Monday, December 31, 2012

Everybody's Doing It....

...What do you think they're doing in the next room?

Or at least all over the internets. 

Yes, friends, its the end of another year so its time for the annual round up. What went down, what sucked (dad is gone) what didn't (BBB is nearly here) and all things in between, all in a handy month by month guide:

January - I was a quite the social butterfly, adding a FB and twitter feed to the blog, participating in a robust book club discussion (and then some), and taking part in Dresden's fantastic "In times like these" series.

February marked five years in the blogosphere for me, got us just a little closer to sealing the surrogacy deal (but not without some stops and starts) and saw me playing a pretty personal card in the discussion around choice.

March introduced us to our gestational carrier live and direct. Her hubby too. And we knew, pretty immediately, that this was, more importantly, they were the right choice.

April - foreshadowing dreams, cleaning house and getting fit, oh yeah and my birthday.

May was a tough one. It feels like this whole month was spent working on our surrogacy contract. Everyone was right. Hardest part of the journey. To date.

June - I wrote, but not so much here, I kvetched about dad and his kvetching, and we really and truly signed and sealed the surrogacy deal.

July - the Test is positive. The Streak begins. (drops mic).

August - wow. The end of this month sucked so hard I almost forgot to include it in the round up. Luckily, a fantastic few days with Paz in an unlikely setting helped round it out.

September said goodbye to dad. Sigh.

October - Sandy storms on through. The Streak continues. Big baby keeps on a-growing.

November - shit gets real. As in ultrasounds and belly pics and a trip to see big baby BOY halfway across the country (also to test out the road trip in store for us in March). And I got rid of those f*cking boxes.

December - this month, we've been without our daughters for four years. Four. Jesus. This month, our BBB reached viability, and keeps growing and growing....And before you know it, we'll have some shopping to do. Or at least borrowing.

Added bonus: my first athletic achievement. Ever. (no hyperbole) I won my age bracket in a 5K while on a pre-Xmas trip to see mom. And didn't even realize it until later that night. Thankfully, they didn't give what is now one of my favorite ornaments on the tree away.

By the time you read this, BBB will be 27 weeks and 1 day along (and we still haven't told most friends and acquaintances). The Streak will be 169 days strong, even with a Christmas gift of the stomach flu. And I will be getting ready to kick everyone's ass in the most epic Rock-N-Bowl throw down ever tonight. Look out.

Hey 2013, I can't wait till you and me hook up.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Where I Use the Passive Voice, a lot

It's the night before the Night Before Xmas. The world didn't end, but it is a bit sadder these days. The wrapping is done. Gift exchanges have started. I got these. Whoa.

Parties are being attended (and we are realizing we have a disproportionate number of friends with December birthdays). Cookies were baked. More will be baked. Soups were made. More will be made. There are still two more days until Santa comes (and the gifts that I purchased for M from the UK inevitably won't) Is it just me or does this Xmas holiday feel unending?

I'm not complaining.

But amid all of this flurry and activity, we have yet to tell very many people that a baby (a real live BABY) will be joining our family in the new year. It seeps out unexpectedly in dribbles sometimes, like in a teary exchange with my friend at the YWCA women's shelter as I finally gave away my maternity clothes this week. But last night, for instance, we were around at least a dozen people we know and really, really like. From us, not a peep.

"You guys look great! What's new?!?"
us: Thanks! You too! hmm, not much, same old, same old...

"Any big plans for 2013?"
us: we'll see.....

We're not being coy. Or evasive. Mom, we're not driving you crazy on purpose. We are just still that shit-scared. Yes, we are at 26 weeks. And I thought I would pop the lid off at 25 with a big announce, but with every week I just want to wait one week more, just to be safe.

I never did tell my co-workers as planned because this week, as you might know if you're on the MB FB, we had another scare that pretty much immobilized me in worry. And really did immobilize our surrogate in pain.

Kidney stones, you are bitch.

All is well now. A stone (of gargantuan proportion, according to her awe-struck doctor) has passed. The pain has completely subsided. I'm hoping not to be on the receiving end of an "I'm having really bad lower back pain. I think I should go to the doctor" text for another few months.


I'm not purposefully avoiding the Newtown conversation, but I'm not really ready to talk about it either. Like Keiko, I learned from a hubby who suddenly became even more engrossed than usual with his smart phone. Like her, I joked, only to hear it wasn't a joke. Like TracyOC, I draw instant connections to all of the moms and dads who now must live without their babies, because first graders, come on, they're babies too. Beautiful running, laughing, independently thinking babies. And now they are gone.

And if you can't confidently wave goodbye to your little baby as they get on the bus in Newtown fucking Connecticut and assume they will come home, then we all truly are fucked. 

I'm not ok with the NRA reaction to this, especially since their press conference was cut short by a random multi-person shooting in our state that had our surrogate frantically texting us with worry this time. I'm not ok that I have family members with semi-automatic weapons in their house. Really, really not ok with that.

I'm not ok with how diagnoses get tossed around like they are interchangeable. I don't like the insinuations I hear connecting autism with violence, or assuming everyone on the autism spectrum has mental illness. I cringe when I hear my governor pay lip service to the need for more mental health services knowing full well (as does he) that he slashed that budget by millions and millions of dollars this year. Millions. 

I also cringe when I hear gun law reform talked about only in reference to mental illness. Because that's just what we need: another reason for someone not to seek mental health care. Here is a group seeking a more rational approach:

And here is a group you hope you never need, but are so so glad is there when you do:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I found pieces of this lingering in my drafts this morning, and it felt right to dust it off and share it today. I and J's day.

There are so many things that I have learned in between Dec 5, 2008 and today. A world of knowing (and not knowing, and understanding that there are some things that can't be known). One of those pieces of knowledge is how little it actually takes to be thoughtful and how significant little doses of thoughtfulness can be. The ROI on thoughtfulness is staggering.

When I decided to cycle along with our surrogate earlier this year, my co-worker and friend immediately skyped and said, "oh m...are you sure?" And in that question I knew she was thinking through all that could go right and all that could go wrong. All the stuff I would have to carry with me through a pregnancy...I knew she got me.

And I failed to ever mention how grateful I was for that inquiry. How thoughtful it was.

She wasn't interested in telling me what she thought I wanted to hear. She thought it through and had a true and earnest ask, I need to know that you have thought this through and are ok with it. L, thank you, girl. For real. Because you voiced my thoughts before I did, and that helped me stay on point (what is the goal here? is it me pregnant or is it healthy baby with the best possible chances to flourish?) and helped our decision to stop my cycle go just a little smoother. I'm not saying it didn't sting, but it did get to a point where I started to feel perhaps a little greedy? What's all of this talk about two or three? Pregnancies here there and everywhere....wouldn't one healthy pregnancy, one happy result be enough.

Yes. It is enough. 

So many things struck me about our time with our surrogate and her husband the week of our transfer. 1.) they have the worst luck with flying ever. Missed flights, delayed name it. They have encountered it to get from there to here and back again. 2.) They are so chill. Laid back. Relaxed. At ease. So at ease, they put me at ease. Even with missed flights and long delays 3.) I keep thinking back to little things they said, even offhandedly, that were simply sweet and thoughtful. And how often I was caught off guard by their kindness.

Maybe, like some of you, my expectations have lowered. Maybe I shouldn't be so shocked to realize that some people are just good people. But I am. But it's a good shock. Like when you slide your hands into your pocket and feel a little $20 bill balled up in there that you forgot about. Grateful. And a little giddy.


Yesterday was rough. Really rough. Rougher than today (so far). Anticipation of the births day has been mounting. We had already had a minor meltdown last Friday - Friday night, mild weather, something in the air just felt exactly like that Friday mentioning the book that M happened to be reading the day our daughter's would die (what are the fucking odds?) tipped the scales. Silent night. As in, we barely talked. What was there to say?

in the air....
And then we learned of a loss of a friend. And then we learned of another loss. Closer to home. And then I got an email from our surrogate saying, "I'm just not really feeling that great...." Cue the sleepless nights and feelings of dread and overall hopelessness.

I tried to keep most of this from M. but bits and pieces slipped out over the course of the week. My anxiety dripped over everything I touched, catching innocent bystanders in its path. At one point yesterday, after I pointed out his fifth typo, my (foreign) intern looked at me and said, "you know, now you are being mean."

Sorry, dude. Sorry.

At that point, I decided to email our surrogate and just tell her how I was feeling, what was on my mind and what I needed to get me through the next 48 hours.

While she knows there were daughters and they are loved, we try not to talk too much about our previous losses and struggles with her and her husband now. We wanted this pregnancy to be new, and we didn't want her experience to be overshadowed. Why should it be? But I was morphing into a basketcase yesterday and a mean one at that. I had to do something. So I asked her for help. I asked for constant communications, just over the next day or two. Every move, every ache, please, please, tell me. I have to know. Today. I need to know.

And her response has been nothing but beautiful and supportive, thoughtful and affirming. And oh gosh I get caught between tears and laughter. She tells me I'm not a basketcase, and then tells me how BBB has the hiccups. She reassures me she went to the doc, got some meds and feels as good as new this morning. She thanks me (thanks me!) for putting our faith and trust in her to carry our child. And gosh, oh gosh. I am overcome with grateful.

To M, I say, we are so lucky.

To her, I say, thank you. Beyond words. Thank you.

To my daughters, I say, I love you. We miss you.