Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ben-Hur and the Unmade Bed

I have nothing to say today.
The air is crisp and it’s the first real day of “sweater season”. The Bear is watching “Ben-Hur” on his new TV. The music on the tube sounds like something you’d hear in a temple, or on the muddy riverbank of the Nile. I have been to the Nile, and the only sounds I remember were car horns and children. But, if the Nile were set to music, it would sound salty and rhythmic and opalescent. Like Ben-Hur ,I suppose….
I have nothing else to say today.
Sometimes I wonder if I am truly living fully in each moment, or I am spending all of my energies looking forward (or back!). Can I eat a meal and savor its taste on my tongue, or is my mind already on dessert and the chilly walk home? Same with family; I long to cherish these first few years of marriage. This time of learning and growing together with exclusive rights to each other’s hearts- prebaby. How can I remain in this moment, without my heart longing for ( ______ )!
I tried, this morning, to STAY in the moment. The sun was casting a warm glow into our bedroom window, throwing long shadows across the bed. I’m one to make lists in my head as I rise, but today I stayed in bed with my beloved. Just stayed in place. Hard for me – this staying STILL.
The dawn was in transition. Somewhere between summer’s end and fall’s beginning. It was cold, and warm and lovely.
BE WHERE YOU ARE. Relish it because there is no other place to be.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Runaway Heart

tanya and me, age 3When I was little, I used to run away from home a lot. I’d pack a snack and hide behind our house. I’d sit with my back against my bedroom wall and stare out at the palm trees. Sometimes, I would plant watermelon seeds with my fingers; digging little holes between slips of grass. I stay hidden until I got bored, or hungry, or both. Eventually, as rosy dusk would fall on our subdivision, I would return home. My parents would put on a big show about how happy they were that I was back, and tell me how much they missed me.

Eventually, I figured out that my mother could actually see me from the house, and that she knew the whereabouts of my secret hiding spot. So, when I was big enough, about eight or nine, I would run away to my grandparents’ house. They lived about three blocks away, but a canal separated our neighborhood from theirs. The fervent walk seemed endless to me in my childhood rage.

My Grandmother would invite me in (she always seemed to know when I was coming???) and we’d sit at her kitchen table while I wailed about the horrors of the day. Eventually her phone would ring. “Yes, yes hello! Uh huh…Yes, She is….Ok!”

“Grandma, who was that????” I’d ask.        
“Wrong number” She’d reply.

I go in for a biopsy tomorrow.

They are trying to rule out endometriosis as the cause of our recurrent losses. Sadly, you have to have a series of miscarriages before the insurance will cover the cost of these tests! Think of how much money and heartache would be saved if they investigated these things BEFORE people began IVF? Could you imagine this happening in life outside the realm of medicine? It would be as if you’d have to get in a few car accidents before they check to see if you’d pass the driving test.

Nevertheless, I’m off track again. Insurance does that to me….

I hate biopsies. I’ve never seen a happy biopsy. They always come with some baggage and discomfort. The Bear will be going with me, which is nice. And my Doc gave me a prescription for a valium. Even nicer! Hopefully I will be dreaming of bunnies….

I bring all of this up because it makes me miss my grandmother more than ever. I wish I could just run away behind her house, or sit at her kitchen table and cry. I’m so exhausted by this process.

I just have to remember why I am doing this….for love.

Full circle.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

IVF and the Newlywed: The Possession!!!!

It's a gorgeous day out today and I am hoping to get outside and bask in some leftover sun. It will be nippy in New England in no time. The Bear is very sick today, so I'm playing nursemaid. Nothing much to report...we went to the Dr. this week and she gave both The Bear and me a battery of blood tests. She's trying to discover why we have had so many miscarriages. She also wants me to do a biopsy to see if there's anything going on in my womb. I negotiated for a valium. I'll tell you, I am sick of people hanging out between my legs. I am sick of this process and all the emotions tied to it.

I'm on a two month hiatus from IVF and it has been SO NICE to get my body back. My mind is clear and focussed, not overwritted by the excess of meds. I really don't want to think about a biopsy or anything having to do with my netherparts- except pleasure.

I am going to try to find time this weekend to find myself again. I don't know what that means yet, but there's this funny , quirky lass inside here somewhere, who's been in hiding for a wee bit. I've got to shake things up and bring her out again. I miss that silly bitch.

I couldn't help it, but when the Bear started vying for my sympathy vote with his cough,cough, sick, sick, I told him to imagine if his balls were the size of grapefruit and he got 3 shots every day! Then, come to me for sympathy.
So who's taken over my body, and when can the real M come back??

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Root of Love

I am reading a book called "The Places That Scare You." By Pema Chodron. She is a white anglo woman woman who bacame a tibetan monk after living a life as wife and mother. While her words speak of the Buddhist faith, meditation and balance, her history rests on a life not unlike our own.

This week I was reading a section on honoring yourself and others. She speaks of creating a meditiative practice where you wish for peace, strenght, love for yourself and others. " I wish ( name) finds comfort, and the root of comfort. I wish (your beloved) finds strength, and the root of strength". It goes like that.

I started to think of "the root of" a virtue that she often mentions in this chant. Its the digging down deep to find the nurturing origins of that strength, love and power. The root. I love that idea of finding the root of what you need to sustain you.

Chodoron also mentions that as you continue the practice, you begin to make wishes for those you love, eventually, you also begin to make wishes for those that "irritate" you. She says it is hard to wish goodness on those that have hurt you, but once you can do that, you can let everything go.


I promised I would throw a stone in the ocean and make a wish for every person who is experiencing challenges with conceiving or loss . I decided to wait until we were in Bermuda, where the water was aqua and sentient. My husband and I swam out of a cove on Horeshoe bay. It was raining.  I used a handful of pink sand to make my tribute to you. For a moment I felt like we were all connected by a golden thread.

Dear reader-
"I wish you happiness, and the root of happiness.
I wish you strength, and the root of strength.
I wish you love, and the root of love.
I wish you faith, and the root of faith.
I wish you good health, and the root of good health.
I wish you a happy family, and the root of that family. "

With love...

Monday, September 14, 2009

IVF and the Newlywed: The Stone

The Bear and I are going to visit our baby Doctor tomorrow.  I’m dreading it even more than the opening of football season. I love my MD. I think she’s brilliant and strong, and everything I would imagine a professional and self-actualized woman should be. If I wasn’t her patient, and met her at a cocktail party, I’d seek her out as a friend. But sitting across from her in her tiny office, with my husband at my side and her huge computer screen of my charts and statistics blocking my way, I just feel awful.

I used to be the proud , self-actualized woman I see in her. At work I am still seemingly so. But those post-cycle visits where she tells me about what went wrong make me shrivel up like a stone.

There was a time once, a few years ago, where I caught a glimpse of my ovaries on the ultrasound screen. I wasn’t sure what I was seeing, just two tiny orbs of light. When I asked the technician what we were looking at, she said “These are your eggs”.I laid back and I imagined these celestial, radiant things inside of me. This giver of light!

I want to be that girl again. The one who hoped for great things and didn’t see the obstacles between a wish and the prize. The girl who worked hard, made people smile, and was always grateful.

I wish this process didn’t dry us out emotionally. I wish I was still bubbly and effervescent. I hope I find that girl again. I’d like to give her a hug and tell her it’s all going to be okay…. 

Friday, September 11, 2009

IVF and the Newlywed: Hidden & Seen

I went to visit my Guru today. To reach her I needed to walk through the Boston Public Garden. I was in such a rush. Walking briskly, I became so frustrated by the winding paths and curving roads that were in my way, I nearly forgot to see the striking beauty of this magic place.

No road is straight in the Public Garden, they rope like serpentine chains around old dogwood trees, bronze statues, a lake with swan boats and a rose garden. I was careening through the park, late for my appointment, when I stopped dead in my tracks.

“BE, where you ARE!” I said to myself.

Why are we predisposed to rushing? To getting to the finish line and missing out on the view? To forget the path curves for a purpose?

There is a concept in Japanese Garden Design called “mie gakure” which translates to mean “hidden and seen”. It is - to quote the experts- “a central design principle in Japanese stroll gardens, where the path curves and elements are arranged so that new, unexpected views are discovered at each turn.” * 

When we walk in a straight line, sometimes we only see what is in front of us. Maybe we get to our final destination faster, but what of the journey in-between?
The “a-ha!”moments of discovery?

I think of what I might be missing, when I am hell-bent on this IVF journey. Is my vision so blighted by the “finish line” that I forget to see all that I have around me? Look how lucky we are, to have family that loves us, a heart within that beats soundly and the ability to make bold choices with our lives and reproductive futures. These are truly gifts.

The park taught me something today in its silent, luscious beauty. I wasn’t looking for a sign, but maybe that winding road made me look up from the path I was on and take in something important. I need to remember to LOOK AROUND more often. To slow down and marvel at what I DO have, rather than regret and rush towards what I do not.

May your journey bring you much strength, happiness and LOVE…
(* Discover Nikkei, Japanese Immigrants and their Descendants

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I want a dog.
I know , I know! My sister tells me that many women on the baby train go through the puppy obsession. That was the precise reason I have been suppressing the urge. Of course I don’t want to WALK it outside in the snow, but I will cuddle with it and give it baths. We were just in Bermuda for our one year anniversary and we saw this tragic ad for the humane society. It had all these little creatures that had been terribly abused, staring at the camera through  one good eye, while Sarah McLauhlin sang “I Will Remember You….”. Under each sad face, a caption, “Why did they hurt me?” “Why must I die?” “Won’t you help me?”
I know it was incredibly manipulative but I couldn’t stop balling.  Why must I always feel that I need to “save” someone or something? Can’t our lives be marked with other good deeds, like helping old ladies cross the street, or leaving little presents for a depressed co-worker?
And why would anyone think that the acquisition of a four-legged, steadfast companion would keep the baby blues at bay? Perhaps it is the gift of unrelenting love. A lick on a face when you are feeling your most bloated and unattractive from clomid, or hcG or progesterone. A nip at your fingers saying “I love you! You are barkalicious!”
Shadow, a lab mix, can be found on the petfinders website. She’s looking for a home in New England…

Monday, September 7, 2009

Newlywed Diaries: Bermuda Blues

We’re in Bermuda and I just found a wireless connection. 
I promise I am not a career-obsessed woman, or an addicted blogger (although my husband would beg to differ). I was on my way to the ferry this morning, with the cool aqua water in sight, and I had to turn back because I left my phone in the B&B. Today is “Baby’s day out”  so to speak. It’s a wee bit of “me time” where the Bear and I go off and do our own thing, and then come back together, grateful for the freedom our relationship provides. The Bear is golfing today. It was my anniversary present to him.  A tee time at the club of his choice. My “me time” was to involve a ferry trip to the Dockyard in a neighboring Parish, a bit of run cake, a sip of rum swizzle and some SHOPPING for local goods. Unfortunately, I missed the ferry and the next one is in an hour.
Halfway there, sweating like an animal, I realized I left the phone back up the hill. For a moment I thought, “I would not have to go back if I was SINGLE.” But now, my heart and life are tethered to another person. I was surprised at my frustrated reaction. I was a single, independent woman for so long, these little thoughts seem to pop up unannounced. 
It’s not that my single life was “better” than my married one. At times I remember feeling as if I could die of loneliness. But the choices and the experiences were mine alone. I did not have to answer to anyone, but I did not have anyone I loved to come home to, either.
Yesterday we took the bus out to horsehoe beach, and the water was the most exquisite aqua I have ever seen. We frolicked in the waves and then enjoyed rum swizzles on the way back to Hamilton.
We are having an amazing time, but I realize now that if we were contestants on Survivor or The Amazing Race, we would probably end in a fireball- or divorce! We do not always travel well together. He’s a “barker” when he’s stressed and I am a bit of a princess. I love exploring and soaking everything in, but I don’t like to push it past my limits. He’s a thrill seeker who’s either living to the fullest, or lounging by the TV. He’s also reticent to try things he has never done before, like new foods or strange places, longing instead to skydive or drive a moped TOO FAST down a windy road. I find those things risky and scary, and try to avoid them.
I know I should not read too much into this. We are both having a wonderful time here, both together and apart, but spending six days on this island with nothing to do but drink RUM and swim and make love and watch TV (: () puts things in a new perspective. We are different in how we handle things, I have known that, but marriage, at times requires work to appreciate and acknowledge differences.
Maybe this was a lesson I was supposed to learn.
Gotta go an try my luck at the ferry again. Phone in hand this time. Any wisdom you choose to share will be greatly appreciated!
Wishing you sunshine and bliss.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

IVF and the Newlywed: Our Second Trip Around the Sun

Tomorrow marks our first wedding anniversary…..
I never expected to be married, particulary, at the ripe age of 40. But sometimes love throws you for a loop. Had I done it sooner, I might have been with the wrong person. Had I waited, keeping my heart quietly hidden, I would missed out on this jewel of a man.

Our Red Sox Wedding
Our Red Sox Wedding

My husband is a Big Boston Boy. Everything about him is bold and robust. He loves deeply and laughs loudly and has a golden heart.
Who would have imagined that our first year of marriage would be so full of challenges and triumps. The trials of baby-making have certainly hampered our spontaneous romps on the living room floor, but we created loving rituals for all the landmarks of IVF. I know I was meant to be with him, and meant to go on this journey, even though it hasn’t always been easy.
We’re taking a short break from IVF, and I cannot begin to tell you how nice it feels to have my “body” back. I feel whole again. ME again. I am looking forward to enjoying this hiatus from meds and Dr. visits. We leave for the Tropics tomorrow….
Here is a poem I treasure. I used it in our wedding album. I believe LOVE has a way of finding people. It can manifest itself in many forms.


Years later they find themselves talking
about chances, moments when their lives
might have swerved off
for the smallest reason.
What if
I hadn’t phoned, he says, that morning?
What if you’d been out,
as you were when I tried three times
the night before?
Then she tells him a secret.
She’d been there all evening, and she knew
he was the one calling, which was why
she hadn’t answered.
Because she felt—
because she was certain—her life would change
if she picked up the phone, said hello,
said, I was just thinking
of you.
I was afraid,
she tells him. And in the morning
I also knew it was you, but I just
answered the phone
the way anyone
answers a phone when it starts to ring,
not thinking you have a choice.


…..And this is always one that tingles the loins….

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.