Saturday, July 31, 2010

the big little house

It's been an epic week. Besides the embryo transfer on Monday, my man's house has been under renovation for a crazy long time. Like 8 yrs. It's only 800 square feet. So we've progressed at the alarmingly slow rate of 100 square feet a year. Clearly a snail can move faster. Today, the inside is complete. Tomorrow, a renter moves in, someone who will hopefully love the place, as opposed to us, who loved it but trust me we did our share of swearing -- at it, and at each other. My favorite moments were in the beginning, like the demolition part... using a crowbar and sledeghammer; truly out with the old, in with the new. And the time he enlisted me to dive under the house to weld plumbing in 2' of space, in the dirt, with flames and gas and metal. The day he tested the system, he waited for me at home, with the movie "Das Boot" on. That's the one about the submarine. He had it queued to the part where all the pipes in the sub start bursting, water everywhere. Yes, there were a few leaks in our plumbing at the start.

He really knew how to woo me. He DID woo me here. In front of the fire, in the window seat, on the old plaid couch, at the dinner table, with candles and his famous feta fresh tomato pasta.

Now we finally have a place that's ours, both of ours, that really feels like home.

and maybe, we'll actually have time to spend there now!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Game on! An embryo finds a home.

Yes, I’m bloated, and yes, I’m on drugs, and yes, it’s all good.

The embryo transfer happened yesterday. Two 3-day old embryos, not perfect but good. I was needled by the acupuncturist before and after. My man and I held hands behind the nurses back, as the jellied sonogram tool revealed a map to the embryos’ new home -- out of the petri dish and into my belly.

I stayed home, gorged myself by watching MadMen eating warm foods (good) followed by an ice cream sandwich (not so good).

What’s my mantra?


Whatever happens is as it should be.
Whatever happens will be a new beginning.
Whatever happens happens, and then there will be something else that happens.

Basically, I’m giving up control. Call me a bad embryo oven, but I’ve had sips of wine (eee gads!) and even some decaf (yikes). But I am, at the core, as good as I can be and stay sane. Meditation helps, in the midst of a remodel, a refinance, changes at work and changes in my body. Here's who I listen to--

Here’s to a healthy, engaged version of whatever!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I want to share with you a poem by my friend Maya, who’s about to begin a poetry tour around the country. Her writing hit home for me today.

not yet

It was a perfectly reasonable fantasy – a house
for sale in the wild hills of Western Massachusetts.
For the price of my city apartment, ten acres,
four bedrooms, a pool, a view, a converted barn with guests’
quarters. A heron glided past in slow motion and I thought,
This could be a place to raise children. Images came
flying then: Planting that first garden, bedtime stories in front
of a winter fire, a puppy the kids would giddily name.
It startled me, the speed at which I let the story start to set,
though something steered me back to the car, a voice whispering “Not yet.”

Visit for more writing (and photographs) by Maya.

It’s interesting, when you travel or make life choices, where your mind goes. In Italy recently I wondered (who wouldn't!) what it would be like to live there. LIke the laid-back non-fufu Chianti wine country (makes Napa look like an expensive Disneyland for wine-loving adults), or the stylishly livable Perugia, and the visually rich Cinque Terra, where colorful homes tumble down the hill towards the sea. Imagine, actually SWIMMING in the ocean in the summer, instead of bringing a parka to the beach! Or in Sydney, how I loved watching parents teaching kids about what sculpture is at the Sculptures by the Sea exibit... "See honey, how it looks different as you walk around the art?" Or the kid conversation overheard by the giant boy sculpture: "He looks kinda sad." The other kid replies, "That's because he has a small we-we."

When we bought the house we now live in, my man had his own visions of what life would look like: including the kids, doing their homework around the kitchen table.

Note: tomorrow we have an appointment to check my progress and see if this cycle is a go. I don’t have my usual excitement, to be honest. I’m getting tired of being poked, prodded and having viagara suppositories up my....

Photo: Kids checking out the giant boy sculpture at Sculptures by the Sea, Sydney.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Flash of summer

I’m so happy today I can hardly stand it. Funny turnaround after last night’s depression after learning that a promotional opportunity I really wanted just vanished.

I’m blaming my happiness on the hormones. I think it’s the estrogen; that extra shot of girl power. Or perhaps it’s the corn I just bought at the farmers market; that burst of yellow summer I wait for all year long. Is 12 ears enough? Bring on the corn fritters, the roasted corn salad, and just plain fresh corn with a pat of salted butter, barely cooked because it’s so sweet you could just eat it raw. For years, I pined for New Jersey sweet corn the summers after moving away. As a kid, when you heard ‘THE CORN IS IN’, it meant we’d be eating corn, corn, and corn for dinner.

Here’s to summer, even if it’s fickle, even if it’s summer only in my mind and foggy in the trees. Here’s to real strawberries that are red through and through. Here’s to mint chocolate chip ice cream dripping down the front of my bikini at the local pool. Here’s to swimming in a lake that’s not freezing cold, and winning the race against the boys. Here’s to cannonballs and a hot game of kickball. Here’s to just laying down in the grass, arms out. And lastly, to fireflies. I held one momentarily on vacation in Italy. He looked like a flashing termite.

Photo: Summer dahlias at the Friday farmers market

Thursday, July 15, 2010


They are surfacing now, the doubts.

Will it be too hard?
Am I too old?

Now I’m afraid of GETTING pregnant. How did that happen, after wanting it, working for it, getting poked and prodded and medicated and meditating and yoga-ing and all that? I’m ready to have this settled, this “are we having a baby” question finally answered.

So this cycle is taking some bravery, just because of that. Because I may get what I wish for and either have a baby (yikes!) or not (ouch.)

The fog has backed off for the day, revealing a bright happy sun, leaving a warm smile on my face. Fear and happiness I know are a choice, but sometimes it happens involuntarily, like the weather. I can’t help but be happy today. And I wonder what's around the corner.

photo taken in Sydney, at Sculpture by the Sea

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Too cute to kill.

welcome back! NOTE: I changed the design of the blog because I thought it was too hard to read. Is this better??

From the new place we can ride our bikes right from the house, exercising those atrophied muscles, letting in all that fresh air. The bikes, well, they needed some fresh air too. Tires flat, handlebars a little dusty, it was time.

Within a quarter mile of the first downhill, the sun backlit the leaves,the pollen and all the little bugs in the air, making this stretch of road feel filled with fairies.

Then CLICK, CLICK TAP TAP, *quiet* TAP CLICK CLICK and I see more and more bugs, and then thousands, the road becoming their bug freeway. It’s what I envision a locust invasion to look like, only cuter. We’ve travelled easily a mile now, and still thousands of are flying up the hill and up the road.

It’s a polka-dotted ladybug migration in full swing. I duck down, realizing that each TAP and CLICK means another dead or wounded ladybug. I’ve never used the words “swarm” and “ladybug” in the same sentence before. But here they are, their wings up and out, fluttering clumsily, but though it seemed like ladybug chaos, there were all going in the same direction (in the opposite direction of us).

When we stop at the bottom of the hill my man has ladybugs in his helmet, his hair, his nose, and I have little red polka-dotted insects in my bra and ear.

It’s amazing, the surprises nature can throw your way.

We'll see what happens with us. We officially started an embryo transfer cycle yesterday, using the last or next to last set of adopted embryos. Let the games begin.

Monday, July 12, 2010

We can't get that here

Mom called the other day, asking me to pick up a gasket for her little metal stovetop espresso maker, because she can’t buy them in her town. The idea of not being able to buy something because it’s not available seems distant to me now, thanks to the internet and access to global shopping. YES, today, you can pretty much find “it” somewhere.

So I was surprised last month in Italy, when I was told NO. “No, signora, I’m sorry – you JUST missed the artichokes.” And it happened a few more times, this being in tune with the seasonality of local produce and the natural rhythms of the land.

Is that how I approached my infertility? In a nutshell, totally NO. I fully expected YES, each and every time we tried with IVF and all that came before. YES it’s available, YES you can do it, YES it will work. Even though I’m older, even though we’ve seen nature say no, I relied on western and eastern medicine to make it a YES. But it’s been 9 years of NO.

Today, I’m asking the question again, as we just began another cycle. A glutton for punishment? Maybe. Tenacious? Yes. But this time, I enter this process with even more openness and an internal knowing that NO may be alright. Maybe there's a reason for the NO's; maybe we're supposed to do something else; that maybe life really, truly, would be fine either way, another way.

When a friend of mine was trying to get pregnant she told me, “you know, if it’s just he and I, that would be alright.” I envied her flexibility and trust. Back then, “Just us” didn’t feel like a gift, but a punishment; it just didn’t seem fair to not have the choice of family.

Modern medicine gives us choice, but really, how much can we or should we expect??

P.S. sorry to be absent for so long - it's great to be back!