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

20.88 million

IUI#8 went fine.

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

Phew. Sigh. Gratitude. Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going to bed early. Love to my sangha.

 

 

dating, depression, donor sperm, fertility, IUI, outdoors, ovulation, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, writing

patience child

Good morning, friends! We’ve made it out of a prolonged cold snap and now I’m sitting on my couch with the window open, sweet morning air and warm sunshine flowing in. I love this time of year when the sun rises further south and stays lower all day long, beaming its warm light into my apartment throughout the day.

Sunshine improves my mood measurably. I’m a Leo, ruled by the sun, and have always sensed my connection to my master planet since I was a child in Michigan fantasizing about flying above the seemingly ever-present clouds. On cloudy and especially rainy days, I wanted all the lights on in the house. In the Bay Area, I finally bought a car so I could blast out of the fog into summertime sun just 20 minutes away. I track the angles of the sun from hopeful morning beginnings to nostalgic late afternoons, revering the golden light of California glowing in the redwoods and the eucalyptus trees, noting how it represents both the passage of time and the timelessness of nature. I think about this a lot, every day.

As the world turns, so does my cycle #8 forge onward. I had my Day 10 ultrasound on Friday and found myself feeling disconnected at the appointment, barely listening or asking questions. I gather that there is one dominant follicle this time, measuring 14mm, with two slightly smaller ones that could catch up, measuring 10mm and 11mm. Or 11 and 12, I didn’t write it down. She said I’m about a day behind where I was last cycle at this time, which makes sense because I started the Clomid one day later, on Day 3. My lining is fine. So, trigger Monday and IUI Wednesday.

I also transported my third batch of guys over to UCSF last week, extremely awkwardly trying to juggle phone meetings with driving, picking up, parking, interfacing with office people, driving, parking, picking up, etc. I basically pulled it off but did at one point find myself illegally parked, having to pee, and waiting for the nurse to come take the box while managing a work phone call (again). Here they are:

kkc

Why “Dry Wall Shipper,” I have no idea. I also still have no clue why the box is so huge for three tiny sperm vials, but I will also likely never see inside the box to understand its inner workings.

While at PRS, I learned that McPiercy only has 5 vials remaining, forever. I’ve been sitting on this for a few days… I now own 3, but should I have more as backup, in the event that either this takes much longer than expected or I want vials in storage for a possible sibling? I’m not sure yet, but am hoping that on some subconscious level, the procrastinator in me will realize that we’re getting down to the true last minute and kick into gear: my 40th birthday is approaching and it’s time for this to work!

I have a cycle buddy in England whom I’ve gotten to know via her blog–it looks like we’ll both go in on the same day next week. Here is her blog: Single Motherhood by Choice. You must scroll through and check out her posts from Ovarian HQ–a photoshop of her ultrasounds with follicles as the main characters. I especially love the cheerleading squad, it makes me LOL.

Lately I’m having a hard time expressing how I’m doing when friends check in. It’s such a messy stew of emotions, it’s hard to say, I’m doing fine! or I’m depressed! or I want to give up! or I’m optimistic! even though I may feel all of these things at one time or another. I’m not sure if I’ve really processed chemical pregnancy #3 or if I need to. My frustration spills over into frustration with dating because these two life categories come together into one frustration snowball when they’re not working. If my heart isn’t totally in it this time, I think that’s fair. Pink has a new song called “Try” and it’s very repetitive and kind of brainwashed me yesterday while driving across the Bay Bridge. You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try. Over and over. It’s the only way it’s going to work.

Report on New Year’s Resolutions thus far: I am doing awesome. I’m undercommitting like a pro (I realized I already was). I’m getting outside and exploring new hiking spots. I’m writing almost every day. And I’m really close to being on time: I’ve narrowed my typical lateness window from 10 minutes to 2. Next: be early.

Last week, after my 2.5 hr run with R, I texted him to see why he hadn’t yet posted the photos he took of me along the run. He texted back “patience child.”

A good reminder for me. Patience…

Try, try, try.

 

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.

 

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

the year in review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2013: let’s get it on!

 

 

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

lucky #7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday!

 

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

prayer

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

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

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

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

Can I get a amen!

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

the reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

going with the flow

Second dates are a huge tossup. They are the swing states. Remember when my most recent second date was a big No from the moment I saw him? Last night, I was texting the Moroccan from outside Jupiter to say I had arrived and asking where he was (it’s a big place) and I got his response “sur la terrasse” and was finishing an email to KC about hiking the Lost Coast when he walked up. And he was a big Yes.

I noticed after my last post that I described him as a “mysterious man of mystery,” so something in my unconscious and sleepy mind’s description of him revealed a perceived double mystery and wanted to know more. I said that I was feeling “go with the flow” on this one, not wildly excited but with a pleasant feeling. Last night, my heart skipped when I saw him. He gave me a big smile and a hug and walked me back to the table where he’d been waiting.

On the whole BART ride over, and really the whole previous two days, I was feeling AF was imminent, and I was starting to wish she’d just show up already so I could at least have a beer with my pizza. But she was still MIA, so I settled on hot tea given that we were technically outside and under a not very hot heat lamp.

To describe him: he’s tall, maybe 6’2″, dark, and…handsome. He has a gentle voice and a big smile. Speaks English flawlessly with only the tiniest errors in pronunciation and many Americanisms like “taking one for the team” (to explain his drinking beer when I wasn’t–I told him I was detoxing), and telling me about a friend from Idaho who was always teased with, “Who da ho?” and she’d have to answer, “I da ho.” He came to the US on an internship for Hilton and has worked seasonal jobs all over the country (including Mackinac Island, twice), was married to an American for a while in Salt Lake City (thus the green card), and when they split he was ready to move to SF, which he has always bookmarked as where he wanted to end up. He got here eight months ago, waits tables and works on his computer science degree, saying that all his previous jobs/cities were fun in the moment, and now he’s ready to stop being seasonal and build a future.

He’s solicitous, kind of mini-waiting on me as he confirms I’m happy with the table choice, the menu, the heat lamp, serving me my salad. He congratulated me on Obama (I congratulated him back even though he couldn’t vote). He wants to go running but doesn’t know where to go. He’s been researching meditation groups and exploring places around the Bay Area. He drives a ’97 Honda Civic. He plays guitar and jams with friends at his favorite bar in North Beach.

I felt myself leaning further and further forward in my chair as if I were eventually going to pounce on him. He paid the bill while I was in the ladies room (no AF still). We stepped outside and I assumed I would take BART home but he offered to drive me, claiming to be meeting up with friends later in the city. Whether or not this was true, I accepted. On the way to his car it was really freezing and he put his arm around me. In the car, he put on nice acoustic guitar music, blasted the heat, and then kissed me. It was the kiss I have dreamed of. We made out for a while, parked under a streetlamp on the Berkeley campus. He said he enjoys every minute with me.

I did not expect my going with the flow to take me to such a sweet and unexpected place! He drove me home. He tried, gently, jokingly, all possible angles, as guys will, to get me to invite him in, knowing that I wouldn’t but that I wanted to. I left him there and walked in to my building, feeling powerful, and where anxiety might rush in (what happens next? what if…? etc.), I instead remembered that, for now, I’m just looking for a guy to hang out with, and found one, and felt glad and grateful. I’ll see him again over the weekend.

Went to bed and woke up at 7 to use the bathroom, feeling AF had landed. And there she was. Going with the flow ends in flow.

Quoting from a poster photographed next to Obama at the Chicago campaign office, “The definition of hope is you still believe even when it’s hard.”

And it IS hard, made harder by the fact that I now have to skip a month while I’m out of town. Yes, I can make a case for it being a good idea–I haven’t taken a month off yet in 6 tries including 1 chemical pregnancy and 1 miscarriage. Yes, I’m about to start a medicated cycle and need to take a class first on how to give myself a shot (a class that isn’t offered in time for this cycle anyway). Yes, the next 6 weeks are stressful with work deadlines and holiday travel. I just can’t believe it will be Christmas before I can try again. It’s getting old. I’m coming up on the anniversary of my trip to the Grand Canyon where I shook hands with the universe. Even my dear readers seem tired. This isn’t how any of it was supposed to turn out.

But this is my story, this is my flow, this is my lazy river. This is it, this is where I am today. What can I do but keep floating along and trying and hoping and believing and enjoying my precious time on this earth, greeting all of its surprises with equanimity, all the disappointments and all the loveliness…

I will be Buddha in a kayak, breathing it all in.

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

fantasyland

1. We Barack-ed it!!!!!!!!!! Go America!

2. I worked until 9:45pm tonight. It wasn’t awesome but it had to be done. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to pack running clothes this morning, so I was able to go out around 6 down the Embarcadero and around the ball park, pitch black. The air was cool and my body felt strong. Afterward, I picked up California rolls and fresh fruit and went back to the office for more number crunching.

3. Working late pushes my buttons because I enter this terrible vortex of space where it’s just me and the sound of the janitor’s vacuum cleaner and I keep plowing through work with intensity punctuated by facebook checks and pretty soon am resenting the hell out of all of it. But, tonight, I got shit done. The run really helped.

4. I’m reading a book called Wild which is about a young woman who hikes the Pacific Coast Trail which runs from Mexico to Canada. Just reading about the outdoors makes me long for it with some desperation. Why am I leaving my cubicle at 9:45 when I should be sleeping under the stars? Did I make a wrong turn somewhere?

5. Next thought is: sure, I could become a park ranger in Yosemite or hike the PCT but wouldn’t I become unbearably lonely? I must have people. Specifically my people and my people are everywhere but I’m afraid that in the wilderness there just wouldn’t be enough of them and I would long for the city even worse than I long for the wilderness now.

6. Next thought after that is: maybe there’s a compromise where I could have access to both. My fantasy situation moment: I have a little cottage in Marin. I think it’s the same one of my imagination where Annie Lamott was living when she wrote Operating Instructions. The sun is coming up and I’m sitting on a little deck drinking coffee and most likely there’s a baby sleeping inside and I’m a writer with a flexible schedule, nowhere to commute to, and enough money to feel serene. Everything is dewy and clear and fragrant. The city is 23 minutes away.

7. I have no idea why I’m making this a numbered list.

8. Tomorrow night I have a second date with the Moroccan. I met him over the weekend for lunch in North Beach, sitting outside in the warm sunshine. I did a pretty spectacular job of being in the moment and truly enjoying myself. Look: I’m out for lunch on a beautiful Saturday with a mysterious and attentive international man of mystery. Tomorrow night, I’ll meet him in Berkeley for dinner and live music–he’s a musician too. I feel go with the flow about it.

9. I emailed a bit with Dr. Hawaii and was getting really excited about his visit and then he suggested “lunch or early happy hour,” which disappointed me, thinking that’s what I say to someone I don’t really want to make time for, until I reminded myself that we have never met. I have a fully formed idea of him and we haven’t as much as spoken on the phone. Not to mention that if he’d suggested a late-night drink I would have been offended. So, I’d say his suggestion is appropriate. I have another fantasy which is us living together in Hawaii in a spa. That’s it: we live in the spa and lay around in sarongs drinking tea and looking out at the most gorgeous view imaginable.

10. According to my spreadsheets, my most average period is due tomorrow, and I really can’t tell you what’s going on in there because I don’t know. If AF is on her way (picturing her flying in like Mary Poppins with an umbrella and a suitcase), I hope she is at least a few days late, pushing my next cycle further out. Otherwise, my next ovulation is going to fall smack in the middle of a 10 day trip to the east coast. And guess what I’m not going to do? Ship McPiercy out for a rendez-vous.

11. I just finished a bag of gluten-free crispy snacks called margherita pizza flavored “Plentils.”

12. Stay tuned because any of these fantasies might deploy at any moment.

13. <yawn> good night

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.