The title is a bit lofty because I am only a part of what has made my greatest accomplishment so great. My little girl makes me strive to be the best I can be. She reminds me to be kind. She reminds me to forgive and as hard as I struggle with it sometimes she reminds me not to hold grudges. She is a ride that you seem to wait forever to enjoy but once it begins it moves so very fast. My little Monster makes my life brighter than any one man deserves. Another Christmas is coming and will soon be gone. The magic is still clear and new to her. Santa is coming but I am aware it will not be long before she knows the truth about old St Nick. I am drinking in this season and hammering it into my memory banks praying that nothing ever removes them. The magic will never leave the season as long as I keep it alive. Although Santa will one day be a caricature of the holiday our memories, traditions, and photographs will help us to remember why this truly is the most wonderful time of the year. I hope one day she will reminisce of our time with her child and maybe extend them on long after I have lived this life. I hope she creates her own traditions and loves this season forever with a childlike heart. I love you little Monster, little Stink. You and your Mommy make life a dream and I hope the dream lives a long, long, long time.
This is a movie I made for the assisted conception and infertility community. My infertility blogs are normally on “Sunshine Dreams and Hopes” on WordPress but my personal blog is the only Blog with video capability. I welcome anyone and everyone to follow my personal blog “The Tao of Pig Pen” but I warn you that Monster Movies are a series of movies I have made to chronicle my daughter, who was born as a result of IVF. This Monster Movie is only one of a very small handful that were not made about her. I understand the sensitivity to seeing other peoples children and that is why I want to give you all heads up that some of the other Monster Movies could be difficult for friends on the journey to have a child through assisted infertility. My non-Monster Movie blogs are just stupid thoughts that enter my brain and rarely about children. Enough with the warnings. I truly hope you enjoy this Monster Movie for friends like you that I hope find what they are working so hard for. As always I mean it when I say I love you all.
I read about strangers journey through the emotionally challenging infertility rollercoaster and it makes me weak. Everyone has a tragic and painful journey. While everyone’s story is different they are still the same. People try to have a baby naturally, they strike out trying, go to a clinic, trust a doctor, try the suggested course of treatment, treatments fail, new treatments same results, doubt becomes fear and then self loathing, wash-rinse-repeat. Sometimes it goes on for years and sometimes a child is never born. Everyone in the infertility community knows this story. Each time you think you have heard the worse story someone tops it. It is a game of one-upmanship nobody wants to win. I want to pull you all up men and women alike, hug you, and reverse your present fortune. If only I could. I only have my words and experience. I am a painfully tenacious positive person. I will find the silver lining of the cloud if I have to destroy it to do it.
When do you give up on the baby dream and pack away your needles and fertility meds up for good? There is not an easy answer to that but it must be a well thought out choice. You must accept that the journey will be hard but the juice is worth the squeeze. Everything you are about to read is my opinion and only based on personal experience. You are trying to build a family but keep a couple of things in mind. First of all family is what you make of it. If you have a loving spouse and loving extended family you already have more than most. I realize this is not enough in this situation but my point is to not forget what you already have during the process. That is very easy to do and when you forget what you have you may lose yourself. The next thing to keep in mind is that any family strength is based on a strong foundation. If the love you share with your partner is strong and communication is open then you will go further and weather more. You should consistently let out your emotion and talk with ones closest to you. You do not need advice as much as you need to be heard sometimes. Communication is everything. Your husband wants to know where you stand and what you are thinking in most cases. Most of us men spend our lives wondering what you are thinking and it can consume some men who create their own conclusions without investigating your mind and heart. These are the times you should share the most. He should ask questions not only of you but your doctors as well. If he is the medical cause of the fertility woes I would suggest trying to make sure he understands the issue does not define his manhood and that many other men have issues the same or similar to his. Make sure he knows you love him no less than you do the day you fell in love (he should do the same for you. Now the communication is up and open but the fertility journeys pelts you with bad news time and time again. Your communication and love will keep you going but when does it reach the point of being unhealthy to carry on? If the relationship is in jeopardy and worth having that may be a sign to stop the journey. When the money and insurance has run out and finances are pushed to a point where you may not recover it is definitely time to consider stopping. These are easy indicators of when to quit. If the stress is unbearable it is not a bad idea to skip a cycle or two and recover emotionally and physically. That is what we did. We stepped away and I was thinking we were done with fertility clinics but my wife regained her strength and put us on the road one last time. There are two times I would consider throwing in the towel. If you are sure you have done all you can and taken every route possible but had no luck it could be time. Things could always change later (age always is a reason) and you could try again. But the truth is that if you have done all you can and explored everything you can afford to explore then you should not sacrifice your life and love on a journey that does not define you. Your ability to have a child is part of you and may affect you but you are already amazing for taking the journey. The other reason I would suggest giving in is when you are no longer sure of why you are doing it in the first place. Are you being persistent because you don’t like living not being able to do something others can or because your spouse wants a child and you are not sure where you stand on the issue. If you commit to the infertility journey then you must want the baby and not a challenge to bested. Do it for you. Do not be afraid of the journey. Do not be afraid to love. Do not be afraid to fail but know your limits and what you can afford emotionally and financially. I hope you never give up if possible but I hope you are happy and healthy first. I love you and hope you get all you want.
This Monster Movie is the 46th in the series of videos that tell the story of an angel. I hope you enjoy it. If you are not a WordPress subscriber comments are appreciated on my face book page.
She came into my life on. October 20, 2008 at 5:19 PM. She is the culmination of a dream. The perfect wife and perfect child. She says thank you and please in the sweetest little angelic voice. When I come home from work or pick her up at pre school she charges after me full-bore to give me the biggest hug a 30somepound little body can muster. She melts me, destroys me, reduces me to the simplest form of me. She makes life focused yet delightfully crazy. I love to show her off and I love to love her. She makes me want to wipe the world clean of all its imperfections so she never suffers as much as a stubbed toe in her life. I love my little girl…..but……there is always a but. She is a Devil Tot.
I was listening to one of my favorite stand up acts, Lisa Landry, and she calls her son her Devil Tot. I immediately stole that phrase because it is oh so appropriate to use this description. I want to give her credit for two reasons. One because she deserves the credit and any fan of comedy should listen to her act and two because she said I was plagiarizing her term on Facebook. I am plagiarizing the hell out of her term because it is awesome. So back to my L’il Devil Tot.
How can something so little so sweet be so full of Dora the Explorer evil. One of her favorite shows is Dora and there is an episode where Dora and her friends must rescue three friends of which one of the them is Baby Jaguar. My Monster adores this episode and she will run through the house with toilet paper rolls affixed to her eye sockets looking to save Baby Jaguar. It is so precious but then the deep Linda Blair spewing green pea soup voice comes out of her and I am just waiting for her to say Baby Jaguar must die. This deep voice cannot belong to her. She will look me dead in the eyes while searching for the imaginary wild cat and growl “COME WITH ME DADDY”. I am fearful of her. The power of Dora compells you.
I would have it no other way. I have always wanted to be a great husband and spectacular father. I want to show bad fathers how it is supposed to be done. I want her to have the confidence to not need a man to define her, to be able to look a boss in the face and say I can always bring my skills else where, I want her to love life and eventually another man with unbridled passion, and most importantly I want her to love herself. If this means the Devil Tot must rise to the surface from time to time so be it. Life began another incredible chapter on that average October day. I am glad we did not do an exorcism in my wifes womb before the Devil Tot screamed her way into this world and my life. After all who can blame her for her devilishness she is her Momma’s girl.
Please enjoy some Lisa Landry….
I am a father to a lovely and perfect little daughter. She is an IVF baby. She is a modern medical miracle and she is a gift my wife worked hard to bring me. We spent many years wondering if we would ever be parents. I cannot speak for my wife but I felt it was not going to happen. We had our struggles and battles with the ego and confidence. We lost babies, we cried but we overcame. Had my daughter never been born we would have survived as a couple. Though we would have been crestfallen we would have found a way to love our way through a life without children. Love is the glue that keeps a family together with or without kids and a family is not defined soley by children or the lack thereof. Love is the strongest drug and can cure many a deep wound. I say this to the families that are struggling to have children do not give up until there is no choice but to give in. Do it within your means but do not let the fear overcome you. The most important thing to have is love and support. Judgement be damned and it must be left outside of the home. Love each other and let the chips fall where they fall. I was told maybe God doesn’t want you to be a parent. I heard people say IVF is playing God. God gave us these gifts. Don’t let people cloud your dreams. What happens when it works? What happens when the implant takes and you deliver your miracle? You lose the concept of time. You love more than you could ever imagine. My daughter makes my life brighter but my wife guided her to me. It all begins with love. Love each other and love yourself. Good luck with the dream of parenthood.