Sunday, December 28, 2008


I have given over to the process of becoming.

I am here without choice or consultation but instead with the pull of nature and tides and things that are all their own.

The need to figure it all out has been replaced by the need to hold on, to keep pace, to sustain. It has occured to me that pregnancy in winter is an odd juxtaposition - growing life against the grain of a frozen backdrop. I alternate between feelings of swimming upstream through a dormant world and the idea of nesting into the cozy calm, hibernating and growing.

In my body, every priority seems to have shifted overnight, as though the marrow in my bones, the air in my lungs, the blood in my veins has one primary purpose of nurturing babies. They lead and I follow - as they stretch I stretch, as they grow I grow, as they move I move.

Every kick, every stretch, gives me worlds of hope and wonder, so that as they take, I receive exponentially. And in the end this process is not only inevitable but necessary.

Monday, December 1, 2008


When I was going through infertility, blogging was a cool breeze on a hot day. I had so much anger, passion, hope, fear, grief; words just tumbled out.

Going through pregnancy, words don't tumble out as gracefully. They're there, all right. But they're jumbled. I had three years of experience with infertility to help shape the sound and cadence of my voice. In six months of pregnancy, I've struggled to find a steady rhythm that will let it all out.

I feel like an awkward teenager struggling to find an identity. Although it left it's mark, infertility is behind me. Although I have a bulging belly swarming with life, I can barely bring myself to believe it's real.

As days pass, I stumble closer and closer to motherhood. I don't know what to think of it, let alone what to write of it. There's just so much there. But I wouldn't go back, and for that, I can only go forward.

Graceful or not, this is where I am.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In the Moment

I had this dream a few weeks ago that my babies were born and I put them in the sock drawer. And then I forgot about them, had two more babies, and by the time I found the first two, they had died of starvation.

When I woke up, I felt like a bad mother for a week. What if I absent-mindedly put my babies in a sock drawer and forget about them? And what if there are really four in there, and not just the two?

I'm a bit confounded by pregnancy. We seem to worship "living in the moment" like it's the end-all, be-all of life, and I have to admit that I'm sort of fond of the idea myself. However. It seems that there's only a certain amount of living in the moment that's acceptable during pregnancy. Preparing for the birth of a baby (or two babies), mandates some forward thinking. And forward thinking is all well and good. But it also opens the door for worry. Like, what if I'm the type of mother who forgets her babies in the sock drawer?

And then I find that living in the moment opens the door for worry too. Yesterday, living in the moment meant savoring a general bitterness towards the world, for no particular reason. Are my babies affected by my insane fluctuations in mood? Am I nurturing an environment for sweeping, unpredictable emotions?

Somebody recently told me that the reason humans are pregnant for nine months is because that's how long it takes to prepare for motherhood. And that makes sense to me. But I also have a feeling that at the end of this nine months, I am not going to have a tidy little motherhood plan all worked out. I like to believe that life as a new mother will be serene and beautiful. That I'll waltz through the world in a beautiful silk dress and embody all that is maternal.

I know myself well enough to expect a more realistic vision. Rather than waltz, my dance will be less graceful. But I'll dance. In place of a beautiful silk dress, I'll wear comfortable, cottony things that have holes and spit-up and have faded from too many washings. I'll embody maternal instincts, and a whole hell of a lot more, too. I will probably not brush my hair. Life will probably not be serene. I imagine it will be blissful, and beautiful, and difficult, and messy.

I doubt my ability to wrap my head around all of this that is pregnancy. I'm not sure I'm supposed to be able to fully comprehend it all. Despite the science of it all, there's so much of new life that remains miraculous. In a logical sense, I know exactly how I got to this point of being pregnant with twins. But every other sense that I have tells me that feeling two little bodies move within my own has nothing to do with logic at all.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

24 Weeks...I am still amazed.

Every few months I write a post that starts with apologies for the long silences between blogs. No more apologies. Apparently, this is who I am as a blogger. Sporadic, and mildly dependable at best. I'm going to be okay with that.

But here are some updates on what's happened in the past month.

The shower game is over. I tried it out this morning for the first time in a long time, and I found that no matter how far forward I bend, my pieces are just no longer visible without the use of a mirror. Which at this point is a sight I can probably do without anyway.

I've started experiencing those coveted, random acts of kindness towards pregnant women that I was beginning to think only existed in mythology. I have to admit that upon discovering I was pregnant, I was really looking forward to this star treatment. And then kind of bummed when it didn't happen right away. But now, most people are nice. Probably because they feel sorry for my waddle. The one exception is the grocery store. Why are people always so terribly rude in the grocery store? It does not matter how much I waddle, or how much I hold my aching back as I meander down the aisle, people still shove past with nary an "excuse me." Well people, I will remember that when I'm waltzing down the aisle with two cute babies in a few months, and you want to coo at them and ask me whether they're boys or girls. Payback's a bitch.

The most exciting recent development, which probably relates to the whole kindness from strangers thing, is that my belly has become unmistakeably, hugely massive. And I love it.

The day I found out I was pregnant...

A few weeks later...
Later still...
...And later (I will need to become a better historian when these babies are born...dates, weeks, or even months might be nice...)
And just a few weeks ago...
The babies are growing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Please Don't Leave the Seat Up...

...Is a phrase I need to get really, really, really comfortable with.

Not only because I hate accidentally landing in a pool of urine, but because between my husband and TWO sons, I'm going to be vastly outnumbered.

Yup. Not only does Baby A have a penis, Baby B has one too.

And after months of referring to Baby B as "Baby B," I'm starting to think that maybe we can end the name game. If Diddy can be "Diddy," then I think Baby B can be "Baby B."

Because my god - the name game is getting old and I want to throw every baby name book in the fire. Really...really do you think I'm going to name my child Ulysses? My theory on baby name books is this: there are really very few AWESOME names out there. So most names that get thrown in are just fillers to make you think you have options. If the name "Baby B" doesn't pan out, perhaps I'll switch to a new strategy: the random striking of letters on a keyboard. Perhaps we could use the name "daoiljfkk" or "reoiojjg." If someone could just clarify the pronunciation for me, we might be good to go.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I woke up nice and late a few Saturdays ago to a disappointing reality: I had broken a finger in my sleep. Sleepy and perplexed, I tried to rummage through the prior night's dreams to see what possibly could have led to such physical duress. Coming up blank, I glanced down to look at the injury, only to realize that the finger in question was not broken at all. It was suffocating.

Overnight, my once slender ring finger had turned into a grotesque purplish sausage. So I did what any normal hysterical pregnant woman would do and quickly scoured my house for every possible lubricating product on hand. I plopped myself down at the dining room table, applied enough lotion to cure an elephant with dermatitis, and after a few minutes of panicked claustrophobia, the finger was freed.

As my wedding band and engagement ring sat on the table in a slippery puddle, I massaged my throbbing finger and weighed my options. It took me seven years to get those rings on my finger, and I wasn't sure how I felt about parting with them so quickly. For goodness' sake, people might look at my big belly and then at my bare finger and start to make judgements. (You've done it. The belly-finger compare. Admit it.)

And then it occurred to me. This may be the perfect therapy for a former infertile. Because there's something about knowing that I got knocked up with a plastic catheter in an operating room that kind of weighs on me. I can (and will, as a matter of fact) argue that getting pregnant through assisted reproduction can be much more a labor of love and partnership than a regular old roll in the hay, but still. Sometimes I just want people to look at my pregnant belly and think, "oh. She must have had sex." If this seems odd, please consider how many times people have learned I'm having twins and commented, "oh. Did you take fertility drugs?" (Next time I'm asked this rudely probing question, I think I will respond: "yes, I did, because they're delicious and taste like Skittles).

So the idea of my newly ring-less finger FAILING The belly-finger compare is sort of totally appealing. People may think that I got pregnant ACCIDENTALLY! And that would mean I'm a fertile myrtle, here with my doubly pregnant belly and not even attached!

Let's just say I scooped those rings up, dried them off, and put them away in a nice, safe place.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

How I Got Pregnant

Okay, perhaps the whole IVF thing is a bit obvious. I subjected myself to an experimental drug study and paid a lot of money to produce four of the cutest embryos I've ever seen. Then I had two of those embryos catapulted into my happily waiting uterus and the rest is history.

But I don't really think that's the whole story. I got the inspiration for this blog when reading yesterday, which made me painfully reminiscent of my infertility days from not so long ago. As I've probably contemplated to death over the past year on my blog, one of the things that was most difficult for me about infertility was not knowing what would happen, (would I ever become pregnant?) and not understanding why stupid sucky-face infertility was happening to me. I used to spend hours surfing the web, looking for a solution. Because good god! there were a lot of people on the Internet who had gone through infertility and gotten pregnant. Somebody had to know the secret. I actually remember finding teaser sites of couples who did "know the secret" and for the small fee of a few hundred dollars, would actually sell it to you. I hope those people catch a very bad case of diarrhea in public.

So now that I'm pregnant, do I know the secret? No. But having gone through it, and looking back on it, I do think I have a few insights to it that I couldn't see quite so clearly before. I don't think there is any one secret to overcoming infertility. I think that every one of us is different, and that infertility goes above and beyond the physical makeup of our bodies. I'll never be convinced that my experience with infertility was solely due to physical factors, especially since I still don't really understand what the physical problems were. Anyway, I do think there are a lot of things that helped me to get pregnant above and beyond that whole massive medical intervention thing. Maybe that's because I'm not a massive medical intervention kinda girl and it's just too hard for me to believe that after three painful years, the one and only answer was to let Western medicine take over. I think that the reality of it is that the right things came together at the right time. I found my secret recipe. And because we're all different, we probably all have different recipes.

So I don't have any massive revelation to make. Just that I think overcoming infertility is really about finding the right holistic recipe. And I'm not even sure I know the entire recipe. Because while I may over analyze every aspect of my life, I'm still on the outside looking out. But I thought it might be helpful to share my ingredients. Here they are:

  • I joined an infertility support group. Nothing fancy...a small group of self-led, local women going through the same painful process. I had resisted this for a LONG time. Going to a group made infertility seem so real. I didn't want it to be real. But I finally gave in, got together with these women, and shared, and laughed, and cried.
  • I got addicted to acupuncture. I went every day to a walk in acupuncture clinic which is much more affordable than the cushy one-on-one sessions that are lovely but for me, cost prohibitive.
  • I cut out soy. I've always been quite the fan of tofu and soy products, until I started really looking at research on phyto-estrogens. I decided that my body didn't need any more synthetic hormones, and I cut out most soy products cold turkey a couple months before I got pregnant. I did continue to eat tempeh in good quantities, because it's fermented.
  • I read. My two favorite books on the subject are "The Fertile Female" by Julia Indichova, and "The Infertility Cure" by Randine Lewis, Ph.D. "The Fertile Female" told me everything I needed to hear. It comforted me, and helped me to begin thinking of myself in terms of fertility, rather than INfertility. "The Infertility Cure" helped me to feel empowered. It made me feel knowledgeable about my body and offered many holistic solutions. I followed the instructions of this book pretty closely. Not everything made sense to me, so I took what I needed and left the rest.
  • I purchased the guided imagery/meditation CD "help for infertility" by Belleruth Naperstek. I LOVE this CD series, and often miss how relaxed and comforted I felt when I listened to it. And I listened to it A LOT. Like, every day on my drive to and from work (almost two hours round trip) and many nights on headphones while I was falling asleep. I listened to this incessantly during every car trip to and from IVF appointments...especially before and after my embryo transfer.
  • I followed (mostly) the dietary recommendations of my acupuncturist and "The Infertility Cure." For me, that meant cutting out sugar and cold foods.
  • I DID NOT cut out alcohol. My wonderful OB/GYN gave me permission to do this...I'm so rigid sometimes that I actually needed permission to drink as I wanted. Most infertility advice tells you to cut out alcohol. If that works for you, great. But my doctor one day said to me, "Why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you living like a nun? Have fun. If you live like you're pregnant each month, then each month when you find out you're not, how much more painful is that going to be? Relax, and have a glass of wine if you want a glass of wine." And I did. I had quite a few, in fact. And it was great. It helped me to live in and enjoy the present moment.
  • I drank a lot of pomegranate juice before my embryo transfer. You're supposed to load up on fluid ahead of time to help aid in the transfer process. I chose pomegranate juice because of its antioxidant qualities because I was worried that maybe inflammation was hurting my chances of getting pregnant.
  • I cried. Whenever and where ever I wanted. I gave myself permission to live fully through the emotions of infertility and to stop trying to control the experience. To the horror of some friends and family members, I made crass jokes about infertility when I was in the mood. Blogging helped in this process. Once you put it out on the Internet, well. For me, that helped solidify my commitment to living fully and honestly through it.
  • I allowed myself to feel hateful and jealous toward pregnant people. Non-infertiles might not find this to be a redeeming quality. It's probably not. But good god, it's survival.
  • I did a lot of fertility yoga. I followed the DVD, "Fertility Yoga" by Monica Morrell, Ph.D.
  • I ran my ass off.
  • I had very supportive friends and family, and a wonderful, accepting, loving husband.

I think there are more ingredients as well. But I'm ending the list here for now, because I just scrolled back and realized how long it is. I used to really hate it when pregnant or fertile people would tell me how to overcome infertility. "Just relax." "Stand on your head after sex." "I don't know what to tell you, all I have to do is look at a man and I get knocked up." This list isn't a list of recommendations, just a list of what was helpful for me. If it makes you feel better, then stand on your head all you want. I think that's actually what I'm really saying in all of this.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Do you think my babies can see Russia from inside my womb?

Just wondering.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I'm Pregnant, Not Kind.

I said that today. Twice.

But let's be honest, I actually am fairly kind. I like puppies and kittens, and I believe in the possibility of world peace.

It's just that lately, I'm feeling a little ferocious. I always envisioned that as a pregnant person, I would be ethereal, wise, and emanating love. Instead, I find myself to be frumpy, sarcastic, and emanating the f-bomb. It's not quite what I'd had in mind.

And so I suppose I need to be honest with myself. I have probably never been destined for ethereality. Is that even a word? For one thing, I don't have the hair for it. Everybody knows that you need long and flowing hair to be ethereal. Go figure, mine is short and far from flowing; unless you count the profusion of peach fuzz on my belly. And although I have very recently grown some breasts, I'm probably not quite voluptuous enough either.

Wisdom, I think I might have a shot at. I mean, sarcasm and wisdom are basically one and the same. Some of the funniest, wisest old people I know just so happen to also be very sarcastic. Sometimes, if I'm having a bad day, my sarcasm can be a little mean-spirited. But nobody is nice ALL of the time, and I think the fact that I can be honest about that probably means I am a little bit wise.

If I'm having a good day and the hormones aren't completely steering the boat, I sometimes emanate love. Certainly towards my sweet babies and husband and quite a few family members. But then I also seem to have this little swearing thing going on. And the demeanor of a crusty, grumpy old man.

Part of me is sad about this. Because I think everyone would really love me an awful lot if I was ethereal and wise and loving.

I am instead like a hairy sailor with a big belly. And although this probably makes me slightly less lovable, I'm not so much minding. Because while pregnancy has not brought with it all of the pretty-princess images I conjured up over the past 27 years, it has brought on some new life perspectives. Small things, like peace and acceptance.

P.S. The hormones are steering the boat.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

So this is pregnancy.

Here's what happens in the life of a neurotic post-infertile pregnant lady when she's not over-analyzing her life.

I have indigestion today for the first time as a pregnant lady. I am thrilled to have indigestion. Really.

I was warned not to get "What to Expect When You're Expecting." But a friend loaned me a copy, and god I was too curious to pass it up. To be honest, I thought there might be some really juicy pregnancy secrets in there. There's not. Just a lot of talk about gas and discharge and whether or not I'll have insecurities about my changing figure. And while the book is more histrionic than anything else, "What to Expect" has me expecting (and oddly enough, wanting) indigestion.

So now that I have it, I feel normal. And sort of burny in the chest area.

I have been battling a weevil infestation. In my house, not my body. Let's be clear on that. Either way, I am disgusted and hateful towards weevils. I swear my house is clean. Yet I have these crawly little brownish-black things all over my counter tops and in my cereal boxes. This weekend I emptied out all of my food cabinets in a passionate anti-weevil campaign. I threw away half my pantry supplies which has resulted in me becoming a hungry-grumpy pregnant lady for much of the week. If you haven't cleaned out your food cabinets lately, well. Let's just say you might be surprised at what you find festering in there. On my part, I found many gems, the best of which was a gallon bag of steel cut oats that had majestically transformed into a gloppy mess of green mold and weevil larvae. Oatmeal, anyone?

I am patiently waiting for random acts of kindness from strangers. I've heard that being pregnant brings on hoards of people just falling over themselves waiting to be kind and loving toward you. Not so much for this girl. Not that anyone has been unkind, per se. Except for that one day when a co-worker looked at me and said, "god, you're fat." That was not so much kind. But otherwise, people just treat me kind of normal. Like the girl in the grocery store parking lot who almost ran me down today as I waddled to my car.

I have a new game I use to entertain myself and remind myself of just how amazingly pregnant I am. I have given this game the uber-creative moniker, "the shower game". Here's how it goes: every day when I take a shower, I make my back all straight and correct-postured. Then I bend forward at the waist while keeping my back straight. I bend bend bend until I can see all my pieces. Once I've positively identified all my pieces, I make a mental note of my waist angle. A couple of weeks ago when I started this little game, I was at about a 25 degree angle. These days, I'm at about 35 degrees. I find myself looking forward tremendously to 45 degrees. 90 degrees would be neat too. Except that by the time I get that big, I have a feeling that I'll need some weird sort of mirrored contraption to find all my pieces. And I probably won't be able to get back up. And then my husband will find me all stuck and bent in the shower. And I'll have to admit to him my little shower game.

I bet I'll be a neat mom.

Who took my map?

After living life for three years as an infertile, I have a confession to make. Four months ago, I would have cringed and threatened to slap myself across the face at such a confession. But I have no self control, so confess I will: I do not know how to be a pregnant person.

Infertility is the cruelest and most painful waiting game I know. Monthly reminders of the lack of conception. Waiting for the next test. The next set of stirrups. The next cycle to start. The next. The next. The next. Waiting to find out if you will ever become pregnant.

Oddly, I got pretty good at all that waiting. I would even say I found peace in it. I accepted the unknowns, not out of some beautiful zen moment, but out of the sheer reality that I had no other option. I embraced the idea that infertility, for me, was a journey. I often even felt lucky to have the opportunity to turn a painful experience into a time of growth, reflection, and acceptance.

And now I am pregnant. I start my fourteenth week today, and I am still in quite the state of shock. I am beyond excited. I feel blissful, lucky lucky lucky, and totally confused.

I don't quite know how to look back and make sense of this most recent development. For me, living infertility was a bit like being suspended in space and time. Becoming pregnant has launched me back into the real world. Living infertility was the most polarizing experience I've ever had with the rest of humanity. Even among my most beloved friends and family, I separated everyone into an "us" and them" sort of alignment: the fertiles vs. the infertiles. Where do I fit in now?

The infertility/fertility journey doesn't end at pregnancy. I never knew that before. I don't know if it ends at birth. My infertility induced clarity, acceptance, and balance seems to have at least momentarily been replaced with a gluttonous appetite for all things baby. I glide from peaceful moments of loving my pregnancy to impatient and frustrated longings to finally hold my babies and see their tiny faces.

And maybe this is really what it's all about. I have about six more months to reflect and sort things out. That's the same amount of time my babies have left to live in the safest and most sheltered environment they'll ever know. And then together they'll join this crazy world. I don't care if my babies grow up to be doctors or lawyers. I want my babies to know that life is beautiful and confusing. And once they know that, I want them to choose to jump right in, with wild and reckless abandon.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sweet Babies...

Bunk beds...Baby B lounges on top of Baby A. (Look at those skinny little legs!)
Baby A looks like he's thinking. (Yup...Baby A has a penis...)

Baby B sucking his or her thumb.
Hello, second trimester. I'm going to be a mommy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cleavage: I have that.

Yup. Boobies. Breasts. Sweater meat.

I got it.

Before you're tempted to feel offended, I feel the need to offer up the fact that I've lived quite happily for 27 years with my rather boyish figure. I gave up on push-up bras some time around the age of 17. Once that snow-ball got rolling it didn't stop: bras were out the window altogether by the time I finished college. And goodness, the liberation!

So for as much as I've not really minded my rather plankish form, I have to say that my new beautiful ta-tas are not to be minded either. Here's why:

1. They jiggle, for goodness sake, and that's just fun.
2. From the side, I look like the letter B, but with legs and a head. And who doesn't like the letter B?
3. I have a cute little freckle that looks quite fetching when it's sitting atop my massive cleavage.

And after waiting for this pregnancy so long, I fully intend to throw myself into the experience with joy and hopefully only a few teensy complaints (like the terrible headaches that have become my constant companion).

So if there's ever been something to feel joyful about, I think I'm there. Two babies in my belly and I've finally reached a full B cup (yup...didn't mis-type that...not C, not D, just celebrating the B here, folks!) feels like heaven.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Crib!

One of my husband's co-workers has offered us an almost-new crib.


A feeling of real-ness abounds...a feeling I've been waiting for. We were offered a second-hand crib!

And of course we'll accept. Not only does it make me feel like I'm taking a small step towards my goal of environmentally responsible parenting, not only does it solve the problem of whether to buy one crib or two, but it means I will have in my house a physical representation of the moment this all started to feel real.

A second-hand crib never sounded so good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hi. I have a hairy belly.

I am not a hairy person.

Throughout my life, I've often been asked if I shave my arms. This is a bizarre and rather personal question. I don't go around asking random people which body parts they choose to de-hair, but apparently, something about my inviting demeanor brings forth such questions.

I do not now, nor have I ever, shaved my arms. They don't look hairy, especially from far away. But if you look closely, (which I expect you would be inclined to if you'd be so forward as to ask whether I've shaved them or not) you will see that I do have hair on my arms. It's sparse, and fairly see-through, but it's there. And in fact, it's quite long. Like, probably 2/3s of an inch long if I were to measure, which I won't.

One summer I decided not to shave my legs in order to be a more informed consumer. Cause if I'm going to choose to shave, I want to know what I'm giving up. That wasn't my prettiest summer. Apparently in addition to unnaturally long arm hair, I grow leg hair, too. And while it may be sparse, it certainly is not see through.

But overall, I've sort of led a charmed life in the hair department. No weird back hairs, no uni-brow, no lady moustache.

I think the charmed phase is coming to an end. And it scares me a little bit.

On a recent trip to the beach, the babies and I were enjoying some sun (safely, with lots of SPF and lectures here). My pottish belly was all hanging out of my bikini and my loving husband had convinced me that my physique screamed "pregnant" and not "fat." So life was pretty good. And then I looked down to admire my spherical form, and came to a rude awakening.

I look like a peach.

Round, plump, and fuzzy. Those translucent, sparse, yet long hairs of my upper appendages seem to have migrated to the belly region. In no particular order. No happy trail here...just a random forest of silken strands. And should that sound sort of appealing, let me remind you, that calm forest resides on my belly.

And yet I can't find it within myself to complain. Compelled to share? Yes. Complain, never.

I've always kind of liked peaches anyway.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I've been a bad blogger again.

I've been quiet. And that's quite rare for me...both in the blogging world and the real.

Today I'm ten weeks pregnant. My babies are now officially considered fetuses. I am over the moon excited, yet for once in this very long journey, I don't know quite what to say.

I've spent the last month contemplating how to put my feelings into words, and the reality is I don't know how. I'll get back to that. In the meantime, here's what's been happening:

So many people have left me really nice comments. My mother and sister, quite the bloggers themselves, tell me it's rude that I don't reply to comments. I never knew that. I probably still won't really reply to comments. Not because I'm rude, but because good lord it took me a month to write this blog, imagine the lags I would have if I actually tried to step it up.

I've been living life as a wedding crasher. Except that I've been an invited guest. But goodness, is love in the air. If I'm out of touch with the blogosphere, all those lovebirds out there are not helping. The nerve. (Congratulations to all you beautiful people).

I've been sleeping. For probably 85% of the last month.

I gained six pounds and not an ounce of guilt.

I grew a little pot belly. And it's damn cute.

And through it all, I've felt moderately speechless. Through three years of infertility, I couldn't keep my mouth shut. I learned to live with a hugely broken heart and an overbearing sadness that was omnipresent. I never allowed myself to consider what life would be like if I became pregnant. And now I've become pregnant.

You'd think that after three years this wouldn't feel like a shock. At least that it wouldn't feel sudden. But it feels both shocking and sudden. It feels incredibly surreal. I'm terrified of waking up and falling back into the grips of infertility.

So I'm living life a little more quietly. Maybe I'm hoping that if I keep things on the real down-low, that infertility won't notice me quietly working my way through my first trimester. I'm taking it all in as I wait for my broken heart to do its healing. I'm awed by life in the absence of sadness. I feel cautious.

Slowly, I'm working on throwing that caution to the wind. But I'm taking baby steps to do it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

2 Pink 2 Babies


I am pregnant.

I am pregnant with twins.

Two babies.

Two heartbeats.

Two beautiful, strong heartbeats.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

infertility, you stupid jerk face.

Beta 3 20dp3dt=15,172

The nurse says I'm "very pregnant." That's gotta be good.

Looking forward to my ultrasound makes me feel like a six year old waiting for Santa, but less patient.

And I have to keep checking with myself to see if it's sunk in yet. (It hasn't). After three years of trying and a lifetime of dreaming, I'm pregnant. I'm embarrassed to admit that almost every day I'm tempted to take another pregnancy test, just to see those two pink lines again and again. And somehow, it's my reaction to that temptation that sums up infertility better than any words I can ever put together. Aside from that first bold day, I haven't taken another at home matter how badly I want to see those two lines. I have a beta of 15,172, and I'm scared of the stupid pee stick.

Infertility, let's break up. I hate your guts, and you have bad breath. You terrify me. Your farts smell like rotting dead skunk.

I refuse to let you define me.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Dear Thailand,

Please send some delicious recipes and food. I would particularly enjoy learning all of your secrets for tangy and tantalizing soup.

Love and kisses,

Baby Purinton

p.s. feed me. feed me. feed me.

This is what's going on in my belly. Well, actually my uterus. Apparently my child has inherited my sweet husband's appetite and quite the little palate for Thai food. I cannot, cannot, cannot get enough Thai food into my belly. I've taken to making up my own Thai recipes. And gourmet that I may be, I am no expert on Thai. I'm considering chaining myself to the takeout counter at Siam Orchid.

What else is new...

Have I mentioned that I am pregnant? And that a strange woman in a public restroom asked me when I'm due this weekend? To which I sheepishly responded, I'm due in MARCH.

So okay, I'm slightly huge. And LOVING it.

Maybe it's all the Thai. Or pseudo Thai, if you count the dishes I've made.

And I'm exhausted, blissfully so. And the way I'm peeing, you could stick me in a pond like a makeshift water pump. Suck it in, put those kidneys to work, send it back out. Suck it in, kidneys, out. In, kidneys, out. In, kidneys, out.

And I'd by lying if I didn't admit that there's a part of me that's terrified. Because five weeks in, and I'm head over heels in love with the sweet and beautiful little life growing inside my body. And so desperately I want this magic, this miracle, to continue.

Infertility is a stubborn bastard. I've reached where I thought I might never reach. And here I am, in love and vulnerable. And terrified that this bliss will be ripped away.

So this is my moment. Full of Thai addictions, full of pregnant bliss, full of love, fully aware that I live this all with guarded caution.

Monday, July 7, 2008


I am pregnant.


The last 24 hours of the 2WW were the worst. I started prepping for the let down and realized what a let down it would be.

I couldn't bring myself to cheat and test on my own...terrified of the result.

So I waited until the nurse called me.

That poor nurse has probably lost hearing in whichever ear was next to the phone, as I demurely responded to her "Congratulations" with, "I'M PREGNANT? HOLY CRAP! OH MY GOD! HOLY CRAP I'M PREGNANT!!!!!!"

And then I made my way to my stash of pee sticks, and I peed like I've never peed before.

Two beautiful, lovely, longed for pink lines.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

2WW=Guaranteed Insanity

I have developed multiple personalities.

I can't lie about that.

I can lie about that if I want to.

That's a lie.

What happened to my sandy-footed hope?

Maybe I should take a test. Maybe the test will be negative. If the test is negative, I'll be even crazier from now until Monday.

But maybe I should take a test. Maybe the test will be positive. If the test is positive, I'll be happy and glowing from now until Monday.

If it rains tonight, does that mean I'm pregnant?

Has the world shifted off its axis? Does our globe now rotate around me and my maybe-baby?

Damn my acupuncturist for taking a vacation. I'm an addict and I need a fix. I wonder if safety pins would do the trick...

Maybe I should pee on a stick.

I won't pee on a stick.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I have a slippery pulse.

That is what my acupuncturist says.

And that, my friend, is a good thing.

For those of you less inclined to stick needles into your flesh, acupuncturists use the pulse as the primary way to diagnose and treat patients. The slippery pulse is often the earliest sign of pregnancy in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

My pulse is slippery.

Driving home from her office, I encountered my first pregnancy test craving. Then I let it go.

And it sounds dramatic, now, because the next thing I knew, I was surrounded by sweet and gentle hope.

Not the anxious, hungry, yearning hope for things like raises and good weather. Instead, the hope you feel when you've driven a long way to the ocean, and finally step out of the car onto the soft damp sand. Sunlight cresting on the horizon, spilling over and over again onto the brilliant water.

My feet are in the sand. My pulse is slippery.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Living. Waiting.

It's Monday evening.

I successfully completed a fairly productive day of work.

Bed rest is over. :(

I remarked to someone at work today that I haven't started to dissect every little thing that's going on in my body to determine if it might be a pregnancy symptom. Ever since, I've been dissecting every little thing that's going on in my body to determine if it might be a pregnancy symptom, or worse, a PMS symptom.

I had a wicked sugar craving this afternoon, and it has occurred to me that this very well could be the first signs of PMS. I bought a jumbo sized box of skittles and sucked the sugary coating off of every single one while I drove home from work. Gained some guilt, lost the craving.

A week from now, I will know whether or not I am pregnant. This afternoon, I felt the first true twinges of sadness at the thought that this may not result in a baby. Maybe it's being out of my bed rest bubble and back into the real world that I am finally seeing the dust settle around my IVF whirlwind.

I have not lost hope. I have gained fear.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

as pregnant as I've ever been...

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the awesome language of infertility, I'd like to introduce you to a very important concept:

The 2WW, otherwise known as the dreaded "two week wait" during which you anxiously ponder the results of your latest fertility treatment, waiting to take a pregnancy test. Or not waiting, and taking four tests a day, certain that the negative result is simply due to a faulty test.

So I am now in the midst of the biggest, and certainly the most expensive, 2WW of my infertility journey thus far. The IVF 2WW. Perhaps you've noticed the large blue countdown to the right.

The 2WW can be a difficult time. No matter what anyone says, it is absolutely impossible to spend less than 23 hours a day wondering if the pregnancy gods will finally shine the light of favor over this cycle. Yes, I think about it while I'm sleeping. Do I judge your dreams?

I can't pass by this topic without stopping to point out how many times I have been told to focus on something else. Maybe this makes me bitter, but I'm pretty sure that telling somebody to "forget" that they may or may not have a fetus growing inside them is like asking somebody to forget that they have a left arm.


The 2WW is hard. Infertility is basically comprised of waiting and a good deal of neuroses. The neuroses is not necessarily a precursor to infertility, but it is certainly a side effect. Try having your uterus scanned three times a week and see if you DON'T end up making Jerry Seinfeld seem sane.

Another aspect of the 2WW is dealing with people who point out to me (as if they're the first to discover the world is round) that if my pregnancy test is negative, GASP, all the people who know about our IVF will know! People will know that I am not pregnant! People will know I am sad and disappointed! Gosh, I guess I really should have thought about that BEFORE I started airing my dirty laundry so publicly. What will people think if I fail to get knocked up? Will I be forced to live in some sort of infertile exile?

There is another way to look at this. Many optimistic infertiles have familiarized me with the term PUPO, or, "pregnant until proven otherwise." I may not necessarily be pregnant, but by golly, I am PUPO. And I have never been quite this PUPO before.

I know for a fact that there are two deliciously adorable embryos taking up habitat in my uterus right this very moment. I've never been able to say that before.

I could spend the remainder of my 2WW anxiously wondering how things will turn out. In all honesty, I can promise you that I will spend many moments doing exactly that. But it's not the only thing I will do.

I will also love the tiny little lives in my belly that my husband and I created. In the very least, we made some good progress...we got to cell division! And I'm not stopping there. I'm going to enjoy this time of hopefulness and wonder at all that it could become. Perhaps one day soon I will be shopping for some adorable organic onesies. Infertility can beat the dreamer out of the most imaginative of people. What once felt like harmless hopes and dreams become the sharpest knives in the artillery until hoping and dreaming feels so forbidden that you forget how to let your imagination go. For the next 7 days, I'm taking my imagination back. I'm going to dream until I'm drunk.

And I'm going to enjoy everything wonderful that I do have. Like this moment, sitting and writing on my deck with my husband lying next to me. Our sweet puppy is lounging in the shade and panting in the yummy June heat. Our grass is green and freshly mowed. My gardens are overgrown and lush with weeds and flowers alike. My ears are filled with birds and wind and always, good music. I smell grass and summer and sweat. And in this moment, I'm as pregnant as I've ever been.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Where's my cool breeze?

The embryos and I are resting comfortably.

They, like their mommy, enjoy turkey burgers and a good nap around lunchtime. It's a leisurely life we three live. And I could get used to this whole bed rest deal.

In all of this luxurious relaxing, I haven't forgotten that I had promised the details of my rather embarrassing moment of realizing I was still wearing my underpants as I sat on the operating table. And in deciding how to describe this in greater detail, it occurred to me that nobody wants to go back and read the details once I've spilled the punchline. Yet here I go, sharing details. Because I love details.

So. My loving husband and I are shuffled into the operating room for the big embryo transfer. He got to look all sexy and Gray's Anatomy-ish in some blue scrubs and face mask. I got to look all nursing home-ish in brown slipper socks, a johnny, and a robe. And let's not forget the powder blue shower cap. The nurse instructs me to sit on the table and pull the johnny out from under my bum. This is getting old hat for me. So I do as she says. And she's chatting away, attaching the big yellow stirrups to the table (these are no normal stirrups, ladies), when I realize that something feels, well, wrong. And I'm all nervous because here's my scrub-sporting husband and we're getting ready for the biggest, most glorified pap smear of my life, and I'm having a hard time figuring out what feels so, so wrong.

And then I realize. It's my cool breeze. It's missing. So in disbelief, I reached down under that johnny just to be sure. And where I expected to hit skin, I hit cotton. And by now, the operating table is all set up. The nurse has the big yellow stirrups waiting. The embryologist is smiling expectantly and I'm pretty sure making eyes at my husband. The doctor is at the back of the room, washing his hands. And I say, sheepishly, "um, I think I'm still wearing my underwear." Either that or my vagina is especially cottony-soft today. And she doesn't blink an eye. Doesn't miss a beat. She says, "oh honey, happens all the time!" (NO, it doesn't. Ask any infertile, and she will tell you that the first thing she does at any appointment is meticulously hide her underwear safely from view. Well doc, joke's on you, cause this time, I decided to hide my woo woo instead.)

So, what else could I do? I looked around the room. At the nurse, the nurse in training, the slutty embryologist, and the hygienic doctor. And I slipped those undies off in two seconds flat, bunched them up into the smallest little wad I could manage, and handed them to my husband with a smile. Who says IVF isn't sexy?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

E-Day Update

I will probably write more about this experience later, but for now, just the short and sweet version (then I will go rest with my baby embryos).

But I promise that sometime soon I will share my mortifying story of realizing, as I sat on the operating table, the little fact that I had forgotten to remove my underwear. Kind of makes it hard to get at the goods with my pink Vicky's in the way.


Transferred two embryos of "excellent" quality. Had one of the nicest nurses on earth. Froze four more excellent embryos. Pretty sure that these embryos are Claudette and Whitey, they were really fighters.

Finally, our beautiful, beautiful embryos.

It's E-Day

Today is THE DAY.

July 7th will also be THE DAY, but today is THE DAY for right now.
(July 7th=pregnancy test).

Today we transfer my little embryo-yos to their true home: me.

I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

I'm terrified and want to cry.

I've done everything I can to be ready for this moment. I've meditated. I've blogged. I've cried. I've yoga'd. I've cried. I've acupunctured. I've cried. I've read. I've cried. I've talked. And talked. And talked. And talked.

My efforts are not without reward.

I've discovered that I have a support network that previously, I might only have dreamed about. I have fabulous, kind, loving, funny, supportive people in my life. When I ran my first 5k last year, I remember feeling that the course felt much longer than anything I had ever practiced. I felt tired and alone. I had a cramp, I was running slowly, and didn't know anybody around me. I worried that I wouldn't finish, or that I would finish dead last and everyone would laugh as I stumbled across the finish line. But then I came upon the last half mile, and one by one, supporters started to fill the sidelines of the course. They didn't know me, but they cheered. And the closer I got to the finish line, the more people there were, standing and cheering words of encouragement. I felt so proud, so supported, as I crossed the finish line. These people didn't care that I was slow, that I had bad form. And I'm realizing that those people are with me now. Except for this time I know them, and they're all wonderful. And if it weren't for infertility, I might not know that right now. Some of them, I wouldn't know at all.

I don't know what will happen today, or in the next 12 days. Not knowing still gets to me. Even now, I haven't gotten used to it. But the reality is, I know exactly what will happen: I will be pregnant, or I won't. Simple as that.

And even beyond that, I know what will happen. Pregnant or not, I know I will survive.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I'm a wee bit hormonal.

Case in point: I called my husband on his way to work this morning, crying rather hysterically because he forgot to bring the laundry downstairs for me. Clearly, he forgot this extremely important task because he no longer loves me.

Perhaps you're wondering why I don't bring the damn laundry downstairs myself? Well normally I would, but it just so happens that being two days post egg retrieval (12 eggies!), my ovaries hurt.

Normally, I'm a delight to be married to. And for all of you who are jealous of my sweet husband, wishing that you were married to me, let me assure you that YOU DO NOT want to be married to me this week. Despite all of my beauty, charm, and wit, despite my fantastic cooking skills and domestic fortitude, I seem to be lacking in the sanity department.

I think that this is justified for a variety of reasons.

1. I have ten fertilized eggs sitting in a petri dish in Boston waiting for their mommy. My uterus is much more comfy than some sterile petri dish. Clearly, I'm suffering seperation anxiety.

2. My house absolutely has to be meticulously and spotlessly clean. And it's not. If I do not get it perfectly clean in the next few hours, my eggies might prefer to continue their petri dish inhabitation. And it's hard to clean, cause my ovaries hurt.

3. I am testing a not-yet-FDA approved form of Progesterone. Was this really a good idea? For the next 3-12 weeks, my woo-woo is home to what looks like a big, foamy life-saver. And last night it made me puke up popcorn. Have you ever puked up popcorn before? All those little kernally things get just as stuck on their way back up as they do on their way down. More so, even. I still have kernals in my nose. And I am NOT a puker. I'm the type of girl who will throw up in my mouth a little and then swallow it back down to avoid puking for real. So let me tell you I do not appreciate violently puking popcorn for close to 30 minutes. Plus, I don't think it's normal or healthy to puke blood.

4. I'm trying to make sure my uterus is prepped to be a good home to my eggies. And it's a lot of damn pressure.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I can't be entirely sure, but most signs seem to point out that hormones will push me over the edge into actual, certifiable, insanity.

Today at work I introduced my eggies, by name, to more than one co-worker. Whitey is turning into a real fan favorite. Oh Whitey, so stoic and calm. You take after your father to be. Claudette continues to be quite the badass. She seems intent on bursting through my right ovary any time in the next few hours. I think she takes after me.

In case I've ever failed to mention, I'd like to point out that infertility blows. However, we all know that gratingly obnoxious saying about life giving you lemons. So hell. Here's my seriously spiked infertility lemonade cocktail. All the things I can get away with because I'm ...(GASP!)...infertile.

1. I get to be a true bitch.
It's the hormones, I swear. Wanna fight about it? Bring it on, fat-head.

2. I save money on condoms.
Haven't spend a single dime on a good old fashioned rubber in god knows how long. Sure, I've spent exponential amounts on fertility treatments, but who's really counting?

3. I get away with nonsensical, emotional babbling.
Recently, on a particularly hormonal day, I told my sweet husband, "I'm just happy you're my husband...(sob!)...because, you're just...really nice." Handsome, strong, sexy, masculine, athletic? Apparently, just...really nice.

4. Guilt-free road rage.
Driving home from grocery shopping last week, I realized that screaming, "I can't see, you fucking idiot!" at some stranger in a blue minivan brought me to bitch heaven. Get. Out. Of. My. Way.

5. I can admit that it's my secret life dream to be on Oprah.
It would be cruel to make fun of me, seeing that I'm infertile and all. Are you reading, Oprah? After we have a nice girl talk on her big comfy stage couches (during which we'll laugh, we'll cry), Oprah will give me a big hug. Then she'll hold my hand, and say, "Your strength. It could move mountains." And then she'll offer to pay off all my infertility debt. And she'll probably kick in like, a million dollars just because I'm so nice and young and perky. And beautiful. Are you still reading, Oprah?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I've become totally unproductive at work. I feel a slight pride in this fact. If you're going to be unproductive, you might as well do it full out.

I am now the proud home to six good sized eggies, and quite a few mini-eggies. These eggies are high maintenance eggies. They require my full attention at all times, thus my new lackluster work ethic. With the slightest prompting from a good humored family member, I've now named the eggies. There's Steve, Marty, River, Isaiah, Whitey, and Claudette. Claudette's a fiesty one.

Yesterday I took the day off to bond with my eggies. We slept until 11am, woke up, and went to bed again at 2pm. We practiced Qi Gong breathing, some fertility yoga, a little accupressure, and indulged in a little Ben and Jerry's for good measure.

Today I took my eggies to work. We didn't get much accomplished. On my way home, I took to talking to my eggies. I made sure to stop each time I passed a pedestrian, lest they should think I've gone crazy.

So, here I am. Talking to my ovaries and shooting up hormones like it's my damn job. There is no normalcy when you're trying to grow a baby in a petri dish.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I remember in college once making the remark that I didn't "believe" in infertility treatments. That couples who couldn't have children should adopt one of the tens of thousands of children alone in this world without parents. I remember being disgusted at the millions of self-absorbed dollars that were thrown at the fertility industry. At those poor, driven women who would stop at nothing for a child of their own.

I can almost remember what it felt like to assume that I knew something. What it felt like to believe. To take for granted the fact that I would have my own children. So much so that I didn't even stop to consider compassion.

Having is a weak emotion. Having lets you loosen your grip. Lets you get careless. Wanting is where the strength is, the passion.

These days I grasp for dear life to my mind's picture of my maybe child. Those small, curling fingers. Tiny feet, miniature toenails. All of the love in the world renewed.

My linen closet is stacked with drugs. I have crisp white paper bags full of syringes that terrify me. Small glass vials of clear liquid. I brought them home and proceeded to reorganize the entire closet to make room. To give the impression of calm control. Everything is okay in a house with neatly folded towels.

Any fear, any hope, is hidden quietly among the sheets.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The REAL reason I'm nobody's baby-mama

I read this great blog this morning that provided a refreshing overview of the many treasure-nuggets of advice beaten into the brains of the empty-uterus crowd:

There's the classic "...have some wine, light a few candles, wink, wink," the slightly kinky, "...try standing on your head afterwards!" and the loathed, "....just relax!"

The fundamental problem with this "well meaning" advice is that it's all crap, it's all unoriginal, and it all seems to point the finger of blame at the poor neurotic woman obsessed with the size of her follicles.

So I thought I'd do everyone a favor by dispelling some of the myths of my infertility. Let's put an end to the speculation. I may not have the exact answer, but god knows I've spent my fair share of time in stirrups coming up with some pretty solid theories.

1. God doesn't like me.
Everyone knows parents have favorites. So if we're all God's children, I must be the red-headed step child. When will I ever be good enough? Perhaps God and I should embark in some family therapy. Better yet, get Doctor Phil in here.

2. I've forgotten that I'm actually on birth control.
This may come as a surprise, but I was sexually active in college. Come to think of it, I was doing more than necking in the parking lot of the Northwood library in high school too. So maybe one of the many forms of birth control I uselessly practiced way back when is still working. Is there a Norplant in one of these arms? Get it out! Give me a body scan and take it out!

3. I don't know The Secret.
I thought I knew The Secret. I watched the movie, endured the weird chime-heavy music. I read the book. But apparently, The Secret is that The Secret is still Secret.

4. I'm being punished for the transgressions of my youth.
I once chased my brother with a knife. And once I lied and ate more candy corn than I had permission to. I peed my pants (leotard, actually) in ballet class when I was four. Seems like a harsh punishment to me, but I suppose I don't make the rules. Plus, God likes me the least (see hypothesis 1).

5. Infertility is a choice.
At least that's what my insurance company keeps insinuating when they deny my claims because my treatments are "optional." I'll tell you what's optional. Piercing my nipples would be optional. Streaking a Red Sox game would be optional. In fact, I think pregnancy would be optional. And go figure, I chose that option. I chose to be pregnant. Yet pregnant I am not. So apparently the "optional" part of that pretty little story snuck right out the window. Scratch this hypothesis. Package it up and send it to Anthem with a tidy little bow.

So perhaps we can now set the speculation aside. I assure you, I like all of these theories much better than the theories suggested by well intentioned but misinformed fertile people. And hey, these are not insurmountable problems. All I really need is to get God, Dr. Phil, Rhonda Byrne, a good gyno, and those stubborn Anthem folks together in one room.

Let's sort this thing out together, shall we?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


That Royal Jelly could have been the end of me. I could have choked while gagging and been found by my sweet husband crumpled on the floor in a pool of bee juice. Lucky for me, I have a friend who cares about me more than she cares about pretending I'm rational.

"I'm throwing this Royal Jelly away. It's making you sick."

"No! I need it to have a baby!"

"That's ridiculous. You can't even look at it without turning green. I'm throwing it away."

"No! It was expensive! And I need it to have a baby!"

(Picture said friend heading swiftly toward my garbage can.)

"No! No! No! I need it to have a baby!"

(Thwump. This is the sound of said friend ignoring me as she tosses the prized container in the trash.)

"Oh thank god." And a wash of relief.

I feel so free.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The beauty of bees

I ate Royal Jelly this morning. Not to be confused with KY Jelly, Royal Jelly is the food that the worker bees feed the queen bee to help her make lots of baby bees.

So, common sense dictates that I, in my relentless quest for a baby bee of my own, should eat Royal Jelly too.

It's been 16 hours, and I'm still gagging. And I still have no baby bee to call my own.

I can't help but notice that the line between insanity and wisdom seems awfully blurred these days.

To illustrate: I've decided that Royal Jelly is probably best saved for the bees. And yet I find myself dreading tomorrow morning, when I'll choke down another spoonful.

Because you never know.

I used to think I understood strength and beauty. I only knew fragments. But the bees, and the blur, and the putrid it or not they are here, beautiful in their bizarre and unwanted way. And so I know strength.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What about my reproductive rights?

Choice. So many people talk about choice. So many fight for choice, believe in choice, educate about choice. I embrace choice.

So what about my right to choose? Isn't choice, by nature of the word, a two way street? Doesn't choice involve deciding to have a baby or not? What happens when a woman chooses to have a baby, but can't?

Not to worry! I have "choices," too.

I can "choose" to "adopt." Ever looked into adoption? Let's call a spade a spade. You can no more adopt a baby than you can adopt a puppy. "Adopting" a puppy costs about $300-$600. Isn't that actually "buying" a puppy? Sure, it may be a puppy that was rescued from the jaws of death, but in the end, that little pound puppy comes with a price. So do babies. "Adoptions" range from $5,000-$40,000. Adoption is a beautiful, kind, and loving action. But it is a beautiful, kind, and loving action that involves the transfer of money in exchange for a human being. Yippee for choice.

I can "choose" IVF. A typical course of IVF involves roughly $20,000. I found a kind-hearted "shared risk" program through a local IVF clinic. If the heartbreak of infertility isn't enough to put a couple over the edge, why not throw in a little gambling to keep things exciting? With a shared risk program, you fork over $20,000 to the IVF clinic. If, after six rounds of IVF, there's no baby keeping you up at night, you get 70% of your money back. I'm sure the remaining 30% is well spent on the grief and broken dreams that you couldn't have achieved without loads of synthetic hormones coursing through your veins. If you take home a baby, the clinic keeps that $20,000 - even if it takes only one round of IVF, which would otherwise cost about $8,000. But I'm sure the comfort of being a new parent, faced with new stresses and worries, will help couples forget the fact that they had to pay the equivalent of a fair sized down payment to reach equal footing in the reproductive rights department. And don't worry if you don't have $20,000 in the bank. There are many, many, kind hearted creditors out there willing to put it there for you. For interest rates often as low as 10.99%, you can finance a baby you can't afford! But wait a minute. Clearly I'm talking about poor fools without health insurance. Thank GOD I have health insurance. What's that? Infertility treatments are optional, and therefore not covered? Of course. That makes sense. After all, I chose to go through over three heart wrenching years of infertility. I thought it would be fun. I thought my husband, friends, and family would get a kick out of watching me disintegrate into a grief-stricken mess. I enjoy lying on a cold table with my feet in stirrups having an asshole doctor prod around. And I thought, why have a baby the old fashioned way? Who wants to concieve in the comfort of home? In an intimate environment alone with my husband? Ugh! Let's bring in some white lab coats. Let's get some speculums in here!

I can "choose" to get a big fat discount on my IVF by participating in a pharmaceutical study. I've always dreamed of whoring myself out to a drug company, and now I've got my chance. Of course, I'll still need to fork out about three grand, and I'll have to turn my entire reproductive system over to the drug companies for a few short months, but hell. Why not? Some people get to bask in the excitement of early pregnancy - should I become pregnant, I'll get to bask in that excitement while making daily trips to Boston to have my blood monitored to see how those drugs are doing. I wonder if the experimental progesterone that I'll be forced to use throughout the first tri-mester will have an affect on my baby? Good thing there are pathetic fools out there to test those things!

I can "choose" not to have children. In fact, I've always hoped to leave no legacy in my life. I've always wondered what it would be like to die alone.

So what about my reproductive rights? What about the fact that infertility is on the rise because we're pumping synthetic estrogens into our world via pesticides and plastics? Why is my plight less important than that of a flacid 60 year old man? Isn't my right to be a mother just as important as my right not to be a mother?

Come on feminism, I've always been there for you. Where are you when I need you???

Monday, January 28, 2008


driving home on this still afternoon
I work to convince myself of all the reasons not to run

it's been months
the roads are snowy, icey, and I do not have shoes cut out for this
it's getting dark

but then I'm out there
slush slips into my sneakers and cradles my feet
leash in hand
trusty puppy of last year, now grown, faithfully by my side

the last gasps of daylight reach out to meet me
and pull me in
until there is nothing else

just footsteps
my breath
my life

I fall in love with my world
and am immersed

in swaying pines
the milky amber shows of dusk
the hint of a season that will slowly roll in

air and sky

not knowing all that I don't know

inviting it in, anyway.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Does a large Papa Gino's pizza fit the bill on a detox?

How about a bag of caramels?

Or three bottles of wine with my beautiful sister in a San Francisco hotel?

Ten tootsie rolls?

Egg and bacon breakfast sandwich lovingly cooked by my sweet husband?

How about two cheescake cannolis with honey basil sauce?

Today's detox lesson: the best detoxing isn't about food at all.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Day 4

We're still alive!

And feeling fantastic. Perhaps I'm experiencing some sort of vegetable induced high, but I feel more energetic than I've felt since I was two. My cells are happy. My liver, good god, is happy.

So I've been thinking a lot about willpower. Does it take willpower to suddenly cut out salt, sugar, meat, dairy, alcohol, wheat, and processed foods? Is it willpower that's gotten us to day 4? And is it willpower that will get us (or not get us) through day 21? I originally assumed it was. When I describe my detox to friends, family, and co-workers who are now feeling well assured that I truly may be a bit off-center, they also assume this is some bizarre test of willpower. Probably because they know how I like my wine. And buffalo.

But here on day 4, with a clear head and calming aromatherapy all around me, I will tell you it's not about willpower. It is about consciousness.

As much as I am and have long been a healthy eater, I never realized how few conscious choices I made about what I popped in my mouth. If this were about willpower, it would mean that my food choices until this point have been about free will. They haven't. To me, free will is when I am informed, concious, and aware of my ability to make my own decisions. It is only now, after making decisions about what I will not eat, that I become conscious of all the unconscious eating I have done.

Will we make it 21 days? I hope that we will choose to. But more than that, I hope that we will retain our consciousness about food choices. I have never dieted in my life. I honor, love, and strive to nurture my relationship with food. This is not an exercise in self deprivation.

Food is important. Food gives life, but when abused, food can take life. Food nourishes, food depletes. Food heals, food hurts. Food protects, food makes us vulnerable. Our relationship with food is so much more than feeding and flushing away. What we choose to eat represents how we value our selves, our bodies, our souls. And making those choices...choices about my self, my body, my soul...requires consciousness.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Day 1

Happy New Year, I'm on a detox. For the next 21 days, I will consume as many organic fruits and vegetables as I please. I will nosh on seaweed, legumes, oats, and brown rice. I will partake in salt baths, chakra cleansing, skin brushing, yoga, meditation, and massage. I will carry a crystal in my pocket. My mind altering substances will be limited to Watermelon Flower Essence and a peculiar mix of roots and twigs I bought from the herbalist next door to my hairdresser.

My detox book suggests keeping a "detox diary" and assures me that it can be "most illuminating and quite amusing" to look back upon one's feelings during body purification. Readers are encouraged to be open and honest in an effort to rid the mind of emotional baggage, and are assured that, "after all, nobody else will read it." Well. If I'm going to abstain from sugar, salt, meat, dairy, alcohol, wheat, and all the other fun stuff for the next 21 days, somebody is going to hear about it.

And although I might sound slightly whiny about this, I will admit that I'm actually quite thrilled. I look forward to the "fresh, sweet smelling breath" and svelte, cellulite free body my book promises me I will have in a short three weeks. Not that my breath isn't already fresh and sweet.

So it's day one, and I believe I've already learned the most important lesson I will learn in this toxin-less journey. My patient and enduring husband loves me even more than I knew. Because I'm not flying solo on this detox here. And as much as he may think I'm crazy every time I make him take three drops of Watermelon Flower Essence under his tongue and think fertile thoughts, he never says so.