Life "After" infertility. Being, becoming, midlife-ing, parenting... But no whistling.
31 December 2011
not resolutions, intentions
I remember long ago in therapy, I learned that if I changed what I was doing, I might indirectly change how a relationship or interaction was going too simply because I was no longer doing my part in the dance. I also remember how many months and years I sat with that knowledge without having the guts to put it to use, afraid of what would happen, afraid of consequences, afraid, in fact, of the very change I hoped for.
I am not sure why I am writing about this now, except for some current upheaval and events in the relationships of my beloveds (not me, thank god, all is solid here). But perhaps also because I feel compassion for all involved...because I feel my own reluctance to change, even when faced with opportunity. I tend to choose what I know, even if what I know does not work as well as I would like.
As I look to the new year, I will state this intention: I intend and hope that I will begin to make choices not only based on familiarity/old habits and patterns, the great regression, but to take a chance every once in a while and choose some new path, some new way, something that pulls instead of pushes, something that moves me in the direction of how I want to feel. Even thinking about it/writing about it makes me feel a little tired and a little scared. What if my choices are wrong? Or if things don't work out? What if I make a mistake? (one of my top ten pain-in-the-ass issues of this lifetime: fear of making mistakes)
The power in my intention is that I know I am scared, but I am also acutely aware that many of my choices/responses/reactions this year did not support my highest and best, at least, not the holistic way I'd like. How can I best support myself emotionally and spiritually? How can I create more energy instead of less? How can I create the best environment for positive change and evolution? What small steps can I take that move me in the right direction(s), without triggering my "run away run away" fear response?
How about you? As you look to the new year, what are you thinking? Not resolutions per se, but what mindful intention are you putting out there?
Funny thing about resolutions: They sound so nicely tied up, don't they? As if via resolutions something(s) get Resolved. Not so much.
Join me in some self-compassion, and some mindful intention(s): What small steps can you take to support your highest and best (in the context of your reality people, not some woo woo unicorns and rainbows universe)?
Wishing you all the happiest healthiest most personally prosperous all-good-dreams-come-true New Year.
29 December 2011
She intends to post a photo of her pond every day. In the way that each observed life is never the same moment to moment, the pond changes with light and season and weather... sometimes complex, sometimes simple, always beautiful. She has created the intention and the opportunity to really experience her pond each day for the next year.
And, if you want to get a bigger glimpse into her awesomeness, read the About page. She's pretty amazing.
String theory and old food
a day passed since I began this post.
time doing that rubber band thing
choosing to post rather than waiting for epiphany.
21 December 2011
What I really want to say is thank you. Sincerely. Big-heartedly. Your comments helped knit me back together.
I'll just do what I do here.
And I'll start by posting an image of one of the paintings I did a few weeks back during the campfire weekend. No need to comment on it. This kind of stuff is really personal, and no two people respond the same way. I want to share it because I like it. Here it is: abstracted November.
Tomorrow will be dark too. But then, the next day? LIGHTER.
18 December 2011
I think I've lost most of my readers through my intermittency and my pregnancy success. And I totally get both of those. But I am not giving up this space, it means so much to me. And you, you who do read, thank you!
What do you think?
Can I just go on babbling about being in the vague in between land of post-interfertility(if there really is ever a post-infertility stage, which I doubt) IVF mom-lost-house-and-job-found-work-patchworking-together-contracts-art-life-parenting-with-liberal-doses-of-midlife-uncertainty? Or should I create a more certain direction/identity for the blog?
For me, this is my real life (not the blog, but what I write about here)-- I realize I am not writing as often not because I have nothing to say but for time reasons mostly and occasionally because I am not certain what would be appropriate to write here.
I have a whole post written on envy that seems like annoying whining.
So in awareness of my incredible luck with having Della, something I know so many people are still fighting the good fight to achieve, could I give myself permission to write about envy from this decidedly enviable position? I thought not. And now, I wonder, should I post it anyway? It is my truth, after all.
So yeah. I want to write about things like envy, fear, where the hell is my period (no, not pregnant, just no period yet), co sleeping, nostalgia and food waste.
I want to write about things like the fact I am still breastfeeding Della. Not as much, not as often. yes at night still. I want to write that I love it and hate parts of it. Dread what my body will look like when I stop. Hate my vanity for even thinking about my breasts as anything other than miraculous. I hate how Della digs her nails into the opposite breast, over and over and over and tantrums if I try to intervene. How did this habit develop? I don't even know.. why can I not be strong enough to endure the tantrum? I don't know, I just can't.
I want to write about how sad I feel, how bone deep nearly desperate sad, when I think of breast feeding ending, or ending co-sleeping, knowing that this will never happen for me again.
I want to write that I want to do this all again, no, not with another baby, but this one, this little one. I miss her infancy with an intense ache, it went by so fast! I can see how this is the age at which so many folks try for a second. I get it. I really do. But we can't and won't and don't really want to-- Della is our miracle. But I want to write about how I envy folks who are pregnant again. Even though I don't really want to be.
I want to write about the complexity of feeling Other in a world of younger moms. I want to write about how it feels to meet moms at daycare and realize I am old enough to be their mom. I want to write about how I feel as if I am making it up every day, figuring things out as I go, feeling triumphant at a walk down town with Della in the stroller, but even then, how the favorite blanket untucks, goes under the wheels and rips.
I want to write about how when we go to Target and Della sits in the cart the whole time, it feels like a blessing from the box store gods. and when she wants to be carried instead, I have learned to push the cart one-handed, while her weight sits on my left hip and I wonder how I got to be so strong in some ways and such a wuss in others.
I want to confess we bathe her with sponge baths still-- that real baths and showers make her cry so hard I cannot think. We try, like today, and hope that sometime it changes into something tolerable.
I want to say how lonely I feel, but also how I have created a life so full and busy that I have no time to connect in real life. Logistics paralyze me. I have work to do. I always have work to do.
I want to say that while somehow, so many things are miraculously great, I am scared everyday about money, about the inherent intermittency of contract work, of the uncertainty. And how, car repair becomes a christmas present, depletes my account, creates worry where for a moment there was actually a tiny cushion. And how am I ever going to repay my immense debts to my family that helped make Della?
I wonder what to say about all of this
so instead sometimes it is easier not to write
or to let the moment pass
and just say, hey everyone. I miss you.
11 December 2011
Speaking of begetting: The most recent Duggar news having me feel like a big old asshole for being so reflexively and irrationally angry at her 20th pregnancy (why the hell do I do that? it made me feel defeated and here I am on the far side of IF hell with a dreamy baby. WTF.), and then feeling the stomach punch as the whole universe learns of her miscarriage via yahoo or other internet news. I ache for her. For them. Gah.
And a tough conversation this weekend with a beloved friend who is going through hell made me realize, no matter what happiness comes, old pain, the kind that sticks in our bones after a big loss, well, it sort of lurks there. Undermined self confidence sticks around. Grief hovers, waiting. It is not that they are stalking, I don't think they are that active. But they are pretty impressively opportunistic. Pain often brings up old pain. Grief brings up old grief. Powerlessness brings up old powerlessness.
So, in this moment, I want to forgive myself my old pain, the one that made me angry at a woman I do not even know, simply for getting pregnant.
And I want to wish on all of us a little self-compassion. Sometimes, in an immediate emotional moment, it does not matter what we have. Sometimes what matters most to our poor battered hearts isn't what we have, it's what we've lost.
10 December 2011
07 December 2011
nose, grindstone, chocolate, attachment, photos
So here's the thing: I created a scenario where I now have 4 jobs, 4 bosses, and have found myself to be a wee bit flat out crazy. I get on here (computer that is), work in a frenzied sort of way, go get the little one, have our short but intense evenings, then do it again, until fridays where I am not on here much, the weekend too, then begin again. I feel very unsettled, unconnected, disconnected, and fragmented. And I am not UNHAPPY but I am not feeling I am doing all that well either. So incredibly happy/grateful to be employed (let's just see how gratitude can be a mixed blessing shall we?)
But grateful means it is hard to say no- because what if no one ever asks me to do work again? WHAT THEN? This is very much old katestuff, the stuff of who would want to date me? You? OK THEN! (not a great dating strategy)
So, I am sitting here in a self imposed time-out.
I've eaten about 300 chocolate chips to ward of dementors, and am trying to just figure out what to do. I figured out what to do in this moment: write. And then, when I am done, I am switching projects for the day, moving onto something else, and will return to what I am feeling thwarted by tomorrow. I stopped, called my sister, talked, chocolated, pumped, thought some more, and then Felt My Way toward this interim solution.
I know, you probably are here to hear about Della. She is wonderful- magnificent. Moody, funny, silly, smart as hell, delightful, and a miracle I keep discovering and I cannot believe my luck.
We are, however, not sleeping well. I am emotionally all tied up in knots about making any changes since I feel so attached to what we are doing/ trying to do, because this closeness matters to me so much. But like so many things, when I hang on to something with desperation, it usually blocks any possibility of anything else happening, even good things, or maybe, especially good things. So. Yeah. I witness. I imagine either I or the universe will know when it is time to make a change. Until then, shit sleep and witness.
We saw our amazing friend Susan Mullen this weekend on a night away to Maine. She took photos of us in the diner, and then outside in the near dark of twilight, and somehow found light inside of each of us. Check out the amazing photos she posted on her blog. Here's one:
Seriously, she is insanely talented.
Hey, if you're around this weekend, stop in over at www. thatplacewego.blogspot.com-- I am going to be doing a creative intention weekend, (holding the intention to do Something(s) creative) and would love companions on the journey. Stop by, comment, have some tea. This life is a bit like running back and forth along a teetertotter trying to balance. Perpetual motion rather than stillness. I will be doing something heartwork-wise this weekend, I will.
23 November 2011
Mid December Campfire Invitation! December 9-11, 2011
You are invited to the Mid-December Campfire!
Please join me in adding some light to this dark season with our second
virtual creativity workshop!
When: December 9-11, 2011
What: A totally free, open hearted on-line gathering of like-minded people!
The idea of the campfire began while Squam Art Workshops was taking place
close by and impossibly far, and I realized just how deeply I felt a longing
to be connected to other creative people, in a space that supported creative
exploration with beautiful scenery, amazing food, and opportunity to try new
things. I realized that even if I could not sign up to attend a real-life
workshop, that did not mean I could not gather with like minded folks,
joining energies to create our own space and intention to take some time to
explore, move projects ahead, try new things, make messes, meet new people,
take risks, or just fold into the welcoming arms of a beloved project. We
had a great time, and I hope you'll consider stopping by!
Come join me for a weekend of mindful creativity, of music, of mugs of
chocolate or tea or chai or yerba mate or coffee, of sky gazing, of navel
gazing, of painting or writing or thinking or sewing or imagining or trying
out that new software, that strange setting on your camera, that
needlepoint, that pair of purple tights with those red shoes, that walk in
Creativity take so many forms, and there is no one right way-- just come and
join us, knowing folks around the globe are taking time, moments, hours,
whatever time possible in the context of real life to take part in creative
endeavors. If we wait until everything is perfect we'll never do it. So,
please join us! The energy of shared experience is magical, I promise.
Opening campfire, Friday evening, December 9th (or whenever you arrive!)
Please pass this invitation along to folks who you think might want to join
us. I look forward to seeing you there!
10 November 2011
ONE, a brief retrospective
08 November 2011
03 November 2011
02 November 2011
20 October 2011
So, I have made myself ginger peach tea, and a bowl of oatmeal with pumpkin pie spice (CLOVES) and brown sugar, and I made sure I am warm enough and am now trying to recalibrate my mood.
Outside it is looking a lttle novembery but it feels more like spring.
I realize, once again, that I have put myself in a position where I don't feel I can do my best for everyone I have said yes to. So I am strategizing. Trying to figure out how I can salvage the situation to make myself feel better, more under control, more capable, less conflicted.
It starts with time. Do I have enough? How do I make more available? What is the tradeoff? Is it worth it?
And it also starts with a simple question that makes me uncomfortable:
**if you want to watch me babble about this, head over to heartwork for a video. **
14 October 2011
And today, you walked.
05 October 2011
04 October 2011
5 leaf clover
I am watching the drops gather and fall from the eave right above my window.
A beloved friend's mom died today and I feel as if I've been taken out at the knees. Sending love is all I can do. I cannot change a disease or the way the day dawned or take away the sadness.
Instead, I find myself having to bring myself back to right now, this moment, this mug of tea, this clacking keyboard, this breath.
I went to vermont on friday. I walked through Manchester with Della on my not-so-hippish hip, and got shoes and some pants for della and felt very much away but no where near at home.
I went to vermont on sunday, to putney this time, home for me in the early 80s and I walked around the school and felt peaceful and open and full of possibility. I looked up in the faculty lounge and was treated to ART hanging from the ceiling-- an angel, wireframe, a pen and ink sketch that felt weightless and magnificent and oh how I love being surprised like that.
I found a 5 leaf clover as I walked through knee high pasture
carried Della on my not so hippish hip and for once she felt weightless.
and you know what? for a while, so did I.
30 September 2011
Sunshine, fast moving clouds... me? partially cloudy with chance of ephiphany.
26 September 2011
We have stumbled into earlier sunsets, and later sunrises, this I know.
I know Orion is tracking a different path across the sky.
I know the sun is rising down the pine row from when I moved in.
But me? I feel a bit lost-in-space. I am doing, moving, being, feeling, but I am somehow disconnected.
So, tomorrow, I drive up north, I will soak up the beauty in my new drive.
I realize I am exactly the right sort of person to drive the same drive every day since I love watching how things change, and let my eyes touch that river, those hills, that paddock filled with horses. But I am also the right person to take a new road, when a turn brings a surprise barn on a stone foundation, or a picket fence faced with mounds of lavendar or sage.
This new drive is both familiar and unfamiliar. I somehow need to get grounded.
I guess I start by knowing that.
23 September 2011
18 September 2011
notes from the trenches
17 September 2011
15 September 2011
Invitation: September 16-18, 2011
12 September 2011
09 September 2011
You love eating, and will try anything. Hate bland food or food that is too smooth. Last week a fever and rash scared me, and your tongue kept pushing food out when delivered via spoon, but fingers? Fine fine, so we ate that way all week.
01 September 2011
Free egg donor cycle opportunity
26 August 2011
The new owner sent me the most lovely of lovely heartfelt notes, a true blessing, love, glitter, cavorting wild ponies. I felt more than moved, I felt shifted. Like a wonderful gift had been passed on to the next person who needed it. A talisman of sorts. The house saved me after Jeff's death. It was my declaration that life was worth living, creating, and gardens were worth planting. I am not sure the timing for the new owner, but I feel as if maybe, for them, it is just the right time too. And maybe, maybe, this is just the right thing for me in this moment, a gathering in, contemplation, hope set out like river stones, unread runes.
I am exhaling.
Feeling my knots loosen just a little. At least that knot. Those knots.
Beloved objects passed along to be beloved. Nothing is lost that way really.
I have a weird relationship to love. I tend to love with intensity, sometimes grudgingly, but then, with impressive tenacity.
Daycare begins maybe next week for my gregarious Della.
I am ready to have a more consistent schedule so I can work and create with a more steady foundation of knowing what days are for what... I do better that way, scaffolding I guess. The wire net under plaster.
So-- today, working. TammyLove is here after her vacation, and Della is so happy (as am I).
This morning, up before 4 to watch Orion rise over the trees, his belt vertical.
Me, I'm tired, my heart is sore, I have a LOT of work to do that I am avoiding but will plunge back into once I hit post.
I am ready for simplicity I think. Calm. A while of not frantically seeking work/packing/unpacking/freaking out...
I am ready to be for a while.
So, yes, exhalation.
22 August 2011
kehkeh= kitty cat
nigh nigh= night night
adam = ADAM! No kidding! A beloved cousin-- spoken clearly over the weekend
and, today, with Doug at the door, Da Da.
Still not walking unassisted (praise the gods)
Still eating almost anything from a spoon, fork, or from my fingers but not self feeding
Still amazingly wonderfully fabulously great
Still hates the car and car seat more than anything (yesterday's drive back was complete hell)
Looking for advice on car seats for tiny cars (Scion XA)-- she is almost too big for her infant bucket and is in need of the next size up- suggestions are welcome!
17 August 2011
a crying baby, what do I do?
it's as if, for a moment, I am wiped clean of all prior knowledge and experience, and start again guessing, trying to find solutions. Sometimes it is all about incorrect assumptions-- Della hates the car seat, so it is easy to forget that the crying (oh how she cries!) might just mean that she's hungry.
I forget what works for me too-- go outside.
Brew and drink (or just sniff) tea.
Stop everything I am trying to do, or wishing I could do, or whatever, just stop, breathe, be.
Whenever I try to move beyond what is possible in the moment, and come up against the reality-- too tired, too busy, cannot right now... I just frustrate myself. I am trying to learn to notice sooner, and ease into being in the moment as it truly is.
Della is just about walking, and is just amazing in her mobility, intensity, gummy grins, claps, and focus. She is the most wonderful companion.
This morning I tried something new-- we've been waking very early (5 somethingorother), and I lie there feeling like what I need to be doing more than anything in the whole wide world is sleeping when sleep is just not possible, we are AWAKE... it is a sucky way to start the day... so today! I got up! I unpacked boxes, raised dust, showered, got laundry ready to go in (not before 9! see what I learned?), went for a long long walk with Della in the Bjorn on a new path, a bike path, woodsy, great smelling, sounds of traffic and morning birds... a new place, a new normal, a new walk... we walked for an hour and came back, nursed, and went to pick up Linda Jane who has helped me since morning. We stopped at the grocery, came home, and, since it was just after 9 I put in laundry!
I have unpacked many boxes, made the bathroom bathroomable, made the bedroom much more organized, unpacked 2,3,4 boxes in the kitchen, made insanely delicious pumpkin bread, did laundry and folded it and put it away!
sneezed 80zillion times, blew my nose twice that number, but really, truly, today I made progress in a lot of ways.
Sunday I felt a knot loosening in my gut, the house knot... the closing is monday at 11:00 and I do not have to attend (power of attorney, praise the real estate gods)...
and a complexity knot.
I like my part time job, and I have learned some important things: I like working there. not here. not here in the room next to Della. My attention always feels fractured and I love being able to focus, on her, or on work. I like being around smart people, I like learning new things. I am not sure if I will be able to stay there or not, as it does not cover gas (it is far away) and child care, but it is a great diversion and I am enjoying that.
Ok, Della asleep on LJ, and me, snotty but feeling a wee bit more Kate.
12 August 2011
She has learned to sit and spin, sits and scissors her legs so she spins only counterclockwise I think, fast.
She crawls fast, thinks the toilet is fascinating, is babbling mamamamama and da da da da da which is wonderful. She has two talking voices, the deep babbly voice we've always known, and a new higher voice she uses sometimes that is so funny-- like she is "talking baby talk" to someone.
Della's eyebrows are in constant motion, like Grommet-- so many facial expressions per second.
Ok, unhappiness returns in this moment so I need to go, but so much more to say.
10 August 2011
slices of sky
well, Finn (who is still bigger than Della) went crazy with howling and yelping, and galloping window to window. I am *so aware* of not wanting to make extra noise for those whose ceiling is my floor, whose walls are my walls... good grief what a racket.
Good news: the sky here is big so dawn comes with wild abandon. I can imagine it would be great star watching if not for the light pollution of living with outdoor lights and so many lighted windows... there are woods out front, past the porch thingy, so I look out from my sofa into green. The porch thingy itself is actually quite wonderful in spite of the astroturf. No really I mean it. A place to sit with morning shade and fresh air, one story up above the parking lot so it is not the only thing I see. This does not suck, except it does.
We'll all get used to the noise, I know. the cars the traffic the doors opening the footsteps. now we all wake and listen, over and over. So much time in the woods, alone, and I am used to quiet and dark. I've gone a little daffy maybe. Good to shake things up, keep from getting too weird and eccentric.
I'll exhale soon, once i figure out the next few weeks of child care and work and creativity schedule
and move in a little more so I have space to roam
Della is helping type so I'll stop here
08 August 2011
I am here in my new place. It is smelly which I find very discouraging. Old smoke maybe, musty, inside of drawer smell... it was hot and steamy today which does nothing to help with smelliness.
We're up to our necks in boxes in one room (this one where I set up my desk and a pathway, and I sit facing a window), up to our knees in boxes and piles everywhere else. With help from friends (TammyLove) and my mom, two mover guys and my love, today went very smoothly. My funky stuff looks funky here too, and things are starting to take shape through the mess.
Doug is home for the night, and leaves first thing in the morning, so I won't linger here. But I can say that in this moment, I am relieved that I am no longer anticipating the move. I may not be moved in, but I sure am moved.
07 August 2011
hear me roar
05 August 2011
26 July 2011
06 July 2011
state of kate
21 June 2011
go team Witt
12 June 2011
7 months+ so big
08 June 2011
Photo by TammyLove, not quite showing the bottom teeth.
Yes, I am consumed. I miss you. I will be back soon, promise.
30 May 2011
gaga, enoughness, and being a rock star
Last weekend I sat down to watch HBO's premiere of Gaga's Monster Ball Tour,intending to only watch the first ten or so minutes, just long enough to self-righteously slap myself on the back for proving, once again, that I am sooo not a follower. But within the first five minutes, I found myself transfixed by the sight of her crying, her emotions just as bare as her naked, pre-Maybellined face. She was backstage preparing for the show -- the sold-out crowd at Madison Square Gardens already beginning to scream for her -- and she unexpectedly erupted into tears when someone asked how she felt about that night's upcoming performance. I expected some Miss-America-just-got-crowned type of crap, but what came out was anything but. She explained that sometimes she still feels like the loser, off-beat girl in high school, the one who no one understood and whose personality was so oddly shaped that it didn't fit into any typical niche, thereby making her the brunt of relentless teasing. Now that she's who she is, she fears that she'll be a disappointment, that she'll let everyone down for not being good enough. In blistering vulnerability, she explained about how she still feels like she's fighting against years of trying to prove that she's bigger than people's misunderstanding.
So there I found myself, feeling like an ass for being one of Them, and I watched the entire concert. I latched onto every lyric, was dazzled by the dance and the screaming and the story, and reflected the entire time on how if she, whose greatness and relevance is validated every day by record-breaking and fans and awards, can still somehow find moments of feeling less and unworthy of who she is, then I cannot feel wrong for sometimes feeling judged and unworthy and unproven. We all have our moments, whether short or long in duration, where we feel lost, broken, destroyed, or sometimes all three at once. "...I have to pick my shit up and tell myself I'm a rock star...," she said.