Monday, March 21, 2005

In which it is revealed that I am a complete FRAUD

This is the point where I acknowledge how much of a fraud, an imposter, a shyster cloaked in lies I truly am.

Since this whole “pregnancy/baby/child” thing hasn’t been working out so well, I decided to redirect my efforts into something more readily tangible. Something that – would arguably take almost as long, but would significantly impact our lives (hopefully for the better). True, we have palm trees, and I’m currently harvesting ripe tomatoes and peppers from my garden. Admittedly there is 70 degree year round temperatures, and we’re literally within walking distance of the beach. Yeah – I have a great job, Michael’s incredibly happy with his, and I just got a raise. I should be happy… but I’m not.

I hate it here. I have no family here, my closest friends are all moving away, and I find myself an outsider from entire culture here. I am a sort of expatriate. It’s pitiful when two attorneys cannot afford to buy a decent starter home for less than nearly half a million dollars. I am stuck in traffic for over 2 hours each day (that’s 40 hours a week!). I pay through the nose for car insurance. We don’t even have renter’s insurance because it’s too damn expensive – and nearly nonexistent.

So, I have flung myself headfirst into relocation efforts. I needed focus, a goal – something attainable. I needed validation that I could achieve something… anything positive. So I sent out resumes, and surprisingly enough – got very positive responses (it pays to be in a quirky area of the law) very quickly from very esteemed firms. Too quickly. So quickly that I hadn’t truly thought through the consequences of this decision, (you mean if I send resumes out – I might have to interview – and maybe MOVE across country???) and to be quite honest – didn’t have my husband’s resounding support and enthusiasm about it. Oh sure, he was vaguely accepting of the idea, but didn’t think it would happen, and certainly not as quickly as it seems to have.

[I just realized this is probably the closest thing emotionally that we will ever feel to an unplanned pregnancy].

So now, I sit – counting the days, quietly sharing my bits of good news with my nearest and dearest friends, and hoping upon every shred of hope that this actually works out. And yesterday, in my blissful state – talking about the reduced cost of living, and what color would I paint the new bedroom, etc. Michael dropped the bomb. “What if you get pregnant between now and then? Then we can’t leave because you won’t have maternity leave, health insurance, or even be entitled to FMLA leave. And since your salary would go down if we moved to location X, you wouldn’t be able to take the extra unpaid leave off you were planning. And you just got a raise. You’d be making about 20% less there.”

We waited for so long to be able to comfortably start trying for a child. We waited until we had insurance (medical, disability & life). We waited until we were out of school, were comfortably settled into a home, and had put in my dues with my job long enough to take maternity leave. And now I must decide – do I go back on birth control? Do I chance getting pregnant? What if it is our only shot? Do I just let go and see what happens?

I spoke to my old neighbor yesterday who had her son only after ovarian drilling for PCOS. She waited for so long for him, and yet – when she asked if anything was new with us (i.e. were we pregnant – she chided – well don’t wait too long! He’s already fifteen months old. We were trying before she was pregnant. She said you’ll never believe how quickly time goes when you are caring for someone, watching them grow up every day before your eyes. She’s right. I wouldn’t believe that time could pass quickly when I have meted out my life in 2 week increments for the last 2 years.

In the nearly two years we have been yearning and trying for a child, this wasn’t the route that I expected to take. Of course, none of the journey thus far has been. So what would you do – would you keep trying, keep hoping? Or would you put this hope for a child aside for another year to eighteen months (about how long I would need to get settled in the new place, and work long enough for FMLA & paid leave)?

I feel like such a fraud.


At 2:27 PM, Blogger DeadBug said...


I'm sorry you're in such a pickle right now. Wish I had some sage advice but as I am not a sage, I will resist.

Housing prices are exorbitant in so many places, and we're in the epicenter here in the Bay Area. Sometimes I just want to sell the house, pack up and move to, say, Indiana and live off our profits for a few years. But then there's winter to consider, and being unable to grow tomatoes half the year...I guess what I'm saying is that I really relate to your predicament in some ways.

Oh, and there's the fact that I'm trying to get pregnant while unemployed and when my COBRA coverage will run out at the end of the year--before I could possibly give birth. I will need to find a job while pregnant, if I get pregnant. But I'm 35 and have IVF coverage for now, so I figure this is my one shot, damn the consequences.

Anyway...thinking of you and hoping that, whichever path you choose, it works out for the best.


At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Jenn said...

I was in a remotely similar situation, only it didn't involve moving. I finally decided we've let the possiblity of a baby rule our lives long enough. I'd move if that's what will make you happy. If you get pregnant in the meantime, well, if you been able to survive infertility, I bet you'll find a way to make that work too.

At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good questions - it's been 3 1/2 years since we've been trying. For the first two I put pretty much everything else in my life on pause - I also live far from my family in a place I don't love - so I didn't do any further job training, job seeking, travel commitments, etc. Then last year my husband said that I had to decide whether it was worth putting everything on hold or if I would be happier having a life in the meantime. And there is a way that everything can work out - I've seen many people work around the FMLA - especially if they really wanted you - which they obviously do. So this year I am moving forward as if I'm not likely to get pregnant - this includes buying lots of nice pants (hey seemed like a waste of money when I thought I was going to get pregnant), making travel plans, going on the job market, doing more job training, etc. I was panicking about my age but there's really nothing I can do. So if you want advice I would say do what will make you happy in the long run - I know people who have gotten pregnant and had to move, get another job, lost a job, etc. and they usually find a way to make it work - just think - dealing with infertility is so much harder than dealing with a new job and the housing market! The tangibles in life are manageable - wishing you all the best of luck. Penelope

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad to see you wrote again :)

I'd go for it - move and if you get pregnant, you'll deal with it. Living the life you have doesn't seem to be making you happy. Find a place that will make you happy and you'll have a wonderful place to raise those kiddos!!

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Leggy said...

This may be total assvice (as the lovely tertia likes to say), but I would say move if you a good opportunity comes up but don't stop TTC. If you turn down a good opportunity to TTC, you may regret it. If you put your life on hold while you TTC, you may regret that too. But if you get PG in the first months at a new job, you and your husband will find a way to make it work.

P.S. Both my husband and I have had employees get pregnant within a few months of working (or interview while pregnant). They found a way to make it work and still had jobs to come back to.

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make the move; all kinds of great things can come of it. Don't quit ttc; if possible, pick a job in a state that mandates IF treatment coverage (RESOLVE has a list).

FMLA isn't the be-all and end-all, and you can get as settled as you NEED to be in a lot less time than you think.

Glad you are blasting out of a slump!!!!!

At 11:15 AM, Blogger VHMPrincess said...

I'd say - move to the job and place that makes you happy. And keep trying for that baby - when it all comes together, you'll make it work. You are worrying about things that aren't yet problems - what if the insurance isn't good? what if you can't get the leave you want?

What if the new job has BETTER insurance? What if your employer lets you take regular maternity leave because they value you and want you to come back? What if they have GREAT paid leave policy? What if they allow you to take extra time?

I say - go with the flow and make whatever happens work for you.


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