Organize My Heart

This post was going to be full of sidebars and parentheticals, so I’ll try to sum them up with a general disclaimer: like I’ve said to many people and had quoted back to me by astute readers – one person’s hard does not invalidate someone else’s hard. I am not saying “Woe is me! Pity me! This is the WORST EVER!” I am saying “These are my feelings and maybe you have some feelings and we can talk about our feelings and maybe braid each others hair if you want or you can call me a spoiled douchecanoe if you want and either way I will understand.” Because, feelings.

dining room

I have been on a cleaning tear (Tear might be too strong a word. More like a cleaning small rip in the corner of a page) for a couple of weeks. My housekeeping skills are not great and in general everyone is fine with that situation. The children certainly don’t care. But things reached a point where I didn’t even want to open the door for the pizza guy. Every time I would look at the pile of mail by the door or the pile of school papers on the piano or the pile of birthday decorations on the table I would freeze. Where to START? What’s the POINT? Why should I even BOTHER?

When one thing in your life feels hopeless and out of control, it’s easy for that to reflect into other things, and in this case the mirror was clearly my house. The thing being reflected is bigger than a few stacks of paper though. I’ve been off birth control and hoping for a baby for 9 months now without success, even though it feels like everyone around me is getting pregnant and having babies. Tons of babies. Babies everywhere. You get a baby and you get a baby and YOU get THREE BABIES! (True story, a friend from high school is having spontaneous triplets.)

There’s a whole online world of trying-to-conceive message boards and secondary (tertiary?) infertility boards where people talk about this stuff, but because I never had any trouble the first two times I’m mostly unfamiliar with them. To be totally honest, until I started talking privately with some of my friends about how I’m struggling, I had no idea how much planning COULD even go into getting pregnant. Ovulation sticks and fertility apps and trying disgusting information involving mucus became things I Googled on a regular basis. The biggest surprise was how many people casually mentioned “Oh yeah, I used those OPK sticks to have my daughter”. I think a lot of people err on the side of privacy when it comes to their baby-making-attempts (because, yeah, no one wants to know ALL THAT and no one owes the internet their medical history) but it gives the impression if it takes more than 5 minutes you’re sort of a weirdo. A “Surprise! Pregnant!”-baby (which I am totally guilty of) is more blogable than endless “Not pregnant! Again!” posts, so someonr announcing it when it happens means you don’t really know what people have gone through. I’m a tiny bit concerned that the IUD I had after Caroline was born caused some sort of terrifying, permanent problem (Dr. Google totally agrees) but before we’ve been trying a year no real medical professionals (Dr. Google obviously got his degree online) want to talk to us.

I realize 9 months isn’t that long to be trying, but when your friends who said “Yes! We’re trying too!” back in November are actually giving birth to their babies it feels like forever. I also realize I have two beautiful children so complaining about not having a baby is going to sound selfish and disgusting to some people. But two was never our plan and close together is so much fun, I liked the idea of adding more sooner rather than later. I guess that “Man plans, God laughs” adage is pretty apt, although I if anyone embroiders that on a pillow for me I’ll punch them in the face.

So instead of thinking about my sad, empty uterus constantly I’ve been cleaning. CLEAN ALL THE THINGS. It’s part super-premature nesting, part feng shui and part at-least-this-is-a-problem-I-CAN-solve, but it’s helping. Sort of.

dining room-2

Yes, it’s definitely helping. Just looking at that room and knowing all the birthday decorations (from APRIL, good God woman, you’re so lazy) are put away makes me feel better.

I’ve got the guest room and the kids’ rooms to tackle next, including a couple of terrifying closets I haven’t fully opened in years. I even wrote a garage sale on our calendar and I’ll be running in and out of the house throwing stuff in the yard all day. Maybe space – a space, lots of space, many spaces – will leave room for more good things to come in. It’s better to think about it as space than as emptiness. I’m tired of empty.

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16 Responses to “Organize My Heart”

  1. Kitty Conner says:

    My house is never cleaner or more organized than when I have a case of the Empty Womb Sads. It also never feels quite so sterile and unloved, somehow, even as it shines.

    All of which is to say, I empathize with you, doll and know that good things usually come to fill the empty, one way or another.

    (Sidebar: HYDRANGEAS. So pretty. So much flower envy.)

  2. Brigid Keely says:

    We’ve been trying to have another baby for THREE YEARS and it’s frustrating that everyone around me, including people who I know have fertility issues and/or health problems are happily getting knocked up and me? BAH. A string of nothings, chemical pregnancies, and miscarriages.

    I’m heading up on 35 and, for a variety of reasons I don’t want to go into, consider 35 (or mayyyyyyyybe 36) my cut off. If I’m not pregnant, my husband’s getting a vasectomy. if I do get pregnant, and it’s viable, and if I have another C-Section, I’m asking them to do a tubal ligation while they’re rummaging around in there anyway. For me, 2 kids is a good amount of kids. If we’d started while I was younger or I didn’t have existing fertility issues I’d have tried for 3 or 4. But 2 is good.

    But maybe there won’t be any more babies coming out of my body.

    The thing about human beings is we rationalize stuff. So in a few years if it’s obviously there won’t be any more kids in our house, we’ll all just be “Oh sure of course, one kid is perfect for us, we have so much more money and time to spend on our only child, and he’s got his cousins and our friends’ kids as his pseudo siblings! How great is that, only one kid to diaper and potty train.” While if we’d had a million kids we’d be able to justify that, too.

    Our apartment is really messy right now because OH MY GOD THIS HEAT. We don’t have central air and there’s time when just stepping out of the living room (which has a door and a window AC unit) is like stepping into a dog’s mouth, all hot and humid. I’ve decided I don’t give a fuck and anybody who does is a trifler.

  3. Emily says:

    Last year we had a lot of trouble trying, and then I had a very late miscarriage which threw me in to a downward spiral of depression. But my house was never cleaner and more organized… you’re not alone! I feel like a douche saying anything as I sit here with my baby, but the thing is that you have to believe that things happen for a reason and they happen whenever the timing is right and all that jazz… which really doesn’t make you feel any better, I know. But if you just keep yourself going and love on your beautiful kiddos for now, and try your damndest to set aside your worries and your stress… things will happen one way or another. Hugs…

  4. Babe_Chilla says:

    At 11 months into trying for baby 2 (14 months for baby 1) and a medical diagnosis of infertility already laid on me (well my husband), I feel you.

    I just wanted to note 2 things: with secondary infertility we were told they will look at you after 6 months of no success, because they know you were capable of getting pregnant before. We were able to start the IVF ball rolling a lot faster than a year of waiting, though by the time we actually get seen by the RE for our treatment we will be 14 months in. I just mean to say, I would ask if you can be evaluated sooner than a year. And if you want to pick my brain about that process, I think you have my email. Or DM me.

    Also, beware the OPK, they aren’t ALL they are cracked up to be. Yes they are a tool but they are not as helpful and accurate as some would have you believe. They can actually cause you to miss the egg at time. If you haven’t yet, google the “sperm meets the egg” method as I’ve known people to have success with that.

    You clean, I research. Like an insane person. I am like the walking talking version of the fertility internet. I suspect there is nothing I haven’t researched or don’t know, and I’m happy to talk if you need more ears. If it’s possible it could help, I’ve tried it. It’s extremely isolating and it really feels like the world is against you, no?

  5. Kimberly says:

    I had all these visions of cleaning my house this summer & just can’t seem to find the motivation.
    I have absolutely no doubt that good things are coming for you, friend :)

  6. Liz says:

    I need to get on that (cleaning, not having babies, lol).

    I hope it works out for you, Suzanne :) another ginger baby perhaps.

  7. Tottums says:

    I don’t really feel like I have anything of value to say in this comment other than, ‘I love you, and I wish we didn’t live 394820384759234857 miles apart so I could squeeze your face’. You make the most adorbs gingers evah, and I hope there is a third sometime soon <3.

    Also? You dining room is freaking gorgeous.

  8. Robyn says:

    Hugs to you! It’s always sad when you want a baby and aren’t one for whatever reason, no matter how many you have.

    I had a miscarriage between by two babies and it really freaked both of us out. We just sort of took it for granted that we’d be able to have healthy children whenever we wanted. And of course we thought that since we got pregnant really easily the first time. Even though we had a beautiful healthy girl,( proof that we could make a baby, the miscarriage freaked DH out so much that he didn’t want to try for another one. Luckily, we sort of, not really, got accidentally pregnant again.

    But what was amazing to me is how many people came out of the woodwork to tell me they had a misscarriage too. people don’t like to talk about it for some reason. i feel like it’s the same with infertility after the first one.

    but i do agree with the poster who said we (people) tend to rationalize whatever we end up with. I know i did. Now i’m all, it’s good the kids are 3 years apart because Rory needed that time alone with us to make her the amazing big sister she is now, and Dexter benefits too because she’s more independent than she would have been if she was young.

  9. Amanda says:


    We’re 3 years into trying for number two, so my thoughts and prayers are with you. I was so optimistic at the beginning of Operation Fill the Uterus, but now I’ve got nothing left. At least I’ve just gotten a diagnosis that explains the infertility (PCOS). Hopefully, medicine and a new, special diet will help me. The stress is killer, though, at least for me.

    Side note, my PCM said the military docs will start testing for fertility after 6 months. Maybe check with yours?

  10. Molly says:

    Well, I sort of feel like a horse’s patoot announcing my pregnancy knowing how hard it can be on those who are trying. I don’t have any advice. Just big hugs and lots of hope for you, my friend.

  11. Kristi says:

    I think we all “cope” differently. I organize and make lists when my mind is troubled by something else as a way to compartmentalize and control something.
    Here’s the thing I love about you… you don’t play the woe is me card. You don’t write every blog post about it. You keep it real. You put it out there and you keep on being a great mom who enjoys her kids and does other things.
    I will tell you I am shocked that you aren’t neat and tidy. I would have guessed the exact opposite for some reason…the internet persona I guess!
    Here’s to hoping you won’t have to use Dr. Google to confirm mucus much longer!

  12. Susan says:

    Just sending words of love and encouragement to weather this storm. I wish there were more I could do – just know you’re an awesome mom and your two kids are very lucky to have you and E as their parents.

  13. Erin says:


  14. Animom says:

    Thanks for always being so real in your posts.
    We had our 2nd in January and we are done. Epidurals don’t work on me and I can’t bear the thought of another painful childbirth. I know some women say it’s empowering, life changing, rainbows yada yada yada but, I can’t do it again.

    I hope things work out how you want them to.
    You’re a great mom and when I grow up, I want to be just like you (I’m actually older than you).


  15. Julie S. says:

    Hugs to you. Things here in the house keeping dept have been less than stellar and I can tell it’s affecting my mood. Hang in there with the baby thing. I really do think good things will happen for you– and soon. :)

  16. Audrey says:

    Sorry, lady. I don’t know the right words to ease your worry and heart. I will say I’ve known people who had secondary and tertiary who eventually succeeded. The tertiary one is even having twins this time! But I also know there are no guarantees or even playing fields when it comes to these things.

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