May 27, 2008


I am thinking of how much hatred there is in the world, of how often we resort to words and actions filled with hatred to try to change another person, to try to get our way in the world, to try to declare our stance - what we believe is right and wrong. I don't believe that this works.

I think love, the loving of another human being in a relationship, that is the only way true transformation occurs. Only then can minds and hearts be changed and differences and experiences understood. But this is not an easy task.

Just something I am pondering.

While I ponder, here are some quotes on love and hate from those much wiser than I:

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.
-Coretta Scott King

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.
-Herman Hesse

We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

-Jonathon Swift

Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being "drawn toward." Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one's friends and enemies.

Love creates righteousness, or justice, here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk. People working today on behalf of women, blacks, lesbians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this country and elsewhere know that making justice is not a warm, fuzzy experience. I think also that sexual lovers and good friends know that the most compelling relationships demand hard work, patience, and a willingness to endure tensions and anxiety in creating mutually empowering bonds.

For this reason loving involves commitment. We are not automatic lovers of self, others, world, or God. Love does not just happen. We are not love machines, puppets on the strings of a deity called "love." Love is a choice -- not simply, or necessarily, a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be present to others without pretense or guile. Love is a conversion to humanity -- a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and broken lives. Love is the choice to experience life as a member of the human family, a partner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.
-Carter Heyward

And as the priest would say at the end of the service, in the Episcopal church I attended growing up:

Go forth and love one another.

and just one more:

I may be the villain in your story....but I am a good man.
Dr. Richard Webber (Grey's Anatomy)

May 26, 2008

The One Who Got Away

I am finally ready to tell the "rest of the story"...

I needed Friday to be only about celebration, only about joy - I needed to only talk about our Poblano with its beautiful flickering heartbeat and its perfect, right on track, development. I needed one whole day only to talk about how wonderful it was to finally have a baby, our baby, growing inside of me. I needed one day to be about that and that alone.

But there was something else that we saw during our ultrasound on Friday. There was another amniotic sac, one with a yolk sac inside and the tiniest dot of what had been our Poblano's twin, but had stopped growing at some point. We asked the nurse several times if she was sure - if she was really sure there was "nothing" there. And she showed us several times and assured us that she could tell us with certainty that one of the sacs was "empty".

I was not prepared for this. Neither of us were. We thought it would be simple. Either there would be one little pepper or two, or our worst fear - none. But we were totally unprepared to see one thriving and growing, and the other, well - not.

We felt so torn. When left alone in the room we both kept repeating that we didn't know what to feel. We were so happy, thrilled really - to see our little Poblano with its strong little heart just pumping away. But we felt a very real sense of loss and sadness for the one who wasn't.

I have gone through all sorts of emotions about this. I have felt incredibly guilty and broken, wondering if I did something to cause this - wondering why I couldn't support both babies. Was it the day I worked a little too hard in the garden? Or the day I lifted something I shouldn't have?

I have talked to friends and family who have assured me that this happens so often in nature, that it is not my fault. In fact, it may have even happened to someone in my own family. I read statistics online showing that this probably happens in more pregnancies than we realize - maybe as often as 1 in 12 (it is missed because most women aren't even given ultrasounds this early and by the time they are given an ultrasound, the "twin" has "vanished").

I am trying to wrap my mind around a mystery that I cannot explain. I want to find reason and meaning where none is certain.

I am perplexed. I am torn. We have one incredible little pepper growing away - and that in itself is a miracle worthy of celebrating. And I am celebrating. I know. I know how lucky and blessed I am. I know.

But I also cannot stop thinking about "the one who got away". The one who didn't make it. It is a loss, and I am grieving it.

By the next ultrasound, there may be nothing there, nothing to show for the twin that our Poblano will never meet. When this happens it is called a "vanishing twin". It makes it sound so magical and mysterious - "vanishing".

But, I wonder if the image of and the longing for this one will ever really vanish for me. I saw a movie the other night and at the end one of the characters is surprised by having twins. As I saw her holding her two babies, a voice in my head asked, "Why couldn't I have two healthy twins? Why wasn't my body able to support them both?" I was actually shocked by this feeling. It makes me wonder whether I will ever forget that my child started as two. Whether I will always feel this sense of someone who is missing. Or, like so many other losses we experience in life - will the sharp feeling in my chest fade over time? Will it eventually be something we talk about casually in our family? Will the overwhelming joy and love I feel for the one who is growing and thriving overshadow this loss and ultimately wash it away?

Once again I find myself holding a great joy and anticipation, and grieving for what was lost - all at once. This is a strange place to be, an unexpected place to be. But it is a loss I want to grieve. Even as I know that I must let it go......

This is one picture where you can see them both. Next ultrasound, this may all just seem like a dream or a distant memory. There may be nothing left to see of our "Serrano".

Dear Serrano,

Thank you for fighting so hard to implant and grow. Thank you for the short time you were with us. I am so sad that I will never meet you here, that I will never hold you. I do not understand why you had to leave us, and I wish I had been able to stop it somehow. But whatever this means, wherever you are - know that you were and are dearly loved. My love goes with you wherever you have gone.


May 23, 2008

Project Poblano: Right on Track!

Well......ladies and gentlemen......we have ONE. ONE perfect, lovely, incredible, amazing, beautiful, wonderful BABY!!!

We have decided, contrary to our poll results ("Bell" was the winner by one vote) that this little one feels like a "Poblano" we're going with it. And today, at 6weeks 3days old, our Poblano is right on track, measuring just about 5mm long and with a heartbeat (gasp! a heartbeat!) of 109. I started crying as I watched the teeniest tiniest heart I could ever imagine work away inside of me so perfectly. I am so proud of our little one. What a miracle.

Thanks to everyone for praying, for wishing, for thinking of us, for holding our hands, for voting on silly polls, and for supporting us. We are truly aware of how utterly blessed we are. We really feel like celebrating here we go!!!!

May 21, 2008

Loaves and Fishes

This is one of my favorite poems, I felt inclined to share it tonight:

Loaves and Fishes
by David Whyte

This is not
the age of information.

This is
the age of information.

Forget the news,
and the radio,
and the blurred screen.

This is the time
of loaves
and fishes.

People are hungry,
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.

May 20, 2008

Week 6

Dearest little pepper(s),

If only you knew how much hope and faith it was requiring of me in this moment just to write this letter to you. In fact, last week's letter is in my private journal for you, because it was just too scary to put it out here like this.

I feel as if my heart is breaking with the full weight of both hope and fear simultaneously.

I want to simply be hopeful, ecstatic, joyful. I want to be picking out baby clothes and contemplating your nursery.

But I am afraid.

And up until today I have been feeling so guilty for this fear, for my inability to blindly jump into joy and hope and simply be happy. I have been feeling the best I could do was to make space for my heart in the midst of this fear and be honest about it so that you might some day also know how to make this same space for your own heart when you are afraid. And I still think it is important that I do this.

But tonight, as I was cooking dinner, I remembered something crucial.

When your father asked me to marry him, I was terrified. I knew in the depths of my soul he was the only man for me, I knew with my whole heart that I loved him like no other, my very being cried out with a resounding "Yes!". But still, I was terrified. In fact (and we will tell you the whole story some day), after an entire day of ridiculously romantic, incredible, and magical engagement activities - I broke out in hives and ran home to my own bed to process it all and collapse in an exhausted heap. I was worn out from trying so hard not to be afraid.

Though our short engagement period was romantic and sweet and I only fell more in love with your father, I remained scared. Scared of what was to come, scared of losing what I already had, scared of something tragic happening to your father ( throughout the first entire year of marriage I panicked several times a week thinking he might die in a car wreck or something similar). I was terrified of losing him, terrified of being lost myself.

And on our wedding day? I woke up, again, completely frightened. Even as I walked down the aisle - I was more than a little scared. Excited, hopeful, in love - but terrified as well.

So, why did I go through with it? How did I know, in spite of my fears, that this was right? Well, something deep deep down inside me felt, even as your father asked me to marry him, that there was something true and good and right about this - and something in my heart told me that to take this step, to choose to love, to choose to hope, to choose joy - this was the greatest act of faith I could engage in. And I knew that though I was so scared, that this act of faith and trust was the right thing and the best thing for me to do. In spite of my fear, I chose courage - I chose life - I chose joy.

And I have never ever regretted it. I love your father today more than I ever did when we married, more than I could imagine loving someone when we married. It is still a risk, every day - to love him this much. But I do not regret it. He has brought me more joy and life than I ever would have experienced without him. And without him, there would be no you.

I tell you this story not to convince you to ignore your fear. Most of the time I believe that fear has an important message for us - one we should listen carefully to. Sometimes, we still must proceed with courage in the midst of fear - but I rarely, if ever, think it should be ignored.

No, I am telling you all of this to say that tonight I remembered the faith and courage it took me to believe in love, to believe in your father, to listen to the truest parts of my heart and to take that great leap of trust. And I realized that although I am terrified of losing you, scared that I won't be a good enough mother, panicked about whether we will have a good ultrasound on Friday - I can choose, to take a great leap of faith and trust again and believe in you, believe in myself, and believe in this joy. And it feels right to believe. It feels again, like this chance to have a great faith and trust in something much larger than myself, in the midst of the great unknown.

And so I am, I am choosing to have faith - to take courage. I am choosing to trust this joy.
(And oh, what a joy you are to me already)

I am also telling you this story because I realized tonight that I have this pattern. This pattern of becoming very very fearful in the face of a great joy or a tremendous gift. I do not always know how to receive these, how to relax and let myself become fully intoxicated by these moments. This is something I want to grow in.

Because I want for you, and tonight my wish for you is, that you would always feel free to embrace joy wherever it meets you. I do not want you to fear it, although sometimes you still might - joy is a vulnerable thing. I want you to recognize it and to dance with it, to let it into your heart and to love it. I want you to taste the delicious freedom of joy, true joy, without fear. So tonight, this is my wish and my blessing for you.

My promise to you is that I will try very hard to trust joy more fully when she comes, or at least to celebrate with her while she is here. And I will always try to help you, as best as I am able, to live without a fear of joy. I think babies are born with this ability (so perhaps it will be you teaching me) - but I will do my best to ensure you don't lose it entirely in your journey of growing up. Because joy, true joy, as scary as it can be at times - it is like a perfect taste of heaven.

All my love,


May 16, 2008

A beautiful mess...

Wow. It has been almost a week since I last posted.

I have thought about what I wanted to write so many times but the words just didn't come.

I didn't want to admit that I was having a hard time. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and guilty. Here I am, holding new life in my belly, the realization of all my hopes and prayers and instead of smiling all day and daydreaming about my future children, I am having anxiety attacks and visualizing going to our ultrasound only to find out that there is nothing there. Oh, and taking pregnancy tests so I can compulsively compare the darkness of the lines.

It's been a hard week. And I feel terrible about that.

I have been thinking about reasons for this a lot. I think the first culprit is my super-high hormone levels. Not only do I have the regular pregnancy hormones surging through my veins, but I am still on estrogen and progesterone supplements. I imagine this cocktail might make anyone a little frantic. So there's that. In fact, my counselor told me yesterday (and oh, it was SUCH a good counseling session - like a massage for my entire soul) - that most of the women who come to see her early in their pregnancies are sitting on her couch expressing similar anxieties and fears. So, maybe all this craziness is just a very definitive sign that I am most certainly pregnant. For real.

I think another factor feeding into all my fears and anxieties is my experience with infertility. First of all, it took so long to get here, and involved methods ultimately so foreign to me, that I feel this intense fragility surrounding this pregnancy, as if this pregnancy is somehow more delicate or uncertain because of its beginnings. It feels very hard to trust and believe everything will be ok. And secondly, though in the beginning - 2.5 years ago - I had complete faith in my body, I simply knew that I was meant to be a mother, meant to carry babies - over the years, that faith and trust in myself has been worn down quite a bit. And now, when I must trust that my body will know exactly how to do this, how to sustain life, how to nurture my child(ren) - some of that faith is missing. There is a little bit of a disconnect. And I hate that, because as far as I can tell, my body is doing a superb job of this, with or without my nagging and supervision.

Then there are always those internal issues: my own feelings of being unworthy to accept this incredible gift, my anxiety at being so ultimately out of control but still somehow feeling it is all up to me, my fears that I won't be a good mother, my guilt for going through all of this right now and not being able to protect my tiny innocent child(ren) from my emotions.

Obviously, there has been a perspective shift - and I am doing my best to ever so gently shift it back.

I prepared mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually for going through the IVF process - I knew it would be taxing and I knew that I wanted to keep a positive perspective throughout, and except for a couple freak-outs I managed pretty well.

But, I forgot to "prepare" to be pregnant. And well, even if I had, is there any way to be truly prepared? How do you prepare to be so happy, to feel so much love, and at the same time feel terrified that this happiness, this joy will be taken from you? How do you prepare for that kind of vulnerability?

Like I said, I am shifting my perspective, bit by bit. The good news is that it is not "all up to me" - the bad news is, "I am not in control". Such a fragile place to rest, indeed.

It's been a hard week. But, it is getting better. Much better.

I am going to close now with some words given to me yesterday by my dear and wonderful counselor that are borrowed from a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, entitled, "There is a time to be born, and it is now.":

Give us the power to be receptive,
to take the newness you give,
to move from womb warmth to real life....

May 10, 2008


I think I need a "do over".

Mr. Spicy and I use this term whenever one of us has done something or said something we regret and wished we could go back and "do over". I have asked him for a lot of these over the years.

I am asking for a "do over".

I was hurt yesterday, and truthfully, I am still hurting. But, I posted something out of anger and pain and allowed a very small group of people to affect me much more than I would have liked to.

What I regret is that I took the time to write about them instead of writing about the much much larger group of people who have surrounded me with joy and happiness and blessings this week. I wish I would have written a post about the gratitude that I feel for all of them, and all of you, instead.

Because I have never been so overwhelmed with support and love in my life. Emails, comments on the blog, calls, etc. People who have traveled this road with me for years and have never stopped hoping for us, people I have only known for a few short months, and even people I have never met came out to tell me how happy they were for me, for us. This experience has been humbling and it honestly hasn't even fully hit me yet.

I have been consistently amazed at how good people can be, how much they will allow themselves to hope on someone else's behalf, how wonderful it is to have so many people to celebrate with. So first and foremost, if I had a "do over" I would say "Thank you" to all of you. Thank you is not enough - but I do not have any bigger words to express how filled with gratitude I am for your words, for your hearts, for your prayers, for your joy, for your goodness. I can feel your love, your kindness, your good will surrounding me. Thank you.

And, to draw from a post Denise made yesterday, I cannot help but to be especially grateful for the support coming from those of you who are still waiting, who are still in the struggle, and who have recently experienced a loss. Your ability to celebrate and give to me in the midst of what you are going through is really inspiring and beautiful. I know how hard it was for me at times to truly celebrate with others when they would get that ever elusive positive that I had waited so long for.

Like Denise said in her post, this all feels so new to me. Suddenly everything has changed in a few short days and I am in a new "category". I have crossed over some unseen threshold and I stand in a place that for so long I could only imagine. But I still feel very much the same. In many ways, I still feel like (as Denise put it), "same old infertile me".

And while, for me, I am just continuing to write from my heart and that doesn't feel a whole lot different than before - I do realize that my posts have become and will become increasingly about this pregnancy and motherhood. And again, echoing Denise's post, I hope I will continue to be someone who is supportive and encouraging to all of you - I want to be there for you, and I long to celebrate you, as you have celebrated me, when your heart's desires are finally met. But I do know from experience that this blog might not be what some of you will want or need to read during this time - and I understand. I really really do. I am so grateful you have journeyed with me thus far, and while I hope you will stick around, if you need to take space - I really do understand .

I am filled to the brim with gratitude tonight. The support I have received from so many of you has been what has truly kept me afloat at times, and the excitement and encouragement you have given me this week has invited me to a very risky, very scary, but very beautiful place, a place of Joy.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

May 09, 2008


When I first started this blog, when we first made the decision to do IVF - I knew that there were a few, if not many, people in my life who didn't agree with what we were doing. I knew that for moral, ethical, personal reasons, there would be those who could not or would not support us. Only one person came out and said this to me directly, but I suspected there were others.

So, when we started down this fork in the road I sent out an email to friends and family letting them know that we were doing this, we would understand if they could not support us, and that I would be writing a blog where they could read updates on the process if they wanted to. If they wanted nothing to do with this - fine, you don't have to read. I understand. I do.

Now - I find out that not only are people who are not supportive reading this, but they are reading this to ridicule me, this process, and this blog. In addition to this, they are openly inviting friends to read it and do the same.

This really shouldn't matter to me - and on some level it doesn't. I know that some bloggers have had to make their blogs private for this very reason. But, I don't want to do that. There are some really amazing women who I have met through this process who I never would have met if I had kept a private blog.

I am hurt, yes. But mostly, I am perplexed. If you think I am "overly dramatic" or "stupid" or "irrelevant" - if you really don't care about me or what I am writing about, then why do you read this? Is your life truly that small that you need to take pleasure from tearing another person down for sharing her feelings, for offering and asking for support, for documenting a sacred and important time in her life?

I guess I just do not understand your motivation on any level. I do not understand insulting someone, laughing at them behind their back, cheapening something meaningful to them. I do not understand meanness for the sake of meanness.

If you do not like me? I am totally fine with that.

If you do not like my blog? Even more fine with that.

If you think I am full of shit and you don't agree with IVF? Whatever.

But then, really, why are you coming here? There are people you can identify with all over the internet. Why spend your time here of all places? I have made no secret what this blog is about or what kind of person I am. If that is not your cup of tea, why do you come here?

I am not asking you to understand, I am not asking for your support. I am not asking for you to like me.

I am just asking you, nicely, to please find somewhere else to go.

Thank you.

or, actually, on second thought....stick around. You may think I am dramatic, over-emotional, self-absorbed, ridiculous, and delusional now - but you have truly seen nothing yet! Once these pregnancy hormones really kick into gear? Watch out! But hey, don't say I didn't warn you.

(Seriously though? it's a big wide internet out might want to check it out. Really. Ready. set. GO!)

May 08, 2008

Our pepper is a perfectionist.....

We got our 2nd beta results today. They "like" to see it double in 2 days, but only require that it goes up 66%.

I had written all over that date on my calendar: "Double", "Double", "Double"......

My suggestion must have gotten through.

The nurse was laughing when she called. She said, "You must have a numbers baby."

I was confused.

She explained that our 2nd beta was: 394

394 - exactly double from Tuesday (197). She said that NEVER happens. Our pepper got the number right on the spot.

Already so obedient, at four weeks even. Must take after its daddy.

The nurse said my progesterone on Tue was 99 - which seems a bit high to me, but she seemed to think it was a good number. I will go in on Monday to recheck hormone levels and they will probably start decreasing some of my meds at that point.

Symptoms so far: (YAY!)

- breast tenderness that comes and goes (and when it "goes" I freak out and pee on a stick to calm my nerves - this could be a very odd coping mechanism I am developing. Anxious about something? Find a stick to pee on!) Also, my already very large breasts are only getting larger and heavier. My poor poor back. Speaking of my back.....

-low back pain - yep, that's pretty much it, pain in my lower back for no reason at all.

-sore muscles and hips - this one I don't "get" - but I have noticed that a simple walk around the park in the morning will leave my hips sore and achy by afternoon. And my muscles seem to get sore much more quickly. I am turning into such a wimp!

-veins veins everywhere - my chest looks like a road map of blue highways and my hips and legs are showing little growing "vein-maps" as well. And the nurse today remarked about how I had three prominent veins to draw from instead of the usual one. I think it is kind of cool. I look like a super-hero: Super Veins to the rescue!

-exhaustion that requires several naps during the day. I almost took a nap last night in a bookstore even. So so so so sleepy. Afternoons and early evening are the worst. I feel like I could sleep for days.....if only....

-peeing every 2 minutes - I am not a fan of public restrooms, but there is no "holding it" now. I have seen the inside of more public restrooms in the last week than I have in the last 2 years! Holy bladder batman!

-loss of appetite - although this one is quickly being replaced by "ravenous all the time, always, must eat NOW!" But food is still not greatly appealing to me - except for these organic smooshed fruit bars and basically any kind of condensed fruit.

- "morning" sickness? - this is new as of today and yesterday. I thought it was a fluke when I spontaneously, without warning, threw up in my mouth while driving yesterday. (sorry - TMI - I should have warned you) But nope, I have been queasy all day today and promptly began gagging and had dry heaves over the toilet after taking my vitamins tonight. I am a little bit nervous about morning sickness because I am really not a fan of nausea - I do much better with pain than with nausea. In fact, if I am not paying enough attention to my body when I am in pain, it starts throwing up so that I will have to finally do something. Yep, that will get my attention. BUT - since I literally was praying to throw up over the last couple of days just so I would know I was actually pregnant - I am not gonna complain too much about this. At least not just yet. If I become one of those women who throw up every 15 minutes throughout her entire pregnancy, well then I might complain - just a little.

-crazy realistic dreams - I am actually having a hard time discerning what has actually happened over the last three days, from what I have dreamed has happened - my dreams have been that realistic. I walk around wondering, "Did I send that email?", "Did that person actually say that to me?", "Did I really see two hot guys wearing tuxedos make out in front of me?" - the last one I am pretty sure was a dream.....I think.

Mr. Spicy turns 35!

Today is Mr. Spicy's birthday! He is 35!

Although I have been thinking and scheming about his birthday all week, I awoke this morning and starting pestering him promptly began talking a mile a minute about how very excited I am to be pregnant! Pregnant! Did I mention we are pregnant? And just as I was boring him engaging him in a lively discussion about maternity clothes and due dates....he reminded me.....:

"Um....and also? honey? it happens to be my birthday today."

and so I replied:

"Shit!!!! Shit! It is isn't it? I so did NOT forget - I promise!!!! I have been thinking about it all week! Happy Birthday honey!!!! Really I didn't forget!"

After that I manically sang him "Happy Birthday" (so manically in fact, that later he swore I never sang it - but I know I did. I did. For the reals yo.)

Then, later, after he got out of the shower he asked if I wouldn't mind feeding the dogs and I kind of sort of argued with him about it. (I am such a good wife - geez!) Until he reminded me that uh, it is his birthday! Remember? Birthday?

I felt like such a schmuck. He has every right to expect a little TLC today, a little undivided attention. Not only is it his birthday, but he has given up a lot and had to endure a lot in this last year of us TTC and going through IVF. He has been tested, stretched, and had his "buttons" pushed in every way imaginable but rarely has he received the recognition he has deserved for all of this. In infertility, as in pregnancy, and I imagine parenthood - it seems like the dad is often pretty neglected. Yes, we women do the shots, we suffer the hormones, and we often feel it at a much deeper level than they do. But, they are going through their own journey - dealing with their own fears and stress and in the meantime, in many ways they kind of "lose" their wives for awhile in the process.

I have been able to get amazing support in this process both professionally and socially. It is harder for men to find this. And it is rare for others to recognize they might need it too.

Thankfully, Mr. Spicy has worked really hard to take care of himself and get support, especially during our IVF cycle. And this has made a huge difference for us both. But I think one of the hardest parts for him is how this process consumes so much of our lives, our conversations, our thoughts. Especially mine. I know he feels like he doesn't always get the "full me" and he misses that. So it makes sense that on his birthday he might want to wake up to me remembering him FIRST and celebrating him FIRST before launching into the baby monologue.

And he deserves that.

Because Mr. Spicy?

He is awesome. Really.

I tried to describe him here, to write all the amazing qualities he has - why I love him so much. But I realized it was going to be a very very very long post if I tried to do that so I am going to try to keep it simple:

Mr. Spicy is a good, true, strong, fierce, creative, kind, gentle, and incredibly sexy man. He is the person I enjoy most in the whole wide world and I love that I get to spend my life with him and that he is the man who will father our children.

Here, today on his birthday, I have no idea what to give him or say to him that will adequately express how I feel.

Because even though it is his birthday,

I am the luckiest.

May 07, 2008

Week 4

Dear Pepper(s),

Hi there. Technically you are two weeks old, but in the crazy way we count pregnancy - well, we're gonna add a couple weeks and call it four weeks. So, you have already doubled your age. Kind of nifty, huh?

According to the books, you are being really productive right now: building your placenta, your umbilical cord, your spinal cord, and next week you'll be starting on your digestive tract. Wow. I am exhausted just thinking about it. You must take after your father in this area. Which is good, because if you took after me you'd just wait to develop everything until the week before you were born. You'd be pulling lots of all-nighters, and that is really hard when you haven't been introduced to coffee yet.

I still am having a hard time believing you are really here. Here. Inside me. Wow. I have been thinking of you, praying for you, and waiting for you - for a really really long time.

There is so much I want to tell you. So much I cannot wait to share with you. Like how I never knew just how much I wanted to be a mother until I met your dad. Loving him and being loved by him grew this intense desire within me to bring you here, into this love. It sounds cheesy, I know. And when you are 16 you are so gonna vomit when you are reminded that I wrote this. But I hope you know that you are growing in the belly of a mama who is really really in love with your daddy - and I hope that the love we share makes you feel secure, safe, and free. And I hope you will always feel this love, and that it will comfort you and carry you through this world.

So that is my blessing for you this week: you are loved, you are created in love, and you will be loved your whole life through if we have anything to say about it. So, just relax, grow, and make yourself at home.

We have a very exciting adventure ahead of us.

With all my love,

May 06, 2008

The post we have all been waiting for.....

Mr Spicy took the afternoon off so he would be with me when we got the beta results and while he was on his way home, I finally gave into the urge to pee on a stick. But I couldn't look at it. I made him go in the bathroom and look at it first. When he showed me the two lines, I could NOT believe it. I have NEVER seen TWO LINES!!!!! So we did another regular test and the one digital I had (given to me by a friend, leftover from her positive results). And, can see for yourself. Wow. Seriously. Wow.

Then, our nurse, Amber called. She got us both on the phone and let us know that our beta number was great, very strong, at 197. Of course, I still have to go back on Thursday for the 2nd beta to make sure it is doubling as it should. So, I haven't completely exhaled just yet.

I will be starting Prometrium vaginal suppositories today and we'll get my progesterone results tomorrow (they don't run the progesterone test until they get a positive - so it wasn't run until this afternoon). I will go in Thu, then Monday to recheck hormone levels, and then our ultrasound will be either the 22nd or the 23rd. Again, wow.

Seriously. Is this really happening? I am in complete and utter shock! I literally cannot wrap my brain around this!!!!! I feel totally clueless now about being pregnant. I was literally in the midst of making myself a sandwich - you know, forbidden lunch meat and all - when Amber called. I had completely forgotten that lunch meat was off limits during pregnancy. Now I am terrified I am unwittingly doing any number of other idiotic anti-pregnancy things I am not even aware of! Yikes!

When we first began trying 2 and a half years ago, I was reading pregnancy books and websites like crazy - but as we neared a year of trying I put those books and websites away and began devouring infertility literature, and websites, and blogs. So now, I feel completely ignorant of what I am supposed to do or not do..... Oh well, just more for me to learn and obsess about and research. :)

I am so excited and so in shock I don't even have words to describe it. We have waited so so long for this. I cannot believe we are here. We are going to be parents. In a way, we already are.


Thank you to EVERYONE - all of you who emailed, commented, called, to wish us well, to let us know you were praying, that you were holding out hope for us. It is no small thing. And I have no words to thank you adequately. But thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have been listening to "Sweet Sweet Baby" By Michelle Featherstone all day but cannot figure out how to get the song here to share with you.

I already love this baby (or babies) so much. I already feel like my entire heart is on the line - out there for all the world to see. I have never known a vulnerability quite like this.

I have never known a joy quite like this either.

Welcome little pepper(s), welcome.

We are so happy you have come, we cannot wait to meet you.

You are wanted and loved.

You always have been - you always will be.

May 01, 2008

A sustained encounter with uncertainty.....

Shelley, the owner of Apothecary Tinctura and a talented and gifted healer who has been a real mentor to me in this crazy long journey of baby-making, has a little quote that is always at the end of each email she sends me:

The development of courage and imagination

requires a sustained encounter with uncertainty

This is where I came up with the subtitle to my blog: A journey of sustained uncertainty and hope through IVF and beyond.....

Today I was reminded of this quote again as I pondered what it would look like to wait with purpose and intentionality these next five days. What does it mean to "wait well"?

Initially, when I first read this quote - when I first began to ponder the sustained uncertainty I was experiencing and would experience as I continued down the winding road of fertility treatments, I was still early on in the process...Encountering sustained uncertainty seemed noble and purposeful and wise - and developing courage and imagination, well who couldn't use a bit more of those? So, inspired, I went further in, further on.....imagining myself as this strong, noble, woman, fighting a battle of the heart through sustaining great uncertainty with honor and grace.

Sometimes this journey has felt exactly like that.

And, at other times the uncertainty has felt more like powerlessness, fear of the unknown, and lack of control than something beautiful and noble, growing up courage and imagination within me. It sometimes has elicited feelings of being very small rather than strong and wise. This week has begun to feel like one of those times again.

So - today I am reclaiming this idea of embracing uncertainty, I am inviting it in, reminding myself that I am already sitting with this uncertainty, breathing it in, curling the whole of my body around it, living with it day in and out - it is in my skin, in my water, in my air, in my teeth. I cannot avoid it, I cannot run from it - I might as well welcome it and find out what it has for me. Or at least encounter it and face it.

Because the truth is, the uncertainty is always with us. If I am pregnant, my pregnancy will be filled with many many moments of wild uncertainty - as will motherhood - as does any experience in life that we truly give ourselves to. We really have so little control over anything in life. And when we love, or hope - this only becomes magnified. It is scary to give your heart in a world you don't control. (as much as some of us may try to) It is scary to love someone or something - it is scary to dream. But we all do it every single day. We do it and we are more courageous and imaginative because of it. Only, sometimes we forget to notice this. So, my invitation to you is this: take a moment to thank yourself for the risks you take by loving, dreaming, hoping, being alive in this uncertain world - and realize all the places you are more courageous and imaginative for having done this. Good.

A friend of mine, a fellow blogger named Denise, came through her embryo transfer this week as well. (please go visit her and wish her well) She has posted a really lovely post today about waiting......she includes the following quote from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (which I am running out to rent right this moment!):

Molly: “37 seconds…great, well done, now we wait.”

Mr. Magorium: “No, we breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat, our minds create, our souls ingest. 37 seconds well-used is a lifetime.”

This post and this quote, really helped me get to this place today of believing that I can sit with this uncertainty and welcome it in, that I can wait well. It inspired me and reminded me that in this next five days I can breathe, pulse, and regenerate, with a beating heart, a creative mind, and a soul that ingests it all. I can thrive in this sustained encounter with uncertainty.....

Five days well-used is a lifetime, after all.