Friday, February 26, 2010


My uterus is the place where healthy, viable embryos go to die. There's no other explanation. It really is the only explanation, and honestly, it's what I have to believe or I will think that there's something more I can do, something else I can try, when really I have to believe that I've done all I can and it's time to move on.

The finality of that is frightening, because it makes me wonder if it will ever really happen.

I have to move on to plan B. And I will have to get my head wrapped around the fact that I won't ever be pregnant. I won't ever feel a life move inside of me. I won't ever experience the look that other people give a pregnant woman. I won't hear that there's a glow about me. Or that I'm carrying low (or high). Or that I'm breaking out because I'm having a girl and she's stealing my beauty.

I won't experience labor or delivery. And almost certainly, I will not hear the first sounds my baby ever makes.

I pulled pregnancy books off my shelf last night and piled them at the top of the stairs, not sure what to actually do with them. I have bins of maternity clothes to return to my niece, including some that have been bought specifically for me, just in case. And I have a $50 Motherhood Maternity gift card to do something with.

When I started this process with the egg donor, I went in thinking I would have at least three chances. Given the number of embryos they had previously extracted from Ginger, I thought the odds were in my favor. Even when I heard that there were (only) six embryos, I thought that I would have two chances.

Over the past nine days, I tried not to think about what FG had said about the remaining embryos when I asked if we were freezing those. I tried not to think about "if they're viable."

And so after 13 tries, it really is over. And it's time to move onto Plan B. Whatever that is. However that looks.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It was Negative

I can't say much beyond that right now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Waiting Game

I feel at peace tonight. Or maybe I'm just trying to convince myself that I am at peace. Either way, it's going to be a long night.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Seems Fishy

My sister-in-law told me this morning that when you dream of fish, you're pregnant. It happened to her before she knew she was pregnant with Tiff, and it happened to a friend of hers.

I did a quick google search. And while there were many who wrote this off as an old wives' tale, completely false, there were others who were convinced:

The "fish dream" happens to me when i concieve... u?
im convinced that dreaming of fish is in fact a way to know if someone is pregnant...

everytime ive been preggers i always got the fish dream right around the time i concieved (only been preggers 2 times) but each time i had a weird dream about fish.... and its the only time i dream of fish

yes every time Ive conceived ive had dreams of fish or relatives would have those same dreams. I had a dream about fish and found out my cousin was pregnant, then my sister had a similar dream and found out that i was so that's weird but SO true. works every time.

So either, I am, as my "dream" told me the other night, or it's merely that I know someone who is pregnant. And if you're someone who is trying to get pregnant, it's not hard to know someone who is pregnant. The world seems full of pregnant women.

And now the terror sets in

Okay, maybe terror is a little strong.

But with still some waiting time before my blood test, I'm starting to get scared. What will I do if it's negative? I don't know if they were able to freeze the other three embryos. And I kind of don't want to know until after the test. No need to add one more thing to my list of bad thoughts if they weren't.

Luckily I have an afternoon full of meetings today and through to blood test day. Hopefully that will keep my mind from wandering too far down a dark road.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm Pregnant, So Says the Sign

I am. It's five days until my blood test, but I am. I know it.

I had a hard time sleeping Friday night, was flipping through the channels, watching things I wouldn't normally watch. And then finally fell back asleep two hours later, about 5:30am (Saturday morning).

And then I felt what I can only describe as the sensation of someone running their finger down my back. Slowly, but from inside of me. It happened four or five times. And in my mind, I could see a fish.

A little background. Two weeks ago, my sister-in-law's sister passed away from brain cancer. She loved to fish. Debbie has seen "signs" from her sister in random things -- a rainbow and the shape of a fish from the sun hitting my niece's cell phone in the car.

I had this in my mind Friday night. I was thinking about the upcoming Relay for Life, and how I would draw a fish with a rainbow on it for the little bag for the candles they line the race track with that I would buy in honor of Denise.

Back to the wee hours of Saturday morning. I knew it was Denise. I don't know why she would come to me, but she did. And I asked her if I was pregnant. And suddenly, my entire body was awash with warmth.

(This happened to me once before. In 1994, after my grandmother died. I missed her so much. And one night, she came to me. And I felt that warmth over my entire body.)

And so for whatever reason -- because Debbie needs something good to happen, and she's been wishing, and hoping and praying right along with me these past three years for a pregnancy to take or because maybe the most recent person you know who has died suddenly becomes your guardian angel when needed. For whatever reason, Denise came to me that night. And I felt her warmth when I asked her if I was pregnant.

And so now, after having a few days to think about it, and talking to one of my other Catholic friends, I only describe what I'm feeling not as a crisis of faith, more like a crisis of faith in myself. Do I believe in myself enough to trust what I experienced? To believe what I believe it meant?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

They're In....

and the wait begins.

I had my transfer yesterday. There are three beautiful embryos in there, all in the blastula stage (the next stage of embryo development). I'll take that as a good sign.

I'm trying to stay positive, to have good thoughts about what could be happening in my body. But I've never been on the other side of this, so I can only recall the bad stuff.

I try to block those memories out with images of me holding a swaddled baby in the crook of my arm from a hospital bed. Or running like an airplane, with my arms spread straight out, chasing a toddler with red curls. Or me in my 7th or 8th month of pregnancy, fat and happy.

I went to see my friend April, to meet her two-week-old baby today. I was hoping for some good baby mojo from Elliott. I held him the whole two hours I was there. Changed his diaper and his onesie. Fed him. Watched him sleep. And looked his 10 perfect, tony fingers.

Even though April and I talked about yesterday, it was nice to think about yesterday. To think about the blood test. To think about what happens after the blood test.

And I have a J update. He texted me Friday night. About 11pm. I ignored it. Over the weekend, I wrote on his Facebook wall. "Sorry I missed your text the other night. Hope you're surviving all the snow."

He deleted it the next day.

I hope that was a test. And I hope it means I passed.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hail Mary

This is probably the most famous Hail Mary -- Doug Flutie's touch down pass for Boston College in 1984 with :06 left on the game clock.

I'm not looking for anything quite so dramatic, but I feel like this is my Hail Mary. My last chance (or second to last, given that I'll have some embryos in the freezer) to get pregnant.

And so on Tuesday, I'll head up to Syracuse and the FG will transfer some of Ginger's embryos (made with healthy, young 28-year-old eggs) into me. And in two weeks, I'll know if it worked.

She had her retrieval on Thursday. Of the 18 eggs they retrieved, they were able to inject 11, and as of Friday, there were six embryos. Any of the other five could develop into embryos as well.

Six is good. Six is two tries, if FG thinks that three is the way to go. (I'm leaning towards three.)

And so just like Doug Flutie 26 years ago, I'm throwing my Hail Mary. And saying one or two along the way.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Feeling the Drought

What do you get when you cross a girl who is no fewer than three different hormones, who's body is on the cusp of trying to get pregnant with a girl who hasn't had sex in four months?

Yeah, welcome to my world. Oh my god...I sat at my desk today trying to figure out if there was anyone I could call for the weekend. I've sworn off of Chris, J wouldn't put out even if he weren't on my "I promise never to..." list, I haven't heard from E in a few weeks and weekends don't ever work for him because of his kids. BB would also be added to the "I'm not doing that anymore" category.

Sadly, most of previous service providers fall into that last category, and all of them are out of state. And even if I was willing to forget about the deal I made with myself, most of them are snowbound in either Maryland or Connecticut.

Which brings me to the big dilemma -- I need a local service provider. Ever since Chris shipped out, my stable has been empty.

Of course, I will just need to get through this weekend, because once I have my transfer, I will be on the DL anyway.

Just a few more days. I can do this, right?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The gifts of fertility

With Ginger going under tomorrow for her retrieval, I started to mentally prepare for my procedure next week and what I will be bringing with me. And that got me thinking about the gifts and encouragement that my friends have given me over the past three years.

My friend Jill, who has been my rock, my chauffeur, my shoulder to cry on, and my hand to squeeze, bought me a beautiful set of rosary beads in Jerusalem. I use the beads every week before mass. And at the start of this journey, she loaned me a fertility statue she got in Africa. It has sat on top of the television in my room.

After my miscarriage last year, I packed it up and had it in a small shopping bag, on my counter ready to go back to her. But something stopped me. I was in it for the long haul, the statue would be too. It is back on top of the television, and perhaps, in thinking about it, I will move it closer to the bed tonight.

My friend Jennifer, who has three children via IVF, told me about praying to St. Gerard. I immediately went out and bought myself a medal, which I've worn on my chain with my diamond pendant. And I have a prayer card that I keep in my wallet.

St. Gerard, the patron saint of fertility and motherhood, was with my friend April when she underwent her IVF procedure. She gave birth to a beautiful little boy a week ago.

Heather gave me a a heart-shaped pin with the word "faith" on it in several languages. She said her baby pulled at it at the check-out counter while they were shopping, and she took that as a sign. I have it pinned to the size 12-month Derek Jeter t-shirt that I bought myself almost 15 years ago. And usually both of those go with me to the doctor's office.

Bubbles has gotten me countless gifts, not only for the impending pregnancy that she has total faith will happen, but the eventual birth. A maternity dress, a gift card for Motherhood Maternity -- both of which I considered and contemplated giving away to various friends when I heard of their pregnancies. But something always stopped me.

And for the baby -- a picture frame for the baby's hand prints, tiny little sneakers, books. All of which are in my baby box waiting for the tiny little body to use them.

And Hope and Claudia, who have wiped away tears and said nothing when I just needed someone to be in the room. Who have been just as excited as I am about each little step of the process, who always remember to ask after a doctor's appointment.

My mom, who doesn't always quite understand the process or the terms, who sometimes is a little over-anxious about results, from day one, has never wavered in her support or excitement over the prospect that her daughter is intentionally going to be a single mother.

Two of my nieces and my sister-in-law, who have given me maternity clothes or picked up a little book here or clipped a magazine article there.

So many friend have been so supportive, and while I have complained in the past about the lack of support from most of my siblings, the ones who have been are unbelievably a part of the process.

I guess my point of today's post is not only for me to recognize and be thankful for the little gifts and the people in my life, but to remind you that no matter how much they drive you crazy, you're lucky for the people in your life.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Fertile Mertyl

Or, in this case, fertile Ginger. I got the update today that there are 12 to 15 good follicles and she is ready. The retrieval is scheduled for Thursday, and I will most likely have my transfer on Tuesday (though it could be Monday).

Wednesday I stop some of my meds and start up a whole bunch of new ones, including the blood thinner shot in my stomach and the two-inch needle of progesterone in my ass, and I get to add a vaginal suppository to my twice daily ritual. Good times.

I have a ton of meetings this week -- no less than four a day. But next week? Nothing on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. So whichever day it is, I'm good to take off that day and the next if I want.

Everything seems to be falling into place. I'm excited and scared, as always. But I think this time, more excited than scared. The odds are with me, right?

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Can we have a single guy, my age, be this interested in me?


The phone rang today and I looked up to see it was from an orthopedics office. I picked up the phone and then paused. Could it? I did a quick internet search while the phone was stilling ringing and confirmed that it was Dr. Pervert's office. I put the phone back down.

Why the hell was he calling me?

Thirty seconds after the phone stopped ringing, my cell phone started. I picked it up -- 315 area code. Same number. I ignored that as well.

I went along with my day. Fabrics store, church, dinner. And then this evening, a phone call from a "private" number. I mistakenly answered it.

"Ellie, hello, it's Dr. R."

Ugh. WTF. Why are you calling me? What do you want? Aside from the fact that you operated on my knees in the '80s and then put your tongue in my mouth in the '90s, we're not that close.

But did I say any of that. No. In the same vein that I needed to call the FG's office to apologize to the receptionist the other day, I can't be rude to him. I was monotone, non-committal in the conversation, uninterested even, but not rude.

He told me that he saw my mother this week and she "read me the riot act for not staying in touch with her and you. So she gave me your numbers."

Oh Frances, what am I going to do with you? How many times do I need to tell you to not give him my numbers. Do I really need to tell you that this man you've known for 40 years, this man that you trust and respect hit on your daughter when she was in her mid-20s and he was easily on the other side of 50? Are you going to make me tell you this?

After nearly 15 years of sparing her feelings, I know that I will continue to not tell her any of this. It really wasn't that big a deal. It made me feel icky, I dealt with it. He kissed me, I briefly kissed him back, he ran his hand up my sweater, pushed me down and would have fucked me if I said okay. I said no, he respected that. I'll give him that at least.

But all in all, it wasn't a big deal then. Not a big deal now. But this man needs to stop calling me. And my mother needs to stop encouraging him to call me. I'm not sure what she's trying to prove, what she's trying to do.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Little Bit of This, A little Bit of That

I got a comment from a new reader the other day, wondering if I wrote this for myself or my friends, noticing that I don't get a lot of comments. The answer....some of my friends read this, but I don't expose myself with this blog to too many people I know. I feel like I can be more honest that way. I mistakenly shared my blog a few years ago with some family members and then found that I was self-censoring.

And so I went over and then started over. It's a combination of closest friends and those I trust to never judge who read this and know me in real life. My other readers are just people who have stumbled across me. I would love comments, just to know if anyone agrees with me or to offer support, but I mostly write this for me. As a way to document the things going on in my life and to express myself.

I've said it in previous posts when I first started. I imagine myself a little like Carrie Bradshaw, trying to make my way through life, one column at a time.


I was up way too early this morning, leaving the house before 6:30 and headed to Syracuse. It was snowing, not hard enough to be bad, just enough to be an annoyance. Not big flakes, but gritty, greasy snow. And it was dark, so it was hard to see the lines in the road.

I got to the doctor's office a little before 8, and then waited. At 8:30 I went up to the receptionist and reminded her that I had an 8:00 appointment. And then again at 8:45. I lost my patience (for me) and told her I was frustrated, that I still needed to drive back to Ithaca, that I had gotten up early to be here on time. And that immediately set me off into a bad mood.

I paid little attention in my appointment, did not engage with either nurse I saw. My lining looked good -- it's at 9mm. Much better than the 5.8 it was one week into my mock cycle. Ginger goes back on Friday and that's when I'll get an updated time line of what's happening with me in the next week or two.

I finally got to work about 10:15. And with a full afternoon of meetings, I knew that I was going to get little done today. Keeping me in my foul mood.

A co-worker asked me for advice, so I went up to her office and helped with her problem employees. We strategized a way for her to handle them, and by helping her, I actually felt better. Not 100%, but my mood had improved.

I had my first meeting at 1:00, and in there, realized that I would feel better if I called the doctor's office receptionist and apologized for being impatient with her. Between the end of my 1-2:30 and my 2:45-3, I called and talked to her. She was very sweet and told me I never needed to call and apologize, she felt bad knowing that it was snowing and that I had driven an hour to get there for my appointment.

I immediately felt back to myself. And while looking from the outside, I did nothing obnoxious or even bitchy, but for me, it was. I don't complain, and when I do, I certainly never take it out of a person just before she is in front of me. Not the waitress for bad food, not the cashier for not having something in stock.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Baby Steps

Bob Wiley: I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful... I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful... I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful... baby steps get on the bus, baby steps down the aisle, baby steps...
--From "What About Bob?"

Sometimes I go through moments where I feel like I'm being punished for past sins. And so I try to do things that I know are more worthy of the person I should be, the person I want to be.

Yesterday, I had one of those moments. I had been talking with my friend April -- who will be going in for her c-section tomorrow -- and something came over me. I looked at the bulletin board above my desk and saw Chris's naval business card. I pulled it down, ripped it in half and threw it in the recycling basket. Going a step further, I pulled out my phone and deleted his cell phone number. And then went into my email and erased him from my address book.

I know there is another contact that needs to be erased, but I'm not there yet. One step at a time. Baby steps.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Gracias, Merci, Danke....

Dear Ginger,

I have been through what you are now going through -- the bloating, the daily shots in the stomach, the doctor appointments and blood work every other day. And I went through it because I knew it would ultimately be worth it, it was what I needed to do to fulfill my dream.

But for you to go through it for a stranger...

Words cannot express how grateful I am for what you're doing.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.