Okay, Crazy

This is what I looked like outwardly: 


But that was two days ago. You know that scene in The Exorcist, where the girl’s head spins around? That was me for one hot second (okay, 45 minutes) last night before I realized my insane mood swing was one of the listed side effects of chlomid. 


I feel like I was watching myself feel fully empowered to self-destruct, all the while trying to back pedal with the slim margin of my brain that was witnessing the scene in horror.  Once we finally realized what was going on, we made an action plan, I cried a bit and we figured out a SafeWord. Hopefully we can nip those little outbursts in the bud… We’ll be OK.

We went into the clinic Friday, good. On track. Saturday again, for bloodwork. My estrogen has spiked to a thousand. Good news. And today, Sunday, back for the works. In the post-exam meeting, the doctor said: 

“You’re the lucky one.” 

 (I’m not even sure where to put the italics in that sentence, but there was definite emphasis) delivered after she realized I was a Mississauga patient. It seems I’m the patient still getting monitored, but neither of us is quite sure how exactly it happened.   

 “Let’s not question the universe,” said the doctor. But I Am being monitored and it’s a very good thing. ‘Cause today is the day. It almost makes me forget the rest of this gong show, up and down, catastrophe, wild ride of emotions. 

Based on today’s results (19 and 21mm) they gave me an injection to ensure that my eggs release.  I still have two follicles, possible twin-set in the works, and I have an IUI booked for tomorrow morning!

Allia, now understandably, is cautiously optimistic and wants me to put some emotions on hold – to curb my expectations and excitement so I’m not devastated. I know the risks and stats (15% chance of success). But also given  my recent demonic possession, she doesn’t want me to be swinging out of control. I just really want to buy a crib. I’ve been waiting three years. It will feel so satisfying to put that sucker together. 

Really it’s just that I’m excited the day we’ve been waiting for is here. We step into the active ‘trying’ phase… 

“It’s the first time I will ever have sperm inside of me!!” 

Seriously. I’m not a gold star, but I’ve always insisted on scrupulous protective measures. 

Bring it on! 

Thinking of the numbers and likelihood of success, one has to ask: why not me? It could happen. 

It All Falls into Place

When everything aligns, there is magic. Or at least the appearance of it. These photos are all symbolic of how the magic happens, sometimes due to luck, sometimes intense planning, other magic moments are the result of chemistry and temperature, or hard work and saving. Try pushing the button that says, ‘yes, we will pay $750 to buy your single-use shot of sperm’… making yourself feel confident in that click is a feat of magic in itself.

I am ready to head into the clinic tomorrow to start monitoring for a REAL DEAL cycle (a miracle after the past five days of uncertainty). I captured the moon.

I pressed send on that order button and bought our sperm.

I am crossing many things off my To Do List.


I am going to eat some pizza and key lime pie. Both pies, totally different, equally delicious. I am all the good, tasty things that I want, and working out to keep it all in balance.


I am being upstaged by a tiny chihuahua named Daisy. I sometimes look at small creatures and wonder 1) how they can exist and be so mini. 2) why a common reaction to small adorable things is to want to squish them and make high pitched sounds.

Sometimes the simplest moments are the most surprising when they happen, they can be challenging to capture, while other seemingly simple tasks represent the biggest leaps of all. Like the click of a button. The cycles of the moon. The science of cells dividing successfully over and over again to create a tiny human. Or dog.

HSG

HSG. Holy Shit Guys.

Also the name of the procedure where they fill your insides with liquids to make sure it’s smooth sailing for the little travellers to make their voyage to your egg. This fun experience happens in hospital and I cannot wait.

But with all these appointments and hurdles, we routinely have the ‘we still want to do this, right?’ conversation. Which is sometimes just a look. We think about how much effort this is all taking and, rightly, whether this effort is still what we want for the life we have together.

Think of all the things that might happen if we don’t have kids: we’d be rich (comparatively), we would save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the lifespan of the future offspring; we wouldn’t have to move and our current home would feel like a palace… and keep being a spacious, tidy, often immaculate and tranquil abode; we could just be really amazing aunts; we could travel whenever we wanted; we could get a whole whack of pets (if we decided living spotlessly was no longer our thing); we could keep our pre-pregnancy bodies; we could eat for two for fun, then go work out vigorously without worry of upsetting a budding babe-in-the-making.

All of these are the fantasies I lubricate my brain with – mostly because I like to imagine I have choices – likely the self-preserving kind of self-talk that helps me feel in control when so much is out of our control. I can hardly imagine how any autonomous person hands over their body to tiny aliens that just get bigger and bigger then absorb your entire life, heart and savings. Except that we see this as the norm. Some do it better than others. Some people even make it look easy. Instagram helps. But I really do love those ‘Asshole Parent’ posts, because I feel that there must be a happy medium  – between heavily curated ‘I make my own homemade organic baby food on my hobby farm where my organic produce grows in the rose-smelling shit of my Angora rabbits’ and the ‘I am being terrorized by my toddlers and held-hostage by my entitled, social media zombie teen’ posts.

Does everyone go through this range of emotions?

It reminds me of when I was a student at the National Ballet of Canada – the summer intensive – and they did psychological testing on all of us to see if we would be good candidates for the full time program, should we pass all the other barrage of tests; they asked us leading questions, like ‘What would you want to be if you couldn’t be a ballerina?’

The answer they wanted was ‘what do you mean? this is the only-thing-i’ve-ever-wanted and I would die if I couldn’t dance’ delivered through hysterical sobs, or saucer eyed bambi blinking lashes.

My answer: I’d be a vet. Or a teacher. Or I might design houses, or write a book. Can I still horseback  ride if I make it into the program? What about jazz? Will I have to just do ballet?

I didn’t make the cut.

But I feel like my answer is the same, at least in theory, here. If I can’t be a mom, will I be a shrivelled waste of human womb and potential? I hope not. I would never let myself be defined by one component of myself. I just wouldn’t. But, like anything, if someone tells me I can’t – I rebelliously challenge that idea, too. Then decide for myself it I want to be that thing: whether it’s ‘being sporty,’ ‘looking like a lesbian,’ ‘not looking like a lesbian’ or ‘being handy.’

Tell me what I am and what I’m capable of. I dare you.

But all of this, too, might be a coping mechanism for the doubt I have in my own capacity; to do it well, or to do it at all. There needs to be a trap door of doubt, so that if things don’t work out – I will know that I can overcome this, or fall down a passage way and claw myself out from under it (if we are going with that trap door analogy).

Either way, I don’t think that a healthy amount of questioning, or a screechy ‘I must be a mother’ reaction is a good fit for me – like my marriage, my career, my breakfast; every day is a choice and I want to do things because, yes, I still want and am committed to them every day, not simply because a while ago it seemed like a good idea or everyone thought it was a great plan.

For now, we are off to the hospital, for a bunch of stuff to go on up there, so that a bunch more stuff can go on up there… and that’s where we’re at. And if tomorrow the news is bad – we’ll go from there.

Does anyone always know, with certainty, what they want, without question?

Ambivalence

She (x 20) tells me she is expecting.

I feel like the biggest jerk. Because yes, I’m so thrilled for her. But.

I struggle with the constant happy news of other people’s pregnancies. I have watched people who, as my wife and I – years into our relationship were trying to conceive – were lamenting their singledom, crying about how they felt their life was off-track… who have since gotten engaged, married and pregnant. Have had healthy bundles of joy.

Some have been pregnant not just once, but twice. To be so blessed.

Some are unexpectedly pregnant. To be so blessed.

Some have been trying, just like us. To be so blessed.

All while we have slogged through 2.5 years of miscarriages. We are on hold. Waiting for the timing to align, with career and performances (mine), to create the best moment for me to start trying. For US to start trying again. But pregnancy is everywhere.

I can’t be the only one who feels this way.

At work, maternity leaves abound.

My book club.

My extended circle of friends.

My cousins.

People have had first and second children who coincide with miscarriages 1 and 2.

At my dance company, most recently, the barely concealed bodies, changing and morphing from powerful dance machines to sweet, preciously rounded bellies gloat unintentionally – they are everywhere. The choreography is adapting to accommodate bodies that can’t bear weight as they bear life; lifts are altered, as are costumes. We are making room. I am so thrilled for all this change and growth, but heart-broken too, because other people’s journeys remind me of my own stunted path.

And I am nervous that when I take the next step, I may go sliding into the same mire that has held us, suspended, for the past few years.

I know I’m not the only one. But it feels like I’m both surrounded and alone.

It’s hard For Them, Too. (Re-post))

Thank you to my sweet friend who posted this article. Originally found here.

————–

It had been a long night and I was so close to being on the other side of it. Then halfway through the last verse of the last bedtime song, you lifted your head up. “Wawa?” you asked. I took a cursory glance around the room, knowing I wasn’t going to see a sippy cup. “There’s no water up here. You’re fine.” “Wawa?” “Honey, no.” “Wawa!” More insistent this time. And my anger flashed to the surface, fast and red and hot and fiery. A quick intake of breath. My body stiffened, my teeth clenched. And of course you felt it. Despite my quickly stifling it, you felt it as clearly as I did and you melted into me. Your tiny body shook with sobs because the person you love most in the world, the person who you depend on for everything you need, turned momentarily monstrous because you wanted water. Because you were thirsty before going to bed and you have no autonomy with which to resolve your problems.

Imagine living life with that kind of lack of control. We talk a lot about how hard it is to be a mom, and with good reason — this gig is anything but easy. But the second week of April is “The Week of the Young Child,” and in its honor I’d like to acknowledge how hard it is to be a small child.

As a therapist, I often try to imagine what life is like for young children. If I want to find a solution to difficult behavior, I first have to try to understand it. And each time I put myself in the shoes of a young child I come to the same conclusion: Not a single one of us adults could cope with the things they have to cope with.

For starters, think about being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it — endlessly. Eat this thing that you’ve never seen before. Don’t make a rude face (what does rude mean?). It’s time to go somewhere you don’t want to go, and hurry, hurry, hurry to meet an arbitrary timeline that means nothing to you.

Imagine failing as much as a young child does. Not being able to make your hands move the right way to cut the paper, stumbling as you run across the lawn, spilling the milk you so desperately wanted to pour (and here I am, exasperated with him again).

Another bedtime example:

“Dad, tell me how the guy got up there.” “He climbed.” “NO, tell me how he got up there?” Over and over again, our son becomes more and more frustrated until I realize he meant to say, “ASK me how he got up there?”

One wrong word changing the whole sentence and causing all that frustration. Imagine constantly failing to effectively communicate with the people in your life. Day after day, struggling to find the right word, saying one thing when you mean another, mispronouncing words so much that nobody knows what you’re saying. And then having people get frustrated with YOU, lose patience with YOU.

One of my favorite books to read with the kids is “Everywhere Babies.” The last page reads, “Everyday everywhere babies are loved. For trying so hard, for traveling so far, for being so wonderful, just as they are.” I tear up almost every time I read it because it’s so true. In spite of it all, they try and they try and they try again. They greet their days with smiles, enthusiasm, and excitement. They forgive our mistakes, our flashes of fiery, unfair anger. They meet our impatience with patience (at least sometimes), they laugh and live and love with reckless abandon.

So when they push us to the edge of our limits, let’s try to remember that we’re doing the same thing to them.

Happy “Week of the Young Child”!

She’s My Valentine. And my family … All day. 

Cheers to a woman who is my match. I love her fiercely, admiringly and as a best best friend. We laugh a lot and always enjoy each other’s company. Our journey to have a baby makes Valentine’s Day somewhat less about bodies to share with a partner and more about getting ready and recovering on our baby/ parenting quest. This is when you really find out how your relationship will endure when the body fails and it’s just your hearts and minds.


We may not always be sexy, but we sure do have a good time. This video is one of those ‘thought you were taking a photo and it was on video mode’ moments.

You Can’t Keep A Good Girl Down

Doubly so, when there are two of you.

We’re back at it again. The periods are back. We waited. We’re ready.

We tried, last cycle, to hilarious (and gross) results. Honestly, when’s the last time you had your brother’s sperm all over your hand? Ewww. I know.

T.M.I. But, for those of you who like a good gross story:

We were all set to do the procedure and, like a good participant, I had my sterile gloves on. The specimen cup ready. The syringe and catheter connected. On your mark. Get set. Go.

And then the syringe and catheter separate… releasing … (you guessed it). Blechhhhhhh. And my face is contorted in a pained expression of disgust, several shades of disgust. And A is asking…’what? what happened?’

And with fingers spread apart, paralyzed, and hands robot-like – extended in front of me, I sort of sit there, contemplating. Laughing, but well aware that this ‘procedure’ still needs to happen. So, it does.

But the weird irony of this all is not lost on me. And it will all be worth it in the end.

Partly, I know this is childish. It’s biology and clinical and… not at all how most people picture the moment of conception. But, for a career lesbian (15 years in) this contact with the “necessary materials” for our plan is weird enough. Multiply that by whatever you like – with the addition of the mental note that this isn’t just ‘any old’ … stuff.

In a way it’s pretty magical – to want something so much. And to love someone so much that it all becomes pretty funny, mishaps and all.

 

And now, we are on cycle two. Fingers crossed. Gloves on. And connections TIGHT.