Thursday, May 31, 2007

Little Red 'Saurus Socks

For the past two and a half weeks, Atomic and I have been on vacation. It was a lovely, restful, friends-and-family-filled time, first with Atomic's brother & sister-in-law and their two beautiful kids, then a little jaunt to the town where Atomic grew up, and then a crazy festival of artists, culture jammers, and freaks in the middle of nowhere.

That's why I haven't posted much lately. Too much living going on, I guess. But I did come back with a few wonderful stories to tell you.

Here's my favorite:

A couple of our dear friends who attended the event with us are really into dinosaurs. They're not just into dinosaurs; they have a whole 'saurus avatar thing going on. And meticulously hand sewn 'saurus outfits and accessories. No, that's not weird. Or, it wouldn't be if you knew them. It's playful and creative and adds to the sum total of joy in the world. Plus, their saurusy-ness manifests itself in a context of people doing all kinds of creative, bizarre stuff, making art you can touch and interact with and generally letting their freak flags fly. It's a community that has brought much silliness and delight into my life, and I love my 'saurus friends with all my heart.

During this event I was feeling pretty tired and out of it, and a little sad that I didn't have the stamina to really play. One night, my Orange 'Saurus friend came a-knocking on the door of our RV, along with her delightfully goofy Boyfriend-in-Sheep's-Clothing. They were grinning great big grins and giggling, and they said, "We have something for you!"

They handed me a little cellophane package, tied with a bow. Inside was the sweetest little pair of red dinosaur socks.

I burst into tears. "It's too soon! We don't even know if this is going to happen. If something goes wrong the sight of these will break my heart a million times over. I can't . . . I. . . I. . ."

I looked up. They were still grinning.

Another friend, of a different species related to the 'sauruses, said, "This is your talisman. Put it in a safe place."

Then Atomic said, "One way or another, we're going to have a baby eventually. Whether it's this one or some other one, we will have a little red 'saurus in little red 'saurus socks."

I picked up the 'saurus socks again. They're so small. And soft. And they have claws and little foot pads on the bottom. And I thought about our little red 'saurus and the soft, chubby feet that will fill those socks some day.

And then I grinned, too. Still scared, of course, but also joyful, and hopeful.

I can't wait to meet our 'saurus.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. You'd think that being on vacation would leave me loads of time to come up with clever, entertaining, thought-provoking posts. But nah. Instead, a steady round of sleeping, puking, eating, and sitting around doing nothing has curdled my brain.

Since my own gray matter is emitting nothing more than a persistent "bzzzzzzz," I urge you all to read the words of someone who actually has something interesting and profound to say: Michele St. Martin of the Minnesota Women's Press.

Oh, and here's the best part -- I didn't even find this on my own. Gerkat, I owe you an ice cream.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

For The Rest Of Us, On Mother's Day

I know I'm not saying anything revolutionary by acknowledging that the inescapable marketing juggernaut of Mother's Day is very hard on those of us for whom motherhood has eluded our grasp, despite our yearning, our grief, our medical interventions and our willingness to undergo any torture or indignity.

I believe, because it comforts me to do so, that we become mothers at the moment we decide to have children, even if our children take a long time and a tortuous route to arrive in our arms. If injecting yourself with hormones, emptying the bank account to pay for fertility treatments, sobbing over each failed cycle, and generally putting your body and soul on a slab for the mere idea of a child doesn't make you a mother, I don't know what does.

And so, for those of you who got no flowers or cards today, those whose empty arms ached more than usual today, those who asked the universe "why me?" for the millionth time today, I honor you, on Mother's Day, for all that you have done and all that you are willing to do.

May your children find their way to you and bring you happiness and healing.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Breath of Air, A Moment of Joy

Fate kept putting kind people in our path today. Our ultrasound tech, a delightful, funny woman who was just finishing an internship, could not have been more wonderful to us. Within seconds of meeting, we had bonded over our respective miscarriages. A moment later, she smiled broadly and said, "I've got good news! There's a heartbeat!"

Atomic let out a breath that sounded like he'd been holding it for hours.

I got teary, and said, "thank you, thank you, thank you" over and over again.

Our little one looks, in the words of both the ultrasound folks and Dr. Reallynice, "perfect." The heart rate was around 160, and the wee one measured 7 weeks, 3 days (on average -- they took several measurements, which ranged from 7w2d to 7w4d).

Everything looks just great in there, including my ovaries, which have returned to a more or less normal size. We have now "graduated" from the RE's care, and now I get to go to a normal OB like, well, a normal pregnant person. How weird is that?

Oh, and one funny thing -- there was a sizable corpus luteum on my right side. The gigantic Ricochet follicle was on my left. So maybe we have a Droopalong after all.

And maybe, just maybe, we're going to have a really wonderful Christmas.

Wrassling Serenity

Disclaimer: No, no news yet. This is just me trying to manage my anxiety.

So, I woke up at 4 o'clock this morning thinking about the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Now, I know that this prayer has special meaning for the Friends of Bill W., but since I've yet to see an infertility prayer that makes any sense to me, I'm hoping they won't mind sharing.

Of these, the hardest for me is serenity. The problem with serenity is that you can't just grab ahold of it. You can't wrassle it to the ground and sit on it. You have to yield to it.

And as anyone who has known me for five minutes can attest, I suck at yielding.

Ever true to my birth year -- the Ram -- I tend to deal with obstacles by head-butting them into submission, even if it means I sustain a concussion in the process. That has served me well in litigation, but not so much elsewhere.

Little by little, I am discovering the advantages of yielding -- by letting Atomic take care of me, by sinking deep into shivasana at the end of yoga practice, by letting myself melt into the warm, purring pile of cat fur sprawled next to me on the couch, by letting my friends and family be there for me and cut me slack.

This process, this pregnancy, is a crash course in yielding. Thrashing around isn't going to help matters, whether the news is good or bad. The only way through to serenity is by yielding.

So, I yield. I yield to my fate, to my reality, whatever it may be, to my body's limitations, to whatever lies before us.

I yield.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Report From The Trenches

Ok, so maybe "trenches" is exaggerating a bit. But "Report From The Two Places I Now Frequent The Most: The Bathroom And Bed" seemed a bit unwieldy.

I've either got an embryo doing some furious growing in there, or I've got a nasty case of stomach flu. Note to self: no more pizza before bed. That's all I'll say about that.

We're scheduled for an ultrasound this Thursday. By that point, I'll be 7 weeks, 5 days, give or take, and we should see something, hopefully an embryo of the proper size with a vigorous heartbeat. That would be nice, wouldn't it?

The more I consider my freakout from last Monday, the more I realize I had a classic, textbook PTSD reaction. My shrink tells me that once you've got PTSD, each successive trauma hits you harder. So it makes sense, since I already had PTSD when I had my first miscarriage, that my reaction to that event was as severe as it was. And my reaction on Monday was a classic flashback-type reaction to the trauma of the miscarriage. I couldn't hear, I couldn't see, I interpreted a brow furrowed with concern for me as a message of doom for our baby.

I'm glad I understand that, but I'm not sure that understanding it will help me get through this Thursday's u/s without a meltdown.