Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What I did this weekend

I know that the first rule of blogging is that in order to keep readers coming back and interested, one has to post. But when there's nothing to report, what does a blogger do? So, I thought I'd tell you about my weekend.

Every year, usually on the Victoria Day long weekend, V. and I have the our first big BBQ of the summer. Because he and his Dad celebrate their birthdays within 4 days of each other and usually, on is on the long weekend, this has become the annual birthday bbq. And we have several other friends and family members who are also celebrating around this time. And when I say big, I mean big. The guest list is upwards of 80-100 people. Of course not everyone is able to make it, but we usually average 40-50 people.

In the past, the weather has usually been decent, but we've often had a sprinkling of rain. This year, in the hopes of better weather and more people being able to come, we moved the event to the next weekend, May 27th. We still averaged about 40-50 people, and as usual some were able to join us and others not. However, this year we had amazing weather. The sky was clear, no clouds, and the sun out. I believe the temperature was about 25C (about 77F). Everyone had a great time.

If you know me, I tend to stress for days prior to any event we host, when it comes to the food. V. can attest to that. Mainly it's because I don't have a firm number of guests so how can I adequately plan. However, I did better this year than in the past. I made homemade hamburgers, 64 to be exact, and only had 16 left. However, there is a fair bit of potato salad and couscous salad left. I think I'll be tossing out whatever V. hasn't eaten by tomorrow. As I said to him on Sunday, if we had the a bbq for our West Indian friends and family, I'd have run out of food. One day I plan to have that bbq. :)

Anyway, everyone had a good time. Now to prepare for the group coming June 3rd. :)

Just checking in

Well, nothing going on right now. I will hopefully have something to update everyone with on Friday when V. and I go see Dr. L. for the ultrasound results. I'm not expecting to hear anything different than I've been told before regarding the type, locations or size of the fibroids, but it will be good to know everything in further detail than I've been told before. Plus it will be the first time that V. gets to hear it first hand and ask any questions he needs to ask.

I am realistic in that I don't expect her to tell me that there's been any cancellations. As a colleague said to me today, why would anyone really cancel their surgery unless there was a problem, if they've been waiting just as long. However, should she say that they've got a date earlier than July 11th, I'll take it. :)

Until Friday.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I hate this waiting

Waiting. I hate it. It seems I am doing a lot of it. There's not much to update because I'm waiting.

I'm waiting for June 2nd when I go in to find out what the ultrasound showed about the fibroids.

I'm waiting for July 5th when I'm currently scheduled to go for pre-surgical bloodwork.

I'm waiting for July 11th when I'm currently scheduled for surgery to remove the fibroids.

I'm waiting to get a phone call informing me that they've had a cancellation and can move my surgery date up earlier.

All waiting does is provide me with time to think and dwell. I don't think a day goes by when I don't think about all of this and wonder and worry. Now, I'm also waiting to hear back from the nurse at the clinic because I emailed her last week. Periodically I email her to say hello and let her know what our status is. This time I let her know about the current surgery date and reminded her of a letter I needed for our accountant. But this is where the waiting comes in....I also mentioned that our donor just had her 37th birthday. This puts her just outside the accepted age range for egg donors. So what does this mean? I don't know which is why I'm waiting. And stressing. And dwelling on worse case scenarios. So now I'm waiting to hear what the doctor has to say about this latest concern of mine as the nurse said she was going to give her this information and have her review the file. I'm hoping that because D. had such good results from her initial ultrasound and such that they say were still on track.

I hate all this waiting. Maybe my fibroids have miraculously shrunk. :)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Clarification for you all (including my Dear Wife)

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Continued from the comments of the previous post)

When I married DW, I made it clear that our household will be run like a Trini (i.e. someone from Trinidad) household. There will be discipline for the kids, including corporal punishment when necessary, there will be strict rules and there will be a hierarchy of parent and child; we have enough "friends". I take being a parent very seriously and, as with us all I am sure, I want to improve on the job my parents did.

Mum felt the need to point the obvious us to us about what our life would be like when we got together. It is part of the things that annoyed me greatly in the beginning; I may be childlike in my zest for life, but I am not a child so don't make the mistake of treating me like one. When DW and I got together, we knew from the start what life would bring us due to our contrasts. She was white, I was black. She was munch-a-cake Canadian, I was born and bred Trinidadian in Canada. She was Jewish, I was Roman Catholic. She was short, I was taller. She was older, I was younger (meaning I woudl probably still die before her when we reached old age). The world of averages was stacked against us and we knew that going in.

Well, despite some, er, incidents with her family, some challenges in our own little circle (with and without TC), we have now been together approximately eight years and we celebrate our second anniversary on June 13th. This is my friend, my partner, the love of my life and my equal. I would not be who I am today without her. And that is the plain truth.

So, anyhow, going into this relationship, I knew that DW's faith was important to her and I not only respected that, I embraced it. When I went to high school at Father Francis Libermann H.S., we had a course in world religions and studied all the major religions of the time: Christianity (natch), Judaism, Confusciosim, Hinduism and Islam. We also were able to visit a place of worship for each which was a huge learning process in how others believed and worshipped in their faith. It was also the catalyst for my questions about the validity of my own faith.

Due to my earlier exposure, I surprised many a family member with not only my knowledge but my willingness to participate in the various ceremonies and holidays that identify with the Jewish faith. I participated in the Seder feast and Passover. I understood the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies because my soccer goalie in my youth had one that I attended. I unfortunately attended the funeral of my SIL's father in an orthodox church; a great man, healer of children and one of the first people to make me feel like a part of the family and welcome. I attended my first bris for our good-for-nothing cousins (inside joke) and I learned of the Sukhot. I may not be Jewish, but I understand what importance it plays in who my wife is so to embrace her I had to embrace it as well.

So, when she wanted a Jewish wedding, I had no issue with it and went for it all the way (except for keeping kosher). When she spoke of our kids being Jewish, I knew that as the mother it would be so. The only thing I balked on was the circumcision. I eventually relented with the demand that unlike tradition, her ass will be right there with our son when he gets his wee wee hacked.

So, my love, there is no angst, there is no question, there is no problem. You are Jewish and so will our children so be. If they choose differently later, it will be because they left our house, are paying their own bills and earned the right to do so by being thinking, mature adults. So it is said, so shall it be done. :)

Oh, sorry for the long ass post. Just no way to shorten all that info.


Monday, May 15, 2006

To Tell or Not to Tell

So I was reading Julie's blog today and this post and it got me thinking. Go and check out her post and her thoughts about it. But here's the thing. This woman, Kelly Romenesko, was a teacher in the Catholic School system in her hometown in Wisconsin. In 2004, she and her husband used IVF and she became pregnant with twins. She had been open and honest with the school, asked for a couple of days off for the embryo transfer, and that she was using IVF. But when she told them she was pregnant about a month later, she was fired for "violating a provision of her employment contract saying a teacher has to act in accordance with Catholic doctrine."

I'm Jewish, not Catholic, but V. is catholic so I'll let him weigh in on what he thinks. Jewish scholars have interpreted the commandment to "be fruitful and multiply" to include both natural and artificial means. I think this article has talked about it extremely well, and shows that Judaism is more forward thinking that other religions, even the orthodox viewpoint. However, this all changes when donor sperm or egg is used. In Jewish law, the child is considered Jewish if the mother is Jewish. So what happens if the donor of the egg is not Jewish, but the birth mother is? Some Rabbinical scholars say that the child is not Jewish and must convert to Judaism. Other scholars believe that the mother is the woman who actually gives birth to the child, which means the child is Jewish. My donor is not Jewish. I don't know at this point if my future child/ren will be considered Jewish or not. I do intend to ask the Rabbi who married us what his take is on it, and I also intend to ask him, when the time comes, if there is a conversion ceremony that could be carried out when the child is an infant. V. and I haven't decided to raise our children as Catholic or Jewish, but rather exposed as best we can, to both religions. I'd like my children, according to Jewish law, to be viewed as Jewish so that they can make the decision when they are older which religion they'd like to pursue.

It's ironic this became a religious post, as I really am non-practicing. However, for those of you who know me, it is still important. When V. and I got married two years ago, I wanted to be married by a Rabbi in a Jewish ceremony. I found Rabbi Mark who turned out to be knowledgable, friendly, funny and an all around nice guy. He didn't judge us and performed the ceremony as we wanted it. Just as it was important for me to be married under a chuppah by a Rabbi, it is also important that any sons I have be circumcised. Now I don't want to hear from you if you disagree with circumsion or not. This is not the purpose of my comment, but rather to explain my viewpoint. It's more to explain how my heritage fits into my life now. And based on the Jewish views on IVF and donor eggs/sperms how it affects V. and I.

So what do you think?

Sorry this post became some what all over the place.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Telling her wasn't as bad as I expected

So for the past 6 months, as you know, V. and I were waiting for the appointment with the doctor to evaluate the fibroids. Well, during that time I didn't say anything to my mother about the fibroids or the pending surgery. I wasn't afraid to tell her, but I didn't want to tell her without more informations. I needed to tell her BEFORE the surgery rather than after. Letting her find out afterwards would be bad thing. I also had to make sure she knew before either of my brothers were told. Now my brother and sister in law in Chicago are both doctors, so we've kept them in the loop with what we've been doing. We hadn't told my younger brother but only because he's so busy with work and travelling that we don't see him often and never had an opportunity. I feel really bad about that because I don't like that he's the only one who doesn't know. I don't know if my older brother has said anything to him but if he does know, he's not let on.

Like I said, I wasn't afraid to tell my mother, but I wasn't sure just how she'd take it. Our relationship has its ups and downs like most mother-daughter relationships but overall I think we get along quite well. And I do love my mother. She's always supported my choices and decisions albeit with some comments tossed in at times. I don't think she does it intentionally, but some of her comments can be negative. Because of her own medical history, she is worried and concerned about me and how all the meds and hormones that I've taken and will continue to take when we move to the IVF stage may affect my own health. She was so concerned that at one point she felt she couldn't support our decision because of this. However, I think she has come to realize that we've researched and discussed and made our decision and are moving ahead with or without her. Because of that, I think we may have gained a little more respect from her because of this. I'm not sure, maybe I'm seeing what I want to see. Who knows. :)

So, last week I finally told her. Her reaction was, well, normal. Calm. Understanding. Normal. She asked some questions about the surgery and stuff. She even knows who my doctor is. Maybe that's why she didn't make a big deal about it all. I guess I could have told her sooner. :)

Oh well. Now just to tell my younger brother. We're seeing him at my mother's on Sunday, so perhaps we'll fill him in on what's been going on then. Once he knows, I'll call Chicago and update everyone there with the latest information.

I haven't told my family about this blog yet. Haven't figured out when/if I'll be doing that. That will be for another time.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What do you think?

Why is it that some people try so hard to have a baby and can't, yet others manage to do so without really trying?

Who really cares that Brit*ney Spea*rs has managed to get knocked up again? Granted she's 20 something and her husband probably is so excited to be married to her that he can't keep is pants on. But come on, pregnant again???

Then there are the Duggars. They are a religious family who have, as of October, 2005, 16 children ranging in age from newborn to 17. And they are planning on having more!!!

And finally, what about the British couple who are expecting a baby? She's 63 and he's 61. Apparently she was "perfect" for the treatment. How many people who have gone through IVF, and were well within the "acceptable" age that many clinics will perform IVF, were told that they were perfect, or conditions were excellent for success yet have had failure after failure? Yet this couple were lucky enough to have one embryo transferred and be successful on their first attempt.

Now I'm not going to say that any of these people are not deserving. (Maybe Brittany should grow up a bit first before having anymore, but I digress.) But for those of us who have been trying to have children, it can be someowhat discouraging to read about these families. Who am I to say that the Duggars shouldn't have any more kids. And who should say whether or not 63 is too old to have a child. I'm 45. Some would say I'm too old. After all, when I'm 65, my future child would be graduating high school. Does that make me too old? None of us can say it's right or wrong. Some would argue that nature didn't intend women in their 60s to have children. My initial reaction when I first heard the story was to say that it's wrong. But in retrospect, and after reading the articles and seeing the news stories, I've decided that I can't say it's wrong. I don't know that I would go through the process at 65 but I will at 45.

Some would say, why not adopt if you want a child so badly. That's not such a simple question. In Ontario, there are more adoptive parents than there are infants and toddlers. Although one is likely to be able to adopt an infant from overseas, International adoption is very expensive. In fact, it's more expensive than the route V. and I are currently taking. This is not to say we are against adoption, it's just not where we are right now.

Sorry it's been a somewhat rambling post.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Why couldn't she take a vacation?

Okay so I had to call to find out, but in case you can't tell the patient who wanted to talk to the doctor has decided not to change/cancel her appointment and is going ahead with her surgery. BAH! She had wanted to take a vacation. I would have told her go have fun, take your vacation, surgery will still be here. But nooooooo, she wants to do it now, at the end of this month.

So, I continue to wait. My next appointment to go over the ultrasound results is June 2nd, then it's July 5th for the pre-surgery appointment for bloodwork and paper work, and then July 11 is THE day.

Meanwhile, Sandra, the receptionist has my name on a post it note and is keeping me in mind. The problem at this point regarding the cancellation, which isn't really a problem but a factor, is that a 2 hour time slot is required. She's had cancellations for 1 hour blocks, but not 2 hour. She says they do come up, but I won't hold my breath. So, for now, I've got 4 weeks until I go in again, and then another 4 weeks until D-day.

That's it for now. Hopefully I'll have more positive news to report in the near future.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Can you tell I'm bored?

And I still like MJF. :)

Your 80s Heartthrob Is

Michael J. Fox

Still no call....

Priests? Wouldn't that make more sense if it said Rabbi?

Your Monster Profile

Shadow Enigma

You Feast On: Grass

You Lurk Around In: Swamps

You Especially Like to Torment: Priests

Sorry, no update yet, but for your amusement....

I've left a message at the doctor's office but nothing back yet. So, I thought I'd give you something at which to laugh out loud.

Yesterday I was having a conversation with Patti about baby names. Neither of us are anywhere close to that stage, but we got to talking about which we liked and which we didn't. So while reading another blog I found a link to "Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing". Keep in mind that I'm at work reading this site. I think people thought me strange when I burst out laughing. For those of you who like to give your child unique, unusual names, this site is for you. This covers the unusual, the misspelled, and the strange. These are real people who are posting their choices for names for their kids and the comments made by others. My personal favourite so far, and the one that had me laughing out loud was Quinn Allyse, not so much because of the name, but because the comment someone made to that name was "Quinn Allyse, Medycyn Womyn!"

In any case, go check it out. Keep in mind that these people are not right in the head. After all, who would name there child d'Artagnan?


Monday, May 01, 2006

When is it TMI (Too Much Information)?

In my previous post, my good friend and best man made mention that it was TMI to know certain things about me. Now normally I would agree as everyone knows, there are some very strict topics that are pseudo-taboo amongst men. We want to know and then borrow and buy the books and movies that someone recommends are good to "toss off" to, but we sure as hell don't want to know that the particular person is doing so.

Well, in that same vein, I find that I don't always want to know the fine details on the trials and tribulations of others. I fear it more not for the details themselves, but for the effect they have on our mood and strength of purpose. It also tends to make one second-guess what one is doing because it seemingly caused issues for someone else. So, where do we draw the line between unfounded fear and information that we learn from someone's experience? Let me give you an example of what I mean.

Geeks my wife and I may be, but one of her greatest simple pleasures is when we lie on the couch together, her feet on me (as they inevitably find their way there) and my rubbing of them. Now, on a blog she had open recently, the woman there had gone to an acupuncturist in part of her last ditch efforts to make her dream come true. In that meeting, the lady told her that she should not have had her feet or lower back rubbed because "down" was bad and it disperses or messes up her chi.

Now, I realize that the first instinct is to summarily dismiss this as drivel, but many a doctor has been embarrassed by herbal medicine that was dismissed as drivel before. Armed with this new information, how am I not to dwell on the many years I have been rubbing my wife's feet hard for her after a tiring day at work? Have I been dispelling her chi and driving the babies away as this acupuncturist is claiming? How will I ever know for sure?

Before you tell me it is ridiculous nonsense, understand that I am well equated to how important the feet are and how well connected they are to the rest of the body. When I was much younger, playing foot hockey with the crew out in front of my house, I missed the ball and kicked the curb (definitely not one of my finest moments). Besides cracking my little toe (but not requiring a cast), something else curiously developed; a gland in my armpit had swollen up to the size of a small prune. It eventually went away after some soreness, pain and swelling. And this is also the area they say you do not want to have glass or a needle enter as the veins would take the foreign object right back to the heart and possibly kill you.

So, just what is a guy to do? Do I air on the side of caution and stop rubbing her feet as one more action to magnify our chances or do I brush it off as superstitious nonsense? Well, I have seen a lot of things in my short lifetime that no one was able to explain and I believe that there are simply things we do not know. So, sorry honey, but your feet rubbing will have to wait until you need it closer to the completion of your pregnancy. Whatever will help to make this work now, we need to do it. 143.