Sunday, December 26, 2004

bring it on

I'm back from the beach. The trip was everything I'd hoped for- sun, sand, and pina coladas. And then some- skinny dipping in a private pool with my husband, a family of raccoons (terrifying little buggers) brave enough to come right up to our dinner table one night, and an amazing surprise x-mas gift of a photograph I've been coveting since I first saw it in my mom's friend's gallery two Thanksgivings ago.

All in all my little vacation was just what I needed.

I wish I could say that I put all obsessive thoughts of babies and IVF and sperm donors to rest while I was away, but alas I did not. But (and my husband may disagree with me here) I did manage to stay pretty damn positive about the whole ordeal.

I realized on this trip how haunted I am by the thoughts of my future children. Everything we did, everywhere we went, I imagined them watching from the shadows. I could actually see them- not as infants, but as 2 or 3 year old toddlers. And I couldn't stop myself from
talking about them as if they were already here. Crazy? Maybe, but those little faces keep me going when everything seems too hard.

It's just 5 days away from the New Year and I have to admit that I'm a bit terrified as to what's in store for me. I've got so many hopes and dreams for 2005. Getting pregnant is number one on my list, of course, but my plate is full in other areas as well: there's our probable move back to the US next summer, my husband finishing his dissertation, both of us finding jobs, finding a place to live. Everything feels terribly uncertain because, well, it is. I'm finding its not so easy to make a plan and stick to it when there are so many question marks, so many "what if's" lurking around.

I know that I need to let go of my need to know what's coming next. To find the excitement in the getting there. If nothing else, 2005 is bound to be an exciting year. Not necessarily the best I've had, but certainly exciting.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

life's a beach

Yesterday was my last day of work and tomorrow my darling husband and I are headed for the beach! 7 days of sun and sand! We're returning to the place where we got engaged exactly two years ago and I'm hoping that if the setting isn't exactly Christmas-ey, it will be romantic and fun.

It's hard to believe that it was just two years ago that we made the decision to spend the rest of our lives together and only a year and a half ago that we said our vows aloud in front of our family and friends.

We had no idea at that time, of course, of the journey that lay ahead of us. It was just a year ago (give or take a couple of weeks) that we began trying to conceive in earnest- with no clue that it would take more than a couple of months for me to get pregnant. I thought for sure that this Christmas would be our baby's first.

But here we are a year later, without child and without hopes of getting one without medical intervention. And yet we're doing surprisingly well for a time of year that tends to be geared toward children. Just yesterday I left a couple of messages for my IVF coordinator to set up my sounding (thanks brooklyn girl) and IVF for March. I haven't heard back from her yet, but hope to have a date set by the end of first couple of weeks of 2005.

I'm ready now, I think. More ready than I was a year ago when I was full of naive hope that every cycle would be THE cycle. More ready than I was in June when we first learned of my husband's zero sperm count. More ready even than I was in September the month that our first RE predicted we'd be able to start IVF. I know now just how much I really want this baby. How much I really want to be a mother. What's its worth to me. What I'm willing to do to make it a reality. And I feel now, more than ever, that I'll be good at it. That all these unexpected road blocks on the path to parenthood have seemingly prepared me for anything.

And so I leave for the beach tomorrow and truly think that I will be able to relax. To enjoy the time there with my husband for what it is. I am hoping that it will be a true vacation in the sense that I will leave my list of potential sperm donors behind, not check my e-mail for word from my RE, not obsess about the number of cycles I have left before we begin IVF, not let myself think baby, baby, baby every other minute of the day (except as a term of endearment for my husband!)

Wherever you find yourself for the holidays, I hope it is as peaceful and relaxing as the place I will find myself in.

Happy, Happy. Merry, Merry.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Eureka! I think I've found one!

My extremely lame Saturday night was spent searching donor profiles online. Pathetic? A bit. But I think I found THE guy. He's the same height and weight (approximately) of my husband. He's got the right hair color and eye color. He's smart (BS in Biochemistry with a high GPA), artistic (paints and draws and sculpts and has even been awarded arts scholarships), athletic (ran a marathon recently, lifts weights, scuba dives), was raised abroad and wants to raise his kids abroad- all in all a seemingly well rounded individual with most of the qualities I am looking for. Of course I still need to order his full profile, check out his medical history, personality test, baby photos and SAT scores, but I think I may be in love.

Am I a bad person for wanting the DNA of someone who can do things that neither my husband nor I can do? Namely, play sports and create art and excel at the sciences? How nice would it be to have a child who could do my taxes and bring home soccer trophies and decorate the apartment with his or her sculptures, and maybe find a cure for AIDS? Oh, and not have to wear glasses while doing all of the above? I think not.

Who is this person and why is he donating sperm? That's my only question. Who donates sperm and why? Why hasn't he been snapped up by some eligible lady (or gent) and started making babies of his own to raise (in a foreign country)? To good to be true, I think. But then again, not everyone is looking for what I'm looking for. I only hope he doesn't run out of vials before I get to him or worse that his medical history is abominable and his pysch profile makes him out to be a Jeffrey Dahmer type.

Wish me luck won't you? So far this seems a match made in heaven.

Friday, December 10, 2004

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

My husband and I got a Christmas tree this week. It's very tall and very full and takes up more than its share of the corner of the entry way. We decorated it right away with the meager assortment of decorations and lights that we own and soon ran out to buy more. The lights are on, the presents are wrapped, the Christmas cds are in rotation in the cd player and I've sent off all my Christmas cards. I think I can safely say that the halls are decked. No snow here of course, but nonetheless I've been hit by the holiday spirit. Hard.

I expected this holiday season to be a difficult one. You may remember that we turned down an invitation to spend Christmas with the in-laws (and our nieces) because I worried about my oh-so unpredictable emotional state and the thought of being around little kids (conceived with no problems whatsoever) scared me. Instead the in-laws are coming to us. After Christmas, after our trip to the beach (sun and sand and ocean- oh my!). They arrive on the 29th and will be here through New Year's.

But strangely, or should I write unpredictably, I'm excited about the season. Feeling happy and merry and all those things. This Sunday I'm even making a traditional Christmas dinner for my Indian friends (who don't celebrate) and I've completely turned into my mother in that the table is already set and the serving dishes all have post-it notes attached with the names of the various dishes that they will hold.

I think it helps that I'm optimistic and feeling pretty sure that by this time next year I'll either be mothering a newborn or pregnant. I know that it's not a 100% certainty, but for now it's something that I can hold on to. And by holding on to that hope I'm able to appreciate this "last" Christmas- spent alone with my husband in the same place we got engaged. I'm looking forward to the New Year and all that it will bring.

"And so, I'm sending out this simple wish. To kids from 4 to 92. And though its been said, many times, many ways. . .Merry Christmas to You."

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

no surprises here

My period arrived on my birthday. So there goes that fantasy. I was not nearly as disappointed as I thought I might be. I seem to be getting better at this self-preservation stuff.

But despite the arrival of the blood, it was a very good birthday. The entire school wished me "Felicidades!" in the morning, I went out for good Indian food with some friends after work, and my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the Norah Jones concert even though we missed part of her first song (my favorite). And then this past weekend, we went to a hotel in town and pretended we were on vacation. Watched too much TV, ate really well, and caught the Basquiat exhibit at Bellas Artes. Not a bad birthday at all.

In infertility news, my in-laws received and opened a bill from our RE which billed us for all sorts of crazy tests that I had never had done so I wrote to them this weekend and am still waiting to hear back. I'm assuming that to do a uroplasma test I would have had to give a urine sample (I didn't) and so I really think that this is a billing error and not them trying to pull a fast one on me. The only procedure I had done when we were there was an ultrasound. Anyway, I also let him know that I had started my cycle and am verrrrrry regular and could we please schedule my mock transfer now so that I can let work know that I'll be gone for a few days in January. I'm debating whether or not to tell my boss what's up or whether I should just tell her that I need to go back to the States for a minor medical procedure and save the juicy details for when I need to ask for 2 weeks off in March. Any advice here would be more than welcome.

So once again I am in wait and see mode. Am less than mildly amused that the new RE was quick to answer my e-mails and phone calls when he was wooing me as a potential new patient and now that I'm a paying customer takes his precious time to respond to me. But such is life, no?

What else? I outed myself (infertilty-wise) to one friend and kept guiltily mum to another who asked about the future of babies in my life. It felt liberating and sickening respectively.

Haven't looked at sperm donors recently. Too hard. But we will. Eventually. As soon as I hear back from the RE about my mock transfer I'll start pestering him about the timeline for ordering sperm.

It's getting late and I need to go to bed. I promise to try to update more frequently. Maybe that can be a New Year's resolution?