Saturday, October 23, 2010

Reunion Reflections

This weekend was my ten year college reunion.  It also coincided with a visit from my parents, so I decided not to partake in any sponsored events but to see a couple people coming in.  It is really amazing to see how ten years changes a person.  Take for instance one of my closest friends from college.  He was my polar opposite, he was a raver, did drugs, spoke to his parents only on Sunday.  If it was someones birthday, anniversary, or someone happened to be sick, you better hope it happened on Sunday or he wouldn't be a'callin'.  I on the other hand thought pacifiers were only for babies, had rounded out my tenure as Students Against Driving Drunk President before my freshman year of college, and spoke to my parents daily.  Today he is incredibly successful, went to Harvard Business School, is married to the sweetest girl, and just had his second baby.  He came over to meet Evan and we hung out in his nursery and talked baby stuff for 2 hours.  Never in a million years could I have foreseen this exchange 10 years ago.

At night, my parents and Greg stayed with Evan while I met some girls from my sorority at a bar.  Of the 7 of us, only one other had kids (pregnant with number two and had bought herself some boobs since college, but I digress.).  Another two were married. Of the marrieds, one had moved to the suburbs years ago and the other was leading this high powered life commuting between capital hill and her house a couple states away to be with her husband.  And then there were the fabulously single, traveling to Africa for work, acting on national commercials.  Then to hear what other friends were doing, was unbelievable.

When asked if I was going back to work since having a baby, I said, "no, not for at least a year, maybe longer.  It took a lot of work to get him, so I want to stay home and enjoy him for a while."  And it was left at that. 

After dinner, the group was heading over to a bar but I wanted to go home and check on the baby.  The married friend from the suburbs said, I got the impression you had trouble getting pregnant.  I said, "seriously, if you ever need to know anything about this stuff, feel free to call me, I feel like I know all there is to know."  She said,  "I doubt as much as I know."

Apparently, they have been trying for four years.  She lost 2 babies around 20 weeks.  It is some genetic disease and any baby they have will have a 1 in 4 chance of having it.  There is some test they could do on eggs, but they only offer it in Germany. We talked for a minute or two but the group wanted to go to the bar.

I am sure it will all work out for her, but emotionally, what a nightmare until that baby is born.  What I can't get out of my head is how she is even able to attend this reunion. You know one in three people is going to have a baby and you know there are going to be people like my raver friend that you would never think would have kids by now and has two, or people who were hard-core partiers or totally bitchy people and they have kids.  I just don't know after two horrible losses like that if I could stomach a reunion.

I think there is a kind of kinship among people who have had issues, so I feel really glad I made some comment about having had trouble.  Versus the pregnant girl with the new boobs who order a ginger ale and said "read into this however you want".  It just goes to show you that you never know what other people are going through.  But it isn't just about pregnancy.  One of the girl's mom was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer and given a grim prognosis.  Prior to hearing this I had said how my parents flew in for the weekend to see Evan.  She isn't married, doesn't have kids, and her mom might never see her have children.  For me, the reunion was a lesson in general to be a more compassionate person, which is ironic, because I think more often then not, people use reunions to show off about how far they have come since way back when.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Baby Boom

All of you trying to get pregnant should come hang out with me because it seems almost everyone I am friends with has fallen pregnant.  I am half kidding, but I do have about 7 pregnant friends now and one that I  suspect is pregnant.  And no joke, for all but 2 of them, it happened the first time out of the gate.

Now at this point, Evan is 3.5 months and the true light of my life.  I am completely fine with everything I have been through because if it hadn't happened, he wouldn't be here and it would be some other kid.  But I still deeply feel the pain of a couple of  my friends that have been trying for years.  And it isn't fair that it can be so hard for some, especially people you know would make fantastic parents.

A couple weeks ago, we were hanging out with a group a friends and another one of the couples announced their pregnancy, adding the third pregnancy to our little group of couple friends.  A little while after the announcement I was sitting and three of the guys were talking about how people act like it is so hard to get pregnant, but it was so easy.  The other two agreed saying it happened their first time and the other confessed it happened for them without really trying.

Herein lies this issue with family planning.  You have no idea if it is going to take 1 month or 2 years.  Even now, I have identified an ideal three month window to conceive a second kid (yes, we all know I am a planner), but what a joke that is. There is no guarantee we would be able to have another baby and particularly, one conceived in my perfectly packaged three month window to optimize the children's age differences and my delivering maternal age.  You would think I could be breezy trying for a second, but clearly, that isn't in my cards.