fertility, meditation, outdoors, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait, writing

new year’s eve!

Happy New Year, blog readers! May you experience good health, prosperity, and boundless joy in 2013! Lots of love to you!

I’m on my way out the door for the evening, but wanted to share an update, my New Year’s resolutions, and a couple of fun nuggets.

The update is: I will be testing first thing in the morning, tomorrow. Mañana en la mañana. I feel optimistic punctuated by fear and sprinkled with butterflies. Since I’m spending the night at the NYE party house, I will be surrounded by friends when I get the result which is reassuring no matter which way it goes. Fingers crossed.

I’ve come up with a few resolutions that go beyond the big obvious one (getting prego) and everything related to that (eating impeccably, getting rest, continuing to exercise, find a new apartment, save more $, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.). Given the magnitude of the big one, I’ve chosen resolutions that I believe are pretty doable (especially #1):

  • Undercommit. Or, otherwise put, do not overcommit. This one is going to be wonderful and I’m truly looking forward to it. I will be serene as a mountain peak. I will have equanimity and set good boundaries and get my time and space, evenings and weekends off. Watch me nail this one.
  • Write every day. This one will be really challenging because I automatically resist doing anything every day. So I give myself permission right now to backpedal and do every other day if that’s easier. This blog has reconnected me with writing and I am loving it and want to expand this part of my life. This will include the blog but hopefully other TBD projects as well.
  • Get out in nature at least once a week. A park will work in a pinch. I need this and when I get busy I don’t always make it a priority. It’s nourishing and necessary for me–trails are my temple. This will also be fun!
  • Be on time. This one is maybe the hardest. I am always 10 minutes late. In fact, I’m making myself late to pick up my friend and go to a party as I write this. Fortunately, it’s still 2012! I’ll start being on time tomorrow, which means risking being early. I can do it.

I’ll end the list here given my new pledge to undercommit.

Fun nugget #1: I realize that I have never shared with you (drumroll, please): the fertility chair, photo below! I’ve had it for months now. I believe it was created by a friend of my friend E for her wedding and somehow turned into the fertility chair (maybe because E got pregnant on her wedding night?) and has helped a handful of women (maybe 5-6?) get pregs. I meditate sitting in it, adding the pillow because it’s a rather hard seat. I will pass it on when the time comes, who wants it?

fchair

Fun nugget #2: the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog, see below! Yes, I’ve had over 11,000 views in 2012! Thanks again for reading and supporting me. Have fun and be safe tonight! xo

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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

the year in review

A year ago, I drove to the Grand Canyon to shake hands with the universe. An excerpt from my journal:

12/30/11: Here I am–end of the year, solo roadtrip, contemplating the New Year.

Once I arrived last night, I thought, Wow, OK, it’s really time to make a decision about having a baby. A little voice said, “I’ve already decided.” It’s true. It feels true and right and it’s my destiny. It doesn’t mean I won’t be fearful or stressed or lonely at times. But the decision has always been made, since I was born with my finite set of eggs. One (at least one) will become my child.

…So, My Baby, if you’re reading this one day, I made the decision tonight to bring you into the world. You who could be so many different people but who somehow is destined to be one and only one you. I’ve worked so hard to get here, and I feel proud and relieved and and scared. But tonight, peace.”

The decision was so clear. In truth, the decision was made implicitly as I extricated myself from my last relationship: if not x, then y. It took a couple of months to make it official.

It’s amazing how much time it takes to really get the process rolling, which is something I always want to point out to women contemplating this path–each step takes time, longer than you think. Do not delay!

Once the decision was made (after years of contemplation and several months of research), I was charting my cycles, did my paperwork at the sperm bank, had an intake appointment. I chose my donor, McPiercy, at the end of February (this was a whole process in and of itself that I will describe once McPiercy knocks me up for keeps). I missed my ovulation window in early March, unsure and hesitant about how to interpret a positive ovulation kit. Finally, on April 3, my dad’s birthday, I went for IUI#1. And I started this blog!

My blog is one of the best outcomes of 2012. Thanks to all of you who read it and encourage me in a million ways.

#1 didn’t take and the first BFN was rough. #2, same deal. In retrospect, it was so DIY with the sperm bank that I’m sure I had the timing off. IUI#3 in June was a hit! The poppy seed! But three days later I started bleeding just as the official blood test results came in: negative. There is nothing like the first BFP and telling everyone for the first time. I will use revisionist history to tack those first shares on to the pregnancy that yields the birth of my baby. 🙂

The chemical pregnancy was devastating and bewildering, but I had only 3 days of believing I was prego–I reverted fairly quickly back to trying mode. And it was good news that my body is able to do its thing.

I barreled into IUI#4 two weeks later, spending much of the two week wait on summer vacation with my family, blissed out by the lake, knowing intuitively the whole time that I was pregnant and that this would be it. I tested the day before I left: BFP. Happy and calm. I knew this time it would work because I had already paid my dues the month before.

Wrong. The 6.5 week ultrasound showed no fetal pole. It was inconclusive and they wanted me to come back in a week. Work travel prevented me from having another ultrasound until nearly two weeks later. It was a bad scene. I was stoic.

The moment I saw the ultrasound screen upon return to SF, I could tell the lentil hadn’t progressed. The nurse said, “I’m so sorry.” Numb. Discussion of next steps to remove the “products of conception.” Cried in the courtyard with A.

Fortunately, I didn’t go off the deep end about it. It was hard when I was in the middle of it, really hard. And then gradually I moved on.

That was four months ago. I went to Brazil and totally forgot everything for ten days–brilliant timing and a wonderful trip.

IUI #5 in the beginning of October, IUI#6 at the end of October, both BFNs. Emotionally disconnected and fatigued as I approached the end of the year. Took November off.

Which brings us to lucky #7. If I wait the full 14 days, I’ll test on New Year’s Day, 3 days from now. I am emotionally reconnected. I am present, alert to every twinge and tenderness, nothing to distract me while I”m staycationing. I am sleeping well, eating ridiculously well–today I had eggs w/ spinach and a smoothie of banana, frozen mango, frozen açai, blueberries, kale, coconut milk, and ginger. For lunch: a sandwich of leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry. For dinner: salmon and quinoa with spinach. C’mon, that’s ridiculously healthy, right? (as I head to the kitchen for chocolate peanut butter ice cream…)

I also did a massive purge of my closet today–10 bags of clothes, cosmetics, shoes ready to give away! Pow!

2012 was quite a ride, and yet I have never wavered on the decision made one year ago. I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you, 2012, for teaching me so much and for getting me to where I am now. Babies, are you in there?

2013: let’s get it on!

 

 

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

lucky #7

I entered Round 7 with a hopeful heart and UCSF welcomed me with love. It was so touching and unexpected. The receptionist, usually all business, called me sweetheart and wished me luck on my “big day.” The nurse who took me to the exam room welcomed me with a twinkle in her eye. When I told Nurse Stephanie about the puff of air that came out at the end of the trigger shot and how I’d probably get it right next time, she smiled and said, “Let’s hope there is no next time.”

She injected McPiercy’s 9 million and left me alone with my thoughts. I cried a tear. I prayed. And then I got dressed.

As I walked out, the receptionist actually followed me to the elevator. She gently touched my back as she said, “I just wanted to tell you that I feel this time will work–you’re going to get good news.” I thanked her from the bottom of my heart and got on the elevator and burst into tears. On the street, I called my mom and burst into tears again relaying all of the above.

In reality, nobody ever knows what’s going on in there in the early stages, but these felt like good omens. My hope balloon was inflated with helium and it’s still flying high.

The next day, I saw my acupuncturist and he says my pulse is back to normal: good energy, low stress. I feel good. I’m getting a lot of sleep. I’ve confirmed almost daily with Dr. Google that there really are no legit symptoms until implantation–no hormonal changes, no nothing. Just two fine embryos traveling along.

This hasn’t stopped me from mentally reaching out to them, scanning my internal night sky with radar. But they are stealth fighters, undetectable until they’re ready for me to pick up a signal.

I’m mostly patient, occasionally slip into what-if scenarios, and wake up every morning expressing gratitude. The next 9 days of staycation and time with beloved family is precisely what I want and need.

Meanwhile, my latest dating busy work seems to be winding down and I’m looking forward to starting 2013 with a clean slate:

  • In a moment of weakness, I texted Morocco to say how are you and he texted back within 30 seconds to say he’s fine, thanks. Four days later, he added, “and you?”
  • I finally got the actual invitation from Hawaii, 5 days from the date in question and 1 day after his arrival in Portland. He said how about coming up next weekend. He’s staying with his buddy who would be totally cool with a “third roomie.” And by the way, how are plane tickets looking?

 

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I can do better. WAY BETTER.

In 2013, I will veer away from the exotic, unavailable men of the internet.

Thank you for all your prayerful texts, emails, comments, phone calls and amens–and especially to M for talking me off several ledges related to Dr. H.

Please keep sending your love to the wonder twins currently sailing down their lazy river. Send them a welcoming mental text. Everything helps.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday!

 

donor sperm, fertility, IUI, meditation, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

prayer

Last night I slept for 10 hours. I woke up and called the sperm thaw hotline. Then I meditated for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, I meditated for another 10 minutes because I hadn’t yet found my breath and center. I made myself a smoothie with sweet potato, apple, orange, spinach, blackberries, ginger, and almond milk, and then made scrambled eggs with kale and cheese. I drank water and took my prenatal vitamin and fish oil pill. I took a warm bath. The sun is shining, the sky is clear, and in an hour and a half I’ll go for my seventh IUI.

I’ve started praying and practicing gratitude whenever and however I mercifully remember. I recently read Annie Lamott’s latest, “Help, Thanks, Wow,” which is a moving little book and if I had all of your addresses I’d send it to you for Christmas. It gave me permission to pray without having a well-defined God or even a specific religion. So, in an open-hearted plea to my Higher Power, I’m praying for my loved ones to be happy and healthy and to travel safely over the holidays. I’m praying for all those going through a difficult time, that they may find peace.  I pray that I will learn to better love and accept my own self, and that you will learn to better love and accept your own beautiful selves too. I pray for expansive and exponential amounts of love to blossom in 2013. I’m praying that one of the eggs traveling down my Fallopian tube at this precise moment is about to meet her Good Match.

And, just in case, three additional vials of McPiercy are pre-purchased in storage. 🙂

Thank you for all the good luck wishes on this round!

Can I get a amen!

anxiety, dating, donor sperm, fertility, IUI, ovulation, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

the reports

It’s so good to be home. I was in NYC for a week of work meetings, friends, shopping, parties, dinners…  A packed schedule–barely enough time for sleep, meeting prep, one solitary morning run on the Highline, and no blogging. I dearly love my friends there. Especially J, whose fourth Chelsea apartment in five years is an adorable one-bedroom and therefore the height of luxury compared to previous studios in which we had to choreograph our every movement. On this visit he was snoring so loudly and consistently that I was happy to shut the bedroom door and go down the hall to the couch. Deluxe!

I started taking Clomid on Day 2 and didn’t notice much of anything except higher anxiety levels. Then my Thanksgiving rash came back in force and I couldn’t sleep. Then I bought an expensive pair of black boots, had buyer’s remorse, and returned them the next day. This all may be run of the mill stuff and nothing to do with the Clomid. Sometimes I felt my ovaries getting riper.

When I finally made it to the holiday party it was like a finish line, and I was thrilled to land the next morning at SFO, even in the chilly rain. Upon landing, I learned the awful news from Connecticut and spent the rest of the day tearing up and taking deep breaths and avoiding the news. It’s a good time to hug our people and tell them how much we love them.

The Yoda Report: My friend M called me with the Yoda Report on what to do about Dr. Hawaii’s invitation to Hawaii–I could have sworn I heard her shuffling papers as she announced, “I have the Yoda Report.” I pictured her with glasses on her nose and a pencil behind her ear. Yoda suggested telling Dr. Hawaii that my Hawaii trip is postponed indefinitely, and since he’ll be in Portland for 10 days over the holidays, why not propose meeting up halfway between Portland and SF instead? I loved this solution: can you meet me halfway?

So I proposed it. And, because he’ll still have family in town and won’t have a car, he responded, “How about a weekend in Portland?”

Coincidentally, I am totally overdue a trip to Portland–I used to visit my friends L and A there every spring and now it’s suddenly been like 3 years without a visit. I still haven’t met A’s 2-year-old. With dear friends to see (and stay with), I have multiple reasons to go. Yoda basically said yes: one or both of you are going to have to travel to make this work, so go and see how it is.

I’d love to see him again. I’d love to spend the weekend in Portland. That’s why this is tricky: I STILL feel like he’s not driving the bus. Sure, maybe he sucks at email and text communication but he also hasn’t picked up the phone. And “How about a weekend in Portland,” feels like a halfhearted invitation. I can’t shake this sense that I’d be conspicuously hanging around on the sidelines of his family vacation waiting for him to be free. And, let’s be honest: the best case scenario is that we have a long distance relationship, is this my goal?

No. My goal is to get pregnant. And to spend time with someone who’s excited about me, who shows up for me, who gives me full-hearted invitations. I’ll give this one more email round to try to get a read on how this would theoretically go. I’m leaning toward not going (L and A: I will totally come soon though). After that, I must insist that if he can’t meet me halfway, the only thing left is for him to come all the way. Here. With his free ticket.

Meanwhile, I’m heading back online for another batch. Of locals!

The Follie Report: This morning, I had my Day 10 ultrasound and the news is GOOD: I have 2 dominant follicles on the left and “things are quiet” on the right. The two follies measure 15mm and 16mm and my lining is at 6 something: right on target. We wanted two and got two! No more, no less. I’ll trigger on Monday night and go for IUI on Wednesday. I’ll test just after the New Year. Baby project is giving me a strong sense of purpose again.

Meanwhile, I’ll stock up on more McPiercy vials. I recently got an email from PRS with the subject line “Notification,” and my heart almost stopped because I assumed they were going to tell me McPiercy was out of stock! Thankfully, they were just warning me that their prices are going up in the New Year.

 

dating, fertility, IUI, outdoors, ovulation, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

game on

Last night, AF arrived and I said “thank you” and greeted her warmly. Her timing was perfect: I’ll have my Day 10 ultrasound the day after I get back from NYC, and I’ll do my IUI a few days before the UCSF office shuts down for three days over Christmas. I made it into the magic window. I’ve been doing calendar math for weeks now, and I’m super relieved that all the timing has worked out. This month is a go.

I’ve read through all the medical documentation and consulted Dr. Google and it looks like I can actually drink while taking Clomid–which means I don’t have to be a teetotaler at work functions, which takes a lot of pressure off. I will sip on an ever-present single glass of wine.

It feels good to be back in the game. Last night I had Indian pizza with 3 SMC friends: one contemplating IVF, one 8.5 weeks pregnant after 1.5 years of trying, and one 10.5 weeks pregnant on the first try. Grateful for these friends and the sharing of the journeys we couldn’t have predicted when we started. Oh, and the dating stories–this is where I’d link to their blogs if they had them, because you really can’t make this stuff up.

Here is my dating story. I sent the incredibly studiously-written birthday email and it had its desired effect: he wrote back and invited me to Hawaii in the new year and promised to do his best to make it an amazing experience.

Which conjures quite the colorful showreel of fantasies as we visit picturesque beaches, hike lava-spewing volcanoes, lay around in spa sarongs, and…other stuff–of course I want these things. Eventually. I would really like these things eventually.

Even with this headlining development, which of course is flattering and indicates some level of interest, I really haven’t seen him bring it. He’s still not driving the bus. In fact, he’s proposing that I drive the bus to him. So I’m not paying for a 3,000 mile booty call when he has a free ticket. Not yet!

I haven’t responded. I’m waiting to hear from my friend M’s friend who she calls the Heterosexual Yoda–a lesbian whose  dating advice about men is spot on. Every time. It’s like she’s so disconnected she can be objective. Usually her advice is, “Don’t respond,” and this non-action usually brings to light the true nature of the relationship: are you in or are you out?

Right now he’s out. I make this way too easy when they should be working for it. My impulses are always to be available and nice and complimentary and write in skywriting just how interested I am just in case they missed all the other cues. These impulses are great for friendships, not so great for dating.

If he inquires later about my trip, I’ll tell him my friend canceled so it’s postponed indefinitely, and he can do the calculations on what it would take to see me again. At least that’s my pre-Yoda plan. Thanks for keeping me posted, M!

I’d like to give a shout out to my friend A who is live-blogging her labor today (no joke) from Colombia and she’s doing an incredible job–she’s got salsa playing, her lipstick on, her mom by her side, and probably 20 friends following her updates online around the world. So inspired by this powerful woman and thrilled to virtually meet her baby boy. ❤

breakup, dating, fertility, ovulation, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

new cycle

Monday night, under a blanket on the couch, post-sushi with I (“get in there and write a blog post so I can read it!”), drinking my new favorite tea ever: Mighty Leaf Mint Melange.

We have reached the end of a news cycle. Everything is winding down just in time for Day 1. According to my spreadsheet of averages, Day 1 will be tomorrow (or soon after), and then I will start on the Clomid on Day 2 and then I will get cranky while my estrogen is suppressed and my ovaries go on overdrive producing follicles.

The synchronicity of events recently has been intriguing: the peak of my mystery illness coincided with ovulation on what turned out to be an eventful “month off.” Morocco left town just as Hawaii arrived. I will take my last antibiotic tonight and my first Clomid within a few days. I am finally, finally better and rounding the corner in more ways than one.

Morocco came back a few days after my last post, after I had filed him and moved on. But he came back strong, just a couple of arm’s lengths away: hey I’m at a bar in your neighborhood, stop by. Hey, come see live music, I’m at a club. Unsure whether I actually wanted to see him, I suggested we plan ahead and he said then you plan it–I’m not a good planner. (Is it Maya Angelou who said, “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.”?)

I texted him that I sense he’s not available for a relationship and so our timing is off and he should focus on getting his life in order right now. He texted back, “Sounds good :)” Which I take to mean he concurs and/or didn’t understand and/or is a texting robot. (Texting is seriously the worst thing to happen to dating.) Either way, he’s back in the file. 5% of me believes that once he gets settled he’d be a good boyfriend but the other 95% knows that guy never gets settled.

Dr. Hawaii is another story. A brief story that also also involves the texts always ending in a smiley-face. Which is fine. But when I feel a connection like that I want to throw open the doors and windows, fire up the skype and the gchat and the (gasp) telephone and start fanning the flames of passion across the distance!

Not so with this one. When I said “he disappeared into the moonlit night,” he actually did. We’ve exchanged a few texts. He liked something I put on facebook. I went through an initial phase of dying a slow and tortured death with the waiting and the hating of my phone until I realized that the distance and the circumstances have taken us off the usual dating script and now I don’t know what to expect, if anything–maybe we’re on Hawaii Time or maybe when he said he wanted to come back to visit me he was speaking poetically and not literally.  Who the F knows what’s going on over there! Maybe he’ll reappear, maybe he won’t, maybe by the time he does my emotional window will be closed. Maybe (just maybe!) I’m a bit of a complicated case to take on right now. Our second date would be more than dinner and a movie–it would be a weekend requiring strategic logistical and emotional planning with a maybe-pregnant lady who lives 3,000 miles away.

For the record, he sent the last text and he will drive the motherfucking bus or else we’re not going anywhere. (Except on his birthday, which is Wednesday, for which I will compose him an Email, which will rock his world after all the texting.)

Meanwhile, I go on with my fabulous life, which is always the right answer no matter what the question.