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

peace

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

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

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

20130128-210436.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

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

the plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Plan:

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

 

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.

 

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

may i be kind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

breakup, outdoors, running

liebster award

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

Image

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

Questions from Return to Go with answers from me:

What is the last book you finished?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the last movie you watched?

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

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

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

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

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

Have you ever been in a protest?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where was your last vacation?

Brazil!

* * *

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

Candlelight and Pacifiers

All My Pretty Ones

Belonging Matters

Single Lesbian Mama

Grasping at Conception

From Beans to Rainbow Baby

Single Motherhood by Choice

Amy’s New Adventure

So Easy Homemade

Pedantic Princess

Bucket List Publications

Questions for you:

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

2. What is one of your guilty pleasures?

3. Who is someone you miss?

4. What is your favorite thing about your life?

5. What is your favorite post on your blog?

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

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

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

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

10. What is the last book you read?

11. What is your biggest pet peeve?

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

life

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

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

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

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

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

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