{Just Call Me the NEXT Real Housewife}-Guest Post

{Insert comment from Angie:  Rachel received some really exciting news this morning.  She is one of the FIVE finalists for the nationwide #Mamavation campaign.  Please head on over to her site for more details!}

Last Saturday morning started as it does every weekend.  After an absolutely delicious hour two ok, THREE hours sleeping in while the Hubby handled both kids on his own, I blindly crawled out of bed and headed downstairs with one thought going round and round in my mind: MUST. HAVE. COFFEE.

(Praise the Lord for the ancients who first discovered that wonderful black stuff — can I get “an amen” on that?)

Coffee in hand, I ignored Hubby’s pleading glances for help (please, boy – if I can handle two munchkins all week long, you can handle it for one morning), I sat down at the desk, ready to see what I’d missed in the blogosphere while sleeping.

A few minutes later, the shrieks that came out of my mouth quickly brought the Hubby and both munchkins over.  The Little Lady and Mr. Boy were clueless and Hubby thought I had seen a mouse (I have a history of screaming when I see those nasty things).

He was (capital “W”) Wrong.

I had discovered something exciting — something that would make my little sister jealous – something that signaled I had arrived.

A “Real Housewife” started following me on Twitter.  Yes, one of the BRAVO Real Housewives: Jacqueline from the New Jersey cast.  Following ME.

(Insert visual of a crazy, ecstatic, coffee–charged dance here. For extra kicks, imagine my curly, un-brushed dark hair flying horizontally as I twirl.)

Of course, the Hubby, rolling his eyes, thought I was crazy.  Ugh, men – why can’t they understand the importance of events like this?

Of all the Housewife series, the New Jersey one is my favorite; for some reason, these women are the most relate-able and “real.”  Yeah, there’s some crazy spending and parties, but these gals were still real: mothers caring for their families – cooking, working – and trying to raise their children “right” (not just privileged).

They were also the most dramatic – c’mon, table flipping?  Who doesn’t love watching that?

Then, there is Jacqueline.  (I decided we could be on a first name basis since she follows me now; by the way, don’tcha think YOU should be a follower too?  I mean, I’m obviously cool enough for a Housewife to follow.  Jus’ sayin.’)

Now that we follow each other, it is obvious that we on the threshold of becoming BFFs — for LIFE.  Oh yes, it’s true, AND we have so much in common.  We’re both brunettes, our oldest kiddos are girls, we both gave birth in 2009, and both struggled with infertility.

I think the latter, that ugly word, is the thing that endeared me most to Jacqueline.  If you watched the New Jersey season, you saw this woman openly share her struggle to have another baby.  We saw her tears in the doctor’s office as she talked about her options . . . felt her pain as she dealt with another miscarriage.

I spent years obsessing over basal temps, taking rounds of Clomid, and listening to people tell me “just relax and it will happen.”  (Insert a sigh and an eye roll *here*)  Like with Jacqueline, it didn’t just “happen.”  My motherhood title came first through the adoption of my Little Lady and then the (surprise!) birth of Mr. Boy.

Throughout history, infertility has always been taboo.  A secret.  Something of which to be ashamed.  Even now, few women are willing to admit their struggles to conceive — as though by admitting it we are admitting to being less than whole. . . less womanly than our fertile counterparts.  In her Bravo blog, Jacqueline admits that she — a woman who seems to live a charmed life — thought, “I was broken.”

We keep our pain and shame to ourselves, living our lives dwelling on supposedly broken bodies and unfulfilled dreams.  Instead allowing others to offer support, we keep our secrets cloistered, hidden from supposed scrutiny.

Not Jacqueline.  Like other recent celebrities (such as Celine Dion), she joined the ranks of women who have chosen to be vocal about their struggles; by allowing Bravo to include her infertility as her storyline in “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” Jacqueline allowed the world to see there should be no shame in infertility.

Yes, it’s hard, painful, and unfair, but we should not be ashamed of our desire to be mothers and our fight to have children – regardless if it takes 5 months or 5 years to get them.

In her own words, Jacqueline shares:

“Don’t ever give up on having a baby if you know there is a soul up there waiting for you to give it life. Be patient. It will most likely happen eventually. Never give up on something you really want. We wanted to give up so many times. We started trying when my son was about 6 months old. Look at us now, after 5 losses, our little miracle is almost here. If it happened for us, it can happen for anyone.”

During the years I tried nearly everything under the sun in my attempt to become a mother, I had to continually say words similar to those of Jacqueline.  If I had given up, I wouldn’t have my wonderful, beautiful Little Lady — the energetic 2 year old little diva we adopted as a newborn.  I can’t imagine being any other little girl’s mother.  And, most likely, I wouldn’t have Mr. Boy — my 6 month old surprise.  The little boy who, by growing in my womb, defied the doctors who said I would never conceive.

I have no idea why Jacqueline is following me on Twitter (well, aside from the obvious fact that I’m pretty much awesome), but I am soooooo glad she is.  In light of our commonalities and the fact that we are now Twitter BFFs,  I am totally going to tweet Jacqueline and see if we can meet for coffee and chocolate.   We’ll laugh, compare manicures, gossip about our husbands, and maybe even shed a tear or two about the sweet little baby miracles in our lives.

Um, of course, it will have to be cheap coffee and cheap chocolate, and she’ll have to come down to Texas.  No way I can fly to New Jersey, ‘cause – ya know – money is the one thing we DON’T have in common.  ;=)

Thank you for sharing with us, Rachel!  And, exciting news today!

You can find Rachel at Following In My Shoes
Following In My Shoes

“Where if you are looking for a profound or renegade blogger, you’re just out of luck!”

And don’t forget that a little comment love goes a long way in winning a few of my favorite things!

Comments

  1. 3

    says

    Your courage and tenacity are amazing! I work for a wonderful woman who was told as a teen that she would never conceive. She and her husband adopted five years ago, and then three years ago. One year ago she gave birth to a gorgeous and healthy baby, and she is now pregnant with her second “miracle” baby!

    I’m happy for you and your new BFF!

  2. 4

    says

    Infertility is haunting. It is something that sticks with you even after you have your babies and leaves a profound impact on your life. I know because I have one of those miracle babies too. Actually I have two. One turned five in December and the other will be two in a couple of weeks. I still look at them and amazed that they are mine.

  3. 10

    says

    Thanks for both the lighthearted and the serious in this post. I laughed and teared up at the same time. And you almost convinced me to join the Twitter revolution … I mean, my celebrity BFF could be out there, too! =>

  4. 14

    says

    I have to agree, Jersey is my fav Housewife series too! I am constantly in awe of how brave you are in blogging…thanks for sharing your funny/serious story! Not all of us have an easy journey to motherhood, but those of us who get there are sure reaping the rewards of hard work and lots of prayer!

  5. 18

    says

    Great post. I’ve been struggling with infertility too, and I loath it when people say just relax and it will happen. Um, no, that is not the sure that I was looking for. I’ve felt broken (still do some days) and felt like I was doing something to cause it. It’s a terrible feeling.

    Mmmm, coffee, is there anything finer in the world? Well, maybe coffee and chocolate.

  6. 23

    says

    Love the Housewives show…total reality t.v. junkie over here! Congrats on your precious kiddos after your struggle with infertility.

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