anxiety, breakup, dating, family, gratitude, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

time

Baby E is 12 weeks old today. Does it feel like 12 weeks? Yes. And no. What can I compare it to? So many quiet moments and slow days but when looking back it seems like the time passes quickly.

My mom and I just watched the birth video (which she recorded on my iPhone) for the first time. First of all, she recorded it beautifully, keeping the frame perfectly centered on my vagina for almost an hour. Plus the video includes about 20 minutes of post-birth bonding time. It’s feature film-length with pretty nonstop action–the pushes are obviously productive, the chatter in the room like a chorus of female positive assurances, and there I am yodeling like a jungle woman. I had tears running down my face each time we got closer to seeing the sweet little face we’ve come to know so well.

We heard a gurgly newborn version of E’s current cry and watched him move his body in heavy slow-mo as if it were full of beans instead of bones. The intensity of his dark eyes was already there, and his big hands pawing at my chest. We laughed out loud as I, not once but twice, called out the complicated password to my iPad between pushes so the med student Kacy could continue to hold it up for me as a mirror.

Incidentally, if anyone knows of a way to get the video from my iPhone to the cloud or a computer, please let me know. I’m so terrified of losing it although I’m not sure baby E will ever in his life want to stare at my vagina for that long.

I came upstairs after watching to find him sleeping angelically in his sleep sack, a more rounded and rosier version of his newborn self. These days, his built-in superman curl (cowlick) is still going strong. He’s holding his head up pretty steadily and just today started really focusing on grabbing a toy dangling above his head. His hands, once spastic, got slow and steady, and, after a decent amount of crying in frustration, finally grabbed that damn owl’s tail. He loves his mom. He takes mini-breaks from nursing to look up at me adoringly with a big smile.

Whenever I’m here at my parents’ place in northern Michigan, I feel like it’s kind of a time-out from real life and therefore a good time to be reflective. It also feels like all my previous reflective visits are piled one on top of the other so that I’m experiencing those memories often throughout my days here. I remember bringing various boyfriends over the years. When I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I remember taking a break in there from a middle-of-the-night argument with a boyfriend who had started having second thoughts about ever wanting kids. Then I remember how I signed a lease on an apartment to try to coax a boyfriend of four years into living with me (didn’t work), and how I made plans to quit my job and travel the world with the Alaskan (didn’t happen). I remember feeling like I could not could not could not get my life to move forward.

And then I decided to have a baby on my own. In retrospect, all these guys were poor matches and necessary steps on the way to Dr. Tran and baby E.

And, as my sister B says, it’s so clear that I found my path. What poetic justice that by being overly dependent, I learned to be totally independent.

This 5 weeks in Michigan is almost up, and the time has passed at a comfortable pace. When I’ve come for a two-week vacation, I could never wrangle it to go slowly enough. But five weeks is substantial enough to relax and stop watching the clock or calendar. E got to absorb a big dose of this family he has joined, thanks to the miracle of nature and UCSF, including his cousins and aunts and uncles and Mimi and Chacha and a whole lotta love.

And my maternity leave is about 60% complete, which is a clock and calendar that I would slow way down if I could. But how? Did anyone see this video if the little girl sobbing because she doesn’t want her baby brother to grow up? Sadie doesn’t want her baby brother to grow up

The paradox, of course, is that we want him to grow up and go off and live a meaningful life, but that also means eventually losing these baby cheeks and moving out of my bed. Wah!

I just finished reading Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown, in which she talks about how joyful moments can open up a feeling of vulnerability. The answer is to use this as a trigger to remember to practice gratitude, which keeps us in the moment. I love this!

And I’m pretty sure it’s the only reasonable way to slow the whole darn thing down.

xo

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breakup, dating, outdoors, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait, writing

peace

I love how whenever I don’t post for a few days, someone says, “So, have you not blogged in a few days?” and it makes me feel loved.

I had planned on writing tonight and then realized I left my computer at the office…so I am pecking on my iPad listening to Elgar Enigma Variations and will be keeping this short since I want to be in bed by 9:30. Trying to go to bed earlier and lay out my clothes the night before so I am leisurely and relaxed, have time to meditate, and get places when I meant to instead of 30 mins later.

My weekend was super awesome. I’ll list the things I did although nothing was too extraordinary and I spent a lot of time by myself. On Fri I worked out with R and then went for a run along the Embarcadero and around the ballpark. They’ve installed LED lights on the vertical cables on the Bay Bridge, tiny white lights that shimmer and create illusions of clouds going by…and the moon was right above it, and it was a warmer evening and Friday and I was running and everything was in its right place. Here is R’s stunning photo of the bridge from the gym (borrowed with his permission for minimal royalties):

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Then I had a fancy dinner with dear friend C at a restaurant where I used to go with my ex so many years ago and never went back… Reclaimed!

Sunday I had brunch in Palo Alto with my former assistant who ended a long relationship and got laid off two weeks later, and I was so proud to see that she has picked up the pieces, applied to grad school, and is leaving California. She is more self-assured than ever. The boyfriend just wasn’t in a hurry to get married after four or five years together… I’ve been there and I know the misery of it and the strength it takes to leave. I got all teary over how much she’s grown up.

I came home and got work done that had been hanging over my head. Baked blackberry scones, watched the West Wing.

Saturday I ran six miles at Crystal Springs Reservoir on the Sawyer Camp Trail in the chill morning sunshine, then went to brunch with the four women I’ve become closest to in this journey to single motherhood, all of whom are amazing, independent, successful women, all of whom I feel so lucky to know. The men of SF are simply jackasses if we’re all single. So we go on without them and make the lives we always wanted. Two of the women are prego now and of course the fantasy is that we will all have babies in succession and be huge support to each other, and maybe live in a big house where the men visit for sex but we have all the rest figured out.

Came home and slept for 2 hours on my couch in the late afternoon sun.

Totally feeling symptoms although it’s too early so there isn’t much more to say. I have a giant underground pimple on my chin where I normally don’t. I’m sleepy. I’ve completely disengaged from online dating. Just read an article about what you’re supposed to include and not include in your profile and it included, “Don’t talk about your career because guys are easily intimidated,” etc. Barf. Count me out. For now, anyway. I’m fine, thanks.

I recommend this article called Finding Hope After Miscarriage that made me feel normal–this woman got pregnant four times in a year before finally carrying a baby to term. Some women get pregnant easily and it doesn’t stick and no one knows why. And then there’s a happy ending. Read it here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/finding-hope-after-miscarriage/?ref=health

Sorry I can’t do a nicer link on the ol’ iPad. And it’s 9:32 so this girl better wrap it up. Happy birthday, D. Good night

breakup, dating, IUI, meditation, pregnancy loss, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

centering

I’m writing from a Mission coffee house crawling with hipsters, reminded of a recent “Some eCard” that said, “I’m 40 but still feel like I’m 20. Except for when I actually hang out with a bunch of 20 year olds and then I’m like, no, I’m 40.” What the hell are the kids wearing these days? I see an Amish farmer lady, a Solid Gold dancer, prints on prints on prints, and more big nerd glasses than I can count. It looks like Halloween down here, always.

Today tired me out. I started with therapy and realized, again, that this whole project burns up a lot of bandwidth in the background of everything else I have going on, even if my life appears to be humming along on the surface. My exes, the real ones I’ve never written about here, are all showing up in dreams, reformed and ready to win me back. I wonder why they are here now, and then, yet again, remember that I’ve gone through these losses. And it reignites all the other losses. This is hard work.

I went into my work day determined to be super productive–plow through the lists, do the hardest thing first, break it down into steps. Good intentions, then I got pulled in seven directions and even asked to re-do something I already did because it sat on someone’s desk and since then we have new sales data that will require new projections. My boss emailed me, “Good times,” and I responded, “I am crying. Not literally.” The real tears are not far behind.

I’m heading to meditation after this, after I finish this post and get myself some food somewhere along the way. I need meditation so desperately tonight. I need to sit and let the dust of the past few weeks settle. I need to remember that nothing turns out the way anyone thought, that there are disappointments and frustrations in any scenario no matter what, and there are always a million miracles to be grateful for. I saw a quote of Einstein the other day: “There are two ways to live your life: one as though nothing is a miracle, the other as though everything is a miracle.”

I know this. We all know this. We breathe, and we send love and compassion to the hipsters in funny outfits, and we remember that someday all the 20 year olds turn 40 (if they’re lucky), and we feel grateful for the smell of coffee and our laptop and hearing “Love Will Tear Us Apart” playing a little too loudly in the café. We are alive.

I am not the only one experiencing work stress. Or struggling to start a family. Or wondering when/where/if a Good Match will show up. I am not one wave separate from the rest of the ocean. I am the ocean.

Tomorrow, I go in for Round #8. We don’t know yet how I’m going to feel. We do know that it will mark the end of Round #7.

Tonight, I will rest. Tomorrow, I will get up again and reach for the stars.

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

new cycle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

breakup, outdoors, running

liebster award

As promised, it’s time to answer some questions that came from K on Return to Go, thanks again for my Liebster Blog Award nomination! Upon some Googling, I’ve discovered is sort of the chain mail of blogs, bringing more views to blogs with under 200 readers. I was REALLY into chain mail as a little girl (i.e. add your name/address to the bottom and send a letter or book to the girl on the top), so this is kinda fun.

Image

Here are the rules I found after poking around:
1. Each person/blogger tells eleven facts about themselves/answers the questions the other blogger posted.
2. Answer the eleven questions the tagger (blogger who nominated me) has posted, and then give eleven questions for the people you tagged.
3. Choose eleven people to tag and link to them in the post
4. Alert them to your tagging
6. Thank the blogger who nominated you

Questions from Return to Go with answers from me:

What is the last book you finished?

I just had to check my bedstand and my iPad to remember, because I’ve been in the middle of several books for a while. The last book I finished was Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott. I have mentioned before how I adore her writing–she’s a single mom, a recovering addict, a Christian, and famous writer, living in Marin. Her sense of humor and ability to make herself vulnerable in an endearing way make her writing irresistible. A recent quote from her facebook page:

I am still optimistic that Obama will win, mostly because of the current polls in Ohio and Iowa, but GOD, I hate this. I am not remotely well enough for this election. Also, I don’t think a steady diet of msnbc, Nate Silver, and candy corn is an optimal program for my hysterical princess self.

I avoided Traveling Mercies for a while because it’s on faith, and she’s Christian, and I thought it would be too churchy. But it was just the same as her other books–honest, raw, sweet. Today, I bought Wild by Cheryl Strayed, to learn about her wild times on the Pacific Coast Trail, which will likely push me further in the direction of becoming a park ranger.

2. If you were going to join the cast of any reality TV show, which would it be?

I had to really think about this one, since I can’t stand most reality shows and also don’t have a TV. I remember being fascinated by What Not to Wear–I’ve always loved the idea of someone with expertise in fashion going into my closet and forcing me to throw away unflattering pieces that I’ve had since high school and then telling me how to think about buying clothes for my specific coloring and figure. The hosts of the show were pretty much insufferable assholes but the skills would be practical! Till then, I’ll keep going to clothing swaps.

Would you prefer an old house that has been renovated or a brand-spanking new house?

I’m going to go with the new house, since I’ve lived in a 100-year-old apartment building for seven years and it’s impossible to get anything truly clean. I want shiny surfaces again!

What is the last movie you watched?

True fact: I barely watch movies when not in a relationship. Last movie was probably City of God, which I re-watched upon return from Brazil.

Do you live in a rural, urban, or suburban area and would you move to another given the choice?

Urban. Urban. Urban. With proximity to nature. I’m good!

Why did you breakup with the last BF/GF you dated before you met your current partner?

He wanted to travel the world while I wanted to have a baby. We were moving in opposite directions, although I believe that breakups are rarely for one reason–we just weren’t a match.

Have you ever been in a protest?

Many. One memorable one was when we went to war with Iraq, which would have been 2002? No one would go protest with me, so I joined the marchers in the streets on my own. Some people complained to me later that all it did was disrupt traffic, but what are you supposed to do when you feel so strongly that something is going horribly wrong? Raise your hand quietly and wait to be called on?

When was the last time you did something for the first time and what was it?

Today I ran to the top of Twin Peaks for the first time, discovering a rocky hilltop park with sweeping vistas and a grand staircase connecting two dead ends, neither of which I knew existed (within a mile of where I live–this city never gets boring).

If someone rented a billboard for you, what would you put on it?

Vote for Obama! And stop texting while driving. And breathe, and tell your people you love them, and enjoy the moment. (but written more succinctly, probably as a Buddhist quote)

What’s the best meal you have had so far in 2012?

That would be Zaza Bistro in Rio. We went two different nights and I can’t do justice to the meals and will just say go here for inspiration.

Where was your last vacation?

Brazil!

* * *

And now, to nominate 5 bloggers that I follow! Here they are. Please answer the questions above in your blog. Most of you are anonymous so I’ll just list the blog names here w/o your names. Enjoy, and thank you!

Candlelight and Pacifiers

All My Pretty Ones

Belonging Matters

Single Lesbian Mama

Grasping at Conception

From Beans to Rainbow Baby

Single Motherhood by Choice

Amy’s New Adventure

So Easy Homemade

Pedantic Princess

Bucket List Publications

Questions for you:

1. What would you do with a free afternoon all to yourself?

2. What is one of your guilty pleasures?

3. Who is someone you miss?

4. What is your favorite thing about your life?

5. What is your favorite post on your blog?

6. If you were on a reality show, which one would it be and why? (had to recycle that one)

7. What’s the next big item you want to check off your bucket list?

8. What’s the most coincidental thing that’s happened to you recently?

9. What was a life-changing moment in your life thus far?

10. What is the last book you read?

11. What is your biggest pet peeve?

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

no

I walked outside my building last night to find the Artist leaning awkwardly against his car in an unflattering sweater and I thought…no. Who can explain these things? It was just a big fat no from the first moment. After he did the gallant car-door-opening on my behalf, I sat in the passenger seat having a small panic attack that this was just all wrong. I gave myself a fast pep talk as he walked around to the other side: “Just let him be who he is and keep track of how you’re feeling. Breathe.” Small relief. Good conversation up to Golden Gate Park but too many peppered references to our already locked-down future together: Please always give me the benefit of the doubt. Our dates should always have a theme. It will be so nice to have someone to do things with.

We parked in the gloomy fog and strolled in to the Academy of Science. Once inside, looking in the aquariums, I longed for the simple life of a fish. It felt like such a big farce. This was just not at all the guy of my imagination. He gave me the strong impression he had not dated in a million years, or maybe ever. Just a rejection story from Burning Man and a conspiracy theory about a former boss… a theme was emerging of being wronged, misunderstood, victimized, the perennial single guy. After seeing the roof and the penguins, I announced, “Let’s get a drink.”

Over at the Alembic, I ordered an Old Fashioned, which can be trusted to take the edge off anything. He asked me what I’m looking for in a relationship. I told him, honestly, that I want to have a family. And, I kid you not, with a quick disclaimer that “I know it’s early,” he told me he would be an awesome dad. He asked if I was open to adoption because he’d been reading up on problems caused by “older dads” (he’s 38). He has always wanted kids and has even considered adopting them on his own. I was thinking, “This is totally nuts.”

I mean–how crazy that here’s a guy just begging for the whole enchilada and I’m on pins and needles hoping he doesn’t touch me. I ordered a second drink.

In the car, I thought I’d let him kiss me good night since it would be one last potentially important piece of information. The information was not good. The information confirmed my decision to let him down easy the next day.

Amazingly, when I walked back into my building, I felt relieved, happy, free, loving my single life. Feeling like I have a backup plan. I’m trying to have a baby without trying to make it work with some guy. I was light as a feather having had the perspective, yet again, of trying and trying to make something wrong feel right which is a huge exhausting burden. I won’t do it.

He didn’t know me at all and yet was ready to talk about being an awesome dad to my kid. It really wasn’t about me. And I caught it early. Success.

I sent the following email today:

I’m so sorry but my heart is telling me we’re not a match. You have so many great qualities and talents, and I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know you over the past week. I’m unfortunately just missing that intangible spark.
I wish you the best of luck in your search and in all things.
Today, my assistant called this message “breakup gold” and asked me to forward it to her to keep on file (she’s 26).
He was quite gracious in his response, so it was a friendly ending. I’m glad for that.
And I’m super glad to be heading at this moment to happy hour, then dinner, then dancing with girlfriends.
I’ll see the Moroccan tomorrow for coffee in North Beach at 11. I feel like I’m just getting warmed up.
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.

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

scrapes

I’m so appreciative that when I don’t write for a few days, I get nudges. “Hi! Time for blogging!” or “HOW ARE YOU?” or even “Well?????” Thanks for these implicit compliments (are you guys addicted yet?!) and for your support. It’s never a publicity stunt, just me trying to keep all the ducks in a row over here.

Today I went for a lunchtime run with lovely A along the Embarcadero. Every Thursday, we meet up in a total funk, change at the gym, burst outside into what always seems to be a gorgeous sunny day, and congratulate ourselves throughout the run for having the foresight and brilliance to schedule this recurring meeting in Outlook. We feel like a million bucks afterward. You wonder why people run? That’s why. Instantly, everything (and I do mean everything) is better.

Well, today we ran down past the ballpark, a grittier, emptier side of town, all the way to The Ramp, as far as I know the only non-touristy bayside outdoor restaurant in the city. We turned around to run back, and a little way up the road, I was talking, mistook a tree-root sized bump in the asphalt for a shadow, and totally bit it. The ground and I became one. I fell so fast that I didn’t have time to get my hands out and simply crashed and slid, for what seemed like a really long time.

When you finally stop and come to your senses, there’s always that scary moment of taking inventory. Let’s see… Two bloody knees, skinned elbows and left shoulder, cut and bruised left hand. Check, check. No broken bones. Phew! But now the blood is dripping, so… back to The Ramp to get cleaned up.

The really astonishing thing is that just about exactly a year ago, I took my first major tumble while trail running in the Oakland Hills, and I injured those exact parts of my body in the same places! I reenacted the same fall, only this time on asphalt (I don’t recommend this).

Last year’s fall was indicative of my new case of insomnia and brewing anxiety about my then-relationship that I didn’t yet understand. Today’s fall I blame entirely on the two week wait.

It just knocks me off balance, much as I try to keep everything rolling, happy, and healthy. I mentally added up all my waits to total 6 weeks out of the last 3 months, and even executing the math problem was powered by resentment. Quite apart from “I’ve only been trying for three months,” this process just takes a heavy emotional toll. Today is Day 25, the beginning of the end, and to answer your question, I’ve been doing OK (no crying) but I’m feeling a little sick of this mode, the repetitiveness of it, hard to shake that it could be just like this every time, that I’m leading you all on a wild goose chase. I’ve been feeling like AF is coming, and also like I’m a million miles from pregnant.

But, at the end of the day, I’m pursuing my dream. So that does go a long way.

I’m also feeling extra grateful to be on my own and not shackled to some lame dude. I went out again with unexciting guy. Guess what? He was unexciting. Some dear readers weighed in that they liked the sounds of him but I think there were two forces at play encouraging a misinterpretation: for one thing I oversold him as “cuter and taller than I remembered,” but notice I didn’t say “cute” or “tall.” Secondly, he was presented as a counterpoint to RV guy, whom I obviously should not have been pursuing, so it was easy for readers to root for his polar opposite.

I’ll tell you why I wont be seeing unexciting guy again: after two dates, he wouldn’t pass even the most basic pop quiz about me. Where am I from? Who’s in my family? Where’d I go to school? Where have I traveled? What’s my job? Do I play music? What are my hopes and dreams while on this blue marble? These, my friends, are questions that were not asked, because essentially no questions were asked. I compulsively filled the space that would otherwise have been silence (yes, I let a couple of silences go to see what would happen, and the answer is that it only brought more silence). Pair this with the texts I received afterwards: “Had another wonderful evening with you. Can’t wait to see you again!” Huh?!?! Who is this woman he’s interested in? Because he doesn’t know shit about me!

And so, we find ourselves back with a clean slate, bloodied and bruised, hopeful that all this holding out for a healthy, reciprocal, exciting, durable love will facilitate its arrival, in whatever form the universe decides to send it.

Meanwhile, I’m doing all my own stunts.

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

progress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

biological clock, breakup, depression, IUI, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

a little bit on how i got here

OK, moving nonchalantly into daily posting. I will act as though I didn’t already change the name of this blog 8 times since last night. doo doo dooooo

Except I did. But now I’ve landed on “the solo mama project: one baby step at a time.” I love it because it incorporates all the important aspects of my journey: I am choosing to become a mom on my own, and this is an enormous project that, like any enormous project, can only really be done in tiny steps. Baby steps. Every day, I have maybe one step to take. Later on, there may be several, or it may feel like all the steps need to be taken at once, or like stepping has turned into a big exhausted tangle. But that’s when someone will remind me to check back in with the Buddha who brings me back to the present. The path IS the goal, yo.

What led up to this decision?

When my last serious relationship ended last fall, I signed up the next day to become a member of www.singlemothersbychoice.org and began hatching my plan to become pregnant on my own. I had been so impatient for so long. This was the most recent of a series of relationships where my desire to be a mom had become a liability. The clock was ticking so loudly I could barely make it past the first date without verbal confirmation that he wanted kids “someday.” My ears were spectacularly calibrated to pick up even mumbled/drunk references to the possible future existence of his/our kids and/or any reference to settling down of any kind: saving money, buying a house, launching a business. I could piece together the future that I wanted for us (i.e. a family) based on these casual throwaway comments, and find out later, in the throes of the breakup, that he “wasn’t even thinking about that stuff.” The natural timeline of a relationship (for all of its better/worse elements) was ultimately usurped by my own body’s natural timeline and my body won but not without a lot of hardship–in those last few months of the relationship, I was barely sleeping, had nonstop anxiety, and, finally, depression. I was not on the right path, at all.

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been “baby crazy” in the sense of crying during baby commercials or hating all my friends with babies or going ballistic if there’s a baby in the room and I’m not holding it. Baby crazy in kind of a rational way. The fact is that women do not remain fertile forever. Technology has allowed women to get pregnant later and later but that’s no easy road no matter what the celebrity magazines report. My ex said plaintively, “Can’t you just keep running marathons?” Well, no, honey. That’s just ignorant.

My therapist has gently checked in with me about once a year for the last few years on pursuing the solo mom track: are you ready now to maybe begin researching what this would entail to do it on your own? And every year I considered and it with some distaste; it just sounded wrong. I wasn’t ready, wanted to keep looking, give the search for a partner a little more time. This time, I was ready. In fact, I was sneaking browsing sessions on the SMC site even before the breakup, as if I were cheating or looking at porn. I gave myself until the end of 2011 to finalize the decision, started meeting SMCs (Single Moms by Choice), researching sperm banks, looking at my insurance and finances. At the very end of the year, I took a solo trip to the Grand Canyon to have a heart-to-heart with the universe. We shook on it.

And where am I today?

Fast forward through starting up prenatal vitamins, getting checkups, going off all meds (including Paxil), getting set up with the sperm bank, and one missed cycle in March, and I have now had my first IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination). I am 6 days in! There is either the most joyful, magical, miraculous thing taking place in my body, or not. The wait is 2 weeks before a home preg test would show conclusive results, and I’m doing well with the uncertainty so far although the ladies on the SMC discussion boards uniformly go nuts in week 2.

In these months of planning, I have absolutely re-found my path. After all my struggles with insomnia last summer, I am now sleeping impeccably. I feel the full landscape of possible emotions and I use the tools at my disposal when they get overwhelming. One will be this blog, so please forgive me in advance for TMI and overdone venting.

Please stay tuned for Week 2: Crazytown!