Tuesday, October 21, 2008

the world has turned

When I was in 4th grade I made a pact of sorts with my best friend that we would never smoke. My parents weren't smokers - I'd never been in a smoking environment really - but her mom was on a pack a day. Her house smelled strongly of cigarettes (and looking back, other smoked "delicacies") and the culture in her family was simply a smoking culture. We both agreed at that young age that it was a disgusting habit, one we'd never partake in. We remained close friends for years, although our peripheral friends diverged and changed. It was obvious that we were becoming a different species (as often happens in high school) but our friendship endured. Walking home from school together as sophomores we encountered some of her friends. One of them offered her a cigarette (Newport Menthol - I'll never forget) and she took it, lit it, smoked it. It was clear that this wasn't her first time, she held it confidently (or as confidently as a 15 year old can). I didn't say anything, I wasn't one to start a conflict, but I was hurt. Not that she was smoking - it was her body, she could do what she wished with it - but that she'd left this part of her, a part that we'd shared, behind. It felt clear to me then that a line had been drawn. She'd moved on, become someone new, and I'd stayed exactly where I was.

One of my early boyfriends relayed a similar experience while we were dating - he and a friend had always been fun but sober. They'd go to the high school parties and provide much of the entertainment, but while others' were swilling schnapps stolen from an unlocked liquor cabinet, Mike and his friends stuck to Coke. They never made a statement, weren't anti-drinking - they just didn't feel the need. But one day Andy got drunk. There was no dramatic after-school-special style climax, nothing terrible happened. But like Newport Menthols did to me, his friend Andy's first drink revealed a chasm that Mike hadn't seen before. Andy was exploring and maturing while Mike sat behind, stuck in the shell he'd always been. He listened to Weezer's "The World Has Turned" on repeat for awhile, feeling pathetic that a romantic ballad was representing a change in his friendship, a change due to a simple drink or two. But he knew now that they were different.

In the past 2 1/2 years the world has turned many times for me. Friends who got pregnant a few weeks after I did kept their babies, had expanding bellies and showers, gave birth, became mothers and watch their children grow. I don't resent them this change, but I can't deny it either. I have watched girls who'd battled to achieve a lasting pregnancy succeed and come home with babies - their attitudes sometimes changing so quickly, seeming to erase where they'd come from, what they'd gone through to stand where they stand, forgetting what they'd left behind. I've had family, friends, acquaintances and virtual strangers shift our relationships by virtue of their own growth, drawing an unintentional line in the sand between those who try and those who succeed. My world has turned. And turned. And turned.

Today I find myself on the other side of the globe. I am, for now, a success. Someone who caused the shift rather than had it thrust upon them. And although none of my close friends are battling the beast of infertility, there are those who are trying, who I know have cheered my win but wonder where that leaves them. And countless more (you?) who have less invested, who might very well write me off as "One Of Them" as I celebrate my pregnancy, the canyon between us seemingly too grand to jump.

I don't feel guilty for my joy and I don't feel undeserving. I won't apologize for this victory, however lasting it may or may not be. But I don't forget how I felt, just weeks ago, when hearing of another pregnancy. I don't forget the conflicted heart, the bitter and the sweet, the feeling of being, yet again, left behind. I know there are girls for whom the world has turned upon my announcement. And regardless of what I say from this moment on, I promise you I won't forget.

I might be lucky enough to become "One of Them", but I will always be One of You.


On a much more fun (and immensely flattering) note, my dearest Busted, one of my most favoritest bloggers, has bestowed me with an award. Hear that, high school math teacher who didn't believe in me? I've been given an award! Pfffffttt!

To claim this most prestigious of prizes I need to answer a meme of sorts, this one with one word answers. And so:

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Where is your significant other? work
3. Your hair color? eggplant
4. Your mother? herself
5. Your father? good
6. Your favorite thing? carbs
7. Your dream last night? strange
8. Your dream/goal? mom
9. The room you're in? living
10. Your hobby? knitting
11. Your fear? loneliness
12. Where do you want to be in six years? home
13. Where were you last night? couch
14. What you're not? energized
15. One of your wish list items? socks
16. Where you grew up? Wisconsin
17. The last thing you did? wrote
18. What are you wearing? scrubs
19. Your T.V.? on
20. Your pet? cats
21. Your computer? overworked
22. Your mood? hopeful
23. Missing someone? always
24. Your car? beetle
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? Anthropologie
27. Your Summer? hot
28. Love someone? always
29. Your favorite color? brown
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? week

And the fun part - time to pass the award on to 7 other bloggers:

1. To Gretchen, for being my official Fairy Godmother (and because maybe she'll have to update her blog now).

2. To G, although I completely understand if she's not up for quirky meme's right now (from One of Them) she needs to know that I heart her and her blog.

3. To TheWorms, for being one of the kindest, most giving people I've never met.

4. To Lifeslurper, whose posts always make me think and sometimes make me wish she could do my thinking for me. She's better at it.

5. To Amy who has been far too quiet lately, and is just too cute for words.

6. To Kymberli, for being a fantastic writer, a great subject for stalking and an even better mom.

7. And I cannot resist giving this award right back to the woman who gave it to me. I heart her and her blog so much, she deserves it twice. The girl crush is so totally mutual. Thank you, Busted.

I have to fess up to something. When I had a mere 3 (ish) posts under my belt but was getting the hang of commenting, my dearest Busted bestowed me with another award: the Kind Blogger Award. I was so touched (and still am!) but was frankly too much of a newbie to know what to do with it. I've always worried that since I never gave my acceptance speech she thought I was too good for her award, and yet months after the fact I felt ridiculous suddenly acknowledging it. But now's as good a time as any, right? So thank you for this too, Busted. YOU are too kind.


Kymberli said...

Amber, you continue to move me to tears with your posts. About the world turning - yes, yes, yes. You've so eloquently said what I've often struggled with on my blog, and I for one am truly happy to see you firmly embrace where you are now, while never forgetting the emotional toll and journey that it took to get here. I hope that in my own way, I deliver that same message of straddling both sides of the fence and never forgetting.

And thank you, thank you for this award. When you see a certain post of mine in a couple of days on my blog (you'll know it when you see it), I PROMISE that it wasn't because you gave me this wonderful award first. :)

Also - I have a post in my drafts that's about 2 months crusty. I have two awards that were given to me forever ago and I've still not passed them on. I'm a loser. :) By the end of this week, there will be four different awards passed on my blog. :)

Lisa said...

You deserve to celebrate and enjoy every minute - it has to be so sweet. You totally deserve the awards that have been bestowed on you.

Busted said...

Awww...I'm all verklempt. THanks, sweetie. And I can honestly say there has never been a moment where I've viewed you as one of "them".

Davenports said...

Hey! I finally got a chance to get out of google readre and comment you...

I'm so, so, so thrilled for you Amber! You've been in my thoughts and prayers for years and will continue to be.

And if you are confused as to who I am... its M&M with the cutie Mia. Who loves your hat so much it has been banned from wearing unless we are actually going somewhere lest she ruin it. :)

Anonymous said...

So true!! SO true!


G said...

Never, ever feel guilty for the joy. This baby deserves it as do you. Grasp joy and hold it close to your heart.


Thank you for the award/meme :)

Emily said...

Another wonderfully thoughtful post. Thank you!

theworms said...

As usual, tears are falling. You'll never be one of them to me.

FYI- my word verification is blesn, a sign I think :)

Anonymous said...

When writing a post, I often don't know who I'm going to touch by what I have to say, and I wonder if you know just how many people needed to read your thoughts? I really, really needed to read your post today as I've been struggling with a successful friend, and she seems to have "forgotten" the uphill battle that is infertility.

Maybe she just doesn't know what to say. Maybe she doesn't know how to express her joy yet be sensitive to me (painfully obvious in her omission of baby discussions). What a weird place this is. For both of us.

Thanks for acknowledging the weird place.

Jessatsea said...

I am so sorry to do this to you again... but this means you are thought of... often! : )
You've been tagged my sweet friend!

go to MY blog to see what's next.

Amy C said...

AMBER!!! I am so glad we got to meet...what a small world!! One question: Why don't you put any pics of yourself on your blog...cause you are ADORABLE!!!!! Let's def. get together for lunch.

Emily said...

Hi there, I just found (and read) most of your blog, hehe. First, I wanted to say Congratulations!

Secondly, I want to send you an invite to read my blog, as it is private. Could you please send me your email address to


I'm on my second fresh IVF cycle, and on an antagonist protocol for the first time.... we shall see.

Anonymous said...

I just recently started reading your blog though feel like I have "known" you for years. I am so very happy for you and wish you the most joyous of pregnancies.