Friday, April 30, 2010

What if....

Dudes, I've got some real angst over this.

I've spent all week debating whether or not I want to open my mind again to questions that begin with What if.... after spending well over a year and some significant mental energy training myself to knock it off. Started and stopped more posts than I can track. Tried different angles, different questions, positive spins. It's not that easy.

Of course I want to do something for National Infertility Awareness Week. Of course I want to support my community, my peeps, my strength. But...the what ifs, they slay me.

What if I realized I was going into pre-term labor sooner?
What if we would have been able to save baby J? At least buy her some more time?
What if my babies, my daughters, my children didn't die in our arms?
What if the two daughters we always wanted were here with us today, turning one. Together. With us?

When it comes to loss, we all have lists. Only I'm not as brave as Angie to post mine. Lists of things you could have done or not done that would have somehow made the difference in the life and death of your child. There is a lot of blame. Even more self-doubt. It can do a job on you, esp. when grief has made your mind a little mush to begin with.

And I don't even get into the what ifs that are so far removed from our reality. They are less what ifs and more hypothetical wouldn't it have been cool ifs.....

Wouldn't it have been cool if we could have conceived without significant medical intervention and someone else's eggs?
wouldn't it have been cool if we actually had a chance of conceiving again with my own body?
it have been cool if fertility was seen as an important part of surviving cancer?

But this is all old news. That part is past. And now the new what ifs emerge:

What if we can't move forward with our gestational carrier?
What if we do move forward and it doesn't work?
What if we run out of options and/or run through our line of credit - both of these feel perilously close.
What if we never, ever, ever have a child to love?

or, as Mrs. A asks:

What if I have to learn to live childfree with a smile….forever?

I'm not sure that I can.

And then the inner dialog begins because, sorry, I have a tendency to talk to myself:

well, guess what? You might HAVE to.

Ok, but living is very different than living with a smile. Obviously, I can exist in this space. But it doesn't mean I like it, or that its easy. Here's a what if for you, what if every day wasn't a struggle?

But sometimes it's not.

Yes, you're right. Sometimes its not. I bet, if I had to, I could live this life. After all, I've already had some practice. If we had to live without any living children, I suppose we would make it work. There would always be a space, an absence that wouldn't fill. A remark, a photo, an innocuous TV ad that would bring feelings and sadness to the surface. There will always be cliffs and ledges we will need to pull each other from, but we could survive. We'd have to.

For I. and for J., we'd have to. We owe them that.


As per Mel's instructions, I'm ending this post with a positive What if.... One that I really haven't allowed to enter my mind just yet.

What if our journey towards a family with our gestational carrier actually works? What if this time next year there is a happy, healthy baby in our arms?

Damn, that's a nice what if.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

In Between Floors (no, really)

As promised, here is a post about elevators. More specifically, mine. Mine with nine people in it. Kids, don't try this at home. Seriously.

I can't believe I ever get worked up about getting older. Because clearly I am still immature enough to think jamming six-foot tall Swedish dudes and their instruments into a space that was never (ever, ever) meant for that is a good idea.

I could get totally philosophical and try to tie this into my post about being in between, well, everything, but that would be too obvious, no? And I think you probably just want to see the video. Because OMG it is hilarious. (hilarious NOW. In hindsight. Like, after we're out).

I suppose it is worth noting that while, despite what the video shows, this was pretty stressful while it was going down (what you can't see here is one of us nearly fetal on the floor freaking out from claustrophobia and the fear of severed limbs - there was a lot of reaching outside the cab and pulling and tugging things because that's what the building super told us to glad our fetal friend confessed this AFTER we were out.) So it was a stressy hour of waiting and waiting and waiting, but in the end it was a friend who rescued us (he did what?? with what??)

Parallels? Please? Oh please be.

Friday, April 23, 2010

In Between

It is my birthday weekend. I'm on the train en route to a presentation I will do today. I'm feeling a blend of somber and serene. Do you ever get like that?

I was just sitting here contemplating what I might contribute to Project IF, thinking through those hard questions that always lie right under the surface, and this very pregnant woman ambles down the aisle. Ok no biggie. I'd like to think I don't get wiggy at the sight of bellies. But then the inevitable nosy old lady starts it up, "oh! when are you due? is this your first? boy or girl?" As if its her business and right to know.

"I'm expecting twins. End of August...."

And that's about all I heard before I rammed my earphones in and pushed play. The twin thing. It guts me. This was not what I was planning on writing about today.


Did you (do you) ever play a game with yourself where some feat of your amazing skill will determine your fate in a completely unrelated aspect of your life? As in, if I hit this tennis ball 40 times in a row without missing I am the best person in the world....ok starting, that one didn't count, I mean now.....Did I say 40? I meant 20,!

Do you do that?

That's kind of how I feel as I wait for my 36th birthday. The start of 2009 was supposed to be my start over. From this moment on things will be better. That didn't work out so well. Then it was New Years Eve 2010. Then it was the year marker of Jovi and Isa's presumed birth. Sigh. Ok, why don't we try my birthday - ok....NOW!

Don't get me wrong. Things have gotten better. (insert snark: because they could not have gotten worse.) No, stop. Don't be like that. Things can always, always be worse. You know this. More than that, I think I have reached that point where I just cannot sustain the anger and the grief 24/7 and so there is nothing left to do but put the cup down, wake up and try to live without it for a little bit. Lani says this so much better in a recent post. And as she says, "I'm fine. As fine as I can be."

And really, its more than fine for us. We have had forward motion on the gestational carrier front. Twice actually. After my November BFN (damn, we were so hopeful) and just before the beginning of the year, a friend (a friend of a friend really) called us up and said, this thing you want to do, this life you want to lead, I'd like to help you with that. I think you would make amazing parents and I want to make that happen for you.


My faith in humankind was renewed. We had a chance. A hope. A reason. And for a while, we were all pretty high on possibility.

Long story short. It didn't work out. Through no fault of anyone involved. It just didn't work out. And I was gutted.

And then, out of the blogosphere, another (another?!?) amazing woman said, dude, I've got a uterus I'm not using and I would love to help you. I may not even be paraphrasing.

Starstruck in love and admiration that's how I felt (feel) about this person. Completely humbled that someone (two people?!?!?) would even contemplate such an act, such a well, inconvenience to give us a chance to be parents to a real, live living baby.

Another not so long story short, there are a few more assurances our RE wants before we can move forward. I cringed at the thought of approaching this super lady and saying, oh hey, in your spare time between raising your own family and working and life can you go do this, this and this and did I mention one of those things is slightly invasive? Please?

And she said, sure. I'm on it. So she is in the midst of scheduling appointments.

But oh, the waiting.

This Waiting. This stasis. This Limbo. This constant state of "we're moving forward! We're gonna try! Oh scratch that, we're not" is, as Lani says, so fucking wearing. (ok, the expletive is mine.) For all of us. I think I speak for all of us (me, M., awesome woman, her incredibly supportive and cool husband) now when I say we'd really like to get the show on the road. With all of this waiting there has been just enough time for some what ifs to creep back in. At least for me:

What if our RE says NO? What if we can't move forward? Then what? Then what.....


In these childfree and limbo times, there are days when we (now meaning me and M) function almost as well as we used to. Days where we laugh and scheme and plot together. Just the other day we were scheming about a trip to a really far away place to do a really cool thing, something we haven't done since embarking on this babymaking journey 3 long years ago. We seem to be approaching normalcy, as normal as one can be. To an outside observer, we are living full and vibrant childfree lives. Look! They do whatever they want! They go places. They do things. How cool!

There are moments when I even convince myself.

But then I sneak a peak at a facebook page I shouldn't have, I accidentally click on a link or a document I've saved all about pre-natal something or other, I let my thoughts wander, oh Christ the longing is immobilizing. When this happens I can't even stand myself. I have to hope it passes before M gets home so I don't infect him too.

I have to learn to live with the limbo. The stops and starts. No one said this would be smooth sailing. Buck up! I tell the internal me. This is life, baby. It ain't easy.

- But why is it so much easier for other people?

- How do you know it is?

-I don't. Sigh. I don't.

But I have a hunch.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Space

Out on the water. In my kayak. All by myself.
Tucked away in a narrow channel.
Really no place I would rather be on a Sunday morning. Or anytime, really.
This is my space.
Now I just need to hold on to that calm and let it take me through the week.

This is my perfect moment.


Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. Go visit Lori from Weebles Wobblog, founder of Perfect Moment Mondays to read where she and others found their moments this week.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pho Sho'

Not last Saturday but the Saturday before that, M. and I decided to drive down to see the trees. I can't remember why we drove instead of walked. But it was such a beautiful day that after we said hello and whispered sweet nothings into their branches, pulled away some weeds and took some photos (oh yes, that's why we drove. M. had his souped up camera), we decided to get back in the car and keep driving. We had heard rumors of a new "Asia Mall" down the road from the trees in an unlikely spot of town. Today seemed like a good day to explore.

This little strip mall, what a find. a new Thai restaurant next to an unnamed place where people were slurping pho = awesome. But the grocery store! Holy moly. We're not talking little hole in the wall "oriental market." This place was the size of smaller supermarket. And packed with all things dried, preserved, crushed into pastes. Live tilapia! Seeweed in bunches! Along with fruits and vegetables I have no names for. We couldn't navigate through the shoppers in the noodle aisle. Wow. wow. wow. I was in heaven. M. was slightly queasy. And now all I've been doing is digging out old recipes whose ingredients are now within my reach. Yes!

We left the mall and kept on driving down roads that we both know from our youth but don't really find ourselves on much anymore and had the realization that, d*mn. There are a lot of Vietnamese places in our little town. Let's pick up some menus. I wonder whose Pho is the best.....

And from that thought emerged our new Saturday Morning Adventure.

Every Saturday morning, we shall rise and go get a plate of hot steamy brothy noodles from a different place.

This Saturday was our inaugural meal. At a place in the city that was just up the street from our old apartment. At a place we once suspected was merely a cover for something illicit since the parking lot was always filled with expensive (read: out of place in the neighborhood) cars on Saturday mornings. Oh ho. We were so, so wrong.

The parking lot is full because by the time we left our near empty bowls (note to self - get the "small" next time) the place was full. With families, with couples, with a trio of older men who were each nearly 7 feet tall (????) The atmosphere was lively, the food delicious, the experience something to make me look forward to, not dread my weekends.

One bowl down, many to go. I cannot wait for next Saturday morning.