Testing, Testing One Two

She opened her eyes to familiar surroundings: late afternoon in her own bedroom. The light was streaming in through the crack in the blinds; that must have been what woke her. She cocked her head as an unfamiliar sound tickled her eardrums. Some kind of soft whirring, like the air conditioner was on, but this early in the year, the air conditioner wasn’t on. Maybe it was a neighbor doing something weird in his garage.

She flipped the covers to the other side of the bed and swung her legs to the floor. That nap hadn’t been an entirely good idea, she thought. Her head felt logy and somehow swampy. Damp and confusing. She put her elbows on her knees and rested her forehead in her palms for just a moment. Then, taking a deep breath, she rolled her head around on her neck to get the kinks out of try to bring herself to some semblance of life. It worked well enough for her to stand up and walk around the bed.

She rested her hand on the doorknob for a second, feeling something strange. She couldn’t tell if it was in her head or if it was real life. The whirring had turned into a buzzing in the back of her head, and the doorknob seemed to vibrate like some small animal. She loosened her grip enough to pull her fingers away, but they were still cramped into the shape of the handle.

A quick massage brought her fingers back to life, and she tugged the dark and faded blazer from the end of her bed and pulled it on over the tank top she’d fallen asleep wearing. She’d worn the blazer to work for so many years it was a comfort when a day just wasn’t going well. Comfort would be a pretty good thing to have right now.

She thought she felt a presence lurking behind her and slowly turned her head to the left, but nothing unusual was in her field of vision. A shiver racked her body, and goosebumps followed. No; that nap had not been a good idea at all.

She rubbed her face with both hands, squinting her eyes and yawning afterwards. She felt a little more awake now, a little more herself. She shook off the odd sense of…was it doom? She shook her head in denial and reached for the doorknob again.

It wouldn’t turn, wouldn’t even wiggle. The buzzing in her head was louder now, more insistent. Her body felt more awake, but her brain was falling back asleep.


He peered into the monitor and blinked. She wasn’t supposed to be awake yet. He slapped the side of the machine twice, as if that could change the image. She shouldn’t be up and walking around. And yet, somehow, she was. He picked up the phone on the desk next to the computer and dialed his supervisor’s extension.

The doctor answered after half a ring.”What’s wrong?” he demanded.

“She’s awake,” Chuck answered. “Not just awake, but she’s out of bed. She knows she locked in. She’s already tried the door.”

Chuck heard the bang of the handset hitting the doctor’s desk and hung up his out phone gently. This was gonna be bad. The was gonna be real bad.

Thirty seconds later, he heard footsteps pounding out a quick rhythm in the hallway outside his office. He backed out of the way of the monitors just as the doctor slammed the door open and froze.

“She shouldn’t be up and walking around. There’s no way. There’s no way!” he yelled at the innocent monitor before turning to grab Chuck by the lapels of his rumpled lab coat. “What the fuck is going on here?”

Chuck knew better than to offer any kind of answer, knew that this temper tantrum would blow over soon enough, and the doctor would calm down and start taking notes and making phone calls, just as he always did.


She stepped back from the door, shaking her head in denial. The buzzing had mutated again; the humming purr inside her head was even more unsettling that the bees’ nest. She whipped around and something caught her attention. The corner of her Einstein poster was pulled up a bit from the wall. She took the four steps to it and tried to smooth it down, and as she did so, she felt something behind it. Her fingers snaked behind the poster and ripped it in half as she tore at it, only to discover a camera lens staring back at her.

“You bastards,” she whispered. “You dirty, dirty bastards.”



More about Secrets

I have so much to say today, after practically hiding yesterday. But I don’t know how much I can say.

I’ve been aprilvak for about sixteen years. If you’re my friend in real life who also interacts with me online, you know this. I don’t have a secret identity here. I don’t hide the fact that I’m blogging, I just have very few real life friends on twitter. However, all of my Facebook friends know I’m on twitter.

None of my ‘real’ friends have ever let me know that they read this. As far as I know, only my husband reads everything, with my sister and best friend reading posts when I suggest them. Do you read everything, Shelley?

But the question remains, who does or doesn’t read? Mostly, it doesn’t affect me at all, so I don’t even think about it, but there is the occasional time that it does affect me, that it does bother me, that it does keep me from being as open as I’d like to be.

So what do I do? Do I write about it anyway and just keep it as private until I can be open about it? Do I post it with a password so I can be selective about who reads? Do I start an entirely new blog with a real pseudonym and just let you guys know privately?

I don’t know.

Of course there’s a part of me that wants feedback, but there’s a part that knows however well-intentioned said feedback may be, I might not be able to take it without offense. Then again, I don’t know how well I’d even be able to write about it, knowing no one could read it.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, it’s just coming to a head with some things going on and privacy seeming to be a greater trend in my circle o’friends.


Time Warp Tuesday: Post Publishing Fear

20111206-171006.jpgLet’s do the Time Warp again!

This is my first Time Warp Tuesday! I’ve enjoyed reading some of the posts for it now and then, but this week’s topic just called my name when I saw jjiraffe’s post in my inbox, and come to find out, she even suggested this topic!

To sum up, Kathy at Four of a Kind had the idea to revisit old posts each week, writing a new introduction, maybe about why you chose it for that week’s topic. Here’s what I have for you.

When I first returned to blogging, like many of you, of course I kept a lot of personal things to myself. The thing is, I cannot abide secrets anymore. Due to events in my life, I have a desperate need for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I am the person I am today because there were too many secrets, and I abhor them now.

The more I wrote, the more I read, the more connections I felt with other bloggers. It ate me up inside that I wasn’t being myself. I had begun forming these relationships with other people that weren’t wholly based on the truth. I felt so guilty because I was lying to my friends, to my infertility family, and I didn’t know how to live with myself, knowing about this huge intentional omission, this elephant in the room that no one else could see.

So I wrote this.

For those of you who are just joining me, no, I’m not pregnant.

And while I didn’t tell much of the story at all, the short-and-sweet AA version consisting of ‘hi, I’m April, my husband had an affair and now I’m a mom sometimes’ was enough to get the monkey off my back, for the most part.

But it was so hard to write. And even harder to publish.

I agonized for so long before talking to my husband about writing something like that. I never want to say anything here that would upset him after all we’ve been through, but he told me then, and has reassured me since, that he’s completely okay with me writing about anything at all that I need to write about, that I can say anything that needs to be said to help me feel better.

Of course, I still hold back. I can’t help that. The interwebs do not need every single intimate detail of our life together. But I do say a lot, because that’s who I am now.

Secrets don’t make friends. I believe that with all my heart. If any of you were to be my friend, I had to get this off my chest. Now that I have, it’s so much easier to be me.

But that’s not the only reason I had to write it. And as immensely important as that reason is to me, it’s not the most important.

I don’t ever want our little girl to ever think that we’re ashamed of her. She isn’t on our Facebook pages (boo to fb anyway!), we tweet about her rarely, and she isn’t mentioned on our Google+ profiles. The only place you can find our pictures of her are here, and even those are a rarity.

We would never, ever be ashamed of her. We are so proud and happy to be her parents. So if you ever stumble upon this in the future, my darling baby girl, know that Mom has always cherished you. Even when you were hitting and biting and screaming bloody murder at bedtime. You are always in my heart, and I love you very, very much.

Something You Didn’t Know About Me, and Other Stuff

I feel like a bad blogger. I try to write enough extra posts on the weekends to get me through the week, but sometimes I don’t. I know there’s no rule that says you must post every single day or else, but I like writing, and I hope you like reading. Sometimes it’s hard for me to find the time during the week to write.

Because I have a sixteen-month-old stepdaughter.

Also because she has recently apparently decided that long naps (over 40 minutes) are for squares, but that’s beside the point.

She is my beautiful, bright, shining star. I love her so much. But I don’t know how to bring up the subject here. It’s my stumbling block.

This is what I was talking about Sunday. This is what I’ve been trying to make up for by refusing to take a break at all. I didn’t understand until this week that the reason I couldn’t stop, even for a day, was because I thought I had to prove to my husband that he didn’t have to go elsewhere to have a child. Somehow, I suddenly realized how bad that reasoning behind my actions was making me feel. And I don’t have to feel that way.

Infertility is bad. It really sucks. But it’s not the worst thing in the world. I would say that I’d gladly trade fertility for fidelity, but I might as well be spending the million dollars I don’t have. I never had fertility, and without infidelity, I wouldn’t have the marriage I have now. I’m not recommending it by any means, but I don’t know how we would be where we are now if we hadn’t been through what we have. And we are happy where we are now, and we’ll be happy where we’re going.

But during the week, when we have our baby girl, it can be really hard to write about infertility, or even think about it. And sometimes it’s all I can think about. Stupid catch-22s.

There is, however, something else that I’ve been preoccupied with this week.

I think we made it.

I think I’m pregnant. So does my husband, so does my mother, the doctor. I had a negative test two days ago, but that’s probably because I actually couldn’t wait to start peeing. Me. I never want to pee. I don’t until the day I start taking meds because I know that one lonely line will just make me feel bad.

But we agreed that I would pee. I still don’t know where he hid all my stuff, but he dug out the last test from wherever. And of course I went back to bed crying and demanding comfort snuggles. But I don’t believe it. I think it was just too soon, only 9 DPO (there’s that hated acronym!).

I didn’t even believe my chart when it told me I ovulated last week. I feel so lost and overwhelmed. And scared. Omg, so freaking scared.

I don’t fit in with moms because I have a daughter for four days a week who I didn’t meet until she was nine months old. I’m afraid I won’t fit in here anymore either. And I’m so afraid of losing that. I’m so afraid of losing you.

So don’t mind me, I’ll be completely crazy until next Tuesday. Is this what a real two week wait is all about? How do you do it??

Secrets Don’t Make Awareness

By now, so many people have made their initial feelings about the Facebook breast cancer ‘awareness’ meme clear, whether they be shock, anger, disgust, distaste, indifference, or support. This first wave of outcry is turning more and more from proactive discussion into nitpicking comment wars. Lucky for me, I haven’t had any negative comments (yet), for which I am thankful. I know I have a new blog with few readers, but I do have a voice for my opinion, just like everyone else.

A few specifics bother me about the comments criticizing those of us who are unhappy with this meme. If anyone could explain how my thinking is wrong on these items I’d greatly appreciate it.

Secrets don’t raise awareness

I just don’t get how the big mystery is supposed to raise awareness. One of the points in the message is ‘keep em guessing.’ How, exactly, is that supposed to help anything? Wouldn’t it be simpler, easier, and more effective to ask people to post this link, or maybe this link?

It raises money for breast cancer.

No, it doesn’t. There’s not even any information given for someone to donate to. Don’t even start with the ‘Facebook is donating for every status like this.’

It’s supposed to be fun.

Breast cancer isn’t fun. Cancer isn’t fun. Infertility isn’t fun. Being made a fool of isn’t fun. I would much rather have my mother, or sister, or daughter, or father, or brother, or husband around for another few years because they understood the importance of early detection, which is knowledge they sure didn’t get from hearing about your craving.

So I’m not allowed to post about my pregnancy because it might ‘offend’ someone?

This is not about pregnancy at all. This is about fake pregnancy. This is about deception. This is about attention-seeking. This is about lying to your friends and family. Not cool.

Lighten up, it’s not about you.

Actually, it is. Fighting infertility can consume someone’s entire life. The most innocent thing can ruin an entire day. This may not be deliberately malicious, but it’s not innocent. And it’s not just one person. Google tells me the average user has 120-130 Facebook friends. So odds are, the average user has 12-16 friends suffering from infertility. Who knows how many of your friends are upset by this because trying to support someone else through a struggle? So yeah, it is about me, and maybe as many as half of your other friends. That’s not worth a little consideration?

It’s just Facebook.

You’re right. It is just Facebook. So why is it so important to you that I not be upset about your trivialization of my disease? If it’s no big deal, why don’t I have a right to my feelings? Don’t pop on over to twist the knife a little.