anxiety, family, gratitude, outdoors, pregnancy, running, single mom by choice, SMC

11 weeks (w/ belly shots!)

I decided that since I see my sister B every Sunday, I could have her document the belly once a week. Coincidentally, Sundays are my pregnancy “weekiversary.” I sort of thought last week would still be baseline, but when I saw the photo I couldn’t believe how much rounder it looked than it actually felt. (note; I had also just eaten a burrito.) So, I have no photos establishing a baseline. Believe me when I tell you that I had a flat belly up until somewhere around a week ago.

Week 10, Dolores Park (10/6/13):


Since we happened to choose such a beautiful and iconic San Francisco location for the first photo, we decided to keep it up. My belly will be like Flat Stanley only more like Rounder and Rounder Me. Today, we were in North Beach to have lunch and play Scrabble with our dear 80-something friend H and B took this photo of my belly with Coit Tower in the background when we were walking back to the car.

Week 11, North Beach (10/13/13):


I honestly didn’t think we’d be here already! I thought it would be weeks longer before there would be anything to see. It’s obviously very exciting and relieving to have emerging evidence that this is real and progressing. (And if anyone is holding on to maternity clothes waiting for the right time to send them my way, the right time is now! Thanks!)

A few big developments this week besides working my patootie off:

  • If all goes well, I am planning to have a homebirth. Inspired by my sister D, who gave birth to both her daughters at home (ask 2yo S where she was born, and she says, “the dining room!”), and my mom who had three natural childbirths in the hospital with no drugs, I’ve read a ton over the past year and feel well-informed and excited about this choice. I know it’s not for everyone–homebirth is still, as my midwife-to-be called it, “the fringe of the fringe.” But it is where I personally will feel safest, and I feel strongly that that’s exactly where every woman should be.
  • I met my midwife-to-be, I’m going to call her Bee. She came to my house for our initial consultation and I totally fell in love with her as I knew I would. She came highly recommended from every source I checked, including trusted friends, and her Yelp reviews had me sobbing, (“we consider her part of our family,” “we can’t wait to get pregnant again so we can work with her again!”) She is warm and has one of those smiles like a ray of sunshine. She sat cross-legged on my sofa and answered my carefully-researched list of questions one by one. She gave me a bear hug on the way out.
  • One of the coolest things about working with a midwife is that prenatal appointments are at home. She’ll come and check the same things an OB would, which takes maybe 5-15 mins, and then she stays for an hour and a half to chat about changes, nutrition, anxieties, and just to get to know each other and develop our relationship. I love that. For the birth, there will be two midwives, an apprentice, and probably also a doula, plus tbd family/friends/birth partners.
  • The amount of prenatal testing and ultrasounds I want to do is up to me, as is pretty much everything else. A big shift for me–the midwife presents the options and lets you decide.
  • I wanted to hire her on the spot but she more or less insisted I talk to others as well so I am an informed customer. So, I have another appointment on Tuesday but I can’t imagine liking anyone as much as her. I have calls in to five others but no one is calling me back, which I take as a sign.
  • On Saturday, I went to the free monthly Homebirth 411 workshop at Natural Resources, led by Bee. There were five other women there with varying size bellies. We watched a video of a home water birth in Sausalito which totally blew my mind–it was very calm and after the baby was born she was very playful, splashing her arms and legs in the water and looking around. Incredible.
  • As I was putting my shoes on to leave, this other pregnant woman J started chatting with me. I felt Bee kind of hovering behind us and when I said, “OK nice to meet you, maybe see you around at prenatal yoga or something,” Bee interjected, “See, now this is where you exchange contact info.” We laughed and exchanged info, and I ended up giving J a ride home, and we talked a lot and made plans to go to prenatal yoga together. She’s 4 weeks ahead of me. I haven’t even hired Bee yet and she’s already helping me create community = awesome.

And, to end this post with a bang: I WENT RUNNING yesterday. For the first time since before the embryo transfer in mid-August. I had just received my latest Runner’s Magazine and thought–it’s time. I had no idea what it would feel like.

It felt SO good. At first, a little rusty and sore. Even though I haven’t given myself an injection in over two weeks, the injection sites behind my hips were painful with each step. But not so much that I couldn’t enjoy it a lot, I got in the groove, and by the time I stepped into a eucalyptus grove in the Presidio, I just kept saying, “thank you, thank you, thank you.” I’m surprised, actually, how fit I actually felt after being a slug for two months straight. I drank a lot of water and walked up most of the hills. But I was running again, in my same old running clothes, with a little teeny belly that no one would ever notice but me. I was completely wiped out the rest of the day. A little running will go a long way.

And that sums it up. Feeling tired, hungry, and so grateful.

Have a wonderful week, my dears xo

anxiety, Buddhism, dating, family, gratitude, meditation, outdoors, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, writing


I came really close to writing this at 3:45am as I was in the living room having a middle-of-the-night snack for the third night in a row, but wisely decided to go back to bed. Now it’s 8:25am and my living room is blazing with sunlight. I’m sitting in my purple loveseat in the corner bay window with my back to the sun–it’s not high enough yet to shine onto the screen. I can see the shadow of myself on the sofa across from me, twirling its hair, thinking.

Yesterday, I went on a glorious hike at Lands End with my friend K. She told me about attending a retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh recently and how she had multiple epiphanies while there, realizing that she never has to be scared again. Then, as soon as the wheels of her plane touched down at SFO, real life came rushing back with all the fears and stresses of real life, and rather than staying mindful she found herself spending hours and hours catching up on the final season of Breaking Bad.

This sparked so many important thoughts for me. In a flash, I sort of had the same epiphany–we’re stuck in the mire of fear-thinking so much of the time, and for what? Does worrying make anything turn out differently? Does anxiety give us more control? I awakened into that moment–to my own fears, to the warm, sunny air, to the vibrant colors of the ocean, the cypress trees, the families out walking, the parking lot closed due to the federal shutdown. As long as we are mindful, we can choose; and we can choose not to be afraid.

In the next moment, I started cataloging my fears and realized just how scared I am, all the time, about so many things. Absolute baseline is: is the baby OK? I just read in What to Expect that a common feeling in the third month of pregnancy is, “Still, a sense of unreality about the pregnancy (‘Is there really a baby in there?’).” Symptoms are real, and also maddeningly variable, but the interpretation of what’s actually going on inside is extremely virtual. After seeing the heartbeat, it’s much more real, confirmed by medical technology. Then, as time goes by between appointments, more and more uncertain. I find myself making bargains with whoever’s in charge, “If the baby is OK, I can deal with anything else.”

But let’s discuss the everything else, because it’s not insignificant. While it would be imprudent of me to write in detail here about work, let’s just say that in the past week it has become clear that my job will be exponentially more stressful and difficult between now and the end of the year. I really wish this wasn’t happening now, but it is, in my first trimester, and I have to power through. There is no partner to lean on or less stressful job to apply for, this is the deal, this was part of the bargain. I can do it, and I will, but it makes me tremble like a little girl with monsters in her closet.

And what about once the baby is here–what if I can’t do this job? What job will I do? Recently, new SMC mom C who runs her own business looked at me across a café table and told me how well set up I am with a corporate job and benefits. Yet what about the travel, stress, long hours? So many trade-offs. I dream of a more flexible work schedule but remind myself that I choose to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Of course I think I deserve a year off to figure it out… (Kickstarter campaign? Move to Canada?)

Then there’s the wildcard of–what if I never meet a dude? K just told me about a woman she met who was 4 months pregnant as an SMC when she met her husband on Now their kid is 14. I am taking exactly zero steps to solve this given its relative low priority at the moment, but it’s still big fear that somehow I will continuously make wrong turns and not bump into him for decades longer.

As I sat in the dark at 3:45am wrapped in a blanket, eating cereal, and looking at my laptop blinking on the coffee table, this post started to form in my mind, in the voice of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. A small, vulnerable, scared voice. I am scared of all this! And I didn’t even add in all the random terrible things that can happen, to me or those I love, that are the inevitable last stop of the fear spiral.

K and Thich Nhat Hanh remind me that everyone, EVERYONE, lives with these fears, about money, work, health matters, relationships, family issues, etc etc and if you don’t then it’s because the bottom has never dropped out, and it always drops out eventually. We all have a choice when we’re mindful and present. Am I OK, right now? OK. Call off the fight or flight. There is a lot to be grateful for.

With this post, I am manually shifting into feeling more like a strong woman who acknowledges her fears, her almost complete lack of control of outcomes, her commitment to doing her best with whatever arises, and her faith that things find a way to work out. And things are great today. I woke up 10 weeks pregnant. I put my hands in prayer to say THANK YOU for another beautiful day in my amazing apartment with a baby on the way and everything I need, including you, my dear readers and community of lovebugs.

May your Sunday be fearless. xo


anxiety, dating, family, IVF, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

believing it

For my 8w3d ultrasound, I was 71% as nervous as my ultrasound two weeks before. Less nervous because I definitely feel pregnant (hunger, fatigue, etc.) but still nervous because who the heck knows what goes on in there??

Dr. T. quickly confirmed that all is well! I saw the heartbeat right away and he clicked here and there and announced that the baby is 23 millimeters. Which is quite a lot bigger than a raspberry which was my most recent fruit of reference for 8 weeks. Which also means that it more than tripled in size in two weeks. Good job, everybody!!!

The monitor wasn’t at a good angle for me but my sister said she clearly saw the shape of a little baby flash on the screen multiple times. I really never saw anything discernible, so my sister drew a helpful outline to show the position of the baby on the printout:



This printout with the outline makes it more real to me than anything else so far. Because that looks like a baby!  (I didn’t post the previous ultrasound because it looked more like a lentil.)

Time stops in these moments.

I told Dr. T. that it was a bittersweet moment, being my last appointment at UCSF after a long road, and he said, “You have frozen embryos, you’ll be back.” I also asked him if he delivers babies and he said that by coincidence he just stopped last week. Maybe so we can finally date? (Meanwhile, dating is the actual last thing on my mind.) I thanked him from the bottom of my heart and he said I did a good job.

So, I have cleared every last UCSF hurdle and while I do still have 3.5 weeks until the end of the first trimester, I AM breathing a sigh of relief. Because you never know in this life, but it’s looking great.

It feels momentous. Now, when people congratulate me or drop off maternity clothes or give me advice, I will more fully believe that this is ME we’re talking about, me and the little outlined character above, not a fictitious story or daydream or what-if scenario. It’s still a process and we still have a long way to go…but today was a big step toward being a real pregnant lady.

I feel grateful and sleepy and awe-struck and soon I’ll be hungry again even though I had two lunches. Good times.

Thank you, UCSF, Dr. T., Olga, the nurses and embryologists, Maria at the front desk. I am bringing cookies for you all in the coming weeks.

And now I enter the next phase of my prenatal care: finding a midwife. Please pass along your recommendations!!

Weeks and weeks ago, when I first moved into my new apartment, my sister brought over a “CONGRATULATIONS!” helium balloon and for some reason it’s still flying high. This afternoon, it hopped off a side table in the breeze and planted itself squarely in the doorway.

I came home to that repurposed congratulations. Another reason to believe. xo

anxiety, family, IVF, outdoors, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

how it feels

It’s a sleepy Saturday night. I went on a gorgeous 5+ mile hike today with my friend C in the hills north of Mt. Tam–more exercise than I’ve had in weeks. Afterward, I had high hopes that I would come home and be wildly productive in my apartment but have only managed to nap, eat a box of mac and cheese, get halfway through making soup, and watch a West Wing episode. I am so low energy. I think it’s curtains for tonight, I’m on my way to bed after this post.

I’m not yet feeling licensed to be overjoyed and also not completely drowning in fear but somewhere in the middle, somewhere in the process of gradual acceptance and gratitude for each day. It’s natural to be cautious and realistic and also have moments of bursting joy. I also know, objectively and scientifically, that my stats are great and this is most likely a go.

I visualized the heartbeat scene so many times beforehand–either way, I would obviously burst into tears. But when it happened I was quite simply flooded with so many emotions that I was almost incoherent. As I waited on the table for Dr. T. to come back into the exam room, I tried to breathe and calm myself but some tears escaped early. He came in and the next thing I knew he was saying, “there’s a heartbeat!” and I registered that these were the magic words I was dying to hear and pushed myself up on my elbow to survey the screen full of abstract shapes while he pointed out the flicker (so so so tiny). Then I don’t know what happened but I laid back down and put my hand on my forehead and he asked if I was going to hyperventilate. I said I didn’t think so.

In the follow-up conversation, my sister caught everything important that the doctor said and I remembered almost none of it, That’s why it’s really important to have someone with you at these and all emotional doctor’s appointments–how are you supposed to track data when your world was just hanging in the balance and somehow didn’t come crashing down?

So when people texted me afterward about the joy of seeing the heartbeat, I responded that my predominant emotion was relief. I also saw the beginning of the second embryo’s gestational sac with nothing inside it so there was a moment of loss even in the joy and relief and overwhelm…also a sense that I narrowly missed both the heartbreak of putting only the one that wouldn’t have worked, and also the double-joy and double-anxiety of having twins. Mixed with immense gratitude and love for the fighting spirit of my embryo with a strong heartbeat and perfect measurement.

Tomorrow I will be 7 weeks. Babycenter says it’s the size a blueberry now and all the organs are forming, the beginnings of hands and feet and eyes. It’s truly hard to comprehend, in the way that it’s hard to comprehend the universe going on forever. And of course I just hope that it’s all happening as it should.

Pregnancy symptoms are in effect. On Monday after work, I was reading on the bus when all of a sudden I had to promptly get off at the next stop to get fresh air and walk. So far, the nausea hasn’t gotten too bad and is just a signal that I need to eat–of course I had always heard this from friends and it’s kind of fascinating to feel this unique hunger/nausea (although not pleasant). I may be honing in on a specific craving as today I noticed I had pizza for breakfast, grilled cheese for lunch, and mac and cheese for dinner. Bread and cheese anyone?

Beyond that, I’m just going to bed early, not exercising much at all besides walking, munching on snacks throughout the day, and feeling pretty incapable of doing anything else besides work. Sometimes I accuse myself of using this as an excuse to be lazy, but when I find myself dry heaving or falling asleep at 6pm while getting dressed to go on a walk, I know I’m really not making this stuff up. My body is trying to grow a human. Thanks to Dr. B for giving me permission to prioritize rest over exercise and also to eat whatever sounds good rather than trying too hard to be healthy.

On the other hand, I really REALLY want to get my place in order and if anyone wants to come over and help me hang pictures and/or organize my closet, you are welcome anytime and will be given ice cream.


anxiety, fertility, IVF, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC


One blessed heartbeat! Oh, the suspense! Nearly killed me! Pure terror going into the appointment!

We have ONE embryo measuring 7mm in my uterus with its heart beating 158 beats per minute. It’s a miracle.

Dr. Tran is “very excited and optimistic” about this pregnancy. Everything looked perfect. Of course, there’s still more critical first trimester weeks to cover–I go back in 2 weeks for one more scan and then I’ll graduate from UCSF.

I am breathing again though. Thanks for all the support and encouragement–that was my hardest appointment yet.

One! So perfect! What I was aiming for by putting in two but what a gamble!

I’ll write more later and with a photo of the flickering lentil. ❤

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

the faith and the love and the hope

I’ve been hesitating to write lately, not sure what to say until the definitive results of Wednesday’s ultrasound. Then I realized that whatever is at the core of that hesitation is itself something to write about, so here I am with a cup of tea.

I suppose I’m afraid of sounding too triumphant or too full of dread when I really don’t know yet who’s in there, where they implanted, or if their hearts are beating properly. So much is still unknown.

We have a lot going for us:

  • we transferred two
  • both embryos tested genetically normal
  • my beta numbers were high

And yet: everything depends on Wednesday.

I’m not especially feeling triumphant or full of dread, managing to walk a line of relative peaceful neutrality as I exercise mildly, eat impeccably, and sleep up a storm. Buddha willing, I will maintain this as Wednesday approaches.

Olga made a point of telling me that Dr. T. insisted on doing this ultrasound for me, which of course I found reassuring. My sister will be there by my side. We will look at my uterus on a screen and see with our own eyes who has taken up residence.

I keep putting this in the plural and I know the top question on everyone’s mind is: one or two? Interestingly, I’m not as fixated on that question. My fervent wish is that I have greater than or equal to one.

On Friday, Walgreens let me know that my refill on estrogen patches would cost $300. I called my insurance to find out that if you order the same drug more than three times from a retail pharmacy, they consider it a maintenance drug and ping you $225 for not using their mail order service. And of course I needed it for Sunday night. So, I posted on the SF SMC listserv and asked if anyone could spot me some patches to tide me over.

The response was overwhelming and generous. Responses from all over the Bay Area. Responses from friends out of town (B wished she could remember where they were in her apartment, J offered to describe to me how to break into her house in San Rafael). I was instantly and deeply aware of this amazing community of hundreds of women to which I am connected.

I chose the offer that was located closest to me, a woman I met over a year ago at an SMC meeting. We quickly ran through our histories and statuses–we both miscarried last summer. We’re both on our second IVF transfer. And we’re both pregnant–she is 4 weeks ahead of me.

She confided about her anxiety that something will go wrong–she is trying to manage her stress and having a hard time, going to ultrasounds every 10 days, obsessing over reaching the magical 12-week mark when you’re more or less out of the woods.

She said that her acupuncturist reminded her not to resist the anxiety, but to surrender, to feel the fear and the pain of past loss and how hard it is to live with uncertainty, let it flow. It was a great reminder to me–honor whatever shows up. Awaken to the present moment. Sit and breathe. Be present with what is. My prescription from the universe.

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the 
                                          ~T.S. Elliot
anxiety, fertility, IVF, meditation, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

today’s beta

I spent the weekend peacefully and then this morning found myself back in the center of the fear spiral–anytime there’s an inbound call coming from Olga I seem to have more than a little PTSD. Understandable, right??

I sat with my phone on my lunch hour waiting, heart pounding. I watched the usual time range of her call (1:45-2:15) come and go. I noticed an email in my inbox called “How to Let Go of Fear and Live Life with Courage,” and read it. It helped a smidge. It got me to breathe. (I copied it below for you–it’s lovely.) Fear spiral! What if what if what if! I finally had to go in for a meeting, turned my ringer off. Two minutes after turning the ringer off, I checked the phone one last time–a voicemail! I ran into a conference room.

Olga: “Hi, it’s Olga calling from UCSF, how are you? Your number went up nicely, congratulations! It went up to 7,504, so that’s fantastic!”

AHHHHHHH! The number is great. I haven’t googled my beta numbers because they seem high but there’s a huge range and all will be determined at the ultrasound. I called Olga back and she was totally pleased and congratulatory and wanted to know if I have an OB lined up (haven’t done one bit of research and it’ll be a midwife) and we scheduled an ultrasound with Dr. T. on 9/11, at which point I will be 6 weeks 3 days, and I will find out how many babies we’re talking about.

Which means today I am 5 weeks 2 days.

And you won’t believe what that means: counting backward, Day 1 would be my birthday, July 28.

It’s a birthday miracle!! xoxoxo!


How to Let Go of Fear and Live Life with Courage

Fear is sticky, like glue. The initial emotion of fear may only last a few minutes, but if we let it linger, it can get stuck in our system for days, months, or even a lifetime.

The sensation of fear is effective if it protects us from real threats. The fight-or-flight reaction has helped humans escape life-threatening dangers over the millennia. But in this era of thinking, creating, and problem solving, our fears are usually unfounded. And when fear sticks in our system, it becomes a toxic influence on our choices, emotions, and actions.

Here are a few tips for getting fear out of your system:

1. Label it.

The first step is to simply notice your fear. As soon as you feel that tightness in your chest, just say, “I’m feeling afraid.” By labeling the fear, you separate the feeling from who you are. It is just a sensation.

2. Accept it. 

Once you notice your fear, don’t judge yourself for feeling this way. You’re human; to feel fear is part of our DNA. Instead, be proud of it–if you’re feeling fear, you’re likely pushing your comfort zone and fighting the good fight. Let the feeling flow through you.

3. Let it go.

This is the hardest part, because a part of our mind feels safer clinging to the fear. It feels productive, and we worry that if we let go of the fear, it’ll sneak up and catch us off-guard.

But there’s a difference between being aware your risks and clinging to fear. Let your fear go, and like a passing rain shower it will soon dissipate.

4. Focus on the present.

Most people dwell on future outcomes (that will probably never happen) or past failures (that don’t define who we are). We can avoid useless fear by instead focusing on the present.

How do you get present? By stopping right here and now, and taking a breath. As soon as you feel that knot in your stomach, stop everything you’re doing and just sit with it. Turn off your phone, step away from your computer, and take three breaths. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.

In that pause, you can let the fear run its course. And once the storm has passed, you’ll move on, stronger and better equipped to face life’s challenges.

With gratitude,

Jesse Jacobs, Founder
Samovar Tea Lounge


anxiety, family, fertility, IVF, outdoors, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait


Sitting in the blazing sun in Justin Herman Plaza, I looked up into the blue sky and said, “please.” I had only the tiniest flicker of hope.

Then I listened to Olga’s voicemail which was already 40 minutes old.

“K! it’s Olga! I have great, great, great news for you! You are pregnant! Congratulations! Your number is 998 so that’s a fantastic number, we like to see a number of 100 and above so you are right right right on target. Congratulations, so happy for you! I can’t wait to tell Dr. Tran.”

And then I had to listen to it 3 times before I believed it was real.

And then I hyperventilated and cried and speed dialed my family. And then I called Olga back to see if that means twins. She said it’s a “definite possibility” but also could be a singleton. She said that she and Dr. T. high-fived when she told him the news.

And then I celebrated with a grilled cheese sandwich and smiles.

We are off to a good start and have already cleared many initial hurdles. An unexpected miracle!

Amazing how my reaction never changes; even after all I’ve been through I am 110% excited.

One day at a time, and so much gratitude for this day and all the love around me. xoxoxo

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


Here I am doing laundry at a coin-op laundromat flashing back to laundromats of my past such as in Paris after college which is probably the last time I didn’t have laundry in the building. No, wait–I didn’t have laundry in the Mission but by then I was a wash ‘n fold connoisseur. I may find myself going back to wash ‘n fold but for today I needed the clean laundry pronto and plus am trying to save money. Ironically, when I lived in NYC in the tiniest studio of my life, I had a stacked washer/dryer in the closet which makes me cry with longing when I think of it. This honestly isn’t so bad though (especially with a car)…it gives me time to blog (free wi-fi!) and I’m even sitting on a bench in the sunshine.

I was a little nervous going into the weekend because I reserved the whole thing for unpacking and yet knew viscerally that I needed bigger distractions as I near my test date. I posted on Craig’s List that I’d have free boxes and packing paper available on Sunday which gave me a deadline to get out of boxes, or at least most of them. I woke up and read a story from my Dear Sugar compilation (Tiny Beautiful Things, highly recommend) about how Sugar went to a yard sale at 22 with her mom and noticed a sweet little red velvet dress for a toddler. She found herself wanting it, inexplicably, since she didn’t even know if she wanted kids. Her mom offered to get it for her (it was $1) and told her to put it in a box for later. Three years later, Sugar’s mom died. Ten years after that, Sugar had a baby girl. She found the box with the dress and thought, my mom bought this dress for the granddaughter she’ll never know. Then, seeing her daughter wearing it on her second Christmas, Sugar thought, my daughter is wearing the dress that her grandmother bought her at a yard sale. It was about the meaning of things, and how the meaning changes over time. This made me cry for 20 minutes.

Then, driving over to my old place to meet the piano movers, I heard the song that goes don’t you worry, don’t you worry child. See heaven’s got a plan for you and I burst into tears again. All of this to tell you that I’m hormonal and there is a lot of change to process, the end of an era, the beginning of a new one, and not knowing yet if this try worked or not.

I was just talking to my sister about how I don’t deal well with unstructured time. I spent the rest of the day maniacally unpacking, not stopping for food or water or fresh air, just unpacking my ass off and reading old journals as I set them on the bookshelf, remembering such heartbreaks as my camp counselor B (forbidden), my on-the-fence-about-kids ex-boyfriend N, and my on-the-fence-about-me ex-not-quite-boyfriend M, remembering my dating patterns in three quick dips into my past. And here I am at 40, unattached and on my 11th try to get pregnant, um, remind me–how did this all happen again?! Or not happen? At 10pm I fell into bed with The West Wing and had work stress dreams all night.

(Meanwhile, the place is looking great.)

FET#2 has been the opposite of FET#1. For #1, by this time I was almost cocky, eating for two, etc. Everything throughout the two week wait revolved around the two week wait. I was sleeping and eating perfectly. I had relatively low stress.

This time, not so much. I’ve been stressed, exhausted, and distracted. No routine since the move. I feel nothing much. Whenever I’m hungry, I’m just hungry. When I’m tired, I’m just tired. And when I’m weepy, I am certainly hormonal, likely from the estrogen patches and the progesterone shots. And just because this time is opposite still doesn’t mean it will work.

Driving over here, that Pink song “Try, Try, Try” came on the radio as the sun broke through the fog. My fiercest hope is that I can think of this try in the context of the bigger picture–that it’s all part of one unpredictable and ongoing story as I pursue an ordinary dream, that my babies could be these ones or the next ones or ones after that and this whole long period of trying will have great significance in ways we cannot yet imagine. The meaning has yet to be revealed.

The meaning for today is: the two week wait is not for sissies.

And with that, I will take my warm laundry home. Love to you all.

anxiety, fertility, IVF, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait, writing

transfer and transition

Hi! I have thought of you often, readers, and how it probably seemed strange that I didn’t post after my transfer. Alas, I am still thumbing it on my phone; the internet self-installation didn’t work, the technician who came today couldn’t get a signal, and they’re supposedly sending someone to the actual telephone pole to fix it tomorrow…I’ve been hanging at the (24hour!) Starbucks around the corner but using the time for work. So it’s time to tap out a slow post in a constant battle with auocorrect in order to send you an update.

The transfer went perfectly. My sister arrived to pick me up and a moment later the doorbell rang again and it was a dozen roses from dear friends M and T. Just then, the valium kicked in and we coasted over to UCSF where we already knew the drill.

We ran into my genetic counselor whose last day in that department was the next day and she hugged me and emphatically promised that I WOULD get pregnant this time and it WOULDN’T be twins. She totally TOTALLY promises.

B didn’t come into the room with me this time because she had a cold. Everything about this try feels laid back, it’s all good, no superstitions or good luck charms or anxiety. Just taking the steps. B worked on her laptop in the waiting area.

Dr. Z was great, Nurse Angela kept rubbing my arm and telling me I was perfect. I was warm and stoned. They gave me this photo of embies #2 and #3 and said they are beautiful, textbook, and survived the thaw with flying colors. Here they are:


I love those punks!

When Dr Z said, “Think good thoughts,” it felt like my very first try, when what’s her name said the same thing and I was filled with love. We watched on the monitor as a little drop of fluid containing the potential for two future humans was dropped off in my uterus. And that was that.

Oh: they redid my paperwork so it wouldn’t include the genders but we can safely assume it was two boys, two girls, or a boy and a girl.

On the way out of the dressing room, I ran into Dr. Tran! Wait, what? He was even in scrubs so why he didn’t do my transfer I will never know. He also rubbed my arm and wished me luck and looked handsome as per usual and was a generally good omen. Then I went to acupuncture which I slept through entirely, and came home and went to bed at 6.

Since then, I have been wildly distracted by work, unpacking, a wedding, and did I mention unpacking? The kitchen is done, I still have to unpack clothes, books, and the bathroom. I forget about being PUPO for hours at a time. This may change, but for now it’s good. Hoping it holds as long as possible, 10 days to go.

I joined the JCC! They have an amazing gym near my house! All the SMCs are doing it because they have 100+ classes (cuban dance! kickboxing! yoga! swimming!) and child care.

I am floating along, loving all the changes. Amazing how the universe plucked me up and dropped me here.