29 May 2010


I am an inherently resilient person, with a gift/curse of emotional amnesia. I do not like feeling bad, and quickly (quickly!) can take an external hurt and hide it somewhere. It is how I made it through over a decade of mostly (NOT Jane) abusive relationships. Once the incident is over and calm returns, I am so relieved by the calm that I move from the hurt as fast as I can.

Now, in my current much more healthy life, I do not have to experience this as often since the hurts are different- except at work.

This work transition left me reeling, hurt, angry, and feeling very lost. It does not matter than I have been unhappy for the last two years (out of 12), or that I'd been whatiffing, worried about the company closing, a wider layoff, a pay cut that cut too close-- the worry of losing the house, but also the dreams of having the opportunity of opening up to a bigger expression of myself...
it does not matter because This time decrease and This pay decrease, this was Just Me, and phrased in ways it was impossible not to take personally. I can make excuses for what was said but I think I am going to try to choose not to. I am compassionate, but that does not excuse the fact that someone acted badly and I got hurt.

Then, as suddenly as the hurt and craziness came, there was a crescendo, and then, in this moment, I am back to some sort of ok-ness.
I know I am not ok, but I am. Does this make sense? I put the hurt somewhere and am now finding myself looking past the hurt and recognizing the potential gift of a day.
The financial stress is not ok, will not be ok, and has ramifications (meeting with realtor, for example)--

A horrible story to tell/admit to- once upon a time, in a very emotionally abusive relationship, I remember wishing she would just hit me, just hit me so I could go. As if with that tangible evidence, evidence that something so irrefutably bad had happened, that no one could question my leaving.

Well, this was sort of like that. Not a hit, but a *something* a something you cannot turn back from and pretend all is as it was. It isn't. It won't be. This opened me up to step away from some of my own disfunction just enough to feel relief, as if I am off the hook.

Bopping around on the internet yesterday I came across an article about how to keep your employees from quitting (in a shit economy folks stay in miserable jobs .. then the economy starts to improve and folks quit like lemmings)--and found that it was written by this really interesting fellow, G.L. Hoffman, the CEO of LinkUp.com, a new job search site that lists jobs from company sites (not to be confused with Linked In). He's a serial entrepreneur and has a gift of clear communication. He's got a great graphical 5-Second MBA based on venn diagrams and infused with humor that is totally worth the 5 minutes-- there's a link to it on his blog.

Anyway, we ended up exchanging a few emails, and in one I wrote that this job event had taken me off the hook of my capital L Loyalty. Which is another ancient leftover from my dysfunctional days. Loyalty is not a bad thing. But this kind, Loyalty in spite of anything/everything is never a good idea. But my newly healthier self has a battle to fight with my old habits of being and my quest for peace.

So my challenge now, how to keep from getting sucked back in (backsliding) and how to move forward/outwards/inwards toward a more full expression of myself?

I am opening to the idea of finding other types of work. I work in a niche engineering wise, but my actual skills are broader than those. So I am trying to envision how to present myself (like on linked in)- in a way that is totally true to myself.
But this is also about The Day--I will now have one day a week to fill how I wish.

Want to hear about some of my daydreaming? (fed, of course, by input from loved ones- thank you Sarah!)
What about me offering an online journalling course? an e-course? The start of a series, maybe one on journalling, another on creativity, perhaps another on being present...
What would I call the series? (name ideas? bring them ON)

How about a website about later-in-life real life pregnancy/parenting without the annoying assumption of wealth and leisure? (aka Plum which just simply pissed me off)... (this could be the next incarnation of my blog or a broader community effort)...

I can finish my novel! Send it out! Maybe start to really look at the grief project to see if I can let it go or if it needs my attention to come to some sort of book...

See? one day may be the gift I have been needing.

yesterday the little one wiggled around nearly all day long, it was magnificent, fabulously distracting, and a great reminder that everything everything everything is changing.

And, while humbling and scary and holyshitwhatamIdoing, it is also wide open with possibility.

Hurt aside, how cool is that?

Adding openness to lightness. I think I am starting to like my list.

25 May 2010

knock knock

Last night sitting balled up on the sofa contemplating all things that can go to hell with this new financial situation-- I was making myself crazy. So I finally got up, got a book, I balled back up again around the belly, and dove into my escape, fiction...
I felt a knock, just like a knuckle tap under the flesh- a hello? and a few seconds later, a second one.

I have been feeling flutters and tickles, traces and imaginings of butterfly wings, and the gentle movement of curtains lifting in a breeze too gentle to feel since the cusp of week 15... but this? this was different.

Hello little one, I hear you. And OH I cannot wait to hear you again.

22 May 2010

fear, lightness, resonance

Sometimes it is easy to lose track of what is important, what works, what makes us happy. When we are all tied up in knots the things that work sometimes escape us. Sometimes it is the easiest thing- a few slow deep breaths, 10 seconds of beauty, a moment of pure attention, curling up on a sweetie... sometimes it is a complicated journey, we eat this, we stretch, we stay still, we fret, we wonder, we pace, we still don't remember what calls us, what works for us, what brings our pieces together, gathered in our hands like pie crust.....

Yesterday I was asked to decrease my hours, this is both a blessing and the most fearful thing ever. It is also hard to hear I am not indispensable after 12 years even though I know it to be true. I started with relief (not laid off!) moved toward possibility (what else can fill this space?) and moved rather rapidly toward a quiet panic, seeing dominos of what ifs and oh shits and holy crap and finally fear and sadness settled rather heavily in my solar plexus.

So today I am trying to let it rest, let it be. Let the surprise and my responses move toward whatever is next, and let the universe help me guide myself toward what makes me happiest.

In the quest for lightness I am heading down to my sister's for a family party to celebrate our pregnancy and elopement...
I will leave you with these two beautiful things--
3191 is a lovely blog, always has been... image feasts and delight and yesterday's post is such a great reminder to do what works
Maya Stein, a favorite writer, has done it again. Just when I needed a message... read down to the bottom of the current piece (dated May 13th) and see if it does not strike you as it struck me. Resonance.

20 May 2010

Odes, love, frogs and onesies

Ok loved ones, I have no idea who did it, who wrote those amazingly nice things to Mel at Stirrup Queens for her current secret odes post, but I am honored and humbled please know that you have made my heart bigger.

Sweet DaisyGal (twin mom after IVF) alerted me to the shout out in a kind comment, and, well, gosh...I am seriously humbled.

Last night I drove home with the radio off. The rain had stopped and the sky was filled with ragged bottomed clouds of every imaginable gray.
I listened to the shhhh of the tires on wet pavement, the squeaky push of intermittent wipers, and watched the season's first frogs cross over the frost heaves on the back road toward home, headlights lighting up their little offset pyramid-bodies as they sit in the middle of the road, or their haphazard hops, legs splayed and trailing as they move in fits and starts toward the edges.

Swampy spots in the woods that I did not even know about were filled with cacophonous peeper sounds, and as the sky darkened, I was just so overcome by the beauty and richness of all that I miss when I am in the land of must-get-home and NPR. The dark woods, the rails knocked down along the top edge of the fence that holds the painted ponies, the hay lumped up and bristling through the slats in the hayrack...

Tonight, the wood thrush has been making it's magical call- wood nymphs and faeries playing flutes carved from starshine...the Most astonishing sound.

I bought my first baby things today- Amazon needed 5$ more to give me free shipping, I caved, I bought a 4-pack of organic onesies. Tonight we celebrate our great sequential screen results (aka Negative!), so no further testing is needed unless something alarming happens at the anatomy ultrasound in 3 weeks. We hope to not know the gender until late October when our little one arrives safely into this big wide world.

15 May 2010

100 days

100 days
that is how long I have been pregnant. 100 amazing scary wonderful wondrous miraculous days.

I was thinking back to the first time I tried to inject myself with the damned lupron, not having any idea what to expect...not knowing how I could possibly do it. not knowing if I could possibly do it- finally, in despair and defeat, resting the needle down on my belly and just praying it would somehow do it itself. And it did. Somehow, the needle just went in. No dart throw, no jab, just sharp needle entering bellyflesh, and it was over. And this chapter of my journey began.

I expected it would work.
And then it didn't. No eggs retrieved, god that was awful-- all of that for nothing. Nothing.
Try again. IVF converted to IUI. I was crushed. Sobbed my way through the IUI. And then, we were pregnant. It felt impossible, was nearly so, shocked us, shocked the doctor. We saw two sacs. But one heartbeat. I remember how insanely happy I felt, how incredibly sad I felt. And I remember how I felt when we learned we had lost the pregnancy. How I felt looking at that ultrasound screen. How I knew I KNEW I would never feel the same way about an ultrasound as long as I live. And it's true, I haven't.
And then all of those cycles, trying trying trying trying trying failing failing failing failing failing.
And then
100 days ago, some miracle happened. And here we are.

This weekend a perfect stranger asked me when I was due.
Holy shit people.
Apparently I turned the corner from suspected carb addict to pregnant lady. praise the gods.


I wanted to share this very different take on failure-- both the perception of it, and the fight *not* to internalize. Karri is a painter, but I think this holds true much more largely- and the final part of her post is something that made me go ahhhhh.

So, in my questing for lightness, once again I am coming back around to creativity as something that lightens me. Oh no, not always. A bad writing day, a block, or feeling of overwhelmedness, or a painting that looks entirely unlike what was intended and therefore categorized as "shit"-- these are not lightening moments, but the mere act of partaking in something creative, even if it ends badly is still a kind of soul food.

But these soul feeding things are often the first things I put aside when I am overwhelmed. (Why do I do this??)

Today I had enough energy to clean the toilet, and the bathroom floor, and the sink, and do dishes and laundry (two loads), start to change the bed, vacuum the little rug, flip the sofa pillows, and then I had this moment of realizing that I might be pulling out of the big deep trench of Fatigue- and... if so... maybe this makes possible a return to some of the other things I let go while I was in mere survival mode.

I am excited actually, feel a little jazzy at the idea of cracking open a paint jar or finding the last version of the novel that is so-close-to-done.

And I am thinking again about balance. It is not built in, we must build it. It is so easy for the weight of the day, my work, the long hours, to eat all of my energy and leave nothing for the other half of my brain and the near entirety of my heart.

I LOVE the idea of saying Ok, this isn't working. I'll just paint it over and try again. But how often do we do that? I fiddle, I muck, I poke and prod and smear and fuck it up more and more and more and get more and more upset as it moves farther and farther from what I wanted.
What if I sit still for a moment. Take in what is. Decide what I want to do from here and say, can I Make this Become what I want? Or do I need to do something different?
Sometimes the answer will be one, sometimes the other. But the idea that sometimes putting something aside, or getting out the big brush for a cathartic wash, this feels freeing to me today.

13 May 2010


So I made some big life affirming changes here at i can't whistle-- I added a ticker, yes, a pregnancy ticker (two actually)-- added the word pregnant to the header and to the about this blog blurb... and
starting to imagine a halloween baby.

I felt something this weekend, a tickle, the faintest trace of something. Right in the place I know he/she is. I imagined I imagined it, then I decided to embrace the possibility that maybe I was in just the right position, maybe I was the right kind of still, the kind that is present....

and since then, once or twice, a sensation, not a gas bubble or a colon spasm, but a touch, a tiny elbow maybe in the midst of a water balloon.

I want to be present for this magic. I want to be able to stop and soak it in.

Sucky things about surviving (or so it would seem) this infertility journey, is that folks vanish. Which I TOTALLY GET. But I miss them. It is hard, but I have been someone who vanished too- But this time, unlike last time, something is really different. This time, for some crazy reason, I do not feel apologetic. I am feeling lucky and grateful and astonished. And I wish on anyone the same miraculous outcome, preferably while finances, soul, partnership are all intact. I just wanted to acknowledge this. Surviving without guilt. I am ok with that, but completely surprised.
I want to share something beautiful and dreamy-- a link to hula seventy's blog. She is a photographer, but also a very kind and present and real person. Our paths crossed in real life very briefly once, but I was struck by how she felt to me... what is the word... integrated? synchronized? harmonious? these are not quite right-- she felt (to me) as if her parts were all aligned. Anyway her recent work feels wonderfully airy, dreamlike, ethereal...

I am wanting to bring more joy in, more lightness, more air-- I get heavy with fatigue, with work stuff, with all the things I worry about or should be attending to... what I crave is lightness.

So as I find things that strike me, I will bring them here to share. It will help affirm my quest.

09 May 2010

dancing with reality

I imagine a ballroom dance class
in which reality has some upper hand/prior knowledge/innate grace
and I am all left feet and tight hips and self conscious insecurity. I am blushing and awkward and gawky.

Now out of the first trimester, my nausea has vanished (praise the gods/goddess/all-that-is), the fatigue is still profound but easier to understand. I've come to know it now, fight it less, realize when I am done in and try to honor that...

but there is this BABY inside me. I can hear it-- the magical doppler and I have a 10 second date every night, I find the heartbeat, listen for just a few seconds, and turn it off, reassured, and yet...

I am having trouble truly grokking the reality here people.

I was very used to the Quest and all that came with it. I am not used to success. And it is all new, all wondrous, but also a little dislocated. I absolutely revel, but I feel like I am reveling in a dream. My big big belly (sprogblogger apparently got ALL the boob magic, mine are just like mine always were,which is to say, largely (or, more accurately, smally) unremarkable)-- the big belly says something is happening. No chance for regular pants. Belly be band does not cover the whole undone zipper unless I wear it down over my entire nearly non-existent ass, so I am in maternity pants.

I "know" I am pregnant. Had a normal OB appointment last monday right before my trip. Normal normal normal. And
holy crap. normal?

But I feel-- well-- astonished and not quite believing yet.

Today I am at 15 weeks.
15 weeks.
that means 13 weeks ago this little one began in a dish in Waltham MA.
this coming wednesday marks the day we began this trip in tandem.
And yet, I cannot quite believe it.

Most folks say when I can feel it move it will become more real to me. Some folks say it is never truly real real because it is so BIG and unfathomable.
I will be (always) curious to see how this unfolds for me.

Today my darlin' gave me a mother's day card.
Last year, this time, I was recovering from my friday-before-mother's day D&E and was reeling with the grief of miscarriage.

I cannot believe my luck.
Apparently this is more than a turn of phrase. I know I am still waiting, hoping, making deals with whatever gods may be listening... as if this might not be real, as if it might not work out. And yet I know with all of my heart, that I would be destroyed by that. I guess I truly cannot quite yet believe my luck.

The trip was exhausting but I got to see some friends I do not ever see. Usually business is all business, but this time, I made time for dinner with friends-- one I had not seen in more than 4 years, the other almost as long.
Since I was in the neighborhood, I blew kisses to Elizabeth and K and Traci. I loved being in the same time zone as all of you.

But now, I am tired- need to nap or rest or read. I need to clean and organize too but will do that in small bits. Action and rest interleaved. At least I can do some where a few weeks ago I could do none. Progress.

My next pregnancy related appointment is the 17th for the second bloodwork of the sequential screening-- that's next monday I guess? Then 5 weeks until our anatomy ultrasound, where we will hopefully NOT find out the gender but will learn that everything looks perfect.

Again, I feel like I am talking about someone else. The ideal kate. The one who groks this. The one who can dance.

02 May 2010

the wedding edition

Hello loved ones,
so, the wedding.

You might remember our engagement at christmas and my subsequent freak out complete with PTSD craziness, but


My darlin was raised by a loving and very young mom with lots of help from a beloved grandma- but no dad. And for him, being a Dad, a capital letter D Dad is really important. It is his story to tell of course, but it brings us to this: he wanted to be married before the baby came.
He also wanted to be married in the fall.
The baby, who may actually BE coming, is coming in the fall.
So, that left me with what felt like two options: get married asap, or wait until I am a whale (aka wait until the fall), or wait until after.
Summer is not possible since his job is 24 hours a day in summertime..... so....
our anniversary is Earth day, the anniversary of our first date that is, so I said (in a crazy moment the night before the last ultrasound at the clinic), why don't we elope on Earth day? or something close?
and then I panicked, because that is what I do.
and then we had a great ultrasound and this looked like it might actually work out...
so, then we decided on the 17th.
We knew where to get a cake from previous baked goods experience (Bread and Roses, Ogunquit Maine. WORTH THE DRIVE people, I'm just sayin'). Cake is really the thing for my darlin, so we started there.
And then, since the cake was in Maine, we decided to elope there.
Found a Justice of the Peace online (Julie Draper- wonderful wonderful)
yeah. Started to think about really doing this.
Then got kidney stones.
then we went up a weekend of 80 and sunny and met Julie, whom we adored. Found the town hall.
looked for venues and places for dinner and hotels for our friends...
we wore ourselves out, and did not make much progress.
Somewhere in there I decided to see if I could find a photographer so our friends would not have to do everything. And I found one, a MAGNIFICENT photographer, Susan Mullen. I was bold enough to ask, and she was sweet enough to say yes even on such short notice and such a small budget. She was willing to do one hour which made it all possible, and she is such a wonderful person. All these crazy beautiful photos here today were taken by her.

And, in a crazy search online for hiking trails, I accidentally found our ceremony site, a nature reserve in Wells.
the next weekend, 60 and sunny, up again- ordered the cake, found a fabulous florist by asking a random shop keeper and could not have been happier with the wild tangled bouquet (created by the totally hip and intuitive Heather at Calluna) who somehow got me, and somehow got me fiddleheads... we found a restaurant (the oh so wonderful Angelina's, expensive but really great food and service), and visited the reserve.
As soon as we saw the dried grasses in that high field, oh, I cried. Yup. It was the place.

So, the next weekend, cold (30's) and rainy, cold cold, damn cold, we woke up to snow on friday-- then, up we went for the license, our friends came up on saturday, and the rain stopped just long enough for us to celebrate.

You asked for more photos and I am torn-- there are many good ones! But in the interest of internet obfuscation, I am only including a few here, all of which you will see are lacking in, shall we say, identifying details. If you find us elsewhere, it won't be surprising, we are not hard to find. But I'd rather not just put it up and out here.
Please note the amazing loveliness of the place. The true magnificence. And the grass. Oh, the grass.

Then, we went to the beach.