30 December 2009


I got up in the dark and drove into the sunrise, it was so lovely and still and clear today. I saw two coyotes crossing the ice on a lake, their bodies low and their gait exact--
the sun was bright orangey red and blessedly, the traffic was really light. And I got there early.
Today's appointment was so interesting-- the Waltham office of BostonIVF is tucked into a weird road in an unexpected place, and just about as different from the Boston office as possible-- it is clean and new and pretty-- a very nice receptionist with a great smile, a talented phlebotomist (8 vials? 9? good lord), then a very nice but very very pokyjammy wand lady- my one big beef? no second screen for me during the ultrasound. what the hell. Not good. Not good at all. Hated that. I want to see, to assess, to critique. Alas.

But I waited not one second, was early, did not even sit down, was whisked in there and was out in about 20 minutes. The whole thing was dreamy and weird, been somewhere else, done this, but not here, not with you.

Funny to be at a fertility clinic rather than an OB/GYN office, in this case, the only reason any of us are there is fertility, no guessing, knowing. So your eyes skim over the other folks, heads are low, so are voices. I made a point of looking at and smiling at people. This sucks enough already to have to feel alone in the midst of folks in the same struggle.

For my next trick I do a sonohystogram the day after I get back (cd11), down at the boston office (boo), then meet with doctor O on the 11th for the consult with my darlin too. The testing covered everything for all options that include my body, so, we'll see. The results will be interesting I am sure. I expect the donor egg route will be suggested if not required, he said I'd be a great candidate when last we met. I hope I will be.

It is odd to go from 0 to 60 like this. Waiting then... whammo-- appointments and tests and go there and do this and... yeah. I'm scared, I'm nervous, I'm tired, but I am also curious about what will come next. I am tired of feeling sort of victimized by this process. And tired of feeling so beaten down by our serial failures. I am ready for two lines, a growing belly, a baby, a person. So, 2010, bring it on.

I will be away starting waaaaay early friday morning through next wednesday night, so if there is long quiet here, no worries. Just imagine me bundled up sitting by the ocean listening to the waves, practicing being present. And sprogblogger, just because I am away does not mean I will not be pulling for you in every second. I'm just sayin'. And Maddy? feel free to buck the odds and do this the old fashioned way. I would be so thrilled for you.

Just in case I do not post tomorrow, I am wishing you all a very very happy and safe new year.

29 December 2009

staying vertical

Sending this magical piece onward since it is too precious to hold
from the magical and wickedly talented Maya Stein via the magical Jen Lemen.

how to climb a mountain
by Maya Stein

Make no mistake. This will be an exercise in staying vertical.
Yes, there will be a view, later, a wide swath of open sky,
but in the meantime: tree and stone. If you’re lucky, a hawk will coast overhead, scanning the forest floor. If you’re lucky, a set of wildflowers will keep you cheerful. Mostly, though, a steady sweat, your heart fluttering indelicately, a solid ache perforating your calves. This is called work, what you will come to know, eventually and simply, as movement, as all the evidence you need to make your way. Forget where you were. That story is no longer true. Level your gaze to the trail you’re on, and even the dark won’t stop you.

Tomorrow morning, 8:30, day 3 bloodwork and US down in Boston. And just like that, the next chapter begins.

28 December 2009

Gratitude and love

Oh yes EB, you are so right, and thank you for the gentle reminder-- so many many good things Have happened this year. I met most of you- and have enjoyed such an amazing community of women mostly with the occasional manperson, and such amazing understanding and warmth and love and support and kindness and an occasional thoughtful and kindhearted kick in the ass.

So many of my lovelies are pregnant or will be soon (SPROGBLOGGER) and so many had such beautiful babies this year.

If we go by my blog list alone, out of maybe 50, 30 have gotten pregnant, stayed pregnant and have had babies or are darn near about to. I have on my list triplets, 7 sets of twins at least, and bunches of singletons. GREAT statistics ladies! Some have gotten derailed by life, or health, or both... others are like me, waiting and hoping and trying with various bits and pieces.

See? there really is so much to celebrate. I celebrate all of you, and our tenacity and resilience and hope. I celebrate passion and friendship and love in all the various ways it shows itself.
I even honor fear for trying so hard to keep us safe.

So yeah, while this year was not all sunshine and daisies, it sure has held a lot of love. And for that I am profoundly grateful.

I was going to write about fear and stumbling and identity (still, again, forever). I will wait. And I will wait perhaps until the new year to ask for your help with finding my true calling and a new way to make a living that does not eat my life force for breakfast. But not today.

thank you.
and thank you 2009. I learned more this year than I ever would have imagined, and endured more than I thought I could. I also felt the amazing astonishment of pregnancy and saw two lines on that crazy pee stick and a magical heartbeat. Nothing can take away that experience and that awe and wonder. And there was so much beauty. There always is. It is just so hard to remember to look.

My 10 seconds today:
this, you, thank you. I am totally present with gratitude and you all make my heart bigger.

27 December 2009


my period is late
and yesterday my temp was still up
way up
and my hopes? ahh my silly hopeful hopes went up too.
maybe, just maybe we'd snatched victory from the jaws of defeat
maybe we'd hit the jackpot
grabbed the brass ring
but today, my temp was halfway down and I felt my heart fall, I peed on stick for confirmation (not in the mood for ambiguity or wasted hope or whatiffing), no. Negative. And now I feel played.

I wonder at my own insanity that I would even think it was possible, that I would allow myself to get suckered in by hoping for such a long shot.
I feel really stupid. Like going on one more date with that guy who seemed to have such potential even though he never calls or does anything he promises just because maybe maybe he could turn out to be the one. Yeah, no.

I had a very lifechanging holiday but am not quite ready to talk about it. Odd how vulnerable I can feel even with good things.

And today I cried hard, had a long cathartic and insight ridden talk with my wonderful sister, and then took to the woods.
I had a wonderful metaphorical hike, want to hear about it?
It was raining here, hard sometimes, light mist others, oddly warm. We still have loads of snow, so the rain just makes it heavy and slushy, and the trail was a mishmash of running water, ice, packed snow, slush, and this double layer of thick snow crust with water flowing underneath high enough to flood into my shoes when I stepped through.

Each step I took slid backwards some, and it took so much skidding slipping sidestepping effort to get up to the overlook. I sat on a wet rock and looked out through fog, and thought about how when I'm hiking, if that way does not work, I go this way, I step over the fallen log, walk around the dog shit, walk through the high snow when the trail is too icy. It is not a crisis, it is a hike. But for some reason, in *real* life, any obstacle feels like failure or the end of the road. I need to remember to just look for the alternatives as if they are part of the process not the exception. But I get so single minded. This way, this way. But now it is all about alternatives.

My referral should be all sorted out this week, so I should have an appointment with Dr. O sometime later in January. I wish I could do bloodwork or something or anything toward whatever is next sooner than that. But I guess I am- I am making an appointment and that needs to count.

2009 sucked ass in many ways. I came across a blog I used to read back in the day, it used to be called I can't believe I wasted all that birth control and is now called Uppercase Woman. And she ends her most recent post this way:
2009? Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.


24 December 2009


Admittedly, I am much more of a solstice gal
But, on this christmas eve, I wish on you, each of you, an extra heaping dose of love and peace.

22 December 2009


Gosh, 10 already, I feel like I blinked and here it is, late, night, time for bed.
I moved an inch today, called boston IVF, called to see if I can just get the testing done we talked about back in August when I met with Dr Oskowitz, their doc who specializes in older mom wannabes such as myself.

So, I called, left a message.

Several hours later they called back- kind but not warm, and yes, they found my file and oh, my referral ran out friday. So, I needed a new referral. And, as such, I need to make another appointment for another consultation. Which is fair but annoying since, gosh, friday?? But I was barely ready to call today. So, waiting is ok. (waiting is ok, waiting is ok, waiting is ok, waiting is ok...)

So, I have a new referral, they will call with an appointment time and day sometime for mid January. My next cycle starts this weekend. But it will come and go, no tests. That's ok, but I was kind of hoping I could sneak up on this.

Why Boston IVF? you folks have all been wonderful with suggestions, and Boston IVF was in the running for the top 3 and a place I'd already made contact with and been examined at... So I figured I would start there. Next will be Fertility Centers of New England.

So one inch forward, some more waiting, and some time for breathing. If I look at this the right way, I will have a few moments between now and then when this is not the first thing I think of each time I wake in the middle of the night, the first thing I think of in the morning, or when I pause or stumble... I want a break, even if for a little while, but I also want so much to be on the other side of this.

Sending weblove to Sarah at Dreams and false alarms for her shitty recent loss, and for Illanare for hers, and sending love to Sprogblogger as she is on the cusp of her IT WILL BE SUCCESSFUL transfer, and to Traci and her monsters, love to Nic who is healing and Mo who is on the cusp of a CCRM adventure and Elizabeth whose days are filled with love and uncertainty and K with her two and Dawn and her one and Beth who I will meet sometime soon I hope and Kate who is impatient and Kate who is sunflowering and Melissa and Michele and Phoebe and Eileen and Billy and Jules and Jem and t and Elle and Onward, and Backseat, and Whatif and one pink line, and Pundelina, and Maredsous (missing you!) and bb and Meinsideout, and Joannah, April, Sarah, Sassy and Serenity,Megan and Jenn (miss you and hope you are healing!) and Maddy and EB, music maker and Magsy and scifi, and future mom, and Amber and Dirk.... all of you I wish I could read more often...and I hope to catch up soon.

And to all of you who stopped in to offer suggestions and to let me know who you are-- sharing three little words-- how wonderful and heartfilling! Thank you so much for playing along.

Kate, tired but hopeful, resilient when not falling apart, ready, waiting.

21 December 2009


I have been off line and out of touch-- I was away at a faraway customer visit that was fraught with technical challenges and long days, and then a stormy return trip this weekend had me spending saturday night in the newark airport (could not even escape by train or taxi, the lines were too long and it was too late)--- finally I was able to catch a very late train home yesterday.

Thank you all for your wonderful support and suggestions for the next phase of our journey.

I am crazed with work and needing sleep so it will take a few days to catch up.

But on this day, this shortest daylight day, I want to wish all of you a very, very happy solstice.

14 December 2009

stunned lull

My sweetie was brave for me today and called and canceled the Dr. appointment on the 21st. I know he spoke with our nurse. I also told him I was not able to hear that she thinks we're doing the right thing, so he has not told me about their conversation which is good. Because, honestly? I am not ready to hear almost anything at all. He did ask them for a copy of our records since our pregnancy in March and she will be sending them.

To be honest, I am not even sure what we are doing. Or if we can even do whatever it is we want. Not one thing is certain. We are not in rampant information gathering mode. We are in sort of a lull. A stunned lull. A lull where you know you need to get up and get the laundry out of the drier since it keeps buzzing but you can't quite haul your sorry ass off the sofa. Like me, right now. A lull, by definition, is not action packed. It feels nearly impossible to pick up the phone and just call, just ask, just schedule. It feels impossible to add to my summary document of our journey so far the details of our cycles since the pregnancy. I read websites and wonder if my lining was ever made with 3 stripes of anything. I never saw it, they never said. And if that is some sort of entrance exam for a shared risk DE program like the one in bedford, I am not really ready to fail again like that. So we read a little, write for information, and then sit in a stunned lull.

Thank you all for the kind words and support and suggestions. I am still not ok. I feel like shit about this and just want it to be different. Giving up, moving on...yeah. I am not sure I really can. But honestly, logistically, financially, spiritually even, maybe I have to, at least a little, at least from what we've been trying or how we've been trying.

I want to get a whole lot more energized for whatever is next, a little less defeated/deflated. I am so afraid if I even call for information I will cry.

We made plans today, fiscally inappropriate plans, to go away for a few days in January to someplace warmer and potentially sandy and salty that requires an airplane ride or two. This feels good and bad. Good because gosh darn, sandy and salty and warm? that sounds Good. Bad because of the money (modest but still).

But now I have something concrete (or sandy) to look forward to in January, and something good in February (a writing workshop and meeting friends in real life one of whom I only know through here)...

And now I am heading away for a few days of work related diversion- I travel tomorrow and come back saturday late. So if it is quiet around these parts, no worries. Yes, I am retreating, but I have the cover of a work project to lend plausible deniability.

My 10 seconds today: my moo cards came. I love half of them rather passionately. They feel wonderful-- truly, tactile lusciousness. Smoooooooth. And I decided if I waited to know who I am to declare myself, I would be waiting forever. So I wrote at least some of what I know to be the truth: I'm Kate, enthusiastic intuitive wonderer.

If we all introduced ourselves by who we Are instead of what we Do.. ever wonder what's your real title? No, not the cynical one, or the self berating one, or the one that labels your thighs or your uterus. Want to leave a few words about who you are? I'd love to hear them. Please be nice and imagine you're describing a little of your highest and best. And none of us will imagine that your three words are the whole you, we'll know the truth, that they are just a window, a peek, a little diversionary voyeurism. Feel free to be anonymous. It is kind of empowering. Try more than one.

Another of mine? Olympic level laugher

12 December 2009

letting go

I am
and I am not

There is a moment we all know, when you take a step and realize the ground is not where you expected, and you hang in mid air waiting. The only thing you know is that what you thought was going to happen (or maybe even knew was going to happen) is not happening. And that, quite unexpectedly, you find yourself hanging in the great inhalation that is the in-between, not this, but not that.

I am in between. I am not where I was, and not yet where I will be going.
Letting go of my big PLAN is one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do. It is a death of sorts of an idea and ideal, a big dream, my heart's desire. I had a one track mind: this way, it said, go this way. Go with all of your heart and soul and energy, and I did. I new about other options, spoke about them, thought about them, but knew that I would play this one way all the way through.

And then I took a step, and the ground fell away, and here I am.

In a nod to empowerment and in not becoming victim-ized by this whole shitty thing, we've chosen not to try to do the IUI up there this month (what if I call and they say no? or if I go and they want to talk? I simply will not be able to handle it). We've chosen not to go to the meeting with the doctor on the 21st just to hear it is over in person (an added stress and heartbreak I do not need to put myself through). We're choosing to stop in a "we didn't want to be your friend either" defensive sort of way, but also in a way that lets us feel we are making the choice. We know that they are truly doing what they believe (and probably is) the right thing. But this shattered me. And so I need to do something different.

So, internet lovelies, I live in southern new hampshire. I am looking for a clinic within relatively easy driving distance that you or one of your beloveds has felt good about- DE yes, shared risk yes. Logistically we are trying to avoid cycling far away (Shady Grove) since it is going to be very hard and we are trying not have this be any more difficult than it has been or has to be. But we need a shared risk option because of the expense.

So Boston-ites, suggestions are welcome. Leave them here in the comments or send me an email icantwhistle
warnings of places to avoid are welcome too.

Thank you for your incredible support always.
Fucking IF is just one loss after another for me. And I am so so so tired of failing.

Thank you for any suggestions and recommendations. While I am not there yet, I sure as hell want to be able to hit the ground running.

10 December 2009


...is how my heart is feeling.
sad for Phoebe's negative

sad for K's lost little one
and now also deeply sad after a conversation with my clinic.

We meet with the doc monday after next, but the conversation today was a preview-- we spoke about diminished returns and how they may not be able to suggest another cycle in good conscience since they do not believe it would work. This is an ethical issue of course, and I appreciate that. But futility was not what I expected to talk about this morning when I called. I was hoping for a simple confirmation that we could do an IUI this month (the answer was a yes if the LH surge comes when we can actually do something about it). I was not expecting the donor egg, donor embryo talk.

Even if they say yes, I know it is our last assisted try. And schedule-wise we may not be able to cycle in January anyway, or at least not until the end of the month, so even if all goes well and they say yes to one more try, we'd be off another cycle. and yes I turn 43 in february. I asked about medicated IUIs and she said the same thing, they cannot in good conscience agree if they think there is no real chance of it working. (BUT IT WORKED! I want to yell, at least it almost did! I was pregnant! Please!)

My heart feels like absolute shit.
This is another horrible heart/head schism where of course I know things (know she is probably right, know the stats are single digits at best, know I am probably wasting time, money and effort just to appease my future self), but gosh I feel other things so strongly (I WANT THIS SO BADLY, this THIS which= me plus him) that it is hard to breathe.

My darlin is right, the suckiest kind of suck.

09 December 2009


It is snowing again, tiny fast flakes that blow in all directions, make a shhhhhhh noise as they blow across each other and off the roof, not so much falling as spiraling.

This is not sticky snow, this is sugar snow and the trees are wondering where it is going, why it is not piling on their branches, why it is leaving the bark bare. It is just not that kind of snow.

I have been in a funk I guess, a musical memory this weekend raked coals for me, got me down into my raw places where I hang out with various forms of regret and nostalgia in some sort of nearly unavoidable self-archeology.

When jeff died, I listened to music a lot. I lived in a small place and I would lie there and watch the sky out of the windows and listen to music. It's how I made it through those nights that first year. I listened to some great music, but I listened over and over. Patty Griffin, Deb Talan. Oh, Deb was my constant companion, a great songwriter, a voice that could be a friend's, and lyrics that caught me up in story and felt familiar.

I stopped listening to music after that for a long, long while, stopped the deliberate listening of singer songwriter stuff, instead I was all npr all the time. Music was too evocative and I simply avoided it in some harebrained attempt at keeping it together.

Then, like all evolution, I slowly started listening more, but have not sought out my own. I listen to what is playing or change the station if I have to. And then two friends sent specific songs for me to listen to in this past week, songs that really mattered. And another sent a wonderful playlist from the art workshop last summer. And then, I started to download some music. Started to listen a little. Trying to open myself up to that true and deep pleasure. My writing has always benefited from music, it is as if it pulls words out of me, helps me with rhythm... And so....

So last weekend, I was playing with Pandora, and a Deb Talan song came on that was one from back then, and I said to myself I am a grown up, I can handle this, it is beautiful, it is music. But I was wrong, it is not just music. It has been playing in my head in an endless loop since. And with it, up comes this buried (not so deeply apparently) sadness and loneliness and regret as if I had saved a pocket of it just for this moment.

Oddly, I never read the lyrics until just now finding it for you. I just listened. I guess now that I read it, it is not at all surprising I've been laid out by it. "makes you limp and sway". Yes, yes it does.

Deb Talan, Unravelling
You tie your shoes too tight, you know
cause it feels better that way.
And when you don't, all night you are dreaming
you walk, laces streaming down the street behind you.

A river of tangled string
you are unraveling
and no one else seems to mind.
You keep it to yourself, stay numb and act fine.
You wear the truth under your sole, like a pebble
it makes you limp and sway
but it will out someday.

Take it from me it is no use
washing your hands so often they are clean and cracked.
You never get your old skin back
once you have loved like that
you're a river of tangled string...

He is inside you, he loved your marrow.
You think you could cut him out with a knife
if you went deep enough
I don't think so.
Maybe sing him back to living
'cause he might rise like a snake in a basket
or he may close his eyes
and wait till his life is a full-fledged casket, floating on
a river of tangled string...

05 December 2009


snow is falling and just like that the world transforms into something soft and gentle and lovely.

watching the snow coming down, outlining every branch and twig, piling along the lines of rope of the hammock, the railing, the bark on the trees.
ahhh my eyes feast as dark comes.

04 December 2009


Yesterday began with a dark sky and hard rain and hard wind. My drive to work, the sky lightened and suddenly there was a full rainbow, bright and clear, over my shoulder. I pulled off and watched it until it was gone. The sky was changing so fast, clouds flying by, clear one moment, cloudy, rainy, clear again.
I was late to work but it was completely worth it. Before it faded, a second arch showed for a few minutes, a ghost.

So many folks are out there struggling with identity issues, wondering who are we after all of this? So many new IF moms or IF pregnant ladies feeling like their lives are lived with a foot in each boat, like each one is somehow not quite true. Oh my heart aches and I know nothing I say can make a damned bit of difference since we cannot undo our experiences. This is what we have come to know, this is the shit we have slogged through or are in the midst of.
And for all of us, I hate that we say to ourselves that we ARE infertile, instead of "having" infertility. It is as if this has become us, we have become it.

Of course "having" it means there is a chance in hell to "lose" it. (dang, where did I put that infertility? must be around here somewhere---- OH to be so friggin lucky...).

And so I ask myself:
Is that truly who I am? Infertilekate?
What about kate who laughs and runs through sprinkers? what about kate who feels her heart swell when the cat deigns to sit upon her lap? what about hot shower bliss kate? flannel sheet kate? slow kiss kate? crying at npr kate? what about kate who writes? or paints? or catches snowflakes on her tongue?
In some ways the honest answer is that I feel so darned broken, it is impossible to forget the fucking struggle, and it is a struggle almost each and every moment. And this process, fueled by running out of time, just is consuming.

But me and the rainbow? for those moments, I was not even kate, I was not infertile, I was not broken. I was just wonder and awe.

02 December 2009

10 seconds of soft

Methinks maybe I spoke to soon. I don't know. I feel so darn fragile. Last night's acupuncture was hard. An hour lying there with just me, myselves and I, my misgivings, my regret, my disappointment. Hm. Not so good.

It is as if I am really good at moving from acute hell to a skinned over place that feels more superficially whole, and I think SEE? THERE! I'M OK! When really? I am still a bag-o-shards. It does not take much to puncture the veneer. And the worst part? I'm so good at faking myself out that I'm surprised when it happens, when the punctures occur, which is crazylunacy.

I realized yesterday that a good word for my current state is brittle, which sounds bitter and isn't, or angry and isn't, but it does speak to a certain lack of resilience and elasticity. Right now, it takes nothing to set me off, make me teary, make my heart feel like it is sinking. I've talked a lot here about coping, and being FINE, and yeah, I am coping, I am fine. But I am also not fine and it is really hard to admit that, even to me.

Last night my darlin' surprised me with a disco ball, music, and slow dancing in the living room. It was lovely even though my mood made me feel more tender than anything and I felt more like crying than laughing (WHICH SUCKS).

(I should title this post: In Which Kate Uses Random Capitalization to Make a Point or Two)

The truth is, I am bad at feeling bad. I have no patience for it. Reject it as OTHER. It is not me, I am buoyant, so what the fuck? I wonder if for a moment, I could do what my sweet sister suggested and say, I have a right to feel bad. This sucks ass.
and so I say to myself. see? you? feeling bad? (baby typing with question marks)
THAT MAKES SENSE. But I hate it.

But, what if I simply allowed it.
BUT! (I say) I HATE IT!
Yeah yeah, katekate I know you do, I hear you. you hate it. I get that. but allow does not mean embrace or embody. and it may mean not fighting myself in every moment.

So in this land that is full of what ifs,
I wonder,
what if, for the next 10 seconds, I just allowed myself to feel what I feel, even if I wish it were different.


the answer?
I feel softer. like for those 10 seconds i was not battling myself.
hmm. isn't that something.

01 December 2009


Cramps finally are calming down, thank god/goddess/all-that-is. They were really, really hard this time around- my usual megadose advil did not make a dent, and the persistent pain really wore me down. BUT I am better today! And Maddy made me laugh with her comment. I think suckitude and fortitude may be friends actually. Things suck, but I'm still in the game.

I am finding it hard not to be aware that the 9th, looming, my would have been due date. It feels impossible. I read about Onwardsandsideways fabulous 38th week. We got pregnant at the same time, and where she is feels like a foreign land. I ache for that possibility that truly wasn't, and for my easy projection then into this upcoming holiday time with big belly and then baby and a new year beginning with our bigger family. And it feels like a dream I had once. Not like a real thing that truly could have been. And yet, dream or not, it cuts pretty deeply, you know?

Speaking of dreams, I dreamed of babies last night, one could type and had written this whole short story in tiny question mark delimited fragments like this: One could type? and? the whole story? was in fragments?

And it was weird to read it, since I kept thinking: MY BABY WROTE THIS. I also dreamed of my last high school, of visiting for some sort of movie watching reunion thingy, having one very foamy beer (I do not drink at all in real life), getting woozy drunk, and kissing some random guy named Eric who does not actually exist, and needing to leave before in-dorms but realizing I was too drunk to drive and not entirely sure where I parked anyway. The stars were amazing as I wandered about looking for my car, that I do remember. So my point? My dreams are not all portentous. Most are just brain barf.

And now, speaking of brain barf, I feel like babbling here for a while- I guess this means I am surfacing. So this? This portends well.