anxiety, biological clock, dating, depression, fertility, IUI, meditation, outdoors, pregnancy, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, writing

blue

I landed in SF last night and got into a cab driven by a surly Russian driver. The sun was setting over the city, casting a rosy glow. I experienced my first undistracted moments in over a week, and the tears came. Looking out across the bay, remembering how hopeful I was on departure. Feeling overwhelmed by the upcoming anniversary of my trying. Feeling overwhelmingly stuck in my current life circumstances. Just plain sad–the sad caught up with me (which, as I’m sure you know, it does each and every time you postpone it).

I believe that my grounded sense of peace of the last few weeks is still there, and that I am fundamentally OK, but my circumstances are getting seriously challenging. I’m still in some denial about the overall number of tries as I just keep plowing through them, ticking off days on the calendar and fiercely looking forward. The truth is, I have to be ready for this not to work out. I’ve started contemplating that possibility for the first time ever. One cannot do unlimited Clomid cycles and one also cannot afford unlimited IVF.

After a good night of sleep, I woke up feeling about the same. I knew I had to pull out every tool in my therapy toolbox. I checked everything off today: reading in bed, meditation, spa with my sister, sunny lunch, bought a new book by Pema Chodron, napped on the couch in the sun, went running at Lands End, bought groceries at Trader Joe’s, made myself a healthy dinner. Now I’m writing. I do feel a little better.

As with all the other disappointments, it really triggers the dating one. I feel so lost on this subject and realized this morning that I’m having a hard time even visualizing a great guy coming into my life. He’s done a really consistent job recently of not doing so, which is therefore much easier to imagine. Eckhard Tolle would say this is a problem. So, I’ll work on it. I am filtering for the negative right now, panning for sand and letting the gold through. I know I’m doing it. It’s chemical, it’s automatic. Eventually, I recognize the mental traps for what they are (negative thoughts), and move on, but it’s going to take a little time.

I’m letting you in on the dark side here, folks. I know I sometimes shield it from the blog because on some level I know that feeling sorry for myself is ludicrous, and boring, and will make me sink faster than quicksand. But it would be wrong to say I have a sunshiny outlook at this exact moment. I am trying like hell to get back to gratitude. Grateful just to be alive, to have the opportunity to experience exactly this.

If I had a zen master teacher, he or she would say at this point, “Now, things can get interesting.” I know it’s an opportunity. I know the journey is the point. I know the book will be more interesting if there’s an epic struggle.

So, what’s the big picture? Well, of course, I’m on Clomid, which makes some people crazy, so that is likely contributing to my shade of blue. One more night of that and it’s back to growing the follicles as big as possible, for which I simply try to rest and de-stress. My ultrasound is Friday. I can’t believe this is my last IUI.

In the meantime, I am taking to heart your outpouring of love and assurances and faith. Don’t stop believing.

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

clarity

This is my 100th post. I feel exactly as committed to the solo mama project as I ever was. Even before I consciously decided, this mission was bigger than me, bigger than the Grand Canyon.

I remember reading my friend B’s blog after her first IVF didn’t work, scanning frantically for signs of hope. I couldn’t bear to see her lose hope, and when the first ray of light came through a few posts later, I breathed a sigh of relief. She’ll keep going, thank God. I knew she would get there.

Of course I am war weary. I’ve weathered some dark terrain. What is so mind-blowing to me so far is that I keep bouncing back. I keep putting one foot in front of the other, marching through the steps. Clomid for 5 days. Sperm transport. Ultrasound. IUI. Reminds me of the imagery of this Gotye video  Your Heart’s a Mess I’m on a difficult and unrelenting expedition, trekking through a murky world, joined in solidarity by a cast of quirky characters (that’s you).

Today, the paramedic resurfaced, apologizing for Cuddlegate and begging for another chance. A few days ago, a problematic friend I had a falling out with two years ago wrote to say she wants to get back in touch. To them both, I say no. There’s a part of me that misses them. But the part of me that shut them out of my life is now guarding the door like a bouncer. I am stronger.

Tonight, I was finishing up the black bean and hominy polenta recipe my sister D recommended (delicious) and watching the now-famous Jodie Foster Golden Globe speech (I thought it was lovely and not too crazy), when my Skype phone rang on my iPad which could only mean that A was calling from Colombia. She reminded me that the love you seek is already here. And, as a new mom, she recognized the single-minded focus of my ttc process as the precursor to what she is now experiencing as motherhood. Which makes me feel much more connected to the bigger picture rather than spinning my wheels.

As I was talking to her on the Skype phone (without video, because I have a first generation iPad that will crash), a comment popped up before my eyes from my friend C: “I just KNOW that your body can do this. It’s your mind that has to stay strong…and you have more strength than most people I know. Translation- you’re gonna be a mama. It’s just a matter of time.”

Now: it can be really hard to hear “it’s going to happen” when something isn’t happening. But what choice do I have but to believe and believe hard that my will of steel combined with the wonders of assisted reproductive technology and the oceans of love offered to me from this community will all add up to bring my baby into this world?

The women who’ve been through more losses, more unsuccessful tries, more expense and devastation: they are here commenting, they are pregnant, they are moms. They inspire me to keep going “no matter how rocky it gets.”

I realize now that last year’s new year’s resolution was to get pregnant. Careful what you wish for: I got pregnant three times. This year’s resolution: to have a baby.

I have thrown myself into fitness over the past few days, this chemical pregnancy’s equivalent of a bender. I went to boot camp. I ran for 2.5 hrs. I trained with my trainer this morning and will hit the climbing gym later this week. My body is strong and it’s making important decisions for me. I’m not in charge–it’s up to the lightning bolt in the sky and the mysterious inner workings of my biology. All I do is pop two Clomid and try not to overly stress.

As I get ready to post this, a comment pops up from A on my iPad: “Watch this before you post.” And now I’m in tears and it’s the perfect ending.

 

biological clock, fertility, IUI, meditation, ovulation, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

the plan

After my last post, I dove into work headfirst. I made the rounds to my few work friends to let them know that my good news from the night before was reversed. They were ready to prop me up if I needed it. All the comments on the blog and texts made for bittersweet reading, everyone so incredulous…we thought that was the one, didn’t we? It took a matter of hours for the news to sink in, a process of syncing my conscious brain with what my body already knows, a process I have now gone through three times.

In the most painful moments of absorbing bad news, it is tempting to stop hoping, to lose faith, to really want to give up. It makes sense; if you burn yourself on a hot pan, you reflexively pull your hand and probably your whole self away from the source of the pain. How could I be so phenomenally unlucky…maybe this wasn’t meant to be. Maybe I will land, against all odds, on the wrong side of the odds, every time. Maybe the doctors will observe me as a medical mystery, not able to sustain a pregnancy and no one knows why. Maybe this is not my path.

When these voices get going, it is so reassuring to hear friends counteract them: “Don’t lose hope.” “Thinking of you.” “Sorry the process is so difficult.” “Just know that you are inspiring.”

I am proud that I didn’t fall apart or even halfass the conference–I did my job, I smiled, I stepped outside for five minutes of fresh air. I went on a group run the morning after I got the news. I had oatmeal from Starbucks and a glass of wine each evening. I got through it and found a way to thrive even as a sad song played in the distant background.

So, I haven’t really “processed” last week’s news yet with all the distractions of the past week. Occasionally a tear leaks out. But my chin is up.

I’m looking ahead: this afternoon, I met with Dr. Tran.

At this point, it may seem to an outside observer like I’m experiencing recurring pregnancy loss which must point to a “problem” that should be “fixed.” However, the most likely scenario is that I’ve been conceiving with eggs that had chromosomal abnormalities, something that is correlated to age. I happened to get three out of the last five. I am sure this is my issue and that it’s just (still) a matter of getting the Good Match. Here are some more things I learned about options:

  • I could do the full panel of tests for recurring pregnancy loss now (or: in 4-5 weeks because you have to wait that long after being pregnant). However, Dr. T. feels it’s overkill right now. He’s not worried about the fibroid in my uterus or clotting syndromes or a septum (whatever that is) or immune responses or all the serious and rare conditions that can stand in the way of pregnancy. These aren’t conditions that cause chemical pregnancies per se; they cause miscarriages at later stages. And he is worried that if we do the tests and get one of these results, the interventions will be extreme and possibly fruitless. He really doesn’t want to go down rabbit holes prematurely (and neither do I).
  • I could do the saline test of my uterus to see if the surfaces are ready for an embryo. (They would do this one before IVF.)
  • I could do a karotype to see if I have any abnormal chromosomes in my DNA. Not sure what I would do with this info until IVF. At that point, embryos can be genetically screened, it just costs more and may not be covered.
  • I could do progesterone suppositories, which is what a lot of women swear by on the boards. He said there is no harm in doing it so if it makes me feel better I should do it. But he didn’t seem to think it would make any difference.
  • I could change donors. But he doesn’t think this has anything to do with it–the donor is clear. He has established pregnancies and births. I’m sticking with McPiercy.

I have certainly gotten some medical details incorrect as I am recapping this from memory, but that’s the gist. I trust my doctor and he’s telling me that I am one of the lucky ones: I get pregnant easily. I have high ovarian reserve. I just have to hang in a little longer. And I have a plan.

The Plan:

  • Olga just called to say that this morning’s blood test was negative so I am cleared to try again this cycle.
  • Today is Day 1. I’ll start on Clomid tomorrow or the next day. Ultrasound Day 10. Trigger shot.
  • Two more medicated cycles, then IVF. The main impetus for IVF is my waning emotional stamina and my age–my eggs are in decline. Let’s get this show on the road. He says my IVF prospects would be high.
  • Pray, meditate, run. Rest. Get outside. Love.

 

biological clock, dating, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

may i be kind

At a time when we gather to celebrate gratitude, I entered this week not feeling particularly grateful and in fact feeling low-grade frustration and even bitterness. And fighting it–judging myself for it (“I shouldn’t be feeling this”), pushing it away, rejecting what is. Easing up on work and spending time with family mean that difficult emotions held below the surface finally rise to the top. The lurkers come out into the light, ready to arm wrestle.

At the end of my last work day before the holiday, the tension was broken by a series of gchats, emails, and phone calls from key single girlfriends who finally got me to cry, to make all the sad lists of things not working, to say it out loud. I got back mountains of love and reminders to be kind to myself, to lean into it, to feel these feelings. You are courageous, you’re doing your best, don’t beat yourself up. Uncanny how aligned was their wise advice from across the world, my far-flung friends, always ready to send reinforcements across the airwaves. (love you!)

So what’s the state of the union? The conference went fine but I had to go to the doctor for a UTI two days after arriving, followed by this mysterious digestive issue of a few weeks ago that has returned. Even while feeling run down and unwell, I was still in go-go-go mode. At these types of events, there isn’t one minute for you. Every minute is spent preparing for the next focus group, event, meeting, presentation. I ran on the treadmill at the gym once and felt so zapped of energy I only did two miles and some of it walking. This rarely happens to me.

Unexpectedly, I also was getting waning attention from the Moroccan. We were texting for the first couple of days after I arrived but I noticed that it didn’t have the momentum or intensity that it had. His last text to me was “Il pleut des cordes ici” (it’s raining cats and dogs here). That night, my last “bonne nuit” went unanswered and I left it there. That was five days ago. Loin des yeux, loin du coeur.

And, the big one: I’m still not pregnant as I approach the end of the year, the beginning of the year I’ll turn 40, the anniversary of my decision, after six tries and record-setting emotional highs and lows. Sometimes I’m so patient and fine with this journey and other times, when I’m disconnected and pulled in a million directions, I start to feel resentful. A good barometer is whether I am able to be happy for others in their ecstatic pregnancy news and lately the answer is: not really.

Spending time with my nieces (who are 4 and 1) reminds me over and over that, to quote the Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” It happens 85 times a day as they go through the struggles of not being allowed to munch on the remote control or have more dessert. It starts on Day 1. We have a lifetime to practice being at peace with what is. And it TAKES a lifetime of practice.

I didn’t want to write this earlier because it was such a dark tangle. What good does it do to barf up a neg bomb? How do I redeem this post with some kind of positive conclusion?

I know, you’re saying–you don’t have to. Don’t impose a happy ending, tacked on, disguising it in witty word play. Just be honest.

Well here’s the truth: I am back to being my own kindest friend. When I find myself being critical or judgmental, I think of Tara, “May I be kind.”

Remember the sick baby of my previous post, the one in the hospital who needed me to hold her and give her an abundance of love? I think the baby was me.

biological clock, dating, IUI, meditation, outdoors, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

life

IUI #6 happened Saturday and for the first time was done by a Eastern European male nurse practitioner who mechanically told me step by step what was happening and smiled at me like we shared a secret. I asked him how my cervix looked and he said, “normal.” (I was looking for something more like, “fertile.”) Notably, he told me to do whatever I wanted for the rest of the day, and I said, “Really? That’s the first time I’ve heard that.” He said there was nothing I could do to affect the outcome. I think he represented the most medical and least psychological perspective on this, and rather than going for a run afterward, I went home and took a nap.

That night, I went to dinner and a Halloween party as Zombie Cinderella. After borrowing the lovely costume (because it looked nice and was a quick and easy solution), I soon realized my error as I contemplated actually walking around the Mission in this un-ironic get-up. Not to mention the fact that this particular fairy tale irks me more than any of them, and so does Disney for fanning the flames of expectation among little girls who grow up dreaming of being rescued by the perfect man. Then we all learn the hard way that no man is perfect and no one can rescue you from yourself, and lives continue to unfold in all their glorious imperfections well beyond the happily ever after. I still believe I’ll find my Prince Charming, but he will be imperfect and our life together will have highs and lows, starting with the fact that I might be a member of the AARP by the time he gets here. Meanwhile, I stopped at Walgreen’s for zombie makeup and watched a YouTube video on how to achieve a “freshly dead” look, putting a new, irreverent spin on this iconic character, and it somehow worked. My poor friend who loaned me the costume and just married her Prince Charming mustered a, “Somehow you still look beautiful…”

The next day, I did a day-long retreat at Spirit Rock, focused on nature. The whole thing was outside, under a bough of trees in the golden hills and clear blue sky. We sat in a meadow as the sun rose behind our teacher through the trees, then moved to the other side at mid-day to stay in the shade, watching as the sun set behind him. In the middle, I took a big nap during the lunch hour. There was a woman there who resembled the girlfriend of a guy from my past and I was sending subconscious resentment her way without realizing it. Later, in the group of about fifty, she happened to be sitting next to me when it was time to get partners. One of us closed our eyes while the other led us around gently to something in the nature around us–a rock, a tree, etc.–and put our hands on it, letting us explore it for a while without using our sight. We were mostly silent or whispering or giggling as we went through this exercise which sounds so basic but is very sensual and bonding and exciting. I was so intrigued that this woman to whom I had attributed this tangle of hurt feelings turned out to feel like a friend and a sister as we walked together arm in arm like Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan. I felt truly awakened by that experience–compassion, connection, loving-kindness.

Then we won the World Series, again! Unlike two years ago when I was out partying in the streets, I was asleep by 10 despite the cars honking and revelry outside. Then the hurricane stopped everything coming out of New York and I am totally catching up on work (and hoping all my east coast friends are doing fine).

Meanwhile, Baseball Guy from Friday night hasn’t called, which is unexpected considering how I thought it went, but you just never know with people, do you? The Moroccan is back, texting up a storm, but we can’t ever seem to coordinate on a time that works for both of us because he works evenings. And, introducing Mr. Hawaii, who found me online almost a year ago–we became facebook friends which is usually a mistake but in this case has allowed me to get to know him passively over time, and he feels like an old friend. He’s a naturopathic doctor. He just emailed me that he’s coming to SF after Thanksgiving! So…finally we will meet.

Meanwhile, I’m considering giving up dating for a while. Can I just can the whole thing and be content with my friends and family and work and my maybe-zygote? Is it time for a guy-atus?

biological clock, dating, donor sperm, fertility, IUI, ovulation, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

potential

I’m in the hours between a promising first date and an IUI.

Fascinating, isn’t this? Here is a window into my thoughts, “But when he finally came around, would he be able to love the child as his own?”

Even I know I’m getting ahead of myself. But I did pause in the bathroom thinking, “Should I tell him tonight?” (When I got back to the table, he had outed us for being on a match.com date to the girls at the next table over. They giggled and wished us luck.)

Then I remembered there’s nothing he could do to talk me out of it. I got to this point, age 39 with waning fertility, because of waiting. Waiting and bad matches. And: chances are actually pretty high that things won’t work out with him AND I won’t get pregnant. Not to be pessimistic, just helpfully realistic. I don’t have to start juggling a baby and a boyfriend tomorrow. Unless I get really, really lucky.

I was talking to L on the phone just moments before walking into the bar. She said, “Are you excited?” and I said, “My mouth just went dry. I think so.”

He walked in, instant rapport. He lives up the hill, plays baseball, works in tech, and considers himself a lapsed Buddhist. Somehow, he pulled off a royal blue sweater vest. I didn’t realize he was ambiguously ethnic until he mentioned his dad is Sri Lankan. He has three older sisters. When I asked about his career aspirations, he said he just wants to make enough money to be able to hang out with his kids. (follow-up question: do you have to be the bio dad?)

Intriguing how they all want to be babydaddies now that I have McPiercy.

He paid for my beer at The Page and my dinner and beer at Fly Bar (yes, I bent the no-alcohol rule since it’s IUI eve). He fired many thoughtful questions and listened intently as I answered. I noticed early on that he brought out one of the best versions of me. He kissed me on the cheek and gave me a hug and…it was nice. (Dad, was that too much?)

Then I drove up to Marin to visit D and J and borrow one of J’s zillion Halloween costumes. I landed on Cinderella. It would be too easy (and nauseating!) to make this a sign that I’m headed for a fairy tale ending, and plus I don’t think I believe the fairy tale anymore, which makes my costume choice a bit problematic. I just want a nice guy to hang out with. If he turns out to be a Prince Charming who loves to hang out with my kid, so be it.

Finally: He asked me to think it over and let him know if I want to see him again. I said, “Ask me out again!” (Was I supposed to play it cool? I’m thinking yes. Sigh.)

Tomorrow is big. I *will* call the sperm thaw hotline before 8:30. I will put forward my best effort to begin a new life. Then I will party till the clock strikes midnight.

biological clock, dating, fertility, IUI, ovulation, parenthood, pregnancy, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

on the eve

It’s that one night a year in San Francisco when I wish I had a fan. The whole city is officially Way Too Hot, and we don’t deal at all well with this. Our tolerable temperature range is anything between 60 and 70 degrees, and that’s about it. On the street outside, people are stumbling around in confusion–it’s simply shocking to not need a sweater. I’m sweating and eating ice cream up in my stuffy apartment, hoping for a breeze through the open window.

Can I just say how grateful I am that my cycle has kicked back in like motherfucking clockwork on Day 15? Smiley-face today. I called Olga, and I go in tomorrow for IUI #5. At 11:15am PST, in case you want to say a little prayer for my good egg.

I had the perfect evening to mark the end of my TTC hiatus, including sushi and beer and catching up with a dear old friend with whom I hadn’t caught up in many months, so I didn’t even know she was having fertility dilemmas of her own. I knew I’d be telling her my story, and my story was that much more relevant since it resonated. Her story made me remember my own long and difficult road to the big decision, what a process it was; whereas now it’s such a solid fact that I could hang my hat on it. I savored her questions and hoped she’d read the blog.

It got me reconnected a little to retell it. Mostly, I’ve felt like “my head’s not in the game.” I had to set my alarm in Outlook to remember not to pee, and again to remember to pee four hours later, on the stick.

It was kind of a rough weekend. The Moroccan chose a weekend in Santa Cruz over our coffee date–touché. I decided to “quickly” sign up on match.com, forgetting the existential process of creating an online dating profile (an hour later, I had a screen name). Also: I discovered that I had forgotten my car in a downtown lot for 4 days ($160), tripped on a curb and fell on the sidewalk in front of an uncaring crowd, and worked alllll day on a Saturday. Wah.

Predictably, when I finally got myself to run from the Beach Chalet up past the Cliff House to Lands End, all the way up that staircase, all the way down the other side to Sea Cliff and all the way back, I felt fine again. Can I please remember from now on that I always always always feel better after a run?

Today is Monday but I’m drunk on two beers and contemplating my remaining hours of peace.before the two week wait. I don’t know how I feel really… still a little disconnected, and I hope that turns out to be a good thing when the crazy train pulls up a week from now. I keep finding myself listing out my trifecta of goals: to be promoted, to find a guy I like, and to get (and stay) pregnant. I’m trying my best in all three categories, and my new mantra is: SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

Stopping in the corner store tonight for ice cream, I came upon a dad and his 4-year-old picking out ice cream flavors. The dad was reading them out and the kid bursts out with, “VANILLA!” like it’s absolutely the most exciting flavor ever created. His dad handed him a pint, which he carefully put into the basket of his bicycle with training wheels while his dad went to pick out a bottle of wine. Then, the little boy walked up to the cat sitting on the check-out counter and said to him quietly and meaningfully, “So, how’s your night going?”

My heart swelled as I remembered why I’m doing this.

biological clock, breakup, dating, depression, pregnancy loss, single mom by choice, SMC

into the waves

So many people have let me know that they are inspired by my positive attitude, but let’s be honest: there is a huge negative attitude right behind it, two sides of the same coin. Most days it’s a choice: will you be grateful for what you have or resentful about what you don’t? Today the negative is overwhelming me. I spent the last two days with it packaged up in a little box so I could get through work meetings. You wouldn’t have believed it if you saw me: I was smiling, joking around, leading interactive presentations, drinking margaritas. I was surfing a big wave of emotion but always staying on the surface. I wasn’t even aware I could do that. It reminds me how many people are doing this all the time.

The very minute I was alone at the end of the night, I fell off the surfboard and into the waves. Today is the D&C. Today I just feel sorry for myself. It’s a big pity party over here. On top of the sadness of having a miscarriage, I am feeling the lack of a partner who clears his schedule to help me through the next few days. Thank god my sweet friend M is going to be with me for the procedure, and there are so many people there with me in spirit that it will be a very spiritually crowded room, and despite my negative outlook today I am hugely grateful for that.

I am so sad to let go of my ‘belly buddies’ as they continue down the pregnancy timeline and I fall off of it.

My dad has a strategy in tennis where he pretends he already lost and got another chance to win: pressure’s off. After weeks of anxiety and worrying and hoping, I finally lost. The thing I most feared actually happened. After talking to Dr. Tran on Monday, the conclusion is that nothing is wrong, we’re just waiting for a good match of sperm and egg. I had this stunning realization that this scenario is mirroring my dating life: bad match after bad match.

If I carry the tennis analogy through, I now have another chance to win. Which is true, and I will try again. I’m not giving up. I mean, I got pregnant 2 out of 4 tries and only started this in April–let’s keep it in perspective. All you have to do is watch the Olympics to know that you just keep trying.

In other news, the latest guy to ask me out is my friend’s ex-husband who wrote to me all about how crazy she is and by the way would I want to go out with him. Who are these people? Where is my good match????

At dinner last night, I overheard a co-worker (really beautiful, talented, sweet, single), say “Well, I’m 40 so I probably won’t have kids…” and I did feel even more resolved to keep trying as I nonchalantly sipped my first margarita in months. But this morning the disappointments feel cumulative–starting with the heartbreaks of my 30s, the BFNs, the poppy seed, and now the lentil. I just got a late birthday card from my ex-boyfriend’s parents…we broke up almost 10 years ago when he couldn’t commit, and now he’s married with a kid. Is there a way not to directly blame him for what I’m going through?

The Buddha would tell me to sit with it, all of it, and I’m sure that’s what I’ll do.

biological clock, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

today in a little more detail

The universe smiled on me by sending my gay bf in from NYC precisely when I needed him, again. If you’ll remember, last month he was here for the good news, the test, and the bad news. This month, he flew in on the same Delta flight on Sunday afternoon, I picked him up, and I said, “Let’s try this again.”

Somehow the gods and goddesses are coordinating his itinerary with my biological clock.

Yet again, he sat with me in the waiting room at the lab. I was called in by Nataliya (noting the “natal” in her name), an older Russian woman with a sweet manner and lots of smiles. I told her I was hoping for a good result, and she said, “God bless you. One woman came back here, she told me I was her luck.” I said, “Well, I hope you’re my luck too!” and she said, “God bless you,” again. This type of exchange never hurts.

After leaving the lab, we passed a pregnant lady on the street. I told J that I think it’s good luck, and after that we saw 7 other pregnant ladies. On the drive in to the office, a long, powder-blue 80’s-era powder-blue stationwagon nearly pulled into my path but stopped. I decided long ago, for mysterious reasons, that this exact car was a sign of good luck, and there it was.

I got through the morning, distracted, and around 1pm I went to lunch w/ J. (Did I mention we work together?) While sitting outside eating salads in the momentary sunshine between bouts of fog, I checked my phone and saw that Olga had called. She took forever to get to the punch line! Silly Olga! In the end, it was positive. A positive test! I pumped my fist in the air uncharacteristically. We called my mom.

Again, got through the work afternoon (it’s weird how you can just go into work mode as if nothing is different and then it keeps hitting you like a bolt of lightning), went to work out with my trainer/life coach, and ended up back on the phone w/ J on the way home. I said, “Thanks again for coming with me today, it really means a lot to me.” He said, “Sweetie, it’s only $300 round trip. I’ll be back when you’re looking for apartments, when you’re moving, when you’re shopping for clothes, for Valentine’s Day…” Could this man be any more of an angel? He’s coming with me to the blood draw on Wednesday morning as well. Fingers crossed for a doubling.

On Sunday, while spacing out at my kitchen table, I noticed some crumbs I hadn’t wiped up before heading out on vacation. Then I noticed there was a poppy seed. And a sesame seed. And a caraway seed. I lined them all up on my grocery list to show you the scale of my developing pod–seemed like another wild coincidence that these three (and almost nothing else) would be hanging out in my line of vision.

Grateful and hopeful for these next steps of development from my current early early status of 4 weeks and 4 days.Image

biological clock, IUI, outdoors, parenthood, pregnancy, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

vacation

OK, that was a bit of a hiatus now that I’m on vacation–needed a break from the computer. At this moment, I am on the balcony of my parents’ place in northern MI and, even as we speak, I’m being summoned to paddleboard with my dad or take my niece to the beach, so much to do up here at the peak of summertime. But I’m taking a little time to write. I’m looking out at a placid Lake Michigan, one solo obnoxious boat breaking up the peaceful morning and buzzing around like a mosquito, a hazy sky and golden morning sunlight from behind me. A cool breeze. I dream of this balcony when I’m away.

Picking up where my last post left off. The evening of my IUI, I went over to the East Bay to have dinner with my friend C. Four years ago, we met on a Yosemite trip as part of a big hiking group, and I learned that this was her “last hurrah” before starting to try to get pregnant on her own. Although this was four years ago, I was already starting to have inklings that I may not find the right babydaddy in time, as I was then dating a guy not that seriously because I knew he didn’t want kids. At a party a month after the trip, I got a bigger download from C on the experience–she had gone through one round of trying and had just found out it didn’t work. She told me all about the national organization Single Mothers by Choice, the actual nitty-gritty process of getting oneself knocked up, and the onslaught of emotions following one failed attempt. I was fascinated and taking mental notes.

After that party, C’s journey suddenly went in a wildly different direction when she started dating the guy whose party it was, and after a few months they decided to get pregnant together. And they did get pregnant (on the first try), and had a baby girl. We fell out of touch after a little while.

About a month ago, I felt compelled to reach out to her to let her know what a big influence her experience had on me. Once I was ready to become an SMC last fall, I knew exactly where to go. She wrote back to tell me that my timing was coincidental as she and her baby’s father had just decided to separate (super amicably and gradually) and she was preparing to be a single mom after all. We started making plans to get together–lots to catch up.

Mere hours after my IUI last week, I headed over to the East Bay, and was greeted at the door by pretty little two-and-a-half-year-old S, who promptly looked up at me with wonder and said in two-year-old-speak, “You’re an angel!” I blinked and asked her to repeat that, and she said, “You’re an ANGEL!” Then she insisted that I take off my boots and join her on the couch for some jumping. According to her parents, this was not her usual drill with new friends, and I was honored.

Of course, I took this to be a cosmic sign. It was wonderful to catch up with C, to hear her whole story of pregnancy and birth and her overwhelming love for her girl. She offered to be a resource and support and I am excited to be back in touch.

The next two days I spent frantically preparing for the trip (mostly wrapping up work), got up at the crack of dawn on Sunday to fly 4.5 hours to Detroit then drive 5 hours up here. I’ve spent much of the past two days sleeping–sleeping in, naps, other naps. Decompressing. You just don’t know how much compression is in there until you let it out.

The big highlights here are my nieces, who are both nonstop cute and fun and fascinating: E is turning 4 and S is 9 months. E has taken to calling me “KK” (I’ve graduated from “Tata Hot,” which she called me as a baby), and her grandpa is now “Chatmo,” for reasons only she understands. S will look up at you and bestow a smile that is like the sun bursting out from behind the clouds. They are a blessing. Of course, it’s wonderful to be with my parents and sister and bro-in-law too. 🙂

Yesterday, I went running on the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail that recently opened up and is a big deal around here. It goes from Glen Arbor through the National Lakeshore land to Glen Haven and all the way to the Dune Climb. Chatmo was my SAG Team (Supplies and Gear) with water and snacks in his pack. I did 8 miles at a mellow pace, and we sailed along through the old-growth trees in the leafy shade and at one point a big deer bounded in front of us on the trail. She stopped and looked behind her and then took off again, followed by a dramatically prancing fawn.

I am 7dpo (days past ovulation) and calmly transitioning into the final week of the wait. I feel calm, surrounded by support (including my parents’ downstairs neighbors the W’s, my cheerleading squad), and that it’s just a matter of time.

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Happy 4th!