Friday, November 30, 2007
Anyway, if I made you feel like I was suggesting that your parenting load was WAY easier than mine- I'm sorry. For all my big talk about being sensitive to others, sometimes (this will REALLY surprise those of you who know me), I speak and write without thinking. I appreciate having it pointed out and hope that any of you feel free to keep me informed when I'm being a narcissist about my own experience.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
This past week was National Infertility Awareness Week. I wanted to post something about it, but kept wondering what I could say that hadn't been said already and much better elsewhere. But as I've noted in other places, the three of you that are reading this might not actually actively read the infertility literature and might find it helpful. So in the spirit of helping others become aware, I'm going to give you some statistics on what Rachel, the new mom we honored this weekend, considers to be her least favorite of the infertility and adoption myths. Because I know you all totally come here for the educational content and not to see pictures of my daughters. Don't click to another website yet just because I used the word statistics- I think these are interesting. As a few of you commented on my previous infertility post, one of the least helpful and most offensive things that people say to those unable to conceive is "Relax" and it's cousin, "oh, now that you're adopting you'll get pregnant." Now, for the statistics portion of our program. In a normal, healthy population of 100 couples attempting to have a baby and timing things correctly, 75% (AT LEAST) will become pregnant in the first six months of trying. The reason women's magazines and general internet sites and your doctor tell you to wait a year between throwing away the birth control is because they assume you don't know much about when you ovulate and they want to make sure that you've statistically had a fair shot trying at random. But if you're charting or using ovulation predictor kits and all of that (and probably even if you're not), you can expect to be pregnant in six months. After that, about 2 to 3 % of the 100 couples will get pregnant each month until about a year. So 12 months after these 100 couple started trying to get pregnant, about 85% of them will be on their way to having their baby. Now keep in mind, if the woman in the couple is 23, her odds are probably a little better and if she's 39 maybe a little worse. Most of the studies of this don't tend to tease out exactly the effect of age. Over the next year, if the couple doesn't seek medical advice, about 2% of them total will become pregnant. So at this point, 87 of our 100 couple are having their children. If the couple decides, "well, I guess we can't have children. Too bad- I guess God doesn't have it in His plan." and does nothing else, over the course of five years about 2 to 3% of those couples will get pregnant. If a couple tries everything science has to offer up to IVF and it fails to work and they decide to quit treatment- after 5 years 2-3% of those couple will become pregnant. And if a couple decides to adopt a baby and pursues no other fertility treatment, guess how many of them will spontaneously become pregnant? No, really, guess. Yes! THAT'S RIGHT!!! 2 to 3% of those couples who either do not pursue fertility treatment or decide to move on from it will spontaneously get pregnant on their own within five years of their adoption. So given those numbers, we all know a few people who "relaxed and quit trying" or "just adopted" and wound up expecting a biological child. But you know the old saying "The plural of anecdote isn't data." So two things happen when I drag out the old "I have this friend who adopted twins and 10 months later had a baby- it was like she had triplets-"(a side note- I promise you, having two or three babies close in age is not really like having twins or triplets). First, I inadvertently imply that adoption is some sort of fertility treatment. I have a gentle and very kind friend from a group I was a part of in Atlanta in the process of adopting from China, who when confronted with these stories and "you're bound to get pregnant now" statements always says- "That's nice. But no amount of adopting is going to regrow the fallopian tubes my two ectopic pregnancies destroyed." Second, I unmeaningly suggest that I think adoption is an inferior way to grow your family, which, while it might not have been in the original plan, is definitely your first choice right then if you're doing it. So anyway, I hope I've helped dispel that myth. All for you, Rachel.
In other news, last night Rob and I were watching on our laptop a popular television show about a group of people working in an office. Our not having cable or TiVo here in small town Arkansas is a post for another time. I thought I heard a bang coming from the babies' room. I was sure that one of the girls had banged her head on the edge of her crib Rob assured me that I was just being overly paranoid. But a couple of minutes later we both heard the unmistakable sound of more banging. We went to check on the source of the noise and heard angry crying and L.'s voice yelling "Not, not!" as she pounded on the inside of her door, where she had stumbled in the dark after hurling herself from her crib. We're now working on the crib tent situation, but I am only now recovering from the shock. Speaking of shock imagine my surprise at discovering these pictures on our camera, apparently taken by Rob the same day he took the pictures from my last post. I can only assume it was in a fit of optimism after the Hogs last victory, which we will not specifically discuss out of respect for the Gamecock fans among us. Here is L. (I'm not sure what E. is up to there in the background).
Here is E.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I’m going to give you two of my book recommendations and I am hereby soliciting yours. It’s not like in my in my dark days a few years ago where I refuse to read anything remotely sad, but I’m looking for books where the star crossed lovers do not attempt suicide via sled. Because, frankly, when that happens, you’ve lost me as a reader, and I no longer care that you get what you deserve in the end. (If you haven’t read that one and want the recommendation, e-mail me). Okay, first on the list is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. I feel like it hasn’t gotten the praise it deserves, but it is beautifully written, a story that’s easy to get caught up in even though when you read a synopsis you might not think so, and, at the end, you don’t want to stab your own eyes out.
Second is Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. As loathe as I am to suggest a book that’s been on Oprah’s book list, and everything I said about Peace Like a River is true of it as well. Now it’s your turn. Suggest your favorite work of fiction that everyone in the world hasn’t read (Narnia, Tolkien, Harry Potter) and tell me why I’ll like it. I’ll send the person who recommends the one I end up liking best a special present I haven’t decided on yet.
One of the fun things about having eighteen month old twins is that they are beginning to recognize what the other one likes and dislikes. For example, E. loves squash. L. thinks it’s okay, but feel nowhere near the level of passion for it that E. apparently has. I’ve noticed that when they think I’m not looking, L. will move some of her squash to E.’s high chair tray. In return, E. will usually move something of hers that she like less that L. (for example, pears) to L.’s tray. All of this food trading is messy- not that eating with toddlers is a tidy experience to begin with. So every evening after dinner, Rob sweeps up while I neaten the living room. The girls LOVE to help him with this, mostly, I think because they like to use an adult sized broom. Here are a couple of pictures we got last Sunday of L. and E. cleaning up after dinner (willingly and not in violation of any child labor laws):
Sunday, November 04, 2007
But first, here are the E. and L.’s Halloween pictures. Although we were all sick, we went up to the university where Rob teaches where they host trick or treating each year for faculty kids. Typically, L. hates to have things around her neck or on her head, so I was a little concerned about how well the costume situation was going to go over with her. As you can see, it was a little touchy there at the beginning.
(E. was not one hundred percent comfortable in the beginning either).
Once she saw E. in her costume, though, she got more comfortable. Apparently, she thought E. looked pretty cute and reasoned that she must look good as well. These pictures were taken at the entrance to the building where Rob’s office is. He took the candy that the girls got and said he was saving it to “give to the girls when they are older,” but I have no seen any evidence of that candy, even in his normal secret candy hiding places in his closet.
The tiny giraffes climbing the stairs.
L., finally happy in her giraffe suit.
E., excited to be allowed to climb stairs without parental intervention.