Monday 25 April 2016

#Microblog Mondays: Showing up is good

Today I'm pleased with myself because I made a good decision.

It is a non-instructional day in our school system. This means that there are no students in school but teachers have a day to complete other tasks or learning activities. Sometimes these days are structured, sometimes they are not.

A few weeks ago, our learning leader asked everyone in the special ed department to go to a workshop on an assessment tool during the non-instructional day today. She told us the date, the location, and then forwarded an email with information in an attachment. I made note of the date and location but didn't bother to open the attachment until late last night. When I did and read it I realized the workshop today had nothing to do with what the learning leader said it did and it didn't even directly apply to my current work.  But it was too late to clarify what I should do. This might sound like a trivial matter but it annoyed me. The location I was supposed to go to was across town. I would have to drive during rush hour. I was fairly certain I didn't have to go, but then I worried about looking foolish if it turned out I should be there and didn't show up.

I made up my mind to go, then not to go, then I worried about traffic, then I wondered about taking the bus, or the train. I suggested different possibilities to Mr. Turtle who said that if we were late on our morning routine he would miss his time to eat breakfast.  And so on. It was all making me very  anxious. Also I was irritated with my learning leader for sending confusing information, and with myself for not checking the information earlier.

Finally, I considered the alternative. There were no scheduled activities at our school. So if didn't go to the workshop, I would be working on my own in my classroom. I like to have time to get things done, but did I really want to work on my own today when there was another option? I decided I didn't. Besides, I had already had some time to complete tasks on my own last week. So I decided to go to the workshop, even if it wasn't specifically targeted to my teaching assignment.

My anxieties turned out to be misplaced. There was very little traffic and the drive was easy. When I walked in the door, the first person I saw was an educational assistant I had worked with at my old school. I was so happy to see her! I decided then and there that just seeing her was worth the trip. We caught up and I showed her baby (toddler, rather) pictures. I also met my learning leader and she admitted the information was confusing and that she had been mistaken. So I was glad to learn that and not have to wonder all day if I had just been stupid. Finally, although the workshop wasn't what I had been led to believe, it was still very good (all about using visuals). I learned at least one thing I can start using immediately.

And as it turned out I still had time to come back to school and do some work on my own (inspired by the workshop, actually).

The moral of the story? Forget the anxiety and doubts and just show up. For the workshop, for life, to see other people, whatever. At least it worked out this time. I'm very happy with my day. And since the next part involves tacos, AJ and Mr. Turtle, I'm pretty sure it will just get better.

More about Microblog Mondays here!

Wednesday 6 April 2016

I can see your uterus in my crystal ball

Today seems like a good snapshot of what it's like to try to conceive unassisted.

First, I got my period. Since we are trying to conceive, this is not happy news. However, my feelings about it vary from month to month. I always allow myself some hopeful thoughts during each cycle we TTC (maybe this is it! what if it is it! do I have symptoms? what month would the baby come? etc.). Sometimes I can easily let those thoughts go, sometimes it's harder and I feel down for a day or two, until I can start thinking hopeful thoughts about the next cycle.

When I saw The Period early this morning, I wasn't too upset. I was disappointed, because out of the past few cycles, this one did seem to offer the best chances. I had strong fertile signs, and not too early (starting about day 12, rather than 8 or 9). My most fertile days coincided with our week of holidays. How nice was that! Leaving aside the cliché advice to "just go on vacation and relax" it is easier to get in the mood when our schedules are freer. We made the best of the opportunity presented.

Yes, I would have liked to bring back a souvenir from vacation. But I resigned myself to move on, or so I thought. The good news: My cycle was 2 days longer than the last one. 26 days. Not quite textbook, but hopeful. Maybe the next one will be the one! Maybe the next one will have one extra magic day and that will make the difference....Meanwhile AJ is so, so cuddly....

Off I went to work. I had an early meeting. The meeting was inconsequential, but it meant I didn't get around to eating my morning snack. I don't eat much breakfast at home; sometimes I eat a little bit with AJ but I prefer to get out the door, drop AJ off at daycare and then eat some yoghurt or a piece of fruit at school with a cup of tea. Not having my snack today made me feel just a little bit less calm and relaxed.

I left my meeting and came to my classroom. One of my assistants was already in the classroom. There was a vase on my desk with tulips in it. "I got you tulips!" she said happily, "because I think I owe you congratulations on something!"


"Because I think you are expecting your second child!!"

"Oooh....Hahaha.....nooooooo......But what lovely flowers, thank you! I love tulips!"

I started a new job in September, so of course my current colleagues do not know my full history. I can't remember how much I've told them about my fertility issues. I thought for sure I had said something about it, but I may not have, and I definitely didn't go into detail. My former colleagues knew when I was going for tests, when I was doing IVF, the times of day I gave myself needles. They knew when IVF failed. During pregnancy they covered for me when I was screaming in the bathroom bleeding, and when happier days came they were updated with every ultrasound.  It would be odd for me to introduce myself at my new school with these details. But there are disadvantages to people not knowing.

I don't know why exactly my colleague thought I was pregnant. Did I go pee rather more often yesterday? Did my belly stick out? Did she see me in a particularly revealing "maybe I am?" reverie? Did she think I was fibbing when I told the class yesterday I had to take the afternoon off to go to the dentist? Are there rumours flying around? Yikes. I don't know, and I won't ask.

I told my colleague that although we would really like a second child, we have fertility issues and it "may not happen" unless we do "really invasive fertility treatments". I don't know why I used that word; I could have said expensive, confusing, involved, complicated...but invasive was the word that came to mind. Hopefully that ends the matter.

I don't have any grudges against my colleague. (I did do silent "What the fuck?" scream into the empty hallway when I left the room.) The flowers are lovely. I just wish she had given me flowers for the sake of being nice, instead of using her crystal ball to look at my uterus and make assumptions. She tried very hard to be kind to me all day, which I appreciated. Still, I felt pretty down for the rest of the morning. So much for resilience.

The good part? Only half my class was here and it was an easy morning. The harder part?  I happened to have the occupational therapist observing. She is a very pleasant person, helpful, easy to talk to. She praised everything we were doing in class, which I appreciate. But I thought I might lose my mind trying to focus on what she was saying. I just wanted to do my activities with the students, and curl all my thoughts around the ball of misery in my heart. Instead I tried to sound half intelligent, and hated it. I finally told her I was having a "bad morning" and "really out of it." She was all sympathy, all appreciation, talked how much she was learning, especially since she had not worked for so long because her son had had a bone marrow transplant and she had "lived in hospitals" for the past years.

Oh God.

In any other circumstances I would have done way more than make customary sympathetic noises. Especially since I do like this woman. But I couldn't. Sigh. It was one of those days when it takes all my mojo just to get to the basics. I couldn't handle all the unseen things lingering below people's smiles and good intentions, my own or anyone else's.

On to better days.