Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The moments we forget

Since tomorrow will be one long string of complete mayhem and chaos, I want to give thanks before the fact. 

There's a level of insanity that you don't quite have a full grasp upon before you have children.  Even before they're born, and still snuggling and kicking around deep in your body, you think you're going to have a grasp on what it will be like, but it's just not able to prepare you. 

Through this chaos, probably just another word we can call "life", there are moments when we'd prefer to crawl into our secret hiding place, cover ourselves and just lay still until the storms of chaos blow over us.  Other times, there are moments, even if they're fleeing, that touch and move us so completely, so deeply, that we commit to ourselves during that very moment that they will forever be etched in our minds.  Forever and ever.  Now, sadly, that rarely happens.  Unless you've got the video camera, or the phone camera snapping shot after shot (I don't do this - how do I juggle my arm loads of shit with a camera rolling, exactly?)

That being said; those moments?  The precious ones, the ones that touch your heart and send your mind into utter and complete nirvana, your brain pumping Oxytocin all over you until you can practically feel the hairs raise off your whole body.  These are the things I want to give thanks for.  These shreds of light filled with beauty in my life that fill me with things I NEVER understood were going to be part of life.  

I am so very thankful.  Everyday.  Call it blessed, smiled on, lucky, fortunate.  I will use a million words to describe this if I need to.  No matter where the path of my life and my experiences will every take me, the bliss I feel from being part of this is humbling and stunning.  I will never stop feeling gratitude for it.

Options and waiting.

I think the concept in my mind of how a man might feel when faced with the notion of using another man's sperm to get his wife pregnant might not strike a fellow too well. Generally that primal urge to fornicate and seed anything and everything in sight is still a relevant mind set in most of the male populace, whether discussed or not. The entire psychology aside, this was the beginning of a totally new conversation between us: Using a chosen donor. Someone we know.

This, like every option, carry’s a lot of weight to be considered. First and foremost; locating someone who would be affable to being hit up for semen maybe 1 or 2 times a month. Usually on the fly, too, when I have a surge in temperature and my ovulation predictor is giving us a figurative green light. This is also not going down the list of other aspects such as general weirdness. Not necessarily in the way you might think, but imagine running into this person in say, the grocery? The movies?  Campus? I imagine it would go down with a very fleeting, penetrative stare in which everyone involved would be thinking "yeah, those swimmers were totally in my wife/your wife/me", followed by a seemingly stammering quick glance away. It it completely insane for me to have that scenario?

So for a week or so, hubby verbally strategized how he was going to ask, and who he was going to ask, and how it was all going to go down. During this, the part of me that wanted to pick apart the whole situation to examine all the flaws, and plan out the attack was really questioning whether this was the best plan. I'd been studying how to get one’s self pregnant using sterile syringes and sterile collection cups and the method to position yourself when performing a home insemination. All this DIY process was mapped out in my mind.

Not long after the notion came about, it was quashed when my husband came to the stark realization that the men he would be asking, are ones he sees on a daily basis, and the utter discomfort of the whole act overall was not what he wanted to endure.

So next came the next idea: Ask hubby's brother. Brother enjoys children and lives with his girlfriend, but doesn't want any children of his own. This possibility was nifty on the front that, at the more basic level, it would be a child from the 2 of our gene pools, and not from a complete stranger.

Hubby asked his brother, and since that point, hasn't brought up the scenario again. I'm postulating that this was around 3 months ago. The ensuing silence on the issue leaves me the conclusion that the answer was a "no".

I can't lie; the idea of a known donor scared the shit out of me. Parading a child around who didn't fully look like your husband, but more like his brother just seemed like a bad episode of Maury where at the end there's a shocking DNA test reveal, followed by a lot of face-slapping. Of all these options, the part of it where get got to look over the donors history and physical background was probably the most assuring.

I'd like to step outside of this tirade to explain why the medical history is so important to me. My only child is almost 5 years old, and was conceived with a man, whom for all practical purposes deposited this infant in me purely by the stroke of divine luck. I say this because my child’s biological father had suffered for years prior to me meeting him from a few non-communicable ailments that inevitably lead him to a pulmonary embolism at the age of 36. Our son was not yet 2 years old, and the two had never even met. At 18 months of age, my son developed mild persistent asthma, and has several moderate severe allergies that keep me in just enough paranoia that I have to be at a heightened level of caution that a normal mother would.

If I was given the opportunity to pick and choose when it came to my boy; without any question I wouldn't change whom he was conceived with, and how it all happened. I love him unconditionally, completely and consuming. And more every day.  Period.

That being said; if I can give a child a chance to be born with the ability to remove certain health challenges out of the equation, I would like to do that for them.  No person hoping to have children would ever ask for less than a health child.  If we give our children nothing else in life, I hope it begins with good health, because while I have not experienced what a mother has to go through physically, emotionally and psychologically with a severely ailing child, I have still felt the panic of all-night episodes where my child and I are up every 30 minutes to few hours performing breathing treatments, and standing in hot showers together to get his airways to open up.  Feeling the panic inside while trying to keep an unending ocean of calm around you so your baby won’t feel that same grip of terror. 

Like I said; not even close to the horrors that some mothers have endured, and will in the future.  But for the two of us, we’ve seen hard nights together. 

There is the occastional insane notion, usually somewhere around the day or two before I am ovulating, that some insane and primal part of my brain that is hungry for a baby that takes a hold of my mind and fills me with crazy ideas of how I could bypass all of this bullshit and just go get someone to knock me up.   I'd like to tell you that I often laugh off these passing insanities, but the arguements I seem to concoct are so surprisingly convincing, that sometimes a veil of non-reality seems to go over my eyes where the notion isn't so completely terrible anymore. 

I quickly learned to A) keep it completely quiet that you're having this thought and B) Wait out your hormones for a day or so and you'll be back to your frustrated fertility-challeneged self.  Safe from irreprable relationship damage and 20 years of ongoing drama. 

So I close this today with this little tidbit:  There's always a short cut.  Mistakes aren't always regrets, but it will not mean they won't be frought with pain during the journey you're on.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I needed to hunt down something archived in the depths of my livejournal, and had to review entried in 2008 through 2009, which is the window before/durring/after I was pregnant with my son.  It really brought me back to that time, and how new and amazing the experience of pregnancy was for me.  My son was so polite, even in the womb, and so much like he is now.  I felt so much love reading those entries. 

Though there is all this love surrounding these memories and the words I wrote about the experiences I had in that time of my life, it caused me to reflect on where I am in these moments of my life, and to really feel weight around the experiences I am having right now:  The longing I still feel, pulling at me from inside feels like the longer we wait and put off, the less the idea of another child becomes a biological imperative, but a pragmatic decision.  Some people may know this feeling; the older your child gets, the more you lose that sense of motherly need for an infant. 

This was me in early November of 2008.  I wasn't slated to birth until January 2009.  Beautiful, full, happy, and huge!    Admitedly I spent too much time lazing around and indulging and not enough time watching what I ate, and walking around.  But I was happy.  So very happy.

I wish for this.  I pray for this. I feel waves of desire that fill every inch of me to be able to feel this time in a lifetime one more time.  We might never be able to do it a 3rd time (the 2nd is so arduous and time consuming, I can't even imagine what a 3rd baby would be like - pregnant at 40, perhaps).

I still hope.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Letting Go

There are many things I need to catch up here about our ongoing journey, but instead I'd like to write a little something contextual.  It's something we need in everyday life, and to be near us on our journeys, and it's been a topic which, as fertility-challeneged/differently abled will know, can cause more hurdles to overcome than just that of the fertility. 

You hear this phrase “letting go” a lot in meditation circles. It’s easy to say, and pretty easy to explain as well: don’t cling to the past, don’t get absorbed in plans for the future, don’t let fear, worry or anger get a hold of you in the present.

But try telling someone who is fearful or angry – in this present moment – to “let go” and you may get your ears boxed. And it won’t do anything to help them to let go either.

Actually letting go doesn’t come about by doing anything. Letting go isn’t something you do – it’s more like something that happens, almost by itself.

The conditions have to be right, of course. You must be able to let go – often you must have the courage and openness to accept whatever life has to offer – to not resist what might be unpleasant. And meditative exercises help too, of course: focusing your attention on the here and now creates the discipline of mind to not be carried away by anticipations of the future or memories of the past.
But being fully at ease with whatever is present in your experience is hard. It requires an attitude of welcoming to whatever this moment has to offer – an act of faith in the unknown of the future. But such an attitude cannot be brought about by doing anything. It’s more in the act of non-doing and just witnessing.

This is what meditation is about, really. Stopping. Not doing and just being and being aware. Dwelling in awareness is how this total relaxation can happen. And when you are totally relaxed – at ease with everything – there is no clinging and no grasping. ”Letting go” has happened.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Something different

There are a few new tags that I'm adding in light of the sudden fervor that I've observed in my own writing concerning our path to conception.  I would like to take today to have a meditative but momentary pause in something that brings me peace.

“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up.
Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love.
So if you love a flower, let it be.
Love is not about possession.
Love is about appreciation.”
― Osho