Saturday, July 26, 2008

Priorities

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I want. Agonizing, actually. Struggling to get back to a place of focus on my work so I can continue in my program. But in the back of my mind, I am thinking about IUIs and our schedules and our new infertility coverage (50% of everything: diagnostics, treatments (including IVF) and medications) with my husband's new job. What would happen if I got pregnant. How would people at school react? Would I need bedrest? Would I be freaking? Would any of this schoolwork matter at all?

Maybe it's just easier to focus on babies and pregnancy because I have so little control over it. I can schedule appointments, I can go for consults (not that I have), but this work just comes down to me.

I have to do it myself. And yet... And yet. C will not like hearing this, but I want the baby more.

I am more than a woman. I have many things to offer the world, in addition to raising a family. I'm happy when I'm using my brain in different,*varied* ways. Probably I wouldn't be a stay-at-home-mom. Not for long, anyway.

But I want this so much. So much it scares me. Distracts me sometimes. Feeds my professional insecurities. Allows me to focus on my academic worries *and* my personal, physical ones.

*****

I must have said it a dozen times last weekend: I bet they get pregnant on the honeymoon. They'll be gone for 17 days, it's likely she'll ovulate while they're away. (Yes, this is where my mind goes.) As the wedding weekend carried on, more and more and more people were pushing them publicly to get busy having children. And the way she dotes on her niece and baby cousins tells me she's going to push for it as soon as possible. They are not ready in so many ways: just married, new house, immature, sketchy relationship, financially insecure. She makes more than he does, but I can't imagine she'd want to go back to work after having a baby. They can barely afford the house as it is. And if there's a child, it will take my brother that much longer to come to his senses (a girl can hope) or that much more to make the relationship work. And even if they get divorced, he will be tied to her forever because -- at least in this -- I know my brother will do the right thing. Maybe I give my brother less credit than he deserves, but this is what I see. "Surprise!"

So, yeah there's some sour grapes in that I think she'll be able to get pg without even thinking about it. And she'll be totally rude and/or inappropriate considering she has not said one word to my sister or to me about our losses. Not one word.

The word we use for her is "entitled." She gets her way and she expects to get her way. So she does. And if not, she throws a fit. In public. For example. The wedding cost upwards of $60k* at the reception site (paid for by her father no doubt). They had a contract with a local hotel to get their own room comped if they booked 15 rooms for the wedding. They booked 13, so the hotel charged them. She threw a fit. "They say, look, ma'am, here's the contract you signed." My brother bitched to me that they "got" them $2000 worth of business and complained that the room didn't get comped. Excuse me? $2000 is nothing in the hotel business, and if they spent $60K on this wedding, what's another $139? Seriously. My sister says it's because his wife is used to trying to get something for nothing. Sounds like entitlement to me. My brother went right along with it, and laughed at his wife's hissy fit.

So, the way the universe is working, it seems clear to me that she'll come home pregnant and have a nice easy pregnancy, with a healthy, living baby at the end of it.

*****

I am writing this post instead of doing my work. I need to get back to it. I'm still conflicted. I wish I could just dive into this work for a while and not think about anything else. Not gonna happen. Doesn't look like it, anyway. And at 38, it's not like I have a year or two to stop and think and feel ready for another pregnancy. And even though I was sick, I got a taste for that joy and excitement, anticipation of a new little life. And goddammit. I want it. I want it for C and I want it for myself.



*$60K for at least 200 guests in a high end NY area location. NY tends to be more expensive for functions like this, but yes, this was WAY, WAY over the top. And just like her to be dropping numbers. Though it was my brother. HUGE cocktail hour. A dessert room with three chocolate fountains. Cookies, cakes, fruits galore. On top of a three course dinner. And wedding cake (which, by the way, was pretty mediocre if you ask me.

This was all on top of a huge engagement party thrown last summer for at least 100 people. My understanding: Virtually everything for both events was paid for by the father of the bride.

Except, it seems, that $139 for the hotel room.

13 comments:

Mrs. Spit said...

I'm learning that this is an ok thing to want.

Sorry about your SIL. Mine is exactly like a potted plant. She concentrates so hard on things, she forgets to breathe. I'd trade you in a heartbeat. Mine is just dumb, not offensive.

G said...

I listened to a speaker earlier this year talk about generations and couldn't help but nod enthusiatically when he said the Ys and millenials are in a word.... Entitled.

I totally hear you on this creeping into professional life. Occupying our minds when we have plenty to do.

Ah the IF road.

niobe said...

Sigh. I sometimes get tired of the way life seems to be so ridiculously unfair.

(and $60k? wow. and I don't mean that in a good way)

Julia said...

Work-life balance in the aftermath is something I still haven't figured out. I think it's one of the toughest things, truthfully.

And then? What Niobe said.

And I was going to leave it alone, but I can't. My sister's wedding was a bit ago, and so the 60K thing is blowing my mind. Also not in a good way.

luna said...

i simply can't fathom spending that kind of money on a party. crazy.

I agree with life-work-baby thing is nearly impossible to balance. I wanted nothing more than to leave my job and go on maternity leave and never come back. and I love my job, really. but I wanted to raise my baby more. and sure, eventually I would have craved the reward and stimulation that my career provides, but I'd return to work more for the income. if I could, I'd work only PT on my own schedule, when my kid goes to school. look at me, talking like a would-be mom. and almost doesn't count...

follow your heart.

Yaya said...

You sound just like me! I wrote about my life priorities recently on my blog, and while I have a free-ride to get a doctorate degree....I think I'm going to turn it down bc my TOP priority is a baby...and doing the doctorate puts my top priority on hold.

As far as other ppl getting pg like it's in the water....it totally sucks, and hurts, and makes me want to punch a hole in the wall. Argh...wth.

Natalie said...

It is so so hard to get past the baby thing... or not even past it, but to be able to focus on other things. I have huge issues with that. Like you, I like all the appointments and schedules. It's easier that way.

So sorry about your brother's wife. My gosh. That is an EXPENSIVE wedding! And the hissy fit over the room... good grief!!

CLC said...

I totally get you. I 've got nothing but baby on the brain. It's amazing I am even employed. As for your SIL, it seems like everyone gets stuck with one like that. It so hard to not slap them!

Newt said...

I'm having similar struggles with the professional life vs. baby thing. The struggle, I guess, is that I'm not struggling. I just want the baby.

I couldn't care less about my job right now, and that's not the person I thought I was after all these years of work getting into a profession I absolutely adore. I don't want to turn into a person without professional ambition, but when I look at myself lately, I wonder if it has already happened. Anyway, I hope it helps to know that you're not alone in that. It helped me, reading your account.

As for your SIL, ugh. Just ugh.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

we find ourselves thinking the same type of things about our friends and family members.

I hate myself for it.

Aunt Becky said...

I will punch a bitch that messes with my friend STE. In her head our out of it. Especially when I could have had much more fun with $60K. I'm thinking of the damage we could do, STE...

gusin08 said...

i remember feeling that way, too, after my first daughter's death. i loved my job and my coworkers and my life (etc. etc.) but it was all i could do, for months and months, to see and think and feel and hear and smell and want anything but babies. for me, all that desire mashed up with all that grief was really confounding and disorienting. and i think it played a role in some decisions i made later that i never, ever would have suspected i could make, or would make, or would even consider making.

all of which is only to say it's hard to see where this road goes and it might not be possible to fully know how you feel as you walk along it. but if it's the road you want, well, then...we're here for you as you walk along it.

--carole

c. said...

I hate people with entitlement issues. The funny thing is they didn't seem to bother me so much when I was one of those people. Perspective. Ha.