27 May 2011

Nerd in Utero Project Goes on the Road

T minus 12 hours until our flight for Las Vegas leaves.  It will be Baby Nerd's first flight, although I'm sure she won't remember a thing about it.  We will be taking two of our posters on the road--Weeks 18 and 19.  Yes, this means no posting of any updates until we get back, BUT the photos of the belly bump will be taken near some very memorable landmarks.

It will also be our first long trip away from Mojo.  He's been rather mopey these last few days, using that canine ESP to try and anticipate what's to come.  Last year's vacation was to the Florida panhandle, and we were fortunate enough to find a beach house that permitted pets in the rental agreement.  Mojo doesn't do so well on car rides.  Poor sap has to practically be tranquilized, otherwise it's Vomit City for him (and our vehicle's interior).  This time, he will be on his own mini-vacation with my friend and co-worker, Tamela, who is a dog whisperer if I've ever known one.  Her dogs are sure to whip Mo into shape.  He could use a little boot camp since he graduated well over a year ago from obedience school.  While washing everything in the house yesterday (including the bed sheets), Mojo made himself a napping nest from my Snoogle and our bed's comforter.  The photo below may be a little dark and grainy, but it captures our mutt getting caught in his temporary bed.

"Uh, I found your Snoogle.  I thought you might want a little Eau de Mojo on it since I'm not allowed in the bed."

We did have another ultrasound this past Monday, so I will leave you with a few images of Baby Nerd.  It was a little frustrating that our doctor came an hour and fifteen minutes past our scheduled appointment time, yet he was in surgery with another woman who was having a baby.  This reassures me that when our big moment of delivery happens, he will be the one to help welcome her into the world.  Even after being so late, he still took his time examining everything concerning Baby Nerd: bone lengths, kidneys, heartbeat, belly size (hers, not mine), brain lobes.  He studied every angle of our baby as if she was his own.  He was also just as fascinated as we were staring at the screen, as if it was his first time seeing an ultrasound.  Again--frustrating to have to wait, but totally worth the treatment and bedside manner of a doctor who honestly wants to take care of you.

This is from the top of her head looking down.  Both of her arms are up and her hands are next to her ears.

She gave us a little wave.

She also mooned us.  Her butt is rather cute, though.  Her feet tucked underneath look a bit large.

Yeah, she does curls.  That's why her bicep is so well-defined.

She wouldn't look directly at us since she's face-down, but she looks quite cozy in there!
Here we go on radio silence for a couple of weeks!  If we happen to catch a chance at free internet, I may do a quick post.  But the Nerd in Utero Project updates will have to wait until our return.  Much love to everyone.  Enjoy the beginnings of your summers!

25 May 2011

Why Increasing Class Size ISN'T a Reasonable Solution

We were caught off guard when we heard the news about our county's elementary schools: 15 teaching positions gone.  That's anywhere from 300 to 375 students that will be crammed into remaining teachers' classrooms this fall, bringing class size up to a maximum of 35 children.  Currently under Georgia law, grades K-3 max out at 23 children per room.  Grades 4-8 can have no more than 28.  These numbers are an increase from just a couple of years ago in order to rectify budgetary issues seen across the state.  Have we actually seen a change in the legal maximum since?  Absolutely not.  It is difficult to see how cutting positions is justifiable when the law on class size has not budged.

Is this another editorial written by a teacher just to gripe about all the injustices of education?  There are always reasons to whine and moan about your career, but I'm not writing this to spout off like a hot geyser.  When your career involves shaping today's children into tomorrow's model citizens, someone needs to speak the truth…and with a megaphone in her hand.  Parents, you deserve to know why increasing class size is not the answer.  It will have an effect on your child's learning experience and overall well-being.

So let's take the time to examine both sides of the educational coin: the parent/student side and the educator side.  Parents and students, these reasons are for you.

  1. Some of you are thinking, "I had 30 in my class when I was a kid.  What's 5 more?"  Comparing yesteryear's kids to today's is akin to comparing apples to Chinese star fruit.  With every generation of students comes a new set of challenges, issues, and baggage that teachers must learn and then accommodate.  Adding 5 students to a roster back in the 80's or 90's may have not been as big of a deal.  The economy was stronger, divorce rate was low, and people yearned for a great education.  Adding 5 students today is completely different.  It is our job to serve any student who comes through our doors, no matter if they: are below grade level, are learning English as their second language, have any documented learning or physical disabilities, are transient due to a guardian always moving, have incarcerated parents/family members, have a chronic illness, have never been in a public school before, or don't have a home.  You even have students who show up quoting their parents: "I'm only here because the government says I do.  Mama said I don't have to learn anything."  With the increase of issues outside of school comes an increase of classroom quandaries.  Your child may come to class clean and fed with homework in hand each and every morning, knowing he's going home to two loving, supportive parents.  But if the teacher is having to spend time on managing issues concerning bullying or constant disrespectful behavior that can stem from any of the aforementioned issues, that means there is less time spent on instruction and modeling of vital educational lessons.
  2. You didn't get a say when your school system was determining class size.  This is decided by either your state's board of education or your local school system's board.  If you want your system to know how you feel, you have feet and a voice.  Take yourself to the board of education meetings and stand up for your child's learning environment.  Board members still have the power to vote, but at least they are empowered with the knowledge and experiences you have shared with them.
  3. If you believe your child doesn't get enough one-on-one time with his/her teacher, just wait until the numbers jump.  This is most certainly the case in homes with multiple children who have differing needs.  A child with a learning disability will receive more homework help from the parent than the one who aces every spelling test.  In the classroom, the students who get the most face time with the teacher are the ones who need the most attention.  Just like a parent, a teacher is only one person.
  4. Your child's teacher has a life outside the school walls.  I used to believe that teachers slept at school, never ate at fast food restaurants, and didn't know how to do anything beyond grade papers and make bulletin boards.  Wow, was I ever wrong.  We have the same responsibilities you do outside of work, like paying off debt and going for yearly check-ups.  We get paid for a 40-hour work week, but in actuality, we spend an extra 20-30 hours per week outside the classroom on planning, grading, and researching, all for the sake of enriching children that are not our own flesh and blood.  That doesn't even include the time we commit to tutoring or mentoring.  Usually, those hours are unpaid, too.  Just like you, we want to have movie night at home with our families or enjoy a day at the park walking the dog, and then be able to meet all of our needs with limited interruption from our careers.
  5. Increasing class size adds to our workload, thus leading to possible decreases in motivation, alertness, and attention to detail while instructing your children.  Why else do you think they limit the number of hours a pilot can fly or a doctor attends to his patients?
  6. More children + more furlough days = less instructional time.  It's simple math, folks.  Your child is deserving of a quality education.  Stuffing students into classrooms like sardines and then taking away several days of instruction is highway robbery.  Every business has to cut corners to meet budgetary demands, so they might trim how many cases of paper they order or how many overtime hours an employee is permitted to work each week.  It should bother you that the real cost in the case of inflating school populations on a shrinking calendar is valuable learning time.

Teachers, here are a few that might get you thinking.

  1. Other school systems are penalized for failing to comply with class size maximums.  In Broward County, Florida last year*, simply having one more student in a particular class than legally permitted would have cost them millions.  Their school system looked to find ways to avoid paying these penalties, such as asking for extra classroom funding or asking teachers to take on extra periods of instruction.  When I taught in Clarke County, Georgia, getting one more student than legally allowed was grounds for hiring a new teacher.  In fact, in the middle of one of our school years, we had to hire a third grade teacher immediately following Christmas break because we had a sudden influx of third graders.  During the days leading up to her hire, the existing teachers literally ran out of desks and chairs as the students kept being added to their roles.  It left a handful of new children to sit in the floor during instructional time.  Their disdain for being without the standard student furniture was obvious.
  2. You didn't get a say in determining class size, either.  You're the one in the trenches with your students each and every day.  You know better than anyone what a manageable number of students is and what number is simply too much.  When was the last time someone from the board came by your classroom and asked your opinion on class size?  I think we would all be shocked if board member came through our doors and tried to walk a mile in our shoes just to see what it is like to balance everything expected of us as educators.  The parents are probably wondering why I don't encourage teachers to voice their opinions at board meetings.  Teachers have to choose their words and ways of expressing themselves with extreme caution.  School systems have firing rights, and they can't fire a parent for speaking with candor or vigor.
  3. Test scores.  Is there really a need for me to explain this one any further?
  4. You felt called or led to teach, but the system is leaving you feeling jaded.  They say if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.  But is it love when year after year the school systems restrict your resources, add more furlough days, allow certain parents and/or students privileges that you have been denied, and chide you for teaching anything beyond the curriculum?  And yet with these cut-backs in materials and your paycheck, they want to add more children to your room?  What politicians, board members, and bureaucrats fail to see is that they are going to run off highly-qualified, well-eduated teachers like you whose hearts are truly in their work and who produce well-rounded students who will one day be contributing members of society.  What will they do when the only ones left willing to teach are a bunch of "yes men" who just want to ride out a low paycheck for 30 years?  With the way the systems are changing, it may get very ugly before there is real progress and positive change for everyone, including the educators.

It may be impossible to please everyone on the spectrum, especially since we are talking about government-funded education.  Parents want the best for their children's education without fear that the system will suddenly turn its back on student needs.  Educators want to provide a quality service to their students without fear of the system bullying them into more work for less pay.  Together, teachers and parents won't solve the increasing class size problem in one fell swoop.  It will take take time and combining their efforts with the following goal in mind could help alleviate the stress and strain on all parties until there is much-needed relief: "It's all about the children."

22 May 2011

Nerd in Utero Project: Week 17

The shirt may be a little bit looser this week, but it sure is comfy.
How Far Along: 17 weeks, 5 days
Size of Baby: The size of an onion.  I put onions in just about anything I cook.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: 10 pounds.  It's all in the belly and boobs.  I'm glad it's not in the face and thighs.
Maternity Clothes: No new ones, but I put on one pair of the maternity denim capris I bought with the full-belly panel.  Yeah, apparently a panel of spandex (even when it comes clear to the outer reaches of your underboob) does not hold up one's britches when you are not hugely pregnant.  As I walked around the house preparing to leave for a birthday party this afternoon, the dern things kept sliding down.  The crotch of the capris ended up halfway down my inner thighs, and I could feel the butt pockets sinking below my cheeks.  After much yanking and tugging and rearranging of the pants, I gave up and turned to the other pair of capris that are not full-panel.  Instead, they have the wide elastic band that holds snugly to the underside of your belly.  Looks like I'll be doing a little more shopping before we go out of town.
Baby-related Purchases: Not on my dime, BUT I did receive some great gifts from my students as end-of-the-year presents.  I got several very cute outfits and other miscellaneous useful items.  My favorite one is being modeled in the pic below by my teammate, David, because it's so stinkin' hilarious.

The bib says: "I'm NOT a Boy!"  Funny, most definitely.  Funnier when a boy wears it.
I also forgot to mention last week that another co-worker, Jennifer S., gave me a full-sized container of Similac formula that came in the mail as a free sample.  Her children are way past the formula stage, but she keeps getting samples in the mail.  She handed over the unopened mailer, which (besides the formula) contained coupons, reference guides on feedings, and an organizer for daddy that shows him how to prepare for the stay at the hospital.  
Gender: Girl.
Movement: I have felt her a few times this week.  The first "big" movement was when I was listening to the 80's station on our (still free) Sirius Radio.  Toto's "Africa" came on, and I immediately turned the volume way up.  Roughly 20 seconds into the song, Baby Nerd jumped.  Feeling the vibrations from her jump in my uterus was incredible!  Today at the birthday party, she moved 4 times, as if she was letting me know she was enjoying the chips and dip as much as I was.
Sleep: Snoogle = good night's sleep.  Michael finally caught onto this, and I have found him spooning the Snoogle (or the Snoogle spooning him) as he's catching his final hour of Zzzz's while I get ready for work in the mornings.
Belly Button In or Out: Still just the teensiest bit concave.
What I Miss: My tiny hipster jeans.
Cravings: Food in general, but I can only tolerate so many sweets in one sitting.  I scraped the icing of my slice of cake at the party today.  Oh, and I ate an entire pizza by myself Friday night when Michael was camping with Damon.  Granted, it was a small pizza from Papa John's, but I don't think I've ever consumed an entire pizza in one sitting.
  • Sweating profusely.  Since when does my belly button sweat?
  • Just assume from here on out that I'm a peeing machine.
  • Intense hunger and thirst.  Especially the thirst--it simply cannot be quenched.
Managing the Stress: I didn't go to the gym.  Go ahead and wag your finger at me.  It was the last week of school, so all I did was focus on my students and my teacher responsibilities.
Worries: That I'll never be able to wear my hipster jeans again.
  • My first year of teaching 5th grade was a success!  I cried my eyes out at Monday night's celebration after handing out many awards to my kids and watching an emotional slideshow capturing the year's events.  I miss my kids already.  I'll have to post something separate about this year's class.  They were really special.
  • I took the chance to see my former students "graduate" 5th grade at the school where I only taught one year just 2 years ago.  I am fortunate to work for a principal who gets it when a teacher wants to take time out of the work day to visit former students to show how much she still cares about them.  They had grown so much.
My "old" kids proudly wearing medals and sharing their success stories with me (Cody, Chris, Carl, Leshon, Chloe, Amaya, and, kneeling in front, Perla).  Perla told me she missed the sound of my voice every day.  *tear*

Two of the girls, Kristin and SaQuaria, from my old class acted as though they had seen a ghost when they spotted me.

Abbie is almost my height!  She's become quite the athlete over the last couple of years.   Her mother gave me the sweetest embrace when she saw me.

  • Did I mention school's out?
  • Maelee turned 3!  She is exactly 2 weeks older than our marriage.  What's even cooler about that is the fact that her dad, Robert, served as our best man despite the fact Maelee was only 2 weeks old when we tied the knot.  Sandra, Robert's wife, came out that night for our celebration and even helped clean up after everyone went home.  How could we possibly miss another one of Maelee's birthdays?
  • A friend from high school, Josh, and his wife, Melanie, are pregnant with their first baby!  They have followed my blog and messaged me a few times during their time of TTC.  It was touching to have them reach out during their struggles to someone who knew just how frustrating and heartbreaking the TTC journey can be.  We wish you two the best!
Quotes of the Week:
At the birthday party today for Maelee…
Sandra (to her 3-year-old): "Maelee, what's in Aunt Vikki's belly?"
Maelee (who gives a sly smile): "A BABY!"

15 May 2011

Nerd in Utero Project: Week 16

Don't mind the ridge from the full-panel maternity pants.  It's like wearing waders…underneath my clothes.

How Far Along: 16 weeks, 5 days
Size of Baby: The size of an avocado.  This is one of our favorite foods!  Guac, anyone?
Total Weight Gain/Loss: Almost 8 pounds exactly, although some of the ladies in the front office keep telling me that I look like I haven't gained a pound.  Gotta love your female friends!
Maternity Clothes: I bought more today.  I tried Old Navy first, but they are terrible at catering to girls my size.  I mostly bought from the women's side of the store--stretchy skirt, extra long ribbed tops.  Then I tried a boutique upstairs from ON.  Yeah, their jeans were $177.  If that doesn't cause morning sickness, I don't know what does.  Finally, I hit Macy's where I finally found a pair of maternity jeans AND denim shorts.  Hooray!
Baby-related Purchases: Linda, one of our awesome parapros at work, gave me an entire box of baby clothes that her granddaughter grew out of.  And while I was at Old Navy, I found a couple of summer tops Baby Nerd can wear next summer.  They were on clearance.  This was the first time I spent my own money on baby clothing!
Gender: Girl.  Duh.
Movement: I swear I felt Baby Nerd move in the middle of the night last Thursday.  I couldn't sleep because I was in a foul mood over the way a teachers' meeting had gone earlier that afternoon.  While it was perfectly quiet and Michael was busy sawing them off, I laid my hands across my abdomen.  That's when I felt the slightest little knock on my abdominal wall.  It may have been a gas bubble, but I'd like to think it was our little girl.  :)
Sleep: This week's sleep has been just plain awful.
Belly Button In or Out: It looks like it's flattening out.
What I Miss: Being cold-natured.  Yeah, it sounds stupid, but I wake up sweaty and being outside in the heat is causing me much misery.  Field Day on Friday just wasn't the usual fun for me because I was so damn hot.
Cravings: Cheese, salty things, and salad.
  • The headaches finally arrived…and they lasted for days...
  • The acne may have died down a little, but it's leaving scar marks on my arms.
  • Seriously, the running out of toilet paper is getting on my nerves.  Someone should invent a never-ending roll just so that pregnant ladies won't have to change them after having to pee so much.
  • Still very itchy.  And I think I have a couple of stretch marks starting to show.  Ergh.
Managing the Stress: Gym time, venting time (to Britney at the gym), lots of eating time, staying home from work time (due to the headaches).
Worries: Other people's behavior influencing or affecting the success of our pregnancy.  No kidding--TWICE this week I've had drivers pull out in traffic in front of me because they failed to stop at a stop sign.  The second vehicle to do this was a tow truck.  I was cruising along at 65 with 4-5 cars behind me and 2 in the lane beside me when the dumbass tow truck driver decided he didn't want to make that complete stop.  What went through my mind as I was swerving to avoid hitting everyone as they're also swerving, laying on the VW's horn, and screaming obscenities?  An image of our car in a crumpled mess, and then me, lying in a hospital bed, receiving news that they were able to save my spleen, but not our baby.  Seriously, folks.  Be safe behind the wheel and think past yourselves when making driving decisions.  Thank goodness everyone came out of that situation safe, but you can only be "lucky" so many times when doing stupid things.
  • If that really was her kicking in the middle of the night--woohoo!
  • 5 more days of school, which puts us even closer to vacation.  Hello, American West!
  • Diane's husband, Eric, and our teammate, David, did an incredible act of kindness for me this week.  I had tried to move my super long bookcase from one side of my classroom to the other, making every attempt to squeeze it in between 2 glued-to-the-wall cabinets.  The bookcase was 1/16 of an inch too long.  Well, along came Eric and David with their manliness and carpentry skills, took the bookcase's end wall off, and notched it to fit the existing shelves without having to saw anything off.  It fit like a stinkin' glove.  I am blessed to have co-workers and co-workers' husbands who are nice enough to do such an involved task just because they wanted to help out a fellow human.
  • CRCT scores are in, and my class did a REALLY awesome job.  Words cannot express how proud I am of all my goobers.
Quotes of the Week:
  • This one isn't related to the pregnancy, but I thought it was hilarious.  At field day, one of my students was looking for me in the sea of red T-shirts that the entire 5th grade wore with pride.  When he finally found me, he exclaimed, "Mrs. Wynne!  It took me forever to find you.  You look just like one of the students!"  Yay for being 5'4".
  • From Michael when--while lying on the couch watching TV--I was trying to feel Baby Nerd: "Well, you have to realize.  She's half me, and I looooove to sleep.  She's going to be good at it like her dad."  

14 May 2011

Pasta with Salsa Cruda and Pancetta

At the request of my dear friend Katy, I am posting this easy, yet super tasty, recipe.  It was inspired by a similar recipe on www.epicurious.com, but as always, we changed things around and made it our own.  We paired the pasta with a side of freshly-cut salad greens from our garden topped with a dill cucumber ranch dressing.

Yeah, iPhone pics aren't the prettiest, but this light pasta dish is sure to please.

1 package of short pasta (conchligie, orecchiette, farfelle)
1 16-oz. container of ricotta cheese
1 1/2 pounds (approx.) fresh tomatoes, chopped
chopped fresh basil and oregano (dry works, too)
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package of cubed pancetta
red pepper flakes
*freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (for topping the pasta immediately before serving)

Cook pasta as directed on the box.

Meanwhile, begin to saute pancetta in a skillet on medium heat.  After 2-3 minutes, add the shallots and garlic.  Throw in a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.  Continue to saute until everything is golden.  Pancetta may become crispy, but that's how we like it.

While everything cooks on the stove, mix all remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl (even the extra virgin olive oil--it adds a burst of flavor).  Use salt and pepper to taste.  Drain pasta before adding to the mixing bowl.  The ingredients from the skillet can go directly into the mixing bowl, too, once they are done browning.  Stir everything together until the ricotta has coated the pasta.  Portion onto plates immediately.  If using grated Parmesan, now would be the perfect time to add it to the top.

From start to finish, it probably took 30 minutes to make this entire meal, and the leftovers kept very well.


08 May 2011

Nerd in Utero Project: Week 15

Sporting my new maternity britches.  Why can't all pants be this comfy?

How Far Along: 15 weeks, 5 days
Size of Baby: The size of a navel orange.  Two weeks of citrus fruit comparisons in a row.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: Somewhere between 6-8 pounds.  The waist has grown to 30.25 inches around--almost a 3-inch gain!  This would explain why I can't button any of my pants.
Maternity Clothes: Yes, finally!  I went to Motherhood Maternity at Georgia Square Mall yesterday afternoon to see if I could find any pants.  I came away with 2 pairs of cropped jeans, a pair of khaki capris, and 4 maternity tops that were too cute (and comfy) to refuse.  Before heading out to the grocery store, Michael noticed my new duds and commented on two things: 1) that the maternity jeans didn't hug my rear like all my other pairs and 2) that I'm now wearing "mom jeans".  Say that again, dear husband, and you might end up with a pair of mom jeans down your throat.
Baby-related Purchases: I only spent money on maternity clothes.  I'm contemplating starting a baby registry soon, though.
Gender: Still can't believe it's a girl!  Currently working on a name.
Movement: I don't feel any movement, but I had a dream that Michael and I could feel her moving by touching my abdomen.
Sleep: Sleep is best when spooning the Snoogle.  That pregnancy pillow is an answered prayer!
Belly Button In or Out: Can there be a half-way belly button?
What I Miss: Not getting worn out so easily.  We had a field trip on Wednesday and the 5th grade picnic on Friday.  The field trip had me coming home only to face-plant into our living room couch.  I slept almost the entire afternoon (only to be awoken by Michael who wanted to know what was for dinner).  After a full day in the warm sun, walking up and down hills, and photographing a billion 5th graders at the picnic, I chose to take my nap in the classroom before driving home.  I thought the 2nd trimester was supposed to come with energy boosts.  Now I'm REALLY worried about our road trip at the end of the month...
Cravings: Cheese still rules the day, but I'm doing my best to balance the diet.  We buy lots of fresh produce since our garden hasn't reached it's full potential yet.
  • My belly really itches!  It sees a lot of lotion nowadays.
  • The pregnancy acne made a return.  Argh.
  • I'm contemplating a Sam's Club membership just so I can buy toilet paper in mass quantities.  It seems every time I stand, I automatically have to pee.
  • Sheer exhaustion.
  • Growing, growing, growing...
Managing the Stress: Went to the gym, walked a lot during the field trip and picnic, had dinner one night with co-workers before a PTO meeting, watched a lot of "Sons of Anarchy"  on NetFlix (it's quickly made the top of my favorite TV shows list).
Worries: That I'm going to be the ruin of our anniversary trip out West.  Michael and I always plan a jam-packed vacation so that we cover a lot of ground and see as much as we can see.  My fear is that I'll be so tired, I'll flake out on activities on our itinerary or simply pass out every time we get in our rental car.

  • Having our pest control business (Wynne Pest Solutions) recognized at the last PTO meeting! A huge thanks to the brains behind it all--Robert Williamson--who came out to the meeting and put up with a bunch of us crazy teachers.
  • My friend, Katy, finally announced her pregnancy!  I'll explain in a separate post why this is such a big deal.  This was one of the celebrations I mentioned a few weeks back that was listed as a "secret", so I'm relieved the cat's out of the bag.
  • Having a huge family lunch with Michael's parents, Michael's sister's husband and 3 kids, and my mom yesterday afternoon.  We feasted on fajitas and corn chips at On the Border.  Yeah, that's my kind of cuisine.
  • We teachers received some really great news, too, but I have to wait to announce this one since a couple of my former students' parents are readers of my blog.  It may or may not have something to do with test scores…
  • 10 more days of school left.  Need I say more?

03 May 2011

You Shouldn't Say That to a TTCer...No, Really...

After Michael and I announced to the world that we are having a little girl, my fellow blogger and old childhood friend, A. Hab, sent me a lovely email containing many congratulations and words of reassurance that having a daughter wouldn't be as scary as we were anticipating.  Her message asked about how I was feeling and if the family was excited over the news.  Then she mentioned she had come across an article on www.thebump.com that focused on the worst things one could possibly say to someone TTC (Trying To Conceive).  As a concerned (yet curious) friend, she wanted to know if any of these things had been said to me.  In order to answer her inquiry, I opened the link and read through the list.

Yeah, my jaw hit the floor and bounced back into place.  The phrases in the article were so incredibly similar to what my TTC ears had heard for the 20 months it took us to get pregnant, I felt I had written the article.  So here is a list of my top 5 "favorite" TTC lines that I hope you'll think twice about before voicing them to those trying to become mommies.

1.  "I just know you will get pregnant one day. You just wait and see."
  • How I heard it: If I had a dime for each time someone said this to me...  Honestly, I believe friends and family say this because they're trying to be encouraging.  Yet, it gives false hope.  When you are TTC, you have to accept the possibility of NOT being able to get pregnant.  I was one of the fortunate TTCers who actually was finally able to incubate a future human while taking 2 types of fertility meds, but it didn't make it any easier to hear that line.  Think about how difficult it would be to hear this and never get pregnant.
  • Why it bothers those TTC: No one has a crystal ball or the ability to see into the future.  So unless you are God Himself, there's no way you could possibly know the fate of anyone's fertility.
  • What you can say instead: "It must be a difficult situation for you, so if you want someone to pray for you, just ask."  OR  "I went through the same thing when we were trying to have Baby Boy, so let me know if you need someone to talk to."
2. "Kick back, relax, and don't think about it!"
  • How I heard it: This is another one of those "if I had a dime" statements.  Asking me to relax when I'm so focused on a goal is like asking the Rainman to skip Judge Wapner at 4:00.
  • Why it bothers those TTC: There are so many things that factor into a TTCer's stress levels: job, bills, home and yard upkeep, family situations, friendships, (lack of) time off...and the list goes on.  So even when a TTCer is not immediately focused on FSH levels or getting that fertility prescription refilled, there is always something on her mind.  We'd like to be able to forget about it, but the longer we go without a fertilized egg, the more we obsess over it.
  • What you can say instead: "Let me take you out for sushi and a glass of wine!  A girls' night out just might be what the doctor ordered."
3. "When I was trying, we drank lots of green tea picked by Amazonian monkeys, only wore organic cotton underwear, and had lots of tantric sex.  We swear by our methods!"
  • How I heard it: OK, I admit, I didn't hear these exact words, but I did receive lots of unwarranted advice that made me downright uncomfortable--from both friends AND family.  I'll never be able to scrub certain images from my brain that so painfully penetrated my imagination through such conversations.
  • Why it bothers those TTC: Do you really think your best friend wants to picture you and your husband doing the dirty in some wild Kama Sutra pose?  Someone get me my shrink!
  • What you can say instead: "We did some pretty unconventional things that helped us get pregnant.  If you're ever interested in hearing about it, you have my number."
4.  "You've been trying for, what, 3 months now?  Just tell your doctor you've been trying for a year and get yourself on meds!  He won't know the difference."
  • How I heard it: From a friend who had no trouble getting pregnant when going off birth control.  Maybe she felt guilty, especially since after 6 months of trying, I still wasn't even ovulating normally.
  • Why it bothers those TTC: My reasons here are two-fold.
  1. I'm very uncomfortable with lying to a medical professional.  It might be because I'm married to one and it pisses him off when patients hide the truth.  Lying to your doc can come back to bite you in the ass.
  2. Women who think that 2-3 months of trying is a "long time" don't know what the emotional pain of wanting for a child actually is.  Going on meds that soon doesn't automatically put you into the infertile category, and it makes those who actually are very bitter.  It's practically cheating, and I can't see myself doing that to my fellow TTCers.
  • What you can say instead: "Ask your doctor what they think is best.  You can always get a second opinion if you aren't on the same page."
5.  "You don't have anything wrong with you."
  • How I heard it: Yes, this was actually said to me roughly a year ago, and it still makes me want to throw things.  It was from a friend whom I imagined going through the TTC process with side by side, but she was one who went on meds after only a couple of months of trying. When I voiced my opinion (see the two reasons from the previous quote), she defended it with answers that made her sound as if she were medically doomed to ever get pregnant.  And then when she said there was nothing wrong with me, it seemed her perception of my ovaries' capabilities matched those of Michelle Duggar.  I'm sorry, but what part of I didn't have a period for 130 days seemed "healthy"?
  • Why it bothers those TTC: Knife. Heart. Twist. Repeat.
  • What you can say instead: I don't really have an alternative for this one, but just because someone doesn't vocalize their medical hang-ups and bang-ups doesn't mean they don't have them.  Never assume someone has it easier than you.
I know there are other "favorite" TTC lines out there!  Send me your favorites by commenting below.  Have a happy Hump Day tomorrow.


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