Thursday, July 31, 2008

The real problem with IVF

It is not the cost. We are lucky enough to have the financial support of my family. Without that, we would have long ago been done with this process and settled for good into our three person family.

It is not the pain. I have a higher threshold for pain than I would have thought. Even though the progesterone shots have arguably gotten harder over time as my backside has increasingly given itself over to scar tissue, they are bearable and never hurt for long.

It isn't the possibility that it will not work. Though I reserve the right to wail and gnash my teeth should the need arise, I am coming to terms with the fact that I may not have another child. 

It is the fucking scheduling. After our most recent round I wanted to go again as soon as possible. However, my travel schedule was going to be a problem. In late June I was scheduled to fly to Boston for a conference. I really wanted to go and did not want a maybe-event to keep me home. I put off the next cycle for a month. When my period started I consulted the calendar and found that starting the process would mean cancelling my plans for San Francisco and interrupting my vacation at the beach with several early morning drives to visit my Portland doctor. So again I put it off.

Now I am waiting for the go-ahead to start again. Once I start bleeding I can begin the two weeks of birth control pills, followed by a couple of weeks of follicle stimulating drugs and the paired joys of egg retrieval and embryo transfer.

So what's the problem? The timing. One of my favorite bloggers invited my family up to see hers on Labor Day weekend. (and to hear Neko Case perform, one of our shared enthusiasms) Once again, I am looking at the calendar. A month from now looks like exactly when I can't be away.  Crap.

I have put off this round of IVF twice. I can not wait any longer. I hope Mother-Woman and her family will forgive my indecisive rambling and back and forth emails (I'd love to visit, I don't know if I can come, yes we'll be there! No wait…).  Somehow I think they will. In any case, the bug is in my ear, and I will see them soon. If the IVF works, I will know I made the right decision. If it fails? Probably still the right decision, but it will sting a little more.

Thanks for your patience, Mo. You are welcome here any time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Random Quote and Unrelated Photo of the Week


We're like The View on Clomid.

Lori of Weebles Wobblog...
Talking about the make-up of the Blogher panel on Adoption, Infertility and Loss

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dear Friends

To friends old and new, I am sorry if I neglected you this week. The cards of those I met at Blogher are burning a hole in my pocket.  I have been at the beach with limited internet access (or interest).  I will be making the rounds soon, to say hello and check in on your varied, fascinating lives.

Until then, proof that I really was away:

last day at the beach

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Walking In A Stranger's iPod

What was that saying about knowing someone only after you have walked a mile in her shoes? Well today I listened to a stranger's ipod, but I am still not sure who he is, other than a fan of rap music.

And of Steve Winwood.

What would you do with a found iPod? I went right for the "25 most played" playlist. Something is wrong with the screen (hey, it was dropped at least once, right?). Only the bottom-left corner of the screen works. I can read the first word or two of the song titles, but nothing else. After a half-hour of assorted (and to my ear, second rate) rap, all of a sudden a fast-paced remix of "Call On Me" comes on. A quick search turned up the name Eric Prydz as the artist. And then, as quickly as it came on, it was replaced by more nameless hip hop.

Truthfully, it was a little disappointing, this iPod full of music that means nothing to me. I like rap, but it is not so good as office music, especially while I finish up edits on a report eight months in the making. When I saw the iPod lying in the street, I hoped that I would be transported into someone else's world by the music I found on it. Well, first I hoped that no cars ran over it before the light changed. But then I hoped to get a musical ride. Mostly I was bored by what I found, though maybe I will dig a little deeper to see what else is on this guy's playlist.

No doubt if the tables were turned, and this unknown rap fan found my nano, he'd be equally confused by my choices. Bon Iver? Neko Case? What the fuck? Natalie Portman's Shaved Head? I wonder if he'd turn the iPod over and see that it has "Nonlinear Girl" engraved on the back? (Chris ordered it for me when we got the new computer.) Maybe he'd google the name, and find me. He'd comment on a random quote post and we'd forge a lasting bond between people who frequent the corner of 12th and State. I would give him his iPod and take mine back. We'd laugh at our good luck and shake our heads at the other's taste.Or not. I feel bad that I can't return the iPod to this guy. Even if he knows where he lost it, what is the point of putting it back there now? Anyone need a half-broken iPod? Free to a good home.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

plaskool window

She strode past me on those mile-long legs, her sensible nun shoes making a hollow klopf-klopf, the sound of Joy itself agreeing to some pragmatic temporary restraint.

George Saunders

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Camp Blogher

At one am, one of my roommates was sure she was done with blogging, the other was hatching plans for a new venture. I was still reeling from the conference, trying to decide what to make of it.

Debbie called Blogher the blog prom. To me the two days felt something more like summer camp. As kids, Karen and I both went to sleep away camp. When I talk to other people who had been “camp” kids, I hear the same stories about the experience, whether it was a camp organized around kayaking, one run by the girl scouts or for Jewish youth. It is an intense experience; days feel like weeks, and weeks contain years. Friendships are forged, feelings are hurt, dramas rage, are discussed, analyzed and forgotten in the face of new dramas. Sleep is forgone, nerves fray, people declare themselves and remake themselves daily.

Gwen and her favorite blogger enjoy a SF cab ride

As with camp, I enjoyed it and hated it in equal measure. In the session on infertility, adoption and loss, I listened to women speak and felt in synch with them. Over the course of the weekend I met several women who I genuinely enjoyed getting to know, with whom I want to continue friendships across time and space.

I also felt confused and a bit put off by the structure of the event. As a blogger with a small readership, I am not expecting to monetize my blog, I do not hope to get a book deal or even a paid writing gig. I did not need to network in the way that people do when their business is at stake, when working the room can affect their careers.

my old bunk was never this swank

At lunch on Thursday, Karen asked what I wanted out of the weekend. I could not really answer. Sitting in the airport waiting for a delayed plane, I still don’t know. As with camp, I leave exhausted and overstimulated. Unlike those years that I came home from camp with a pile of dirty clothes and a slight sunburn, unpacking is not accompanied by an immediate nostalgia for the days past and a hopeful excitement for next year.

But maybe that's just because I am no longer 14. 

Friday, July 18, 2008

Feeling much better now, thanks.

I didn't realize how emotionally exhausting this whole Blogher thing was going to be. Just now, crying and lying curled up on the bed, I got it.

Being outgoing and friendly all day? Hard.

Asking questions and being trying to be funny all day? Tiring.

Approaching people you know only online and who you aren't sure will recognize you? Forcing yourself to repeatedly overcome the urge to hide in the handicapped stall? Listening to people read and knowing your writing is never going to be that funny/beautiful/poignant? Fucking exhausting.

(Wah, cry me a river, right?)

Oh, and Chris? I told Liz that she is your favorite mommy blogger. I hope that's okay. She said something about kissing you. I told her she could be on your list, after Neko Case.

Live Blogging: Mommyblogging and Privacy

I am in the Blogher session on public parenting and privacy. Hearing these stories I started to wonder if I should worry more. I have a fairly small readership, and I know many of them (more of them as of today). BUT. I can not know everyone who is reading.

The speakers (and audience) are talking about not using their kids' names and not using pictures of their children on their blogs. I am not sure how I'd do this. A couple of years ago I considered switching from names to psuedonyms, but in the end kept referring to my family by their names. Some of my favorite pictures of Ada are closeups; I am not sure I am ready to give up showing those.

I have limits - I do not share my last name online. I don't write about certain things. The moderator says it is  about balance.  This is very comforting to me. I think we all need to do what feels right, while being clear-eyed about what we share. Beyond those with extreme stranger fear (legitimate or not), I am hearing good advice about thinking before writing, and abut considering the impact on myself and those I write about.

A Sign She May Not Win Miss Congeniality

The other night after her bath, I was helping Ada brush her teeth.  While I had control of the toothbrush, she farted. Before I knew what was happening, she put her hand to her bottom and the raised it to my face, offering up the scent of her fart. 

I pulled away, and laughing asked her where she had learned that. Between peals of laughter she told me that no one had taught her, she just did it. After she was done laughing (this took a few minutes) Ada tried to raise her hand to my face again.  I told her not to do it. 

Ada: Why?

Me: Because I don't want to smell your stinky farts. 

Ada, after pausing to consider this: Maybe Papa will!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

If my having an orgasm saved a whale or stopped global warming, then I'd have a decent shot.

David Bar Katz
Philip Roth In Khartoum

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Is there an Allbottom list?*

When I was thinking of that title, it sounded much more innocent than it looks now that I have typed it. Unintended implications of sexual proclivities aside, I think there should be some website for the rest of us, perhaps a badge. ("Alltop doesn't know I exist") I'd make one if I wasn't so busy worrying about what to wear to Blogher. I know, it should not matter what I look like, but you prepare to spend three days with 1,000 women and not doubt your wardrobe or haircut. Despite her self-proclaimed tendency to obsess, Debbie kindly talked me off an "I've got nothing to wear" ledge yesterday afternoon. I felt a bit better, but then I read that she planned on doing it up herself next week, sartorially speaking. Great, a roommate of charm and sophistication, dressed to the nines. No pressure there. (Maybe she can make up for this gaffe by making me an shirt. I'll wear it out on the town; maybe Guy Kawasaki will take pity on me and start such a site.)

Luckily my kind neighbor offered some help. She loaned me a wrap, perfect for the frozen wasteland that is a hotel conference room. (and a July day in San Francisco) When in a fashion crisis, it is always good to wear someone else's clothes. Thank goodness for her, because looking around at my closest friends I see women who are vastly different shapes and sizes from me, which is to say NO HELP AT ALL in the clothes borrowing department.  Which will not stop me from running upstairs during Monkey Boy's birthday party to rifle through Ellen's things. A 5'9" woman can wear her 5'2" friend's clothes, right?  Maybe not the jeans, but I'm sure there is something in her closet I can use.  That way, if it looks terrible I can blame it on Ellen.  Win-win, as I see it.

After the last of my three attempts to find something to wear at blogher, I left the store with purple footless tights.  Which helps me how? Not at all, but does make me feel 14 again.  I take that back; the 14 year old me would never have worn bright purple, or anything else that called attention to the fact that I had a body.  Now I am so desperate for something new that I resort to tights that are tantamount to holding a sign over my head.  One that reads "I have no taste and no time to shop; be my friend!"  Yeah, that'll work. Maybe I should just have gotten the sign.

*I debated whether to use this subject line.  My experience with seemingly innocent titles that generate traffic from porn-seekers (I s*** my****, for example) makes me wary. But apparently not wary enough to think of a better title.

Edited to add: HRH pointed me to, which has apparently beaten me to the punch on this.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

One Fine Week In July

A quick peek into a very busy week:
tire swing too
enjoying the park with a neighbor
through the wheat
Ada and Thing Three, picking their way through the wheat
up a tree
Kruger Farm has trees just the right size for climbing
pine state1
biscuits with friends old and new
Mike and Ann in firefighter panelsAda in firefighter panel1
Plus, a trip to the firehouse museum
Firefighter in firefighter panel1
the firehouse's resident fire-fighter/historian
then some time at the park
Bacon face
and the rest of the bacon from the biscuit
Berry girl
a trip to the farmer's market for berries and carnitas tacos
Birthday Boy
Monkey Boy's 4th birthday celebration
Go by bike
Dance Party Rest Stop
Donuts and more Donuts
and a night bike ride that had us up late into the night,
with stops for movies, a dance party and DONUTS!

Friday, July 11, 2008

If I were a bear

On the walk home from the farmers' market, Ada said: "If I were a bear . . . I would turn into a bench."

hopefully not like this one

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

half an R

After meeting Harpo Marx in 1937 during his Hollywood trip, Dali expanded on an earlier idea for a Marx Brothers movie to be called "Giraffes on Horseback Salad," which would have included a scene of giraffes wearing gas masks and one of Chico sporting a deep-diving suit while playing the piano. Dali had Cole Porter in mind for the score.

Randy Kennedy

Close Reading: Mr. Surrealist Goes to Tinseltown

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Will (and Grace?)

You say yes, I say no.
You say stop and I say go go go
oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello hello
I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello

Every time I find myself annoyed lately, it is because I wanted to do something but am thwarted by Ada's contrary but persistent will.  Every little thing is a battle, from whether I am going to walk with her to the park (no, she wants the stroller) to whether Chris will change her diapers (today she yelled for me the whole time). And just forget about potty training.  As previously mentioned in this space, the very fact that I am done with diapers makes her love them all the more.

Why don't I remember people saying how hard 3 can be? I am sure they must have been telling me this all along, since now that I'm asking I am hearing about the trials of three from all kinds of people. 

And those trials, oy. Whatever I want, she doesn't.  One day last week, all I wanted for the afternoon was to deliver Ada's birthday thank you notes to our neighbors, and maybe take some pictures of a local oddity. She thought this was a crap idea, and whined for snack and books. Post-snack, she whined for more books. She whines about other stuff as well, all too boring to bother recounting.  I find myself singing the Beatles to her in a vain attempt not to scream.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Arum italicum subsp. italicum

The plant pictured above? Arum Italicum. I suggest you do not try to eat it.
Arum Italicum is poisonous, which Ada and Monkey Boy learned the hard way, when they each gave it a good bite yesterday afternoon. Technically it isn't actually poison that causes the problem, but it has some kind of glasslike shards (calcium oxalate crystals) in the berries that cause pain. They both experienced a burning pain due to what they described as the plant's "spiciness."

Ellen, Chris and I hit the internet and gardening books, as well as asking neighbors and finally the poison control folks. Turns out that the woman at poison control is a master gardener.

Both kids showed no lasting ill effects (other than about ten minutes of spicy-mouth). In researching this plant, I learned that it can be highly invasive and is hated by many gardeners.

Lucky for us, this was a case of live and learn. It was also a teaching moment, in which we reinforced for the kids that they could eat what they found in the vegetable garden, but that under no circumstances were they to taste-test other plants they found in the garden or elsewhere. Hopefully this has sunk in, along with the burning sensation.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Chris Reports

Ada: Juni thinks Sesame is only on cd.*

Chris: Oh really?

Ada: Yeah, but there is Sesame on YouTube.  You sometimes show me Sesame on YouTube.

Chris: Ok, I will make sure Juni knows about that. 

By the way, while searching for an appropriate image to go with this post, I found this post on DaddyTypes about Sesame Workshop's beta Sesame Street Video Player.  If Ada learns about this we may never get off the couch again.

*Ada is a little unclear on the difference between a cd and a dvd.  She also sometimes refers to books as songs, as in "read me this song." Then again, she has mastered the concept of YouTube.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week


One word: braincicle.
Stephen Colbert