31 October 2012


Today, perusing Pink Coyote's blog, I came across this title:
"Know That You Are Sacred"

which I immediately read as:

Know That You Are Scared.

Yes, I said.
But not in the same ways I used to be.

29 October 2012


rain against the window and blowing in from the north right now.
Here in NH we are due to have rain and wind, but nothing alarming.
But the news is very very scary, and
I'm holding hope for all of you for a safe few days, especially those out there in the more direct path, or those of you under the wide swath of collateral weather.

I remember when I was little, standing on some rocks while the remnants of a hurricane whipped up waves in Long Island Sound. That storm was just strong enough to create wild waves, and wild wind. I remember the taste of salt, and the strange warm push of air, and the feel of barnacled rock under my feet.

40 years later, I cannot imagine standing there...
even being this much bigger, and in some ways stronger
because now, in so many ways wiser
and in so many ways more aware of the bad things that could happen

26 October 2012

crazy light, the transition from wanting to having

Mo's new miracle baby, and Della's upcoming 2 year birthday have had me really thinking hard again about the bizarre and oddly difficult transition from full-time IF struggle to parenting.

First, let me be clear:  "Difficult" does NOT mean bad.

Let me explain.
I got used to being in the midst of the struggle. Every day, every night, every waking moment. I got used to the ebb and flow of the process of cd1, baseline scan, follicle counts, cysts or stimulation drugs, ultrasounds, injections, prayers while watching those little voids tucked into clusters in the midst of my innards, praying for them to grow, not too fast! please, all at once, same pace, same size.  I got used to seeing a big one and worrying. Seeing too few and worrying. Living from ultrasound to ultrasound, blood work to blood work.  When when luck would have it, I even got used to egg retrieval. When luck would have it, waiting for counts. When luck would have it, fertilization reports. When luck would have it, transfer. Interminable 2 week waits. Progesterone. Pee sticks. Negatives. Failures.

I also got used to a life that revolved around early morning appointments, injections of refrigerated equivalent of liquid gold. Liquid hope.
I got used to the struggle.
I got used to the regimented and intensely private lifestyle of IF and IVFfing.
And on some level, I got used to the failure.

When I read of someone else's cycle resulting in a negative, or heartbreaking miscarriage, I never EVER think of them as having FAILED.  And yet, with every one of mine, I felt like it was me who was failing. I remember apologizing, as if I had made it not work.  I was the old one, afterall. I was the one who waited too long. I was the one whose body did not respond like so many other people's. I was the one whose ovaries kicked out tiny follicle counts, often just over the limit to stay on the IVF path. And it was my body, mine, that somehow could not get pregnant. I felt, somehow, that I was responsible.

I confess, I'm slightly shamed by my own hypocrisy. My own double standard. 

My first pregnancy, I was stunned. It was from a conversion from an IVF cycle to IUI, a lead follicle messing things up.  I had no hope of it working. Cried my way through the insemination.
And then, suddenly and miraculously pregnant.
And then, numbers of weeks later, belly already rounding and hard, just as suddenly, not.

As soon as I could, I was back in-- cycling however they would let us.
Cycling and failing. Cycling and failing.
Failing, in fact, enough, that our old clinic would not cycle with us any more.
With Della, it was our hail mary.
It was a new clinic.
It was going to be Our Last Cycle (or so I say, who knows what I would have done to try again, or again, or again).
New places to drive to.
New phlebotomists to get to know.
New ultrasound protocols.
New new new.
But at the heart of it, it was the same old dance of injections, blood work, ultrasounds, numbers...
The first pee stick read was negative.
That was familiar too.
Then, it was not the same old dance.
Hours and hours after I peed on that stick, the faintest of faint lines had emerged:I was pregnant.
Bucking all odds, moon shot, crazy lucky, statistically LOTTO-winning, lightning striking.

And now, I have this perfect little person in my life who calls me Momma.

I have not yet learned to trust this, the way I trusted that.
That process, IVFfing, was something I could not believe I was doing (over and over and over and over), but it became so familiar to me.
Me as Momma? Not so much.  Each day I wake amazed. I know I have said this, but I really mean it.
I wake and worry some day I will wake up and I will discover to my horror (but perhaps not to my surprise) that I have dreamed this whole thing. This is too good to be true (knock wood, salt over shoulder, run around under a ladder backwards carrying a black cat).

So, some part of me wants to write to Mo and say: hey sweet and lovely lady, for some of us, not all of us, the transition from TRYING (and failing and trying and failing and trying...) to HAVING is as surreal as if we woke up next to a unicorn.
Be gentle with yourself as you try to learn this new way of being.
The new way of NOT struggling.
This new way of holding something miraculous and precious and singular and magnificent, in the crazy light of the wee hours with no sleep and no desire to close your eyes, because you don't dare close them, just in case you wake up and find it was all a dream.
And don't be surprised if, two years down the line, you find yourself in the crazy light of the wee hours, with no where near enough sleep, staring at this miraculous and precious and singular and magnificent being, stretched out long across the bed,  and feeling you don't dare close your eyes, because you don't want to wake up and find it was all a dream.

25 October 2012


"That one? That pillow is Della's."

Nigh on 2 and holy moly, language explosion time.
And moody.
And specific.
And inflexible.
And delightful.
So much person packed into that tiny body, oh my.

I'm watching clouds gather in wild waves up there,
lumps and wings, undulations...
worried about the confluence of coming storms as we head into next week.

The sky was bluest blue this morning, and the oak trees, truly, are showing off now that the maples have done there thing, and only a few yellow ash? beech? are holding leaves on the hillsides.

We are down to evergreens and oaks, mostly.
And crimson sumac.
And suddenly the anatomy of the hills is visible again.

24 October 2012

at long last

after an insanely hard journey, Mo and Will have their little one, outside into this big world, in their arms, a healthy baby girl.

I am over the moon for them, stunned and awed by the beauty and magic of this.

thank you, universe.

22 October 2012

almost 2

Amazing Della photo by my amazing sister, taken yesterday at her kitchen table.

19 October 2012


last night i dreamed of wolves.
one, in the yard, advancing toward me in spite of the noise I was trying to make, the menace I was faking.
I was just simply scared, but all of my fear filled and desperate arm waving and yelling made no difference.
it came closer and closer, so close, finally, it put its muzzle in my hand, and then we stood there in the doorway, me, stroking the soft fur of this fierce and fearless wolf

it was thirsty so I invited it in.
not much later I turned to find my house was filled with wolves.
fat ones and skinny ones, big ones and small ones. ones with spots.

today is rain and dark after yesterday's glorious everything.
light! oh, the light this time of year, low and slanty, setting hillsides into glow as a million million oak leaves turn color from brown to every kind of gold and berry.

fog lifting from every waterway
then high wispy clouds

today is very dark and flat and close
by 6am the sky was not even pretending to lighten
so I've turned on my christmas lights and am sitting in their glow, trying to gather myself for my day.

work has not been working, not as I've imagined it might.
I realized I took a detour this summer, a detour into imagining alternatives that never coalesced into actionable identifiable directions.  so now, several months into the detour, I am returning with panic to what I am already doing, gathering myself, trying to define, refine, communicate.

there are many inherent delights in this mosaic of different work for different people-- lots of stimulation, smart people, ideas, projects to wrangle. but there is fatigue in it too. switching so often from project to project means no sustained push, no immersion, and no sustained connection with co-workers. and there is loneliness in it too: I'm feeling lonely, I guess.  A part of many somethings but apart from them too....

A new creative project for a friend feels like a deep breath.
But I still need to re-organize my other work, and figure out how best to balance everything in a way that makes sense. I've got all sorts of wolves circling.
the best thing about the dream last night was that it meant that I was sleeping after several nights of anxious waking.

18 October 2012

Blog-to-book, save 10%

Want to make your blog into a book?

I am sure there are some platforms that will work better than others (it looks, in fact, like it is a blogger-only-thing), but, here's an opportunity to save some money if you'd like to give it a try.

I am not an affiliate, and I have not done it myself, so this is just FYI.

I got their permission to post this here because I think so many of us pour our hearts out in the blog world, and it is worth considering capturing that content in some other form for posterity.

The process is super easy and you can preview before ordering, so there is no downside in checking this out.

12 October 2012


The sudden onset of CM this past week, the kind you dream of when trying to conceive in your 40s, is making me feel, well, like shit actually.

I have not had a period since Della, except what I thought was one right after she was born (about 6 weeks after).  Somehow, indications that it might be imminent made me feel so incredibly sad, not PMS blue, but existential sad... a mark of leaving this particular part of my journey maybe, very reluctantly leaving her babyhood, the specter of re-entering hormonal wackitude....

My periods have always been painfully intense and troublesome and I have not missed them one bit. But more than that, I have not missed the hyper awareness of The Cycle and my focus on where I was in my cycle at any given time and what it could possibly mean for our attempts at family building. I have not missed that perpetual obsessive awareness, that compulsive and acute awareness. That particular way of marking time, especially the cliff-drop connection of time passing to mid-40s infertility, well,


I have not missed it at all.


I've also been having trouble with my guts again, after a long stretch of miraculous calm.
The Miraculous Calm came about after quitting gluten and dairy.  I have had so few episodes of IBS in the past 3 years I could count them on two hands. But lately, things have shifted so I have been having more and more trouble.

This has knocked me down more a few pegs too-- nothing has impacted my life in a more limiting way than IBS. No, not my introversion. Not my fear of public speaking. But my IBS. It sucks rocks.

Of course, the return of the mucous, and the return of the IBS may be related-- hormonal shifts cause all sorts of collateral shifts in other body systems and functions.

But I immediately cut my diet back down to the bare minimum. Anything I suspected as a trigger is gone for now (except my one cup of pretty dilute tea). So no chicken, no turmeric, no carageenan. None of my beloved Udi gluten free bread (it has traces of corn in it, a known trigger for me).

Yes, things are *calmer*, but I am hungry.  Hungry mostly to be able to stand down, and to once again believe and trust that I am back into a remissiony stage of this thing.

In a further attempt at rebalancing, I got myself to my beloved acupuncturist this week for the first time since Della emerged.

Taking action like that made me feel that I was doing something to make a difference, to take back control. The IBS blues shifted ever so slightly, and I seem to be tolerating my new digestive enzyme supplement well (always a surprise; I suck at supplements).

But the CM blues, those are in full complicated swing, and differently symbolic, hugely messed up and tangled with IF and my age and.... so those I need to learn to be compassionate about, even while I want to kneel on it and force it to shift via the sheer force of intellectual override.

I'm starting to suspect that intellectual override  = unicorns
I'm just sayin'.

06 October 2012

reality, and the fine thing of being home

it turns out that 3 days = eternity
badly timed air travel and a crappy hand pump meant my first experience of engorgement on the way to las vegas (holy moly, how insanely uncomfortable)
remembered everything I hate about pumping
wore my bathing suit at a very crowded pool for about 20 minutes, simply out of principle
did not sleep nearly enough, and no where near as much as I do here.... very bad...
did virtually no appreciable inner work with the exception of some brief on-bed yoga (no, not a euphemism, sincerely, yoga on the bed, as the rug was wayyyyyyy too gross)  and some Reiki infused meditation.

Some great meetings and progress business-wise, and some very nice connections with people as people.  My boss took me on a long crazy walk the first evening/night through miles of casinos, and then the next evening I spent hours with a dear friend in nearby red rock canyon (glorious) followed by the single, hands-down, exquisitely best meal of my gluten free existence. (Japonais at the Mirage)

But the place? Yeah. Not so much. I pretty much hated everything about las vegas; you can have it.  Excessive excess, to the point of obscenity. I hated the smoke, the cloying air freshener, the sounds, the lights, the crowds, the too much of everythingness.  As a HSP I really had to gird my loins and dig deep and observe while taking in as little as possible.  The people watching was stellar, I must admit, but it was hard to even do that with just so much sensory flooding.

Arrived home bone tired in a way that made my usual everyday exhaustion look like nothing, and am right now off to bed at 8:02.  I am just over my last bug and Della has a new one, so I feel doomed.

I want to write more about lots of things, my belly's recent and unnerving unbalancing act, my amazing almost-2 Della, work stuff, life stuff. But sleep needs me (or, really, I need it) more than anything else right now.  So off I go.

Just so happy to be home.

01 October 2012

3 days

ok, to be fair, it will be closer to 4 days
for sanity's sake: 3 days away from Della. 3 nights.
My first time away from her for the night EVER.
By away I mean, away at all...
Except one night many months ago that Doug slept with Della until 4am in the living room.

I am getting reacquainted with the pump.
I am getting reacquainted with separation anxiety (MINE)
I am getting reacquainted with feelings of vulnerability, fragility, uncertainty, worries...

I am interested to see how I do-- travel to a different time zone, sleeping alone instead of our co-sleeping, the weirdness that is inherent in travel... business stuff, networking, grown up shoes.

But the time away? Oh. Heavy heart.
As if perhaps she will forget me.
Or find out that this really was a dream after all.


In search, I mean support, of my sanity, I will be using travel time to sleep if possible, journal, read, do some projects that include a kind of focus that the internet and a baby do not inherently support.

I fly through atlanta to las vegas ferchrissakes
and back by dinner on thursday.

Hoping for smooth sailing, good inner work, minimal tears, sleep, sufficient food and an opportunity to wear my bathing suit in an actual pool, for more than one minute.