Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas Weekend!

I don't know how much writing I will do in the next week, so I'd thought I'd jump on quickly. I left Ithaca yesterday, stopped in Baltimore for the night and headed down to Richmond this morning. I've got a fire going in the fireplace, one dog in front of said fire and the other at the end of the recliner, resting his chin on my feet. My brother and sister-in-law should be home before too long -- and then let the festivities begin.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the baby and my options. And I've decided to pursue foster to adopt, as a back-up plan. I'm certainly not ready to give up on having a biological child yet -- I think we (the doctors and me) still have a few more things to try before giving up. By I decided, why not learn all I can and be ready, just in case.

I would hate for it to be August (or whatever random month), and be out of options and then have to start a whole new process from scratch. I got the number of someone to talk at DSS, and will make that phone call after the holidays. While I definitely think this a good idea -- to learn, to find out, to have a back-up plan -- it is something that I need to digest for a little while.

I also found out from a friend at work, who hosts the adoption and foster support group at the College, the names of a few people who have specifically done foster to adopt. They will be a good resource for me, to hear about their experiences so I know a little better what to expect.

Six months ago, when I found out that my eggs might not work, that I may have to go donor eggs or IVF route, I was devastated. I wanted nothing more than to be able to carry a baby. Once that shock had worn off, the real goal was -- and always will be -- just to have a baby. No matter how it will happen.

And so I'm proud of myself for still thinking positively that a viable pregnancy could work, I am also thinking realistically, and having other options makes me think even more that there will be a little baby boy or girl in my future. Not someone who will calls me Auntie Ellie, but someone who will call me mommy.

shout out to Nina -- thanks for the messages, glad to have another reader who comments. Happy holidays. I hope the new baby -- whenever it gets here -- can get a pair of mittens :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

10 Shopping Days

I can't believe Christmas is 10 days away. I've started working at the mall for the holidays -- back at Bath & Body Works. One of those places that I would hate to shop in because of how overly attentive their salespeople are, but it's fun to go back once a year, get my discount and little extra money.

On the baby front, it's still a "resting" month, taking the higher level estrogen pills -- which have been delightful on my already fragile emotions. Take that and add in the fact that I'm literally retaining 5 pounds of water (according to the body comp at the nutritionist the other day) and my body is preparing to get pregnant. I've grown out of a few pairs of jeans because of the extra "padding" around my middle. Carolyn told me that there is really nothing she or I can do about this stage, that it may mean me gaining as much as 30 pounds during this process because of all the hormones. Once I get pregnant, she feels that we can have a better handle on the weight gain.

Getting dressed in the morning has not been fun. It usually takes two or three attempts at trying something on, deciding if I fell comfortable in how it fits and how it looks. For someone who just lost 50 pounds and was able to wear anything in her closet (whether is fell over my hips or fit fine), this is very frustrating. I just have to remember that it will be worth it in the end.

And I know that the added weight is only going to my middle, which makes me realize that it really is related to the hormones. My rings are still big and my tops all fit. Its just at the hips and waist.

So is it worth it?

It's a hard question to answer. Right now, not pregnant, six months into the process, who knows how many pounds the moments when I'm most vulnerable, most emotional, feel the most alone -- yea, I want to give up. I want to say it's not worth it. And then the moment I admit that to myself, I know -- immediately -- that I'm wrong.

It's so worth it. And it will be when I have that baby growing inside of me. Who cares of much I weigh at that point (as long as I'm healthy)? And that's what I have to keep remembering. And so I went to Steve & Barry's and bought really cheap pants that fit me or are even a little big. And those will be my post-pregnancy, post-maternity pants.

Because in the end, it doesn't matter what number is on the inside tag of my jeans. A healthy baby, with 10 fingers and 10 toes, will be the only number I care about.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Which brings up another point....

Let's just continue on the Dr. Pervert theme. I can't believe I didn't write about this. I think I was so charged up, so spitting mad, that I couldn't. And then I had my peace with my mother and it was over.

In October, right after my last insemination, my mother and father had to go in to see Dr. Pervert for my dad's shoulder. And in the same breath, she tells me that not only did he say hello to me, but that he also lost my number and she gave it to him again and that she told him what I was doing. What?!

I completely forgot about the phone number issue (I've made it clear to her that she needs to not be handing out my cell phone number to her friends), and moved on the other, bigger issue. "That's none of his business!"

"Oh, he's got a niece who got pregnant with donor sperm, and she bought up all the sperm and ended up having two kids and their biologically full siblings....." I think she was talking so fast so I wouldn't interrupt her. I waited for her to come up for air.

"That is no one's business, that is family one needs to no shit about my life, my decisions until I'm ready for them to know. I'm not pregnant yet, that is none of his business, and you shouldn't be telling people."

She, of course, couldn't understand the concept of why she can't share this news with people, especially people who (she thinks) have my best interest at heart. We hung up, I called my sister and bitched and vented at her. She was just at stunned as I was.

The next day, I was still upset with her, and felt I needed to make her see my point. Rather than calling her and raising my voice and losing my cool, I wrote her an email:

I just want to reiterate the point I tried to make to you last night on the phone, 
and I don't know if I did or not. I know you're excited about the prospect of me
getting pregnant -- I am too. However, this is nobody's business until I am
actually pregnant and well past my first trimester. Just as I wanted to be the one
to tell my brothers and sisters -- and I appreciated that you honored my wishes
with that -- I will decide when people outside of the family should know, and what
they should know. There is nothing wrong with how I am getting pregnant, but again,
it is nobody's business. The thing to say, when the time is right, is "Ellie's
pregnant -- isn't that great?" The thing to say now when people ask how I am, is
simply, "she's great."

I'm happy to say that I think she "got it." She wrote back and apologized and said, of course I was right, that this was not her news to share and she needs to respect my wishes.

Until the next time...

Biting My Tongue

I talked to my mom tonight and she was telling me that my sister-in-law is going to need knee surgery, and of course my mother thinks that Sally should go to Dr. Pervert. Sally, however, told her that she would be finding another orthopedic surgeon. I'm not sure if she knows what went on with me or she's got a dislike for him for another reason, but my mother went off, venting about it.

"He's our family doctor, he did your knee surgeries, he did your brother's surgery, he's helped your father's soldier. And he's a family friend. Not even what kind of a doctor he is, but just what type of a person he is....she should be going to him."

I bit my tongue, didn't even give inaudible head nods or grunts of faked agreement. What could I say? I certainly didn't want to get into this ancient history with her, but I also wasn't going to agree with her that Sally should go to him, or that he was a great person. Ugh.....

Which reminds me, he called me over Thanksgiving. I was in Richmond and the number came up as unrestricted, which is sometimes how my niece's number comes up so I answered. "Ellie, hi....Irv the Perv (well....he really said his full name, of course), how are you?"

I was stunned. I always am when he calls. He has got to have some balls to call me. Of course, I could be tougher and just hang up on him or tell him to fuck off. I'm not sure why I can't do that. I'm not nice to him, but I guess I could be ruder. He asked if I was busy and I said, "yes...on my way out the door."

"Well, I told your mom I would call and say hi."

"Hi...sorry, really have to run."

I hope he eventually gets the point. Seriously, why would he possible want to call me?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Rabbit May Never Die

This month was supposed to be an IUI month. But I went in for my blood work on Monday and my estrodial level was high, but they said that they would wait to see if that meant anything when I got my ultrasound. This morning, I went in.

The good news -- the cyst from my right ovary last month is gone. The bad news -- there's an even bigger one on my left ovary. After talking to the doctor, the nurse practitioner called me this afternoon to say that they wanted to put me on birth control pills to clean out my ovaries. Another month down, without any real attempt. She mentioned things like ovarian failure and egg donor. I'm trying not to think about that, because I can't afford to do anything beyond IUI until the insurance kicks in. And that won't happen until after six failed attempts. Not six months, byt six failed attempts. So these past five months only count as two.

I picked up the BCP at Wegmans tonight and almost cried to the pharmacist when he asked me about the pills, if I was familiar with them. When I explained that I was only going on them for a month, he said, "oh you're trying out this kind to make sure you have no side effects."

"No, I'm trying to get pregnant and I have cysts, so I'm hoping the estrogen will clean out my ovaries." Bite lip.

"Oh, so you're using them for hormone therapy." Yes, that would have been another way to put it.

I skipped the gym, came home and laid on my couch, crying, while I watched Days of Our Lives from today. I couldn't really tell you what happened. It was sort of background noise.

My body is failing me -- again. And there is really nothing more I can do. I eat well, I exercise, I drink rarely (and when I do, it's moderately), I don't smoke (never have), don't do drugs (a couple of joints in college) -- and body is not only failing me, it's betraying me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Public Service Announcement of the Day

We all carry our cell phones with names & numbers stored in its memory but nobody, other than ourselves, knows which of these numbers belong to our closest family or friends.

If we were to be involved in an accident or were taken ill, the people attending us would have our mobile phone but wouldn't know who to call. Yes, there are hundreds of numbers stored but which one is the contact person in case of an emergency?

Hence this "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) Campaign -- The concept of "ICE" is catching on quickly. It is a method of contact during emergency situations. As cell phones are carried by the majority of the population, all you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted during emergency under the name "ICE" ( In Case Of Emergency).

For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc -- or in my life, I have ICE -NY for my parents, and ICE-VA for my brother, since I travel to Maryland and Virgina a lot.

My sister is a 911 dispatcher in San Diego County and she confirmed this is something that the paramedics and first responders look for, even before they look for an emergency contact card in a wallet.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hug a veteran today...

...or send them greetings.

There are many of our troops in the Walter Reed Army hospital recovering from injuries received in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of these recovering troops will not be home for Christmas this year.

If you would like to bring a smile to an injured soldier, when making out your Christmas Card List this year, please add a Recovering American Soldier to your list, you may do so via the following address (and please forward this to anyone you think would send a soldier a Christmas card):

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 George Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20307-5001

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Buffalo Dave

I met with Lucia the other day, and we talked about what happened with Rich.

We talked about my childhood and tried to make some connection as to why I do this to myself, why I think of myself as so unworthy. It came back to the weight issues again, the way it was the family project, from the time I was 8 or 9, to try to get me to lose weight -- even though I didn't need to.

And again, if my family couldn't accept me the way I was, if they didn't see me as fine as is, how could I? How could I ever?

And so today, as I was driving back from Syracuse, I was thinking more about it. I was suddenly sad -- hormonal, about to ovulate, suddenly mourning the fact that I've given up on finding love -- and it made me think about all of the relationships I've had, and I wondered, beyond my childhood issues, beyond not loving myself as is, did I ever have a normal relationship?

Ten years ago, when I lived in Rochester...10 years ago I had a thing for my friend Dave. More than a thing -- it was a crush of the hugest proportions, and it got bigger every day.

Dave lived in Buffalo, and our friendship was mostly on the phone. And because of that, we got to know each other really well, from the inside out. And because of that, I thought he was amazing. And because of that, I knew that he cared for me, that he valued my opinion, that I was one of his best friends.

For two years this went on. For two years, every time we talked on the phone, as soon as I hung up, I would say "I love you." And for two years, I wondered when he would figure it out. I drove my friends crazy -- "you have to tell him how you feel, or you need to move on."

Two of my co-workers and I had to go to Buffalo for a business thing, and we arranged to meet Dave and some of our mutual friends out that night. Wanda and Julie saw it that night, they saw how I was the one he would lean into and make a private comment to, how his arm hung casually and comfortably around my shoulder, how he was attentive to only me, how he always made sure I had a drink. And so I knew I wasn't crazy, I knew that I was not imagining this connection between us. I had confirmation.

It took me months -- maybe even a half year -- after that to figure out what to do. I lost sleep over him, I had dreams about him, and finally, one night, in the middle of the night, I pulled out a notebook and wrote him a letter.

It was not a rambling diatribe, it only filled one side of a sheet of paper. It wasn't overly gushing or emotional, but it was from my heart. I remember that unbelievably the letter was perfect in one take. Perfect in what I wanted to say, and perfect in that there were no scratched out words, no need to rewrite it. It was exactly what I felt and exactly what I needed him to know. I folded it and put it in an envelope, and mailed it to my friend Ed in Connecticut. Ed would be visiting Dave in two weeks, and he could hand deliver it.

For two weeks, I called Ed almost daily (and sometimes more than once a day), "don't give it to him," "you have to give it to him," until finally the weekend Ed was in Buffalo had arrived, and the fate of the letter was out of my hands.

He gave Dave the letter on Sunday, at the airport as Dave was dropping him off. And then I waited. Two days later, Dave called me at the office. And to his credit, he told me what I didn't want to hear in the only way I would want to hear it. He loved me, as friend; he didn't want to lose me; he appreciated my honesty; he apologized if he had led me on; he didn't want this to change our relationship.

A few months after the letter incident, Ed was back in Buffalo and I went to visit for the weekend. The three of us were out drinking, and Dave was acting as he always did around me. I don't know if it was the beer, the situation, the fact that he didn't know the effect he had on me -- but it was all too much. I literally felt my heart break. My chest hurt and it was hard to breath. I looked at Ed and said, "I need to get out of here."

Dave never knew what happened that night, never knew the tears I cried over him on Ed's shoulder. I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of knowing that he was that important to me, even after he told me I would never be more than a friend to him.

And so while it was awkward for awhile, Dave and I have stayed friends. I attended his wedding, and sent presents when his son, and then his twins, were born.

But as I look back now, Dave was the last single man I ever let myself feel anything real for. Since him, the only relationships have been married men: J of Baltimore, Bruce, Chris. Along the way, there have been a string of one-night stands -- some married, some single. But really what was going to come from a hook-up? I'm not that girl who gets a phone call the next day.

And so what does this all have to do with anything? I don't know. All I know is I can't get these things out of my head and wonder if this is why I am the way I am? Is this why I can't open myself up to a single man?

I wasn't good enough for my family, and then the one time I took a risk, I wasn't good enough for. Sure, he cared about me, but I wasn't good enough for him to even try to see if a relationship would work. And it just wasn't worth the risk again. I got nothing more than a broken heart, and from that point on, I've put up a wall. A wall to protect myself from the one thing that I really really want.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sake and Herbs

I realized tonight as I started reading "Knock Yourself Up: A Tell-All Guide to Becoming a Single Mom," that I haven't really written in much detail about the process I've been going through in trying to get pregnant. And while I promise to not be too graphic, I think this is something I'm going to want to remember.

I received a list of nationally accredited sperm banks from my doctor's office way back in June when I had my first appointment. The appointment consisted of your general pelvic exam and then bloodwork on very specific days of my cycle, to measure my FSH level (to know if I had good eggs left), and my estrodial and progesterone levels (to know if every other part of my cycle would work).

After requesting literature from each place and looking at their website, I waited for the official literature. I had it narrowed down to two places -- one in San Francisco and one near Boston -- mostly because they had experience in working with single women. It wasn't just an infertility issue, but they seemed to be sensitive to the other clients they could serve.

I hate to say it came down to money, but part of my final decision came down to money. New England was a little cheaper, and I also reasoned that being on the East coast could prevent potential shipping issues. Now that I had my umbrella supplier, I needed to find my main supplier, my baby daddy.

What was I looking for? And how superficial is this whole process? Honestly, I just want someone healthy, I just want a baby. But I have to choose, and I get to choose, so why not put thought into this?

And so, for no reason other than it is appealing to me, I chose blond hair, blue eyes, and ethnicity similar or near mine (Scottish, Irish, German, French). And from there, it was about their chosen professions and their personality traits that would appeal to me if this person were in front of me. Ultimately I chose a music student at Berklee, an avid runner and reader.

I've had two tries with him. In August, I went to work in the morning and left early for the appointment. Again, like a pelvic exam, except a little more intrusive to get the cervix open -- and a long thin tube, hooked up to the thawed sperm. After I was "squirted" as my nurse practitioner referred to it, I laid on the table, flat, for 30 minutes. I read a magazine and held onto my good luck charm.

I was absolutely convinced that I would get pregnant. 100%, there was no chance that this wouldn't work. Ten million sperm, six egg follicles. But guess what? It didn't.

September's ultrasound showed that I had some residual cysts from all the follicles, so I rested. October gave me another chance. This time, I'd been getting acupuncture treatments and I took the day off. I rested and had a friend drive me.

And when it didn't work this time, I was much more prepared. And less disappointed when the ultrasound revealed, yet again, that I had a cyst.

When I went for acupuncture yesterday, my doctor sent me home with a bottle of herbs -- different from the herbs I'm supposed to drink twice a day (not a tea drinker, I shoot for once a day) -- these herbs get mixed with Sake (rice wine), made into a paste. I put them on my stomach, over my right ovary (where the cyst is) and then cover with a heating pad for 30 minutes.

It sounds like a bit of voodoo, but if nothing else it's relaxing. And the whole mind/body thing is definitely something I believe in. So tonight, for my second night, I got home, made my sake and herb paste, and sat in my chair with the heating pad on my abdomen.

And so another daily thing that goes towards the process of getting pregnant:
  • herb drink
  • basal body temperature each morning
  • charting my temperature and cervical mucus
  • moxa stick on specific pulse points
  • and now sake and herbs
Will it be worth it? Absolutely, no question about it.

Weekend Update

My friend Karyn came over Friday night. We co-hosted a baby shower on Saturday, and she came by to help me move furniture, decide on last-minute details, etc. Honestly, it was the easiest party I've put together -- we're both so scarily organized and love to plan events that it just came together.

So, there really wasn't that much to do. So we opened a bottle of wine -- Red Cat from Hazlett. I am so not a wine connoisseur that this would probably be considered not one of the finer reds. It's pretty sweet, but I can't take a dry wine. Anyway, the Red Cat went down very smooth and easy. And less than 45 minutes later, we were opening a second bottle -- Niagara from Wagner. Another sweet wine, this time white.

So, for the first time since early August, I was drunk. Someone should take my cell phone away from me when I'm drinking. I don't drunk dial, I drunk text.

To J in Baltimore: "Why are you so far away when I'm this drunk and horny?"

To my local friend G (all 26 years of him):"

G wrote back almost instantly: "Ha....whats good...out of town, call u when i get back."

No word from J, and given the way he bolted away from the flirtatious line after boldly crossing it during Hall of Fame weekend, I got a little worried. Today, I got this: "Outstanding text! Just got back from China and just got it, sorry!"

Riiight....he was in China with #8 teaching kids about baseball. Bubbles thinks I should ask him to be my donor, my baby batter supplier. It makes me nervous, but I will admit that I've thought about it. More than once. I'll probably see him -- or at least talk to him -- when I head south for Thanksgiving, so maybe I'll ask him, but I'll probably chicken out.

Back to the weekend, I pretty much passed out Friday after Karyn's husband came and picked her up. Saturday was the baby shower -- and it was a huge hit, but a long day. Several of my friends asked if it was hard, given my disappointment in getting my period last week, but you know, it wasn't. And that makes me feel good. That I'm not selfish, that it wasn't about me...that it was about Jess and Drew and their happiness.

Saturday night, I went to see "The Full Monty" on campus. So good! I can't even believe that they were college students. When I saw that the play was two hours and 45 minutes -- after being on my feet and hosting 22 people all day -- I thought about turning around and leaving. But the time flew by and the play was great.

Sunday, I napped and watched football. You can't ask for a much better Sunday than that.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

I'm exhausted. I was up at 6, on the road by 7:10 and in Syracuse by 8:30 to spend the entire day at the hospital while my mom had surgery. All went well thankfully. And she is now home and resting. When I called a friend of hers to let her know that the surgery was over, she asked if my dad was driving me crazy, I said "no, we're really the same person. We've been sitting here for three hours, not really talking, just reading our books."

And we really are cut from the same cloth.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ovarian Resting

I went in for my baseline ultrasound this morning -- I have two cysts. One is small and the tech thought that one wouldn't be a problem, but in the other ovary, a bigger one. Too big to allow to go through the cycle this month and attempt insemination. So I'm resting my ovaries this month.

It's frustrating. And at the same time, feeling the frustration makes me feel as if I'm not entitled to feel this bad. Women with serious fertility issues go years of this, I've had two failed attempts over four months. And I've been told by professionals that I'm going to get pregnant eventually. I'm doing everything they are telling me to do -- I'm eating as organically as I can; I've cut out caffeine, artificial sweeteners, alcohol; I'm cutting stress out of my life as best I can; I'm exercising and resting; I'm doing to acupuncture and doing everything she tells me to do.

I have to keep remembering that all of this -- all the frustration, the roller coaster of emotions, the impatience, the sadness and fear -- all of it will make the end result that much sweeter. All of it will make that baby that much more worth it. I have to remember that.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Not Knocked Up

As I knew would happen, as I suspected would be the case, I woke up with my period this morning. The test on Friday night was right. I'm kind of numb but not surprised, I think because this time around, I knew the disappointment so as best I could, I kept my hopes in check.

I haven't told anyone yet. I don't want to say it out loud, I'm afraid that if I actually say it and hear the sympathy in the other person's voice, I will break. So I'm spending my Sunday keeping busy -- doing bills even though I don't get paid until Wednesday, grocery shopping, football and Law & Order marathon (thank goodness for picture in picture) -- and not talking to anyone. I know this can't go on all day, but I'm going to keep it this way as long as I can.

I know this is only my second try, but it is so counter-intuitive to everything we've been talk, everything we were brought up hearing. "Don't have sex -- even just once, and you'll get pregnant." They never tell you that the chances are so slim, the window of when everything is lined up has to be so exact...but somehow it happens.

And so I have to believe that it will happen, somehow, it will happen. For today, I get to be sad. Tomorrow, I'll put on my happy face and positive spin.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

All Good Signs

I had my doctor appointment today, my second attempt at getting pregnant. I try not to read into signs, but I can't help myself:

  • today is my mom's birthday
  • my would-be due date is my niece's birthday and my friend's anniversary
  • if I don't get my period, I get my blood work done on same friend's birthday
  • at the time of my appointment, my friend in Baltimore saw an Ithaca College bumper sticker, a New York state license plate, and a pregnant woman

I had two really good acupuncture appointments, yesterday and today, and I have two different fertility meditation CD's to listen to. Here's hoping I'm knocked up.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I honestly didn't expect the Yankees to get to the World Series. As much as I hate to admit it, Boston has a better team. The Yankees' pitching is old and inconsistent. I did expect them to beat Cleveland.

So Hot Stove baseball starts now for me. Who's going to be there next year? And who will the manager be? Please no LaRussa. Mattingly doesn't have the experience.

A-Rod could become more beloved in New York City than Derek Jeter, by uttering one sentence:

"I will not opt out of my contract as long as Joe Torre is the manager of the Yankees next year."

Not gonna happen....but it's a nice thought.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My mother's new-found inability to not listen

I called my mom from work one day this week. I don't even remember the reason, but as I was on the phone, I mentioned to her that I had had an ultrasound that morning, and the cysts are gone so I can try again this month.

"The what?"

"The cysts." And realizing that that's probably a hard word to understand over the phone, "c-y-s-t-s."

"Oh, okay."

And that was it. We hung up and I went back to work. Two hours later, my phone rang. I could tell by the caller ID that it was her.


"I'm so excited your cysts are gone -- I can't believe it."

I literally sat there dumbfounded. Even pulled the phone away from my ear and looked at it. "Um...yea, two hours later."

"Well, I was in the middle of something."

Ah-ha, yea, well.....

I get so frustrated with her. She does this all the time. My sisters, nieces and I all compare notes. How you can be on the phone with Fran and she totally isn't listening. If you've got something better to do, then don't be on the phone with us. Don't fake listening and excitement when you have no idea what I just said.

I was at my parent's on Thursday and my father was accusing my mother of not telling him something. And she said, "I told you, you just don't listen."

Yea, life's a bitch, isn't it Fran?

Saturday, October 06, 2007


I spotted last week, about four days before I was supposed to get my period. I think I mentioned that. I had an ultrasound on Monday (the day before I should have gotten it) and all the cysts were gone. Yeah! So we just needed to wait for my period.

Everything goes from day 1. Day 2, I get blood work done. Days 4 through 8, I take Clomid. Day 13, I get an ultrasound and a shot of hCG. day 14, insemination.

Day 31 of my cycle...and still nothing. I called the doctor's office. After reviewing my ultrasounds images, with the new information that there was nary a sign of my period, the doctor said that my walls were too thing, I probably wouldn't get a period. So I started to take the Clomid today (on what could be viewed as day 5).

I'll get an ultrasound -- follicle check -- next Monday. And if all looks good, order the baby batter for the next day. I'm not getting too excited about it. Given that this is a weird month, I'm preparing myself for the ultrasound to not be an "all systems go."

Acupuncture has been going well. The herbs taste awful -- even in hot apple cider. It's so relaxing, I even fall asleep while I'm on the table.

Jenn (my friend who had to successful IVF's) suggested fertility meditation CDs. I've found some, but they all have to do with IVF treatment. I did find one preparing the body for insemination, but it's in the UK. There has to be one in the US.

I'm Wireless

My computer finally died -- so I bought a laptop the other day and the cable company came out today to make me wireless. Its hard to get used to this keyboard.

The guys that came this morning were kind of shady -- they were sub contractors. here for less than 10 minutes, and left saying I was all set. Unfortunately, I wasn't. I couldn't get online. So I called -- 45 minutes later, still no luck. So they sent someone else out. Someone who officially worked for the company.

He was very sweet, and got me all set. He flirted a little and when he told me he was glad to help the "cute Yankees fan." Even gave me his cell phone number in case I run into any more problems. Yeah, all the married men love me, even the Time Warner guys.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wishing, Hoping, Praying

This has been the longest month of my life -- and I still have another week (or three) to go. I've been trying to focus on me and trying to stay stress-free and stay occupied with my acupuncture treatment (and the things she's been having me do between appointments).

I've tried to take this time to work out, to work out hard, until I get pregnant. But I'm so tired. The rational part of me knows that it is all the hormones they have given me. I have no motivation at the gym -- I can barely work out for 20 minutes on the treadmill or the bike. And squatting -- forget it. The past few days, I've actually come home from work and taken a nap and then gone for a walk. Last night, I was asleep by 8pm. For the night.

And so the wishful hopeful part of me is I? Could I be? There were six eggs and not all of them expelled themselves last month. Maybe one got fertilized and hid somewhere? Maybe I am pregnant? That's why I'm so tired.

I know, I know -- it's not that. I can't kid myself. I can't wish for the impossible. And I can't get all worked up about not getting pregnant on the first try. Or even the second try. I've got lots of options, lots of time, lots of support.

And so, I should get my period in a week, and then hopefully I can try again in October.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I'm not sure what to make of my recent string of dreams. Over the past few months, I've had dreams about someone I went to high school with. I haven't seen Kevin in years and years -- when I still in Rochester and he was working for a congressman or senator, and we were a good seven or eight years out of high school. And for all I know, he is still working for him.

Sometimes he is just making a guest appearance in my dream -- it's not really about him, he just happens to be there. Last night, he started out as a guest star and then the focus turned to his wedding band. And I was so bummed that he was married.

I have no idea what is bringing this on. I'm not in touch with any of the people he was friends with in high school, I haven't looked at my yearbook recently, and while I had a crush on him in the 7th grade, we were never more than really good friends throughout high school.

Am I supposed to take these dreams as some sort of sign? Am I suddenly supposed to be proactive with fate and get in touch with him? And then say what? I've been dreaming about you. I have gone so far as to google him -- which I did a few weeks ago when he was in a dream. And as far as I could tell -- from an annual report on-line from a few years ago -- he is still in politics.

Part of me feels that there's nothing to do. Maybe I'll run into him next year, if we have a 20th high school reunion. And maybe I won't. And really, why am I spending so much time thinking about this?

And part of me is really puzzled, confused and intrigued as to why he keeps showing up in my dreams. And why, last night, was I so upset that he's married. When I saw in Rochester, he wasn't. But that was easily 10 years ago when I was still at the science center.

Has anyone ever been in this type of situation? Given in to giving fate a little bit of help? Or am I grasping at straws? Wishing for a chance at romance before I get pregnant?

Thursday, September 20, 2007


So I'm not as sad about not getting pregnant on the first month, though when I talked to a friend yesterday, I did feel myself welling up a little. I've taken some positive steps to get ready for next month, namely trying acupuncture.

She (the acupuncturist) wants to see me once a week (more around insemination), I have herbs to drink twice a day (I hate tea -- but I've been able to manage drinking the herbs with hot apple cider), and I have "moxa" sticks (cigar-like incense sticks) to hold over specific pressure points. When I first met with her, I explained my situation, we talked about my hormone level issues, the fertility drugs they have been using and when. We talked about my period, my energy level, whether I feel cold all the time -- lots of random things. But when she connected them all together, it made so much sense.

I am "yang" deficient, I have no fire. What this means, and how it connects to western medicine hormone levels are off from the middle of my cycle. What she's saying is, my temperature spikes (as it should) when I ovulate, but doesn't stay high, it drops again. I need to work to improve my fire, so that my temp stays up and can nurture a fertilized egg.

OK, so maybe it's a little hocus pocus, but I'm willing to try anything. It's not going to have an adverse effect on things. And the actual acupuncture procedure is very relaxing. And unwanted stress is known to be a deterrent in fertility treatment.

I couldn't get inseminated in September, because I had cysts on my ovary. That was frustrating news to hear on top of not being pregnant last month. Not only was I not pregnant, but now I have to wait six weeks instead of two.

The acupuncture has given me something else to focus on so that I'm not obsessing so much on when I can try again. That, and her having my chart my body temperature every morning.

I've tried not to think ahead, tried not to see signs in things, but....if all works out for me to try again next month, I would be inseminated on my mom's birthday and then be due on my niece's birthday next July.

Sometimes, I can't help myself -- I have to look for signs and hope for the best. I'm going to be disappointed anyway, so why not have a little hope, right?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


There is a man at work -- a "high level" person, and the type of person who uses the term "high level" to describe non-peons.

Usually, I am the first one to walk into the building's main doors. And I know this because of the parking lot I use. Most of the early birds park in the east lot and go in the side door. Craig and I are usually the first person (who parks in the west lot and goes in the main door).

The mornings I'm here first, I pick up the morning newspaper, which is sitting on the sidewalk right by the door, and plop it on the receptionist's desk. The mornings he's here first -- he walks right by it. Apparently he's too "high level" of a person to pick it up?

I think that says a lot about the type of person he is.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


It hit me Friday. Hard. I got my period. I'm not pregnant. The rational part of me said, why are you so upset? It's not like you had a miscarriage. This was only your first try. Did you really think you were going to get pregnant on the first try? Did you really?

But with emotions, there is no logic. There is no rational thought -- only pain and diappointment, for what could have been, what was never but still feels lost.

I tried to take it in stride the first day. I was initally numb. And even confused by my lack of feelings. And then disappointment. And then the over-whelming need to curl up and cry. I have very supportive friends and family, but I am essentially dealing with this alone. At the end of the day, it's just me.

By Friday, I was an emotional wreck. By not dealing with it right away, or maybe not accepting it right away, it hit me hard two days later. I cried on my drive home from work. Skipped the gym completely, and slept for an hour on the couch.

I felt sad and I needed to mourn. And I felt like no one understood.

What I didn't realize was, there were people who understood, people who were empathetic, people who wanted to help me through this disappointment. What I didn't realize was, I was projecting my rational thought, my logic, onto everyone else, which only compounded my loneliness.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Are you ready for some football?

I didn't think I was. I thought it was too early. It's still too warm out. It's going to 90 here tomorrow -- in central New York, where we could honestly see snow flurries next month.

But I watched the pre-game show. I saw the championship banner unfurled. I gagged at Jimmy Irsay's really bad pimp suit. And I got excited when the players ran out of the tunnel and onto the field.

Okay, so my Yankees have a three-game lead in the wild card. A-Rod is now beloved in New York. But tonight, it's all about the Colts and the Saints. (And by pure coincidence, I wore my Unitas t-shirt to the gym tonight.)

I am ready for football. Thursday night football.

I'm not, however, ready to change my ringtone on my cell phone from the "Baseball Tonight" theme song to the "NFL on Fox" theme song. Maybe after the (baseball) regular season. Or the play-offs.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Right Things to Say

Unlike my friend this morning, whose comment rubbed me the way wrong way, I have very supportive family and friends who knew just what to say.

From my dear friend Wanda:
There's nothing good to say. I know the frustration and disappointment you feel because I had it many times. But I know that what I felt was probably not even as bad as what you're looking at today. It can be very hard to stay positive when you just want to cry. But know that in a couple of days your mind will switch back from hope and excitement to acceptance and moving on to the next step. You just have to go through a mini mourning process first and try to stay positive. I love you, Ellie, and I'm here if you want/need to vent.
From my mom:
i know you're disappointed but the chances it would work first time were small
next time you have to go for acupuncture, right
love you and i'll keep praying
see you sunday
love mom

From my niece:
WE all need to live life through the eyes and ears of Ryan (my three-year-old great nephew).
He would say oh well next time. Take it as it was a practice run. I know it is not easy to deal with
but you have lots of friends and family that are here to support you through this. The % of getting
pregnant the first time any which way is very low. So keep positive and it will happen!
Keep believing! Call me tonight if you need to. I will keep you in my prayers. Love ya!

From my sister-in-law:
Tiffany called me this morning after you texted her. I'm sorry Ellie. I'm getting my hair done at 5:30
tonight so after that if you want to
talk just give me a call. Other wise I'll respect your silence.......

Strike One

Not that I only get three strikes -- with the money that I have saved and then insurance kicking in after six failed attempts, I do have at least two at bats, maybe three. Baseball analogy aside, I got my period this morning.

I was numb when I saw it, and then it kind of sank in as the morning as progressed. And then one well-meaning friend said, "well, the good news is you know for sure, you don't have to wait anymore."

What?! I wanted to slap her. The good news? Oh right, because waiting for another three days was oh so terrible. Yes, I was impatient, but at least with waiting, there was hope.

I called the doctor's office to let them know. She said she'd call me back -- she'll figure out the next round of hormones, the timing of it, etc. I've also heard that acupuncture helps -- I've heard two success stories. And I do live in a hippie town, so there is no shortage of alternative practices.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


No sign of anything tonight. Could I really be pregnant? Am I ready for this? It's very surreal. Like I don't know if it could really be happening to me.

What will it feel like when I hear the test results? How will I react if I wake up with my period tomorrow morning?

To try to counteract the disappointment, I have created a "celebration" plan for my period. If I get my period, I'm having the biggest diet Pepsi I can find. I've been without caffeine and aspartame for nearly a month.

The odds are that I'm not pregnant. What are the chances that it took the first time? But really 10 million sperm against six total eggs (three mature, three immature)? What kind of better odds do those little guys need? It would be amazing, especially given where I was on June 25, laying on my couch, crying my eyes out, thinking that I would not be able to get pregnant with my own eggs.

And how about being excited that my period is late!? No freaking out, no praying, no making deals, no midnight runs to the grocery store for a pregnancy test to just get it over with, no staring at the stick for an hour to make sure that it hasn't changed its mind and gives you a different result.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Am I?

I've been whaffling back and forth -- I "feel" that I'm pregnant...I don't know...I don't want to get my hopes up. I'm trying not to get obsessed about it and I think, for the most part, that I've been pretty patient and haven't been dwelling on it.

With the exception of constantly being light headed, all my other symptoms could just be PMS.

But is being pregnant and having that intuition about it like being in love? If you have to ask what it feels like, you're probably not.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I had an ultrasound this morning - three mature egg follicles! My hormone levels were good, so today I was inseminated. When I got to the doctor's office, Jodi told me to get undressed while she thawed the sperm. When she came back, we talked about my do not eat/drink list, cleaning the litter box (use a mask and rubber gloves) and when I could take a test.

She was very sweet and saved the vial the specimen came in for me.

I got in the usual position in the stirrups and she inserted the speculum. After she injected the sperm into my uterus, I had to lie flat and still for about 20-30 minutes.

Because I had an injection of hCG yesterday (to induce ovulation today), any home pregnany tests I take could read false positive. So I have to wait for my period to show or not on September 4. And if I don't get it, I'll get blood work done on September 8.

It's going to be a long 16 days.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Chronic Gal Pal

I'm in the middle of my vacation and while I don't think I'm having doubts, I might call it cold feet. I'm reading books and magazines -- and they all reference the husband, the father, the partner. I don't have that -- I won't have that. I'm thinking about the baby, and day dreaming about it -- and more times than not, there's someone to share things with. But that's not the way this will be.

Everyone I know -- and everything I know is the mom, the dad and the baby. I know I can do this on my own. But do I really want to? If given the choice, I think I'd rather be married. Wouldn't I?

Can I go without intimacy and love? It's times like these that I feel like a little is better than none -- and I want to call Chris, I want J of Baltimore to want me, I wish I still had Bruce in my life.

I wonder why this has become my lot in life. Is it because I'm such a good friend, that I have all my love for my friends and family? Or am I'm being punished? Why is this my fate?

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's going to happen.... long as my body cooperates. I started taking Clomid today -- day one of five. Next week when I get back from vacation, I will have an ultrasound. If it looks good -- if the Clomid does what it's supposed to -- then I'll be inseminated as early as Thursday.

I looked through the catalog for the final -- or near final -- time. I thought long and hard about an anonymous donor vs. a donor willing to be known someday. I thought about calling my oldest sister -- to ask her opinion, her feelings on not knowing who her biological father is. But the more I thought about it, if given a choice, she'd probably want just that -- the choice.

And so I want to give this baby the option. He/she may want to know, may not -- but the option will always be there. And while I totally believe that most of the baby's personalities traits will be nuture over nature, I think it says a lot of this man that he's willing to be known. That he's thought enough about what he's doing to make himself available, even if just once, in 18 years. To disrupt his life to meet the miracle he helped make happen.

I filled out the paperwork for New England -- I'll probably get some Red Sox genese. Another good reason for believing in nuture over nature. :)

Jenny is giving me all of her maternity clothes. I hop eI'm not jinxing myself by taking them before I need them. I need all the good luck I can get for this.

Erica T. told me that I should bring a good luck charm when I get inseminated -- I thinking my 3-6 month sized Derek Jeter t-shirt. I've had it for at leat six years. Holding onto it and waiting. And hoping. And maybe someday, I'll get to use it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

To my pre-conceived notion

I need to continue writing this, to keep a record, so I always remember what I went through, what I was feeling, so you know without a shadow of a doubt, how much I love you already.

I don't know how -- or when exactly -- you'll come to me. I only know that I won't stop until I have you in my life. No obstacle will stop me. I've already faced one, with the hormone level problems, but I have such an amazing support system. When I worry about bringing you into my life without a real dad, I remember how many aunts and undles (by blood and by choice) you will have to love you.

In December, when I was in Virginia, I told Debbie that I wanted to start getting pregnant by my 38th birthday. She asked me tough questions, which I answered confidently. And finally saying it out loud, and giving myself a time line, made it real for me for the first time.

In April, I went to the doctor for my check-up and told him. Dr. C was so suuportive, but not full of a lot of information. So I asked a co-worked, who is part of a lesbian couple that had been pregnant, for advice. She suggested Planned Parenthood (not just for pregnant teenagers). I spoke with Pat, who saved me a trip to their office and the $50 fee. After talking on the phone for about 20 minutes, she sent me to Jan and Jodi at Ivy.

Both ladies are fabulous and supportive. When my initial bloodwork came back with the not great results, I could hear the empathy in Jan's voice. They've called me in the middle of weekly tests with questions they thought I should ask my insurance company. And after a month of observations -- ultrasounds and bloodwork and ovulation predictor sticks -- they will have a plan of action for me at the start of my next cycle.

Will it be fertility drugs? Or will it be adoption? Will it be another woman's eggs? The bottom line is, I'm going to be your momma -- no matter what. And after doing what it takes to get you, whatever it takes, I will love you more than life, and I will give you the best life I can.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, AJ

By the time I went to bed last night, I was feeling a little better. I, at least, was all cried out. I started to make a list of questions to ask the doctor when I go in next week.

And I pushed aside my feelings today, for a few hours, to go to the hospital to meet my brand new great-nephew, born at 7:39am. He’s beautiful and when I was holding him, I started to feel a little sad. But I remembered that it wasn’t about me today, it was about him. It was his day and I didn’t want to ruin this first moment with him.

I wished, however, that I had told more people in my family about my plans. I thought that I was being premature in telling anyone, but now, in hindsight, I wished I had. I could use the support as I deal with the ever growing list of questions about infertility and possibly adoption.

I could have used a hug today, a tight hug, from someone who would have known how difficult it was for me to even think about heading up to the maternity ward just hours after my niece gave birth. And it wasn’t just a trip up to the hospital, it was an hour-plus drive to Syracuse. And I know I could have faked a sore throat or something, but no matter how bad I was feeling about my own situation, I would never have missed that experience of meeting Andrew Jordan on his very first birthday.

Flashes of thoughts went through my mind as I held him — would he ever have a cousin from me? How great it’ll be, they’ll only be a few years apart. When I would think about my baby, I would imagine that I would have had him or her in later 2008 or early 2009. Just a couple years between my little one and AJ, and with Ryan five years older than mine — they would have been the same number of years apart as me and my niece. That was a comforting thought.

Monday, June 25, 2007

And then the phone rang...

I had a great appointment with Carolyn this morning. She was really happy with my numbers, with my food and exercise diary, and she commented on the peace she could see in me. We decided that I only need to see her every three weeks, as long as I’m feeling good about things. And we talked about how this is no longer about learning how to eat properly, how not to be afraid of food anymore, but rally about losing weight in a very healthy (mentally as well as physically) way.

We talked about how much easier my mind games will be when I get pregnant. I don’t want to get pregnant at this weight, but if I can lose 30 pounds between now and next year, I will be much more relaxed about the pregnancy weight I gain. She agreed. So she’s on board with the plan, as well.

And then the plan went to hell.

I got back from a meeting this afternoon with a message from the OB/GYN. I called back and told them to call my cell phone. I wondered what it it could be about — I already have my consultation scheduled for next week. I thought the worst for a second; they’re going to tell me I can’t get pregnant. And then I shook that thought out of my head. It was probably something about my test results from my earlier pap or mammogram.

About a half hour later, the phone rang. “We got the blood work back, and I’m afraid I don’t have very good news.”

She said something about hormone levels, and the doctor looking at the results, and the very real possibility that I look into getting an egg donor. And she gave me numbers — levels that should have been under 50, and mine is at 123. I stammered something about cancelling the appointment for next week, and she said absolutely not. That she called to tell me so I could absorb the shock, so I could process it, so I could go into the appointment next week with questions.

My voice cracked, I heard the sympathy in hers and we said good-bye. And then I started to cry. This can’t be happening. I’m healthy. I’ve done things the right way. I don’t smoke, I hardly ever drink, I work out, I eat right. I’ve planned.

I cried hard for 10 minutes, after summoning Hope from down the hall on IM. She cried. She gave me good advise. “This is just one person’s opinion. This is not the end of the world. This is not a death sentence.”

I blew my nose, wiped my eyes, and got ready for my meeting in three minutes. It was the longest hour of my life, but I made it through. I shut my conputer down and went home. I talked to my sister-in-law, and started crying all over again. Harder this time, with the comfort of my own house around me. She said all the right things, didn’t try to sugar-coat it.

I tried to read but the words blurred. I tried to watch TV, but nothing made sense. I laid on the couch and fell asleep to back-to-back episodes of Law & Order (thank you, TNT). I felt a little better when I woke up, like it was a dream.

And even now, it seems surreal. Could this really be happening? Why can’t anything be easy, in relative terms, of course? If I was married and had to deal with infertility, I feel like it would be a little easier. I would have someone else going through the same things with me. I’m not married, I came to terms with that because I could still have a baby.

What possible thing could I have done in my past lives to warrant this? I talked to a girlfriend tonight, and she said the one thing no one else had, the one thing that I was afraid to say out loud, but needed to hear: “This is so god-damn unfair.”

It is unfair. And wrong on so many levels. I know fertility is a big issue, but it always seems to effect the wrong people. Not the 16-year-olds in Wal-mart with their three kids. But the adult professionals who work to get to this point in their life, when they are financially and emotionally stable to make this happen.

And now the binder, the planning, the pre-natal vitamins, even the Target registry, seem like a big cruel joke. Did I jinx myself?

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Or purging, in preparation for nesting. I’ve been cleaning all weekend. And planning — because, let’s face it, I’m a planner. Obsessively so. :)

I pulled all my Christmas stuff out from the closet — five big Rubbermaid bins. Unwrapped every ornament or knick-knack, and managed to purge out enough stuff (things I haven’t seen in 10 years) to get rid of two bins worth. And then I went through my books, CDs, tapes and DVDs.

I planned how the second bedroom will look as the nursery. I’ll keep one wall of all my bookshelves, because those won’t fit anywhere else; rip up the carpet, put down some flooring, and paint the walls a nice sage green (and then Piglet pink accents if I’m having a girl, and Eeyore blue for a boy).

And most exciting of all (yes, I’m a big nerd!), I made up my binder. I even typed up the tab dividers — doctor visits, insurance, pregnancy, nursery/fun stuff. I read through some articles and made questions for my next appointment.

It’s all about having a plan and being organized. I started to work on a budget — the big things I will need to buy — and priced the crib, changing table, etc at Target. I even started a registry so I could keep track of the prices.

And most importantly, I thought long and hard about how to ask my parents for some help. Everything fits into the budget, except the cost of sperm and the medical costs associated with trying to get pregnant. I’m going to ask them for whatever money they would have given me for my wedding.

And really, at this point, if I do ever get married, I’m over the huge lavish fancy wedding. At my age, I feel it would be inappropriate anyway.

I really feel like I’ve made peace with that. I’ve accepted that it may not ever happen, and now I’m moving on to what I can control. I’ve slept good all weekend, and I feel good about my eating and exercise. In control of it all.

I ate when I was hungry, I didn’t beat myself up when I didn’t exercise. I’m excited to go to the nutritionist in the morning to see if the numbers reflect my positive attitude. For several months, I’ve felt in control of the eating disorder, but now I feel in control of the non-disorder, if that makes any sense. It was a non-issue the past few weeks. And I think coming to peace with my personal life, my situation, has had a lot to do with that.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Baby Box

I know, I know. I’m not even pregnant yet. I haven’t even chosen my sperm donor yet. But I’ve started to collect things. I have a big Rubbermaid container in the closet of the second bedroom — what will someday, I hope, be the nursery.

I have a Babe Ruth night-light, and children’s sized small Yankees/Ruth shirt. A light purple teddy bear. Some onesies and cute little outfits I’ve found on sales racks. In both sexes. Some books. Some pajamas from Old Navy. There is a baby name book and a pregnancy/exercise book for dummies. Most things I have bought myself, but I have had help with things that are just too cute to pass up by my sister-in-law and niece.

And when I went to the OB last week, she gave me a new magazine. In it was a contest (also several drawings that I’ve already entered) — to win the editor’s registry. $5,000 worth of very cool baby stuff. And not silly, cute extra stuff. But really useful things — a bassinet, a nursing system, car seat and stroller, baby backpack carrier, etc.

My entry was really the start of this column (you say blog, I say column — someday I will fulfill my dream to be Carrie Bradshaw!) so I won’t bore you with the details of my entry. It’s the same stuff you’ve heard.

But here’s my question — the little thing niggling at the back of my brain. Am I jinxing myself? Am I buying stuff too early? Am I getting ahead of the game, counting my eggs before I even know if they’re viable, so to speak?

I do worry about that. And I worry that I’m setting myself up for a colossal disappointment. But I have to remember that if it’s meant to be…. Someone wise once told me that God doesn’t make mistakes. He isn’t going to suddenly look down and say, “oh my….Ellie is still single and childless….how did I let that happen?” And so maybe the single thing is all part of the master plan. I have to believe that. And I have to believe that I’m meant to be a mom…someday…somehow.

Mixed Reactions

When I was in Baltimore (on my way to Richmond) last month, I stopped to see friends. Part of me was considering asking Tim to be the sperm donor — but was really nervous about asking. It is kind of a personal thing.

Over beers, I told him about my decision. That I was going to be looking into getting pregnant by my next birthday. I was expecting a “that’s great, Red,” or “wow, how exciting.”

Instead, I got, “why would you want to do that on your own? You just need to get your hooks into some guy — you’re just not trying hard enough.”

I was stunned and shocked. Later, after I had time to digest it, it just made me really sad. I tried to make a joke out of it. “So I’m guessing if I need you to be a sperm donor, the answer is no.”

Well, I accomplished what I needed to. I asked about him giving me some baby batter — and got a definitive answer. What was most surprising was his attitude. I know that from some people I will hear things like this. I will get the negative response, when what I really want is positive and supportive. It is something I am going to have to live with, something I will need to develop a thick skin about. And something I will need to come up with a response to. I expect this kind of response from other people — I was completely off guard to hear it from Tim.

My family — I am the youngest of a large brood. Even now, at 37, I am still treated like the baby. I completely feel like they see me as less of an adult because I am unmarried, still single, childless. My niece, with her house, husband, three-year-old and baby on the way, is much more an adult than I am – at least that is how I see their perception of me. Short of marrying the next man I see, I don’t know how to change it. I just live with it.

So, I was pleasantly surprised — more than pleasantly — when I told one of my sisters (previously mentioned niece’s mom) of my plans. I needed to. I needed to know that I would have some family support.

She was excited. Truly excited to hear my news. And she got teary-eyed, and I got teary-eyed — and we hugged, and I told her I was so glad to hear that she was happy, that I didn’t know how much support I would get. She has no idea how much is entailed with that one sentence, but she hugged me tighter. And that one moment more than made up for Tim’s reaction.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Master Plan

For as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to have a baby. And even way back when it seemed foolish to have such thoughts, I always knew that by a certain age, I would do it on my own if I never got married. Did I jinx myself? Or was it merely a foreshadowing to future events?

In my early 20’s, I said if not married by 32, then pregnant by 33. As my 30’s crept closer and closer, so too did my target age move up and up. Part of it was because I wasn’t in a strong enough financial situation to do it on my own. (Since graduation, I had always worked in the non-profit world. What I didn’t understand then, was that non-profit organizations make a profit. How would they survive otherwise? No, the non-profit part refers to its employees. No profit for me. It was all about paycheck to paycheck. Even now, three years removed from a non-profit, I am still paying on it — paying off credit cards that helped supplement my income.)

Enough of that….back to my pregnancy plan. So part of the decision to hold off was financial. The other part — the romantic optimist in me thought that if I did it on my own, I would be giving up on finding love. And I believed that for a long time. Part of me still does, but the need to be a mom (and the ever closing window on that opportunity) has grown stronger and squelched most of those thoughts.

Do I hope to someday get married? Absolutely. It’s just that now the whole image of the big wedding and the fancy dress and the 10 bridesmaids….it has been replaced by something much more subtle and age appropriate.

This past year, I finally made the decision to “shit or get off the pot.” And to do that, I needed to share my plan with people. That made it real. At Christmas, I told my sister-in-law. She was the right amount of happy, excited and cautious. She asked questions, and once satisfied that I truly had thought this out, gave me her unconditional support. Unfortunately, I don’t anticipate that coming from everyone in my family. So we’re keeping them in the dark for right now.

Next I told my closest friends. And really through the spring, it was nothing more than that — just talk of the plan — until I had my annual exam, and I had the talk with my doctor, who immediately prescribed prenatal vitamins. Suddenly, it seemed very real. And very exciting. And very scary.

I started thinking of baby names. That eased a little of the fear. Jack. Mason. Oliver. Sophie. Madeleine. Olivia. Thinking of my pre-conceived peanut’s name is calming. It makes me realize why I’m going through all of this on my own. I love this baby already, before it even exists. Having a name — even if I end up hating all of those by the time I deliver — makes it a real entity.

I took the next step last week — I had a physical at the office of a new OB/GYN. One who specializes in infertility. My situation is unique in that I won’t necessarily be infertile, but will be going through the process of a woman with fertility issues in how I try to get pregnant.

I met with Jan, an RN, who was so empathetic to my situation and so understanding, I knew I was in the right hands for this process. She glossed over stats and numbers, and told me not to get preoccupied on them, which I appreciated. She sent me home with two new magazines about pregnancy and conception. I’ve stopped taking the pill, and this month during my cycle will get blood work done to measure hormone and egg levels. And next month, I go back for a consultation.

If all looks good — if they determine that medically I should have no problem getting pregnant (minus the percentages because of my age) — we will chart my ovulation for a few months, so that after the holidays I can start shopping for some “baby batter.”

By the spring, my credit cards will be mostly paid off. My savings will have been built up to a safe cushion. And I will have gone through this thought process, talking through this plan with multiple professionals, for over a year. And then, I will spring it on my family. Can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that!

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Goal without a Plan is just a wish

I’ve been wishing for a baby since I was 16. Had I been a less-responsible girl, I would have a kid in college by now. But I waited, I did things the “right” way. I finished high school, I went to college. I got a job. I got a better job. I moved away from home for my dream job. And after five years of that, I wanted to be closer to my family.

And so I’ve been back in New York for three years. In all this time — the time between graduating college and moving back to New York, I’ve been in love exactly two times. Both were unrequited. This isn’t a pity-party — just the facts, ma’am.

All in all, in the course of doing things “right” I forgot that there are some things that are out of my control. The husband thing. Making the perfect man — or even the less than perfect man – fall madly in love with me.

And so here I am, three years from 40. Seriously planning, seriously about to have a baby. Well….seriously about to try to get pregnant.

This is my quest and my journey. I know it’s the right one for me. It would be so wrong if I were never a mom. It will suck completely and totally if I’m never a wife, but I can handle that. The world will be wrong — my life will be incomplete if I’m never a mom. Even if that means doing it on my own.

And it feels so right. And when I tell friends of my plans, nine and a half times out of 10, I hear, “you’re going to be an amazing mom.” (We’ll discuss the half a time, I haven’t heard that at a later date — remind me.)

I’ve started collecting things — a Babe Ruth night light, a purple teddy bear, “Good Night Moon,” and penguin jammies. All these things in a box for my not-yet-conceived little one, my pre-conceived notion.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Welcome home, Roxie Carmichael!

I can't believe its been since October 2006 since I've last written on this blog. I've missed this place. I moved away and started over twice, never really feeling at home. I was too boxed in, too stifled. I tried too hard to stay within the very confining names that I had chosen. And in that time, I went through life-changing experiences (for the better) and finally began to accept my life -- my single life -- for what it is. And am beginning to make decisions based on that.

And so here I am -- a single girl, still in search, but in search of different things than I was years ago, even months ago. I'm content and ready to move on.

The single part of me with stay the same, but I won't be alone for long. This is a new journey, one that won't be just about me.