Monday, September 17, 2007

Apples And Honey

I've written before about how much I love celebrating new beginnings. Last Thursday was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

It feels very appropriate to me that the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as the Days of Awe. It is a time of reflection and atonement, and, as I prefer to think of it in my more secular way, a time of healing. This is the time when God decides whose name gets written in the book of life for the coming year -- who lives, who dies, and who is born.

This year, the High Holy Days coincide with the beginning of my third trimester. I look back in wonder, amazed that we've gotten this far. Whatever one may call the Divine, the Life Force, the Universe, I am in awe. A year ago, we were despairing of ever having a child. Now, I want to fall to my knees in gratitude each time I feel my baby move.

It is also a time of healing for me. I had a somewhat scary episode last week, right on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, that underscored for me just how much healing has taken place. I was having an extremely stressful day at work, and on such days it's not unusual for me to have a couple of Braxton Hicks contractions late in the afternoon. But last Wednesday, they got really bad. I had three in rapid succession, and an hour and a half later another two. I got scared and called labor and delivery at the hospital, and they told me to come in to get checked, just to make sure.

I was terrified on my way in. I started crying and begging the universe to let my child be ok. I didn't want to think about her not making it after coming so far. But even though I was melting down, I felt a calmness at my core. I knew, I can't tell you how but I knew, that she'd be ok.

By the time Atomic met me at the hospital, I was feeling better. They strapped me to a monitor, did a quick ultrasound and checked my cervix. It was all ok. The very kind doctor who examined me was very reassuring.

Maybe I wouldn't have been scared at all had it not been for our history. But something about the experience made me realize how long it's been since I've dwelled in the Land of Fear.

I know I won't ever forget what it feels like to struggle, to mourn, to worry. But this baby, this wonderful, awe-inspiring being growing steadfastly inside my body, is healing me.

And it looks, God-willing, like there will be a new name in the Book of Life this year.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Lemonade Stand

This may have been our last trip out to the desert for a while. It was wonderful and awful, exhausting, dusty, life-affirming, friendship-cementing and friendship-destroying. In short, it was Burning Man.

I did something there that I've never done before. I actually created and displayed a piece of art. I took the pain, heartache, challenges, joys, and weirdness of the whole infertility experience and turned it into . . . a thing. A piece of art that I called "Second Coming." Each of the baby carriages has a bottle of fertility meds in it, and the trees are made from syringes.

Photos below.

Photos courtesy of Eric Slade