Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'll Take the Awesome

I've been writing this post in my head for weeks, and each time, I ramble, I start over.

I've wanted to talk about this, but I've been shy. To put it bluntly, I find myself wholly unexpectedly, happily and nauseatingly pregnant. Yeah. I know! It's big.

To put this in the proper context, I should tell you that we started trying to conceive less than a year into our marriage, spent what felt like several years being repeatedly, heartbreakingly disappointed (2 years of medical assistance did zilch), another year of adoption paperwork, and another couple years of waiting. And waiting. Which is all to say that when my period didn't come and didn't come, I thought, "Yeah, RIGHT." I wasn't about to get suckered into thinking it was anything special.

After a number of weeks and a few leading symptoms (*ahem* ravenous appetite, expanding bosoms), I thought, okay, let's see what the hell is going on, because this is looking a little too suspicious. I dug into the back of the closet where my stash of pregnancy tests had been waiting to be thrown out, and peed on a stick.

Hot damn, there was an extra line. Unconvinced, I waited all afternoon to work up enough liquid to pee on another stick. Different brand, unexpired. Another double line, immediately. Followed by a blood serum test that the nurse announced to me as,"Yes. You. Are!"


Since then, we have been working our heads around the idea that somehow we managed to beat our miserable odds. Or as my husband frequently puts it, "Yea! We're pregnant!"

Things I did in the weeks before I knew I was pregnant:

Ate lots of tuna salad
Ate extremely fresh goat cheese (yummm!)
Lifted heavy rocks
Did daily abdominal crunches
Had my feet X-rayed at the podiatrist's
Moved freshly composted manure with my bare hands
Changed the litter box
Drank water out of my plastic bottle every day
Threw out all my old pregnancy books

Things I've done since I discovered I was pregnant:

Eaten an egg or two a day
Felt miserably sick
Gotten up in the middle of the night to pee and eat a snack
Had very vivid and emotional dreams
Been choking down monster-sized multivitamins
Bought/borrowed several new pregnancy books
Wondered how a formerly-known-as-infertile should share this news (Could I be more of a cliche?)

Of course, I feel gleeful, grateful, ill, and extremely lucky. I'm also wary of both the capricious whims of the universe and of all the idiotic and hurtful things that can come out of people's mouths. (As an IFer, I've already experienced both. A lot.) I get stressed just thinking about it. I am en garde to fend off the inevitable.

But when one of my friends very early on guessed what was going on and was so happy for me, I realized that I did not have to hold myself back from all the positive energy that comes with good wishes. It's very warm and nurturing. I bask in it.

My main concerns are keeping a good personal space for myself and M, nurturing myself, and not trampling on any IFer feelings. Again, I have been there myself. It's so odd to be on the other side of the situation. We are slowly sharing the news.

Yes, it's a fluke. Yes, it's marvelous. It does not mean I suddenly did the right thing that you (the imaginary you) were convinced I should have done. It's simply that we've fallen into favor with the fertility gods. It's another "yellow iris," the gift that appears when you least expect it.

Surprisingly, I haven't felt all that anxious, perhaps because I am extremely well read, and hey, information is power! On the other hand, there are still a lot of unknowns. I've been fatalistic about my chances of miscarriage and/or birth defects and genetic abnormalities. I figure that like my period, it would happen or not. But now that we have an upcoming appointment to see how myself and the little kiddlet are doing, my superstitious self is kicking up bloody hell. I want to see, but I'm afraid of bad news. I've been enjoying my little bubble of contentment (despite the nausea), and it may be in danger of bursting. "I'm sure you'll be fine" does nothing for me. I want concrete information. I want to see the heartbeat. August can't come soon enough.

I know I sound wary. I can hear people now: "just relax and enjoy it!" It is not a matter of relaxing; I am pretty damn gleeful and content when I am not feeling ill. It's a matter of not wanting this gift yanked away from me, and how the unknown stirs up all kinds of emotional muck from the depths. The universe is capricious. All the advice in the world does not begin to address both the awesomeness and the sorrow that is all mixed together out there.

But for now, I'll take the awesome. It's: Yea! I'm pregnant!

I am amazed.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Latest Meme Filler

I have nothing to write about right now. All the good stuff is too personal to share on the web at the moment, and my brain is too befuzzled to come up with alternate interesting stuff. So, I swiped a meme from ThisWoman'sWork, e voila! A post! I'll be back later with actual substance.

1) In five words, explain what ended your last friendship?

Crazy vindictive narcissistic tantrum self-respect

2) How was your prom night?

I didn't go. Too shy.

3) Do you have any famous relatives?

My great-uncle was a semi-famous artist, at least in New England writer-painter circles. He also drew an old-fashioned comic strip that nobody remembers any more.

4) Have you taken out loans to pay for college?


5) What did you receive last in the mail?

A pledge card for a Senate campaign.

6) What beverages have you drank today?


7) Do you leave nasty messages on people’s answering machines?

Nope. If I'm going to go through the bother of being nasty, I save it for in person!

8 ) What’s the most painful surgical procedure you’ve had done?

You mean I have to pick only one? Dental surgery? How about the laparoscopy that screwed up my inner ear for a week?

9) What is out your back door?

A concrete slab. A cinder blog. A blue tarp. A cat skeleton (haven't decided what to do with it yet). Loads of overgrown bushes.

10) Do you usually go out on the weekends?

Except for dancing, no.

11) Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?


12) Have you ever visited a planetarium or do you even know what one is?

Yes, many times over the years. We are lucky to have a local planetarium with lots of interesting programs.

13) What is your favorite flavor of pudding?

Chocolate or pistachio.

14) Describe your keychains:

A simple ring with an LED light, a tiny swiss army knife, and car/house keys attached. I don't keep track of my hub's keychain except it has a very cool red-light LED I gave him that he likes to use during observing sessions.

15) Where do you keep your change?

In my wallet in the change pocket.

16) When was the last time you got up and spoke in front of a large crowd?

I called a contra dance to a crowd of ~100 people a couple weekends ago. I talk all night.

17) What kind of winter coat do you have?

Long, wool, dark green. Downside: it has massive shoulder pads. Upside: I only wear it a couple weeks out of the year, and it keeps me toasty warm.

18) What was the weather like on your graduation day?


19) Do you sleep with the door to your bedroom open or closed?

Open to allow free passage of air and cats.

20) Is there anything purple within 20 feet of you?

A small purple stapler, purple post-it notepads, post card of the Grand Canyon, the walls of my bedroom.

21) What is the strangest thing you’ve put in the microwave?

I don't remember. Maybe my buckwheat hull neck heater.

22) Can you speak any Japanese?

Maybe Sayonara? Konishiwa! Sushi!

23) Do you look good in the color yellow?

Heck, no.

24) Do you spit or smoke?

Yuck, no.

25) What is your favorite color(s)?

I like so many colors that I never know what to say. Purples, greens.

26) Ever played an instrument?

Piano and violin in 4th grade. Attempted again in later years, but without much success.

27) Do you believe in Bigfoot, or Sasquatch?


28) Ever been to a palm reader?

No, but I had an international friend read my palm at a party once 23 years ago.

29) Did they tell you the truth about your future?

What do you mean, "truth"? They said I'd be rich but have no kids. How far in the future would that apply?

30) What are you thinking about at this very moment?

Errands to do, friends to talk to.

31) Have you ever received a black eye?


32) What is your biggest current disappointment?

Hmmm. That I'm not going to be able to visit my cousin in Tampa next Jan or Feb as I had hoped. But it's not too bad because it's due to a bigger satisfaction, so it evens out.

33) What are some of your favorite drinks?

Limeade, real ginger ale, chocolate malted milkshake.

34) Do you have anything that hurts on your body at this time?

My neck/back (a little), a little nausea.

35) Have you ever ridden in a taxi?

Yes, returning from the airport after my trip to Italy. The car was 4-5 times as long as most Italian cars; I felt like I was riding in a tank.

36) What is the last alcoholic drink you had?

An ounce of chocolate port with a chocolate dessert - Yum! My friend was giving me a thank-you lunch for helping her with brides' tasks. This was several years ago.

37) Did you do anything special last night?


38) What is your very favorite food?

It's usually a toss up between ice cream and sushi.

Okay! That's it! More stuff later.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Working Retreat

This time last year, we were madly packing and preparing to fly out to Denver/Boulder for a conference/calling + backpacking adventure. The conference was work; the backpacking was our reward. We survived the rarified atmosphere of the historic B0ulderado Hotel (Uh, I can walk my own bag down the stairs, thanks), and then we survived the trail into the basin and up to the Continental Divide.

At the Edge of Treeline

We enjoyed ourselves hugely.

I found wildflowers galore!
Globeflower n Paintbrush

Parrys Primose Faces


We found lots of snow in the middle of Summer.
Some of it was hair-raising to cross.
Morning Snowfield Traverse

Some of it was merely, breath-takingly picturesque.
July Snowfields Above Lake Nokoni

In between exertions, we had brief moments to relax and take it all in.
Under Blue Andrews Peak

A working retreat, if you will. Not that we were doing our usual work. We were working to haul 25-40 pound packs up steep elevations. We were working to plan our safety, our path, the location of our next meal or stop. Hike, sweat, eat, breathe. Set up camp, break it down. Avoid the large animals. Avoid afternoon lightening. Filter water. Take a few photographs, take it all in. Our lives were reduced to the essentials.

Most of the time, such retreats are islands of calm intensity in our everyday lives. Ones focus changes dramatically. It's so jarring to then have to come back to everyday civilization and to hear cars and buses or the chatter of everyday lives, to be surrounded by plastic and metal. Our eyes search for the far-off vista of wilderness. At the same time, you carry the wilderness with you, tucked away inside. You can imagine yourself back on the path. You know it's there, waiting, even if you are caught in the fast-paced concrete wilds of modern life.
Descent in Afternoon Stormy Sun
Flower Meadow on Switchbacks

Moss Campion can grow half an inch in five years. It may be ten years old before flowering, twenty years old before flowering profusely. The wilderness moves on its own time. Breathe. Remember patience.
Cushion Pink - Moss Campion