We had such a wonderful weekend in Colorado. We spent Thursday through Monday spending time with all our friends and family in Colorado, and we are truly blessed with the people that have stayed in touch with us, and continue to support us and come out to see us when we go back to Denver.
I find myself telling everyone how this little one was conceived. I wasn’t super secretive about my infertility before – I would tell anyone if they asked, or if it seemed natural. But now that I’m pregnant, I feel even more compelled to tell people that this baby was not an accident, and she wasn’t easy, and I worked really hard to get her! I found myself at my baby shower talking to five women in the kitchen all about IUI’s, and IVF’s, and frozen embryos, and any other questions they had for me. And it was great. Maybe this will help get the word out. I don’t have a lot of ambition to be an infertility advocate, or anything like that. But if we could all be more open about our own experiences, maybe it could help infertility have less of a stigma than it does already.
And it doesn’t have to be super serious and educational. We were at a happy hour after the shower so the guys could celebrate too, and after a few drinks, someone started taking a bunch of pictures. Somehow the hubs and I got into some weird poses, with him grabbing my belly and I guess it looked a little sexual, and someone yelled out, “That’s how she got that way!” And the hubs said, “Not exactly. I wasn’t really involved at all!” And I said, “No honey, you were involved – you had your nice alone time with the cup!” And everyone laughed. Not sure if it was awkward for those who didn’t know all the details, but I don’t really care. At that moment, I was proud of us for being easy and up-front about our infertility, even if it was in front of 15 or so random friends and a bunch of strangers around us.
The night before we left, I had a two-hour conversation with the hubs’ grandmother. She’s the only grandparent that we have left between the two of us, and she’s amazing. She’s 92 years old, and she still goes to work every day as a bookkeeper. She keeps the books for about 20 different investment companies and trusts, all on green ledger paper and with a pencil. She decided when she turned 80 that she wasn’t going to worry about things like drinking and dieting anymore, so she will definitely have a cocktail or two if given the opportunity! She and I sat there for two hours, she with her glasses of champagne, and me with my water, and I listened to her talk. She told me all about the birth of her first child.
It was 1944, and she and her husband were living in Oklahoma on an army base. She was about to give birth. In fact, she had been told by her doctor to come into the hospital the next day to give birth (not exactly sure why – I think she was supposed to check into the hospital even though she wasn’t yet in labor). Well, her husband told her that his unit just got orders to go to Europe to fight in World War II. She hadn’t been away from her husband prior to this, but they knew that it was probably coming. So the next morning, instead of checking into the hospital to deliver her baby, she packed up her car. She decided she didn’t want to have a baby in Oklahoma where she didn’t know anyone; instead she wanted to be in Ohio where she grew up and where her mother could help her raise the baby. She had a foot locker that held all her clothes, dishes, and other personal items, and a dog. She drove for two days, without going over 40 miles per hour per the war-time restrictions, and using gas stamps, and she made it to Ohio by herself. She didn’t go into labor for another eight days.
When she went into labor, her mother told her to take a cab to the hospital, but when she got into the cab, she discovered it was full with two other passengers. The cab driver told her that he was going to drop off the other passengers first, as they were defense workers, and they were more of a priority than a laboring woman. She finally got to the hospital, and they discovered the baby was breech. She still delivered vaginally, but only after “the doctor took his knife and cut me, all the way to my bowels!” She hadn’t heard of the term “episiotomy” when I said it. She then told me that for the next ten days while she was in the hospital, the doctor would come by, put a sheet over her face, and show all the students “her bottom” with the cut and all the stitches. She was so embarrassed, having to show her “bottom” to strangers. She stayed in the hospital for ten days with her baby girl, and by the time she went home, they were in a good routine.
I loved hearing her stories of giving birth, and raising babies. She is such an amazing woman. I hope she lives for at least a few more years, as I hope that baby Alex will be able to remember her. She can’t drive as her vision isn’t great, and she has a few medical problems, but overall she’s in really good health. We’ve been talking a lot about death lately, as she recently changed the executor of her estate to the hubs, so she wanted to go over all the details and paperwork with both the hubs and me. I’ve only been with the hubs for eight years of my life, but she is such a huge part of my family, and I don’t ever want to see her go. She’s so excited to meet baby Alex, and I can’t wait to see them together. We’ve decided on a middle name for Alex – Louise. This is the hubs grandmother’s middle name, and I can’t think of a better name for my baby girl.
This trip made us long even more for Colorado. We have to get back there – and soon. Right now we have a two-year plan. At the end of the next two years, we will be back in Denver. Our jobs don’t really support this, but there are more important things than jobs. We want to raise our children in Colorado, near our family, and that is much more important than where we work.