Friday, June 27, 2008

Borneo and Other Things

Terrific T has agreed to Central America for our Big Trip. Now that we have decided, I am sure that I will change my mind at least 8 times, because that's how I roll. But, it feels right. If we happen to be knocked up by then and I chicken out on C.A., my backup plan is to rent a condo in Hawaii for a month.

In other news, I have been trying to work through some career issues. I love my current job, but I know that I've gone as far as I want to with it, and I'm looking down the road and trying to figure out where I want to go next from here. There are a number of things that I'd like to do next, but because I prefer the road less traveled, each of my desired options seems fairly impossible to secure. Then it hit me tonight, while giving a friend advice about something totally different: I don't actually have to choose. I don't have to check just one box. I can go after Option A AND Option B AND Option C, and whatever will be, will be. I am equally interested in all of them, and I've been struggling to pick between them. I've been completely stuck trying to decide which choice is the best choice for me at this juncture. But this, Dear Reader, is where fate comes in. I'm gonna spin the compass, and go wherever the winds take me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The End of NaComLeavMo

I made it! I did it! Boy, was that a lot of work. But I loved reading lots of new blogs, and hopefully you tolerated mine well enough.

I'm going to be making some changes around here in coming weeks. My blog is going to have some new hours. Specifically, I will only be posting on weekends, unless I really need to vent during the week. I promise to stop by your places once in a while, mostly on the weekends, but I sadly won't be around the blogohood much at all. The Big Project is in full swing, and things are gonna by wild for me over the next few months.

As for TTC, I'm feeling kind of zen about it, and what will be will be. The fertility/nutrition book came, and I'm hoping to find time to pick up a new supplement regimen tomorrow, and we'll see what happens with that. It's funny, my doctors haven't even mentioned my weight, but the book recommends gaining as little as 5-7 pounds to even out a long cycle. Thinking back, my cycle has been lengthening since I lost about 5 lbs, so I'm going to work really hard on that, too. I'm not sure cheese sticks and a reuben with fries, washed down with a coke, count as "nutrition," but that's what I went with tonight. And now, I NEED lemonade.

Happy End of NaComLeavMo to you, too!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Take the Poll!

I've noticed that there seem to be a lot of lawyers and a lot of writers who are struggling with their fertility. Maybe this makes sense, because more writers blog than other people, and lawyers tend to wait to have kids later. Or maybe I'm just crazy, and that's not really the case. Anyway, I've set up an informal poll. Please play along and vote!

I ovulated around CD23 this month. Each month ovulation seems to be getting later and later. I am feeling too lazy to walk out to my mailbox right this second, but I know that the new book I bought on fertility and nutrition is out in my mailbox. Or maybe my garage. . .I know this because I looked online, and Amazon says it is here at my house somewhere. It's not the new fertiltiy diet book that's been all over the news in recent weeks/months. The one I ordered is more than 15 years old, and published by some sort of Catholic organization. It supposedly has some good nutritional advice that might help fix my late ovulation problem. Since we still don't have the green light to start to TTC again, and since Dr. HooHoo isn't overly fired up about my late ovulation (but I'm neurotic about it), I figured that I might as well give the "natural" route another month to get my cycle in order, before I make a decision on Clomid (which Dr. HooHoo is willing to prescribe).

Incidentally, for those of you on Clomid, any idea how much a month's supply cost, if you are paying out of pocket?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Show & Tell, June 22, 2008

I've been trying to live a little more "in the now." I always seem to have a list in the back of my head of things that I'd like to do "someday." I've been trying to make some of my "somedays" into today, with things both little and big.

So when a new day spa opened near my house recently, I thought I should check it out, and maybe schedule a little pampering. I ran over there yesterday for a few minutes, and they were kind enough to give me a tour. The space is really gorgeous and relaxing, and they offer almost every kind of service you can imagine. And did I mention they are RIGHT DOWN THE STREET? I booked myself a pedicure. While I was standing there, one of the employees mentioned that massages are half off through the end of the month.

I've always wanted to do a hot stone massage, and they offer them. So, in the spirit of "living in the now," I booked myself one for this week. I have a hellish week scheduled, and now I have something nice to look forward to at the end of the week. It's silly and insignificant, but it feels like a little step forward.

As for anyone who was wondering about yesterday , no I didn't. I am, if nothing else, a good girl who follows instructions. Well, most of the time.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Talk Me Out of It

I'm ovulating. Like, right this second. Peak on the monitor? Check. Right-sided ovulation pain? Check. Temp stable, and did not spike this morning? Check.

I want to try this month. I know it's a bad idea. I really shouldn't. First, Dr. G.I. hasn't yet given us the green light to try again. But, I'm better, and no doubt she will when I see her in a few weeks.

Then, there's the Big Fucking Project. I'm sick of it already, and it's not even really here yet. This is just a phase, for sure. But anyway, it's going to be enormously time consuming over the next few months, and who knows how my body will react to being PG, and it just really wouldn't be a good idea to have my body become a science project in the middle of the Project.

But I'm sick of waiting. I just want to fling caution to the winds and say "Fuck it," and see what happens.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Meme, Fully Annotated

I've seen this one going around, and liked it, but thought it would be so much more interesting annotated. You bold the ones you've done. I'm not sure I want to admit all of them. Hmmm. . .

Bought everyone in the bar a drink
Swam with wild dolphin
Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
Been inside the Great Pyramid
Held a tarantula
Taken a candle lit bath It's like my therapy. No, my religion.
Said I love you and meant it Every day, baby, every opportunity.
Hugged a Tree Because I'm a freak.
Bungee jumped
Visited Paris More times than I can count. Love it every time.Watched a lightening storm at sea How about from the air? Do I get half credit for that?
Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise Regrettably often, and usually because something really, really bad has happened.
Seen the Northern Lights
Gone to a huge sports game Seriously, who hasn't done this?Walked the stairs to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Grown and eaten your own vegetables Amazing, unless you eat a slug.
Touched an iceberg How about a glacier?
Slept under the stars Also lovely, except for the mosquitoes.
Changed a baby’s diaper It's been more than a decade!!!
Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
Watched a meteor shower
Gotten drunk on champagne With some regularity. Life is short!
Given more than you can afford to charity Also my therapy. I do it when I've had a bad day--I particularly like to donate to DonorsChoose, where you pick a school project to fund. They send you pictures of the kids doing the activity you funded, along with thank-yous--Priceless!
Looked up at the night sky through a telescope There IS life up there!
Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment Also more times than advisable. The inappropriateness of it makes the giggles sooo much worse.
Had a food fight Tomatoes, in the garden, at the end of the season. So amazingly fun.
Bet on a winning horse
Asked out a stranger Again, life is short--and they were cute!
Had a snowball fight New England winters demand it.
Screamed as loudly as you possibly can Rollercoasters. Need I say more?
Held a lamb How cute are they? At least, until they grow up and leave smelly poop everywhere.
Seen a total eclipse
Ridden a roller coaster They freak me out.
Hit a home run As a kid. No better feeling.
Danced like a fool, not caring who watched *See "drunk on champagne"
Adopted an accent for an entire day Maybe I'll do this tomorrow???Actually felt happy about your life, even for a moment Seriously, if you haven't done this, you need more bubblebaths, champagne, and tree-hugging.
Had two hard drives for your computer
Visited all 50 states
Taken care of someone who was too drunk They've been there for me, I've been there for them.
Had amazing Friends So blessed!
Danced with a Stranger in a foreign country Kissed him, too!
Watched wild whales Amazing and beautiful, when I wasn't yakking over the side of the boat.
Stolen a sign Does it count if it was from a frat house?
Hitchhiked in Europe
And lived to tell the tale! But it truly is inadvisable on winding mountain roads with an Italian driver. . .
Taken a road-trip Ultimate freedom. Well, before $4/gallon gas it was.Gone rock climbing
Midnight walk on the beach It sounds more romantic than it actually is. Or maybe it's just my distaste for wet beach sand all over my body. . .Gone sky diving
Visited Ireland Green, goregous, and gregarious.
Been heartbroken longer than you were in love
It really is worse to get left.
In a restaurant sat at a stranger’s table and ate with them Necessity is the mother of invention. . .and new friendships.
Visited Japan
Milked a cow
Alphabetized your CDs
Pretended to be a superhero
Sung karaoke
Lounged around in bed all day The ultimate indulgence.
Posed nude in front of strangers Who does this come up for? Swingers? Porn stars?Gone scuba diving
Kissed in the rain
Played in the mud
Played in the rain
Gone to a drive-in theater
We had one in my childhood. I still love them.Visited the Great Wall of China
Started a business
Fallen in love and not had your heart broken Terrific T., of course. He sometimes annoys the shit out of me, but he keeps my heart intact.
Toured ancient sites
I'm obsessed with them when I travel. The US has no history, compared to the rest of the world. Taken a martial arts class
Played a computer game for more than 6 hours straight
Gotten married
Been in a movie
Crashed a party
Gotten divorced
Gone without food for 5 days
Made cookies from scratch
Won first prize in a costume contest I got second once!
Ridden a gondola in Venice
Gotten a tattoo
Rafted the Snake River
Been on television news program as an “expert”
Got flowers for no reason
Performed on a stage
Been to Las Vegas
Recorded Music
Eaten shark
Had a one-night stand Does it count if you knew each other, and got drunk and only had sex once? I say it does, for this question. I've also been known to deny it!
Gone to Thailand
Bought a house And love that I own my little piece of earth.
Been in a combat zone
Buried one/both of your parents
Been on a cruise ship
Spoken more than one language fluently
Performed in Rocky Horror
Raised children
Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
Picked up and moved to another city
Walked on the Golden Gate Bridge
Sang loudly in the car and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
Had plastic surgery
Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have
Wrote articles for a large publication
Lost over 100 lbs
Held someone while they were having a flashback
Piloted an airplane
Petted a stingray
Broken someone’s heart
Helped an animal give birth
Won money on a TV game show
Broken a bone
Gone on an African safari
Had a body part below the neck pierced
Fired a rifle, shotgun or pistol
Eaten mushrooms gathered in the wild
Ridden a horse And barely lived to tell the tale. . .
Had major surgery
Had a snake as a pet
Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Slept for more than 30 hours over 48 consecutive hours
Visited more foreign countries than US States
Visited all 7 continents
Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
Eaten Kangaroo meat
Eaten sushi
Had your picture in the paper

Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
Gone back to school

Parasailed In the Alps.
Petted a cockroach
Eaten fried green tomatoes
Read the Iliad
Selected one important author who you missed school to read
Killed and prepared an animal for eating

Skipped all of your school reunions
Communicated with someone without sharing a common language

Been elected to public office
Written your own computer language
Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
Had to put someone you love in hospice care
Build your own PC from parts
Sold your own artwork to someone that didn’t know it was yours
Had a booth in a street fair
Dyed your hair
Been a DJ
Shaved your head
Caused a car accident
Saved someone’s life

Okay, I didn't annotate all the way through. It was a long list.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Borneo, Again

The Big Project at work is getting more and more insane, and in coming weeks, I'll be here less and less. I'm going to try to keep blogging to stay as sane as possible for as long as possible, and I'm trying to finish NaComLeavMo because hey, I started, but no promises as to either. . .I expect that the next six months will be some of the most difficult of my life. Fun. I wish someone would wake me when it's over.

But since it looks like everything's a go on that front, it also means that Borneo is back on. I haven't told Terrific T yet, but I think we have to go to Central America. My analysis on this point is kind of pathetic. One, I've wanted to go for 14 years. Seriously, no one should go 14 years wanting to do something, and not do it already, unless they are incarcerated. Two, I don't have time to plan Borneo until it is literally time to leave, but since I've wanted to go to Central America for 14 years, I've planned the trip 84different times, and hence it's essentially planned. So, it wouldn't be any work to go there. I guess there's also a Three: the dollar is still doing okay there. Oh, and a Four: We have free airline tickets to C.A.

I think this is sort of unfair to Terrific T., because it's not even in his Top 3. But I think I've decided. Does that make me a bad wife? (Note: You must answer "No" to this question, because if you say "Yes," then the list of much WORSE transgressions against poor Terrific T. will mean that I am a truly awful wife, and you wouldn't really rain on my parade like that, would you?)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Show & Tell: June 15, 2008

As I mentioned yesterday, I am currently ridiculously skinny. Part of it is my job. I call it the "caffeine and stress diet," although I've REALLY been making an effort since starting TTC to limit the caffeine and to eat well. Part of it is that I've been sick in recent months, and eating made me feel exponentially worse, so I wasn't eating particularly well. The other part of it is that I am that girl that lots of women hate, with the crazy fast metabolism. (If it's any consolation, I read once that people with faster metabolisms are inherently harder on their organs and die earlier.) Anyway, I am always thin, but I am now too thin, and none of my work clothes fit. Work clothes are expensive, so I haven't wanted to buy any new ones, because I figured that I would gain the weight back soon, and it wouldn't be a problem. But with the Big Project coming up, I realized recently that that isn't likely to happen. When I'm in the midst of big projects at work, I tend to lose weight, not gain. My goal this time is to simply maintain. This, however, left me in a quandry about work clothes. I've been wearing the same things over and over again, because they are the only clothes that even remotely fit. I have one pair of pants that I sometimes wear cinched in with a belt, but I have to wear them with a jacket over them and buttoned, because they look so ridiculous that way. Not to mention the fact that they still hang off me. It looks like I am wearing someone else's clothing, and it's not very professional at all. It's certainly not the image I want to portray during the Big Project.

So I've been shopping. And shopping. And shopping. And all that has resulted is that I've started to cry three times at the MALL over CLOTHING. I went into one store yesterday and tried on a pair of shorts (which aren't work clothes, I realize, but none of my regular clothes fit, either). It was a mainstream retailer that sells activewear, for Pete's sake, for people who presumably spend all of their time hiking and biking and are therefore presumably fit and slim. I had great hopes that they, at least, would have something for me. Even better, I found really cool shorts on sale for $7! Excited, I tried on the smallest size they carried. . .and they were absolutely enormous. They would've been giant on me even if I was 20 pounds heavier. When I walked out of the dressing room, the sales clerk asked how I made out, and I told her they were huge. She looked me up and down, and pronounced that they wouldn't have anything in the store that would fit me. I immediately walked out, in tears.

I made so much fun of Ann Taylor and Banana Republic a few years ago, when they announced they were starting "sub-zero" sizes. I thought, oh great, something for anorexics to aspire to. But now I am grateful, because they are pretty much the only places I can shop. I am also grateful for the advent of the outlet mall, which brings us to part of today's Show & Tell:

4 Shirts. . .$90
4 Pairs of Pants. . .$95
1 Jacket. . .$85
2 Skirts. . .$50
Having clothes that more or less fit, without spending a huge fortune. . .you know the drill.

But that wasn't the biggest part of my day. One of my friends from college has a baby girl who is about to turn 1. We started TTC when she was still pregnant, so this birthday is a little hard for me. I know there are a lot of people who have been on much longer journeys, but with 35 in the rearview mirror, this milestone is a tough one for me. I've been thinking about this baby girl's birthday for a while now, because I love shopping for presents for kids, but I knew it would be tough this time. Since I was in such a foul mood anyway yesterday, I thought I might as well make myself completely miserable. Plus, I was at the outlets, so it seems like a good time to score some stuff. I know a pink silk party dress isn't the most practical present for a 1 year old (I got some other stuff, too), but for $7, I just couldn't leave it in the store:

How cute is that? How much did it kill me to shop for it? Pretty much in equal measures.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday Scattegories And Other Things

I stole this idea from
A Journey Through , whole got it from Calliope :

1. What is your name? Queenie
2. A 4 letter word: Quit
3. A vehicle: Quadruped
5. A boy’s name: Quincy
6. A girl’s name: Quinn
7. Drink: Quiet Nun
8. An occupation: Queen, of course
9. Something you wear: Quiver
10. A celebrity: 50 Cent (because that's two Quarters)
11. Something found in a bathroom: Quilted Northern
12. Reason for being late: Quarrel
13. Something you shout: Quick!
14. A body part: Quadriceps
15. Word to describe yourself: Quixotic (I am also tempted to put Quean , because that just cracks me up.)

In other news, I'm on CD17 and things aren't looking up this cycle, despite the fact I've added a B vitamin. I was hoping it might help move up O, but it's not looking like it. I've decided to try out some herbal remedies before we move on to Clomid. Unfortunately, I'm using the CBEFM, and last month I missed a pee stick right before ovulating, which I think threw everything off, as the monitor was clearly wrong last month about my ovulation date, for the first time since I started using it a year ago. So, I get to the same point in my cycle yesterday as I was at last month when I missed the test. I had to fly out of town on business yesterday, and I had to leave for the airport at 4am, which was unfortunately before my test window on the monitor started. I POASed, with the intention of having Terrific T. stick it in the machine when he woke up. Except I forgot to tell him, and I couldn't exactly ask him to do that when I called him from the plane, while sitting next to my male colleague. So, I missed another day this month. Today, I got my first "high" reading on the monitor, but I think the missed test stick is going to throw it off this month, too. Crap.

On the digestive front , I am MUCH better. In fact, almost back to normal. I can't even tell you how happy it makes me to feel better. You never are as grateful for your good health as you are when you have been violently ill. I'm still super-skinny, which sucks. I need some new work clothes, and (sorry to bitch, for those of you who suffer from different struggles with your weight) everything I tried on when I went shopping this week was too big. Like, handfuls of fabric too big when even wearing a size 0. I look like a praying mantis. So, now that I'm better, I'm working on gaining weight, and hoping that when I see the dr. in early July, she gives us the green light to actively TTC again.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Unbelievable Post

There is a NY Times article that features Pamela from Coming to Terms . The comments in response to the article are just unbelievable to me still. Warning: I'm posting a horrid one here.

do infertility patients really rate the same sympathy as those suffering debilitating, painful or lethal diseases? That’s essentially the claim - we’re suffering just as much as they are. I don’t think so. You’re not even suffering as much as someone who lost a limb, since you haven’t lost something you had and which was intrinsic to you, you’ve lost merely the opportunity to perpetuate your genes (a biological instinct which rationality ought to be able to overcome) and the ability to have the next in the series of lifestyle choices (parenthood).

As a mother who chose to have a child at the ripe old age of 30, and who discovered the harsh reality - what a drag it is, they should count themselves lucky! I wish I’d had a decade of whining about not having kids instead of spending a decade as a slave to my twins, the first 3 years covered in food and bodily fluids, the next 3 chasing them away from danger and trying to “do” all the stuff you’re supposed to do. I love them as people and honestly do my best by them but honestly if I could go back no way in the world would I have had them!

My answer to those who think infertility is a “struggle” is try parenting a foster child for a year, preferably an infant. THAT is a struggle. You don’t know the meaning of the word.

Count yourselves lucky. Kids wreck your house, your relationships, your figure, your skin, your social life, your clothes and that’s just the beginning.

I think the people who are left out in all this sympathy are the parents who don’t enjoy being parents. We’re the outcasts no one speaks of. We’re the ones who get the dirty looks if we say “oh god not another turn on the swing pleeeease God no” or make the earth shattering statements that newborns are godawful boring all day.

Any infertile woman who cares to can take my twins for just 1 day and find out how easy her life is and go back to a lovely clean, neat, organized and spontaneous existence.

Now go give Pamela some love for bravely exposing herself to this drivel.

A Few Of My Least Favorite Things

You know what pisses me off?

When someone doesn't do what they are supposed to do, and you are direct with them about their shortcomings in an attempt to remedy the problem, and then they get angry at you and react poorly to what you're trying to address in an honest and forthright manner. . .and then YOU are told that the two of you have a "personality conflict." Where is the "personality conflict" when you've simply expressed dissatisfaction and tried to remedy a problem in a very direct way? Why is being open and honest MY problem, when it's not done in a disrespectful way, and the other person simply cannot handle criticism of any kind? Why is it a "personality conflict" when someone is unpleasant, and becomes inappropriately aggressive and rude when confronted about something that it is imperative they be called on? Why can't mature adults deal with problems in a constructive way?

I have long fought for what I believe in, even when it was hard, if it was the right thing to do. I'm just so tired of fighting, I'm tired of standing up and being the lone voice in the crowd, I'm tired of swimming upstream. I'm just plain old tired. I've decided that it doesn't have to be me that fights any more. I don't have to try to save the day. It's okay to take the easy way out, and let whoever is left behind suffer the consequences. Isn't it? Even when I know there are people out there who aren't as strong as I am, who may not even have a voice? There is in fact a very easy way to avoid "personality conflicts" in the future. I can keep my mouth shut, and use my feet instead. I don't HAVE to be surrounded by unhappy, dysfunctional, lazy people. They are not my problem, and I can choose to leave them behind. So why is that so hard for me to do? Why can't I just walk away and let it be someone else's problem?

I tried to remedy a pervasive problem. I tried to be the voice that wasn't afraid to tell the truth. I failed to fix that problem this week (and last week), but at least I tried. I don't think I can make that mistake again. Someone else can pick up the pieces when the ball gets dropped again and smashes into a billion pieces. I won't be there to see it fall.

I'm so tired of trying so hard, and being utterly unappreciated.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Few Of My Favorite Things

I'm a huge fan of The Sound of Music. Do you remember when it was on network television only once a year, back in the days before VHS? I lived for that. So, with a little Julie Andrews ringing in your ears, I present to you a few of my favorite products.

1. Aveda Control Paste. Totally love it. It keeps your hair in the right form, but it's not stiff or sticky. Plus, I kinda like the smell.

2. Patricia Wexler Dual Action Foaming Cleanser. I have pretty good skin, but when my hormones go wacky and I break out, this clears my face up almost immediately. It's about $16 at Bath & Bodyworks, but it lasts forever.

3. Mary Kay Extra Emollient Night Cream. It's a pink gel and made for your face, but I use it on my legs. It leaves them as smooth and silky as a baby's bottom, which is a huge feat for an old hag like me.

4. Lush Red Rooster soap. I fell in love with this at the London Lush. I found it in a US Lush last year. They've now discontinued it. I don't know if they'll ever bring it back, but I love, love, love it. It's orange juice and cinnamon and who knows what else, but it's fresh and lovely. I haven't found another soap that compares.

5. Neal's Yard Soothing Bath Oil. I live for this stuff, and I'm now out. The last time I checked, Neal's Yard didn't sell it in the US, although they do still sell it in England. If you live near a Neal's Yard or you're going to London soon, I would love you forever if you'd help hook me up.

6. Jo Malone perfume. I love pretty much all of them, but most particularly Black Vetyver Cafe. It's ridiculously expensive, and only sold in a handful of stores, but so worth it. Plus, they always give free samples, which means fun new scents.

I was thinking this morning, as I was putting the face gel on my legs, whether there are products other people use in unusual ways and get fabulous results. Whatcha got for me?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Show and Tell--June 8, 2008

12:30 am:

It's Sunday, so that means it's Show and Tell time. Here's what I've got:

I have a long post in my head about being a parent versus not being a parent, and about my long road to where I'm at now. But even though it is technically Sunday already, you are going to have to wait until it is a little MORE Sunday to hear more, because I must hit the hay before I start drooling on my keyboard.

9:00 pm

I just spent a good hour on the phone with an old friend, chatting about how we both feel we are at a crossroads, and neither of us is sure where to go next. She has a baby, and just left a job she held for a very long time, and was very good at. I want to have a baby, and know that I will soon need to leave the job that I invest so much of myself in. We were lamenting the fact that we are both the type of woman who sometimes think too much. It makes major life decisions so difficult.

Which brings us to this week's Show and Tell. The decision to try to have a child was not an easy one for me. I am not one of those women who believes that the ability to procreate is the very essence of being a woman. I have always seen motherhood as an "if," not a "when." And truthfully, I can't even buy a dress without trying on 15 of them to make sure I've made the best decision possible (I can recall this happening as early as fifth grade. . .again, I'm hardwired wrong). In my opinion, there is no decision in life bigger than whether to have a child. I agonized for a long time, and at many points felt like I would never be a mother. Motherhood is intertwined with self-doubt and fear, in my mind.

I grew up in a large extended family, so I have always been surrounded by strong and outspoken women. This meant that I was surrounded by women with children, but also had powerful female role models who chose not to have children. But despite the stregth of the women with children, I often felt like many or even most of them could have done so much more in life, had they not been weighted down by their children. When I was younger, it certainly seemed that the women without the children had more. They traveled more, they seemed to have more fun, and they were always up for anything. The women with children, on the other hand, sometimes seemed tied to bad relationships, to jobs they didn't really like, to lifetimes of hard work and boredom. I didn't want to be THAT kind of woman.

So I wasn't. I traveled, I got an education (or two), I have a career that I love. It finally struck me that it is not our choices that make us who we are, but how we feel about our choices and how we choose to live our lives after making such choices. Or, to put it another way, there are lots of different ways to be a wife, or a friend, or a mother. You can be a good one or a bad one, one who still engages in all of her passsions, or one who completely gives up her life and turns off those other parts of herself.

So as I got older, I started questioning all of my old assumptions. The two assumptions that have haunted me the most were whether the women without children really had better quality lives, and whether the women who seemed weighted down were actually bearing the weight of the children, or something else entirely.

I was still struggling with the answers to these questions when I read Maybe, Baby?, but the book brought me clarity on these points. The genesis of the book was a Slate column where people wrote about the decision to parent, or not. There are essays by a wide array of people about being parents, or not. It took all of the things I had been thinking about, and expanded them beyond my personal circle of relationships, and gave me insight into the life experiences of those who have gone before me. It was like a lightbulb came on as I read.

Where I came out at the end of the day was that women have good quality lives both with and without children. The lives of the women without children seem to be filled with more external stimulation, like travel and art and literature. The lives of the women with children don't necessarily lack these things, but they also have an extra layer to them that is internal to and unique to the family. In reading the parent stories in Maybe, Baby?, in looking at the lives of my thirtysomething friends both with and without children, I sense a nuance, a texture, an abundance inherent in the lives of those who have children, which seems to me to be absent from the lives of those without. Looking, on the other hand, at those who chose life without children, and watching several women near and dear to me move past 50, having never had children of their own, I can honestly say that I don't think their lives are any better, or that they are any happier. Their lives are different; their paths have been different--but neither better nor worse.

I don't say this to disparage those without children. I think there is value and meaning and worth in a life without children. It is just different. Both choices are good, but different kinds of good. So the question then became, which is my path? The more I analyzed, the more I thought, the more I realized that the answer to that lay in whether I could answer the second question--and whether I could live with the answer. Looking back to my own childhood, were the women closest to me--the mothers that surrounded me--weighted down by their children?

In some respects, I will always struggle with that demon, this fear I have of being trapped in a life that does not suit me. But eventually, in reflecting on it, I came to realize that this has always been the thing that has made me question whether I should have children, all because of perceptions which are now more than two decades old. But in the rare moments when I can stop living inside my head and second-guessing myself, I know that the answer is that what the women who earliest shaped my views of motherhood suffered from the most was a lack of imagination and desire, and everything else followed from there.

When all is still and I can actually hear my own voice, I know that I have created a life for myself that does not in any other way resemble their lives; there is no reason why motherhood will be any different.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Weird Dream

I just woke up a little while ago. I had the weirdest dream last night. I dreamed that we already had one son, and I had just given birth to twin boys. For some reason, all of the boys were the same age in my dream. We hadn't told anyone that we were pregnant with twins, so it was a surprise to everyone. When I told my mother, she had company over and she was mean to me, and her husband was trying to make me feel better about it. My husband named all three boys at once, and I hated all of the names (the only name I remember was Isaiah. . .sorry if you like the name, but in my dream, I didn't). When I looked at what he'd put down on the birth certificate, it was actually not a birth certificate at all, but a death certificate. I crossed out all of the names, because I didn't like them. (The boys were all alive, not dead.) Then I said, "so, we have all boys. I'm never going to have a daughter." Then I woke up.

10:35 pm Edit:

People thought this was a sad dream. It definitely had its weird parts (death certificate? Mean mom?), but for the most part, it left me hopeful. I can feel what I want, close by. Which is nice, because I swear, I've stumbled across a pile of articles recently about failing ovarian reserve after 35, and it's scaring the shit out of me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dreadful and Lovely

I feel like things have been turned both inside out and upside down in recent weeks. The Big Project is chaos--all on-again, off-again, ruined here, missing a bit there, drama and coddling and begging and pleading and whining and bitching and more drama. For a while, the Big Project looked put off indefinitely, and Borneo was even cancelled (never fear. . .I have a backup plan!). But, the ship appears to have now righted itself (sort of--it's still listing heavily and being navigated by drunken pirates), and we are full steam ahead. But boy, was I pissy by the end of today.

So it was completely lovely to come to the blogosphere and find that I've been tagged, because something fun and creative is JUST what I needed.

Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words. His words were, "For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn." I've been challenged to write my own six word memoir. The rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it to your blog including a visual illustration if you would like.
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post and to Bookbabie's original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogsphere
4. Tag 5 more blogs with links
5. Don't forget to leave a comment in the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

I am tempted, of course, to simply steal Hemingway's own lines, but then I catch myself and realize that this is merely what I am afraid will be my life's story, and I'm not there yet. His words speak volumes to all of us, though, don't they? In any case, without further ado:

Truly, I am not my mother.

I tag (with apologies if you've already been tagged or you simply don't want to play) the people I read today:

1. Sunny in Seattle
2. Adventures [in]Fertility Wonderland
3. On2PlanB
4. Good & Plenty
5. Masha

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

No Time to Chat

Work is crazy. . .I'm only getting a couple of hours of sleep a night. Argh. There are problems with the Big Project, and the wheels seem like they are about to come entirely off the bus.

I received this yesterday as an email forward. It may not be authentic (what kid's baseball team has extra shirts just hanging around?), but I loved it anyway, so I'm reprinting here. I have no idea who the original author is, so I cannot properly attribute.

What would you do? make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?'

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball.

Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?'

I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play.

The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.

I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart.

The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the

plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.

Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!

Run to first!'

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball ... the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!'

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.

Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!


We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.

The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.

If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.

We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'

So many seemingly trivial interact ions between two people present us with a choice:

Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.

You now have two choices:
1. Delete
2. Forward

May your day, be a Shay Day

I would be thrilled if today was a Shay Day for me.