biological clock, dating, parenthood, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

connection

Well, I’m stuck tapping this out on my iPad as I didn’t feel like carrying my laptop to the bar but feel compelled to share how the evening went.

I got too late of a start leaving the office to meet RV guy, and ended up bursting into the bar 17 minutes late, out of breath and apologizing. He was all smiles and and already set up with his beer and chatting with people at the bar. I ordered soda with lime (thinking “I’ll explain this later”) and pretty instantly felt right at home catching up with him. Within the first 10 minutes or so, he referenced his live-in girlfriend (news to me)–the same one who traveled around with him for a year and a half in the RV before I met him. I had put her down in history as proof that he couldn’t be made to settle down no matter how much the woman literally and figuratively “got on board.” Now she’s in school and 40 and, in his words, “resigned” about their future (as in resigned to the uncertainty of their future), and they’re living in a 325 square foot apartment while he sorts out challenging tenant issues in the other units of this building he owns that have spoiled his time back in the city and make him crave the Sierras again.

Then he said he wants to sail around the world for 2-3 years, and I belly-laughed and told him I just love him and he will always be That Guy to me. Confirmation that he hasn’t, and probably will never, change, and it’s really a beautiful thing (and I don’t need to worry about where the girlfriend fits in even though that was my next question).

When the conversation turned to me, I laid the Solo Mama Project on him. His reaction was unexpectedly and hugely and vehemently supportive. I instantly saw the connection–here I am acting like him: empowered, independent, chasing my dream, going against the grain. He acted like I solved the mystery of how to acceptably procreate. We talked about it for a long time. Eventually we got to the meaning of life and he thinks it is to have fun and I think it is to experience love. Next thing we knew we’d worked through 4 plates of tapas, I’d had 5 soda waters to his 4 Racer 5’s, and it was after 9.

He gave me a ride home in his WAY-too-big-for-the-city pickup truck (looks like a pickup truck that ate a pickup truck), got out to give me a hug and a kiss and I have to say it was the most lovely night, warm breezes and a bright moon, and he is still not right for me but I felt loved anyway. For all my frustration with him three years ago, I admire the adventurous spirit of that boy and it was nice to feel that he also admires it in me.

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anxiety, dating, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

meltdown

I need to make this brief because I must get in bed with Newsweek and read about Queen Elizabeth’s coronation 50 years ago. But first…

Total meltdown at band practice tonight! Out of the blue. I had such a peaceful and productive day that included meditation, a run of 70% energy (read: 11.5/min miles), nice homemade food, and I got a bunch of work done. But sometimes when I show up at band practice, I feel vulnerable, kind of like being around immediate family where your feelings are transparent. These ladies know me pretty darn well, and if something’s going to come up and out, it probably will.

We started out with strawberry shortcake and stories of all the kids…which is normally fine–not just fine, but welcome and fun and sweet to hear about, but for whatever reason it felt a little alienating tonight (maybe because my equivalent story was about hives). Then, our leader and songwriter EJ played a song ‘loosely inspired’ by ME of all people, and it was beautiful and poignant and by the end the tears were spilling over. I was touched and honored. I’ll post the lyrics here if she’ll let me. I loved the song. Then we rehearsed a song I hadn’t practiced, a suggestion was made about the violin part, and my confidence plummeted. I tried to hang in there but pretty soon the tears erupted like a volcano and there was nothing to be done but interrupt rehearsal with my big old crying spell.

My fellow banders read this blog, so I can keep talking about them like they’re here. I am certainly not the first bandita to erupt in a sea of tears–this is a family of six women and there have been many minor and major things to cry about over the years (4 years for me, longer for them). Also, of course, many things to laugh about and be silly about. Still, I felt embarrassed (despite the group hug and admonishments that “If we can’t cry here, where can we cry?”) and bewildered since I thought I was fine. But that’s why they call this a roller coaster. Or maybe more like Demon Drop.

Just when you think you’re OK, right?! But, thank heavens, the band is a safe space. So that’s where a lot of shit happens. I’m truly grateful for that.

A note on the date (I knew I wouldn’t get away with that total lack of summary): it was fun but unexciting. He was cuter and taller than I remembered–he’s athletic, smart, employed. He’s a divorced dad, which I didn’t know. He texted me beforehand and afterward with enthusiasm. He took a brief call during dinner. I asked him a lot more questions than he asked me. All of this to say: we’re having lunch on Monday. Is there anything less romantic than lunch on Monday?

Meanwhile, I’m scheduled to “have a beer” (without actually having a beer) with someone my friends will know as RV Guy tomorrow night. For those who have not heard of him, he can be summarized as Mr. Unavailable–but, newsflash, he no longer lives in an RV in the Sierras but actually bought property in SF. Has he changed his adventurous, rambling ways? Stay tuned to find out!

single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

rest

Since my last post, I have taken it easy, resting my poor body from whatever assault it suffered last week and helping it quickly shift gears to be prepared to welcome a moon landing.

It’s not easy for me to rest, ultimately. When I’m running around with back-to-back activities, nothing sounds better than laying on the couch with a book. But, when I’m laying on the couch with a book, I feel like I’m supposed to be doing something else.

On Sunday night, after a mellow trip down to San Jose to visit L and her munchkins, I took an afternoon nap and settled in for the evening, with a nagging feeling that I really shouldn’t miss the festivities for the 75th birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge. When the thundering fireworks started up, I went up to the roof but couldn’t see over Alamo Square beyond muted bursts of color on the horizon. Well, here’s what I missed:

http://youtu.be/pbaDQJqwj6s

SIGH! Suffice to say, everyone is saying it was the most awesome fireworks show EVAR. Tonight I was waiting for a friend outside a restaurant and overheard a group of guys walking in–one said, “You’re saying we missed an important cultural event?” and the other said, “Yes. I don’t even like fireworks, and it was the most awesome fireworks evar.”

On the bright side, I did get over my hives and have an SMC brunch and a fun dinner date and eventually got my laundry folded. My temp went up this morning (and, with that, I am done taking my temp for this month).

Today was a maximum mental health day that included therapy, pre-implantation acpuncture, meditation, and a dharma talk. Howie, our teacher, was sleepy from being up early on the east coast and traveling all day, so he focused on rest as a topic; mostly in the sense of giving your brain a rest (i.e. meditation). He returned again and again to this poem throughout his talk:

Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind,
Beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thoughts
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.
Rest in natural great peace.

~Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

good night

donor sperm, IUI, ovulation, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

8 million

On Friday afternoon, in the midst of a hive breakout barely held at bay by Benadryl, I got a positive OPK after being super-religious about not peeing for 4 hours! I even had the coveted EWCM that day AND the next day, something I was never able to detect previously. Although the positive kit did take me somewhat by surprise a few days early, I was thrilled to prove the genuine falsehood of the earlier false positive and put the wheels in motion for IUI #3.

I called in my positive result to Nurse Olga, who congratulated me 🙂 and scheduled my IUI for 12:30 on Saturday. She also said that her hunch about the hives was that I was having an allergic reaction to the dye of the HSG test. After our call, I got an email containing my instructions:

Hi Katie,
Your IUI is tomorrow at 12:30pm with Dr. Rinaudo. Please call the thaw hotline tomorrow morning. Have a great weekend Katie!

§ SPERM THAW: The MORNING OF YOUR INSEMINATION please call the thaw hotline BEFORE 8:30am at 353-3039. The sperm will not be thawed unless you call. Please leave:
1) Full Name
2) DOB
3) Donor Name and Number
4) IUI Appointment Time

That’s right: if you do not call the “thaw hotline” the morning-of, your sperm will NOT be thawed for your IUI–way to hold the patients accountable! This actually struck me as kind of absurd, but I’m sure the policy was developed after expensive (?) thawing and no-show ladies. I did get stuck on the “Donor Name”–what’s his name again? Oh right, I never knew it. I suppose they’re referring to known donors in that case, but mine is anonymous. I’ve been calling him McPiercy but I do know his number by heart.

On Saturday morning, the hives were back in full force! I took 2 Benadryl and called the thaw hotline at around 7am. Then I spent part of the morning assembling all my baby project paperwork, creating a spreadsheet of all my cycle charting data, and adding up my expenses thus far. For the record, my average cycle lasts around 26 days, my average LH surge is on Day 13/14, my average (estimated) ovulation day is Day 14/15, my temp spike happens on Day 16, and my luteal phase is about 12/13 days. Crunching the numbers helps me feel a teensy bit in control.

I also tallied the amount I’ve spent at PRS: $3,860 for: 1 intro consultation, 4 vials, 2 IUIs, 2 ultrasounds, plus accoutrements (and a partridge in a pear tree). I could send these expenses in to be reimbursed now through my insurance but I’m holding off since I just transferred over to UCSF where all I’ve paid thus far for an RE consult, ultrasound, psychiatric evaluation, sperm transfer, and HSG test is one little $40 copay–they seamlessly bill my insurance directly. So I’m loathe to file a bunch of individual claims for PRS until I get pregnant; then I’ll cash in my chips.

While this is an expensive process, I know all too well that what I’m really paying for is the right to be a full-on solo parent with no one swooping in at the 11th hour to cause complications. I’m really paying for the right to have no man legally connected to this child (until I’m ready to connect one).

At 12:30, I entered the quiet Saturday halls of UCSF for the IUI, which was pretty much exactly the same drill as at PRS. It wasn’t Dr. Rinaudo after all, but a woman named Dr. P–nice to keep the continuity of possibly getting knocked up by a woman as long as it couldn’t be Ingrid. Dr. P. was very sympathetic about the hives and said it sounds very likely an allergy to the dye, considering that if they were stress hives they would have come and gone long ago. She also said I should stop taking Benadryl now since it could possibly interfere with implantation. Darn.

At the moment of truth, when Ingrid would have said, “I’m sending you blessings and love,” Dr. P. said, “OK, the specimen is going in.” 8 million of McPiercy’s swimmers with “excellent motility” were deployed in my uterus. I just smiled, and Mojo winked at me from where his head was poking out of my purse.

On the way home, I picked up the healthiest lunch I could think of: kale salad, rice and beans, and a carrot/ginger/lime juice from Herbivore. Then I took a long nap on the couch. I took a nap on my couch today too (and hopefully tomorrow!). The weekend has been so restful and I am grateful for one more day, which will include a SMC brunch and a date with a real-life guy (i.e. not from the internet) who asked me out for dinner.

Tonight, I accomplished one item on the weekend to-do list which was to begin looking at new places to live. I really do like my apartment (of 6 years!) and it’s fine for me right now…it’s a studio, probably 600 square feet, with south-facing bay windows, pretty views, old-school charm (read: nothing has ever been updated. I have an icebox), nice hardwood floors, great neighborhood, centrally located in the Lower Haight. But when I consider bringing a tiny roommate in here, I worry that it’s also a fourth-floor walkup with shared coin-op laundry. To me, the laundry is the dealbreaker, even if I was able to convert the walk-in closet to a baby room.

After searching around on Craig’s List for an hour or so, I started feeling my hives get itchier (I still have a few!)… The rental market is at its peak. The real estate market is ridiculous. The share situations are sketchy. Anything vaguely affordable is in a bad area. I went in circles until I remembered that I don’t have to do anything yet.

All I have to do now is get pregnant. I have faith that the rest will work itself out, whether that’s leaving the Bay Area to become a park ranger or joining a single mom co-op or getting someone to buy me a condo with no strings attached or falling into some other unlikely-but-perfect scenario I couldn’t have dreamed up ahead of time. I just try to remember how many women have done it with less.

acupuncture, anxiety, fertility, IUI, ovulation, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, Uncategorized

hives

What a crazy few days. The HSG test kicked it off. I could give you the play by play, but I don’t really want to put you through it, and I don’t want to scare the daylights out of anyone who still has to get that test in the future. But OMG!  It hurt so bad!! I don’t know why it was so painful for me, but let’s say that my innards were most displeased with the experience.

The next day, I worked from home and screwed up my Day 10 ovulation test. I had planned to test at 2pm after not-peeing since 10 (the test requires that you not pee for 4 hours beforehand, inhumane as it may be for a well-hydrated and active young woman). But I forgot and peed at noon. Realized it, and recalculated for a 4pm test, made it to 3pm and couldn’t hold it any longer. Did the test. Left on the sink and totally forgot about it until I returned 2 hours later to discover the screen blank. I pulled out the stick, clicked it back in and poof: a smiley face. WTF!

I tested again on the spot, negative. Tested again 4 hours later: negative. Tested first thing this morning: negative. Then I broke out in hives.

At first, I thought a mosquito must have gotten into my bed during the night because I itched all over. Then I got a look at myself in the sunlight: raised, welt-like bumps on my knees, elbows, thighs, my belly-button, neck, and a sprinkle everywhere else as well. Once I identified it as hives, I felt OK. I got some Benadryl, which took care of it quickly. But whenever the Benadryl wears off, they come back. Watching them come and go is kind of mesmerizing, like watching the sun set. You take your eye off of it and next time it’s in a different formation.

I managed to hold it from 9am until 1pm today (including a noon run with a pooched-out bladder) and tested: negative. Got a call back from the UCSF nurse responding to my email: we’re going to consider that a negative. You can’t leave the test for that long and trust the result. OK. Phew. Ovulation is still to come. (probably in about 4 days)

I had another well-timed acupuncture appointment at 5pm. This is the kind of medical mystery where I much prefer my acupuncturist over any other type of doctor. He said there is no question that my body is reacting to the trauma of the HSG test by cranking up its immune response. Those muscles and tissues are very sensitive and it just isn’t normal to have your plumbing tinkered with in that way. My body clearly was on the hating-it end of the continuum and needed and deserved some de-stressing. Time to relax and take it easy.

I facetiously posted on FB today, “I’ve been using ‘That makes me break out in hives” figuratively too often and now I’m actually breaking out in hives.” I’m reminded of a story my sister told me about a woman who said for weeks, “I need a break, I need a break” and ended up breaking her ankle. The words we choose can influence our reality.

So here are some carefully-chosen words:

As I sit here on my big yellow couch under a grandma-knit blanket with my fizzy water listening to an intermittent foghorn out on the bay, I think to myself: “This makes me break out in love, wellness, peace, contentment, gratitude, and a healing little hug for my lady parts.”

outdoors, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

renewal

There’s something about fresh air and natural beauty and sleeping on the ground that makes me feel more like me, so I knew it would help pull me out of whatever hole I sunk into last week. It feels so good to be out there that I inevitably start fantasizing about becoming a park ranger. I must say that every park ranger we met was strikingly handsome in the hat and the sunglasses and the whole nine yards. Especially the Colombian at the gate to Hetch Hetchy: Santiago Palacio. He alone would be a good enough reason to ditch the corporate gig.

All the navigating and tinkering with gear and walking walking walking and breathing mountain air and sleeping next to a gurgling river and hugging giant centuries-old Sequoias…it gets you back to Earth. The general frustrations of the hour fade into the background, and the activities force you to be in the moment. I didn’t think about the baby project much at all, other than imagining that my kid will have a well-stamped national park passport and be able to climb like a mountain goat. It was nice to be away from the blogs and the discussion boards and the emails, texts, phone calls–it was a welcome break, actually. I hadn’t processed that perhaps I needed a little break from the SMC thing, too.

God forbid that places like Yosemite every get wifi or even cell service–I was offline for 3 days and didn’t miss it. We usually didn’t even know what time it was.

I guess that was my fourth time to Yosemite and each time is spiritual and moving, especially my glimpses of Half Dome, which I climbed 4 years ago despite great and overwhelming fear. I fell in love with the guy who climbed up behind me–it was that kind of experience, totally exhilarating and mind-bending and emotional and shared among all the friends on that trip. Half Dome is one of my favorite symbols. I look up there and viscerally feel that 17-mile round-trip day of climbing a vertical mile with that terrifying last half hour on the rock… It’s a monument to my courage! And yours! Among many other things, like being one of the most distinctive and awe-inspiring and beautiful hunks of rock anywhere:

.Image

I also love that my tent is called a “Quarter Dome,” and that all North Face gear has the logo like what you see above… That symbol is everywhere.

A few insights from today: this morning, my therapist pointed out that it’s been exactly a year since I kicked off a super-terrible four months that resulted the end of a relationship. Sometimes the weather shifts and you’re back in that place you were one year before…it sounds right, as a trigger. However, I still reserve the right to downward spiral for NO reason. But it’s nice to have a reason and feel like it’s right.

And: I had my HSG test today, where they insert a catheter and inject dye into your uterus to make sure it flows through the Fallopian tubes and into your abdominal cavity, i.e. no blockages. Well, everyone said it wouldn’t be that bad, and I usually have a high pain tolerance, but it was bad. I will spare you the details. Fortunately, it was brief. But, again, as with anytime it gets really uncomfortable/painful in this process, I thought, “I must really want this.” And, “I hope I’m not so wimpy in childbirth!” Fortunately, the dye flowed, so no issues.

Another step up the giant rock.

acupuncture, depression, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

yosemite

On Thursday, I described to my acupuncturist my emotional swings from earlier in the week and how I woke up sweaty and with an aching back that morning. He felt my pulse and said, “Yep. That feels like a nightsweaty pulse.” I said, “What is a ‘nightsweaty pulse’?” and he said, “Oh, I can just tell that your body is under stress.”

I kind of blinked thinking, “Huh. I thought I had finished working through this one,” and then “God what’s the big deal all I did was try twice,” in that moment gave myself permission to be done or not done working through it but to stop judging and just be. And then I felt nothing, for longer than usual after he put in the needles and left the room. And then I got hit like a ton of bricks with the release of stuck emotions which eventually took me to that relaxation place right before sleep. Walking home, I felt so heavy, my limbs like sandbags even though I’d gone for an invigorating run just hours before along the Embarcadero with my dear friend, A.

Today, I worked from home which was productive and uneventful, but running errands tonight I thought: I still haven’t broken through. I am simmering on why, why, why. How is it again that I’m not just another ordinary lady who is married with kids at 38? It is such an old and unhelpful tune that I can’t get out of my head (news flash: life doesn’t always turn out the way we expected), and I thought I had moved past it for good but… getting your sad buttons pushed runs through all previous sadnesses and I suppose that’s just how we humans work.

Just when you’re thinking “jeez, this is a bummer post,” I have some good news. I have magically and coincidentally arranged to go camping for the weekend with my friend MM and we’re leaving first thing tomorrow morning. We’ve been loosely planning this for roughly 3 years but only just nailed it down last weekend. For me, there is no greater therapy than fresh air, trails, getting dirty, and sleeping on the ground. And: have you seen Yosemite? It is such an unlikely landscape with those distinctive rocky peaks which are by now like old, familiar friends. You look up from the valley into a natural cathedral built by forces of nature beyond our full understanding…and your mind is forced to ease up on whatever it’s clenched on because there’s no room for anything besides utterly breathtaking beauty.

I need it. Deep in my bones, I’m craving the wilderness. I will come back renewed, ready to pee on a stick.

anxiety, breakup, dating, depression, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

progress

I’m at Four Barrel, unexpectedly. I got my acupuncture appointment time wrong which left me with an extra hour before dinner and meditation… so I jetted over here to get an extra hour of work done only to find: no wireless! This big fancy café full of people in 2012 does not offer wireless. Imagine that.

So, it looks like I’ll be forced not to work. And while I can’t blog real-time, I can blog with a time-delay, which means I’ll probably go to bed earlier tonight than I would otherwise, and it’ll all be the same to you.

I haven’t been in this café since I met up with my friend I here in September. We hadn’t caught up in a while, and she knew I was going through a rough time. She leaned in and said, “OK, Honey. What’s going on?” I remember looking around the café at all the hipsters and couples and one very memorably beautiful baby. The afternoon sun was streaming in, just like it is now. I started at the beginning and unraveled the whole story. I was in crisis. My relationship had become unworkable. She listened and listened with a look on her face that told me there wasn’t much more to figure out. “Honey, it sounds like it just needs to end.” I believe we made some plans for me to become a mom on my own. But it was Friday night and I was on my way to his place for the weekend and my heart was breaking at the thought of all that was ahead of me.

It’s kind of cool to be back here, way over on the other side of all that.

I had a hard day yesterday. Just when I thought I had regained my balance after the end of Cycle 2, I was knocked off my center again. Blame the hormones, but there’s something about the sadness of not getting pregnant that sends me directly over to the sadness of not being in a relationship—it’s kind of a one-two punch. So it was coincidental that I ran into my post-breakup rebound at happy hour yesterday afternoon (my therapist and I refer to him as a “relapse”—he is an adorable mess and a disaster for me). And then it wasn’t so coincidental later on when I decided to check my most recent ex’s facebook page, landing on photos of his new girlfriend’s birthday celebration and his (their?) upcoming trip to Spain.

I can tell you with 110% certainty that I don’t want to be with either one of them. And I can tell you with 120% certainty that checking ex-boyfriends’ facebook pages should be against the law. (Why, for example, does facebook ask me, “Do you want to be friends with David?” Facebook: Why act all innocent when you obviously “know” we were “In a relationship,” the official way, for a year (check my timeline). It should say something like, “Are you ready to be post-breakup friends or are you just checking to make sure you’re better/prettier/smarter/thinner than his new girlfriend? I thought so.”)

Still. I did, once upon a time, want to be with him forever. He has a great sense of humor and he can be extremely generous and thoughtful and we had some seriously great times together. But I could not get a SPARK out of him—I never witnessed fiery passion or anger or despair or uncontrollable laughter. I am a LEO. I need romance and adoration and promises. I need unsolicited and unabashed expressions of love. I need to be with someone who smiles for photos. He wouldn’t smile for photos!

We hatched this plan to travel the world together for six months, the romance of which, for me, was that we’d throw our lives together, have this huge life-changing adventure, then come back and get married and pregnant. But then I stopped sleeping and developed massive anxiety around the planning. When I checked in with him on the after-the-trip plan, he was “not even thinking about those things.” Here I was on the verge of giving up my job, apartment, community, and lots/all of my savings. I’m thanking my higher power that I changed direction before SERIOUSLY f-ing up my ENTIRE life.

But sometimes it’s just easier to focus on the negative and really go with it, especially when you’re drunk on one beer after weeks of sobriety. So, I spent the evening on email and on the phone recounting the events of my day in excruciating detail to no fewer than five friends (THANK YOU) until I went to sleep and woke up feeling pretty much normal again. I do bounce back.

And here I am, randomly back at Four Barrel, my reminder from the universe that I did the hard work and emerged stronger, feeling so much freer and happier and more me than on my last visit to this wireless-free center of excellent coffee. So, hooray for that. I’d say that’s progress.

single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

Day 1

Yep, she showed up. I went to bed early last night and really felt her looming. This morning she was here. As we say in the lingo, “I’m out.”

I really processed this on Friday so I’m doing fine. The negative spiral pulls me down a “OMG I can’t get my life to move forward” path, but I know many truer things like: 1. this takes time, 2. with time, I am better mentally prepared, 3. I’m building a community, 4. this child will come into being when he/she is ready.

A few kind sentiments from friends and family the past few days that helped:

  • If it doesn’t happen this month, think of it as more time to rest and plan.
  • Breathe, relax, flow with life. This path is non-linear and mysterious and unfolds in its own time.
  • A child comes to life when its mother first has the idea to conceive it. The moment the idea is born, the child is born.

A few treats I lined up for myself in the event of this: a cut/color (long overdue), a cocktail (conveniently there’s a farewell happy hour this afternoon for a colleague), and call in the housecleaner! Although, I must say that I did some nice cleaning over the weekend and my place feels cozy.

Also, I’ve made some decisions about travel over the next few months which I’ve been struggling to do waiting for my body to do something. Yosemite this weekend w/ MM finally! 2 weeks in MI in July! And: I’ve been so on the fence about going to Rio for a friend’s wedding at the end of August, not knowing how to plan around all of the above. (My travel companion will be my boss, of all people, as this is a work friend’s wedding.) But, as my friend J pointed out yesterday, “It’s never going to get any easier.” That was the tipping point. I may choose to skip a month, or I may feel fine, or I may choose to spontaneously share my news earlier than intended to explain why I’m so sick, but we can’t plan ANY of that now. So, I’m going. I feel better having these things resolved so my “planning mind” can plow ahead.

Too bad you don’t get instant replay of conception. I was telling my Dad the other day that I bet in the future, you’ll get a video afterward–ovulation, fertilization, flowing down the tubes, implantation. Or, if you don’t end up conceiving, the video shows the egg hanging out for a while, checking her watch, and then giving up, and the sperm frenetically showing up too late. No videos these days, though. All we get is a hit or miss.

And so, we embark on the UCSF chapter.

Mother's Day, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

Happy Mama’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms! You make the world go around, you know that, right? The celebrations probably never go quite as smoothly as if you’d planned them yourself, but I hope you get a glimmer of how appreciated you are today even if the rest of us stumble a bit trying to express our gratitude for how generous you are with your time, energy, and love.

A friend of mine posted on FB: “I can’t believe that my teenage daughter had the nerve to say there should be a ‘Daughter’s Day.’ And she was serious!”

My own Mom inspires me to want to be a Mom. When she gave birth the first time, she was 30 years old and had been married to my Dad for a few years. I hope she’s OK with me telling you that for the first half of her pregnancy, she didn’t realize she was pregnant. She was already having irregular cycles, then thought she was putting weight on in the middle. That was me! She finally went to the doctor, and the famous line is, “Congratulations, Mrs. C., you’re four and a half months pregnant!” So, let’s just say it was an easy pregnancy. (noted!)

My Mom talks about becoming a Mom as an event that changed her life in an instant, bringing this new all-consuming love and absolute thrill and awe to meet this new little person. (PS my Dad says the same thing but we’ll give him his turn on Father’s Day :)) She describes the process of going into labor with this tone of woman’s-wisdom; she finished up lesson plans as my dad ran up and down the stairs saying, “we should go we should go weshouldgo!” Even though it was her first birth, she had a sense of calm. In the hospital, she had a bunch of student observers–she shook their hands wearing nothing but socks, and the doctor had a tee time or something so he ended up pulling me out with forceps (a sign of the times). Healthy first-born baby girl!

My Mom recalls sitting in the light yellow La-Z-Boy chair in the living room of our little house in the middle of the night, breastfeeding each of her babies, with the streetlight flowing in the window and just feeling so content with life.

Through my childhood, my Mom was the superhero the job requires–a working mother who pursued a career she loved but also arranged for a flexible schedule so that we always had a parent at home when we got home from school. We had various college student babysitters to fill in the gaps but my parents were a.r.o.u.n.d. Which tends to nip any brewing mischief in the bud. The huge bulk of the household chores–cooking, cleaning, laundry–fell to my Mom and we were generally very unhelpful and ungrateful–she took the lion’s share because she wanted us to have time to do our homework. When Mom went to a conference about once a year, all hell broke loose (no offense, Dad) and we really could not function without the sun in the center of our solar system.

I remember being a teenager and writing an angsty poem about my Mom in which I invented fictional clashes since that seemed like the thing to do. The fact is, I really always liked her. As anyone knows who has met my Mom, she is one of the most generous and caring people on the planet. She got to channel this nurturing energy into her career as a teacher working primarily with kids who were struggling with various problems like ADD, learning disabilities, problems at home, or not speaking English. She customized ways to connect with each of them. She more than meets people halfway and I got this from her. We both need to reign it in sometimes and direct more of that nurturing energy to ourselves (says the next generation version 2.0 after years of therapy!)…but, that’s how it goes: your weaknesses are your strengths turned up a little too high. And it’s a beautiful strength!!

Today, my Mom is one of my best friends. The major differences from a regular friendship are that a) she gave birth to me, b) she’s known me since then, and c) I wait about half a day longer to tell her something that might worry her. Otherwise, the open communication that she (and my Dad) fostered throughout our childhoods, which I credit with keeping us generally on a positive and productive track, continues to this day.

Now that my parents have iPhones, every call goes onto speakerphone within about 10 seconds so that I’m talking to them both. Lately, they say in singsong, “We’re enjoying your blog!!!!” They have supported me through every step of this process. From the day my Mom noticed prenatal vitamins in my apartment, her only struggle has been to contain her boundless joy. I know she is beside herself knowing that I am on the verge of experiencing the magic that changed her life–and then we’ll share it. And my kid will have a Mimi!

I love you, Mom!!

PS Sharing a photo of my Mom–just came in via text from my Dad as I finished this post. She’s got the purse my sisters and I sent for Mother’s Day. I know I’m on the edge of being not-so-anonymous but so be it! Lookin good!!!Image

PPS Day 28: No AF. Temp at 97.4. Hasta mañana!