Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Squirrels Falling From Trees

Yesterday I was walking to work through Madison Square Park.  This is a beautiful park with loads of green space, tall leafy trees and tons of squirrels.  You can even find them trying to eat banana peels!

My mind was swimming with thoughts of all I'd gone through the past weekend and wondering what my protocol for the next cycle would be when suddenly I heard:

In front of me lay a squirrel crumpled on the pavement having fallen from the tree above me. Our eyes locked as his body twitched.  Horrified, I looked around this normally busy park to find someone who had witnessed this crazy event.  A woman came up behind me and I pointed to the poor squirrel.  She remarked that she'd heard the crash and we both stood on the path speechless.

"This is a bad omen, an ominous beginning to my day", I worried out loud....
And then the little guy gave a big jerk, righted himself up and scampered over the grass, just like that.

The woman, this perfect stranger, put her hand on my arm and looking me in the eye said, 
"It's not a bad omen.  It just means that sometimes we fall down.  And when we do, we need to pull ourselves together, get back up and carry on again."

Bidding me a nice day she walked away.

Monday, May 26, 2008

This is Not a Belly Shot

Of a pregnant woman.
This is a belly shot of a woman who has just been told she was probably a little bit pregnant and it just didn't stick.  So, I guess I was right about getting pregnant in May...sort of.
The red-headed, fat lady is currently singing her heart out and that's all there is to say.

I've had so many phone calls today and well wishes from both internet land and people I know in real life.  To know that so many people care about me and love me has made this day not just bearable but ultimately one where at feel at peace.
Right after getting the news, a friend made a special trip to the park to bring me wine and sit with K and I awhile.
Then, 2 more people showed up and 2 more...people came and went throughout the afternoon.
K and I made dinner and we ended the evening with a picnic in the park and a new group of friends.

This week I'll have to talk to my RE and see where do we go from here.  I'm scared as hell to go on meds not because of putting drugs in my body per se, but because of the risk of multiples. My body can safely handle one baby.  My RE has said I 'could' carry twins, but that I will be high-risk.  In two weeks, I turn 39, so I'm already on the edge of risky territory right there.
No one said this journey would be easy...

Thanks for all of your messages and comments and phone calls and love.
I feel it and it means a lot to me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Madness in the Toilet Stall

We took the world's longest walk yesterday, starting at 18th and the East River and took the esplanade all the way down to the lower tip of Manhattan, did a bit of sitting meditation in front of the Statue of Liberty, then headed up the West side on the Hudson River, passing Battery Park City.

We made another stop at the marina in front of the World Financial Center (where the WTC towers used to be), where we ate dinner as we watched a glorious sunset and then continued up the west side esplanade to the West Village, crossing over at 11th Street and walking across Manhattan to go back home where we started over 5 hours earlier.

Exhausted, but with a clear head, we discovered we'd walked almost 8 miles!

This morning there has been alot more blood and clots as well, madness in the toilet stall!  This happened 3 different times and I was trying to be all zen and not worry, but suddenly I was overwhelmed with the most incredible nausea.  I'd been in the middle of making breakfast and everything was fine, when BAM.  It hit me like a wave.  I grabbed the trash can and collapsed on the couch covered with sweat and chilling.  Ten minutes later...totally fine.

I called my nurse and she has assured me that there's no way it could be an ectopic (good news) but could tell me nothing else.
There are only 2 possibilities:
  • I'm pregnant (yes, please, I'll take one baby, thank you)
  • I'm having my period (never had a period this early, this type AND my temp is still elevated)
Today, we are running errands and laying around in the park...

Tomorrow, I go for a blood pregnancy test at 8am!  
By noon on Monday I will know 100% what is going on!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Still Spotting

And freaking out.  It's not AF, but it's not normal.  It comes and it goes now for almost 4 days.
I broke down this morning and took a test...BFN...but with a possible faint second line.
We went to brunch and in the bathroom I was SURE I had started my period, then came home and nothing!
This is maddening!!!!
I'm playing Dr. Google and while there's loads of information, it's all different.
My nurse called me back yesterday and encouraged me to try to wait until at least Monday if not Tuesday to test (which of course I failed to wait!).
K is really doing her best to keep my spirits up, be supportive, keep me from buying a pregnancy test and talking to me about our future vacation plans--that always takes my mind off of bad things!

Thinking of Bali, not going to test, thinking of Bali, not going to test....

Going on a long, long walk now....goodbye internets.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How Long Can You Stare at the Crotch of Your Panties?

Crotch.  What a word and not a very attractive one, either.  Most words that are ugly in English usually end up sounding great in French, but this one fails me "organ genitale" is roughly what is translates to and I don't find much comfort in this either.
But let's get back to my crotch, shall we?

For the first time, I *think* I'm having symptoms.  Like spotting.  I mean, something is going on and it's not normal...and spotting is the closest description I can provide without completely grossing out my gay, male readers (and yes, I do have a few believe it or not!).  If indeed this is what's happening then it could well be implantation bleeding that I'm seeing a bit of and that would be right on target as it's 9DPO...or AF is rearing her bloody head and bearing down upon me--Really F*cking Early--a week early.

Of course, I'm hoping for the former for obvious reasons and if it's the latter, not only will I feel let down once again by AF's arrival, but also more distraught than ever as it will mean my cycle is incredibly out of whack.

I'm also having a bit of cramping, more yesterday than today....and I can't be sure if it was because my 12 pound cat had just stepped squarely on them or what, but I'm pretty sure my breasts are more tender than normal.

Fatigue has also been present.  I've been in meetings for the last two days and found myself yawning non-stop, really fighting to stay awake.  Now, one one hand, it could just very well be that because I have relatives staying in my house and we are staying up later than usual and I don't sleep as well with could be THE FATIGUE.  
Whatever it is, I left work early yesterday, came home and took a nap.  I never do that.  Never.

As I sat on the toilet last night...pondering this new found symptom, I reached down for my last pregnancy test strip.
I got a package of them for free and have one left...turning it over I found the expiration date, 5/08.
I'm taking that as a good sign!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Shot in the Stomach

Last night I had to give my cousin, who is squatting on my couch for three days, a shot in her stomach.
I didn't want to do it, but she couldn't/wouldn't do it herself and neither would her daughter.
That left me.
I said, "well, if I ever have to do injectables and/or IVF, this will give me an idea of what I'll have to do to myself."
Right after that I thought, "I think I've cursed myself.  Does this mean I'm going to be doing this?"
And for the first time all week, I felt not pregnant.

It's 7DPO and I know it's too early to tell one way or another and I really try SO hard not to obsess over every twinge or temp rise, but I felt for the first time ever this month I really could be pregnant this time.  I never felt that way with IUI #1 or #2....but this one had possibilities...until that shot in the stomach.

The shot wasn't so bad, I could do it to myself if I had to, but I'd much rather I didn't...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pole Dancing and Jayson Williams

Last year on my birthday, K had a surprise party for me at my favorite Thai restaurant in Queens. We had such a great night having delicious food in the patio garden, but then it got even better.

My friend J is a pole dancing instructor for Shelia Kelley’s S Factor. And she’s quite the exhibitionist (along with being somewhat of a devout Christian/Jesus freak and somehow those two things just don’t seem to go together, do they??), but still…we didn’t expect her to spontaneously ‘change’ into her pole dancing panties on the freaking subway platform in order to show us her skillz on the N train.

But she did. And her skills are AMAZING. They delighted not only our crew, but the entire subway car who mostly sat silenced with mouths agape.

What does this have to do with Jayson Williams? Absolutely nothing.

But to illustrate that random, strange, spontaneous things happen in my NYC life and that is how I ended up having drinks with Jayson Williams, former NBA basketball player and oh, right, the guy who may or may not have killed his bodyguard a few years back (he was acquitted, but hey so was O.J.).

K and I had dinner with two girlfriend’s on Saturday night at Suba on the Lower East Side. We had a 9:15 reservation and for an HOUR they told us that they were ‘getting the table ready’. They offered us champagne and then cocktails (and I can’t have either!!!) and then appetizers on the house before we were finally sat at 10:30pm. I sat on the banquette side and was ridiculously close to the table next to me, a 4-top full of BIG, LOUD men. I pay no attention.

Seriously, sometimes I am obliviously blind when it comes to spotting famous people. I can be out with friends and they will point out ‘there’s Liv Tyler, there’s Mario Batelli’ and then I realize it. But by myself, not so much. So when I notice that K and C were whispering and sending glances…and hey so was that table next to them…I figured someone at the table just inches from me was ‘someone famous’. Which one, I didn’t know, but it turns out it’s the one with his large, long leg inches away from mine. Never one to be deterred, I simply put my hand on his leg and said “Hi, sorry to bother you, but I know that you’re someone famous, but I really don’t know who you are and my friends (who are mortified at this point) and I are trying to figure it out.”

Ever so gracious for someone 6’10” he leaned in, introduced himself and then said, “But you’re someone, too. Who are you?”

Without going into all the boring details, he proceeded to keep up the flirtatious conversation, sent over a very expensive bottle of wine (that I couldn’t drink!!) and after dinner invited us to the back room to have drinks with he and his group. By the end of the night, he’d paid for everything, including our dinner, asked my friend C if she would have sex with him (the answer-no-and I don’t think he’s used to that!), talked about Freud, women and what they want, his relationship woes and other things too graphic and scandalous to mention.

It was a fascinating night not only because I've never been part of someone's entourage and it was an interesting way to spend what could have been a very routine dinner and dancing with friends, but also because here’s a guy who grew up on the Lower East Side, rose to stardom for this amazing talent, is worth $87 million, but at the end of the day wonders if his own wife really loves him or is just with him for his money. Sad.

K and I walked home, in heels as there were no cabs to be had, soaked our feet in epsom salts and were happy to not be rich and famous.

You can read C's take on the evening here.

And how was your Saturday night?

Friday, May 16, 2008

887 Visits from 24 Countries--Leave a Message!

I just ran a very detailed Google Analytics report for my blog.
Wow.  Did you mean to come here or did you accidently stumble upon my blog?
I find the below listed countries of the utmost intrigue:
  • Syria
  • Indonesia
  • Kenya
  • India
  • Brazil
  • Romania
  • Sweden 
  • China
So if you're out there reading...and I know you are...leave me a comment, I'd love to meet my fellow world bloggers!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage

Hello, California? Hi, we came to see you last August and we did the L.A. real estate tour for 10 days and we were seriously considering moving to you. But the timing was off, something wasn't right.
Then, we went to S.F. this winter and we really loved you. You seemed smarter than L.A. even though we really are fond of palm trees...
And now, you do this to us? When we love you so much already and fear that every winter in NYC we will die from freezing winds whipping down the avenues. This makes it very difficult for us, California.
I'll tell you what...we're going to get pregnant first. Then, we're going to get the main moneymaker transferred so someone else picks up that cross-country moving bill.
And then...well California, we may just have to move.
Because really, it would get us six hours closer to Asia and now the gay marriage thing? That's just icing on the cake!

***I wish you weren't subject to a ballot cast in November...that could change everything***

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Going for my Insemination NOW--IUI #3

This is totally unexpected. I've never surged this early or had a follicle this big--19mm--so early in the cycle.
I was freaking this morning that I'd missed it because my temp had surged a bit, but the blood says otherwise and here we go again.
More later....

OK, I’m back.
So…what happened?!?!

Well for the past two months I have surged around the 15th/16th and done inseminations accordingly.
This was the protocol for May as well and I had anticipated going into the RE on this morning and slowly watching my follicle grow and my blood levels rise.

But No.
Sunday I found our friend ‘spin’. If you don’t know what spin is…
**warning TMI ahead**

…it’s the lovely egg-white cervical mucous right before you ovulate.

Naturally I OPK’ed, but it was negative.
That’s OK, our friend spin can show up for a few days in advance.

Yesterday, in the late afternoon OPK’ed again in the bathroom stall of my office (good times!) and it was positive. It was too late for me to go to the RE, so I OPK’ed again at 9pm, called my nurse to tell her the news and that I’d be in this morning and that I thought we would be inseminating.
Thankfully we have our vial o’ swimmers ready and waiting in the lab, so no drama there.

However, this morning I did my BBT and found that it had gone up a few degrees. I don’t have a very steep spike and my acupuncturist and I are both afraid based on my BBT last month that we missed it and did the insemination one day too late. By the time we got to the VIFC at 8:30am I was a bit on the freaking out side thinking that we’d missed it.
They did the ultrasound and found a nice fat follie, but what I didn’t know is that you can’t tell from the ultrasound if that follicle has ruptured or not—thus indicating that you have indeed ovulated and missed your try this month.

My sweet, sweet nurse agreed to rush my blood work while I rushed off to a meeting at work and could only do the insemination in between meetings. As if this day weren’t complicated and stressful enough already!
So I’m in a meeting from 9:30-10:45, nurse calls, all systems are go, I cab it back at 11:15 and by 12:30 I’m back at my office only 30 minutes late for a 2-hour meeting.


When it came time to deposit the goods, my nurse told me that she saw lots of cervical mucous which made me positively giddy with excitement and gave me hope that indeed we had NOT missed it.

She was in and out in record time—in fact I never even felt it—which leads me to think my cervix was wide open, ready and waiting.

Last month she had a lot of trouble threading it through, it was a little painful and another reason why I believe we missed it as my cervix was probably already closing up.

You may have noticed careful reader, that in one of the above sentences I have referred to “we”. That’s right, for the first time ever, K, who is working from home this week, was actually able to experience this occasion of insemination with me! We tried to make out in the room afterwards, but we both starting laughing because it really is quite strange to do anything sexual in those rooms. She did have a little fun playing doctor with the snake light—heehee.

As I’ve referenced before, I have high hopes for May. From the beginning I felt this would be month as one day walking to the clinic my mind went into numerology overdrive and without boring you of all the crazy details, May looked extremely favorable. Last but not least, May 12th was the Buddha’s birthday and while I was wishing for a Buddha baby, I’ll settle with a Buddha surge.
In the meantime, we’ll add vial number 3 to the Spirit House and do a little fertility dance and act like crazy people.

Oh! AND this morning K bought advance tickets for the upcoming Madonna Hard Candy tour! That has to be a good omen!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Misery Didn't Get Me

I’ve been M.l.A. I’m sorry.

Right after getting my BFN, I had to go out of town to visit my family in Missouri which I will refer to as Misery for reasons that should become obvious.

I haven’t been there in almost three years, but K and I went to be with my mom for an early Mother’s Day weekend.

While labeling myself Zen is quite a stretch, I’m not a terribly anxious person.
All of that changes when I am preparing for a family visit when I become nervous and twitchy and generally difficult to deal with.
My family is a small, simple, uneducated, born-again Southern Baptist clan. We don’t have much to say to each other.

There are small towns with vibrant energy and there are small towns with their souls gouged out and my hometown is the latter.
If you’ve never been to this part of the
Misery Midwest, let me tell you that it is a brain-drained, economically depressed area. There used to be factories and chicken plants and dairies where young men with HS degrees would get a job and go about their lives, but with most things, the factories have largely closed and the plants now hire cheap labor.

Growing up, three kids to a divorced mom with a high school education, we were very poor. When I was five and my aunt was dying in a hospital from breast cancer, my mom fell down the stairs and never got back up. They took her away and for a year I lived with my grandfather while my mother lay in a hospital bed paralyzed from the neck down. She didn’t even have her own mother there with her most of the time because my grandmother was taking care of her other daughter in a city 4 hours away.
My father wouldn’t take all of us, so we were split amongst family members and I spent my first year of school playing by myself in my grandparent’s basement.

The year I turned six, my mother recovered from the rare and mysterious syndrome and came home again but our family would never fully recover.
That same year I was raped by a family friend repeatedly.
I told my mother and while she made sure I never had to be around him again, she never did anything about it. She neither confronted him nor went to the authorities.

My mom did without many things so we never had to go on welfare or be those kids who had to go to the front of the lunch line. She knew what that would be like for us and wanted to save us this humiliation. Nevertheless, everyone in this small town of 5,000 people knew we were poor. I had one pair of shoes for the entire school year in third grade and I remember other kid’s parents wouldn’t let them spend the night with me because my mom was divorced and we lived in an apartment. I hated her for this.
We used to roam the rural roads at dusk collecting cans and my mom made it a game and we never knew it was because she was selling the cans for money.

In the 4th grade my mom started dating her future alcoholic husband and he started sexually, physically and mentally abusing me.
I knew the last time this happened, I had told my mom and she had protected me.
But this time, I told my mom, I told her best friend and I even told my grandmother. They called me a liar and two years later she married him anyway.

When I was 14 and had devised many ways to kill myself, she left him after he chased her down the hallway with a baseball bat, pausing long enough in my doorway to ask me, “little bitch” if I wanted some of this, too.
I was sent away after that to live with relatives while my mother settled in a new town.

My high school years were a blur of alcohol and depression. I know I had good times because the signatures are in my yearbook, but I don’t really remember much.
By this point, I had become an expert at blocking things out--my mind like Swiss cheese with great gaping holes.

My senior year in high school, my mom, who was never really around, moved in with her soon-to-be third husband, leaving me on my own, working two jobs and trying to finish high school.

That year I met a rich Japanese college student who fell in love with me and wanted to marry me and take me back with him. When I told my mother he beat me she said, “but he loves you and he has money, marry him.”

Let me make this clear: I had no role models. Ever. I basically raised myself. There’s no teacher in this story who came along and made a difference or relative who took me in. I should have been dead or a drug addict or a teen pregnancy statistic or a domestic violence abuse victim or any number of things other than what I became.

My brother’s were not so lucky. But somewhere from all of the neglect and abuse came a fire and a fury in me to not only survive but to fight.

So when it’s time for Mother’s Day, it’s hard to find that special card because what ever I find, I never really mean it.

She’s come a long way my mom, but the best thing she could’ve ever said to me was when I asked her how she felt about me trying to get pregnant. Looking me in the eye last week she bravely declared, “I know you’ll make a better mother than I ever was. I made so many mistakes and I can’t take them back and I’m sorry.”
That was a great Mother’s Day present.

I love her, she’s my mother. But I don’t like her very well which makes going home very painful.

All I want to be is a good mother, to stop this cycle of poverty and abuse and show that I can raise a child the way I deserved to be raised.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

BFN #2--Day 1 Cycle #3

So, it's a Big Fat Negative. I didn't even need to take a test this morning as AF arrived, just as predicted.
But you know, I knew it. The universe said it to me loud and clear on April 20 in my bedroom. We were having the apartment painted on April 22 (had the appointment booked since January and couldn't really change it...) and had to clear everything out, up and off into the middle of the rooms and cover it all with plastic.
It's like moving without moving and it's Horrible. As we were deconstructing the bedroom, I realized with horror that I had

Now anyone who knows me will laugh right now because you will be thinking "um, you just realized that?!" No, I didn't 'just' realize it, but it hit me with a force since I need to make room for baby.
It's not that I'm a pack-rat, maybe just a pack-gerbil, you know...something on a smaller scale. I like collecting things and I like saving things. Looking at things that I've saved and collected brings me peace and happiness and I have always hoped that someday I would have children who would spend rainy days looking at all of mom's old things and enjoying them immensely.
So there are things I just cannot get rid of.

Plus, I've moved around so much that this is my permanence. Since I was born I can count 28 moves. I have no childhood home and my home travels with me. So all these things that I collect are a part of me and most of them I just can't bear to part with.

Enter the Container Store. If I can't get rid of it, I have to find a better way to contain it! What the paint project became was an entire apartment renovation project and at one point I heard the universe scream at me to get all this crap done before adding something else--like a baby--to the mix. Call me crazy, but that's when I knew I wasn't pregnant this month. So, we went ahead and stained the furniture.

From the very beginning, way back in the cold, dark month of January, I had the feeling that May would be the month. We shall see...

Tonight I'm going to a birthday party for one of my best friends and I think I'll have a glass of champagne and celebrate! Yes, it's bad news for me...but someone got pregnant today and good things are happening all over. I have a lot to be thankful for and I'm going to keep focusing on that.