Yes. So today’s the day. The day I turn a big whopping thirty-six. Woo-hoo. (Uhm, yeah … that was a sarcastic woo-hoo, if you didn’t catch on.)

It’s 9 am this Sunday morning and I’m back at home from vacation, after arriving from the airport at about 10 pm last night. Did I mention how much I missed sleeping in my own bed? As much as I love traveling and exploring new places, I do enjoy coming back home and climbing into my cool, soft, comfortable bed. Nothing says “I’m home” more than that … Okay, so I lie. No matter where we’re at, being with Hubby is always going to be home. Must be the Cancerian in me.

Anyway, I decided today that there is no way in H*LL that I’m going to catch up with reading over two weeks worth of G**gle Reader posts. SO … I’ve made the decision to just clear any new ones off my list for now. I promise to be much better at reading and commenting this year … but right now I just don’t want to be overwhelmed and stressed over something like that. At least I can control THAT stressor.

Speaking of stress, I mentioned in a previous post that I’d tell you exacty how high my blood pressure (BP) got at my Doc appt on the Friday before I left on vaca. It was as high as 180/100. Yep. You read that right. And the scary thing … that’s not the highest I’ve ever been. The first time I was diagnosed with hypertension (HTN) was after the last laparoscopy I had in October of 2002. I was feeling dizzy at work that following Monday after surgery and one of the many nurses at work decided to take my BP which was 180/110. So I drove my butt to my primary doc at the time (and got a d*mn speeding ticket along the way … grrr), and was promptly started on the lowest dose of hypertensive medications possible. They didn’t want to put me on anything stronger at the time, as I was still trying to get pregnant.

Flash forward five years. My HTN has been “controlled” through a variety of different BP meds. Because since I’m not actively trying to get pregnant at this time, we’ve decided to try a little stronger medication. My baseline BP has been running in the 140’s/80’s. But nope. Not that Friday before vacation. Of course, it could have been that I was affected by white coat syndrome. But the truth is, it’s probably because of all the weeks months of stress I’ve been experiencing in my life.

A-hem … let’s recap what has happened in the past 7 months, since the beginning of the year. Hubby’s grandmother passed away (bad stress). Found out good friend in Portland, OR is expecting (bad stress, but gotten over it over time). And within that same week, found out SIL was also expecting (bad stress … and the jury is out still on how I’m dealing with it). Dad had a heart attack and subsequently hospitalized for three weeks after complications from surgery (bad stress). And have been going with him to follow-up appointments (expected stress) to make sure he follows up on his health (bad stress). But since he’s “master of his own body,” I’ve all but told him it’s up to him how he wants to keep up his health (good stress). I’ve taken part in a work-improvement group (good stress) and initially have gotten negative criticism from my peers (bad stress) but have since improved as we continue to roll out changes (good stress) and work towards our end-of-July deadline (bad stress). I’ve seen pictures of my high school friend’s new baby … whose middle name is that of a Red Wings player, just like his older brother (actually … good stress. I’m happy for her!). And I’ve been to Chicago a couple times to visit with Dr. Bro, Dr. SIL and the cat-nieces and dog-nephews (good stress). And I’ve just recently been on vacation in Calgary and Canmore / Banff National Park (good stress) with my parents (mixed stress). Except on the morning we flew out, Hubby & I had to drive back and forth from the airport to pick up our passports that I thought we left from home (bad stress). And now I turn 36, knowing full well I’m on the downhill slope of my already screwed up reproductive years (bad stress).

So there you have it. I’m stressed. But then the question I always ask myself is … Is this any worse than anybody else’s level of stress? And why should I be sitting here b*tching about being stressed when there are probably so many more people out there with much more stress in their lives (uh … cancer or unemployment, for example)? Am I being such a frickin’ sorry a$$ for feeling so stressed and letting my health be affected by it?

Seriously people. I’m not just being rhetorical here. I really wanna know.

On a separate, but somewhat related note … while in Calgary, we visited with my younger cousin (M) and her hubby (D) who just recently had their first baby (J) last September. M & D have been married now for at least 5 years (I’m so forgetful with these things) and they are the absolute greatest couple together, so I can’t be anything but completely happy for the two of them that they have this incredibly beautiful son who … even at close to 10-months … has this incredible personality. And to watch M & D with their parenting style … I couldn’t be more proud of the two of them, knowing how much they’ve grown since last spending this much quality time with them.

But as I was already expecting (d*mn infertility!), the hour ride back to Canmore from Calgary and the day afterwards was tough. It’s that desire to have what M & D have; the wonderful baby, the teamwork and … most importantly, the happiness that they have with taking care of J.

Let me be clear here (for those non-IF readers), I don’t consider the desire to have what M & D have is jealousy. Because to be jealous infers that I’m envious of what the two of them have and that I wish that the two of them could experience even a fraction of what I’m feeling with my IF. No way would I EVER wish that on them; they are truly a couple that deserves to have this happiness in their life.

Okay, now back to the previously scheduled blog session …

As I was saying, it was quite a difficult couple days after that visit. My mind kept going back to all the disapoinments I have with myself and with my infertility. I kept kicking myself down for not moving any more forward with the adoption process which then made me feel like I am such a wimp for being so afraid to take the next step. Which then made me just so … sad.

Sad because during that visit, I also saw how much my parents love babies. How great my Dad is in getting babies (and any kid, really) to play with him. How my Mom tried to sit patiently until J came up her, but in the end went up to him because she couldn’t wait to hold him. And seeing the look in their faces. Seeing how happy they were to be holding a baby. No, they didn’t have to tell me what I already knew. I saw it in their faces how much they really wish they had a grandchild of their own. And. That. Just about. Killed. Me.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to feel these things. And sometimes I wish I wasn’t so attuned to other people’s feelings. I truly wish I could go back in time and change some events that may have affected my reproductive health (eat better, exercise more, see an IF specialist sooner, etc). And I absolutely wish I could give my Husband our biological child.

So on this birthday … you know what I’ll be wishing for. Better health. More emotional strength. And a grandchild to give my parents who gave ME life on this day.