birth, donor sperm, family, fertility, gratitude, homebirth, IUI, IVF, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive

once around the sun

I’m increasingly nostalgic as E’s birthday approaches. Today, May 4, was my due date. I watched it come and go and then spent another two weeks living in the surreal state of waiting and getting huger.

At this time of year, the sun travels more directly overhead. It rises in the morning, centered above the neighboring rooftop and shining straight onto my bed, where I lay like a whale last year. It sets in the evening, slanting through the kitchen window to the living room, where I sat on the couch and ordered omelets from my dad. Every day we waited, every day no sign. It was a happy time, yet, like so many things, not what I expected.

Now the sun rises, centered above the neighboring rooftop, and there’s a little person laying next to me going, “Gaba gaba gaba.” The sun sets, and he’s standing below me, raising his hands to be picked up, an expression on his face that says, “PICK ME UP” as emphatically as possible without words.

Tonight he correctly did two signs in context: he requested to nurse when he was feeling a bit distressed (I actually had him on my lap while I was peeing in an effort to avoid a big protest–he missed his afternoon nap today) and then during dinner he requested more blueberries. And when I suggest he find his blue car, he finds his blue car. When he wants to communicate in the affirmative, he says, “Yah.” When it’s negative, as demonstrated tonight when I offered tofu, bok choy, quinoa, and strawberries, he shakes his head vigorously. More blueberries.

One whole trip around the sun.

I decided to go see Dr. Tran. I know this seems out of the blue, but it’s not. I’ve been shy about telling you. There’s something about having a baby that made me immediately thing about #2, pretty much on a daily basis. Will this be the first and last time I experience all of these milestones? Will everyone think I’m completely off-my-rocker bananas for considering this much less going ahead with it? What if I never gave those frozen embryos, full siblings to E, a shot?

Let me first say that I’m 1000% sure that I want to try. And I hope that where there’s a will there’s a way. But there are a few hurdles to overcome here, namely the financials. And getting pregnant again. Which, let me remind you, dear readers, was not so easy the first time around.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves–I decided to go talk to Dr. Tran because when E was born I “gave myself a year” before thinking seriously about it. But what I most needed to find out was–with frozen embryos, is there any rush?

I met up with Dr. T. last Thursday in the shiny, sparkling brand-new Marc Benioff-funded facilities of UCSF that just opened in Mission Bay. I hadn’t seen Dr. T. in almost two years. It was like old times. As always, he looked handsome in scrubs.

I remember distinctly his last comment to me at my last appointment at 9 or 10 weeks pregnant: “You have embryos, you’ll be back.” It’s been ringing in my head ever since.

Upon greeting me in his office, he said, “Well, I didn’t think you’d be back THIS soon!” And I explained, bashfully, that this was purely informational, I wasn’t in any hurry. Just needed the information from him rather than trusting the internet or anecdotes from friends.

Essentially, he said that there’s no rush on the frozen embies. My relative chances will be the same next year, or the following year, or the year after that. Which felt like a relief… I realized that the decision was starting to weigh on me, as I paid a hefty annual storage fee for the embies plus five vials of sperm. And now I feel like I can give myself another year or more and just enjoy and really not worry about it either way.

I got choked up when I thanked him… He’s the closest thing to a babydaddy that I have–in so many words, I said thanks so much for knocking me up and helping bring this beautiful boy. It’s been a thrill and a joy! (Now take me out for dinner already!)

Beyond the FET (frozen embryo transfer) of my two remaining, PGS-tested embies (one good, one not-so-good quality), an IUI or IVF attempt would have low success rates at my fast-accelerating decline in fertility. So, I think I’m letting that go.

Dr. T asked why I would want another baby. Which is an intriguing question, and was the first time around as well. He asked if it’s just been so wonderful in all respects that I can’t wait to do it again? I think it’s not exactly that; even if it kind of is that. It’s sort of about going through it again and it’s about a sibling for E and becoming more of a clan than a pair. But, in a way, it’s not really those things… Like the first time, it’s just an intangible desire. I think everyone who chooses to become a parent knows what I’m talking about.

He kept encouraging me to enjoy my “sure thing” which is a totally Reproductive Endocrinologist way of saying that I already have a baby–a 100% guaranteed baby on the right side of all the odds. I’m still pinching myself that he arrived one year ago plus 15 days.

I just re-watched the birth video the other night with, as always, complete awe. My vagina blows up into the size and shape of a standard balloon as E’s head makes it’s way down the canal, and then they start yelling, “K, reach down and get your baby!” and someone is yelling, “Baby! Baby! Baby! Baby!” and there is chaos and the camera view flips around and then he’s there on my chest and I’m exclaiming, “Oh my god oh my god oh my god [hyperventilating]…”

In two weeks, we’ll celebrate his birthday in the park with the community who supports us every day and I will only moderately stress about the number of cupcakes and the placement of the balloons–my boy is turning ONE! It’s too awesome in the breathtaking sense. He is the one I love the most on the planet.

Even though I love you guys A LOT.

xoxo

11 point 5 months

I

family, fertility, gratitude, homebirth, IUI, IVF, meditation, outdoors, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, writing

wellness and gratitude

After I got back to SF, I went to see my regular doc’s NP on Thursday with my same barking cough and story of woe. How can one really recover while traveling on airplanes at this time of year? She agreed that the original antibiotic seemed to only be kind-of working; no more ‘junk’ in my lungs but still wheezy. No fever, blood pressure normal (so glad). I switched to a Z-pack, Mucinex, and an inhaler and took the next few days to rest at home. So much for minimizing meds, sorry babe. All the coughing had resulted in pain in my rib cage equivalent to getting stabbed, my first-ever hemmorhoid (eek!), and a deep commitment to do whatever necessary to get well.

After a lot of rest, Harry Potter, West Wing (I’m on the last season), More Business of Being Born (did you know they made an additional several hours of documentary?), all those meds, Vitamin C, fluids, I woke up today with clearer lungs–the cough is improving. My ribs feel slightly less painful. I’m concerned though about a new symptom that I discovered last night. I was watching The West Wing and I suddenly realized that the theme song was out of tune, like it was being played by an amateur symphony. I thought something was wrong with my iPad. Then I turned on my computer and the notification sounds also sounded tinny and off. I thought–uh oh, maybe it’s my ears. I booted up iTunes and put on an Arcade Fire song. It sounded like it was being played on an out-of-tune old bar piano. If I plugged one ear it sounded OK, and when I plugged the other it seemed to go down in pitch by a half-step.

This has continued today. It feels like one ear is slightly plugged which certainly should be cleared up by the meds I’m on, but wow how weird. Even the notification that I have a text on my cell phone sounds flat. Voices sound fine. Did a bacteria eat my ear drum?

I am going to get out of the house today, after canceling many plans yesterday and the day before–at a certain point, it’s the inactivity that causes the discomfort. I’ll see some SMC friends and then go on a (mild) walk in the Presidio (if not raining) with my friend S who guided me through Glacier National park 2.5 years ago and is in town!

I woke up this morning and was reading on my iPad in bed, ending up going back in my blog to the beginning of last year. I reviewed last year’s resolutions which could be the same again this year word for word (I had frankly forgotten about most of them)–undercommit, write every day, get out in nature once a week, be on time.  I did OK with undercommitting, shifting into a more fertility-friendly pace. I absolutely did not write every day and almost immediately forgot that resolution as soon as I wrote it down. I mostly got into nature once a week-ish. I moderately improved on punctuality. These are still a work in progress! (Of course I did get pregnant in August, so no complaints here!)

Just after the New Year in 2013, I was also reeling from my 3rd positive that went negative, and gearing up for two more (ultimately failed) IUIs before going ahead with IVF: Mt. Everest looming on the horizon. I got so into the moment, reading those posts, reconnecting with myself a year ago and how it felt to be in that stuck and frustrated place, and then the baby would start kicking and I’d be zoom-fast-forwarded to my new apartment and my soccer-ball belly. I hadn’t looked back in a while and it was the perfect thing to do while sick because it made me enormously grateful all over again to be here with bouncing baby boy on his way, remembering all the hard work and patience and faith and money and time it took to get here.

Tomorrow I will be 24 weeks and on the precipice of the third trimester. Amazing–people have urged me to get lots done in the 2nd trimester and so I guess that ship has sailed. I am reminded that pregnancy is really 10 months–I am at 6 months and have 4 months to go. So, really, the third trimester is the longest–especially for first-time moms who go past their due date. Email me if you have no idea what I’m talking about.

I feel peaceful about my birth plans–signed up for childbirth class w/ two friends, am just about to interview doulas, just need to rent the tub and order the birth kit. It’s everything else that needs a lot of work: rearranging my apartment (J and my parents and I came up with a new scheme in AZ–I’ll have a guest room, big bedroom for me and baby w/ heater, and dining room becomes living/dining), organizing my closets, finishing my registry, going through accumulated stacks of important papers, reading about babies (diaper system? sleep strategies? child care?), creating a living will, upgrading my laundry situation… etc. Swimming, yoga, meditation, walking, writing. But first: get well.

I know many of you are sick too. May you be well! May you be free from suffering! May you be grateful! Take good care of precious you.

xo

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

heartbeat!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the faith and the love and the hope

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

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

We have a lot going for us:

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

And yet: everything depends on Wednesday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

today’s beta

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

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

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

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

Which means today I am 5 weeks 2 days.

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

It’s a birthday miracle!! xoxoxo!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How to Let Go of Fear and Live Life with Courage

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

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

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

1. Label it.

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

2. Accept it. 

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

3. Let it go.

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

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

4. Focus on the present.

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

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

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

With gratitude,

Jesse Jacobs, Founder
Samovar Tea Lounge

 

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

thankyouthankyouthankyou

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

laundromat

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

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

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

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

(Meanwhile, the place is looking great.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

transfer and transition

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

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

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

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

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

image

I love those punks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

image

family, fertility, IVF, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

tomorrow

I am sitting in my beautiful new apartment surrounded by boxes, tapping this out on my phone. The internet will get hooked up tomorrow. The move went perfectly and you are all invited over because I have space for you now, a whole room for you even. I want this to be a gathering place for friends and family, I mean it.

I am exhausted. Haven’t caught up with myself since moving on Sunday and going into a busy work week with plans every evening. I had a conference call at 6 this morning so I really should head to bed. In my new bedroom which has a door, which I shut, because I can.

Tomorrow is transfer day. My sister will come by at noon to drive me over. Time to meet embies #2 and #3, at long last. Thanks for sending lots of love to them in the next 36 hours.

More when I’m not tapping with thumbs and half asleep zzzzz

dating, fertility, IVF, outdoors, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

my 40s

My 40s have been stellar. I’m sleepy but must force myself to blog this before any other big news can pile up:

  • I flew home late Friday night, returning to my cute little studio whose days with me are now numbered. The number is 4.
  • On Saturday, I dropped by my new apartment which was left in beautiful condition by the former tenant, with a big note on the blackboard that said, “Welcome Home, K!!!”
  • I got my hair cut–Nicholas, superhumanly handsome and not my usual stylist, insisted on blowing my hair straight (“They ALWAYS see your hair curly, right?”), and also insisted that I come back at 4:15 with my own makeup so he could do my eyes for my birthday. Then I got a pedicure with B and her sweet new bundle S.
  • I tried to nap but I was too excited about my party. I ended up drinking coffee to fight the jet lag.
  • Arriving in the restaurant, I found one friend sitting with her glass of wine, plus one gorgeous floral centerpiece sent by my thoughtful boss in NYC. 
  • More friends started to flow in and my heart was overflowing with joy. Flowers, champagne, cards, hugs, love.
  • I was so happy. I could have floated around that party forever. I have the most wonderful and thoughtful and hilarious friends, many of whom I’ve known for 20+ years, some less than two months, and they have all been my raft in turbulent waters at one time or another.
  • The food was delicious and we flowed from one course to the next, wine topped off at frequent intervals, the lighting in a soft glow against the brick walls, lots of laughter. These moments are so fleeting and the wine makes them slippery… and before you know it, the party’s over.
  • And then you head to the after party with about 10 friends and drink bourbon until 4:30am and then you’re pretty much so far gone between the joy and the drinks and the time difference and the four decades, you’re maybe hung over for 3-4 days.
  • The next day should have been rougher but I navigated through a lovely baby shower and a birthday party and went to see The Way Way Back with the birthday girl.
  • On Monday, I showed up at my new office on Sacramento Street. One block from my first office in SF when I moved here in 1997, I walk by Starbucks knowing that’s not what was in that space 15 years ago, but not remembering what was there before. Isn’t this the very definition of getting older? I have a window facing south and was delighted when the sunlight found my desk and moved along it for much of the day.
  • At mid-day, my new landlord showed up with the lease, and we sat on a bench in my new lobby and chatted a bit after signing it. I expressed how thrilled I am about this apartment and he seemed genuinely glad. He truly either doesn’t realize or doesn’t care about how much more he could have gotten for that place, and I am his lucky lucky lucky lucky tenant who happened to be in the right place at the right time.
  • Later, I called my building manager to give notice and he completely blew my mind when he told me the price he will ask for my current, 400 square foot studio.
  • The universe is sending me a love note.
  • I went on a third date. He’s easygoing, has a nice smile, is older. We’ve gone on a couple of hikes, to the farmer’s market, to dinner. With everything going on, I enjoy hanging out with him and yet there’s no real momentum or wondering what will happen next.
  • Today, I lined up packers to pack my apartment on Saturday (yes, I am paying the $ to keep stress low) and a mover on Sunday.
  • I went to UCSF for my lining check this afternoon. (I saw Dr. Tran in scrubs from a distance–he didn’t see me.) Good news at the appointment: 7.8mm lining, great, and all quiet on the ovarian front (no cysts). I was cleared for transfer next week: Thursday, 8/15.
  • Did I mention: gratitude.
  • I was texting with my friend M in Mexico City tonight, and she said that my new place is “like feng shui. But for your whole life.”
  • I believe it.my new apartment