2

The Move

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” -Nelson Mandela

As I said in an earlier post, we moved a week after Elijah was born (because we are certifiably insane lol). What I don’t believe I mentioned was that the move was to an area Scott & I are both from. To give a bit of a backstory, because his job is so specialized, it doesn’t offer many positions in certain areas. Unfortunately, the, “small,” city we lived in didn’t have any openings & the uncertainty of his former job continued to loom over our heads. So, with being responsible for a new human life & all, we chose to bite the bullet & leave before his position was cut. We had a few choices in bordering states, as well as some down in Florida but chose to go closer to family since a job opportunity was here. Here specifically being Eastern, Kentucky.

For my U.K.. & out of state followers: Eastern, KY is a different sort of place than the rest of the U.S. It’s a very rural area with not nearly as much forward thinking as the rest of the states have to offer. It was also an area that massively helped Donald Trump gain victory in the election….let that tell you what it will. lol

With that being said, there have been a few things about living here that have bothered us.

For one, for the most part, the people here don’t trust other people & are leery of outsiders. One quick way we were reminded of this was noticing it’s rare for people to smile at you or smile back at you. I’ve heard of this also being the case in NY as there are just so many people & the lifestyle is so fast paced but I find it interesting this is also the case here. One reason I think this mentality is present in the area is, years ago when out of state people came into the area, they presented these legal documents to Appalachian people who could not read to sell their mineral rights for next to no money & ripped them off big time. Ever since, it seems as if the don’t trust outsiders has remained a common theme.

Something that ties into people not trusting others is that the area, minus within individual churches, is there isn’t a sense of community. What I mean by this is that, unlike places like Lexington, there aren’t any groups like mom groups.. There are no weekly or even monthly events within the community. I had even, going out on a limb, posted on Facebook before the move back asking if anyone wanted to get together for a stroller group sort of thing with their children. Zero interest lol Not one person commented & there are a lot of people on my FB from here.

Another thing my husband, his manager (who lived away from the area for a few years as well), several other people he works with that live out of the state & commute, & myself have noticed is that a lot more people who live here are rude. For example, we were grocery shopping last week &, while I was getting Elijah out of the baby wrap, a lady came up behind me. The parking spaces were at an odd angel so I asked her if that was her car she was trying to get to. She replied it was & I moved over, shutting the door a bit to let her through. My husband came around by that time to put him in his car seat. As he was strapping him in, the woman starts backing up &, had he not stepped out to hold his hand up, would have taken out my car door that she could see was present the entire time. When he closed the door, she backed out & sped off. His manager, who Scott shared this story with, said she’d experienced much of the same while living here & even noticed it in the elementary school her children go to.

THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT ALL PEOPLE LIVING HERE ARE RUDE, I know a lot of really good people living here/who are from the area.

There’s also a depressed feeling being in the area because it is so rural. There is A LOT more poverty concentrated here than other places. There are a lot of empty run down buildings sitting around, along with some run down ones that are still occupied. In the place we’re currently renting, we’ve seen a few run down or empty homes as well.

There’s also just not a lot of diversity here. I.E. white is the racial majority & you don’t even see a lot of people from other groups. Among other things.

With all of the above, compounded with the fact that you are away from common conveniences (like the mall, Target, Starbucks, a wide selection of restaurants), you are also away from good healthcare/specialty healthcare as well. For example, Elijah needs suck training so I’ll be taking him to Lexington for that biweekly because it’s not something that’s offered here. My husband & I, along with his family that lives here, don’t trust the hospitals in the area &, if possible, would make the drive to Lexington anyway for better care. Fact: 2 out of 4 of my grandparents died in a hospital here due to the fault of the hospital. So yeah, it’s not exactly a promising place to be here.

I asked my cousin who had tried moving back to the area before how he had managed & what his experience had been. For him, it was much of the same, adding, “Once you move away & your perspective of the world changes on every level, you become inherently different.” He also agreed that there is definitely a depressive energy in the air. On surviving it, his advice was to, “try to find people you can relate to…& buy lots of alcohol.” LOL

While I won’t be following the latter part of that advice, Scott & I have already came to the realization that we cannot stay here. Our plan is to ride out the year (as we are locked in per his contract) & then, ideally, move back to Lexington or another city we’d feel more at home in.

I am not saying Eastern, KY is an awful place with nothing to offer the rest of the world. I think it has a lot to offer. What I’m saying is that, once you leave & are use to a totally different lifestyle, it’s very hard to live here again.

In other life update news, we will be moving within he next month…again thanks, to our crapyy landlord/living situation. The AC has never worked upstairs, despite us bringing this up to him, & his solution to cool the 3 bedrooms & 2 baths up there was to, “provide a window unit.” We can also hear our neighbors through the walls, as well as any & all traffic noise. So yeah, it’s not working out lol We will still be living in the area because of the contract, just not here.

I also need to give an update on our breastfeeding journey & what that has entailed but that’s for another post.

Have a beautiful week, friends!

2

Infertility & Rural Areas

In recent years, women are typically having children later in life. Since the time of Rosie The Riveter & the we can do it all generation, women want degrees first and motherhood second.

At least, that’s the case in most communities within the U.S. Deep within the hills of Appalachia, is one exception to this cultural norm.

Soon after I graduated high school, & some even before this, most of my peers got married. After that, they immediately began having children. It’s been eight years since we all left our last four years of regular schooling behind and most of them have at least two children already.

My sister followed a similar path when she graduated, immediately getting married the month after and having her first child before her first anniversary.

In short, while the rest of the country is holding off parenthood while they get their dream jobs,  a lot of Appalachians are not following suit.

As someone who is infertile, you automatically feel like an outsider. Everyone your age is talking about pregnancies, gender reveals, baby showers, and first birthdays while all you can do is nod and pray no one asked the loaded question, “when are you going to have kids????”

Couple being infertile AND being Appalachian and you’re in for even worse of a disconnect. While most of my cohort’s children have already or are now entering pre-school, etc we still haven’t gotten our miracle baby.

Scrolling through my newsfeed, I see most of my old classmates posting baby photos and talking about not knowing what sleep is and I’m still over here posting about my fur babies, caffeine fixes, and, until recently, grad school.

Facing infertility is difficult at best for anyone. Once you reach a certain age literally everyone is pregnant. Where I’m from, however, this occurred at a much faster rate. Instead of everyone I knew getting knocked up around their late 20’s & early 30’s, people were doing it at 18-20 years old.

I’m not sure if this is the product of rural areas in gender or just an Eastern, KY thing, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.

So, until we get our BFP, I’ll be over here like…….

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Are you from a rural area?? Have you observed much of the same?? 

What are your thoughts????

6

No Soliciting

Growing up, we all hear certain phrases that are unique to our family. Being from the South, some of the phrases I was spoon fed on are quite…interesting.

When something unexpected came up yesterday evening, one gem in particular my dad has always said flashed in my mind & hasn’t stopped since.

“Opinions are like ass holes, everybody’s got one.”

As I was on the way back from dinner with a friend, a text from my husband lit up my phone.

“Did you see the email? I think we should talk about how to respond to it.”

My response of, “what email??” answered his question. He forwarded it to me.

I saw the subject line & cringed. With the disclaimer of, “we should talk about it,” I knew it wouldn’t be pretty.

It was about our fertility. A member of my husband’s extended family had sent us an email resembling one of those small chapter books kids read. In essence, she sent us a freaking Junnie B. Jones novel (I hear the author of Junnie B recently passed away, maybe she should contact the publicist to fill up her time???).

I will say, although it was probably not a mean spirited email in heart, it was in fact offensive on several fronts.

For one, it began with, “Quite possibly there are details of your situation I am not aware of as to why you’ve chosen to aggressively pursue parenthood at this time.”

If this conversation would have happened in person, I would’ve stuck one hand up & interjected, “Let me stop you there. No, you don’t know the details of our situation. You don’t know why we are choosing this sooner, rather than later. You’re right.”

The more I read into this small chapter book, the more pissed off I got. In the last few days, I’ve worn my emotions on my face. My friend glanced over her shoulder to the passenger seat I was planted in & said, “Uh, oh. This must be good.”

It also referenced several things in relation to enjoying being newlyweds &, for the life of me, I couldn’t fathom how this person I’ve seen twice in my life felt compelled to have an opinion on something so deeply personal. We will see her twice a year AT BEST & here she was writing a critique for how we’re living our lives.

She then, brace yourselves fellow infertiles, had the audacity to complain about her own children. I’m sorry, if you’ve ever struggled with fertility issues you damn well KNOW that is like going up to a homeless person & saying

“These cars are great but they’re a lot of work! You have to change the oil, keep new tires on them, & keep them clean. Enjoy sitting on the street & hijhiking, you don’t know how lucky you are!”

Lastly, it was so kindly discussed that an ex in law’s sister had gone through IVF & then had twins. Turns out in this tale, they didn’t need it because they then had a child on their own a year later.

Number one, good for them. They were probably ecstatic to not have another round of IVF to go through had they decided to have more children. Two…..if your hairdresser’s boyfriend’s cousin’s friend Jen went through infertility…….& you have not…..you HAVE NO F*&%$#! IDEA what we are going through!!!!!!!!!

Since going viral about our fertility woes, I’ve received a lot of support…I’ve also had my share of lack of support & judgment. But not to this extent. Sure, I’ve heard a sentence or two from a family member on, “You could just wait til you finish school,” but no one had yet to write me a children’s book on The Wonders Of Being Childless: Enjoy It While You Can!

I am appalled. I am steaming. As I was recounting this downer of a transcript, I snapped at my husband because I got pissed all over again!

For this reason, I have not responded. I probably won’t ever do so.

Just like any other life decision, you don’t need to justify your decision to pursue having a family to anyone. What’s next? When we move homes, or buy a new vehicle should we expect a protest to be gathered in our front yard?? If we go through with the decision anyway, should we then be prepared for burning pitchforks at the dealership, or realtor’s office??

No. &, in the words of my grandmother, “By hell, I’m not going to! I’ll do whatever the piss I want!”

She’s in her 80’s & it’s working well for her. Point, set, match.

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12

Favorite Things Friday: Engagement Edition

I haven’t done one of these in a while as I’ve been wadding in a sea of depression & bitterness (two side effects of infertility). As I’ve said before, I realize it is in these moments I need to look closer into the good things I do have in my life, however blurred they may appear through the lenses.

That is, after all, why I started Favorite Things Friday to begin with……

One of the things that always help my smile lines are our engagement pictures. We have two sets thanks to one of my best friends & our wedding photographer.

A few of my favorite things live in both sessions.

In the first, my husband (but that’s a given…or I hope so lol) & our perfect fur babies (that I just realized this blog does not have enough images of!!! These photos also happen to be taken in Eastern, KY-where we’re both originally from!

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In the second set, I’d decided on a theme for our wedding & wanted to incorporate that into the session.

Can you guess it????

Vintage! Another favorite of mine. I’m an old soul. ❤

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More of my favorite things (que song on whiskers on kittens) from this shoot are: my cowboy boots (I’m a southern girl, y’all), partially backless dresses (because I love seeing one of my tattoos), the city that has my heart (Lexington, KY), & of, course….my hubby (sorry not sorry if I’m making you gag lol).

Happy favorite things Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend, TGIF!!!!!!!!!