Tuesday, February 26, 2013

T Minus 26 Days

That's what my secret counter says. 26 days. 12 hours. 29 minutes.....

It feels like we've waited a lifetime. Now we wait just 26 more days. M and I walk around in a bit of a stupor. Stunned disbelief. Despite tripping boxes of gear and wading through clothes to be washed, its still hard to believe. We, you mean us? you mean me and him?? will soon have a son that will fill these items, and our time and our hearts and our lives.

Meanwhile, life goes on demanding things of us when all I really want to do is watch the wonderment that are my breasts and stare vacantly at the nursery and make lists of things still to do, as opposed to actually doing them. Dammit work, stop asking me to like, do shit.

I suppose I can't complain. At least not loudly. Particularly since my co-workers threw me a lovely shower luncheon last week. So lovely, that I'm sorry for anything sucky I may have said about any of them on skype in recent weeks. Uh, sorry.

The best part of the shower, besides sharing a great homemade meal together, besides the bevvy of gifts (car seat! yes!), besides the cupcakes - yes, more cupcakes - was realizing the shift in the conversation. The substantial shift.

Five of the eight of us have been through all of this together. They were there when tests confirmed what I already knew, when we went through cycle after cycle, when I announced I was pregnant with the twins, when I crumbled into grief and stayed there for well over a year. They saw all of that. And stuck with me. And then had to walk on eggshells for the next few years, gingerly avoiding too much talk of kids or grandkids or pregnant colleagues, lest m. get that look in her eye, or even better, lash out, storm away, all that good stuff that happens when you feel people aren't recognizing your loss, your feelings, your needs.

I'm not saying those feelings aren't valid. I am saying that it had to be hard being with a co-worker that was on the defensive 24/7, ready, waiting and perched for the next opportunity to remind someone of how insensitive they were being.

But last Friday, I found myself sharing, laughing, engaging with people who wanted to share their parenting stories with me, and for the first time, I wanted to listen.

Tell me. I will listen.

I didn't even cry, until a woman (who is technically retired but we all adore so much we keep finding ways to give her projects and keep her in our fold) was getting ready to leave and hugged me as hard as her little body could, looked me in the eye and said, "I am so, so happy for you and M." And in that gaze we both relived all that we had lived together and where we are now.

We are 26 days away from being parents.

One thing I will say about surrogacy, this whole baby thing kind of sneaks up on you. You don't have the physical reminder, literally, in front of you. You just have this date circled on your calendar and in your mind of when your life will change. It's easy to fool yourself into thinking this is all just a story you're telling. An anecdote that is incredibly interesting to people. Because it is incredibly interesting.

The day after my shower, we attended the baby shower of some amazing people who are expecting twins shortly after BBB's birth date. It was a fabulous party with lots of their friends and family and friends of family. Basically, a shitload of people. And beer. A lot of beer. I can't tell you how many people I have never met before approached me, congratulated me, and then wanted to know more, as much as I would tell them, about our surrogacy. How does this work? How did you find the person who is having your baby? How will you get the baby? Logistics, ethics, expenses - nothing was off the table. For me or for M. It was, quite frankly, freeing and awesome.

M actually came up to me and said, "This is so cool, no one every asks me. And I get to talk about it! This is a really good party!"

See also: beer. A lot of beer.

It was a fantastic party, and it was wonderful to celebrate with a smart, funny couple who are our age, who haven't had an easy time of this whole pregnancy thing either. Now we are partners in this madness. All of us, we're gonna rock this.


In other news, the running streak soldiers on. The pumping continues. And is working! We've got a few tiny bottles of breast milk in the freezer now. I smell of fenugreek. Oatmeal makes me fart. Which then smells like fenugreek. It's awesome, I tell you. At a time when my boobs are voluptuous and I actually have a semblance of a waist, I am actually feeling the most un-sexy I have in decades. Oh look, I farted just writing that.

Whatever. BBB is gonna love these boobs. Doing it for you, little man. Doing it for you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2013 Running Dates, Maybe

chillin' w the seashore striders this December.
You guys, how awesome are you? Within a matter of days after this post, my calendar is filled with amazing suggestions for summer and autumn runs. I have committed to none of these yet. Believe me, Mandy, I hear what you're saying. I know I have no idea what's store for me. And no idea if/when any of these are possible. But I wanted to put them all together for you here. An easy reference for me and for you, if you want it. Because some of these races fill the day they are announced (ahem, Dogfish Head Dash and Hershey half marathon, I am pointing at you.)

June, July and August are filled with runs based in Delaware and hosted by the Seashore Striders. I really just cut and paste their schedule here. Because every race I've done with them (all two) has been fun. It's a tight knit group of runners. Lots of folks know each other. But don't let that intimidate you. All skill levels and ages here. And everyone is really friendly. I know we'll find ourselves at grandma's house a lot this summer. Who knows. I might pop into one of the walks if BBB is happy and occupied.

39 days until anticipated arrival.

Day 213 of running streak. But I confess to single mile days. Because the gym is boring. And its cold outside.

Nursery is packed. I mean packed with gear. Thank you, friends, family, internet buddies.You were right. We have everything we need. And then some. And then some more. Wow. Thank you.

So here's the list of possibilities. We'll worry about circling dates later. 

  • 11th - Mrs. Smith's Challenge - Lancaster, PA - I won't be running this year, but wanted to share because I love this run. Love it. Trail is lovely. running with all women is cool. The t-shirts rock. Order one size up.
June -
  • 6th - Bird in Hand Half Marathon - Bird in Hand, PA - I've heard this course is gorgeous. It rolls through Amish country. But be ready for the hills.
  • 8th - Harrisburg Half Marathon - Harrisburg, PA - super flat course. Awesome for your first one, or if you're looking for a personal record.
  • 8th - VA Women's Half - Fairfax Station, VA
  • 15th - Run Geek Run 8K - Washington DC
  • 29th? Dogfish Head Dash - Milton, DE - register in April!
  • 9th - Deja Vu Half Marathon - North Wales, PA
December - nothing yet.

January,  2014
  • Polar Bear 5K Trail Run - Lancaster, PA

Friday, February 8, 2013

Oh Yes I Did.

Taken from inside the car I was driving yesterday afternoon.

Because I CAN.

Because I AM.

I've been meaning to go there for a while now. And yesterday - after I missed my doctor's appointment because I couldn't get the keys into the ignition of my mother-in-law's borrowed car because I had the wrong key. After M drove all the way home from work and deposited the right key into my hands and calmed my hysterical ass down, since I had literally worked myself into a lather in the lot because I could not. figure. this. out. Yesterday - when I soothed myself by driving around aimlessly once I had a car with a key that would start - I found this spot and said to myself, oh yes, thank you, I think I shall.

And I saw that lady in her parked car next to me have a look my way. And a little up. And a little down.

And I looked back with a look that said, Yes. Oh yes, bitch. Test me. You are the one I've been waiting for. I dare you. Triple dog dare. Please say something. Please.

And I think she thought better of it.

I have seen other signs in other places that specify they are for parents with small child(ren) (as in, lugging him/her/them in and out of the car), and that, I get. Totally get it.

But this gender-specific, non-inclusive space. Well, it just had to be mine. So I took it.

So tell me, non-traditional moms: have any of you re-appropriated these parking spaces for yourselves? What about you, dads? Why don't you get a choice spot? I say bullshit. You?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Map My Run - No Really!

my soon-to-be-replaced shoes
Last year, even before I started this crazy Streak, a very cool woman that I met through this space invited me to come and do my first half-marathon with her, up in her neck of the woods. [Looking at you, N.] That would have been awesome.

While the scheduling didn't work out  (damn you, work), the idea hasn't lost its appeal. I would LOVE to run with my blog buddies.

If you think I'm batty, don't worry. I have no assumption that the Streak will continue once BBB is here. I know things will be hard, and will get harder before they get easier, and that I will barely be sleeping, let alone walking in a straight line, let alone running.Once BBB arrives, he is my world. His needs are my needs. At least until we get this whole living together thing figured out.

And then I am fairly certain there will come a time that I might like to shake off my shoes and go outside for a jog. Maybe with BBB. Maybe without. I also know nothing motivates me like a circled date on my calendar. Especially one that I've had to pay for.

So I'm wondering: does anyone have any races in mind for autumn? Any trail runs that are calling you? Any half marathons that sound like a blast? Forget the tough mudders, the warrior dashes, the zombie runs....that's not my type of hype. Running itself is a challenge for me. I don't need chased, or electrocuted, or to be made "undead" to hike up the thrill. But your nice, everyday 5K? Yeah, I'm down with that. A 10K all-girl trail? Oooh, mommy like.

I'm based in Pennsylvania, but I wouldn't mind a little drive. Especially since I've pretty much done my own town to death. Paying $25 to step over the same goose poop and sidewalk cracks I dodge for free on my own morning run is getting a little old.

I already have some potential events in mind, and I'll share that schedule with you here - once I see that I'm not full of shit and that my running days aren't over once my dream running partner actually gets here.

Tell me - where are you running this year? Would you like some company?