27 February 2011

110 days

110 days since Della arrived, screaming, certainly, and wildly PRESENT and ACCOUNTED FOR.
I cannot tell you how my heart has been split wide open
and my world has been rocked
and how nearly everything I thought about who I am, what I can handle, what I think or what I know has been questioned (not badly, but deeply)
and how, finally, after years of finding myself deep in the throes of self torture at 4am, now it is nursing time, a time when I stare at the amazing curve of her cheek, or the wash of eyelashes that seem to grow longer as I watch.
4am and I watch the sky for softness and imagine it might be snowing, or see pin prick stars, or the brightest sliver of moon.

I cannot tell you what this year (now reviewed thanks to taxes, good grief) has meant for me, and how as I look ahead I feel a pull between panic (outright, abject, immediate) and some sort of longer term concern, standing on a melting ice floe, wondering what will come next.

Doug took a job that will take him/us to Maine this summer. This is an opportunity I might take advantage of to leave my current job even though it means financial hardship, (it is eventual anyway, and may be their choice come June no matter what I might hope for otherwise....) a clean break and a way for us all to stay together. I have done long distance. I have done split time. I have done two houses. I have done it and have no need to do it again, not right now, not with Della who changes every minute.

The house will go on the market this spring, after repairs are complete and the new roof is on. We will load our clutter into bags and boxes, and clean, and try to exit stage left with as much dignity and soul intact as possible. I know it is the right thing, but it is not the easy thing. This would have happened either way.

The baby is having a fussy day, an impatient day, and me, I am done with gathering papers for the tax guy
I did my best, it is not *complete* but it is as complete as I can make it. It is a big, fat envelope, and chronicles our last IVF, ultrasound by ultrasound. And even holding the amazing squirming beautiful stunning outcome in my arms, I still cannot believe it.

So, lots happening here, quick changes that came up and needed decisions, and some things put off that were needing attention, and here we are, adventuring. And me? Breathing into a bag.

I wanted to write about universal messages, about jumping off, about how a string of book reading and random emails came all saying the same thing-- about trusting, about jumping, about beginning.

18 February 2011


not wanting to jinx anything here but
even with the crappiest week of sleep in months (up too late, up too early)
and with a rather high stress level
the past 3 days with Della have been more harmonious.
Harmonious=much much less crying. I've made some changes: stopped my prenatal vitamin; and now I immediately change what I am doing at the first sign of fussing-- keep trying different things until no fussing. What this means is that I am in near constant motion while she is awake (bouncing, dancing, walking), I bounce her to sleep (no kidding, first yawn, I am ON THE BALL), I rock her while she is sleeping unless it was a nurse-to-sleep... and, well, it's all working (praise god, goddess, all-that-is), at least, in this moment. And it is wonderful wonderful wonderful.
There is no sitting with the baby stuff of movies and the coffee shop fantasy. But... I get it. This is what it is.
Today we walked twice, taking advantage of this amazing weather, nearly 60 degrees. Sunshine on my face, warm wind, cold snow, but the smell of spring, and the bluest sky, and the wind roaring in the trees.

It was a melt day.
Only one new leak found. Yesterday was insurance adjuster visit day, goodness gracious that man was here for 3 hours. But.... and... there's a check and we can fix the holes once the threat of new leaks is over for the season.

So, about work....
I can say this: wednesday mornings, I put on my Just Be True Jen Lee t-shirt, and remind myself to be true to my own self. It is about changing focus and heart-attention as quickly as I can from work out there (hands waving) to work in here (hand on heart).

My sister has encouraged me to open an etsy store with my 5 (count'em!) paintings, so I am in the middle of setting that up.

And, really, with this particular life structure, one of the other reasons for my increased peace with Della, I think, comes from not trying to do anything else. I don't read many blogs very often right now, and rarely comment (SO SORRY!)-- I just don't have the time I want to put in that direction. Right now is a weird survival mode, and with that comes minimal multi tasking.

But on weekends I sneak a little more time-- like this, to post. Or last weekend to go see my writing group (with Della so it was not really sneaking-- and she cried the whole hour ride back good lord). And tomorrow, maybe to go on some errands alone. Or maybe to etsy or update my leadership blog or.... but
this is about ORs these days, not ANDs, and I am realizing how letting go of trying to do too many things (when more than one is too many), I suddenly found a little peace.

Della is laughing, and rolled onto her side over and over and over for 20 minutes on wednesday. And these moments I would not want to miss for Anything.

12 February 2011

Della photos

Images from yesterday. Oh my goodness.
Della's cool and unusual asian-themed outfit is a gift from a beloved cousin. She looks downright smashing in it, don't you think?

And here I am, with my little one perched atop an exersize ball. We spend a lot of time in ergonomically questionable (if not downright nightmarish) positions and postures (aka me, bending forward like a "C"). I try to make up for it by stretching, often.

Della is an outfacing baby with me, in-facing with sweet Tammy, a crook of the arm baby with Doug... At 3 months she now loves the bjorn (I love that she loves it), is enjoying minutes at a time in her new bouncy seat (a cheapo that I really like-- my bouncy seat of choice when I was a little one was a jolly jumper), she loves practicing standing, being carried by anyone willing to dance and bounce (hard please), she smiles more and more and more, a delightful lopsided grin with dimples, talks (a lot) and giggles (a little), and still has fucking colicky times that I hate beyond measure. Last night, several hours of unhappiness followed by an hour of blood curdling demon baby screams and a big, big sleep. Then sometime near morning, a wonderful cuddle with me, she turned to tuck her head up under my chin and I barely dared to breathe since I did not want to accidentally dispel the magic. She is feisty and smart, curious, impatient, easily frustrated,wiggly, charming, and insanely cute. She has a glint in her gray eyes that hints strongly of a future of mischievousness. We are doomed.

11 February 2011


Last year I was one day post-transfer, praying to the last chance fertility gods and not quite daring to hope.

In the past year, I have gotten and stayed pregnant with a miraculous and wonderful baby girl, gotten (and stayed) married to the most amazing man on the most beautiful bluff, lost a big part of my job and, in that instant, a huge chunk of stability and identity, spent a summer mired in stressed out job uncertainty and a parade of one crazy terrifying pregnancy complication after another. I worried about selling the house in a market filled with auction houses and we realized we had to wait if at all possible.

Summer turned to fall and I (finally) gave birth to Della over the course of a few days, with first snow flying and birch trees outside the window that I did not see until it was over. Breastfeeding was a nightmare at first, delayed milk, trauma of a hungry baby and a body that was in shock from surgery, compounded with badly timed bad advice. By the time it was working I felt broken.

I spent two months at home with Della and Doug, using my vacation time, learning how to be This kate, this one who is in a constant state of not knowing.

At the turn of the new year, I lost half of my job again, and realized This kate, this one, this one wants more.
if I am trading time with Della for it, work needs to provide more. At least, I sure want it to. We began to think about putting the house on the market in the spring, realizing the likelihood of a short sale, since my income no longer covers the mortgage.

Then water came in the walls and the ceiling in 4 out of 5 rooms, pieces and parts have been ripped down, and now,
we are in a state of in-between-ness. Rebuilding waiting until after ice season so we only have to do this once.

And today, after one of the most amazing and difficult and transformative years of my life where just about everything I knew changed, today, I turn 44.

07 February 2011

one year ago today

One year ago today, Della began in a petrie dish in Waltham Massachusetts.
4 eggs retrieved (oh, how I had hoped for more...)
2 fertilized
1 turned into beautiful, miraculous Della.

Here's to bucking the odds.