acupuncture, anxiety, family, fertility, IVF, meditation, outdoors, pregnancy, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, writing

numbers

I think I’ve been avoiding writing, just like I sometimes avoid meditating–with anxiety following me around like a shadow, not wanting it to catch up.

What you need to know is that everything is going fine.

What’s going on behind the scenes is that I’m getting information every other day, and now every day, on my estrogen level and number and measurements of my growing follicles. And I’ve had to consciously back down from a) trying to be an overachiever, b) interpreting, c) doing math, and d) obsessing about the numbers as if it will help me control the final outcome. It won’t. You also need to understand that the numbers at this point are almost irrelevant–you can have dozens of follicles and only a few mature eggs. You could also have only a few follicles but one mature egg that results in a healthy singleton. And everything in between.

At the first appointment, I didn’t know what to expect. This is a vulnerable place.  I felt like the doctors had grim expressions and were disappointed in my number of follicles, which was around 13. It should be noted that they didn’t say anything (at all) to this effect, but when I walked out I felt like a failure and spent the day on the edge of tears. I texted B that I was spiraling and she said, “Don’t interpret. It’s too early to do that and trust your doctors–let them do the work.”

I went to acupuncture the following night and emerged so deeply drained. I asked him if he’d done anything differently than usual, and he said that when you’re that stressed, it’s a long journey to get back to your baseline.

For the second appointment, I brought my sister, who kept me plugged into the irrelevance of the numbers in the short term. Bringing my sis got the docs’ attention and suddenly Dr. Rosen seemed to realize that I was stuck on the anxiety channel and needed strong reassurances–and he gave them to me throughout the appointment. Everything looks really good, you’re doing everything you’re supposed to do, see here on the monitor? Everything is growing, that’s what we want. Don’t worry, you’re doing great, it looks really good. I wanted to celebrate, but my helpful sister reminded me that just like we wouldn’t get destroyed by numbers now, we’re also not going to celebrate. But I did feel way better. My acupuncturist confirmed that my pulse conveyed a much lower stress level the following night (another zapping session, though–afterward, I went home, ate pizza, and fell asleep at 7pm).

At the third appointment, on Saturday, I went alone. Different docs this time, and I didn’t even try to track the measurement of every follicle or do math in my head. I let go, just letting them take over, maybe finally realizing that, no matter what, it will be what it will be. There’s nothing to adjust, except my dosage of meds, which is totally up to Dr. Tran and he hasn’t changed anything since I started. I’m doing everything right, according to Dr. Rosen. All we can do is see how this cycle turns out and have faith that my baby is in there.

I did a pretty good job of letting go on Saturday but I also just happened to be in a terrible mood. I felt like crying about everything, couldn’t bring myself to do the dishes from Tuesday, etc. Still, I managed to finish my taxes AND do laundry, so why I didn’t feel my afternoon was a record-breaking success should be blamed on the hormones. I felt sad and lonely and stuck.

At around 4:45pm, I threw on my running clothes and drove out to Ocean Beach. As I sat in my car getting ready to run, a hurricane-like wind threatened to lift my car into the air. I opened the door and it swung open so hard I thought it may have been damaged. Stepping out into the gale force, I thought YES THIS IS WHAT I NEEDED and began my run along the boardwalk.

I almost couldn’t run straight it was so windy. Specks of sand blasted onto my bare skin, stinging. PERFECT. Despite its ponytail anchor, my hat flew off. Then my hat flew off again. Then it flew off AGAIN. I found myself screaming into the wind FUCK YOU, MOTHERFUCKER and suddenly woke up to my storm-like emotions. I actually started laughing.

Holding my hat in my hand, I continued up the boardwalk with my hair whipping around my face, forming a frenetic, lion-like frizz. I ran up the hill, past the Cliff House, and turning inland into Lands End, where the wind became a mild breeze, the golden afternoon sunlight at an angle that melts my heart.

I needed that. I kept thinking, “This is my natural Paxil.”

Today, after 9 hours of sleep, I woke up better. A gloriously clear day. I picked up my friend C who graciously offered to come with me to my appointment, which are now every day because we’re getting close. It was lovely to have her along although I feel sufficiently detached now, not even particularly asking questions. They’ll tell me if there’s something I need to know or decide.

My likely retrieval day is this Thursday, to be confirmed at tomorrow’s appointment. Then we’ll have real numbers to contemplate: number of eggs retrieved and then the number fertilized. My letting-go skills are getting honed.

My sister has me focused on what it will feel like to have a baby. I’m skipping all these steps in my mind and visualizing the final outcome–the only thing that matters.

Yesterday, my estrogen level was 2,014 (aka my baby’s birth year).

All it takes is one.

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

sacto

A Chinese herb from my acupuncturist is responsible for the quick turnaround on my sore throat. He says everyone should have it in their medicine cabinet: it’s called “Gan Mao.” Recommend!

I would be feeling great if I hadn’t just indulged in a beer that is instantly taking me south. My nose is running (on the left side only) and I am guiltily pounding waters to counteract the beer. I wasn’t quite better after all and will be going to sleep right after I finish this.

I checked in to my hotel in Sactramento with takeout Korean food and turned on the TV, which is always the most decadent and attractive when I am depleted of energy. I got sucked into an episode of What Not to Wear about a transgendered man to woman who ended up looking really pretty, and I was in tears at the end when she appeared with her new look in front of friends and family. (Better than being in tears over the plethora of romantic comedies also airing this evening.)

After Annie’s Occupy Valentine’s Day manifesto, I had intended to be more loving of myself and others today and found myself receiving way more than I gave. J emailed me, “Happy Valentine’s Day, my corazon!” The woman I met with today brought me a bag of lemons from her backyard. And sweet texts rolled in…

So, to catch up on some giving, I gave the guy working in the Korean restaurant a $20 and asked him to put it toward someone’s dinner tonight. He looked thoroughly confused. He actually glanced at the woman next to me who was looking at a menu and preparing to order takeout for one. But then I think he figured out that he should wait, which was a relief, as that could have been seriously awkward. Hopefully he didn’t pocket it, but either way, I gave him the opportunity to create some good karma and give someone a good V Day story.

It’s true: I am in a hotel room in Sacramento on Valentine’s Day with one Kleenex stuck into my left nostril. I’m on the extreme far right side of the king-sized bed, as if someone instructed me to not take up more than 1/8 the space. The bebimbap from the Korean restaurant was shockingly bad and cold, mostly dry white rice.

And thanks to my higher power and Gan Mao, I’m fine. I can remember a lot of Valentine’s Days in a relationship that were so-so at best. Some were unbearable. There were a couple of truly great ones. And this year I had a very low expectation of the evening, which is mostly being met, so no surprises here!

There are great loves somewhere on my horizon.

The suburbs of Sacramento are, oddly enough, feeling like a minor getaway even though I’m only 1.5 hrs from home. The sun is bigger here, the air a little warmer and sweeter, with errant tall and skinny palm trees silhouetted against the golden sky.

Fertility update: I went to UCSF this morning for a window into my follicle-growing process. As the nurse suspected, Day 9 was too early to tell exactly when my follies will reach their max (20mm), but right now I have a 12mm on the right and a 11mm on the left, so I’ll go back for another viewing on Saturday. They seem to be on track. Come on, follies!

My hope is like one of those little seedlings in a paper cup that we all planted in elementary school. Fragile and new. And mostly fragile.

Lights out from Sacto and love to all my loves.

 

 

 

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

20.88 million

IUI#8 went fine.

I worked from home yesterday, which I do strategically to cloak my suspicious number of appointments. At 9:45am, while peeing on mute during a conference call, I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t called the sperm thaw hotline before 8:30am as instructed. Dropped off the conference call, called the sperm thaw hotline begging them to call me back with confirmation, called Olga hoping she’d put in a good word with the lab. Slight panic. Can you imagine how ridiculous it would be to miss a cycle because of forgetting this easy step? But, now that I’ve missed the deadline twice, I see that it’s ultimately negotiable and probably more of a guideline. A nice lady in the lab called me back within 5 minutes and called me “dear.” Olga also called back and said, You’re all good!

Phew. Sigh. Gratitude. Thank you.

Half an hour before my appointment, I put on a ring from each of my grandmothers and hopped in the car to drive over to UCSF in the rain. I was called in quickly and the procedure was much like every other time with Nurse Stephanie, although this time the number of sperm was roughly double the usual: 20.88 million. They considered doing a second wash to weed out more of the slow-movers (a luxury option due to the high number) but decided it might compromise the overall number. She said it’s great news because you always want more. She showed me the vial and I saw that he donated on April 22, 2010. Earth Day. This seemed significant and memorable.

I welcomed McPiercy’s 21 million sperm into my uterus and the nurse’s assistant kindly pulled my paper sheet over my legs and sort of tucked me in before they left the room. On her way out, Nurse Stephanie said, “I hope this one goes all the way!” (See, no one is wishing for me to get pregnant anymore. We are all fervently wishing for the whole nine yards.)

I meditated. I listened to the cars going by outside on the wet streets. I thought about those 20 million dudes off to the races. I hoped this egg was it. I felt not much else–no tears, no lightning bolts, no prayers. Just mostly peace. When I sat up, the first thing I saw was a calendar that said 2013 in big numbers and my eye went to October. Please. October please.

On the way out, I remembered the woman who caught me at the elevators last time and told me she was sure I’d get good news. I told her last week that she’d been correct, but that it didn’t stick, and she said she seemed to have a knack with reading people–including the gender of babies in utero. I told her I’d swing by her desk for a reading on my way out this time, ha ha.

In the moment, I was kind of hesitating (wouldn’t she be obligated to give a good outlook?!) but when I took a few steps backward to peer around the corner to her (empty) chair at the front desk, who appeared but Dr. Tran! I have never seen him outside of our set appointments. Viewing him in that moment felt like the ultimate sign of good luck. He said hi and asked if I’d already had the procedure or if I was just arriving, and I got flustered and said something awkward like, “I was just exiting,” and he wished me luck. I swooned as I exited.

And, just like that, I’m back in the wait. It is a more emotionally serene place than the previous few weeks. Meditation the other night did help to center me, tears spilling out the minute I sat down and saw H, our teacher. He talked about the three refuges: Buddha (our own Buddha nature–enlightenment), the dharma (truth), and sangha (community). I felt the dust settling around me, a pause in the chaos, a reprieve from the stress. Refuge. It was the most needed medicine.

I held lil baby F last night for a while, went to deeply relaxing acupuncture today, ate mint chocolate chip ice cream while writing this tonight. My dentist gave me a green toothbrush because she said it’s the most fertile color. Everything is humming along.

Going to bed early. Love to my sangha.

 

 

acupuncture, dating, fertility, IUI, ovulation, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

I heart Dr. Tran

Today I saw the doc to discuss next steps, in the event that IUI#6 doesn’t pan out. He was handsome as usual in a wool sweater today, no doctor coat. He has such a warm and understated personality and always manages to work into the conversation how hard he’s working, but that he can’t complain because loves his job. (How often does your doctor tell you that??)

He mentioned at least every three minutes that I can get pregnant, and that I did get pregnant, 2 out of 4 tries (he doesn’t count the first 2 tries at PRS since he didn’t oversee them). I’m “batting 500.” Nothing is wrong, nothing is worth testing now. He also said at least 4 times how much he wishes that his patients didn’t have to go through miscarriages, but they don’t know how to prevent that yet, and it’s really nature’s way of selecting. He looked concerned and paused on the topic of miscarriage and I thought I might cry but then we moved on. I hadn’t thought about the lentil in a little while.

So, what does he recommend? He thinks we’re ready to move on to Clomid, which is a pill I’ll start taking on Day 2 to grow more, fatter follicles, like 2-3 would be great. 4-5 and we might wait until the next month to be sure I don’t have millions of babies. On Day 10: ultrasound to check the follies. Day 12: trigger shot to trigger ovulation (I’ll need to learn about how to give myself the shot), then IUI the next day.

The idea is that we’d have multiple embryos and hopefully end up with one normal one. Of course, I could end up with two, in which case you are all hired. I’m sure I would go ahead with twins and it would ruin my life in the best way possible. How many cycles does he recommend with Clomid? Only 3. Then IVF, but he feels strongly that we won’t get there (and if we do, I have high ovarian reserve, so it would be a slam dunk (my words)). I said that I liked this plan, and he smiled and said, OH, I have a plan for you and I always did!

It looks like I should be able to wrap this up one way or another by my 40th birthday in July, which is a nice goal. Dr. Tran walked me out and touched my arm as he said good bye and to hang in there. I wonder if there’s any ethical way for me to date him? (This crosses my mind every time we meet.)

Meanwhile, I could be pregnant now. But I’m only 5 days in, thought I was feeling mild cramping last night but it turned out to be gas (doesn’t it always?). Today, my digestive system is not happy with me and I’m on the couch feeling achey and cold under a blanket while the cleaning lady cleans and the city erupts outside in celebration over the Giants winning the World Series exponentially intensified due to the fact that it’s Halloween (supposedly there are a million people out there–my acupuncturist called to cancel because he can’t even get to his office).

I realize that ending yesterday’s post with a potential guy-atus was a bit incongruous after listing all that I have “going on,” even it’s a lot of dating busy work and no real results. I think a guy-atus is my way of pretending I have control (now I’m on! now I’m off!) even though I don’t, and of course I would be open to meeting someone great whenever. The question is how much energy do I invest. Maybe dating Dr. Hawaii long-distance with romantic visits here and there throughout the coming year would be the perfect mix?

As MMcL emailed me yesterday, perhaps it’s about accepting the pace of where things are at. If I think Baseball Guy should have called sooner than five days after a first date, maybe that’s arbitrary. Maybe now that I’m not seeking a babydaddy it’s time to slow my roll and just see who shows up–we’re not under the gun anymore!!

Two shouts out: The Solo Mana Project got two recent mentions:

  • On the SMC site it is the featured blog post this week! It’s from the summer, when I was prego, which is a blast from the past now but what an honor to be featured there, thank you, Jane.
  • On a virtual friend’s blog, Return to Go, I was nominated for a Liebster Award, which, from what I gather, means that I answer her 11 questions and then nominate 11 other bloggers to do the same. Cool! I’ll do this soon.
acupuncture, anxiety, dating, donor sperm, meditation, outdoors, pregnancy, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait, writing

commence week 2

I assume I’m pregnant. But in a disconnected, almost blasé way–I seem to have merged being in the wait with being in early pregnancy: it’s all tentative until it’s confirmed. So, I perceive some symptoms and yet catch myself moments before plunging into the hot tub (thankfully, L keeps hers at 98 degrees). I find myself going over my food consumption in retrospect, when it would already be too late. If I’m lucky, I will remember not to have a margarita after work.

I like this new, disconnected merged feeling and hope it lasts. I feel like I’m right where I thought I’d be and wished I was on try #1, like, “Yeah, whatever, you know, it can take a while so we’ll see what happens.” Instead, I was myopic in the worst way, absolutely consumed with every minute detail, and now I think: yeah. Maybe sometime between now and the end of the year, *yawn*. I transported 3 vials to UCSF: one for October, one for November, one for December. And then we’ll celebrate a year since my big decision in the Grand Canyon and Rio-valuate.

I spent a lovely 24 hours in San Jose over the weekend, but otherwise felt kind of aimless. My acupuncturist recommended not running for a few days and just telling me that is a recipe for going stir crazy. I ended up doing a burly urban walk to the top of Twin Peaks:

Image

I find it intriguing that the photo is off-balance, because I was feeling off-balance. Stressed about work, mad and frustrated about my Good Match being so delayed, wondering when it’s all going to come together and make sense. Being on top of Twin Peaks makes me think a lot about one of my exes. The walk down made me think about another one. I passed my therapists’s house. It sure is a journey.

I got a mani/pedi. A hugely prego woman sat next to me and I vibed with her silently. I sat on the roof and wrote in my journal in the sunshine as the Blue Angels swooped around overhead. I bought veggies and made a delicious stir fry with quinoa.

I listened to Pema, who always says the right thing. This time, it was to remember to cradle your poor anxious self in gentle lovingkindness. I decided to do my tomorrow self the enormous favor of setting out clothes, packing a gym bag, getting the coffee ready and the oatmeal and the vitamins. It was a nice gentle favor and my day was full, ending with another lovely tea with T. Now I need to do myself the favor of going to bed.

I love this time of the month where my views start to skyrocket because you’re all checking for news. It makes me feel very loved and looked after, thank you.

I will end with one last piece of news for which I am profoundly grateful: totally totally totally randomly, gay bf J will be back in town precisely when I will be testing, for the 3rd time in a row!!!!!! This is just cosmic. You couldn’t plan it. None of this turned out the way I expected, but you know what? I’ll take it.

nighty night, peeps xo

acupuncture, anxiety, dating, pregnancy loss, privacy, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, writing

karma

Last Saturday, the day after my return from Brazil, I went on a 10-mile run through Golden Gate Park with my housekeys, a $20, and my driver’s license in my little shorts pocket. When I was within half a mile from my house, I was suddenly ravenous enough to eat my arm, so I opted instead to duck into Falletti Foods, an outrageously expensive grocery with a buffet of hot food. In my delirious hunger, I grabbed a crazy mix of foods and the cashier totaled it at $14 and change. I handed him my slightly moist $20. He gave me back a $10, a $5, and some change. I blinked and walked away.

As I sat there eating my chicken & artichoke lasagna and french fries, here was the voice in my head, “This place charges an insane amount for its food. They won’t miss $10. I could give it to a homeless person. Redirect the corporate surplus. I should stop being so honest all the time. I could donate it to the Obama campaign. I could keep it. I’m sure it didn’t cost them more than $5 something to make the food I’m eating. But……..won’t I spend the rest of the day stressing about it? What if the cashier gets in trouble? What if it comes out of his check?”

And, with that, I finished up and returned the $10 to the embarrassed and grateful cashier.

This morning, I was running through my neighborhood and saw a BART ticket on the ground. I thought, “I should stop and see if there’s any money on it,” but decided to leave it and see if it was still there on my way back. Half an hour later, there it was. I picked it up. $13.05. The universe gave me interest!

I’m sitting in a café with a tall Pellegrino. It’s 7:22pm. I have a date here at 8, or “8-ish,” as I believe he said, which bugged me. I can write until he gets here which I will bet you will be in one hour. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being out of my mind excited to meet him, I am a 3.

Sigh. It’s been a wild week. Coming back from the forced respite from this project was a little tough, re-facing the reality of it. But, as my acupuncturist told me a couple of hours ago, why not just continue the vacation until my cycle kicks back in? I can’t really do or plan anything until then anyway. I like that. I’m still on vacation from this.

Coming back, I feel stronger. An unexpected result of this that I am in close touch with my anger. I don’t typically have a temper but lately I am on a hair trigger. Don’t cross a line with me right now, because I’m not putting up with bullshit. I should have done this a long time ago. Toxic people: out. Reactive, ill-considered e-mail, send. Insensitive post: unfriend. Surround me with love and support and otherwise I do not have time for you right now.

I had a shock this week when I met up with a friend who left my company a few months ago. Halfway through lunch, she says, “SO, I hear you’re pregnant!” I was stunned. I’ve been so careful about not sharing this with work friends, only the tiniest handful. I said, “Oh really, who told you that?” And she chirped, “Everyone!”

Well, first of all, I’m not. (Of course, she was mortified.) And second of all, it’s not public knowledge. I feel betrayed by whoever leaked this super-private news that I shared in confidence. I don’t really blame this friend, or the others who heard through the apparent grapevine. They thought it was public. But the floor absolutely dropped out from underneath me.

It dawns on me now (yes, now, 4 months after starting a public blog) that people talk. It’s human nature–this is juicy news to share. People love to be the one who knows first. Rationalization: I’m sure it’s safe to tell, I mean, after all, she writes it all down on a public blog!

It also dawns on me that I have no idea who reads this blog. I know who subscribes to it, but there are anywhere between 30 and 100 views per day beyond that. Are you out there, my boss’s boss? Hello, ex-boyfriends! Greetings to all my enemies, frienemies, stalkers, and identity thieves. You’re all invited. This is a public blog. We’re in this together. Please, please, please don’t F this up.

It’s risky putting all this out there, but you know what? This is my choice. This is how I live. This is so me. I’m loving writing. I keep a cozy loveseat for some of my favorite people in here. I love this!

I won’t subscribe to conspiracy theories… No one is taking this to my boss (right???). This post is about karma. I will be trusting and faithful that this will blog will do more good than harm, and that my readers will hold this information with exquisite respect and care. Lord knows, it’s done me a world of good to share with you, dear readers. The beauty rises to the top, the garbage falls away. What goes around comes around. I forge ahead with love and the best intentions.

And if you don’t like it, you can fuck off!!!!

acupuncture, anxiety, meditation, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, single mom by choice, SMC

suspended

Hi guys. It’s been a tough week to find the time to write or even know what to write. I even have to make this post quick, since I have to pack for a wedding and jet off to work.

I’ll start by saying that so far everything is OK so far–I know my last post scared some people who had to speed read to the end. Everything, as far as I know, is OK. I am OK.

After sending a query back to Olga about the vastly different response I got from her vs. the other nurse, she sent this:

Hi Katie,
When I read the note it said intrauterine pregnancy but I overlooked that it said no fetal pole. It is still very early in the pregnancy so we should definitely have more information at your next ultrasound on 8/6. 6 weeks is very early and the pregnancy can definitely develop as time passes. I will keep my fingers crossed for your next ultrasound. By 8/6 they should see a fetal pole and a heartbeat. Keep positive and keep me posted. Thanks! Olga

Olga kills me. I try to have a sense of humor about her, but sending a congrats before reading the full note is not excellent care.

The day after my ultrasound, I found out my tentative business trip to Chicago was confirmed for next week and I would need to fly to Chicago the same day as ultrasound #2, as in go straight to the airport directly from UCSF. I knew that would just be too much stress. I decided to meditate on it at meditation group and also sleep on it. By the morning, I had decided to put off my ultrasound #2 by one more week.

I know it sounds kind of bananas since, of course, I am dying to know. But I want to go back when the result will be conclusive and no sooner–no more messing with my head over the chances of what may or may not be. My new appointment is 8/13 at 8.5 weeks with the nurse practitioner (and not the mean doc, thank goodness). Since I’ll be right across the lake from my parents, I decided to take the 55 min flight from Chicago to Manistee to work from their house on Thursday and Friday and spend the weekend here:

It all came together and I felt so relieved. As a final cherry on top: yesterday, work circumstances determined that J will be flying in from NY on Monday to assist me with the presentation–he might even pick me up from the airport. I’ll be surrounded by love and distraction the whole time.

And, even before that, a big wedding weekend 1.5 hours from SF with great friends–I’m leaving this afternoon for the rehearsal. And before that a lot of work to finish. And packing. These things woke me up at 4am and played on a ticker tape until I figured out the order that everything needs to get done, decided what I won’t have time to do or what will have to be put off until Sunday (too much), and went back to sleep. I’ve been waking up at 4am or 5am regularly. My acupuncturist can feel the stress and light sleep in my pulse. He is so unimpressed with UCSF care and wished I could get the second ultrasound sooner just to get my body off this stress spiral. But…it just isn’t possible (unless I can’t stand it anymore and schedule something in Traverse City, not impossible).

As with trying to telepathically detect signs of pregnancy, I am detecting signs of which direction this is going, and I’m not going to drag you along on that paranoid and bumpy road. The speculation is the unbearable part and gets us nowhere. The jury is truly still out.

My #1 job right now is to reduce stress where possible, be kind to myself, meditate at every single opportunity. try to make all these planning, packing, working steps easy. Decide what to not to do. Everyone encourages me to stay positive and I am really, really trying. It’s the biggest roller coaster yet.

I am a strong and powerful person.

acupuncture, dating, ovulation, parenthood, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

heroine

It’s Tuesday night. (and my sister’s birthday, happy birthday B!) I’m camped on my big yellow couch in sweats watching the last rays of sunshine light up the north-facing buildings stacked between me and Buena Vista Park. The sky is so clear and the days are so long…and I know from so many years of being a San Franciscan that big summer fog is right around the corner, as is, fortunately, my escape to real summer in Michigan. This Sunday!

I woke up feeling so tired… the weekend in Sebastopol was fabulous, the best kind of therapeutic girl time, and I returned feeling something like jet lag after keeping slumber party hours for two nights in a row. On top of that, last night I splurged on two cocktails which seemed like a good idea given that it might be my last chance for a while. I don’t know if it’s age or weeks/months of sobriety or my new focus on fitness in recent years, but drinking multiple cocktails once in a blue moon generally makes me feel some shade of terrible.

After a lackluster work day followed by acupuncture, I feel totaled. I had planned on seeing Beans at meditation followed by a drink with Ms. R (who is inspiring me with her optimism), but I just had to come home. At this point, I’m working to stay awake until a reasonable bedtime, like 9:30.

Three more days of work, and I am out of here for two weeks.

I found myself remembering vacation of a year ago, traveling to Alaska with D., meeting tons of his family and promising his brother that when we came back this year we’d be married and pregnant. Then the trip to Michigan where I took him around to all the beautiful sights and he was nonplussed and I was going out of my mind with aggravation.

Acknowledging that dating is not my priority right now, tonight I wish I had someone here with me. Someone who would give me big smiles and attention. Maybe it’s that I’m about to ovulate, but I’m suddenly noticing all the affectionate couples on the street, thinking huh. Remember that?

One SMC friend was saying how right after her BFN her impulse was to go online dating, and I said, “That makes total sense–you want to create love in your life, either this way or that.” Me too. What a waste that I am spending so many years as an impatient single lady when I have piles of love for the guy of many plusses. . But I am seriously out of ideas on how to find him.

The baby love, on the other hand, is a lot more under my control, although still not under my control. I’ve noticed that now, having once been pregnant, I feel like mentally I’m a bit more prepared for it to happen again. I can talk about “when I’m pregnant” and not feel like a total fraud. Still… I’m on Day 14 and so far negative OPKs, seemed like tonight it was beginning to change color (yes, I’m testing twice a day), EWCM (not that I’m checking), and I’m hopeful that the positive will be tomorrow. Perhaps it’s later since my body is probably reorienting itself a bit.

All this raging feminist debate online about “having it all” also has me furious–good, important debate, but disappointing that it leaves out single moms (who, ps, are the majority of families) and those of us who are resigned to not having it all and wouldn’t even tease ourselves with that notion. Add on top of that SF and crazy rents and me in a studio still doing a 1040EZ… You guys, how is this all going to work?

Over the weekend, I found myself peeing on a stick in Samuel P. Taylor State Park on a hike, telling my friends, “Please tell my kid how much I went through for this.”

I appreciate this quote of Nora Ephron, who died today, “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

OK, Nora. After an ice cream bar and some sleep, I will.

acupuncture, meditation, outdoors, pregnancy loss, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

snapshots

I am sleepy but at least wanted to say a couple of things tonight. In bullets. Because I’ve had a long workday and don’t know whether I can coherently collect my thoughts otherwise.

  • On Saturday, I went to get a pedicure with an SMC friend and it was so perfect because we could just nod at each other wide-eyed and say, “I know.” What is more comforting than that? I usually pick a dark burgundy but that day I went with a neon pink-orange. I stare at my toes fondly when my shoes are off.
  • My sister came over for dinner on Saturday night–I ordered a pizza and she showed up with kale and coconut water and mint chocolate cookie Ben & Jerry’s. I cried to her but the intensity of the sadness was waning. We also laughed–she told me stories about my nieces in Baltimore, like when almost-four-year-old E piped up at the table, “This lunch is FASCINATING!”
  • On Sunday, I took my 3-inch roots and too-long hair to the salon for a much-needed cut/color. I had her cut off 2 inches, trim the layers, and go back to my natural color FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE COLLEGE. This is a big deal. I started coloring my hair at age 21, going for an artificial raspberry but ending up with something that looked natural. For years, I used henna, then graduated to salons and color experimentation (strawberry blonde, red red, black cherry). And now, I’m a brunette. A bit golden brown with the lighter color peeking through, but to me it looks dark. To me, it looks like I am me. And it feels really important, like I am owning the me that was always underneath. Getting to know her in a new context. She likes bright nail polish.
  • It will be/is revolutionary to think about not having to worry about roots. I have been chasing them for 17 years! Also, I will save a lot of money. It’s kind of ridiculous that I’m stopping just in time to go gray. But I’m not gray yet, so let’s just watch it appear gradually like the sunrise.
  • Yesterday, I met my friend and trainer R for a regular training session. It was the first time since the day I got the positive test at the gym. I found myself back in all the same spots for the first time since that day: the bathroom stall where I peed on a stick, the back office where we jumped up and down. I was a little melancholy through the workout.
  • At the end of the session, I asked R if he had a client after me, and he said no. So I said,mockingly offended, then why aren’t you running with me? And he trumped me with: I am! Ha HA! So we ran! Through the glorious and glowing city at 6pm with the sun high in the sky, along the Embarcadero (first time running there since falling 2 weeks ago), along Mission Bay, up Potrero Hill (to the top), checking out the killer views and fancy houses, exploring around, back down through UCSF, 1.5 hours. God, I needed that run. Running renews me like nothing else. Grateful to R for making it happen and acting like he was going to surprise me all along whereas I sensed he decided on the spot. He knew I needed it and I think he needed it too after his first Father’s Day without his dad. It was a magical run.Image
  • Afterward, I met an old friend for dinner. Or, he drank tea while I ate several plates of food and drank pitchers of water and tea after all the miles I ran. I have found that while the whole SMC gig can be difficult for guys to understand (thus the cross-eyed look until they have time to process), every human I’ve spoken to about my brief but joyful pregnancy totally gets it and says all the right things.
  • Today is Day 7 already: I did therapy, acupuncture, meditation. Dr. Tran tomorrow. I am feeling better.
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.”