Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Adios, 2008

Today marks the end of a very long year for me. It has had more ups and downs (especially downs) than I ever imagined, and frankly, I'm glad to be done with it. Out with the old, rotten year, and in with the new. It is going to be a very good year, because I have decided that it will be so.

After much soul-searching, I've realized that I really need to make time for myself to make myself healthy, and that's my New Year's resolution: to get healthy. Good food, plenty of sleep, exercise, yoga. It's such a simple thing, your health, and one that you don't give much thought to until you don't have it. I've been trying to patch myself together while going a million miles an hour this last year, and it clearly doesn't work. So, I'm giving myself a few months to really get it together. Hopefully, that will be all it takes to get me in premium condition. And then, hopefully, a baby will naturally follow.

Also after much soul-searching, I've realized that there are basically three things that I want to do with my life, professionally. One is to try to obtain a particular job abroad. One is to start my own business, but not in my current field. And the third thing is so crazy I can't even admit to it out loud, not even here. Each of these things is harder and more impossible than the last. But I'm totally and completely in love which each possibility, and nothing else appeals to me at all. The solution? Well, since each is more impossible than the last, I'm going to pursue all three at once. In theory, I could actually do all three at once, even if I was successful at all three. But given how impossible each one is one its own, that seems unlikely. But hey, who knows? The sky's the limit. My second New Year's Resolution is to do something each day that furthers my attempt to achieve on of them. Of course, I'll fill you in on how it's going! The best part? I can keep my blog name. . ."Borneo" will just stand for that elusive job abroad, which could indeed end up being Borneo.

In baby news, we won't be trying this cycle, because I'm technically supposed to still be on malaria medication, and because they still haven't sorted out exactly what happened while I was diving. The doctor took me off the malaria medication out of concern I was experiencing side effects, and I could theoretically still suffer an outbreak. I'm on a load of other medications for stomach issues, and slowly feeling better, so hopefully, I'm on the mend. I'm currently on CD2. After several years of looong cycles, my last three have been 28, 24, and 26 days in length. Hopefully, I will have regular, even cycles as we start actively trying again.

I hope today finds you happily ushering out the old year, and looking forward to the new, as well.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

I have so much to be thankful for.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, if you celebrate, and a terrific day anyway, if you don't.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Yet another trip to the doctor

I had another doctor's appointment yesterday. Currently, we're looking at the possibility of some sort of stomach issue--an ulcer, or acid reflux. No question that something is going on. One theory is that the increased pressure from diving combined with the stomach stuff caused me to start breathing funny when I got out of the water, which brought on full-blown hyperventilation, and that it keeps recurring when the stomach is irritated. I'm really uncomfortable just below my ribcage, and constantly feel like someone is sitting on me.

Pam, thanks for your suggestion about the panic attack. During a panic attack, you can also hyperventilate, which is why the symptoms are the same as what I've been experiencing. I definitely wasn't having a panic attack--I was the least stressed I've been in forever, and very relaxed. They don't know why I have been hyperventilating, but it apparently can happen in non-stressful situations, too. The pressure in my chest definitely has something to do with it.

So, I'm left in yet another medical quandry. Sometimes, I feel like I'm never going to be well, and able to TTC again. I'm starting to wonder if we should start pursuing some alternate form of parenthood. I don't want to keep wasting month after month, if we're never going to get to a point where we are going to be able to create a biological child.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Show and Tell--Sunday, December 21, 2008

Have you ever returned home after a trip, and realized that your pictures do not do justice to what you have just seen and done? Well, that's how I feel about my vacation photos. It was an AMAZING trip, and they don't begin to do it justice. But I will try.

We spent the first four days in the jungle in Hond.uras, hiking and mountain biking and kayaking. I saw monkeys in the wild, and a poisonous snake, and a tarantula. The latter two were located in the environs of where we were staying, this truly amazing mountain lodge. Specifically, the snake was found outside one of the bathrooms, and the tarantula was found inside someone's room. Freaky!

This is where we were kayaking, as we were putting in.

And the view mountain biking through the jungle. The path we were following wound along a cliff on the edge of a river that was several hundred feet below us. It's kind of hard to tell from the pictures, but it was absolutely breathtaking. We pedaled through all sorts of little mountain villages, past women doing their laundry in streams, and soccer fields carved into the side of the mountains. It was surreal to see corn drying on sheets in the sun next to a line full of perfect fresh-washed soccer uniforms!

One of the amazing things for me was to wander around and look at all of the gorgeous things that just grow wild. There were masses of this beautiful flower growing wild on the side of the road.

We did a little hiking in one of the national parks, before we got sketched out by the dark, slippery trail and the prospect of all of the (poisonous) things we might accidentally encounter. We had to hike over a long expanse of swing bridge to get across the river. I totally love those bridges!

At the jungle lodge, we had this amazing suite that was sort of like a really gorgeous treehouse (with private bath and hot water), which looked out over the mountains. It was really, really private, but three of the walls were just screened in and open to the environment. We'd wake up every morning to all sorts of gorgeous birds flying around and this amazing view:

Finally, we had to leave the jungle and move on. We took a ferry over to a little island, where we had planned to do some The island was also very beautiful, and we found this nice little place to stay for an absolute pittance. We were there for about a week, hanging out in little thatched roof beach bars, snork.eling,, and all was really, really great. Until. . .things got bad.

And here's where we end Show & Tell, and get to the rest of the story. Now, I am incredibly neurotic, so I had researched the dive shops before we left, because I wanted to make sure that we were going to be with a reputable shop. We went and checked out three of them, and we went with the third one. We did three dives, and all went great. But after coming up from the third dive, and getting back on the boat, something happened. I had been back on the boat about 10 minutes, and was staring at the shoreline, waiting for the other divers to get back on the boat. I was very calm--it had been a beautiful dive. All of a sudden, though, my hands were ting.ling very badly. I got a tightness in my chest, and then I felt like I couldn't breathe. A minute or so later, my handles crumpled up and I couldn't unbend my fingers. It was really freaky. They gave me oxygen and laid me down on the deck, and we were to shore in minutes. I felt better a short time later, and they said they thought I had just been dehydrat.ed.

I went back to our hotel, showered, and we went to dinner. I felt fine, and we went to bed and I fell asleep quickly. . .only to awaken a couple of hours later with tightness in my chest. A half hour later, and the same symptoms were back as I had experienced on the boat. I will spare you the drama of trying to get in touch with a doctor in a third world country when you don't have a phone that works, the owner of the hotel is MIA, and none of the neighbors will answer the door. Suffice it to say, we managed to get in touch with the owner of the dive shop, who put me on oxygen and drove around the island until he found the local doctor.

The doctor on the island sees a ton of dive-related problems, and did a bunch of noninvasive tests on me. He wasn't sure whether I had a decompress.ion related illness (ie, "the be.nds"). We had dived according to the tables, so that didn't seem likely. I had to go back every day for like three days. In the end, the symptoms came back (mildly) two more times, and they concluded that it was decompress.ion ill.ness, but they finally said it was so mild that I could fly home (altitude can make it worse, so this was a MAJOR stress). We paid a boatload of cash to come home a few days early, because Del.ta wouldn't switch our ticket, since we were leaving out of a different city (we stayed on the island a few extra days, and the travel arrangements to get to the city we were supposed to fly out of were just too complicated for us to do if I wasn't feeling so hot). I got home without incident, but still didn't feel great.

They told me that if I still didn't feel well when I got home, I needed to seek treatment, so I did that. I consulted four different doctors. One said I didn't have decompress.ion ill.ness, and didn't need further treatment for that. One said we should wait and see. Two said I needed immediate evaluation and possibly treatment. The "treatment" for decompress.ion ill.ness is to be locked into a tank that re.pressurizes your body and slowly brings you back, so the gasses that are in your blood can come out of it appropriately. You have to be locked in for 2.5 to five hours, and needless to say I wasn't looking forward to this, because once they start, they can't open up the chamber. Anyway, I ended up doing this a couple of days ago. Guess what happened? Shortly after I got out, I had the EXACT SAME symptoms as I had on the boat that first day.

So, I ended up in the ER, where they ran five million tests on me. They have no idea what is wrong. They did heart tests and took xrays and did an arter.ial bloo.d gas and all sorts of other tests. They said that I am hyper.vent.ilating, but they don't know why. It doesn't really make any sense, because it's happening when I am completely calm and at ease--the first time, we had just come up from the dive, and I was totally relaxed, and the second time, I had finished the treatment (which I had been majorly stressed about), and we were pulling into a restaurant to go to dinner on our way home. I didn't even realize that I was breathing funny, either time. When I picture people hyper.vent.ilating, I picture people breathing really heavy or really quickly, and I wasn't doing either. I think I am also having some sort of stomach issue, because I have been feeling a lot of pain/pressure in my stomach, just where my ribcage ends. My highly unscientific theory is perhaps that the spicy food irritated my stomach while we were down there, and the pressure from irritated it more, to the point where the pain and tightness from the stomach is impacting my diaphragm. It sounds kind of crazy to me, though, and I feel like a bit of a lunatic. How can something so weird and crazy happen on what was supposed to be a very relaxing and much-needed vacation??? Ugh. I have an appointment to go back to the doctor again tomorrow, so perhaps we'll find out more then.

Drama aside, it really was an amazing trip. I made a lot of big decisions, and I feel completely refreshed. I'm excited for the holidays, and am decorating up a storm. Today's agenda includes a pot roast and Christmas cookies and present wrapping.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm Back!!!

Had an amazing trip, and then I had a horrible health care scare that caused us to come home a few days early, which we are still sorting out. I will update soon, but I am busy catching up with all of the blogs that I read, and sorting out Christmas. I have amazing Show and Tell pic's for tomorrow, though!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hitting Home

Over the last couple of days, as I've been frantically trying to get all of my last-minute vacation loose-ends tied up (42 items on my to-do list; 25 done. Eeks!), I've been finally giving some thought to the coming months. I am really excited for this trip, because I've wanted to do it for forever. But I'm also getting excited for after the trip. Very soon, we will be trying again. Like, it will actually be here, no strings attached. I've been thinking about my work schedule (there is another project potentially on the table for February-March), and I've decided that I am "only" going to work 50 hours a week. That's all I've got in me. I might even keep it to 40. I think they may ask me to take on this project that is not currently mine, and I may actually say "no." I've NEVER said "no" before. Ever. But, I don't want to work 80 hours a week for the next couple of months. I want to work half that, and have time to take the Clomid, and do whatever else the doctor recommends, and not have to worry about work stuff. I want to focus on me. So, I've been thinking all of that, and then it finally occurred to me: we could actually get pregnant in a couple of months. It might actually happen for us. I could be being a little optimistic, but it really could.

Also, I just volunteered to help out with a charity fundraiser, and I'm really, really excited about it. It's something that I've wanted to do FOREVER, and I just decided that I am going to make time to do it. We had the first meeting last night, and it was fantastic. I came home completely and totally invigorated by the meeting. There are some really dynamic people involved, and it's for a great cause that I believe in. On top of all of that goodness, I feel like I have the skills to make a real contribution, and make this fundraiser more successful than ever. There are a million ideas floating around my head. I'm so glad I decided to volunteer.

Today, the glass is half full.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Barren Bitches Book Tour #15

Okay, I'll admit it. . .with my vacation looming, I forgot what day it was. I was supposed to have this post up late yesterday or early this morning. Except I thought tomorrow was Wednesday, and so I'm a little late.

Well, actually, I'm a little early. About six to eight days early this month. But that's a whole other story, and we'll save my cycle craziness for another time. On with the show. . .

The book this tour was Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh. I cannot lie; I found it oddly depressing. I don't recall reading it as a child, which likely means that I did not read it, but in reading it now, Harriet struck me as a sad and neglected child, as did Sport. I felt sorry for both of them. The thing that was interesting to me is that had I read this as a child, I'm quite sure that this would have gone right over my head, and I would have been enthralled with the idea of a child who was left to his or her own devices, and incredibly envious (I had what I thought were the most strict parents on the planet).

And now, without further ado, my answers to the questions:

In the beginning of the book, Harriet is explaining the game Town to Sport. She goes thru a list of typical town places from the 1960's. What places/professions do you think a savvy Harriet in 2008 would have in her town?

Um, an excellent toy store that had a make-your-own sundae place inside, and those giant stairs that you can "play" like a piano, and really cool video games that you can ride. There would be a fantastic spa that gave fabulous massages in your own private suite. . .the weather would always be nice. . .and there would be really great restaurants overlooking the river. . .lawyers and doctors and governors and teachers and really hot policeman would live in town, and no one would be homeless. The town would have a giant bookstore full of fireplaces and cozy armchairs, and it would be locally owned by people who really like books, and waitresses would come around with free cookies and peppermint cocoa and really good coffee and chai. There would be a Fourth of July parade with antique fire engines and everyone from town would show up, and all the kids would have those pinwheel things and little miniflags, and everyone would be wearing red-white-and blue. And then there would be giant fireworks at night on the Fourth, over the lake (because Harriet's town has a lake AND a river). In fact, there would be fireworks every Saturday night all summer over the lake, but the ones of the Fourth of July would be the biggest and the best all year.

Because savvy 2008 Harriet would know that the world isn't a perfect place, and she would yearn for utopia. Or maybe that's just the grownup Queenie. . .so hard to tell.

What would you have done in Harriet's position after her friends discovered her notebook?

I would've lied and said I was trying to be a writer, and that I'd read that one technique is to take people you know, and make stuff up about them, and write about that. Sometimes a little white lie is better than the truth. . .

How much of Harriet's behavior in the latter half of the book do you think was a direct result of Ole Golly's leaving? Would she have gotten so out of control if Ole Golly was there for her to talk to about the lost notebook?

I think Harriet's behavior wasn't due necessarily to the loss of Ole Golly, but rather the loss of the only person in her life that provided stability and guidance and attention. There was an ocean between Harriet and her parents. When Ole Golly left, Harriet had no one. Her parents did not know her, and she did not know them. The only one she had ever relied on had just left her. The problem was not so much that she did not have Ole Golly to guide her through this difficult time, but that she had no one. Left to her own devices, things spiraled out of control. In this regard, I think Harriet is much like all of us, child or not: we need people to be our beacons in the storm, to shepard us through the tough times. Without them, we can sometimes make very bad choices. Harriet's parents really failed her for quite some time.

Obviously, this book brings up many questions on privacy and journaling. At one point, Harriet journals all day at school instead of doing her work. Has anyone worked on their journal/blog at work? And been caught? When do you blog/journal? Do you do it when you should be doing something else?

I never, ever blog from work. I am too afraid our IT people would discover the link. I know they've got a way to track the sites we've visited, and I would be horrified if they found my blog. I make it a practice to only blog from home. If I am blogging at home, however, it is quite likely that I'm supposed to be doing something else!

Want to keep reading? Hop along to one of the other stops on the tour:
Stirrup Queens
Slaying, Blogging, Whatever...
Clumsy Kisses
Our Own Creation
Aurelia Ann
The Road Less Travelled
Working On It
Here We Go Again **Gold Star for Jen!!!** She posted while in labor with her brand-new daughter. Read her post, then leave her congratulations!
The Fertile Infertile
Baby Smiling in Back Seat
All Things Deb

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Checking Stuff Off

I love lists. I feel productive making lists, and I feel good when I get to check things off. Consequently, my lists tend to have a lot of detail to them. For example, "pack rolls of TP" was one item on my list (hey, you don't appreciate it until you're in some third world bathroom without it). The list also constantly grows. My to-do list currently stands at 31 items, but I managed to accomplish 16 of them between yesterday and today. Of the nine things I had listed to buy, I polished off 5 of them. I will keep plugging away over the next few hours; I'm pretty sure I can get rid of a few more. (By the way, thank you for the encouragement!)

Needless to say, this did not lead to the most exciting Sunday. I baked mini-pies as a break, using the premade pie dough from Pillsbury. They were pretty tasty. I also spent some time looking for a new job. I live within commuting distance from 4 different cities, and didn't find ANYTHING that got me excited. I guess I just need to start applying for stuff, and see if it looks/feels/sounds better if I get an interview. That was true of my current position--it got infinitely more enticing during the interview. Still, it kills me to see some of the benefits. One job offers only 4 weeks paid maternity leave. Now, I know this is better than nothing, but with my current job, I would get 12 weeks paid, and I could take even more off unpaid. With short term disability insurance, that could equal a hefty amount of time off.

I can't stay another year, though. I really can't. And that would even assume I'd get PG in the next couple of months, and who knows.

This is hard.

I also concluded that Terrific T. and I have to mend our evil ways when we return from vacation. While trying to find stuff like our snorkeling gear, money belts, and a Swiss Army knife, I concluded that we have a serious pack rat problem in this house. There is STUFF EVERYWHERE! We have boxes in the garage, boxes in the basement, boxes in the attic-y storage space off the rooms on the second floor, stuffed drawers, overflowing piles of mail, etc. I have no idea what any of this stuff is, and therefore don't need it. There is no organization system in this house whatsoever. You might find brand new underwear--still in the package--in a box with a hammer and amidst other tools in the garage; a headlamp piled with DVD's next to the television in the living room; premoistened lemon scented facecloths. . .wait, what? Why the hell do I have lemon-scented premoistened faceclothes? Oh, lord knows why, but I do. They come four to a pack, and I have two--TWO!--sets. Ultimately, I also found one set of snorkeling gear hanging in the basement, and the other stuffed under the eaves off our bedroom. The money belts (brand new) were in a box in the garage. The Swiss Army knife was in my husband's golf bag. I won't even get into the treasure hunt that preceded the discovery of all of these items, and more.

It might be easier just to move when we get back.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I am having a hard time motivating myself to do the 84 things that need doing. I currently have 26 things on my pre-vacation "to do" list, and eight things left to buy. I'm slowly trying to chip away at them, but frankly, I just don't feel like it today. I feel good looking at what I accomplished yesterday, when I also didn't feel like it. I know I'll feel good if I can just get myself moving. . .but I really don't feel like it.

Okay, I have to go out. Post office, grocery store, drop something off at friend's house, and a few odds and ends to buy. I can do all of that, right? Ugh. I don't feel like it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More Soul-Searching

After a very nice Thanksgiving with family and friends, I was reading in bed last night while watching television. (It drives Terrific T. nuts when I do this, because he says that I cannot possibly do both things at once, but I promise you I can.) I happened upon an Adam Sandler movie that I'd never heard of, called "Click." The basic premise is somewhat akin to Dickens' Christmas Carol. Sandler plays a man who becomes engrossed in his career and looking for short-cuts and solutions, and is given a remote control which allows him to fast forward through parts of his life that are unpleasant. The end result is that he's on "auto-pilot" during the fast forwarded bits, and in doing so alienates his wife and children and he dies unhappy. Of course, he gets a second go at it and ditches the remote and never uses it the second time around. The moral of the story for me was that your life can pass you buy while you're trying to climb the corporate ladder.

The article I was reading was by Suzy Welch, via Oprah. It was titled "Getting Unstuck," and basically talked about women in their 30's and 40's who realize that they have worked their butts off and achieved "success," but are still professionally dissatisified. Welch opines in the article that after doing thousands of interviews, she believes that in order to be truly happy, it is important to continually ask yourself five questions. The answers obviously ebb and flow over the course of time. So, without further ado, the questions, and what I thought of them.

1. Does this job allow me to work with "my people"--individuals who share my sensibilities about life--or do I have to put on a persona to get through the day?

I thought this was an interesting question. For a long time, I felt like a square peg in my current job. I think I've changed a lot as a person while I've been there, which is something of a mixed bag. I guess I would say that I still tend to be much more liberal than my colleagues, and more devoted to serving my community and making the world a better place. For many people, I think working in my office may simply be a rung toward personal gain. I think this actually accounts for much of the discord--if people were merely making decisions because they were the "right thing to do," I would be much happier. My two complaints with my current job are that there is too much work, and I'm not treated well sometimes. The occasions when I'm not treated well involve personal agendas that are definitely driven by personal gain (or the desire for others to avoid taking personal responsibility for problems, which obviously results in personal gain by not taking hits for mistakes and/or problems), and a failure to attempt to do what is truly the right thing.

2. Does this job challenge, stretch, change, and otherwise make me smarter--or does it leave my brain in neutral?

I am definitely challenged on a regular basis. On the other hand, I am not as challenged as I once was, because I work in a fairly specific area, and I've been doing it for a number of years now. In any case, my brain is NEVER left in neutral, and I doubt it would ever get to that point with my current employer. This is not so much of an issue.

3. Does this job, because of the company's "brand" or my level of responsibility, open the door to future jobs?

Yes. No question about that. The challenge at this point is taking full advantage of this. Truthfully, there are days when I am so tired and worn down that I just want to bail. But I've put all of this time and effort in for so many years, I really need to take advantage of my position and use it as a launching pad to something even better. It's really hard to stick with it right now, though. My tank is empty. The other challenge for me is that I don't want many of the jobs that my current job typically opens the door to. That's not to say that my job can't or won't be a launching pad to other types of jobs--just that it's not frequently done, so it's hard for me to figure out how to get from here to there (especially when I'm not quite sure yet where "there" is).

4. Does this job represent a considerable compromise for the sake of my family, and if so, do I sincerely accept that deal with all of its consequences?

This job represents a considerable compromise at the expense of my family, and no, I don't sincerely accept the deal with all of its consequences. It's one of the biggest reasons why I need to leave, in fact.

5. Does this job--the stuff I actually do day-to-day--touch my heart and feed my soul in meaningful ways?

Some days. Many days? At its core, the work that I do and the people that I benefit touch my heart and nourish my soul. But, the work environment and the office politics are draining and soul-sucking. I guess in the final analysis, I feel like I could be more appreciated and less abused. I feel like I could find a job that is more upside, with fewer costs. My current job costs too much for the benefits to be worth it any more.

When I look at my answers to these questions, I feel like there are many pieces of them that I can respond positively to, which I guess explains why I love my job so much. There are also pieces that I don't respond so well to, which could also explain my current dissatisfaction. Food for thought.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Reading

Happy Thanksgiving!

While a cranberry apple walnut pie bakes in the oven, I've been blog reading this morning. I was reading about Pam's experience with her brother this past week, and she referred back to an old post of hers in which she discussed a tarot card reading she got online. I remembered the old post, and clicked on through to the tarot site, because I'm really struggling right now and seeking guidance and insight wherever I can find it. The site asks you to focus your mind on a question, and my question of course focused on my new career path, and what I should do. You don't actually type the question in--you just keep it in your head. So, the computer has no way of knowing what your question is. Keep in mind, as you read about these cards that came up, that I've just finished up the Big Project, which is widely regarded as a success (although I don't feel that way about it at all), and I'm trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. Oh, and we're still trying to have a baby or two.

The first card was The Lovers.
Here's what it says:

Follow your passion

You have the opportunity to look deeply into your own heart and ask yourself if you are living a life full of passion and love. What gives you deep joy and fulfillment in your life? Whatever it is, are you pursuing it? When you are living an authentic life, pursuing your deepest passions, it is easy to love yourself and then to love others. If you have a choice to make, remember that the Lovers call upon you to always follow your heart's desire.

You can also click through to learn more about the cards. When I did this on the first card, this is what I got (with my annotations in bold):

The Lovers celebrate the sacred feast of Beltane (May Day) in their greenwood bower, attended by the swan of Aphrodite and her twin doves. (Oh, you know what I am thinking about the meaning of the "twin doves").

He is resplendent as the sun and she, green as the growing earth. He is crowned with leaves, she with May-flowers — hawthorn blossoms, which remind us to “follow our bliss” when there are choices to be made (yes, but what exactly IS my bliss??? Coincidentally, when I left my last job, and announced to my former employer that I was leaving and why I was leaving, she responded by telling me that I had to "follow my bliss.").Between them they hold the blood-red wild rose of summer, symbol of the sweetness and the sting of passion. A bumblebee hovers near the rose, waiting the chance to drink deeply of its nectar. (What's the bumblebee? An RE?)

For a moment, they have turned away from being caught up in each other’s gaze to look outward together in the same direction.

The second card was The Seeker (aka The Fool):

A new beginning

You are being challenged to take a risk and begin again. It's time to hit the road, either metaphorically or literally. Every time you set out on a journey, even if it's only a one-day hike, you embark on a spiritual journey as well. Be open to all the twists and curves in the road ahead. Be ready for surprises. Keep your heart open and maintain an attitude of innocence, trust and spontaneity. Take a risk! Before you is a brand new adventure — the chance for a fresh start and endless possibilities.

When I clicked through on this one, it said

This Fool is much more a Seeker than a Clown or Jester. She begins a journey, taking a moment to contemplate the road ahead before setting off down the hillside. (Oh, I can take this both literally and metaphorically.) She travels lightly, carrying all that she needs in her bundle. (Incidentally, her bundle is the exact same shade of blue as the backpack that I am taking on our trip.) She has embroidered a butterfly on the back of her vest, signifying her delight in taking wing and setting out on her own path.

The Great Mountain rises in the east, and the River slowly meanders on its own journey, from the mountain range down to the bay and the ocean beyond.

The Seeker is at that stage of life between childhood and adulthood when anything is possible, and her life lies before her like a page waiting to be written. With Fox as her trickster companion, who knows what surprises await her? Swallows and Swallowtails flit and flutter around her, guiding her way.

The third and final card was The Sun:
Radiant joy

Resolution comes with letting your light shine in the world. You may find a big smile on your face. With a huge burst of energy, your spirit is shouting out a great big YES! Perhaps you have accomplished a long term goal or are receiving accolades and attention for the good work you have done. You are healthy, energetic and enthusiastic with a warm and generous heart. It's time to celebrate and get out and play in the sunshine. Sing, dance, make love, let your creativity flow. Shine on!

And when I clicked through:

From the shadows of the Moon, we move into the clear light of day. A woman dances for joy at the peak of the sun’s power, at noon on Summer Solstice. Even the sunflowers behind her are radiating happiness. There are no hidden agendas here (I could go on and on and on about horrid people and hidden agendas this week), no sadness or darkness or stress (um, 'sadness, darkness and stress' pretty much sum up my job in a nutshell right now), just the sheer joy of being alive.

I'm going to be thinking about these all day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Random Musings

I've been thinking and thinking and thinking about what I want to do next with my life, but no epiphany. I don't really know how to go about deciding what to do next. I am left wondering how other people decide, when they have a number of options, which one they should choose. It strikes me that it is much easier to go out and look for a new job when you know the "what"--ie, what it is you will be doing. In thinking about all of my friends who have left my office, they all pretty much did the same thing, and took the same kind of position, when they left. It seems like it was a "no brainer" for them--the next step is "X".

But for me, the next step is not going to be "X". Probably. I can't say that the perfect position in "X" doesn't exist, and if it did, I might consider it. But, that probably won't be what I do next. And I have absolutely no idea how to figure out what my "Y" or "Z" options might be. What do I want to do? What am I good at? And how do those things translate into an actual job where people will pay me money and give me health insurance and let me take a maternity leave? Ugh. This is really hard.

In other news, I have bought almost everything that we need for the trip. I still need a new digital camera, though. I want something relatively inexpensive (in case it gets eaten by a crocodile), and small. It would be nice if it was waterproof, but my biggest concern is getting good pic's. I'm still deciding, so if you have assvice, I'm all ears.

As far as my trip to-do list goes, we have our shots. I've made arrangements for the furkids. I've done most of the research necessary to figure out where, generally, we are going, and what we'll likely do. I have made reservations for the beginning and end of the trip, in the proximity of the airport. Terrific T. received his new passport. (We had a little last-minute passport panic, when we realized his had expired. . .thankfully, you can pay a whopping fee and get the new one expedited). So. . .we're almost ready to go! I can't believe it's here.

And thank you to everyone who said I wouldn't die. I really appreciate that. Because frankly, the naysayers were really starting to get on my nerves.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The "Baby or Bust" Part

I just realized that I'm going to have to change the title of my blog soon, because "Borneo" will be behind us. Hmmm. If you have a suggestion, let me know.

In terms of where we are on the baby front, I've been scouring the internet for the effects of the vaccines, the malaria med's, and the various insecticides we'll be using while abroad. Ever wondered what the half life of DEET was? No??? Color me neurotic.

To briefly summarize, the vaccination form I signed said I shouldn't get pregnant for 30 days after receiving the vaccines. I don't want to get pregnant while taking the malaria med's, and I have to take them for 4 weeks after returning. Those seem to pose the biggest obstacles. That basically puts us into February before we will be trying again. Maybe I shoulda thought this vacation through a little better. If only I was normal, and had planned a trip to Hawaii like Terrific T. wanted. No, I don't really wish that. I'm excited to go. I've wanted to do this trip for so long, it hardly feels real that's it's planned. Now, if people would only stop telling me I'm going to die down there. It's weighing on me somewhat, I have to tell you.

But let's not linger over thoughts of death. . .Back to TTC, and the benefits of waiting a couple more months. I still need to gain some weight, and I want to feel healthy before we try again, so the time will be good for us. Oddly enough, I seem to be O-ing like a normal person. The monitor said "low" today when I tested, but it's been asking for test sticks for days and I didn't have any. I'm pretty sure that I'm o-ing--CM and O pain present. And it's CD14! Last month was a 28 day cycle, and I think I O'd around day 14. Hopefully, I'll continue on this pattern.

I just realized that we will be fast approaching the two year mark, by the time we get going again. I was sure I was wrong, when it first hit me, but it's true. Never in a million years did I think it would go down like this, when we started on this process. If we manage to get pregnant this spring, I will be well past the cut-off for AMA by the time we deliver. How did I get here, again?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Misc. Junk and a Sex Poll

It's freezing here, like it seems like it is in much of the country. What kind of weather is this for November???

We got our shots this week, in preparation for our upcoming vacation. Everyone talks about how much tetanus shots hurt, but I have to say, the hepatitis shot was the worst. I swear she jammed the needle into my arm bone. It hurt when I got it, and it hurt even more in the hours after. The shot actually burned, going in. Although, two days later, the hepatitis doesn't hurt, and the tetanus now does. Go figure. We got like a bazillion immunications. Hopefully, they will keep us well. If Terrific T. gets sick, he's never going to let me live it down. And you know how sick I was all spring and summer. . .I must be crazy for planning this vacation. We leave in a couple of weeks!

So, I have researched and researched like the compulsive Type-A that I am, but I wasn't able to make any decisions about important details like "where" or "when." I thought a lot about our best trips, and they've always been where we had a list of stuff we wanted to do, but no real plan as to where and when. So, I decided that I'm not going to make any formal plans (gasp!). We have reservations for our first couple of nights and our last couple of nights, and that's it. We're winging it, baby. (Well, with a guidebook and a giant list.)

On a completely different subject, I have a sex question, so of course I'm going to ask y'all. While hanging with the girls this week, I opined that sex wasn't a particularly important criteria for dating someone, because great sex can be had just about anywhere, with the appropriate knowledge and/or props. Every woman at the table not only disagreed, but looked at me like I was out of my head. So, take the poll located on the sidebar. Cause, I wanna know if I'm nuts (or some kind of Kama Sutra-esque sex goddess).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still Struggling

I know this is going to sound a little defensive, and I swear I'm not. I had a conversation last night with a work friend who knows me pretty well, and I know he was trying to be helpful. Parts of the conversation got under my skin, mostly because of the conclusions my friend seemed to draw. I don't talk about personal stuff much at work, so it was a fairly unusual conversation to have. I guess I'm surprised that despite knowing me as he does, he reached the conclusions he reached.

So anyway, the conversation last night inevitably turned to where I am at professionally and where I am headed next. I was explaining how hard this is for me, because (as he well knows), I really love my job, and I don't know what to do next. In a nice way, he told me that he thinks my life lacks balance. Less nice was the suggestion that I haven't made my home life a priority because it's not important. He essentially said that if it was important, I would simply take another job that is less consuming.

As I told him, it's not quite that simple. I am sure there are people who take jobs that they don't love because they pay well, or take jobs for the primary reason that the hours work around their personal lives. I can't take a job based solely on those characteristics. I have a deep-seated need to get personal satisfaction out of my job. I need to be passionate about what I do. I need to love it. The fact that I haven't thrown up my hands in the air and walked out on my job for something less crazy isn't a reflection of how much I love my husband (although, the fact that he stays and supports me through it all IS a reflection of how much he loves me).

I love my husband. He's my best friend. We talk about absolutely everything (including, despite the fact that he was in bed when I got home last night, this conversation I'd had). But I am a completely separate person from my husband, and part of my identity and satisfaction (gasp!) doesn't come from him. It's fascinating to me that people look at our relationship and think there must be something wrong with it, because I am sort of hard-charging and have a time consuming, high stress job. When was the last time you heard that about some male politician or CEO? No one looks at a man and thinks, "gee, he's not home enough. His marriage must suck." No one looks at men in top positions and thinks, "His priorities aren't in order." Rather, the stereotype is that such a man is a "good provider." No one tells the men in my office that they really should be home more, or that maybe their families aren't important to them. It was somewhat shocking to me to hear this from a friend of mine.

I mean, I get it. My friend doesn't work in my office, but in another office that I collaborate with a lot, so he sees how much I work. We've worked together enough that there are weeks that I've seen far, far more of him than I have my own husband. My profession can unfortunately be like that, and his most certainly is like that. Although we are friends, we mostly talk about work-stuff. We don't sit around and talk about our feelings. I mean frankly, I mostly work with men, and we work in a high-stress environment. I am there for loads of ridiculous conversations, but most of them are not group hugs. Anyone who works with a lot of men in a high stress environment will probably get what I'm talking about. I mean, I know who's been circumcised and that eating at particular restaurants makes this one or that one poop too much. . .but we (mostly) don't cry on each other's shoulders. Nonetheless, I don't automatically assume that because this particular friend works for who he works for, his family must suffer. I don't assume that his marriage is in shambles. I don't assume his personal life isn't important to him. I mostly assume that it's probably fine, but we don't talk about it. I don't really talk about any of my male work friend's personal lives. Not that I don't care. . .but we don't really go there. I don't jump to conclusions, though.

Everybody's marriage is different. Everybody decides what works for them, and finds a way to make it work under the circumstances that they choose. I know of couples who don't even live in the same city, for long periods of time. They make it work. If you have open lines of communication and you make the effort, it does work. I didn't get home last night until 9, but I had coffee with Terrific T. yesterday morning, and lunch with him in the afternoon, knowing that I was going to be working late. It's part of how we make it work. We talk on the telephone a lot during the day. Is it perfect? Of course not. But is anyone's situation, anyone's marriage "perfect"? Of course not. (And if you think yours is, please don't tell me.)

I guess this gets under my skin so much because as I try to make choices about my professional future, I've been wondering a lot lately whether you really CAN have it all. Can you be a successful professional woman AND have a family? Is it possible to coexist successfully in both worlds? I watch my female friends who have kids and careers, and they seem to struggle much more than any man I know. And the fact that this friend of mine, who has worked so closely with me for so long, assumed that my personal life takes a back seat to my career really strikes at the heart of my anxiety over my ability to have both. I want both. I NEED both.

It's certainly true that my friend last night is not the only one who has pointed out the personal cost of my job, and the fact that it is very taxing. I value those opinions, and I appreciate the friends that are looking out for me by asking me to consider those issues. I know they have my best interests at heart. The question I am left asking myself is whether any of these people are having the same conversation with my male colleagues. Do people question THEIR commitment to their personal lives? Do my male colleagues secretly struggle with balancing careers and families? Is the struggle going on, but just unspoken? I think I'm going to ask them.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two Things I've Never Had a Problem With

Thanks to JamieD for nominating me for the Speak Out, Speak Up Award! The Angry Infertile has this great post with the list of criteria for the Award. I have discovered that I meet all of them, except for the ones about shopping. I'm back to being okay with that. Of course, I have periods when I'm not. But let's skim over that for now.

I'm going to nominate everyone who reads this post, because I'm lazy. And because if you're reading this, you are likely walking down the road beside me.

Speaking of which. . .one of the other problems with leaving my job (yes, I'm still obsessing) is the health insurance. I am one of those rare people who has GREAT infertility coverage. My insurance pretty much covers it all. I could COBRA for up to 18 months, but what if that's not long enough? Argh. Every time I sit and think, there is another consideration for me to struggle with. It's positively maddening, this decision.

Oh, and good news. The great health insurance also apparently will cover all of the immunizations we will be needing for CA. We get our jabs later this week. I can hardly wait.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


So, there is only one person IRL that I have had any sort of discussion with about TTC. She's one of my closest friends. She actually figured out on her own that we had miscarried last summer, and let me know that she was there if ever I wanted to talk about it (I generally don't, because that's what the internet is for :). She conceived the last of her multiple children the first month she tried, so she hasn't been there herself, but I know she gets it. She's clearly had other friends who have ridden the roller coaster. She's supportive without being intrusive. Still, I don't talk about it much, even with her.

Terrific T. was really upset after the miscarriage, and although he knew that I didn't want people to know, I get the sense that he has talked to A LOT of people about it. I can't exactly take him to task for talking to his own friends and family about something that has bothered him tremendously. But still, I would like it if people would pretend in front of me that they don't know. I don't like the idea of people knowing that we are trying. Even more, I don't like the idea of people knowing that we are failing. I just don't feel like dealing with anyone else's baggage on this topic.

My MIL is one of the people who he's obviously talked to, as she's obliquely referenced it a number of times. I ignored the references, and she's gradually stopped mentioning it. Plus, I told T. I didn't want to talk about it, and I think he may have told her to stop. So, I can pretend the elephant isn't in the room.

But not everyone has been so graceful. I was somewhat taken aback recently at dinner with friends of T's, when a woman I'd never met before brought it up. Because I am such a bad wife, Terrific T. has a number of friends that I've never met. These particular friends he met several years ago through another friend, and they live some distance from us. His friendship with them has grown over the last few years, but I never seem to be around when they are in town, and I haven't been able to travel to see them on any of the occasions when T. has gone to visit. With my work schedule, it has just never worked out. (Yes, I know this sounds a little crazy, but I'm a busy modern woman. What can I say?) So anyway, they were in town a few weeks ago, and I was not working that night, so we met them for dinner. The husband had gone to use the bathroom, and all of a sudden, the wife turned to me and said very ernestly, "you know, we're really pulling for you." And it went from there, and she told me about the troubles she'd had conceiving. Turns out, all she had to do was prop her hips up. Yep, I kid you not. She was really very sweet about it, and I know she meant well. She and her husband clearly think the world of T., and I'm glad he has become friends with such nice people. But seriously. I tried to be gracious and changed the subject.

During a rough patch recently, I was upset about something that had everything to do with career stuff, and nothing at all to do with TTC. I was talking to my friend who knows about the TTC stuff. I think I had said something about how focused my life had become on my stupid job. She made an offhand comment about how that wasn't entirely true, and that I had her kids, and how much they adored me. It totally killed me.

There are days when the comments of well-meaning people grate like shards of glass on my soul.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I went out with work friends last night to celebrate their success on something, and ended up getting home later than I intended. Terrific T. was less than enthusiastic. But it got me thinking, do other women go out with work friends without their spouses? I know that it happens a lot in my line of work, but is this how it is for other people? Let me know, because I'll be pondering this for days. I think most of Terrific T's friend's wives do not do this, and it annoys him that I do (particularly on the heels of the Big Project, when I was gone so much). On the other hand, Terrific T's friend's wives are mostly "retired," shall we say.

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do next (other than become a parent). There are a lot of things that I could do; deciding what I want to do is an entirely different story. I can't be bored. I need to love my job. I need it to be something I can be passionate about. The difficulty is that I am totally that Type A personality that gets utterly consumed by whatever I am passionate about, and that can be very damaging to my relationships. Terrific T. has been patient enough over the next year. He'd like me to find a job where I work a lot less.

I don't know how to make a decision. I know what my skills are; I know what I'm good at; I know what I'm interested in. Those things are not leading me to any readily identifiable options. Should I leave my field entirely? Should I do something slightly different? I'm thinking about doing some grant-writing and coming up with my own nonprofit. It would be a ton of work and absolutely no money, but I like the idea of creating something. I like the idea of being in charge, and of not answering to many people other than myself. I could make my own hours. I don't know why I'm so optimistic about being able to secure funds in this crappy economy, but I feel pretty positive about my ability to make it happen. But, I'm not entirely sure that is what I want, either.

I just don't know. The list of things that I am sure I don't want to do is much longer than the list of things that I think I might want to do. But even that is subject to change, since I am so very fickle. And frankly, I still love my job. Even knowing how much is has cost me, even knowing how much complete and utter horridness has transpired of late, even knowing how truly awful I have been treated by some, I still value the work that I do, and I still love the job. Not necessarily some of the people or the institution, but the job. How do you leave something that you love? How do you walk away from something knowing that you may never love anything else as much? I look at my friends who have left, and none of them seem to love what they are doing now as much as they loved doing what I do. I don't want to look back on my life decades from now and think that my best job happened in my 30's. Ideally, I'd like this job to be a springboard into another job that I also treasure. Ugh. It's so hard. I talked to one of my work friends last night about leaving, and he was like, "stay for one more project." He thinks I'm good at my job, and doesn't want to see me go. It only makes it that much harder. I know I'm good at it. I really am good at it. If only it didn't cost so much.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Moving On

Wow, am I tired. I went away for the weekend, and all I did was sleep and eat, and I'm STILL tired. I haven't been sleeping more than 4-5 hours a night at most for months now, but for some reason, I thought I'd bounce right back after the Big Project ended. Not so much.

Ditto for my health. I was sure those 10 pounds I want to gain would jump right back on board, but I haven't gained a thing. And I ate eggs and bacon and homefries and toast and muffins each morning for the last four days. And pie and steak and on and on. I feel really rotten (and it's not from the high cholesterol weekend).

The good news is that I just finished a normal 28 day cycle. It figures that I would have a textbook cycle right as the BP was ending, when I was in no shape to make good use of it. On the baby front, we're out until 2009, sadly. I neglected to pay attention to the medication regimen that will be necessary for our trip, and malaria med's and all sorts of vaccinations are in order. ("Typhoid?" the medical assistant at my doctor's office said. "I'm not sure there's a vaccination for that." Indeed there is, and the CDC recommends it for Central America.) I'm sure there are women who mix malaria and pregnancy, but I don't really want to be one of them. Given my recent checkered medical history, I think the vaccinations are in order. And anyway, I need to rest up and bulk up and spend some time getting my head together before we get on the roller coaster again.

And getting my house together. Boy, is it a disaster. Between the BP and the ongoing major renovations, it's just a mess. There are oceans of old mail floating around, in need of filing, mountains of dry cleaning, and the odd bit of wiring sticking out all over, waiting for fixtures to be attached. And missing walls and torn up floors and. . .oh, you get the idea. So, Terrific T. and I decided that we would do a small project together each weekend. We will alternate weekends, in terms of who gets to choose the project. The other person can't say no to the project. I get to go first. I am deleriously excited at the prospect, and can hardly decide what to do first. (Did I mention that I am NOT AT ALL handy? Terrific T., on the other hand, is a professional. Marital spats are sure to ensue, and I will surely be back here whining about this very agreement. But for now, all looks rosy and exciting.) I have two projects I would like to see happen first: one, pulling everything out of my very messy bedroom closet, which is getting slightly enlarged. A new wall needs to go in, and then I'd like to go to I.K.EA and get one of their closet storage systems and make my closet fabulously organized. So sad how exciting I find this, actually. The other project I want to do is tile the back hallway. But I haven't found the perfect tile for that yet, and I want something really cool and unusual. If you know a good floor tile source, let me know, because I'm in the market. Maybe we'll do the closet this weekend, and then the hallway in a couple of weeks when it's my turn again.

In the midst of renovation, I've been thinking a lot about my nursery. I can't help it. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. I have completely and totally fallen for this crib. It's ridiculously expensive, but I love it. Given how far away any possible baby is, I'm guessing it will probably go on sale before I'll need it. My desire for this crib is either really pathetic, or really optimistic. I can't decide which.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

100th Post: The End

The Big Project is officially over. It's hard to believe, frankly. I've devoted so much to it, and I've sacrificed so much for it. And truth be told, I'm not sure it was worth it. What is right is not always what is easy. I have learned over these recent months just how much it would cost me to do what I thought was right. It was so hard. I am proud of myself that I could do it and I am proud of the work that I did, but I have to admit, I hurt. It was so much harder than I ever imagined.

I have booked our trip. We leave in a few weeks, and I am really excited. I am thrilled beyond words to spend time with Terrific T., who I have barely seen of late. I am thrilled to do things I have only dreamed of. I am thrilled to take a trip that I have long wanted to do. And I am thrilled to have the chance to heal.

I'm also taking anothe trip tomorrow, this time without Terrific T. I need some time away, to myself, to contemplate what's next for me. I have decided that I will be leaving my current job, which I love. It is so much a part of the fabric of me that it is incredibly painful to say that I am leaving. But with this last Big Project, I have finally recognized just how much it costs me, and the costs have become too great. It is so hard to walk away from something that means so much, but I know that I need to. I just don't know how. I'm completely terrified.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trying Times

The end is in sight. The Big Project looks like it's FINALLY winding down. I expect it will wrap up in a couple more weeks. I can't even tell you how excited I am. There are some things in life that look infinitely better in hindsight than they ever felt in actuality, and this project is definitely one of them.

As we reach the end, my focus is of course turning back toward my other big project. I am incredibly unhealthy right now. My BMI is 16.9, which is underweight. I'm feeling rotten, I've barely been sleeping, etc. I look like I've aged about 10 years in the last few months. I am all angles--bony and pale and giant circles under my eyes. I look horrid. I had assumed we would TTC again as soon as I finished the BP, but I just don't think I can launch into it right now. I think I need a month of sleeping, eating, and relaxing, before I jack myself up on Clomid. I don't think I can deal with the hormones and the anxiety of trying right now. The rollercoaster of hope in a "trying" month is more stressful to me than not trying at all. While we have been "trying" for the last few months, I've been so distracted and so sure it wouldn't work that it didn't feel like we were trying. But once the BP is done and we start with the Clomid, I will no doubt be obsessed again, and every BFN will surely be like swallowing broken glass.

I've actually been thinking a lot lately about that very issue--of how much more it hurts to try and have it not work, than to not try at all. I keep wondering how this is all going to work out for us, in the end. I keep thinking about the possibility that it will never work out. It made me realize that it would be infinitely easier to have lived childless if we had never even tried, than it would be after trying but not succeeding. I can't uncast the die, obviously, but I have been wondering how I will get back to that place where my life was just fine without kids, if in fact we don't get there.

When I was a kid, I used to love those books where you got to choose your own path (ie, if you want Option A to happen, go to page 56; if you want Option B, go to page 84). I think I loved them because if I didn't like the ending, I could go back and choose a different path, and it was like the story never happened the other way. Sometimes I sort of wish life was like that--that you could know the end before you started, so you could make a more liveable choice in the beginning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Still swallowed up by the Big Project. . .and hopelessly behind on my blog reading. And writing. But then, since all I am doing is working, you're not really missing out on much with me. I AM missing everyone in the blogosphere, though, and I'm looking forward to the end of the Big Project and focusing on other stuff, like house projects and catching up with all of the blogs that I love.

Today is CD2. I just finished up a rotten 40 day cycle in which I may or may not have ovulated. Who can be sure, though, given the crazy schedule of late. I'm coming into the home stretch of the Big Project (I think. . .I may be delusional at this point though. . .so hard to tell). Soon, I may be in Borneo, "just relaxing," and doing some old-fashioned trying. I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I've been thinking a lot about timing lately. With the Big Project being so hard, it's been easy to second-guess all of my choices over the last year. And then there are the million other little things. Another season of Halloween costumes for babies popping up in the stores means that another year has gone by, and I have no one to fill the costume. I still keep up with a group of chicas that I started TTC-ing with, most of whom have real live babies now, and it strikes me just how long it's been since we started on this journey, when I read that their babies are teething. And then there are the people that I've seen through journeys of their own. I was thrilled for you when I saw that you'd finally gotten a positive pregnancy test. I still am thrilled for you, and I don't begrudge you what you have. Some days, though, looking at your pregnancy ticker or your baby's age ticker takes my breath away when I realize how much time has past. Tick, tick, tick. What lies ahead for me?

We decided a while back that if we managed to get pregnant by the time the Big Project ended, we'd go to Hawaii on vacation. If we didn't manage to get pregnant, we'd go to Central America. I've wanted to go to CA since 1994. I've literally had the trip planned in my head, in some fashion, since 1994. I've wanted to do something for 14 years, and haven't managed it. It's a little thing, a trivial thing, maybe, to want to travel. It's not exactly on the same level as wanting to have a child. But it's there.

So, anyway, back to this timing thing. If we were pregnant, we couldn't go to CA, because after everything that we've been through thus far, I'm not risking malaria while pregnant, and malaria is a very real risk in the places that I want to go. Plus, I want to take SCUBA lessons, and you can't do that while pregnant. So, CA wouldn't make sense if we were pregnant, and hence the Hawaiian Plan B.

I have a Goethe quote stuck up on my desk. It says, Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

While browsing at a travel bookstore a few weeks ago, I came upon a travel guide for CA that I don't own (and I own a lot of them!). When I opened up to the beginning, at the very top of the page, there was the very Goethe quote that I have on my desk. I am choosing to see this as a sign. I am choosing to see all of my struggles in the last year, both personal and professional, as what was intended for me. I am choosing to believe that the universe will unfold as it is supposed to, that my time for motherhood will come, and I will be all the richer for the wait. I think that I am probably going to CA, and I think I am probably meant to go there. I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for me.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I did a bad, bad thing

While out celebrating some good news with friends and family last night, someone thought celebratory shots were in order. As the age range at the table was late 30's to late 50's, this was an irrational move, at best. Add both wine and beer into the mix, take into account my recent weight loss. . .you know where this is going. I got a little happier than may have been advisable. And of course, I wasn't tired when I got home, so I popped my new Netflix in. Which happened to be Juno. It really wasn't a good combination. I almost had to get out of bed to come find my friends inside the computer in the middle of the night. I went from happy to psychotic in very short order. I feel like crap this morning for so many reasons. . .

Actually, it's been brewing for a while. The Big Project is still in full swing, and I have to say, it's been a rough enough ride that I'm questioning every choice I've made in the last year with regard to my career and my pursuit of motherhood. After the miscarriage last summer, I went three months without getting my period, and then we took some time off from trying to conceive, so that I would be available for this project and not off having a baby. And then I had a ton of unrelated health issues, and we had to stop trying for a while because of that. As I continue on this wild ride with the Big Project, I keep thinking "was this worth it?" Worth putting off having a child? Worth the sacrifice I may have made, as the clock keeps tick-tick-ticking? Did I compromise forever my ability to have a child, by waiting during those precious months? Should I have been more aggressive in seeking out treatment after my miscarriage? Should I have been more focused in my pursuit of a child?

I put my personal life on hold because I believed in the Big Project, and because I thought it was the right thing to do on so many levels. It was something I wanted to do, and something I thought I should do. I thought it was important work. I knew it was something that a lot of other people were unwilling or unable to do. I knew that I was uniquely positioned, and I knew I had the skill set to do it. It made sense to me, and I made my choices accordingly.

But now, I just don't know. I'm starting to see my own logic as flawed. I see how much it costs me, day-in, day-out, to be working on this. And unfortunately, I'm also seeing just how little anyone but a select few seem to care about the hardship that I have gone through--and continue to go through--to work on this project. Doing what is right is not always easy, and it becomes exponentially harder when the people who should care, don't. I just keep thinking, I put my life on hold for THIS? Don't get me wrong--I know that I am doing the "right" thing by tackling this project, when I look at it in a vacuum. It's just that when I add in all of the other stuff, I start to wonder about the value of doing the "right" thing on a global scale, when weighed against the cost to me personally. I would like to think that putting others' interests ahead of my own has inherent value. But I'm starting to wonder whether I am just a damn fool.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Diagnosis needed

For the last few months, I've had right-sided pain around when I think I should be ovulating. It goes on for days and days, and it's only been happening for a few months. It's clearly not normal. The first month it happened happen to coincide with my visit to Dr. HooHoo, and after practically causing me to come out of the stirrups while feeling my ovary while pressing down from outside AND inside, she concluded I'd probably O'd from that side. Except, the pain has gotten worse, and is happening for a week plus during the cycle.

Yes, I know I should see the doctor. No, I don't have time right now. Any thoughts on what it is, though? Because I can't fit in a doctor's visit for at least 2-3 more weeks, and it really kinda hurts.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


The Big Project rolls on. It is very intense, and has gotten kind of ugly in places. I don't know why people think it is effective to yell at other people. I have incredibly thick skin. Yelling at me doesn't really bother me, and it certainly doesn't make me move faster or make me any more likely to do something I'm not inclined to do. In fact, the only think yelling does is make it clear to me that the yeller is in fact a complete jackass.

I'm on CD25, with no little egg on the monitor. My right ovary feels like it's going to explode. It's been very painful the last few months around O. I wonder if there is a cyst or something. I don't know what happened to my cycle. Ugh.

So, DH and I kind of have a plan for Borneo, if the damn BP ("Big Project") will ever end. I found an amazing cottage right on the beach in Hawaii. If we managed to get knocked up by then (yeah, right), we'll rent it for three weeks in December, and probably be away for Christmas. It'll be a combination vacation/Christmas present to each other. If we're not pregnant by then, we're going to do three weeks in Guatemala/Honduras/and either Nicaragua or Costa Rica, probably spending a week in the hills exploring ruins, a week or so scuba diving, and a week surfing (I have no idea how to surf. . .I wanna take lessons, though). We were going to go for longer, but we are also renovating our house right now, and since I've been away a lot for the BP, things are utter chaos at home. I want to spend a few weeks getting things in order and hopefully put back together before we go. . .I can't live like this for much longer! Note to self: tackling the BP, making a further attempt at pregnancy, and major house renovations do not make for a pretty combination. Do not attempt to do all at the same time again in the future.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Taking time out from the Big Project to respond to this tag from Manda.

Here are the rules:

The Rules:
1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them

The Answers:
1. Blogging has given me a place to talk about something that I'm not comfortable talking about IRL. It's intensely personal for me. And, most of my "real life" is about my career, and my current job isn't particularly pro-family. Plus, I am seen as sort of hard-charging and aggressive, which are assets in my field. The TTC-thing is sort of antithetical to how people see me, and just not something I want to put out there with most of my work friends (what they'll say when I'm pregnant is a whole other story, but I'll deal with that if and when we get there). Without blogging, I'd be going mad.

2. Blogging has connected me with other people who are having experiences similar to mine, and has thereby given me support I wouldn't otherwise have. Since 35 is in the rearview mirror for me, most of my friends already have kids, or have no plans for them. I don't know anyone who is currently TTC, or has been open about having trouble TTC, if they've had problems. Hence, I would otherwise have no one to share this experience with, and would have no source of commiseration and support, but for blogging.

3. Reading the blogs that belong to those in this little corner of the world has prepared me to deal with whatever may lie on the road ahead of us. By reading about all of your experiences, I've celebrated your best-case scenarios and cried over your worst-case scenarios, and I think this has prepared me for whatever may come in my own journey.

4. Blogging has given me a place to record this journey, for better or worse. After my first year, I plan on using one of the online publishing services to create a journal out of my blog. It's just for me, to remember where I've been. . .and hopefully, someday, I will be able to look back through it and see how far I've come.

5. Blogging has made my world both a little bigger and a little smaller. A little bigger, because I now have connected with so many more people that I've met through blogging. A little smaller, because these connections are literally all over the place, and I've come to realize that no matter where we live, what our socioeconomic or educational background, or what side of the political aisle we may sit on, we are all connected by some very basic things in life.

I'm not going to tag anyone in particular, but feel free to blog on this one, if you'd like, and have a happy weekend.

PS CD18, and no apparent O. But I'm sleeping 3-4 hours a night, missing lots of meals thanks to meetings, etc., and my overall stress level is off the charts, so perhaps this is no surprise. I'm not temping this month, so it's also possible I had a very short hormonal spike, the monitor missed it, since I've been having lots of CM. I am so busy with the Big Project that I'm not even going to worry about this right now. I AM starting to turn my thoughts to Borneo, however. It's getting closer. . .

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Various and Sundry Things

The Big Project at work continues to consume my life. . .things are in full swing now, and I'm sleeping only 3-4 hours a night. I've been going to bed at 11-midnight, and getting up at 3 am to keep working. It's insane, but in a mostly good way. I finally had a night off last night, and managed to have dinner with Terrific T., and got a solid night's sleep. It's amazing how much more clear-headed I am this morning. Can I just tell you how fabulous and patient Terrific T. is about this whole ordeal, too? He hasn't complained once about the fact he never sees me, and even went out and bought me three new suits this week, because he just decided I needed them. He rocks.

I think the B6 is working. AF came and went, and was heavier and longer than it's been in years (okay, that part was a little annoying). I ended up with a 24 day cycle last month, which is obviously wonky, but it's better than the 35-40 day cycles I've had in recent month. I am hoping that the heavy AF means that I had more of a lining this past month than in previous months. It's CD11 of the new cycle today, and I seem to have CM again, which I'm taking as a good sign. I'm not sure that we'll try this month, though--I've sort of changed my mind about that again, now that it's really crunch time on the big project. I seem to be pushing the outer limits of what a human being can do, physically. Pregnancy seems like a bad thing to add into the mix, even if we could achieve it. I just weighed myself and discovered I've lost another five pounds somehow in the last week and a half. That can't be good. Racing around between things, I'm missing meals, despite my best intentions. I now weigh less than I did in 9th grade, and I was a scrawny freshman.

I have barely seen the news, and haven't followed what the candidates have been up to for a couple of weeks now. But I love politics, and am intrigued by a question Calliope has posed, which is, What are the top issues that will determine who you vote for in November? What do you wish the candidates were talking about? If you have no interest in politics, skip the rest of the post.

I haven't decided who I am voting for. The experience question has me scratching my head about both sides of the ticket. I keep comparing and to people I know with similar work histories, and I'm just not sure either of them belongs in the White House. I just don't know. Here's my wish list of things I'd like to hear more about:

1. Foreign policy. . .good lord, the destruction the Bush administration has inflicted. It's embarassing to me, how we've behaved internationally over the last 8 years. I want someone who is going to mend fences AND keep us safe. We don't have to be a bully to do that. It is possible to be both polite and strong. But what do the candidates actually have planned? I'm not just talking about the war in Iraq--I want to hear more about overall strategy, on a worldwide basis.

2. Energy policy: We need alternatives to oil; that much is clear. What are the candidates' thoughts on how to create alternatives? Offshore and/or ANWAR drilling are stopgap measures, at best. I want to know what their thoughts are in a more comprehensive way.

3. The Economy, stupid. What can or should be done to reverse the current trend? Tax cuts and rebates are not the answer, IMO. What do they have planned?

4. Abortion. The positions are on the table, so I don't really need to hear much more about it, but I thought I would mention it as something that's important to me, since we're talking politics. It's probably blasphemy among TTC-ers to be talking about abortion, but I'm not sure I can vote for a pro-life candidate. I've always been pro-choice, and the lack of ability to make my body do what I want it to in recent months (years?) has underscored for me the importance of being able to choose. The lack of control has further instilled in me the desire for control. I'm not a single-issue voter, by any means, but this matters to me. And I have to say it (sorry if I offend): women who try to push a pro-life agenda bug me. I figure that middle-aged white guys don't know what it's like to have a uterus, and will never be in the position of having to make an agonizing choice. It's entirely a theoretical analysis for them, and hey, who really wants to kill a baby, when you consider the issue in a vacuum. I can see why they might be pro-life. I don't like it, but I can see it. I can even understand women who have made the choice that they would personally never terminate a pregnancy for any reason. But women should know that even if they themselves would never make that choice, circumstances vary wildly such that it SHOULD be a choice. No woman should ever be trapped by her own body. And if you don't agree with me, go spend some time with women who have been impregnated as a result of being beaten and raped. Sure, some of them can deal with it just fine. But, for others, carrying such a pregnancy to term would be horribly scarring beyond measure. And then there are the billion other circumstances that women find themselves in. It is a personal health care choice, and it should be left to the individual, just like cancer treatment and Viagra. It's one of my many hangups about

5. Health care. I have great health care, but lots of people do not. What are we going to do about it? Is it even government's role? Should Massachusetts be a model for the nation?

There are a lot more issues that I think are important, but those are the big ones for now. I'd love to hear what you think is important.

PS I've noticed that there seem to be some political spin doctors monitoring the Blogosphere and posting diatribes whenever, say's name comes up. If you are one of those people, please don't bother to comment. I am interested in normal bloggers' thoughts and opinions; I don't really care what the professionals think, and you are certainly not going to get me to change my mind by posting on my blog.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Io's Insights

Io has a great post about Sarah Palin and the fact that it is being crammed down our throats that she is a mother. It really is getting a little ridiculous. I had started to leave a comment for Io, but then it turned into a giant rant, so I've moved it over here. So, before you read, go read Io's post (and the comments), and then come on back.

I totally agree with Io about her thoughts on this topic. In a few short days, Sarah Palin has become a caricature of a woman. With any other candidate, we'd be talking about gun control, abortion, foreign policy experience, offshore drilling, ANWAR, Iraq, the economy, etc. But here were are, talking about how she is a parent. It's the ultimate sexism, because if she were a man, it would simply be taken for granted. As we get more women in high offices, I think this will eventually change, but Sarah Palin is also missing a big chance to change things. She has allowed herself to become part of the problem. You can hate Hillary Clinton all you want and criticize her for being cold and harsh--she didn't use Chelsea as a prop. It's offensive to me that Palin is willing to prostitute herself in this way. And we most certainly wouldn't be talking about this if Romney had been the pick, despite the fact he also has a pack of children. He trotted them out for the photo op, but they weren't exactly central to his campaign theme, IMO. Motherhood seems very central to the Palin Persona. Does the campaign really think America is that dumb, that the Motherhood Gimmick is going to win them the election? And do they really think that little of Hillary Clinton supporters, that they think that Hillary supporters are going to see a vagina on the ticket and be blinded by the light in the voting booth? What I liked about Hillary was that she was tough and smart and had good ideas--things that had nothing to do with her gender. Voting based on gender is like voting based on color or religious preference. . .superficial and absurd.

I wish they'd shut up and talk about stuff that matters, because frankly, being a parent is rather pedestrian. It's normal (well, normal in neighborhoods other than this little corner of the blogosphere, perhaps). It may make one slightly more qualified to lead the PTA in a town of 6000 people, but it certainly does not make one more qualified to lead a diverse nation of 300 million people. In other words, it should be a nonissue.

But my feelings about the Mommy Candidate situation are multifaceted. As a successful, childless professional woman over the age of 35, I have had a whole lot of experiences with the mother vs. nonmother debate. On one hand, there are definitely those out there who think that motherhood gives one superpowers mere nonmothers don't have, and I have been condescended to more times than I can count, and yes, it's annoying.

On the other hand, there are those who think that I can work harder and do more because I'm not tied down by burdens at home. So, in some sense, I'm more valuable (and, I get a lot more dumped on me and a lot more expected of me sometimes--my supervisor is a middle-aged, childless, single male-- which isn't fair to me, either). Men, by the way, are not subject to such an analysis AT ALL, in my experience. The women in my office who have kids have to deal with the subtle discrimination all the time(the "I'm not sure she can do it, because of the kids," generally whispered in a voice that is meant to sound concerned about the woman in question.) It's highly offensive not only to the woman in question, who is generally as hard working and present as I am, and certainly as all of the men in the office. Yet, I've seen men with the same number of kids, whose children are the same age, not face any scrutiny at all, while women in the same position have to prove they can "handle" the job and being a parent. It's such crap. America likes to think that it's achieved equality because there are women in the boardroom, but just because we're sitting there doesn't mean we are treated equally.

So I guess what I'm saying is that while I'm totally annoyed that there's so much coverage of Mommy Palin, I am also all to aware that there are so many important professional jobs where motherhood is an impediment for very intelligent, highly competent women. And I'm not entirely sure that the vice presidency will not be one of them. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop for Ms. Palin, because when you live by the sword, you die by it, too, and America is still a very sexist place for professional mothers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

No Dice

Where did that saying come from, anyway?

In any case, alas, after spotting all day yesterday, AF arrived with a vengeance today. But hey, a 24 day cycle with a day 14 O, that's something, right? Of course, that barely 10 day LP is a little sketchy, but we'll take it for now.

I'm totally cool with it, surprisingly enough. It would've been nice to get knocked up this cycle, but it will also be nice to drink a couple of cups of joe in the morning, as I am beat. The Big Project continues to totally kick my ass. I'm having fun, though. My job is like crack--the bad days are really bad, but the good days make you forget all about the bad ones. Totally addictive, and totally bad for me.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hmmmmm. . .

Still nothing. And when I got up this morning, I realized that it was very cold outside here, and I'd been sleeping next to an open window. Perhaps this mornings low-ish temp was due to the window. Whereas, the night before it had been very hot all night, which may explain yesterday morning's very high temp.

The hope keeps burbling up, even though I keep trying to squash it back down.

Way Too Much Information

There's a local bookstore where I go to work sometimes. It's quiet and peaceful and the coffee is good. I've actually done some of my best work there. I went yesterday for a couple of hours, and got a ton done. While there, though, I could tell that AF was on the way. Little stabby pains and cramping. Sure enough, I went into the bathroom and discovered a tiny bit of brown spotting on my underwear. But then I wiped, and. . .nothing. Crampy all afternoon, but. . .nothing more. Curious. I definitely felt like AF was about to arrive. But a very hopeful part of me is wondering whether this could be the famed implantation bleeding? I went and bought more tests, just in case, but so as not to jinx myself into AF by buying expensive tests, I got the crappy ones from the Dol.lar Store. Would you believe the store only had two left? I felt kind of guilty buying the last ones, but I bought both of them.

Unfortunately, my temperature plummeted this morning. It's not even worth wasting a $1 test now. AF will no doubt arrive by dinner. Drat.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Yes I Did

I broke down and tested this morning. Nothing, of course. It's far too early. Yes, I know that. But lest you think me entirely crazy, I got a positive test on 9dpo the last time I was pregnant. Plus, the box says you can test as early as three days before you expect your period. Which would be today. Of course, this is only 8dpo, which is still too early. And my positive 9dpo test was very faint. I will of course test again tomorrow.

I know that I am probably not pregnant, because that's just how I roll, but it's nice to imagine that it's actually possible, and I'm happy inhabiting this space for a while.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's a Beautiful Holiday Weekend. . .

and I'm heading off to work. So awesome. Loooooove the Big Project.

Well, I'm 7dpo, and ready for the 2ww to be over. I'm not a patient person, I admit it. I will surely have to test soon. So that got me thinking, am I just crazy? Am I the only one with a little hope rolling around who still delights in POAS-ing, even after all this time? I confess, I still consider it one of the rewards to all of this. It's like scratching a lottery ticket. . .maybe this is THE ONE!

Hope you have a happy Saturday, and you're doing something fun. Before you go, take the poll, and we'll see just how my crazy stacks up.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

But Then Again. . .

I am waking up 42 times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. This was my first "symptom" the last time I was pregnant. It's got to be psychosomatic, because seriously, it's way too early for symptoms. Waaaaay. But nevertheless, the hope is bubbling up.

Okay, I might be obsessing a teensy bit, in between the craziness of the Big Project.

Our D&C was a year ago today. Truthfully, it feels so far behind us that it's barely a blip on my radar. It's just part of the fabric of my history now. It is weird to think it's been a year since we were last pregnant, though. So much has happened in the last year. Like so many other people around these parts, I never thought it would take this long. I never thought that a year and a half after we started trying, we'd still be in the same place.

But I'm feeling really positive about things. I just keep thinking about the tarot card reader that told me it wasn't my time before, and that she saw two children in my future. When I look at where my life was a year ago, and I look at where I'm headed in the next year, I am excited and energized. As much as I still don't believe in tarot card readers, I believe that my time is coming, and I feel like it's coming soon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Just Don't Think So

I know I'm only like 4dpo, but I don't think this is our cycle. The proof of this? My bodacious ta-ta's hurt. It's a little early for them to hurt, either way. But I'm guessing that I'm going to have a short LP again, and this is why they hurt 4dpo. I'm sure I'm being a pessimist. After everything, I just can't help it. I'm not obsessing over it, though--I swear. I'm too busy right now.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Show & Tell--August 24, 2008

It's been forever since I've joined the class. Let's just say that the Big Project has kept me out of school. But even though I should be doing something else right now, I decided to swing by school this week, to show a couple of things. The first is this:

As I mentioned a few months ago, I picked this book up when my cycles started getting longer and fertility drugs started looking more likely. I thought I might as well check it out to see if it had any useful information for me. It's an older book on fertility and nutrition, by natural family planning advocate Marilyn Shannon. She has something like 8 kids, and had her youngest when she was 48, so I thought she might be something of an expert. I wasn't expecting much (sorry to be biased--but she lives on a farm, teaches for the Couple to Couple league, and homeschools all her kids), given her background. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I am an opionated bee-yatch, and the book is well-sourced, with lots of footnotes citing various medical studies. Granted, the book is a little old, and so are the studies, but there is some science there.

There is an interesting section in the book about luteal phase defects. I know there's a lot of debate in the medical community about whether there really is such a thing as luteal phase defect, or whether a short luteal phase reflects a problem elsewhere in the cycle. Regardless of which camp you fall into, the book notes that a Vitamin B6 deficiency can interfere with fertility, and suggests that 200-600 mg/day can rectify this situation, citing a study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology. The book also has a giant section on PMS, and recommends a particular diet and supplement program developed by a doctor named Guy Abraham to overcome PMS, called Optivite PMT. The author suggested that these vitamins might also help overcome progesterone/luteal phase issues, even for those who don't suffer from PMS. The author notes that

In a truly remarkable study, vitamin B6, a critical nutrient for PMS sufferers, was given in 100-800 mg/day doses to 14 women who had normal menstrual cycles but also had PMS and infertility of 18 months to 7 years' duration. Ten of the 14 had never borne a child; the other four were experiencing secondary infertility. Twelve of the women conceived, 11 within six months of the B6 therapy! In this study, prolactin levels were not found to change, but progesterone levels were significantly increased in several women, indicating that the vitamin B6 had improved their luteal function.

It's a small study, for sure, but the results are rather impressive, given that all of the women suffered from infertility. I'm not crazy about fertility drugs, as I've mentioned, so after reading this, I was willing to give the B6 a shot. I decided to just go ahead and buy the Optivite vitamins, since they were formulated to address hormonal imbalance. Here is the label:

I was a little sketched out by some of the amounts, so I started out taking one tablet a month, and then moved to two, rather than the 6 they recommend. I also added a folic acid supplement, since they are low in that. I've been taking them for a couple of months now. This is my second month taking two every day, and the only month in the last year where I've ovulated anywhere near the middle of the cycle. Who knows whether the vitamins are helping, but it's certainly an interesting coincidence.

So, what are you showing today?