Monday, November 26, 2007
Several of those on my Most Favorite People list are Geminis. This is probably true because they are 1. notorious conversationalists -- let's face it, borderline "talkers," and 2. outlandishly intelligent, often bordering on brilliant.
And who, may I ask, doesn't love a brilliantly witty talker?? I love talkers if they're funny and interesting, and damn, Geminis are bizarre and hilarious. And I'm a Libra so I get along with everyone anyway, so set me up with a Gemini in a good mood and I'm happy as a pig in shit, as my dad would say.
ANYWAYZ, I bring all this up because of two things.
1. E is 13 weeks pregnant today. Does this get weirder and weirder or what? I am increasingly mystified by her pregnancy. How do bodies do this shit?
2. We got our nuchal fold scan results, which were outrageously good. 1: >10,000 for all three genetic abnormalities.
These two facts make us feel like Everything Is Going Our Way. Everything about this pregnancy has kicked ass, from E's sky high beta numbers to the unveiling of ONE little beating embryo, to the awesome results of the nuchal fold. And we all know that when Everything Goes Your Way, at some point, Things Will No Longer Go Your Way. It has something to do with physics.
So, of course, because this is what 3 years of Draconian education, one motherfucker of an exam and $150,000 of educational debt will get you, I attempt to rationally deduce at what point in time things will go wrong again.
It has occurred to me on more occasions than I'd care to admit that I'm afraid our child will be the spawn of evil.
My rational mind reminds me of the sheer number of evil spawn that exist in NYC, and I automatically must consider the likelihood of our child joining those ranks. For example, I saw one on the subway this weekend. It was like the Aryan Damien Thorn. And I was afraid. To be fair, the subway is jammed with the freaks and hos of this great metropoblitz. BUT STILL.
And then, of course, there is the small small worry we both still have, but mostly E, that it won't make it all the way. And that is a scarier thought.
So I've decided that the radical betas and the excellent nuchal fold is not about Things Going Our Way, and instead because our fetus is a Gemini-in-waiting. It's just that wicked smart already. It is likely our beautiful, A+ embryo, and it has basically been kicking ass and taking names since its petri-dish days.
So everyone better stand back, because it's gonna have some shit to say.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
E is twelve weeks pregnant this week. Do you believe that shizzle. I understand this may or may not mark the beginning of the second trimester. "Understand" being a rather strong word.
I have allowed myself to begin reflecting on the fact that our baby will probably be a Gemini.
Are Geminis not fantastic? I've known just a few intimately, but they are each spectacularly weird and wonderful people. People you remember your whole life kind of people. I would love a weird kid. One scenario I can actually imagine involving parenthood is having a moment with E in which we look at our kid doing something annoying or bizarre and then look at each other and just shake our heads and give each other a look that says: where the hell did this weirdo come from?
I can picture that.
On another note, I've thrice evaded death this week.
1. An elevator I was riding in free fell 20 stories before bouncing brutally to a halt. Nearly crapped myself.
2. On the way back to my office from Starbucks, a pair of electrician's shears came falling from the sky and landed -- point down -- mere inches from my feet. Hazards of working in midtown Manhattan, I suppose.
3. I just choked on a Smartie.
I have many blessings to count tomorrow.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.
Thank you for the reminder that I signed up for this crap. I so did.
(Which, by the way, is partly why I am bitching and moaning and flinging myself around like a fucking ninny. I just got on board, people. I've been doggy paddling around the ship for a while, so being on board is a new and fragile feeling. The Shit Commentary sent me into a fit of despair mostly because I am -- remain calm, wildly inconceivable information coming your way -- a small quivering mouse inside about impending parenthood. How dare these people mess with my delicate high??)
Thank you for your war stories. They are preparing me for the worst of what I'll hear...and I am so grateful for that because there is nothing I loathe more than thinking of the knockout comeback three hours after the fact. God I hate that.
And thank you for reminding me that it will take more than a little old lady with mental incapacity to bust my damn bubble.
Bubble intact. Onward.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
11 weeks and 3 days in, the bubble has burst.
For all the invasiveness of our IVF cycle, E's pregnancy has felt so natural. So natural, in fact, that E and I pretty much forgot that we didn't just have sex and get E pregnant. Figs is from my egg and donor sperm. It has felt so natural, that we forgot that there are people in the world who were going to Act Shitty about that fact. Two recent Shitty Comments made my head reel.
First up, Giant Ignoramus at a baby shower asked E who the father was. I told E that in response she should have made a confused face and said: "GS, of course."
Seriously, I know I shouldn't be shocked that people are going to ask the question in this way, but I can't help it. Unmindfulness makes my skin crawl - it's pretty much the ONE THING we owe each other as human beings. And while I'm at it, I'll add that I feel the same way when I meet someone who acts awkward when they find out I'm gay, presumably because they don't know any/many gay people. Not only does this endlessly irritate me (who doesn't know any gay people? leprechauns? cave-dwellers?), but I instantly have a low opinion of this person, and they have to work to make it up to me.
Second, and much worse, was E's 85 year old Grandmother's reaction upon learning that her granddaughter, the absolute apple of her eye, is not pregnant via her own egg.
"Why didn't she just adopt?"
This is the same Grandmother who refused to attend our wedding 4 years ago, but who has since embraced me lovingly, referred to me as E's "partner," and, on occasion, has been known to boast of our wedding to others. She was once happy about this pregnancy. No longer.
This hurts for two reasons: 1) It is my opinion that it is beyond primordial to be less enthusiastic about a child who does not bear your genetic resemblance than one who does. This is one of the ways in which humans are more highly evolved than other species in the animal kingdom. 2) It is inconceivable that she would have uttered those words if I were a man, and E needed an egg donor to conceive.
Pray tell, what in the fuck is the difference between a woman and an infertile man when trying to get a woman pregnant?
Moreover, if I were her husband instead of her wife and we had the same failures to get E pregnant, we would have tried with an egg donor. What is the fucking difference here?
E wanted a baby yesterday when we started trying, and, by the looks of things, getting pregnant via her own eggs would take some time. So we used mine. Why? Well, I'm younger, my FSH is better, and hmmm...oh right! WE ARE MARRIED.
More than anything, I can't understand why people focus on the things that don't matter. E wanted with all her heart to be pregant. She had to wait for years, but now she's pregnant with our baby, and she is overjoyed, and that fucking rocks. Why isn't that the focus?
And I'll just end by saying that almost everyone has been loving and thrilled for us, genuinely. Our family, our friends, all of you people out there who, amazingly enough, read this and sometimes share your thoughts with me (you people, by the way, are the best thing going). I feel so vastly fortunate for all of that.
But the small, moronic comments can cut deep. Deep enough to pop a happy little bubble, that's for sure.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
That there is a living beating little human inside E is kind of rocking my world right now.
It is unspeakably small - 4 cm from crown to bum - and yet it has long spindly legs which it stretches against the wall of E's uterus (damn you, woman, empty your bladder! I have no room in here already!), and long praying mantis arms that alternate between waving wildly (I will commit an aggravated assault if you come any closer with that god-forsaken wand! I have a cord with which to wring your fat neck!) and shielding its tiny head (don't look at me! I don't have my face on!).
E had her first OB appointment this morning. She was pale faced and grim when I met her in the waiting area of Big Fat Hospital. She was certain it was dead. I tried to reassure her by saying she was looking more pregnant by the day, and all was well. I received the stink-eye in return.
E: Stop telling me I'm fat.
GS: Exhibit 79: you are emotionally abusive.
Our u/s tech took us from the waiting room to the examining room which has been carefully preserved from the World War II era. She laughed frequently and at a decibel inappropriate for the AM hours. At first it grated at my fragile morning nerves. But it grew on me by the end.
Laughy: Pull up your dress, please. This will be a little cold! *LAUGHTER*
E: I'm nervous things aren't going well in there. Please just tell me right away if things are bad, alright?
Laughy: Oh, OK! *LAUGHTER*
E: (turns to GS, eyes very wide) Um, ok.
Laughy: Are you ready to see your little one? *LAUGHTER*
E: (with a deathly frown) Mm hm.
Laughy: Oh, why so nervous? Don't be nervous! Cheer up! *LAUGHTER*
She pushed the wand against E's belly and swivelled the screen towards us. There, laying alongside the bottom of E's ute, was a motionless little fetus.
E: (pushing herself upright) WHERE IS THE HEARTBEAT?
And she pointed at the little chest area where a barely visible light flickered. It was so much less visible this time, I suppose because there's more body around it now.
E: WHY ISN'T IT MOVING?
Laughy: *LAUGHTER* That's normal! He's just comfy down there!
She wriggled the wand and poked down on E's belly.
Laughy: Hello in there! Wake up, little guy! *SO MUCH LAUGHTER*
And the little thing stretched its legs and flailed its arms before settling right back into its warm and snuggly uterus bed. The relief that washed over E was palpable.
Our u/s tech continued to poke and molest E's belly area to get the little fetus to roll over, turn, move around, or do anything besides lie there like a lazy ass. She was trying to get the nuchal fold measurement, and the fig-sized one was uncooperative.
Which, btw, I understand completely at such an ungodly hour of the AM.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Hi everyone. This is E, the chosen guest poster for today. GS is busy working (yawn) and she’s asked me to submit a post for consideration. She stressed repeatedly that it may or not be approved, so the version you are reading now may or may not be my words at all. But I digress…
We’re 10w6d into this pregnancy and things have seemed pretty textbook – both in terms of symptoms and feelings. The symptoms part isn’t really that interesting – nausea, tiredness, heartburn, etc. But the feelings, well, I think GS has beautifully outlined the giant mind-fuck that is infertility. We can never be purely happy about this…Even after the last ultrasound of lentil at 9w2d where I saw it moving around, and heard it’s heartbeat on stereo. The thrill of that visit and the certainty of the success of this pregnancy faded with each day that passed and I woke up yesterday certain that lentil was dead and that our first visit with the OB – scheduled for this Tuesday – would be a festival of sadness leaving GS and I broken once again. Yup.
I want to be clear that we have a great life – and I mean that without irony – it’s great by any measure; we have been wildly happy together for nearly 7 years, illegally married for 4.5 years, we each have crazy, fun, bizarre families, we bought a beautiful apartment that we can almost afford and decorated it in ways that reflect “who we are.” We are privileged to harbor the most magnificent beast on the planet earth, and after trying to get pregnant for what felt like eons, we’re finally here. And I’m deeply grateful – I know GS is too. But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to enjoy it? Wouldn’t that be novel?
So, I’ll spend the next two and a half days stuffing my anxiety behind my swelling heart and hoping it doesn’t burst through my ribs in the middle of a meeting about financial goals or maximizing the efficiency of our operation and GS will report back to her faithful readers with our news on Tuesday. Until then, thanks for reading and stay tuned for your regularly scheduled programming.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I am a kid. I am fickle and changeable and lazy and impatient and so so imperfect. And I am scared shitless about being a parent.
But I am doing pretty good, considering.
Am panicking only slightly. Am keeping it together, for the most part. Swallowing the fear. There are only so many ways to say holy fuck, before the phrase loses its meaning and you feel the need to get original or stop freaking the fuck out.
And I have nothing original to add to the cacophony of tired, cracked old voices telling me this is a bad idea for me. This kid didn't ask you to be born. It didn't ask you to be its parent. This is a responsibility you are so not cut out for.
So I'm taking deep breaths. I'm remembering why the place I'm going is going to be amazing.
I want to be a parent because I want to love E in new and yet-undiscovered ways. I want to experience a vastness of heart that I didn't have before. I want to learn and be humbled. I want to see where I go with this Great Human Experience.
But most of all I want to to be pulled into myself with all the force of love or anger or adrenaline.
E is happier than I've seen her in more than a year. She's so ready, and that makes me feel strong and ready too. She's right there, and she's amazing. She makes me feel like I can do anything, and that's...um...beyond awesome.
Why do/did you want to be a parent?
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I spend a lot of time at work.
A whole lot.
Sometimes, when the image of my desk feels as though it is burned inexorably on my retinas, Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home" starts rolling through my head.
Home Sweet Home
I'm on my way
Just set me free
Home Sweet Home
And I start a little pity party for myself, because I don't get to go home. I lob complaints at anyone who will listen. I especially enjoy complaining to my friend who works as much as I do, for about 5 years longer than I have. I whine at her and ask how she has done it for so many years without curling up on herself and crumbling into dust.
She rolls her eyes at the melodrama and sends me here. And I feel better.
But sometimes I feel the need to Buy Something to make myself feel better. Ah, the salve of consumerism. It soothes so.
The last few weeks at work have been rough, and the tiny violins weren't helping, so the time came to Buy Something. Last Tuesday I rolled out of work and down to the Nintendo store: Guitar Hero III was finally released for the Wii. And I bought it.
Life has been really good since then. And not only because I freaking rock at Guitar Hero.
See, usually by the time I get home from work, E is comatose on the couch. After working for 14 hours, I can't just go to sleep. I need some form of entertainment, and when that endless source of entertainment - E - is otherwise occupied ... well, the pity party begins again.
So now when I get home from work, E is jamming to "When You Were Young" by The Killers. She's rocking out. And when she finishes her song, she passes the guitar to me, sweating slightly and breathless.
E: Here you go. I suck.
GS: Watch and learn, E, watch and learn.
And then I crush Lucifer in a Battle in Hell. By the time I'm doing my victory kicks, E is passed out and snoring behind me on the couch.
I merely shrug. My encore duet with Satan, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," is beginning.
Home sweet home indeed.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Pregnancy, I can understand. I can even reach down deep and find a shred of desire to grow life from just my own blood and thrumming being. I've even had the pregnancy dreams, although those are pretty weird for me. I never wake up all wistful and wondering. No, I always kind of thrash awake feeling vaguely violated.
But it's really the birth part that I don't get. To me (I speak only for myself and from my own thoughts and experience), it seems nightmarish. The inspiration behind Alien and Dawn of the Dead.
You grow. And grow. And continue to grow, until you are literally stretched to bursting. And that thing in there that's stretching the shit out of you must, sweet BBJ, get pushed out of the one place that should, it seems to me, remain free of such brutality.
And come out it must. Your bellybutton doesn't stretch wide to accommodate it. You don't have to take the biggest shit of your life. No. You must push that sonofa out, no matter the earthquakes of your bones, no matter the stretch, tear, or shred of your flesh.
And I don't wanna.
But that's just me. I bow down to the women who have done it and who will do it. (E! You will be amazing).
And don't worry, I'm going to get all kinds of shit from my sister for this post, who not only pushed her baby out without so much as a Tylenol, but she did it right there on the couch.
After 32 hours of labor.
My mom did it too. Pushed me out in her own bedroom, surrounded by a dozen high hippies chanting and swaying and tie-dying. My dad broke her waters with his fingernail.
How cool are these women? They are Great Arctic Warriors. They have traveled to the yawning abyss and back. They've gone where I will never go.
My lack of posting is due to some weariness that has draped itself over my cerebral cortex.
The weariness lifted briefly last night, when E showed me a 3-D ultrasound picture of our embryo, who stands (floats?) on the brink of fetus-hood. The lentil lives, and in fact wriggles its body and waves its beanpole legs.
It has legs. It is the size of my thumbnail.
I am overtaken with the arresting strangeness of this. E is pregnant. It is looking like there may be a baby in my near future. And right now, that baby is shimmying inside E with the force of its hammering heart.
My mother and sister, those Wise and Terrible forces of nature, have already sent extremely tiny shirts to my house.
And some of them are tie-dyed.