Saturday, May 23, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to wherever I'm going

The pooch and I strolled past a neighborhood playground today, and a woman with a distinctive look caught my eye. Once I focused and processed, I quickly picked out her husband and son from the sunny-afternoon crowd.

I don't personally know this family — not once in 5 years have I seen them around the 'hood — but they'd made a lasting impression when I encountered them last March in the clinic's lobby. For 40 minutes one day (I was there to discuss starting IVF #2) I listened to the cute rocker-chick woman dissect her stims progress for her hat-and-shades-indoors-wearing, Black.berry-fixated hubby, who sat next to their adorable hat-indoors-wearing, Game.boy-fixated son. She had just 3 follicles developing, 1 way ahead of the others, and they were there to discuss canceling the cycle.

I kept on walking at first, thinking just "Huh. Small world." But then something compelled me to stop and turn around for another peek. (This was an excellent time to have a happy-to-sniff-every-inch-of-the-ground dog along.)

Can you guess what I wanted to know?

In that first moment of reconnaissance, the woman's hands were stuffed into her hoodie's kangaroo pockets, making it difficult to immediately tell whether she was pregnant. The next moment she was applauding her son's jungle-gym prowess, and the answer appeared to be "Not visibly so." I felt disappointed for her and sent a couple of stranger vibes — "Good luck with any future cycles! Or whatever you've got going on!" — across the park.

Well, then I saw the woman's ears perk up. She swiftly marched to the sidelines of the playground . . . toward what the slo-mo scene maker in my head eventually identified as a double stroller. For some reason the real-live babies option hadn't even occurred to me! I spied just long enough to see the mommy scoop up one fussy baby and stroke the second as her men rushed over to help with the cooing.

I was startled, and yes, it gave me quite the where's-mine pang. (This was an excellent time to be wearing sunglasses.) But as I turned away and steered us toward the wide-open beach — my furry kid's playground — I took a deep, cleansing breath and broke a slightly teary, but deep-down genuine, smile.

It felt good to see that "The Big It" had worked for somebody who's using my neighborhood park, walking my neighborhood streets, driving my routes to wherever she needs to go, standing in my check-out lines, living her life where I live mine. And in my world, that . . . has got to be that.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Remembering and rejoicing

Today is one of the May milestone dates I've been wanting to get through. One year ago today was transfer time for IVF #2, and let me tell you: That day was magical for me. Everything felt right. I was, truly, in the moment — in sync with DH, my body, the process, my medical team, and the world. I felt love for (and loved by) everybody I encountered. I remember what I wore, what I ate, who I talked to, and what I did all day long. And that magical feeling (aka profound gratitude) carried me through another several days. (You know, until it was time to get scared again!) During that time, I frequently eyed the picture of "the kids" and talked to all 4 of them in utero, sending my love and coaching any that felt strong enough to stick with mama.

Even knowing how it all turned out down the road . . . and knowing what came next, and then next, and then next . . . I wouldn't trade that day for anything. The experience opened me up in ways I can't quite describe but know will stay with me forever. And for that I rejoice.


P.S. Today — this year's May 5 — brings a fresh reason to rejoice. Sweet Polly over at In2MeSee got to see her perfect-looking little bean's strong heartbeat for the first time. You GO, Polly!!

Monday, May 4, 2009


There's no better way to sail through a stretch of time, I've decided, than to take up a new sport. I've been interested in playing golf for a while — in fact, DH and I took lessons together about 10–11 years ago. We both really enjoyed it. But life somehow pushed our grand golfing plans way out of the picture.

Golf became one of those things we meant to do more of, then meant to do some of, then meant to try again soon . . . next spring . . . and then couldn't remember exactly when we'd ever done it in the first place. Of course once we started leading a life of ART, golf (along with just about everything else) left the activity radar entirely.

Well, it's back on now, (no) baby! During my trip in March, I played several times with my dad (it was just an 18-hole putting course, but still), and I came home determined to not let another summer go by without just doing it. As much as I would LOVE to get back in the swing with DH, his summer travel schedule is both atrociously unpredictable and predictably atrocious. So he's out. (I mean, it's not like this is IVF and I only need him for a single 30-minute window.)

Enter my single girlfriend. We're a perfect pair for this: me with the oft-absent husband, she with the nonexistent boyfriend, and both of us tired of putting things on hold and ready to do something new, fun, social, and active. And if we can cap off our weekly Ladies' Night golf rounds with an ice-cold adult beverage at the 19th Hole, so much the better.

Golf on its own is not the key to bringing a life without children into focus, or into practice. But it feels good to be thinking about something else. Researching, plotting, experiencing, accomplishing. All that helps bring this version of life (— sorry —) to the FORE!

Friday, May 1, 2009

And so May begins!

It's going to be a beautiful May Day in my neck of the woods (swine flu outbreak notwithstanding). The forecast says sunny and 71. Everyone say, "Ahhhhhhh."

I already stood on my deck for a bit during the 6:15 dog put-out, enjoying the fresh air and surveying my kingdom. That reverie abruptly ended, though, when I locked eyes with the next-door neighbor standing outside in his track pants. He bolted at the sight of me. Weirdo.

I'm fixing to stay "up" for this month I dread. To prep for a proper kickoff day, last night I completed the big winter-to-spring/summer wardrobe switchover: Out with the muted olives and rusty reds! In with the pistachio greens and bright corals! It's the little things, so often.

All this month, I will concentrate on infusing my heart, mind, body, soul, home, family, work, and world with positivity. I've been hustling that plan already, but I think this May calls for a little extra oomph. Daily. On purpose.

Will track my doings here.

Image note: May Day by Andrew Wyeth