Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Issue Fifty

That is where I am now.

But I haven't seen a copy yet.


I think I may have been confusing here. Last week was only my trial transfer. Mock transfer. Empty catheter. Nothing in it. Nada. Although per the advice given here, I will definitely let Dr. BusyBusyBusy know about my cramping.

We aren't starting our first attempt until September. Our first Lupron shot will be August 24th (I think). Which means we won't be doing anything until for awhile, other than waiting and coveting babies and bellies everywhere we go. Or surfing the cryobank in every minute of spare time.

I have found myself assuming things again. Which is dangerous. I am assuming I will just get those little blastocysts shot into my uterus and they'll stay there. I am so superstitious about stuff like this, I now worry that I am attracting bad luck. I need one of these. A friend of mine wore one all through college, and it never seemed like a bad idea to me. I mean, even look how I assumed we'd get blasts. We might just get to day-three. Or we might get nothing. Or we might get something, but they might not stick. Shite.

We might get nothing.

This makes me incredibly antsy and sad. I am sure there is a way to relax through this. I need a new book. And I wish we didn't have to wait.

In the meantime, this link that Daddy, Papa, & Me posted today is too much fun for words.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Trial Transfer = More Worrying

Dear Fellow (in)Fertility-Mavens:

Of the ten thousand things I worry about, one of the is in regard to the trial transfer we had on Thursday. It went well, and he got that catheter right into my uterus, sans problems. It wasn't that uncomfortable, but I was bummed out to hear that post-(true) transfer, I cannot lounge around in my parents pool. That got a definite NO. Obviously I can't loll about drinking manhattans either. Blah.

In any case, post transfer, I had some serious cramps. Like menstrual cramps. For hours. Has this happened to anyone else? No one mentioned this might happen, and I am wondering if I should tell Dr. BBB about them? Or am I just being, as usual, too high strung?

Katie, the Worrier

Friday, June 24, 2005

As Promised...

The House That Ate Our Lives

Here follows some pictures of the house that Partner built. It's pretty fantastic.

I think she's pretty good.

Family room. With plasma tv set into the hearth. With speakers in the walls and ceiling.

This is NOT the dining room. This is the kitchen nook. With screened in porch beyond.

Um... Yes? Please? And the floors were heated. And the whole house had sound wired in with very cool little lcd panels in each room. Please buy this house.

Hearth Room. Did you ever notice how impossible it is to take pictures of a room? This was my favorite room, where I often went to work when the house was frantically being finished. This was also the first room I managed to get decorated.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Lupron, on the rocks, at the beach

So we've figured out this morning that our first Lupron shots will be while we are on vacation in August. It should be fun. Our nurse thought perhaps my father should administer them. (He's a doctor.) Dr. BBB said we could do it.

"But if we chicken out, my dad can just do it," I said.

"You won't chicken out," he replied, totally straight faced.

How does he know this so unequivocally? Cos I don't.

One essential question that I forgot to ask him: Can I have my manhattan after this shot in the ass? If I can't have a manhattan, can I have a dirty vodka martini? That's pretty important. And Partner will want her vodka tonic. Actually, if we have those drinks before the shot, Dr BBB estimation of our courage could actually turn out to be correct.

Essential medical information, my friends, is always if you can still drink on the meds. Never mind I'll have nine months of no manhattans shortly after that, but I have to tell you all something right now: At some point during the pregnancy (God willing), I will be partaking of the occasional glass of red wine. *Sharp intake of breath* I can just see the reaction now. "Not only is the woman a lesbian, but she's openly admitting that she'll be drinking during pregnancy!!" That's right. And I'm going to eat soft cheese too.

This shot-in-the-ass, actually, doesn't seem that bad compared to the stomach shots Partner will have. After hearing about all the medicine she's got to inject into her adorable body, I think that the carrying the baby(or babies, as the case may be) is actually the easy part.

Who knew that actually being pregnant would be the easy part and making the baby would be the hard part?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Knock Down Drag Out Family Here

Last night we had a giant fight in this house. Over pretty stupid stuff, but of course, most fights are over stupid stuff, in my estimation. Or not stupid, maybe, but things that don't need to get blown out the way they do in fights.

My family, we're fighters. We get it all out, sometimes get somewhat mean, and then we cry and hug and we're all friends again. There are of course people who might think this is dysfunctional. And probably the meanness is not quite right, but getting "it" out into the open is right. One of the things this has taught me is that with the people who really love me, and the people I really love, we can act like total pigs to each other, and then laugh about what total pigs we are. I don't think I am expressing this quite right, but it works for us, and I happen to have an incredibly close and loving family. This dynamic has also made me realize that actually talking about things is the most effective way to get through an issue.

For example, on Sunday, Partner got stuck at the home show. She got home forty-five minutes late and this in turn meant we'd be late for the Father's Day dinner we were cooking at my parents house.* I was stressed about this, because quite simply put, my family can get highstrung about things like being on time and eating. When we got there my mother appeared to be in a snit. Now, I could ignore this snit, and try to pretend everything was normal, while all the while getting annoyed with her for being so snotty, or I could ask her about it, which, of course, I did. Her snitty-ness had nothing to do with me, so I made her another Manhattan, pointed out her attitude was bringing everyone down, and voila, a great Father's Day meal ensued. We might fight hard, but we love even harder. We always tell each other we love each other, even after a simple phone call. Like this:

"Mom, I defrosted two filet mignons a week ago and I haven't cooked them yet; do you think they are still good?

"Mmmm... I wouldn't trust it. Or eat it. But this is your choice."

"Okay. I just didn't know. Thanks. I'll talk to you tomorrow. I love you."

"I love you too!"

And then we hang up-- and we say 'I love you' anywhere we are. It's never too awkward. I mean, you love your family, and you say it!

Compare, please, this approach with Partner's family, where everyone keeps their emotions hidden waaaaaaayyyy inside. People rarely display true emotion in a public way, and there's a lot of keeping face. I do not understand this in the slightest, and consequently, when we are with her family, I often feel stifled and shy. I want to call people out for hypocrisy or meanness, the same way we do in my own family. (We aren't any more or less mean, but we just talk about it.) But, they just don't do that, and I try to keep quiet. It hasn't always worked, but that's another story for another day. I have heard Partner say, once, to her sister, "I love you" at the end of a phone call. It's odd to me, since she's not shy with affection in our relationship, or the relationship with her best-friend. Oh well. Suffice it to say, clearly Partner and I have been brought up with very different family dynamics.

Thus, when we fight, it becomes volatile quickly. Partner's reaction is to shut down. My reaction is to keep at her. The more she shuts down, the more I spiral up. It's not good.

I can't even tell you what we were fighting about last night. Something stupid, like watching the TV in bed, which I come down firmly against. I hate the TV on in bed. For years the television moved out of our room, and it came back in for some stupid reason a month ago. It's going out again. Out! Out! Out! And then Partner shut down, and I opened up. Fuck. I hate fighting like that!

In any case, this morning, as I was reading the couples guide to ivf, I realized we must be transferring stress. We've both gone a little "hermit" lately, sealing ourselves off. We haven't talked enough about the pain Partner is feeling, the anxiousness I am feeling, the TOTAL impatience I have about wanting to start with baby making RIGHT-NOW-INSURANCE-BE-DAMNED.

But wonder of wonders, we merged our familial styles, on the deck last night, at 2:00 in the morning. The lightening bugs flashed all around us in the yard. It was quiet, and we held mugs of tea, touched our feet together. We talked-- And we absolutely loved each other. And it's more clear to me than ever, that no matter what-- baby or no baby-- we, Partner and I, are a family.

(On the food-- I can't let this pass:)
*The meal was fabulous. I highly recommend you find a Cajun Injector and then cook chicken on the grill all summer long. We got one from Baby Brother's girlfriend's mother, and now I love her. You must find LeBlanc's since the opening is wider than other brands and this enables you to get garlic, onions, and spices right into to the chicken.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Important Massage

... This was the title of an email I got this morning. It was junk mail, and I am more than sure it was supposed to say, "Important Message," but I'll take the massage.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Fly-Fishing Pshaw

Every once in awhile I delude myself into thinking I am an interesting person who does intriguing things. For example, yesterday I went fly-fishing. I had a private lesson with my friend, who've I called Leah before, so Leah she'll still be. We both adored it and we're on board for another lesson, this time a full day on the Huron River. This could rapidly develop into a full-fledged hobby for me. Especially after I perused the Orvis catalogue in great detail for about an hour. The accoutrements of fly-fishing and wing shooting are some of the best out there. There's silver flasks and quilted vests and comfortable chairs one can set up on the bank of a river. Leather carrying cases. Nets with which to scoop the fish up are not cheapola aluminum, but instead a warm wood tone. In one catalogue I spotted a picture of a couple in their waders, lounging on portable chairs with a portable table between them. What's so amazing about this? They were in the river! Only in an inch or so. And the table between them sported a tablecloth, a nice block of stinky looking cheese, and a bottle of red wine, and they both appeared to be sipping out of wine glasses. With sporty hats on and pocketed travel vests. It was twilight. In my imagination, the campfire was up behind them, and some trout, just caught, were gently being pan-fried.

How could one not want to do this sport after such a picture?

Our guide said he got into fly-fishing because of his brother. Once, he told us, he was driving with his brother out east. His brother happens to be a banker and at the time was dressed in an impeccable three-piece suit when the urge to fish in one of the great rivers they kept passing overcame him. He pulled the car over, put on his waders and proceeded to fish the river in his three piece suit. This image so impressed our guide, he felt he had to learn.

In college I found a picture of the Queen Mum in waders, complete with pearls. It impressed me, and I think I heard she was fly-fisher.

And then of course, I have read and loved A River Runs Through It. Again, as an undergraduate I went to the movies three nights in a row to watch the movie over and over. (I was far more attracted to Craig Sheffer than Brad Pitt,[still true; Brad Pitt seems vapid to me] and even then it wasn't Sheffer who I was attracted to, but Norman MacLean who I was really in love with. And further truth here: Tom Skerritt held a certain appeal for me in that movie too. He seemed so gentle.)

All of this was a lot of build-up for quite a few years, so I was prepared that fly-fishing might let me down. But it didn't. And I cannot wait to go again.

This adventure yesterday had me feeling fairly plucky.

Until I got an email from a friend who's just gone to Africa to work for a year or so. In her email she mentions, almost as an aside, that an iguana, "who was sitting up in the corner of her mosquito net" just crapped on her. There's mention of EU human rights and machetes and old drums. A watchman at her house. A very very funny list of rules for driving in her particular African country.

I am going to the grocery store now. To buy chicken. For a bbq with friends on our back porch that looks out over simple green grass that only last night I was delighting in. Now it's awful: not a rain forest, and there are no iguanas. And I will follow all the rules while navigating my car over the well-paved roads. How pedestrian. I should just stop writing this blog right now.
I am so fucking boring.
Fly-fishing pshaw.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I Can Dream About You...


We have, as we knew, no prescription drug coverage. We knew we weren't getting it when we bought our insurance. If you are lucky and are employed by a cooperation or university (with full time status), you might not know the horrors of obtaining your own health insurance. It's a process that should be added onto The Inferno as the tenth circle of hell.

When we opted out of drug coverage ,our reasoning was sound: we don't take drugs! Nor did we anticipate any huge drug costs. Sure, every now and then I get my Denovir, but it didn't warrant the $100-per-month-times-two-drug rider.

Surely such naiveté should be punished.

We are now in holding pattern number 65,768. For at least 45 more days. Until the drug rider takes effect and we can order all our super fun fertility drugs. And then stick each other at night with Lupron shots.

Ah, love is in the air.

Incidentally, my official diagnosis is 'ovarian dysfunction.' The women in the billing department at the RE office now think I am a little nuts after I had a loud guffaw about that diagnosis. You sure can bet we have ovarian dysfunction-- its dysfunction is that it doesn't give out sperm!

And I thought in fourteen days I'd be getting pregnant.

"For every atom belonging to me, as good as belongs to you"

Remember the barbaric yawp? When my friends and I got stressed in high school, we'd talk about the yawp. We'd long to go someplace in the woods and be barbaric and yawp. (Yes, literature geeks, all of us.) I'd like to go someplace right now and yawp too. It's in me; I just need to let it out.

Why, you ask? You might think I haven't seemed particularly yawpy lately, and you'd be right. Chez WannaBeMoms we've taken my partner's recent news of infertility in stride. We've had cocktails on our back porch, rearranged plans, talked with dear friends, and generally come to a conclusion about the uterus.

Yesterday we had a visit with Dr. BusyBusyBusy, who I have to tell you, I really like a lot. I think he's adorable, and I love his accent. Anyhow, we go into his office, and we talk. He talks about the fibroid. Partner relates that she did some research, talked to a friend who had fibroids, got them removed surgically, and then had healthy kids, and Dr BBB says "No." No surgery. Well, okay; he'll do it, but he advises against it. Because of the placement of the cyst, it's dangerous. Perhaps a hysterectomy would happen, or worse, death. There'd be copious amounts of bleeding. To tell us the truth, if this was happening to his sister, he'd tell her not to do it. Too dangerous.

Now, I know my lovely partner, and I can tell this has hit her. It's not obvious-- she's not sobbing or sniffling or anything, but I can just tell. Somewhere along the line, without talking to me about it, she's clearly gotten her hopes up about the miracles of modern medicine. Her uterus isn't viable? Then make it so, Doctor! After all, you can make a baby in a Petri dish! (We're going to have a second opinion, but as we both agreed, we could go all over town and probably find at least one quack who says he'll cut into her womb, no problem! We're going slowly with this.)

The attention turns to me, and I explain our current plan. Get me knocked up with good old fashioned IUI, and then for the next pregnancy we'll do IVF-- take Partner's eggs, fertilize 'em, and swoop them into my uterus, where I essentially become a gestational surrogate for Partner. Easy, eh? What does Dr. BBB say to this? "No," again.

Not "no" because he doesn't think it's a good idea; after all, he suggested this plan to us before. He says no because her eggs are already 36 years old. If we wait two years, they'll be 38. More risks. More problems. Do the IVF first, and "God willing, Katie, your uterus is okay." I explain to him about my ultrasound and ovarian cyst, and he says, "Let's do another one right now. Where are you in your cycle?"

"Day three. I'm still bleeding."

"Day three?" Dr BusyBusyBusy asks incredulously? "Let's do the ultrasound right now!"

"I'm still bleeding," I say again. Perhaps he's so excited he hasn't heard me correctly.

"Yes, this doesn't bother me at all. It's just blood. But if you are uncomfortable...."

Here's the conclusion I've made about developing a relationship with an RE: It ain't going to go anywhere unless you just figure out all he or she wants from you is your feet in the stirrups, and your netherworld open for the world to see. I love the socks on the stirrups at Dr BBB's: little pictures of embryos and blastocytes. They say, "Keep hope alive, ladies, and open wide!" (Not really of course, but that's their message.)

My uterus, I have now learned, is beautiful, pear shaped, and ready to get a baby. My ovary has a cyst, next to it. He isn't particularly worried about it. The chance it's cancer is, as he said, minimal. Minute. (Um, I'd sorta like it to be zero, but okay...?)

And then we start going down the crazy road of telling us what we need to do for IVF. At this point, I become utterly dazed. Like I know I am sitting on the table, with a sheet over my lap, but it's as if I am looking down on myself. I'm floating. Lupron, Gonal-F, Repronex, HCG, Progesterone and oil, build uterine lining, get eggs from partner, test for surges, call office, schedule lecture, mock transfer, call your insurance, etc. What?? WHAT???? The nurse talks to us, another meeting with someone from billing. The yawp need is, at this point, building steadily.

And now this morning I've been on the phone with the clinic, Blue Cross, and our benefits company for HOURS. I still can't tell if the injectables are covered by insurance. Do I need a prescription rider? If so, I have to wait 45 days for that to kick in, otherwise I can pay it out of pocket-- just add $4,000 to $7,000 extra on top of the $10,000 it's already costing. (Oh, only put half down to start, the second half due in, ha, nine months.) Oh yeah, and if we're not waiting for prescription drug coverage, then okay, Partner starts Lupron soon. I think? Shit.

Dare I say it now? I feel like a fucking science experiment. But also, how could I not do this for partner? Do you know how when someone you love is sick, and you think 'if I could take this sickness for him/her, I'd do it'? I know Partner isn't sick-- but I know the pain she's going through is very real and intense, and I know that she's comforted to think of at least one of the kids being genetically linked to her. She's said as much. And if that's the way she feels then... well... Bring on the science!

I just want a baby. We just want a baby. We're sick of waiting. (Whine, whine, whine!)


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

This is my cat, Eli, who I anticipate will have a very hard time with a baby who might want to be in my lap more than he is. He is the snuggliest cat in the world. He crawls up into my arms every night to be held like a baby. Right now, he'd really like to blog, but since he can't type very well, we reached an agreement. I told him I'd post a photo of him, and he could lick my fingers while I typed.

The House-- FINITO!

I took a ton of pictures last night at the house, and unfortunately, Partner appears to have taken the digital camera with her to work. She might actually need it to post pictures of a (different)house she has listed to the MLS? But please-- I wanted that camera today to share photos of the finished house on my blog! How selfish of her!

We did get the house finished--believe it or not. I even got my little self-guided tour booklet produced and copied. The house is beautiful and I hope someone buys it now. This is a longish story, and one I said I would not tell on the blog, but suffice it to say, it was built for someone else who now feels he cannot afford it. I am not sure he appreciates it either. I know that building a house is a totally stressful experience, especially when you have an imposed deadline. Still, I am not sure it's appropriate to accost the builder's partner and scream, "When have you been on your hands and knees cleaning this house? Huh?! WHEN?!?!" It's especially not appropriate when said person has indeed been on her hands and knees cleaning, for no pay, all that week. I could go on and on here. But I won't. I promised. (I won't even tell you what nasty rejoinder I had to that question. It wasn't nice, and I am not contrite about saying it.)

Let's just say that it is my sincere and fondest hope that whoever buys this house appreciates it for all its beauty and fine construction. Thank you for your inquiries!

I'll try to put up a picture later this week.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Er-peas, Redux

I am not sleeping well at all lately; instead I am finding myself awake about 3:30 or 4:00 am. What am I doing? Worrying. Mostly it's about this house we have to finish by about noon tomorrow. (I sometimes feel like we are in a giant episode of Ground Force/ Changing Rooms and whatever that other show is where they put up a new house in about three days.

It's almost done.

But last night I woke up from a dream that was not about the house. Instead, I was dreaming about our RE, Dr. BusyBusyBusy. First of all, in the dream he was... how can I describe it? Oh, frolicsome. Our RE, as I assume like most REs, is not frolicsome. Friendly he is. Professional. He even seems kind. But he is most definitely not frolicsome.

And in this dream he told me I couldn't have children either. Why? My blood tests showed I had herpes. And he just couldn't inseminate a woman with herpes. I kept asking him to just do the ultrasound anyway. Didn't he want to look at my ovaries? My uterus? I was frantic.

When I woke up, I felt that familiar little tingle on my lip.

I just hope the herpes part was the only fortelling the dream was doing.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Advance Worrying Is a Pointless Activity...

... and one I happen to excel at doing.

Here's the thing: If I get pregnant and carry a baby full term, my breasts are going to be huge.

I mean, like grotesque.

Now you have the thing, so here's the rub: This weekend I was asked to be matron (matron? how fucking old does that make me seem?) of honor for my brother's fiancé. (And even those this post is in the bitchy tone, I am actually really really excited about this! And honored.) The preferred month for their wedding? September 06. If I get knocked up on first go (highly unlikely), and if this happens in July, this puts estimated birth month at April. And of course, each month the sperm misses the target, puts that month back yet again.

First of all, HOW am I EVER going to be FIT for a dress?

And an even greater concern-- If their wedding is in August or September, I will, of course, still be nursing. So I'll have totally grotesque ba-zooms (even my mother agreed with this description of what my breasts will look like), and potential leakage.

I'm sure I'll be the picture of elegance.

Matronly elegance.


Not Necessarily Loving Every Minute

Start your prayers, ladies and gentlemen. We now have four days to finish the home show house. And really a lot needs to be done today and tomorrow because the crack-team of decorators I've rounded up converge on the house Wednesday afternoon.

This summer when Partner and I came to the decision that I wouldn't teach, the idea was that I would spend time writing and working at the build company. I am supposed to be learning how to do "the books" but that hasn't happened yet. Right now I have been assigned all things marketing. I've managed a super new logo, designed new signs (very upmarket), started work on a website, ordered shirts for everyone with our logo embroidered on them, and managed to get decorators to fill at least the first floor of the house with furniture. This week I need to coordinate this effort, and also be the go-to person for the party of 500 we are hosting at this house on Friday night. I feel like The Apprentice. And mostly I think I am doing a fairly professional job.

It is, however, a totally different kind of stress and work environment than I am used to: A quiet office, a cup of tea, a computer buzzing, and interjected by bursts of intense teaching, back to the quiet office, etc. I decided a few years ago that the graduate student scene was fairly cut throat, and removed myself. I don't mind competition, in fact, I pretty much relish in it like a pig in mud, but this was stupid, petty shit. And a lot of posing. Have you been in graduate school? You know what I mean then. Like middle school, but with more knowledge. So, while my teaching and academic life has been stressful at times, it's different now. Completely. Two things that have been particularly hard for me follow.

First of all, a job site is really loud. (An English department is not.) And a site nearing completion is like a hive. Plumbers and electicians and landscapers and flooring guys and granite guys and the closet guy... oh my! If you are on site, there is no little office to retreat to when you need a minute. And everyone has questions and needs. To be fair, they aren't asking me, they're asking Partner. But since I am often standing next to her, I can feel the energy of the hurled demands. She's cool. She's calm. When the customer is there, I pick up on his frenetic energy very easily. Partner deflects. She radiates know-how.

Yesterday when we were at the site, I had to get in the truck, drive around the corner and cry for fifteen minutes. Why was there a problem every three minutes? And this wasn't a problem like those addressed in graduate school, those one could research and ponder in an ever-so hypothetical manner. These issues are more like, the vent fan can not be put into the hood and operate because the opening is too small and where are the screws that were shipped with this and those lights are too big for that space and the paint is showing flashing through and the other paint is not coming and the stairs need to be resanded and stained and reassembled and the guy who was doing it just walked off the job and where will we find someone else to do it at this late date and that tile is uneven and the mounting brackets for the dining sconces were not delivered and that granite was cut incorrectly and the cleaners are coming tomorrow and will the house be ready and there's still no front steps and the client hasn't picked a front door stain color and, and, and-- AND it all needs decisions to be made on the second. AND I am only touching here the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Two: the building industry is overwhelmingly male.

This is something I knew, as it were, in an academic sense. Partner would talk about it, I saw it briefly when with her at various events, but I didn't get to experience it. For example, Friday I did have a brief respite in "the office". Trades don't visit us much here--pretty much only to pick up checks, and since I am not yet doing "the books", I don't deal with any of this. Yet on Friday, in comes Mr. Landscaper looking for a check. I don't know anything about it. He sits down in a chair. Well, can you tell me Mr BossMan's phone number? I don't know it. (And really I don't-- it's on my computer, but since I just shut the computer off and since I was clearly leaving the office at this point, I wasn't turning it back on. There is, as usual, more back story to the Mr. Landscaper interaction, but we won't go into it too much. Suffice to say, I would usually turn the computer back on to find the phone number.) He doesn't believe me,and proceeds to answer his phone, have a five minute conversation as I am standing there, clearly waiting to leave the office.

When he hangs up, he stares me down for about ten seconds, then calls Partner! He says, "I need the check that was supposed to be left for me here and this girl (!!!!) in your office says she doesn't know anything about it." (Pause) "This girl right here in your office. And I need Mr. Bossman's phone number and she won't give it to me. She says she doesn't know it. Does she know that phone number?" At this time, I am looking at him, mouth agape. Pause again and he says, "The girl in your office." Pause. "The girl. I am looking at her." Pause. "Well, it's some girl in your office." And then he hangs up. He says to me, "Ms. Partner said there was no girl in the office. What are you supposed to be then?" I narrow my eyes and say to him, "I am a woman." "Oh right," he laughs, "Of course. A woman. Fuck that shit," and then walks out of the office! I wanted to chase after him and push him down the stairs.

The summer certainly is shaping up to be interesting, and I couldn't have decided to get involved in this business at a crazier time. I'll be glad when the homeshow opens, and the big party is over. If I can just make it through this week... For the most part, I am liking this shift in my life. Yesterday I was gleeful about the fact that I didn't need to grade any papers. I think this is like starting any new job-- the period of adjustment is often really hard. In fact, I can only think of one job I had that I fell into right away without feeling that awkward stage, and that was teaching at University. Does that mean something? I don't know. All I know is I've got a crazy week ahead of me, and it will be worse for Partner. She worked until about 10 every night last week, except for Friday, when she worked until midnight. It just needs to get done, done, done.

Like I said, start your prayers. Please.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Small Growth

(Sap, sappier, sappiest: Be forewarned)

My cat, my favorite cat even though one probably shouldn't admit there are favorites, is sleeping in front of the door to this room, like a guard cat. He is quite possibly the most cozy, noodle-like, perfect cat in the whole world. (If the digital hadn't run out of batteries, and we had replacements in the house, I'd post a picture of him.) If, when, we have children, undoubtedly he'll be the one they dress up in baby clothes, although by that time he'll be an old man.

The windows are open all over the house. This makes me enormously happy. In this room I am in, which will become the baby's room, the light feels gentle and the breeze slips through the room. If, when, we have children, I can imagine how the air will move across their baby heads while sleeping, curtains softly pushed out and the birds fly near the house to try and catch a glance of their perfectness.

Yesterday, finally, our lawn was sprayed with seed. It's not dirt anymore, and even though there's no grass, there's still a green haze surrounding us. When we built this house, we broke the bank on the windows, and Partner has said more than once that her favorite part of this house is the windows-- everywhere there's a view. This morning she stood at the back window and commented on how much more peaceful it looks, and how excited she was about the new grass. I sat up in bed, and looked at her face watching the small growth in the backyard. The small growth. If, when, we have children, we will take them onto to that grass. We have figured out exactly which large tree at the back property line will take the tree-swing.

Everywhere lately it seems like I am seeing the world lighten until it's so rich it's hardly comprehendable. The geraniums look more pink than ever. The dust on the car, more thick. I am looking at everything with this new sense-- a sense that I might be having a baby sooner rather than later. This is something I've thought about for a long time. It's become concrete in a new way. What does this lightness look like to Partner? On the day of the HSG, we sat on the back deck with our drinks, and she said to me, "I'll never feel a little foot pressing against my stomach." If that is what you want, what you've dreamed of feeling, isn't that newly formed foot a form of lightness?

When my grandmother died, it was February. It was perfect. The world complied with my grief. At the cemetery, the wind pulled our long black coats from our body, we huddled together when we walked to the grave side, the priest's long vestments snapped. Our tears froze on our cheeks. Everywhere was white, except for where it was grey. I have never been more pleased with winter. In the summer when I see funeral processions glide down the road, the windows up in all those cars, the sun bearing down on the mourners heads, I feel horrible for them. What an affront. What a fuck-up. When someone you love dies, and nature is not yielding to your grief, it can't help but feel like yet another betrayal from the world.

No one has died here. And you shouldn't get the feeling we're moping about with the news about Partner. She reminds me, religiously, to take my prenatals. We've talked about the shift from her to me as baby-carrier. I've asked her if I should keep my impending excitement to myself, and God love her, she's said absolutely not. She's excited too. But I can't help but think of the small growth inside her uterus. The one that's keeping the baby out of there. Does it color these unbelievable early summer days? And God-willing, does the fact that I may get pregnant feel like sun on a funereal day? I know my partner, and she's one of the most upbeat and truly joyful people in the entire world, so I am pretty sure I am putting emotions I would be having onto her. She's been doing much research and talking to doctors about surgeries she might have, and hopes she still might get a baby in her belly. It's just like her actually-- Tell her she can't, and she'll find a way. (Much like my grandmother, incidentally.)

Still, the small growth is here-- in the backyard, in her uterus, in my hope, in our love.