Let the games begin…

It’s finally behaving like summer in the pacific NW.  We PNWers can stand a lot of rain but come the middle of June with no sunshine and even we start to mold. But, it’s here in all of it’s breezy, sublime, 79 degree with no humidity glory and we’ve been busy making up for lost time.  This weekend, in particular, was filled with BBQs and walks by the river and chilled beverages.  We also seemed to spend the weekend talking about babies, holding babies, hugging babymommas and so on. Friday night dinner w/ KD and partner.  Saturday Backyard BBQ Baby Shower Blast.  Sunday family day at artisan’s market and burritos by the river.  Another BBQ with new friends who start their first IUI on Friday.

Unsurprising, then, that I started AF last night.  We rang in summer and, excitingly, marked the first day of our first insemination cycle yesterday! Hooray!   It was like this weekend was the opening ceremony for our Olympic games (minus the torch).  It was such a relief to celebrate and relax and think positively about whatever comes next.  Here we go…

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Okay, so, maybe it’s me…

I may be having an oversensitive day. Hard to tell.  M and I just returned from a family baby shower for a close, straight friend.  It was your worst baby shower nightmare, and hers.  I am feeling a teeny bit guilty for the public vent but reassured that she doesn’t even know this blog exists. Phew.

Imagine a collection of ten women gathered uncomfortably in a living room, making awkward small talk.  Though you know most of them, they are so reserved that it takes 20 minutes before they even acknowledge that someone new has entered the room even after you have said hello.  The conversation, after you enter, begins with each of the older mothers in the room joking about how being mothers has aged and uglified them.  It takes a sharp turn left when the baby-mama’s mother launches into a detailed story of the TTC trauma of a co-worker and how thankful she is that her daughter didn’t have to ‘go through that.’  You think, ‘I’m glad too,’ because you love your friend. This, however, is the first opening for real conversation for the group and they launch whole-hog into the topic.  Each liberal and well-intentioned guest then shares their own tale of ‘someone they know,’ and as the stories get worse and worse, they reflect sadly on how they can’t fathom going through ‘all that.’ You are feeling edgy now but you are busy reminding yourself that you are being overly harsh and way too sensitive as the tone is sympathetic, not judgemental, and it’s not their fault they’re innocently walking through your emotional minefield.

The conversation transitions to lesbians and AI. Ill-informed discussions about the new ‘high-tech turkey basters’ ensue and are capped by mother-in-law sharing that everyone in the hospital where she works laughs about the long list of ‘involved parties’ connected w/ lesbian births.   Everyone laughs. You have that feeling like when somebody else makes fun of your mother, ‘Hey! Only I can do that!’  The sweet sister-in-law, bless her,  glances nervously at you and says, ‘I think it just means there are more people to love that little one.’  Everyone is quick to agree. You struggle between the urge to gently but firmly inform or climb under the couch for the rest of the party. Your friend, generally pretty aware of these issues appears lost in a spacey pregnancy haze and is not helpful.  Your partner winks at you and you know both of you are tempted to do something wildly inappropriate, or at least, LOUD.

Lunch is served.

I came home and said a silent ‘thank you’ to Ruby for helping me find a healthy and cathartic outlet in blog-land.

And, seeing as this is my second post in 12 hours about the well-intentioned but careless comments of the world-at-large, I realize today is a day I should’ve stayed under the covers.  Good night and good luck.

At least I *think* I ovulated…

CD #31. Not for nothing but, according to fertility friend, I ovulated on day 26. Day 26.  It’s 5 days past Day 21 when I thought I ovulated, had lots of stretchy CM and a temp spike (though no postive OPK either time).   I guess it makes sense if I am going to have another 40 day cycle (if I’m lucky).  Somebody help me understand how to track this stuff without fixating on the minutae!  Is it even possible?

An old friend called long distance this morning.  At her inquiry, and with this chart on my mind, I filled her in on the latest TTC timeline.  To my talk of charting, she said ‘You’re overthinking, why do all that?’  To my talk of upcoming inseminations, she said, ‘Yikes. Doesn’t sound very romantic.’  I thought, maybe so, but you and your husband got pregnant on the first try.  ‘Even sooner than we wanted!’ they said.  She’s, by nature, a very thoughtful and supportive person and I mostly just envy the luxury of her naivete about this process. Still, truth be told, my inner bear is quietly grrrrroowwwllllliiinnnnggggg…..

Apple, meet Tree.

Seriously, what better way to prepare for motherhood than to suddenly face, daily, the branch from which you fell?

Phone call from mom begins with good news: “We found our dream painting studio! 1400 sq feet, wood floors, floor to ceiling windows, all within our price range!  It’s all going to work out, I’m so happy.”

Beat. Beat.

“I mean, I’m trying to let myself be really happy, but I’m worried it means something bad is going to happen.”

Beat. Beat.

Mom begins long list of all the things that could potentially fall apart.

My mother, the catastrophizer. It’s her standard be-prepared-at-all-times-for-utter-disaster-and-heartache-because it’s coming soon-you know what we’ve all been through-emotional armor. She wears it almost all of the time. It’s not completely unfounded. We’ve had more than our fair share of rough times in this family and, after all, there is something to be said for hypervigilance; At least you can say, “I told you so.’  I keep the same armor on hand (see earlier posts for verification) often slipping it on without realizing it, retreating into it’s steely, seductive pseudo-safety. But seeing it’s sad, rusty shell mirrored back at me, I am reminded of how. far. I’ve. come. At least, I hope so….

So far, all of my posts seem to have this theme.  Allow yourself to feel hopeful and excited. Accept that bad things may happen that are out of your control and for which you may be unprepared. Breathe. Make some bad jokes and seek support from others. Return to seeing the glass half full.

Now adding: Stop writing blog posts that sound like self-help manuals.

And now for something totally unrelated:

Little Man E ‘on leash’ at the Oregon Coast (always a speck in the distance)

garden fever

Living in a world of waiting and rain… If you don’t live in Portland, you probably assume that this endless rain is normal for us.  I promise that, even for we web-footed northwesterners, this daily drippy chill is NOT NORMAL in June.  Portland summers are the grand pay-off for months of dreariness and I, for one, am drowning in my own resentment! I feel cheated.

Juggling work, managing family crises, navigating daily responsibilities-these things don’t keep the antsiness at bay.  I’m tempted not to blog since I’m already sick of hearing myself think.

But, gardening helps AND gives me a reason to appreciate the rain.   It’s exciting to watch things grow…

retying family knots

They’re here.  After 14 years of living away from home, 10 years of which have been on separate coasts, I now live one mile away from my parents. One mile.  It’s a big adjustment, to say the least.  Being from a tiny, fractured biological family, I have always sought out relationships and cultivated community that I can call ‘family.’ I married a woman who is the same way.  Now, it’s as if I’m in a play with all the same characters that suddenly has an entirely different plot.  The past week has been filled with moving trucks, and trips to the hardware store, and nobody is quite sure what to make of any of it.  I have been equal parts resistant and excited, anxious and comforted.

Yesterday, mid-move, we hosted a BBQ for my parents, a close friend of my mom’s who helped her move and her family members that live in Portland.  It was our first warm sunny day in weeks, and although most of us were meeting for the first time, there was an uncanny feeling of connection and, well, relatedness.  The piece de resistance was another queer couple, our age, also trying to conceive.  Within minutes, we were comparing notes, venting frustrations and laughing as the relief of our shared experiences visibly radiated off all four of us.  It’s hilarious to me how quickly we TTCers share the details of our CM with strangers. It is a testament to what a unique and isolating experience this whole process can be.   As I cleaned up last night, I thought about the common themes running through my anticipation of this move and of preparing to start inseminations next month.

Today, I’m hopeful!

scrutiny

Main Entry: Analysis

Part of Speech: Noun

Definition: Examination and Determination

Manifestation: Sitting on the toilet, staring intensely at an OPK in one hand and a tissue of CM in the other.  The OPK as usual says nothing while the CM is clear and stretchy and, dare I say, fertile…. But is that really like an egg white? Is it ‘stretchy’ enough? And why does my temp chart look like the path of a drunk driver?  CD #21- It’s late ovulation for most but seems to be typical for me, queen of the 35-40 day cycles. This is the last cycle of charting before our first real insemination attempt and I still haven’t had a single cycle that I can make sense of.   Although I am an ‘information-seeker,’ I am both comforted and terrorized by this new hypervigilance towards my own body and the necessary waiting built into this process.  More time to wait, means more time to scrutinize…