Thursday, September 29, 2011

Super Quick Fast Post

  • Oh, there is nothing like a 7 am email with a link to a front page article about "w*ste, fr*ud and ab*se" in your industry to jolt a communications director out of bed. Screw the coffee. I just now went to the bathroom, even though I've been holding it since about 10 o'clock. My phone is quiet now, which is somehow making me MORE nervous than if it were ringing. Helloooo? Anybody want to hear our side?
  • Your comments and this conversation that's flowing from the haunted house (and the fact that our Realtor called and said, "the seller is Motivated. Make an offer. Any offer") has us thinking about the big yellow house again. Did I mention it was yellow?If something keeps falling into every conversation we are having, it feels like it deserves a second look and maybe some serious consideration. I think it was Angie's comment (that I totally interpreted in a different way) that is making me want to go back. I really, really appreciate all of your thoughts - many of them align with ours. Its not just a house - its about moving forward, about moving forward with hope. Or moving on. Or both. It's a distraction, its a "here is one thing we DO have control over" kind of thing. Wheels are turning. I'll keep you posted. And,
  • That Mo, she is in my head. I'm thrilled that she is back on the blogging wagon after a long summer, but even more excited that someone has been able to put into words the feelings I am having as we explore gestational surrogacy. There are just so many questions and so many thoughts that aren't resolving themselves just yet. Like Mo says, its just hasn't clicked yet. I'm not saying it won't, but I am telling you I am in the process of turning over just one or two more stones before we move on.
  • Tonight is dodgeball. Have I mentioned my team rocks? We kept the best from our team last year, recruited a few more people we knew would kick ass and then got a few unexpectedly good players we weren't planning on (friend of a friend, coworkers with friends, etc). And holy shit. Last week's games were over so quickly and were so one-sided we almost felt bad. Almost. I cannot tell you how great it feels to be part of a winning team and to know that in five hours I get to throw things at people and get cheered while I do it.
To recap: I am high on adrenaline from work. We can't stop thinking about The House. Mo is the bomb. This day is halfway over. I'm still here. And tonight will be therapeutic and wonderful.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Awfully Big for Two People....

"This is an awfully big house for two people...."

"Wow. This place is huge. Two people could get lost in this..."

"A lotta house for just the two of you...."


He must have said it at least 10 ten times ten different ways. And yes, we did bring M's dad along for his advice and yes we did want his opinion, but after the third or fourth round of this refrain, I was done. I didn't want the house. I didn't want to be reminded we are ONLY TWO PEOPLE. I didn't want to go back home to our equally empty (and mind you, nearly as big) apartment. Just the two of us.


Let me back up. We are not in the market for a house. It was just one of those instances where you see something that looks like the steal of the century and your curiosity gets the best of you and you do some math and think, hmmm....and maybe you start dreaming of house parties with live bands. Maybe.

That's how M and I and our real estate-obsessed pal S and M's dad along for good measure found ourselves in a turn of the century 3000 square foot house yesterday. And yes it had original stained glass windows, and yes, it had funky things like secret stairwells and a wrap around porch. But it had something else that I can't quite put my finger on.

We were all wondering aloud what was making the owner sell, especially since she had just purchased it a little more than a year ago. Did the heating bill do her in? Was it just "too much house?" Did something happen here? "Oh no," our Realtor assured us. "They have to disclose if the house has been stigmatized."

"Stigmatized." Did you know that? I didn't know that. Do we have to disclose if the buyers are stigmatized?

Anyway, we're walking around and looking around and M's dad is punctuating about every 5th steps with the remarks above and I just say, "this place is creeping me out." S. nods. But quickly recovers and starts talking about painting trim and color schemes.

And then we find a note from the owner in the kitchen. It's her grandparent's house. They were the original owners. She talks about holiday dinners here as a kid, about how she bought it the first day it went back on the market (not really true, this house sat for almost a year at one point). But there was enough truth in the note to break my heart. I looked at M and could tell instantly he was done with the house too. Too many memories. Too many ghosts. Too much baggage. And goddess knows we have enough of all of that on our own.

So, there is a little relief that we are sticking with what we know, our little urban abode in a secure building that we can vacate at any time. A little sad. House parties could have been cool....A lot of other sad.

What if we weren't just two? What if there were four....


Whatever. The place is haunted. I know it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What I *thought* I said

You may recall me talking about how we were less then thrilled with the first couple of gestational carrier profiles that we viewed.

After we sent our feedback to our agency, the director scoured their database and came back to us and said, I'm really struggling with finding the right match for you. I have a few new applicants that might work; I'm waiting on all their clearances and such and will get those profiles to you as soon as I can.

Which made me wonder - what is it about us that is such a challenge?

So I asked. And received a really thoughtful and honest response from our agency. First was a suggestion: don't take the written profiles at 100% face value. Invest a half hour and have a phone conversation with one or two of the women and see if that changes your opinion. Don't assume someone can express themselves perfectly on a questionnaire. Go deeper. Those 30 minutes could be well worth your while.

Which is exactly the advice that many of you gave both here, in person and via email. So, thank you. You were and are right.

So we agreed to setting up some phone conversations, only to find that BOTH potential GCs said, "mmm, um, no thanks." to US!

Isn't that a nice kick in the pants?

I spent the weekend being hurt, then angry. No one likes to be rejected. Then I quickly switched to a "how DARE they!" frame of mind. Like it or not, there will be a LOT of money exchanged here - that gives US The right to be selective, not the other way around, right?!?

And then I calmed myself and looked at the profile/questionnaire we submitted and I tried to do it with an eye of a potential gestational carrier. (something we should have done before we even hit SEND in the first place.)

And I can see some things now that I didn't see writing it.

In my quest to appear normal, balanced, undamaged, I think our profile gives the impression that life is GREAT! We hike! We kayak! Look over here. We are TOTALLY well-adjusted. No signs of intense grieving and lack of life purpose over here. Did I mention I knit?

So much so, I, as a GC, might look at it and go, "hunh, I'm not sure they really want a baby. Things seem to be going pretty great for them right now. I bet my help might make more of a difference to someone else right now...."

Or you might look at the part where we talk so much about a certain family member being our first choice as our GC and think, "oh, awesome. I am starting this relationship knowing I am their second choice. That's a great feeling...."

But what is really the kicker, I think. What makes us so damn hard to match: Our answer to this question:

If it were determined during the pregnancy via medical testing that the fetus had physical and/or mental abnormalities would you want to abort the pregnancy?

What I thought we said was something along the lines of: "No matter what happens this would be our choice to make and we would need a GC who understands that."

But the multiple choice item we selected, it seems, was:

Yes,as such we need to be matched with a carrier who is willing to terminate a pregnancy if medically necessary.

And I am seriously just now realizing this as I write this blog post this morning.

This is not the answer that describes us. This is NOT the people we are.

And when I asked weeks ago what made us a challenge, our agency pointed to this question and that it was one that most potential GCs would say no to. At that time, I thought, well there is a difference of philosophy and opinion and one that I am not willing to budge on, even if it takes a little longer to make a connection.

Again, thinking we wrote what I thought we wrote. Which we didn't.

Argh. Argh. Argh.

Here is sat, frustrated that potential GCs haven't expressed themselves adequately, given us a good enough picture of themselves in their words and yet I think we could barely have pictured ourselves worse in the profile we sent in.

I've asked for a "do-over" for our profile. I have a friend or two that have offered to read what we write before we hit SEND this time. And I'm hoping that will make the difference.

I just wish months hadn't gone by before I thought to assess.

Friday, September 2, 2011

and I'm Craving...

Apparently seeing naked men and human feces has emboldened me.

Twice this week some things have come out of my mouth or flown off my fingers before I could even stop them. I surprised even myself.

Situation 1:
Ending a day long meeting, standing around with my boss and a Board member who at times makes people incredibly uncomfortable with inappropriate jokes or random statements. Not inappropriate like talking about boobies, more like offhand comments about euthanasia. Most of the time it takes the world a minute to understand it was supposed to be a joke. Part of me thinks he gets off on the shock, another part of me is pretty sure he's somewhere on the autism spectrum and completely misses the visual and social cues of the people looking horrified around him.

This was another one of those moments - his attempt to make a joke. So he says to us, "wow, I cannot wait until the day when government has complete control over my entire life and all of my actions and personal decisions."

Says me: "Well, if you were a girl, that time would be now."


He goes PURPLE. My boss chokes a little and thankfully decides she agrees with me. He sputters. We leave and have a glass of wine. I say I'm sorry but I'm not. Because its true. And to see this man blush, well, that was an unexpected bonus.

Situation 2:
Oh F*cefuck, why do I even bother?

A friend posted something on her wall yesterday afternoon bitching about the barrage of pregnancies and cravings that magically appeared in her feed. I wrote her a quick personal message basically saying, "F FB, let's go get some fries at the baseball game tonight." Soon enough though, the situation revealed itself as one of those ploys to get women to post something cryptic in their status updates and DON'T TELL THE BOYS only to say a week later, ha ha it was a joke, this was all for BREAST CANCER AWARENESS. Get it? Aren't we clever? We got you all talking and now you can talk about breast cancer.

One problem: the status update is supposed to say "I'm xx weeks and I'm craving xx" and there's a little formula you do with your birthday to fill in the xx's.

Because that's shocking, right? You're neighbors and friends won't know what's going on. Everyone will be confused and then you will say, oh I'm just kidding. This was for breast cancer AWARENESS. Get it?

I don't get it. I don't get it at all.

I tried to let it rest, shake it off, go enjoy my baseball game and fries. But the more I thought about it, the more it cut me to the core. So, I posted this:

I'm sorry. Explain to me how status updates related to gestation and pregnancy cravings promote "awareness?" Cancer is no joke. It's not cute. It's not funny. And FYI, a major long term effect of cancer treatment....infertility. This survivor is not playing along.

And then this:

And you're only supposed to share it with your female friends. Because, of course, in this magical world of FB, men don't get breast cancer.

And then I realized I just couldn't let last year's "awareness" theme go:

Last year, the theme was what's your bra color - which I 'm sure felt AWESOME for any breast cancer survivor who's been forced to have a mastectomy. I guess the point is to get people talking about cancer. I just wish the conversation were even remotely on point.

You know I take issue with the pink shit anyway. This isn't even getting into that. God knows I could rant about that. All. Day. I won't bore you. But there is SO MUCH that is wrong with this on so many levels.

So I decided to call it out. Because honey badger don't care.

Honey badger don't give a shit
. (that one's for you, L)