Friday, October 31, 2008

It was just a little thing, but it tore me apart

I love babies and children. I’ve never understood people who say they never particularly liked kids, but felt differently about their own. I’m also one of those people who starts conversations with strangers on the subway, on line at the grocery, etc. So, of course I chat up children, or with babies I make faces and wave. I’m kind of a toddler whisperer in these situations. I’ve gotten howling toddlers to stop crying by distracting them, with much gratitude from the parents. There have actually been a couple of occasions when the little one has tried to climb onto my lap on the subway. I’m not one of those infertiles who can’t emotionally handle being around them.

So what happened this morning caught me off guard. I was walking to the subway and saw a mother with two girls walking towards me. I’d guess the girls to be about 5 and 7. The older one had some clown makeup on. The little one was skipping along between them with the most joyful grin on her face. As I was about to pass them I said, “What a happy girl!” I didn’t think her grin could get bigger, but it did. Mom and sister gave me big smiles, too. We continued on our respective ways, but I lost it. I started crying. All day today, when I think of it, I get teary.

Where’s my joy?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Meeting Matt & Madeline (with photos!!)

Here's my report on the bloggy meet-up with Matt and Madeline. It was such a pleasure to meet these two. Matt is doing such a wonderful job with his girl, under excruciating circumstances. BTW, Matt apologized for making you cry. Matt, you should know, my readers tend to be a hormonal bunch. We cry easily.

OMG, look at that juicy girl! She is such a good baby. This was a noisy restaurant/bar and the crowd and noise didn't phase her at all. The only time she really cried was when she was impatient for daddy to change her wet diaper. Which he did deftly, right on the banquette.

Matt and Maddy chatting. Matt says he expects Maddy will be a talker like her mom.

Look at the baaaaybeeeeee!!!

Maddy needed a good stretch after all her travels. And a smooch from daddy is always good.

ME and Maddy!!! I got to feed Madeline.

I can only imagine how hard this has been for Matt. It's one thing to choose to be a single parent, but to be caring for a baby while grieving for her mother is almost too much to bear. Every milestone must bring a fresh wave of grief that Liz isn't there to see it.

Matt, I know you've heard it before, but Liz would be so proud of you. The internets are proud of you! Thanks for sharing your daughter with us.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sad update

Sorry to keep you all waiting for an update. The last few days have been emotionally difficult and I just wasn’t able to write it all out.

Well, she returned my call Friday evening. She left me a voice mail, as I was in a noisy bar/restaurant hanging out with the cutest 7 month old and didn’t hear my phone (I’ll post about that later, with pics!). She apologized for taking so long to respond to the email from over a week earlier and said that she is talking to other women as well, and is not ready to move forward with donating her embryos right now. I had been getting that feeling. Really feeling down about this. I don’t know how open couples will be about donating to a single woman. (Although, really, donating to a couple does not guarantee the child will be raised in an intact 2 parent home. I can guarantee my child will not have to deal with any sort of custody battle.) I guess I was just hoping that the way we connected was just so fateful, and that my search for an open embryo donation situation would be short.

Nothing about this crap is easy.

Meanwhile, I surged on Friday (day 30!), so went to my friend’s to try our first home insem. Interesting experience! The chances of it working are so slim that I’m not even allowing myself a little hope. I just figured that if we were a couple and not cycling this month, we’d try some baby dancing at the right time, so why not.

Questions for those of you who considered donating your extra frozen embryos (whether you actually had extra or not): Would you have considered donating to a single woman? Why, or why not? What kind of information would you want from her?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pay it Forward Fridays — More U.T.E.R.U.S.


Today for PIF I am donating more things to the U.T.E.R.U.S. Brigade eBay auctions. I also sent some info and photos for a cool donation to the U.T.E.R.U.S. Etsy shop.

And ... if you're a member of the U.T.E.R.U.S. google group, you know I have a bigger project cooking. Started with a thought that popped into my head on the way to work this morning. Stay tuned!

A bloggy meet-up!

I’m so excited! I’m going to meet Matt and Madeline today!! You don’t know Matt and Maddy? Click here to read their story. Make sure the tissues are handy. Trust me, there will be tears.

They are visiting New York this weekend and a friend has organized a casual stranger friend meet-up today. Can’t wait!

Update — I don't know what to think

The consensus from my comments were to call. (8 to 3 for calling over email in the comments, and 5 to 4 in the poll.) The only reason I could really see for emailing over calling is being chicken. IMO, not a good trait for a single mom. So I bit the bullet and called.

I got her voice mail. I left a nice breezy message about how nice it was to meet her and her family, yada yada, did she get the email I sent last week? I've been having some email problems, maybe it went in her spam folder, yada yada. Would love to talk more, move forward, etc.

I've heard nothing.

She has always responded promptly before last week. I just don't know what to think.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Help, my patience is missing! (POLL ADDED)

I'm losing it. I sent the email to the woman with the embies last Thursday. I haven't heard anything. Is she trying to give me an extra 2 week wait? I've decided that if I don't hear by tomorrow, which will be a full week, I will try contacting her again.

But how? Email? Phone call? What do I say? "Did you get the email I sent last week?"

Help meeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Meanwhile, today is day 28 and still no surge. I'm so sick of holding my pee for the OPK, then seeing that empty window. I have a feeling this is going to be like my June/July cycle, 6 weeks! Honestly, I was so damn regular until June. WTF!

Not so eloquent.

I still get steamed whenever I think about McCain's "air quotes" during the last debate. I previously posted links to 2 very eloquent posts about it. But ya know, sometimes eloquent is not necessary. Sometimes profanity is appropriate.

Thanks, Bill! Air kisses to you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hot, hot Etsy pick — Frank & me

I love, love, love Etsy! I love the way it has enabled so many people to start home businesses easily. I have purchased many beautiful things for myself and a gifts on Etsy. I bought almost all my best friend’s baby shower gifts from Etsy sellers. Several of them were custom orders, and were more amazing than I hoped for.

Two of my Pay it Forward recipients received gifts purchased from Etsy sellers. Today I want to feature one of these sellers. Frank & me. Lauren (SAHM to Frank) makes beautiful things. I first purchased a two bibs from her a couple of months ago. One was a little gift for the woman who donated her leftover meds to me. The other is for another friend who is due next month. When I received them, I knew I would be buying more from her. I didn’t realize at the time what a wonderful and generous person I would be getting to know.

I purchased a couple of bibs for Jennifer’s Virtual Baby Shower. (You can’t have too many bibs. Or so I’m told.) Lauren was out of town the week before Jennifer’s shower and asked if it was okay for her to ship them the following Monday, or did I want her to try and get her husband to ship them. I told her that Monday was fine, and since was a virtual baby shower, I would email pictures of the bibs. Well, imagine my surprise when I looked at the photos of Jen’s gifts posted a week after her shower and saw not two, but four bibs! I emailed Lauren and asked if she had sent extra. Of course she had, so I outed her to Jen so she could thank her. I asked Lauren if she would mind if I featured her Etsy shop on my blog and asked if she’d be interested in donating something to the U.T.E.R.U.S. Etsy shop. She has said she will, so Io, if you haven’t heard from her yet, I’m sure you will shortly.

The fabrics she uses are beautiful and so soft, and of course, her designs are child tested by her son Frankie (Lauren says he’s the boss).

Someday (maybe next year?) my baby will be here. Won’t he/she be styling in a Frank & me bib or blankie!

Monday, October 20, 2008

If you thought spiderwebs were unappetizing ...

For those who commented spiderwebs didn't sound yummy, I present the candy I saw but DIDN'T buy yesterday ...

From a website selling this:
"Picked out especially for you.... Tangy gummy boogies that look and feel like real chunks of snot! Each box 0f boogers includes 3 fabulous flavors: Snottermelon, Sour Green Boogy, and Lemon Loogy. Just place a gummy boogy on your finger and start munching!

So delicious, with a touch of saltiness.... just like real boogies.... wait a minute.... how would I know? hee hee hee (we're only kidding about the salt)

The largest boogers measure about 1 inch long. Amazing!"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Show and Tell — light and "fluffy" edition

Don't laugh at me ... laugh with me. This week's Show and Tell is just for laughs. I have a new candy obsession.
Yup, sour apple cotton candy in a bag. (I love sour candy. Not like I love chocolate, but so enjoyable.) Thank goodness it's a seasonal item and I have only found it at CVS drugstores, 'cause I'm truly obsessed.

BTW, it's a little embarrassing bringing them to the register.

Oops, almost forgot to link back to Mel's Show and Tell.


Still no word. I'm starting to wonder if she's ready to give up these embies.

Ack! Gotta get away from the 'puter for a while. Just keep hitting refresh on my mailbox.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pay it Forward Fridays — the U.T.E.R.U.S. Brigade eBay Auctions

Sorry to be late posting this today. Busy day.

Well, payday is next week, so my Pay it Forward project this week is to donate lots of stuff to the U.T.E.R.U.S. Brigade eBay auctions. I filled out one form yesterday (it hasn't been listed yet), but I know I have lots of things to photograph that will find good homes. So really, this week my gift is my time. (Gotta polish up some jewelry before taking pics.) Sure, I could sell these things myself for the $$$, but I’m happy to be able to help the U.T.E.R.U.S. Brigade.

I continue to be moved by the love and generosity of this community. An anonymous donor has pledged to match all the money raised though the eBay auctions, the Etsy shop and direct donations. Incredible!! Motivates me to find more worthwhile things to donate.

Go shopping! Get a head start on your holiday shopping. (I'm eyeing the socks!)

Visit eBay and Etsy.

Find things to donate. Join the party. It feels so good!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

No news is good news????

Thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions about my letter. I received some great suggestions via email, as well. Cara, you're awesome!

Regarding things that some of you said I should leave out, I should have explained better that I was clarifying things we talked about when we met.

From what I gather, donor was raised upper middle class, and I think has certain expectations of what is necessary to provide. I, on the other hand, don't think I need to have the college fund planned out in order to raise a happy, productive and successful child. Or maybe I'm being paranoid. Is any of this making sense??


Oh, you wanted an update. I sent the email this morning (over 11 hours ago). Haven't heard back. She usually responds fairly quickly to emails. What do you think it means?

Angry and offended!

I DVRed the debate last night, so I haven't watched the whole thing. But McCain's answer to the question about late term abortion made me sick to my stomach. And frightens me.

I'm at a loss for words about this, but a couple of my fellow bloggers nailed it so eloquently that I'm just going to link to their posts.

Julie at A Little Pregnant wrote this wonderful post (which includes the offensive video clip).

And Cecily at Uppercase Woman wrote this, which I'm in awe that she could do, considering the rage and pain she must have felt hearing McCain's words.

Brava, women!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wave of Light for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Here's my candle. I'm thinking of you all.

Opinions, feedback and advice, please!!

I've drafted an email to my maybe embie donor. So many of you are awesome writers, I would love to get your feedback. I feel like I have to pass a test, and no one's given me the study guide. HELP! Please tell me if there's something you think I should take out or something I should add. Thanks in advance!


Sorry, I'm probably just being paranoid, but I've been feeling funny having this draft online. I SOOOOO appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions. Thank you!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bristol, is that you?

According to my stats I have a reader in Wasilla, Alaska. Come on Wasilla reader, leave a comment. Say hello. :-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

100 Words Project - Love

Have you been to Bridges to read the current 100 Words Project?

I'm cross posting what I wrote here with a little bonus.


I was looking for something among a pile of papers today and found an envelope my mother sent me some time ago. In it was something I wrote in 3rd grade. I was 8. Yes, I remember very clearly the incident that inspired it. His name was Geoffrey. He was a redhead. I wonder if he’s bald now!

The End of Love

There once was a boy and a girl. They had fallen in love.

The boy pretened he did not like her. She stopped loving him.


Never pretend you don’t know about serios things.

*Original misspellings included.

Pay it forward ROCKS!!! Infertility SUCKS!!!

My first PIF recipient, Niki, wrote a beautiful post yesterday about receiving her gift. It made me cry to read about what the gift meant to her. Now I’m crying again, because today she is miscarrying.

After work I’m meeting another friend whose beta was negative today. My heart is aching.

Vodka anyone?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Show and Tell

For Show and Tell this week I'm sharing a few photos from my vacation last Fall.

Lovely canalside cafe, but what I love about this picture is the juxtaposition of the sweet cafe and the graffiti on the wall. Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can read it clearly.

And these two, just because. It is one of the basic food groups, right?

For more Show and Tell, check out the roundup at Stirrup Queens.

P.S. Thanks!

Thanks for all the good wishes! It was great to come home and read them yesterday.

Update on meeting with maybe donor

I think it went well. It's hard to tell. We met at a park and talked for a while before her parents and son joined us. Interestingly, we both arrived at the SMC decision in similar ways, TTC within a relationship with someone who wasn't completely on board, then trying on our own, but realizing that we were likely too late for our eggs. She absolutely understands wanting the getting pregnant part to be OVER! She asked how I planned to deal with being a single mom. (My least favorite question after "why don't you just adopt?" But I guess in her case, it's a fair question.) I explained that I hope to negotiate working at least some of the time from home, explaining how workable I know it would be, and I told her about my support system of family and friends. I explained to her that my reasons for wanting an open donation were not for me, but for my child. I want my child to have as much information as possible about how he/she came to be. In this case, it would take 4 people (+ doctors) to bring my child into the world. Talk about "takes a village!"

Then her parents and son arrived at the playground. Her son took to me very quickly. (Not a surprise to me.) Soon we were running around the playground playing "chase mommy" and "chase Dora." I would let him catch and tickle me. What a great boy! Super smart. Mommy chose very smart donors. I really hope that seeing me connect with her boy will convince her help me be mommy to his genetic brother or sister.

I did manage to keep my emotions in check at the time. Now, of course, when I think of him tickling me, I tear up.

Meanwhile, it's day 18 and I haven't surged. (Before this past June, I always surged between days 12-14.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Please send good energy my way

I'm about to leave to meet my maybe donor (the SMC w/the frozen embies). I'm nervous. I'm trying to tell myself that if one of these embies is meant to be my baby, we'll know.

I'm also afraid of getting too emotional when I meet her son.

ACK! Gotta go.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pay it Forward Fridays

The internets been berry berry good to me.

Pay it forward has been my mantra lately. It lightens my heart when I have the opportunity to do something unexpected for someone else. Lightening hearts is much needed within the ALI blogosphere.

I found this interesting tidbit on Wiki:

“The concept was described by Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Benjamin Webb dated April 22, 1784:

I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you [...] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro' many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.”

I wrote here about doing something to PIF to honor someone who was so generous to me. Other than the substance of her gift, she gave me hope on a particularly dark day. I want to make this a habit. Some weeks in small ways, other weeks in bigger ways. I hope others will join me.

This week my PIF recipient is Jennifer from Here We Go Again. Cali from Creating Motherhood is hosting a virtual baby shower for Jen. When I first clicked on Jen’s blog I thought, oh, she’s young, married and VERY pregnant. As a single woman in my mid 40s, struggling to get pregnant on my own, I usually avoid blogs like hers. But we are all sisters in this battle. Jennifer was a big contributor to the fundraising efforts that got Cali pregnant. She doesn’t know many people where she and her husband are living. No one was throwing her a baby shower. She deserves a celebration. It truly pleases me to contribute a little gift for her shower. I like to think of her daughter styling in something from an internet auntie she’s never met.

What did you do this week to put a smile on someone’s face?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cheesecake shot

Just to show how much cuter I got after my eye surgery, here's a bath shot. (With the duckie added to cover my little girl bits from the internet creepies.)

I hate to say it, but my thighs still look the same. Not so cute in your 40s.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dorky picture for TC

One of the coolest bloggers around is having a rough day. Yesterday Indisputable Topcat posted a great photo of herself with her grandfather. Great photo in that it shows the love between them, dorky photo in that it shows a teenaged Topcat in very dated glasses and hairdo. She has challenged the blogosphere to post dorky photos. So to cheer her up today, I will post a photo. In the interest of preserving my anonymity, it's a baby picture. I WAS A DORKY BABY!

I had surgery at 18 months to correct my crossed eyes.

TC, this is for you. I hope it makes you laugh.

My first single moms by choice event - An update

Well, I went to my first single moms by choice event on Saturday. I missed the first hour and a half because of my aching head. But a chunk of that was about estate planning, etc. as a single mom. My concerns are more immediate right now. I’ve been feeling so crappy and weepy, I was worried about keeping my emotions in check. At first it wasn’t easy. I heard one woman say something to someone about how many weeks along she was, and I immediately walked in the other direction. Babies I’m okay with, bellies are hard. Then I started talking to a couple of women who aren’t quite as far along in the TTC process as I am. We clicked and I was fine.

Got some delicious baby love from a extremely happy 6 month old boy. His mom was happy to pass him around, and she got to go to the bathroom by herself! We snuggled and smiled at each other. I sniffed the soft back of his neck like a junkie. At one point he got a good grip on my glasses. OMG, the teeny fingerprints! The hard part was giving him back.

Some good single mom parenting tips I got. 1. Don’t be a martyr. Ask for help. 2. Go places the first year, when babies are quite portable. 3. My child’s comfort level with his/her conception story will reflect my comfort level. We will be a unique, but normal family.

It was great to be in a roomful of women who get it. No big explanations needed. No one said, “Why don’t you just …” It felt good to be able to pass on important info to women beginning to TTC about REs and how to be a smart consumer of this healthcare, instead of allowing the RE to call all the shots. Funny, I connected with 3 women with the same first name. I think of them as the B&Es, depending on whether you use a nickname or their full first name. One of is a woman in her 40s who has been afraid of IVF, even though her RE is advising her that it really is her best chance. She’s never had any surgery and is really afraid of the egg retrieval. Particularly afraid of going through it alone. B, if you’re reading, I meant it when I said I would go with you. No one should have to deal with that alone. I understand it can be hard to ask someone. The only thing I ask in return is that you do something for someone else. Pay it forward is my mantra lately.

Friday, October 3, 2008

My first single moms by choice event tomorrow

Going to my first single moms by choice event tomorrow. For some reason I'm nervous. Maybe it's because I feel like all my emotions are so close to the surface right now. I know there will be others who are trying to conceive, but there will many there who are past that stage. I just don't feel very strong right now. Maybe it will give me hope, but right now success feels so far away.

Anyone else going? It would be nice to meet someone who "knows" me. (That's a weird sentence!)

Tired and hurting

I haven’t written lately because I’ve been feeling like crap. (I wonder how often “crap” comes up on Mel’s searchable blog roll!) I generally carry a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders, add in some herniated discs in my neck, plus all the stress lately, and I’ve had a whopper of a headache at the base of my skull on and off for weeks now. I’m exhausted. I spent a lot of time during my weekend away soaking in the tub and just lounging. (It was REALLY muggy in DC last weekend. I would go out to do things and would quickly have my energy drained by the pea soup air.) I even splurged on a 25 minute neck and shoulder massage at the hotel spa. Pretty good for $50, but the relief is so temporary. Wednesday I was so desperate I started hunting for a chiropractor who would accept my insurance. (Re chiros, I’ve been reluctant to do this, because my mother is paranoid about chiros. She thinks you could wind up paralyzed from an adjustment. My experience with them has been so so. I’ve had better experiences with massage therapy, but insurance won’t pay for that, damn it!) I stumbled on one who is the first and only chiro affiliated with a well known orthopedic hospital. He was able to see me after work Wednesday, and I did get some relief, but it was temporary. I go back next Wednesday.

I’m sooooo tired. My emotions are all over the place. It’s such a vicious circle, all interconnected. Since this cycle was cancelled, I’m not cutting back on caffeine right now, but I’m still barely getting by. My review at work is coming up in November and I need to be more on the ball. I need this job! Maybe I’m mistaken, but somehow sleep deprivation from a baby sounds like a walk in the park compared to this pain and exhaustion from stress. Even if I’m a walking zombie with a newborn, I expect there will be moments of sheer bliss. There’s no bliss now.

I got together with a friend last Saturday. We talked about everything. At one point he said I sounded like I was well adjusted with all this. I don’t feel like it. I don’t feel like I’m coping well. I feel like I’m hanging on by my fingernails. (At least the prenatal vitamins are making my nails strong!)

If anyone has any (low cost) suggestions for dealing with this stress and exhaustion, I would love to hear it. Retail therapy is out for the moment.