Saturday, February 27, 2010

looking for a sign

As I sit and drink my favorite mocktail (pomegranate juice, red rasberry zinger tea, tangerine juice), I wonder what's next for me.

I'm excited about an e-course I just signed up for. Sixty infertile women coming together online to soul search, meditate and find our way. Infertility feels like a journey through a thick forest, and when you can't see where you're going, it's helpful to at least be going there with others for some of the way. At times I glimpse the sun, or see a glimmer of path. Sometimes its dark in the trees, until the landscape alternates with the big open sky.

When you're in the trees as I am and can't see what's next, you just take a few steps forward at a time to clear your way for the next steps forward, just one foot, one wish, one success, in front of the other.

Here's to finding our way -- all of us.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

pregnancy and sequins

That's the label on the box in the closet: pregnancy and sequins. That cute white summer maternity dress with the big black dots (very '50s), the capris with the comfort band, the black bella band for that not-quite-that-pregnant time. These lie on top of the black dress with silver and white sparkly sequins, long and lovely; the bustier; the 1960's mini dress, strapless with a line of mink on the straight neckline (that fur has been dead for years, that's my justification!) And these all on top of the box of sarongs and beach towels, which are not used nearly enough.

My closet hangers reveal my everyday priorities: business jackets, coats, sweaters, dress pants, jeans, a few summer skirts. I'm thinking I'd like to switch, putting these things in the boxes and instead hang the tropical batik sarong next to that great mink-topped dress and then the sexy bustier? Isn't that what life SHOULD be about? Today I returned the only maternity clothing I bought -- the cute pencil skirt from "A Pea in the Pod". It didn't even have time to make it into the pregnancy box.

Tonight, I watch the Canadian ice dancer, full of grace, who lost her mom a day or so ago. Amazingly present and visibly emotional, she brought the crowd to their feet. I'm proud of her. They show clips of the American skater on the ice at age 3, all cute and curly. I sit here, grateful for mothers and daughters. Grateful for my dad who taught me how to skate. And I have to admit something: (it's goofy, I'll warn you). As a girl, I didn't fantasize about having kids, nor marriage. But recently, I thought that maybe not only would I actually HAVE a baby, but that baby would be a girl, and she would dream of being an Olympic athlete. Hmm, maybe that's where the sequins come in?!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I got 2 shots of methotrexate in my bum. Also used for cancer treatment, the drug kills rapidly dividing cells, like the ones that are left over in my body from baby-making. It's almost evil to have to put something in your body to kill the thing you were trying to grow. The good part is I felt taken care of. The docs/nurses are doing their best to care for me first, lest this become an emergency situation with an ectopic pregnancy that bursts.

Now, I will rendezvous with my writing gal friends and drink a lot.
CORRECTION: no drinking. no sex. no orgasms, again. Doctors orders. Ouch.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

wind and ectopic pregnancy

Nem tutsz piselni a szelbe

That's Hungarian for "you can't pee into the wind".

This was advice (?) from my 100-yr old aunt, who still lives in Manhattan, still drinks champagne, and likes to tell things like they are (or at least how she sees them). I agree with her about the peeing, but not sure yet about her advice in relationship to our infertility journey. She's advocating for closing the door, moving on, living our lives. She questions how much more my spirit can take, never mind my body. I'm not ready for that conversation yet, but certainly in the next few weeks we'll be looking at our options... adoption, trying again, surrogacy, none of the above.

And for today's update: my pregnancy numbers went up. I know, I know -- you thought I wasn't pregnant! Well I'm not, it's not viable, but apparently the cells that wanted to be the embryo are still in there somewhere making more cells. And pregnancy hormones. We'll see what shows up in the next blood test, but it's possible it's an ectopic pregnancy. As Rosanne Rosanna Danna said, "there's always somethin'... if it's not one thing, it's another...". More wise advice.

Friday, February 12, 2010


OK, so I apparently looked like shit on Thursday. My boss sent me home, I guess he could tell I was trying not to throw up. Hmm, think the stress is getting to me.

"You only have one life," he said. "Go home and enjoy it."

So I had to ask myself, have I done that today? If life is a see-saw, and right now I'm on the down side, to get life back in balance, I need to keep piling good stuff on the high side, to bring myself up. And since I couldn't come up with anything on the "enjoy life" front, clearly this is something I need to work on now. So today I went to Kabuki Springs with Marci. A few hours of soaking, of steam, of cucumber slices on my eyes, of salt scrubbing and more soaking and moisturizing and exfoliating and I got into the groove. It was great. I am zenwoman now. At least until I have to talk about interest rates and mortgages again.

That "enjoy life" saying seems so simple, and like such a platitude. But.... what have you done today to enjoy your one life?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Paprika and fights

When I'm depressed, I braise. You'd think with my Hungarian heritage it would be the usual -- goulash, chicken paprikash. But I go for the Spanish Style Braised Chicken. Still, it has the ingredient that does connect me to my past: paprika. Rich, smoky and red, it feeds me.

My world feels like the twilight zone, and I feel uncertain of each next step. Like the recent weather -- ever changing from sunshowers and repeated rainbows to flat gray cold to pouring -- my world my moods and my hormones face new territory every morning.

Today, the new house is in question because of a ridiculous, insane, tiny financial glitch that threatens our credit rating and the entire deal.

Doors open, Doors close.

I just wanted to walk through the open door. Time to (wo)man up.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Unending Love

Since yesterday, I've been thinking a lot about how much love Audrey Hepburn brought into the world, and how she viewed her role as a mother. This poem was read by one of her leading men, Gregory Peck, at her service. It was her favorite poem.

Unending Love
I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times...
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age old pain,
It's ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star, piercing the darkness of time.
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers,
Shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting,
the distressful tears of farewell,
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man's days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours -
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

~Rabindranath Tagor

Thursday, February 4, 2010

the floodgates are open

I get a phone call from a nurse at the clinic, saying how sorry she is; I cry. I feel my sore breasts and larger belly press against the yoga mat, and I cry. The package arrives with prescriptions I no longer need, and I cry. A message on my work cell phone is a PHOTO OF A BABY from some unknown sender -- a misdialed call (what are the chances???). So I declutter, and run across photos of a previous pregnancy that miscarried at 14 weeks. I switch to the TV, and watch season 5 of 'Weeds',and see Nancy Botwin in the early stages of her pregnancy with her Mexican druglord mayor boyfriend. I cry. Then I watch a beautiful biography about doe-eyed Audrey Hepburn, who suffered two miscarriages and one stillbirth before having children. She revelled in motherhood, and later became an advocate for children world-wide. “I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it,” she said.

The flood of tears is stopping. I hope I'm not scaring you with the sadness. Please know, anyone out there, that I appreciate your taking time to read this, and to listen. So many women are going through this journey, and more are finally talking about it. If you know someone dealing with fertility problems, give her extra dollops and scoops of love. Support her and give her the space to talk with you. Anyone who starts cycles of IVF knows it's a roller coaster -- and hopefully well worth it -- but you must be ready for any outcome. Sometimes it's a relatively easy and quick ride, but sometimes it's a long, arduous process. I can say that my husband and I -- though heartbroken -- remain unwavering in our love for each other. Not sure what will crack open from all of this, but I trust that no matter what happens, I will do what I'm supposed to do, and contribute to the world in the best way I can.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

breathing, continued.

This is what it looks like behind the house we are hopefully buying. It's the spaciousness I crave. It's time to just breathe.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Something about my uterus.

What a day. It feels like years have passed since last night. Dr. H attributes the pregnancy loss to implantation failure. The embryo was growing, but couldn't quite get a foothold. Why? Don’t know. An undefined something in my uterus may be to blame. Decisions need to be made sometime, but for today, I just let in and accept today's reality. I want to throw my computer out the window, I want to scream and yell, and I want to stare, with inner blindness, at the TV. I want to clean the house and throw shit out. Out with the old. Out with the trials and tribulations, out with the dashed hopes, out with the wishing, the endless endless wishing. In with peace, sweetness, oak trees and sun, Thai coconut soup, a new start, a gentle rub on the head from my loving imperfect great husband. Now don’t get me wrong, as stubborn and tenacious we are, I’m sure we’ll try again. But today our job is to just love each other and get through it as best and balanced as we can.

When I left San Francisco today, I got lost. It’s a drive I’ve done a million times. It is, indeed, a struggle to find my way now. No guideposts or directions or books. I crave openess and lightness; it’s too dark. I need a clearing to find my way.

Understand I did my best. I want that baby-to-be to know I did EVERYTHING I could to keep her warm and safe. They are like little ghosts, each embryo living inside me for too short a time. They find a home for a bit, but don't/can't stay long enough. No heartbeats for this one, no breath of fresh air through her lungs in 7 months.

It seems easy, doesn’t it, to just breathe in an out, right now. But this little being just can’t quite get to that point. I find it very sad. I know this will work out the way it should, with the pieces of our lives falling into place. But for today, I need to just say: it’s sad. Very sad.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I’m not really in the mood to write but I need to get this out there. The blood test results were not good. Went from 11,000 to 1,700. My cramping and bleeding 5 days ago were signs of bad news. I wasn’t the lucky one. Again. I’m in disbelief, I’m angry, I’m numb. And the offer we wrote on a house on sunday was accepted; we got the call 30 minutes after we listed to the nurse’s message.

I have no idea what I’m doing. How do you buy a house when you don’t know if it’s for a family of two, for three, for four? (They thought originally since my numbers were so strong that I was potentially having twins). We couldn't be too excited about the house because of the news we just had.... I can't tell how I feel about the house, about a lot of things.

I don’t know what to do.