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

sunset

Hi, people. I’m sitting in the living room after dinner–my sister and mom are chatting and my dad is doing the dishes. The pink sun just dropped from behind the clouds and is descending brightly over the lake. Bill Evans plays gorgeous jazz piano in the background.

My birthday was wonderful. Run followed by hike followed by nap followed by (just as predicted) duck, champagne, and profiteroles. The birthday love rolled in throughout the day and my heart was filled with love and gratitude. It felt so momentous that when I woke up on Monday, I felt like I was 41.

Yesterday, I went on an adventure drive with my dad, a tradition left over from childhood and my Father’s Day experiential gift. Have you tried this recently? It’s so refreshing to get in the car and not know yet where you’re going  A metaphor for life and letting go and being open and curious and expecting great and beautiful things.

Sometimes we had a gut feeling about which way to turn and sometimes we flipped a coin. We ended up south of town on a remote seasonal road that looked like we might get stuck–which kept it suspenseful. We stopped to walk around a totally remote old family cemetery. We stopped again to take pictures of a butterfly and a beautiful red and black bird. The further we went, the more we wondered where (or if) we would pop out–this was a two-track with no signs of civilization. Eventually, we popped out at Pearl Lake in a fancy development! Then we passed someone’s yard that had a sign: “Come on in and set awhile,” so we walked around and met a giant metallic grasshopper and appreciated the flowers and vegetable garden (and, by the house, a sign with a rifle that said “We don’t call 911”). Then we cut over to Lake Ann for soft-serve ice cream on a totally deserted beach, and visited a summer camp, my Dad’s horse Lily, and three other lakes I’ve never seen before as the late afternoon sun intensified, casting longer shadows. Meaningful time with my dad.

Today was the first day of the film festival in Traverse City. I put on two estrogen patches this morning which likely contributed to my weepiness during the first film and afterward–it was a Korean film called Dancing Queen (highly recommend), about a guy who runs for mayor of Seoul and his wife whose dream is to be a pop singer/dancer–the theme was following your dreams: and never giving up. Every time someone almost gave up on their dream, they got propped up by those around them who knew just how important the dream was, and I thought of how you all prop me up during the setbacks. It made me feel like I just know we’re going to do this thing. My mom held my hand as we walked down the street together afterward and I cried it out.

Tomorrow I will log back in to work email after nearly two weeks away. I am rested, sun kissed, wind blown, reset by chilly Lake Michigan. Bracing myself for 700 messages (that’s just an estimate) but also intrigued to see how things are going for my team and my projects. I had a good break.

It’s almost time to westward ho! Toward my dream apartment and a birthday bash with my SF family and giving embryos #2 and #3 my best shot.

Meanwhile, enjoying my last days of Pure Michigan. We all just gathered on the balcony to watch the last of a fuschia popsicle sun melt into the horizon. See you on the other side.

family, fertility, IVF, meditation, outdoors, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, writing

40 eve

It’s the first time I’ve been home alone since arriving one week ago! In such a constantly boisterous  household with my little nieces around, I’ve been on the family channel with almost constant activity every day, including reading The Phantom Tollbooth with newly-5-year-old E (we got almost 200 pages in) and bouncing in chilly Lake Michigan with almost-2-year-old S (she loves splashing). Given my limited time with the girls in particular, who call me K.K., I didn’t really want to tear myself away for regular grown-up vacation activities like a book or a phone call or…writing. So, I didn’t. I just rolled with the days, inventing inside jokes, playing hide-and-go-seek, and going out for activities like seeing my dad’s horse.

Today, we did the whole unbearable scene of the family waving from the parking lot as the adorables drive away waving their little hands from the back seat. I felt flooded with despair for about ten minutes and then got on with a quieter day. I cleaned, did laundry, did yoga, read the New Yorker, napped, did a couple of online errands, meditated, and now it’s time to write. This is a big preamble, just trying to set the stage here.

I kicked off birthday celebrations on Thursday night with a family dinner, dance party, and jam session. It was the best party ever. As always, my mom masterfully pulled together a delicious meal over at the river house, including a made-from-scratch chocolate cake with pink frosting (my niece E perfected the shade of pink), with a little picture on top for each birthday celebrant: 40 for me, a heart for my sister, Wonder Woman for E, Fallout Shelter for my teenage cousin M, and Charlie Brown for my uncle P. The W family showed up with four bottles of Veuve Cliquot (my favorite) and we ate and drank and danced and then broke out the violin, guitar, and ukelele and played and sang and improvised hysterical blues verses, broke two glasses and spilled another, and it was a glorious evening of love and connection and music. What could be better?? I LOVED it. Party #1 rocked.

Yesterday, I got my birthday wish from my sisters: a financial consultation. (they are both financial wizards). I can now admit that I tried to get pregnant for over a year without really having a clue about how a child would (or would not) work with my finances. We sat down to start crunching the numbers and I realized that my fear was that they would look at me and shake their heads and say there was no way to make it work in San Francisco. But they didn’t–we created an action plan with several steps which will allow me to start saving now for child care.  This is my favorite kind of gift–the whole scenario feels more possible and my vision of the future is more clear.  I started taking the action plan steps today. Thanks, D & B!

Then, D’s husband took us out for a fancy (bday!) dinner and then left us to make room for girls’ night out, which included time in the bookstore followed by a huge monster sundae and hilariously ended before 10pm when there was still some light in the sky.

Tonight is the eve of my 40th birthday. I elected to stay home–B and my mom are in Traverse at the opening film of the TC Film Festival and my dad is playing tennis. After a day of chilly rain, the sun is bursting out over the sparkling water of Lake Michigan. It’s peaceful here. My bro-in-law just texted a photo of the girls at baggage claim in Baltimore saying they miss us already–it’s mutual!

What does my birthday mean to me? Well, first of all, I’m a Leo so I have always pushed the celebration factor to the extreme. Recently someone said to me that I seemed to have a good attitude about this milestone birthday. While I grant you that there are downsides to aging (and at 40, for me, it is primarily about how hard it’s been to get pregnant), I feel it is truly obnoxious to complain when there are so many people we’ve known and loved who haven’t been fortunate enough to make it this far. When we think of the only other possible alternative, we realize that all we can do and should do is celebrate.

Not to mention just how much learning and experience and love and craziness has led up to this day. As a cumulative number, 40 adequately represents it. 39 was just bananas and it got me to 40, to this moment, which is a good one. Now let’s look ahead.

As I turn 40, I am moving into a big, new apartment! I am moving into a new office! I am throwing myself a big party! AND I am gearing up to transfer two healthy embryos in about 2.5 weeks! My good friend T reminded me that I’m entering my fifth decade (thanks for that! 😉 ) –and I’d say I’m entering with extraordinarily positive momentum. It’s easy to say in hindsight that the babe wasn’t meant to be until now. The way the universe is throwing good mojo in my direction it feels like we’re finally almost there, maybe.

(Speaking of the apartment: I received the lease, went back and forth with questions, received the revised lease, and will sign it in person with the landlord in one week when I’m home–and the current tenant is leaving all kinds of great furniture for me! More details when I have the signed doc in hand!)

Tomorrow will be a mellow day. I’d like to be outside as much as possible. Then I’m putting on my party dress and my red heels which are totally over the top for this rural area, and we’re going to our favorite French restaurant where my parents are legitimately great friends with the French owner, and I will hopefully have something like duck and profiteroles and some champagne and we’ll toast the day.

On the occasion of my birthday, I want to tell you how much you mean to me, my dear readers, family, and friends!!!!! Whatever my 40s bring, I’m grateful that you are my companions on this journey. ❤ xoxoxo

 

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

change!

Things are shifting and moving and changing and all is well in the universe. I wish I were slightly less tired so I could tell this better but here goes.

Biggest news is: today I got the keys to my new two-bedroom apartment!!! In San Francisco!!!! I have paid the money and received the keys, and I will write you the full story of the place once I sign the lease (coming this week) and get some rest. I spent the weekend working with a team of friends and family to strategize and negotiate this deal and in the end got a price way (way) under market rate. Why? Because the landlord is a single dad and thinks it’s awesome that I’m trying to have a baby on my own. Thank goodness my friend who referred me, who lives in the building, had the sense to tell him about my SMC plans because I never would have. She had an instinct that it would work in my favor, and it totally did. I will describe the place to you in excrutiating detail once the lease is locked and loaded, I promise. It is beautiful and spacious and bright and perfect for my next chapter. It fell out of the sky and into my life, with the help of a few new friends who pushed hard for me to get it. Wow, thank you!!

Meanwhile, my office is also  moving at the end of this month, about five blocks away from the current location downtown. A welcome change.

Here is the CRAZY COINCIDENCE: both moves are happening at the end of July. AND: both moves take me to Sacramento Street. You heard me: starting in August, I will both live and work on Sacramento Street, connected by a 3.3 mile commute on the 1 California bus–practically door to door express service! This is after 8 years in one office and 7 years in one apartment. CHANGE IS IN THE AIR, PEOPLE.

What else is happening at the end of July? Oh yeah: I TURN FORTY. Massive celebrations are forecast on several coasts.

Vacation, birthday, move, move, transfer. On that note, I’m going to bed. Gratitude and more gratitude. It’s going to be a good decade. xo

 

 

 

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

consultation

Good news: Tara Brach’s talk on hope is posted to her website as a video! I hope you watch her beautiful self and appreciate her guidance on how to live in possibility:

I’m at home on the 4th of July feeling very sleepy after taking a long run earlier today–I’ll be in bed soon. Meanwhile, my neighborhood sounds like a war zone with all the fireworks going off nearby and all over the city. Hope you had a nice 4th.

I met with Dr. T. yesterday. I pulled up and parked, having just wrapped up my work day before the long weekend. As I walked into the building for the first time since the transfer, my muscle memory took over and I felt heavy. I sat in the waiting room just intensely waiting, not reading or looking at my phone. I was looking forward to the discussion and looking ahead to FET#2, mixed with some amount of dread about rehashing what may or may not have gone wrong with #1.

He called me in to a tiny conference room. He first acknowledged that he was sorry this time didn’t work out despite everything looking promising at the beginning. He said he got the news while on vacation in Vietnam and felt really disappointed, took it personally (which made me want to launch into his arms and cry but I held it together). Then he asked me how I was feeling. I opened my mouth and nothing came out. He took this to be a hesitation but it was really me trying to articulate a rush of complicated feelings. I told him I was devastated, that the cumulative weight of all the tries was making this one the hardest.

What he said next is the best thing anyone can say to me right now: that it’s understandable that I would be so upset about it. That it is truly disappointing and an extremely difficult thing to go through. I am reminded that this is probably almost always true when someone is in crisis or having a rough time–they don’t necessarily need someone to problem-solve or find a positive spin. They need to feel validated and heard and understood.

He also said that while it is understandable and appropriate and reasonable for me to be struggling with the outcome, he remains optimistic about my case from an objective medical vantage point. Everything is still fine, I have four normal embryos remaining, and there’s no evidence that anything caused embie #1 not to implant. Sometimes they just don’t. Age can be a factor here although sometimes it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint an actual reason.

As with other cycles, Dr. T. discouraged me from going down the road of hunting for one anyway. In the absence of actual evidence, some people go into “hand-waving” mode (his term)–doing any and all tests trying to find something/anything that can be fixed. For example, I have a large fibroid. It’s on the outside of my uterus and I had a test done to confirm it’s not inside the uterine cavity. However, there’s a small chance that it is impeding blood flow to the very spot where the embryos are implanting. Super unlikely, but there’s a chance. What would it take to get it out? Surgery, followed by 6 months of bench time waiting to try again, and a very real chance that vaginal delivery would be impossible. And, in the end, the fibroid may have had nothing to do with anything. So I’m fine with skipping all that and having some faith in Dr. T’s opinion and the battery of tests I did at the outset.

He asked me what I was thinking about next steps. I told him that I am ready to try again (or I will be by the time I get there), and this time I want to put two. He readily agreed. I was prepared to argue with him on this, but he respects my decision–he says that, given everything I’ve been through, it’s “not unreasonable.” As long as I understand that if I get pregnant, there is a 20-30% chance it will be twins. He said that if insurance paid everything and there was no emotional cost, he would have me keep doing one at a time. But the reality is that time, money, and emotional stamina are running out. I’m ready to double my chances and pray for one. And if it’s two, it will be a blessing and we’ll figure it out (and by we I mean me and all of you).

The only change to my protocol is to add a endometrial biopsy (or “womb scratch”)–Dr. T. was surprised I hadn’t heard of it. It involves taking a biopsy of the uterine lining, thereby causing an injury that needs to be healed. The healing process releases chemicals that are thought to help promote implantation and the research is mixed but there’s some evidence that it works. I’ll go with my doc on this one.

Our plan is to put embies #2 and #3–my two best. Waiting on my calendar from Olga.

It’s both a relief and a terror to look ahead at trying again. Meanwhile, I take my bc pills, take good care of myself, and put my hand on my heart and say, “It’s going to be OK, sweetheart.”

acupuncture, dating, depression, fertility, IVF, meditation, outdoors, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

hope

First, thank you to all who have reached out to me in so many thoughtful ways. I love you.

It’s been hard to decide what to write as I navigate the aftermath of FET#1. The depth of grief goes well beyond what I’ve previously experienced in this process. I will admit that my last post was written hastily after learning the news myself–I was in shock. I wanted to appear strong to those who might worry that the disappointment would send me into total collapse. I thought I might be able to skip over dealing with it; with margaritas, keeping previously-made plans, and working hard. Keep moving forward.

Here’s a shocker: that didn’t work. By Thursday it caught up with me. I felt the familiar old tentacles of depression wrapping around me and pulling me down. The awful chanting of negative thoughts in my brain. The worst one: I spent my 30s trying to build a family, and I have failed. No one will attach to me permanently, not a man, not an embryo. (Not even a dog!) I sobbed to my therapist. Poor, poor me.

While grieving and disappointment and sadness (and even anger at slacker embie #1) are normal and healthy after how much time, money, and effort I’ve invested in this process, I also recognize the ‘poor me’ refrain. It’s a sign that I’m hooking into distorted thinking and descending into a place of hopelessness. I’ve felt it before. There’s a healthy grieving process and then there are the terrorists. The terrorists aim to use this as proof that hope is futile. Thank God I know the difference by now. I knew it was time to use my tools before I sunk any further. My acupuncturist reminded me that depression is a state of static and clenching, and, even if it sounds like the last thing you want to do, it’s important to force yourself to get out and be active, go for a run, be outside. It moves things around, helps you move through.

So, yesterday I hiked from 8-4, with MM, along the stunning, sunny coastline of the Marin Headlands–a big loop from Tennessee Valley up to Muir Beach and back through Green Gulch Farm. I cried to MM that there’s a big scoreboard and my score is zero, to which she responded, “And the game isn’t over yet.”

Toward the end of the hike, I stood at a single high point from which I could see Bodega Bay, Muir Beach, Ocean Beach, Sutro Tower, the GG Bridge, the SF skyline, the Bay, Mt. Diablo, I felt my body in the warm sunshine. My anti-depressant.

This morning, I listened to Tara Brach’s latest podcast, called “Part 1: Hope and the Spiritual Path.” I beg you to listen to this podcast. I command you. It’s one hour. You can listen to a lot or a little. Not only does it perfectly articulate where I am right now in terms of maintaining hope, it has priceless nuggets of wisdom for each one of you. I will listen to it many times. The potential of the oak tree is contained within the acorn. What we hope for is already within us.

There is egoic hope based in fear, and there is a holy hope based in a basic faith that God isn’t just rolling the dice on us. Our lives have meaning. It will be some time before I become a cheerleader for FET#2, but for now I feel, deeply, that I am still on my spiritual path, and this is all part of it, and it is all making me stronger and better prepared for whatever comes next. (That still sounds a little stronger than I feel, but I know it’s the right direction.)

At times, I have wondered how this blog could be inspiring to people–I have tried and failed ten times. Sounds like a bummer. Then, this past week, I have been reading other women’s posts online, and every time I see someone weather a failure and then somehow continue to put one foot in front of the other, my heart soars. I get it.

So, here I go, out for a run at Lands End. xo

[Tara’s podcast will be available within a week or so on her website www.tarabrach.com. Meanwhile, you can access this podcast by downloading the Podcasts app through the iTunes store, search for “Tara Brach. Enjoy, and please report back if you listen!]

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

surrender

The sky looks a shade darker than in the banner of my website and there’s a 3/4 moon out the window above my dining room table. It’s already 9–I was so excited for a luxurious evening at home and the time flew by. I’m making pasta and whipping off a blog post because I don’t mean to leave my dear readers hanging.

And yet, we all know there is nothing concrete to report until the blood test. I could list you all the symptoms–but couldn’t it be the hormones? stress? the inevitable result of intense scrutiny of every bodily sensation?

Pasta w/ pesto is now steaming to my right. I’ve decided not to POAS (pee on a stick) this time. I know, it’s radical. It’s even a little ludicrous when Tuesday is essentially 19dpo and 13dp5dt. Anyway, however you do the math, I am going fully conservative on this one, and it still won’t change the outcome. I will not add to the roller coaster by creating a gap between POAS and beta. I will be as kind to myself as possible  by waiting and following the UCSF rules, which include an admonishment not to do a home test due to false negatives.

On Sunday, I went to the hypno-restorative yoga class and while we were in one of the poses, we went down an internal staircase and took a short path to a place in our minds that we associate with joy. And there were our spirit animals, and what was mine? A unicorn. I questioned it–really, a unicorn? Not a white horse or a zebra? Nope, it was definitely a unicorn. It had big soulful brown eyes through which it communicated with me. It asked me to stop comparing myself to others and reassured me that I have done every single thing I could do and now it’s time to let go.

Nevertheless, on Monday, I went a little crazy googling “6dp5dt” and reading other women’s fertility blogs. I also learned of two women who transferred the same day I did and had already POAS and are pregnant. And I was obsessively reading the SMC national board. I found that, while it can be so reassuring to see that someone who felt exactly the same as you on the same day of the process ended up with a perfect baby, it can be equally troubling to read of other people’s heartbreak. So I finally listened to the unicorn and swore off anything related to fertility on the internet.

Since Tuesday, I have felt calm. I think my busy mind ran through all the mathematical possibilities and exhausted itself. I have finally thrown the reigns over to the universe. I’m enjoying this part, this blissful ignorance where I can choose my reality. Soon enough, my path will emerge again from obscurity in the brightening moonlight.

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

happy transfer

Embie on board!

I took the Valium an hour beforehand, so by the time my sister got here to pick me up I was giggly. I was overly-accessorized, wearing one item to represent each family member: earrings from my dad, a scarf from my mom, arm warmers from my sister, a bracelet from my other sister, and a ring from each grandma. I was Ready.

Upon arrival, I took all that off and changed into my gown, cap, and booties. So did my sister so she could be in the room. We were invited into the transfer room adjacent to the embryologist lab and the first thing Dr. Tran did was hand me this printed photo of embie #1, freshly thawed and hatched this morning:

embie1 (2)

I am SUPER PROUD of this photo and it’s on my fridge now. Dr. Tran said that this is a “textbook” blast, looks really really good.

I asked how big it was and he said 75 microns. How big that is, I am not sure. Still very small.

The embryologist gave me a visual tour of the lab from where I could see it from the table, and I can’t say I remember any details in my loopy state but I was fascinated and thought he was cute. I thanked him a lot and he gave me a thumbs up.

Once we were ready to go and Dr. T. inserted the catheter, the nurse had put jelly on my belly and it was my first non-vaginal ultrasound perhaps ever. I could see the end of the catheter appear on the monitor, with a white dot on the end. The catheter nudged a little until the dot stayed in place and the catheter backed out. I saw the dot stay in my uterus and it brought me joy. I looked over at my sister and we were both wearing masks but had WOW in our eyes.

And that was that. I was given an “After Visit Summary” that begins, “We want you to know that once the embryo is transferred, there is really nothing a patient can do to influence the outcome of the cycle.” (And then goes on to list a bunch of restrictions anyway… Precautions.)

Mostly I’m supposed to take it easy for a couple of days and that’s it. Dr. T. said not to run a marathon or take up smoking. Be sensible. Modern medicine has done everything in its power to create a successful pregnancy, and now it’s up to the embryo to do this last step on its own. The handout also says, “Most embryos that fail to implant do so because of intrinsic genetic abnormalities.” We know my embie is normal so let’s hope it’s happening right now (implantation in the first 24-48 hours).

I told Dr. T. that I was so glad it was him today and he said he would have done it even if he hadn’t been on this week. Love him!

I’m really, really tired. I woke up at 4:40 this morning and couldn’t fall back to sleep in my excitement. Then the Valium knocked me out in the afternoon–I napped, then did acupuncture, and now I’m a wet noodle. Time for bed.

THANK YOU for the many good wishes today–love you all.

acupuncture, anxiety, fertility, IVF, meditation, outdoors, ovulation, parenthood, pregnancy, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

tomorrow

Tomorrow is my transfer day, at 12:15pm! Good vibes, prayers, and love sent in the direction of Sutter and Divisadero, SF, CA, USA are  welcomed and appreciated! Thanks so much for the love, hugs, texts, emails, and calls already flowing in.

The weekend was a slow and steady build toward the big day. On Friday night, I had my two-hour clairvoyant reading. The five readers sat across from me with their eyes closed as they took turns reading my energy. They checked all my chakras, cleaned out the old pictures, told me about some of my past lives (I was a contented Eskimo mom as well as a famous actress in the 1910’s), and generally validated my commitment to having a child. No major blockage toward reaching my goal. After the intensity of the reading, I felt emotionally delicate. I walked to Dolores Park and sat on a bench overlooking the twinkling city, and cried. It was cleansing. If that’s what it means to get your chakras cleaned out, I’m for it.

On Saturday morning, I ran to the top of Twin Peaks, remembering with every uphill that it would be my last challenging run for a while–I savored it. I don’t normally go to the tippy-top, but this time I did.

In the afternoon, I went for Maya abdominal massage. At first, we talked about diet. She gave me some foods to target: avocado (superfood), cilantro (cooling), cinnamon (anti-inflammatory), chia seeds (another superfood w/ omega 3s, she wants me to eat them throughout the day), have a smoothie soon after waking up (to maintain blood sugar), avoid grains in the evening (to not spike blood sugar then crash overnight), drink cranberry leaf tea (to support healthy lining), etc. She has a really soothing manner. We both spoke softly.

Then, we prepared for the vagina steaming, which was very simple: she had been simmering some herbs in a regular pot which she put under what I think was a birthing stool, with the lid at an angle to let the steam rise up. she had me sit on the stool and then she wrapped me in a thick red blanket, leaving me to meditate for ten minutes. It felt odd but nice, not too hot. Every herb in there had a specific purpose, the end result ostensibly being an irresistibly sticky womb.

Afterward, I got on the massage table and she said she was going to feel around for my uterus. Did you know this was possible? I did not. I would have thought it was too far in the middle of the body. The uterus is, in fact, impossible for me to visualize, unless it’s a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, or a pancake. In the 3D environment of my body, I am clueless.

She found it with her fingers, pressing gently. She exclaimed, “She’s pretty anterior!” and then gradually guided “her” back to center. It felt a little strange to have someone pawing at my belly, but not as uncomfortable as I imagined it could be.

She finished with a full body massage, my first in years–so amazing. I was jello after that. I had no choice but to go home and take a nap. The rest of the weekend I spent holding babies at parties and celebrating my sister’s graduation.

Today, I went around feeling like I swallowed a canary. At the end of the day, I stopped to pick up groceries for an uber-healthy, delicious dinner, and ended up spending $15 on a wild salmon filet that turned out to be maybe the best salmon I’ve ever had, simply prepared with lemon and garlic in foil. Also, broccoli. And chips with homemade guacamole w/ cilantro. Now I’ll drink some cranberry leaf tea and take a bath before bed.

My evening protocol right now has me decreasing the estrogen patches on my belly while I increase the dosage of intramuscular progesterone injections. This is mimicking what happens after ovulation, but without the ovulation, getting my uterus right where a Day 6 blast would want and expect it to be. The progesterone shots are gnarly–1.5″ needle and a funky angle to do on yourself. They’re not so painful at the time, but I have a little painful knot developing behind each hip. I massage them a lot. I’ll continue these for several if not many weeks–and it should be noted that the side effects are identical to those of pregnancy (including delaying AF!).

Tomorrow is a dream day: therapy at 7:30, personal trainer at 9:30, go home and take a Valium, my sister picks me up at 11:30, meet embie #1 soon after 12:15, then acupuncture at 3pm.

How do I feel? I feel like I’ve done a really good job. I have done everything in the world I could reasonably do. I feel really hopeful and a little anxious, also grounded, centered, uterus-centered, nourished, peaceful. I feel like all that I’ve learned and practiced around self-care these past weeks are gifts already received from the baby to be.

What a process. Grateful for you and all of the above and the chance to get pregnant tomorrow.

xo

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

transfer date

You guys! At long last, we are almost to transfer.

I drove over to my lining check feeling happy to be going back to UCSF after weeks and weeks of no appointments. The woman at the front desk told me I owed “$27.99.” I looked at her in confusion and told her my co-pays are usually $40. She said, “No, sorry, I meant [whispered] $2,799.” OOHHH. Right. This is the cost of one Frozen Embryo Transfer, up front. This time, I had an amazon Rewards Card–see, I’m getting better at this all the time.

When Dr. Zamah walked into the exam room, I was reading through my lengthy FET consent form, getting my head back in the game. He said he’d be looking for a good lining and no cysts. I wasn’t anxious until that moment–who’s to say what’s going on in there??

Going in, though, I knew that throughout this entire process, I have not missed a single pill, injection, or patch. Amazing. That’s how #1 this is in my own mind.

Awesome results–lining is great, left ovary quiet, right ovary quiet; he said, “I approve! Green light!” He’s a nice, light-hearted guy. And, just like that, I was over the last hurdle.

Almost. I met with Nurse Claire, who said they’re having great results with FETs recently. We went over my new protocol. (I now have four calendars taped to my kitchen wall from this whole process.) Tonight, I’ll peel off one of the four estrogen patches on my belly and give myself a progesterone shot. Start Medrol tomorrow. Valium on my transfer date, which is:

—>Tuesday, June 11<—

My sister will drive me there and back. We are transferring one embryo, my Day 6 5BB, my frontrunner.

Between now and then, I’ll do acupuncture, a clairvoyant reading/healing, and Maya abdominal massage (including vagina steaming–you know I will report back). I’ll sit outside with friends, and otherwise relax and meditate and rest and drink smoothies. (I just had one with banana, avocado, frozen blueberries and strawberries, spinach, honey, almond butter, chia seeds, coconut milk, and ice. Delish.) I’ve got this covered.

Pregnancy test 2 weeks later on 6/25 (yep, it’s still a two week wait…if I don’t pee on a stick first).

On the way out, I saw Maria from the front desk and Lili the genetic counselor and gave them hugs. When I told them my transfer was Tuesday, Lili said, “O….M….G!!”

Exactly.

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

receiving

It’s so inspiring be here. Time passes slowly, the sun sliding gracefully across the sky, the clock ticking on the wall of the yoga room, the phases of the day unfolding gradually. No one is in a hurry. Last week, I was literally running from one meeting to the next. This morning, I finished my breakfast, hung around talking and laughing with new friends for what seemed like a long time, and I still have an hour free before our dharma talk at 9:30.

I never have this kind of leisurely pace. Here, even when we’re doing something like yoga or meditation or eating or walking or reading, we’re doing it mindfully, and time takes on a different dimension.

Here it is a holiday weekend and time is not flying by. (Bonus!)

With this kind of time, you get new perspectives, new ideas for ways of being. We’ve been discussing the concept of generosity and giving vs, receiving; we’re in a mindset of receiving. I receive the birds flickering by outside my window, this simple room, a slice of steaming bread just delivered. I receive the lighthearted company of new friends, a full belly, shivasana. In this mindset, we all clear each other’s dishes, offer to get each other a cup of tea, walk together in silence to 5am meditation. In a mindset of receiving, you have more to give.

Meditation this morning was better although I still feel like such a bumbling newbie in the zendo. Getting to my zafu I have down. Sitting for 40 minutes was good, I was on my knees and pretty comfortable. My mind was serene. I listened to moisture falling off the trees and hitting the roof. I heard the frog anthems give way to birds. I heard people around me sniffling and repositioning.

We transitioned into walking meditation and a nun had to redirect me as I was going in the wrong direction.

During the second meditation, I was more restless, I repositioned a lot to avoid the panic and impulse to run away (my teachers laughed yesterday when i asked about this and agreed that torture is not the point). Amazing how quickly my brain goes there when discomfort arises. But the posture clinic and the intense yoga yesterday have me looser, more forgiving, less perfectionist.

Then we segued into chanting and prostration where I was truly lost and a kindly older man pointed me to the right place in the prayer book. It’s good to be new at something and let the wise ones guide you. Lots of bowing. Glad it’s about the Buddha and not some weird California cult.

Coincidentally, there’s an SMC here who I met last summer. She is pregnant–after a failed IVF, she went back to IUIs. We keep catching each other on the way to meals and then get cut off as we observe ten minutes of silence at the beginning of meals. Somehow I think we both only want to go there in smaller doses, which seems appropriate here.

There was a yoga pose yesterday where we laid on a bolster going the length of our spine with the bottoms of our feet together and knees resting on zafus, arms splayed out. To me it felt like, “Here’s my uterus, universe! Ready to receive!” We held the pose for twenty minutes.