, but she didn’t have that shroud of been-through-hell that I felt like the rest of us carried to varying degrees.
Joanne, the only other not-yet mom in the group, hadn’t tried IVF, but, as she said, she’d had enough fertility tests that she knew “I didn’t want them rooting around in there anymore.” She said it all in a lovely London accent. How is it that a British accent makes everything sound understated and manageable? I know Joanne wanted kids as badly as the rest of us, but she sounded so very keep-calm-and-carry-on about it.
2. the big things and the little things
Kristin of Parenthood Path, who organized the meet-up, immediately won my heart by complimenting our adoption profile (“Not that I’m exactly your target audience,” she pointed out) and confirmed my instant like by asking thoughtful questions and making sure everyone was included in the conversation. Eventually she said, “Okay, I’ve got a glass and a half of wine in me, so I’m going to talk about race now.”
We talked about transracial adoption; adopting older kids (Sue was surprised with an eight-month-old, and Joanne is considering a child as old as five years); the IVF reality show pilot Victoria shot (how could that not get picked up? What could be more TLC-ready than a show about highly hormonal women spending gobs of money?); and, eventually, about Santa photos and advent calendars. I suppose this is where all of it leads—to the actual parenting part. Thank god, right?
“All Santas are not created equal,” Victoria warned. “The first year, we got one with a real beard, but last year we got the drunken pedophile Santa.”
Kristin, whose son is two, shrugged and said, “Maybe we’ll do a Santa photo when he’s five.”
That sounded about right to me. One thing at a time. Till then, I’ll keep chiming into parenting conversations with anecdotes about my cats.
*A note about the image in this post: I would never actually wear this shirt any more than I would wear the “There are two peas in my pod!” shirt or the “Pregnant, not plump!” shirt advertised in Pregnancy Magazine. The only statement I want to make with my clothes is “I am a snappy dresser” and such shirts accomplish the opposite. Also, they are assholey. I did, however, tell Keely once that I was contemplating a T-shirt that said, “Not pregnant, I just like dessert!” At the time she was pregnant, so she said she would print one up that said “Pregnant AND I like dessert.”