Sunday, January 31, 2010

the secret

I wear this locket everyday. When Marci gave it to me, she thought I didn’t like it. I’ve never worn a locket before. It’s interesting how people respond to it. This week, at least four women have commented, asking, “so what’s inside?” “Oh nothing,” I say. “Is it a photo of Bob?" they ask. "Is it a photo of... (name anything... a favorite pet, a photo of yourself as a child, a favorite XYZ?" One person came close to reaching over and opening it while my hands and mouth were occupied with creamy, dreamy, tiramisu. Now my answer is: it’s a secret.

The locket of course holds our dearest wish. It holds a photograph of one of two embryos implanted on January 4. Like a sacred talisman, the locket hangs between my (growing) breasts, close to my heart. It reminds me to keep myself open to whatever the future holds; child or no child. It reminds me that it will all be alright. And it reminds me, constantly, of the possibility inside.

The doctor moved my ultrasound up from week 7-1/2 to week 6-1/2. I'll have a blood test tomorrow to check the numbers followed by an ultrasound Wednesday -- which is when we’ll know if all is well. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

luck, bloody luck.

It’s two shot night tonight. 1 estrogen, 1 progesterone, to support the pregnancy. Bob gives me a shot every day. But today, first he buys me chamomile tea and rubs my belly. Today I’m worried again; my confidence was short-lived.

After work I went to my favorite bookstores to sell a bag of a dozen books (we’re starting to clean out the shelves a bit). After the traipsing, I began to bleed again -- just in front of our home, just like Saturday. Bad cramps, more bleeding, cold body, nervous spirit. This is so challenging. So scary. Because we don’t know. It could be fine, it could mean another miscarriage. “Common but always worrisome,” is what the doctor said earlier this week about the first round of spotting. But now it’s definately worse. I try not to cry. I try to have faith. I will get up in the morning and go to work like everything’s fine. I look at the 4-leaf clover my dearest friend found for me, my golden good luck charm. I feel her love, and I feel the love of the friends around me who we’ve shared this early news with. Please, please let it be alright. Please, a normal pregnancy. Just this once. We’ve paid our dues, we’ve paid our money, we’ve opened our hearts, we’ve hoped, we’ve let go, we’ve hoped again. Hope, luck, faith, love. And science. But perhaps this is about destiny...

Monday, January 25, 2010

what more could you ask for?

Today I am grateful; full of joy, looking forward to raising a child, sharing in a family, and looking forward to launching a child on their own journey. But the journey to pregnancy was long, really long; frustrating, humbling, expensive and filled with doubt.

If you choose to keep up with our blog remember, the odds were not in our favor. We are the random success story. We had the means and the opportunity and our story is a good story and we hope it has a happy ending, but don't be misled, we lucked out. So today I am grateful; for my wife, my embryo, and the help and support of doctors, friends and family. That's all I need today.


It’s strong. It’s often right on. It’s the thing I rely on ... but yet often dismiss. A few incidents where I failed to follow my intuition had me driving into Reno, Nevada not Lake Tahoe, California, when I missed the right turnoff (after ignoring the nagging voice that told me to turn on the navigation system). Just as I eased off the gas pedal (after ignoring the idea of slowing and using cruise control) I was greeted with flashing lights and a very expensive speeding ticket.

After these and more lessons about following my intuition I renewed my commitment to listen harder to that voice. The day of the pregnancy test last week, I felt calm and grounded, and prepared for any outcome. But when she put the needle in, I suddenly started sobbing. I knew I was not pregnant. The young woman drawing my blood looked into my eyes, and unwaveringly said, “You’re pregnant, I just know it.” Well, that wasn’t exactly a professional answer since it would be 6 more hours until the test results would come in. She then told me a story about her aunt and uncle who were trying to conceive for something like 18 years, and yes, they did conceive, exactly when they moved on, and bought themselves the house of their dreams. I asked her what the moral of the story was. She said “Spend a lot of money today.”

Though I didn't buy a house or a new car, my test numbers came in: the goal was over 50. My number: 150. Blood test number 2? The goal was 300. My number: 600. I was officially pregnant.

Saturday, after a week of rain, I walked slowly for an hour an a half. I drank in the pink and blue light dancing on the estuary, listened to the terns and watched the egrets. It was stunningly beautiful. Then I started bleeding. I cramped, and I was cold; so cold I sat under a blanket with 2 sweaters and the heat turned up, but it took me 3 hours to warm up.

It’s hard to stay focused in the present, when I've tried for so many years, and pregnancy feels like the thinnest thread connecting me to another young life. I have nightmares about miscarriage, and count the days to when I’’ll get past the longest I’ve been pregnant before (14 weeks). I thought I could be miscarrying and asked for another blood test. WRONG. again. I was blissfully, absolutely wrong. Today’s number? 11,000. That’s strong. That’s very pregnant.

It makes me wonder: Can intuition be that wrong? Did mine just get confused by fear? Has your intuition ever been wrong?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Is anybody in there?

There are a few rules after an embryo transfer: Basically: take it easy, no alcohol or caffeine, no lifting, and no sex. Specifically, no orgasms. At all. It’s like someone telling you DON'T LOOK AT THE GIANT PINK ELEPHANT. How can you not look?? So, only a mere 8 hours after the transfer, in the middle of the night, I can’t resist it. The orgasm comes in my dream, and I wake myself up as it’s happening. “no NO! Dr. H said no contractions yet, it’s too soon!!!”

Apparently, embryo transfers make me feel sexy or something, because the next night I dream about B’s penis. In it, we’re in an auditorium, watching a show, red velvet seats and all. He says he wants to move up to see if he can get a better seat. Sure, I say. I’ll wait here. Just leave your penis with me. And he does. All of me is clothed, except the penis. It’s rather dark, but nonetheless, I cover his/my penis with my hand... and it’s on with the show.

You would think I’d be having dreams about children, about babies, about holding them in your lap, about how they know the tamber of your voice, the touch of your skin, the sound of your voice. I dream all this in the daytime. In between meditations and work and feeling not bad. Feeling not nauseous, not big-bellied, not pregnent. “It’s fine,” the nurse says. “Most women don't even know they are pregnant yet at this stage!” I say yes, you’re so right. And then I go online to order the cute maternity pencil skirt with the orange and rust colored pattern. Now I feel better.

Friday, January 22, 2010


It’s been a week filled with a new down comforter which came just in time for the kick-ass cold, wet storms; three full end-to-end rainbows arching right over my head, followed by sunshine; and most importantly this announcement:


Week five of a brand-spankin’ new pregnancy. I swear my belly, which can no longer fit into jeans and skirts, looks like a 15 week belly. I can’t tell anyone at work yet, and certainly not my mother who's idea of keeping a secret is... well, actually, she has no clue how to keep a secret. Only a couple of my dearest friends know, but you, YOU I can tell. It’s like talking your heart out to the person next to you in the airplane, who you suddenly and surprisingly connect with. The anonymity gives me full permission to say it all. So let’s begin.

This pregnancy has been in the works for (dare I say it out loud) EIGHT YEARS. Ouch. My husband and I have dreamed, we’ve hoped, we’ve shot me up with hormones, we’ve wondered if we were SURE we were doing the right thing, we’ve seen my ankles showcased in those stirrups ten thousand times. As for me, I”ve done the things women due to maximize their chances by bringing mind/body to a happy, healthy place. I’ve lost 10 pounds, I got stronger and fitter, I’ve meditated, I’ve upped my protein intake. I eat warm foods, don’t drink coffee, I routinely get pricked by my darling acupuncturist, and each day I take yet another prenatal vitamin. I’ve made it through 2 surgeries, 3 intrauterine inseminations, 4 in-vitro attempts using a donor’s eggs, 1 miscarriage after 1 pregnancy, 1 biochemical pregnancy, and now three tries of IVF with our dearly adopted embryos.

For what? So someone else’s baby can grow in my belly. (It's a funny concept, now, suddenly). I"ll explain the logistics later -- but for now, understanding that this may be the only glorious time I’m pregnant, my husband (B) and I (Andrea) decided in the excitement of the news of this positive pregnancy test, that we want to chronicle and share this crazy wonderful experience. So here goes!