Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thirty Six

Earlier this week, my husband said “somebody has a birthday coming up soon”. While that would have normally put a smile on my face, this year it made me sad. I did not want to turn another year older and found myself begrudging my own birthday. I’ve found that infertiles do not like birthdays. It just means another year has gone by and we’re still childless. It means our eggs are more crappy and our FSH is higher. With every passing year, we watch our chance of success steadily drop, as we near the edge of the fertility cliff, we wonder will it ever happen for us?

I'm reminded of this picture, standing on the icey edge, just one foot away from an enormous drop to the bottom of the canyon. This was 3 years ago, we were just a few days away from Kerry's vasectomy reversal. I was so excited I could barely contain myself. Little did I know how symbolic of my journey this would become.

While I definitely did not look forward to my birthday all week, I managed to come around. I had to make a change in my thinking. I realized that while bad things happen in one’s life that we cannot control, what we can control is how we deal with it. I realized that I had a choice, a choice to have a fun or depressing birthday. No matter which one I pick, I’m still going to be a year older, I’m still going to be childless. So why not have a fun day, I deserve it!

Yesterday was the celebration of my life, 36 years of it. My husband treated me like a princess for the entire day.

We started out with a 1 hr massage. Gosh I need that! My lady could have really upset me if I had let her, but I was determined that nothing was going to ruin my day. As she was massaging my back, she asked me if I had any children. I said no, we've been trying for three years. What would come out of her mouth was a new one for me; "Well that's a good thing because having children can really mess up your back". What??? I asked her if she knew what IVF was and she said "yeah, I worked in a fertility clinic for 4 years". I guess they didn't teach empathy there. She then asked if I ever thought of adoption or surrogacy. I so badly wanted to say "Gosh, I would have never thought of that, that's a great idea, thank you!". I instead chose to just ignore it. I didn't make it out of there without one more though, one of our favorites "what's meant to be will be". Oh well, at least I escaped the "maybe if you just relax it will happen".

It turns out Kerry got that line instead, lol! It never fails, I guess "do you have any children" is a very common conversation filler. So after his lady finds out that we've been trying unsuccessfully, he gets the story of how she gave this woman a massage and that night she conceived, all it took was some relaxation. He replied with "and did this woman have an infertility related medical diagnosis?" He asked her if he could teach her a little etiquette when it comes to those struggling to conceive, and that he did! She actually thanked him for it. I love his approach, I need to learn from him.

We went to lunch, ate like pigs and then shopped till we dropped. He then took me to The Melting Pot for a 4 course fondue experience. We even had a couple of drinks, something we haven't done in years. Take that eggs! I can't tell you how great it was to feel so free and to just enjoy one another.

On the way back to our car, we passed 2 homeless people sitting on the sidewalk under a dingy blanket. It was freezing out. One held a sign "Homeless, need food". I handed them our 2 boxes of food and they lookup up at me and said "God bless you!". It was the best feeling, I can only imagine what it would be like to help several. I said in my Life's Unfair post, "I need to reach out more and help those broken in their own way. Sometimes our own healing is found in helping others." So this is my next step. It's my heart's desire to reach the broken. I collected some literature today on how to help and hope to get started soon.

Thank you hubby for a GREAT Birthday!


  1. I am so glad that you decided to enjoy your birthday, it is very easy to choose the other option.
    Helping others is so therapeutic, there are alot of people out there hurting. I think it is wonderful that yu have decided to keep making differences in peoples lives.

  2. Hi Jill,
    You are such a beautiful and gracious woman. You inspire me to be more loving and thoughtful of others.
    I'm so glad that you enjoyed your birthday. And I think your eggs would have enjoyed a few drinks!

  3. That picture is super cute! I know it's hard to look back and see`ourselves in our "happier, carefree times" but you WERE super happy and excited back then, no one can take that away from you.

    Happy Happy Birthday!

  4. Jill,

    I'm so glad you enjoyed your day! I'm VERY proud of you for picking your chin up and choosing to look at things in a different light! That's wonderful about you helping those homeless people..what a very unselfish thing of you to do. You have GOT to have the world's best husband and for that I'm truly envious. You are sooooo blessed in that way.

    love ya!

  5. I had fun reading this. I'm so glad that I get to share my birthday with you, but mostly, I'm so happy that you had a great day, one that you enjoyed and were able to relax. Maybe next time you and Kerry go back, swap ladies, yours will have had been educated and Kerry can refresh the one you did have if his hadn't already. :) Nice talking to you both this evening! Love you,

  6. Happy Birthday, Jill. I know how bittersweet these days can be. I love how you took control and chose to have a great day in spite of all the BS you had to deal with while trying to relax.

    You look so cute in that picture - so happy. I hope more of those types of days are just around the corner. Hugs.

  7. Happy Birthday Jill!! I'm glad you went out and had a good day. I'm sorry for the massage woman's part in your day! Yay for Kerry for showing her some etiquette!

    You are an amazingly strong woman, and I know that one day you will make a wonderful mother! I hope that day is not too far away! Somehow, some day, may your dreams come true!

  8. Your day sounds incredible (barring the insensitive massage person - holistic healer, my tushy! But, points to your DH for educating her -that had to make you feel proud of him). I think you did a great thing by deciding to enjoy your birthday - jeez, a few drinks, huh? I'll be honest, since we are doing CGH this time, I'm planning to do a little of this myself during the break...might as well enjoy things while we can, right?

    By the way, you do look fun, young and carefree in that picture...and you will look/feel that way again. I know I will:-) So, happy birthday!

  9. Happy Birthday Jill! You were the epitome of grace and showed such class in not snapping that massage therapist's head off for her comments. Your photo really reminded us of how we all started our journey...such hope, such excitement - I had forgotten that trying to have a baby can be exciting so thank you for reminding me of that. Happy birthday to a very beautiful soul. I wish for so many great things for you this year :)

  10. Happy Birthday Jill! I'm so glad you had such a great day and your dh pampered you like that! What a great guy! (I love what he said to his massage lady! :) You deserve it!

    When I look at that picture, that is exactly how you are going to be also once you have realized your dream! Look at it as that's also how you are going to be at the end of this tough journey!

    You have such a big heart and its so sweet of you to think of others in need when you are struggling and down yourself. I really think it will help you heal and what a wonderful thing to do! I totally believe what goes around comes around, so only nothing but good things will come right back to you!

    Here's to 2009 being your year!

  11. I'm glad you had a good birthday. Happy Belated Birthday! I know what you mean about how helping the homeless helped you to heal. To me, that is my #1 magic pill when I feel depressed and unable to cope - help others. There is just something about doing that that flips a switch in my head.

    I just caught up on your previous post - I'm going to send you an em...I have been working with a therapist on and off for the past couple of years who has no experience with's been interesting. More later.

  12. Happy Birthday to you! I am glad that you had a great day and even enjoyed a couple of drinks! I am so sorry about the massage therapist. I am so impressed with your strength and ability to look past her comments and your DHs etiquette lesson.


  13. So happy you had a good birthday Jill! You're right, you deserve it! We had our VR today, just in case you hadn't seen. Thought I'd let you know. Who knows what is in store for us now...
    Love to you and Kerry- prayers for a good week and that your 36th year will be amazing.

    The Other Jill


Thank you for your comment! Hugs, Kerry and Jill