Archives for the month of: September, 2014

Thank you, mamaetmamen, for the incredibly yummy gluten-free muffin recipe. I couldn’t wait to join you and My Perfect Breakdown in making them! I’m so glad that you got to make the chocolate-chip version while you were recovering. This weekend I made them and J enjoyed them warm with lots of butter. I have a thing for colored sugar, even when it’s corrupting healthy muffins ūüôā

20140922-195340.jpg

In just two days we’ll be staring out an airplane window at all the clouds between California and Milan. The excitement has made me a little more upbeat these past few weeks, and I’m hoping that this trip marks a new era of positivity for me in which I can accept my geographical challenges more easily, love J with all my heart instead of always letting my head get in the way, and enjoy some much-needed financial and career improvements.

When I was a teenager and in college I went to Italy several times, visiting the little Piemontese village my grandparents grew up in, staying with a friend whose grandmother was a friend of my grandmother, integrating with her high school life for a couple of weeks and them returning to Connecticut where I would cry for a week straight because I wanted to go back. I turned 21 while I was studying abroad in Siena, where I’d already drunk a hundred bottles of Tuscan red and 21 just meant more of the same. My fear was that it would be difficult to return from this trip, after not having been there for fourteen years, but I’ve come to realize that it’s going to be fine. Upon return, I will simply start planning my next trip there, as J adores Europe and goes every couple of years, and my dad has devoted all of his free time to fixing up the house there in which my grandmother grew up; now that grad school is behind me, I don’t have to put off Italy anymore.

This was going to be a second-trimester trip. I would easily have forgone wine to have my little nugget becoming bigger inside me. I would have shown her a beloved country before she could even see. Due to our miscarriage I will be drinking lots of wine, a small consolation prize, and our next round of IVF upon our return will soften the blow of having to return to LA and to everyday… traffic.

We saw our doctor last week, finally, to discuss the miscarriage that happened two and a half months ago. There have been times I felt angry that we didn’t decide to see her sooner, and desperate for our little embryos to be safe inside me, but I’m glad we waited. The Italy trip placed a square, solid marker between our first attempt and our second, giving us reprieve we didn’t have to discuss or decide on. It’s been a good couple of months, settling into my new job, enjoying the summer and anticipating a trip we’ve been planning for two years.

Our doctor, who is a brilliant and understated Chinese-American IVF expert, explained again that she believes our embryo had a chromosomal abnormality, and that she attributes this in part to J’s age. At 37, miscarriage is pretty common and she assured us she’s not concerned at this point. It’s scary that we only have two embryos left but for now I’m in a state of perpetual hope that I’ll get pregnant and nugget will be sticky.

J is adamantly against transferring two embryos due to the chance of twins. I really do not want to carry and deliver twins, and I only want one child, but I can’t help feeling that twins would be magical. We decided in our meeting however that we will only be transferring one embryo at a time.

The FET cycle timeline start as soon as we return. The day after I get back from Italy, I go in for my Day 2 bloodwork and ultrasound. About a week later I have to have a hydrosonogram to be sure there’s no scaring from the Manual Vacuum Aspiration (D & C). If everything looks okay, they’ll schedule the embryo transfer around October 28.

Just thinking about it makes me feel warm and happy. I’ve been thinking about what it was like to be pregnant a lot lately just the few short weeks of the experience left a huge impression on me. Last night I was in the middle of a yoga class and remembered being in yoga while pregnant and being short of breath. At the time, I felt so labored, but now I look back wistfully. The morning sickness was unmistakably awful, but even that I think of fondly, remembering getting up at 3am to eat dry toast with jam, being overtaken in a wave of nausea while listening to a client. I hope this time I get pregnant and stay pregnant. I hope this time I appreciate it even more, revel in it.

J and I feel more ready now, too. We’ve had a lot of time to talk more about becoming parents together, about our relationship, what we want in the next few years, and prepare together. This time around feels really good.

Right now what I’m really thinking about is pizza – small mis-shapen circles of perfection with real sauce and melting fresh cheese, accompanied by glass after glass of wine from a nearby vineyard, and waking up seeing the Italian countryside out the window, venturing out in pursuit of a cappuccino and flaky pastry.

I won’t have Internet in Italy and if I do, I’ll pretend I don’t! In two weeks I’ll shower you all with pictures though, and I’ll be thinking of you all while I’m away! Good luck to those actively TTC, those recovering from miscarriage, those processing RPL, and to the pregnant ladies and new moms. I can’t wait to see you all soon!

You know when you’ve been sick for days, feeling out of it and sad, achy, like you can’t lift your head off the pillow, and then the first time you get a glimmer that your body might feel normal again, you get a burst of energy and happiness?

I’m home sick today, NOT even on the mend yet, but feeling like maybe SOMEDAY SOON I might start to feel normal again. I slept for 12.5 hours, and when I woke up I didn’t even think I could make it out of bed. Lines of red hot pain were snaking their way through my face, and I had an instant idea for an art therapy project in which I would paint the sinus lines along the face in pain colors – red, black? I don’t even do art therapy, but I could imagine this painting so vividly. This must be why art therapy works – it gives people an outlet in which they can physically express the pain they’re feeling.¬†

I got out of bed, did a neti pot, and chopped garlic, jalapeno, ginger, and greens, then heated them up with veggie broth and added chopped organic chicken. I wish J was here to do this for me, she’s a great cook and we always make what we call “immunity soup” when we’re sick. Any type of anti-inflammatory vegetable and spice goes into the soup. I put on a pot of coffee (because I’m so sick of being sick, dammit!) and watched an episode of Mistresses (awesome show by the way). A few sips into my coffee, I remembered all the fantastic things that are about to go down.

Last night, before I went to sleep in my miserable, half-alive state, I felt the opposite. I thought, I need to spend more time with my family, and What am I going to do without J all weekend in our 1,000 degree apartment and How can I go to Italy when I have no savings. Today, those thoughts turned into I can’t wait until I’m pregnant, which may be soon, and God I love J, I’m so deeply grateful to have her in my life, I can’t wait until we run off to Italy together and We’re so lucky to be financially stable enough to take a trip! I love my new job!

Going to Italy is not something I take lightly. I started preparing for graduate school the minute I declared my major in my sophomore year of college. I researched psychology grad schools and looked at their minimum application requirements, because I didn’t want to MAJOR in psych. It wasn’t one of the best departments at my college, and it was the popular major – I wanted to get something more out of college. So I majored in feminist philosophy, minored in psych, and after graduation spent two years as a case manager for a social work organization, helping people with mental illness do everyday things like grocery shop and pay their bills. It took almost a year to finish my grad school apps, and when I decided on California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego, it was another six months of preparation, then driving cross country with the kitties in the car and starting a new life in Cali (for the second time, as I’d already run away to California three years before).¬†

Four years later, I finished my coursework. My dissertation took two more years to complete. Another year to complete my postdoc. I then began the long process of getting licensed – studying for the national exam, finding out I was missing a year’s worth of internship hours, re-doing these hours (another year), then failing the state exam, waiting the allotted 6 months, then taking it again, and finally becoming licensed. Throughout the 9 years I was in grad school, I never had a real vacation. Family holidays and weekends in Palm Springs, yes, but no week-long pleasure-only actual vacations.

Through all of this, I met the person I thought I would marry, got engaged, and she broke off our wedding plans six months into the engagement. 

Then I starting seeing J. In the midst of a storm, a tornado of depression, self-doubt, but also opportunity and frenetic openness, we saw each other in a new light. I can’t say I met her, because we’d been friends for almost four years already, both engaged to other people. As a psychotherapist, I believe that you should get into a relationship when you’re in a healthy, stable place with yourself, NOT when you’re in the midst of a storm, but J and I’s relationship began like a storm brewing, a wonderful, exciting, and very RIGHT storm. The kind of storm that makes you feel warm, excited and take a break from your everyday. The kind of storm that leaves freshness and light in its wake, that helps you start over.¬†

Unfortunately, starting over hasn’t quite happened for me yet. So many transitions happened all at once – leaving a relationship, starting a new one, moving from San Diego to LA (which are two VERY different cultures, believe it or not), leaving my friends, and struggling to accept that once again, I wouldn’t be moving back to New England, wouldn’t be living near my family yet.¬†

I’ve been a pill. I’ve been negative, a broken record of broken dreams, reminding J all the time that I hate living here, that I’m unhappy, that I don’t trust our relationship, no matter how good it is (because how could I trust ANY relationship after what happened?). She has time and again held me while I threw a bitter fit, both literally and figuratively. She’s amazing, a strong, positive life force I don’t always deserve.¬†

What J deserves: A partner who is content to let her have a couple years at the peak of her career, no matter where in the country it is. A partner who greets her with open arms and a smile after business trips, not passive-aggressiveness about her work schedule. A partner who focuses on all the positive parts of life’s circumstances. A partner who shows her acceptance, powerful support, a partner who pours her prosecco on a Friday night and spends hours giggling about nothing with her (that’s the only one I’m good at).¬†

You know who else deserves these things? Me. I deserve to be that person. I’ve said to some of you before that I don’t believe in the concept of “deserving” something, that life doesn’t give you what you deserve anyway, but by deserve, I mean I deserve to put these things out there, to put them into my life. To set the power of intention in motion enough to feel these fruits. I’ve been through some rough things in my life, just like everyone else. In the past, I felt I was just starting adulthood, that I’d figure it out. Now I’m 35, and I’m not just starting adulthood – this is it. It’s time to be happy because no one is going to do it for me, pick me up, fix my life, make sure I’m adjusting my attitude everyday. Only I can do that.¬†

Hold me accountable. I’ll be blogging more about taking care of my mental self, taking care of J, and lifting up our life together, knowing that our life depends on it. The day J and I discovered what was between us was a fateful day, and little did I know that it would be two years until I was ready for the potential of our relationship. Here it is, almost two years. We’ll spend our anniversary in Tuscany. We’ll come back ready for our first FET. I have the best job I’ve ever had. I have the best relationship I’ve ever had. Our days in LA are finally numbered. Why on Earth would I let anything bring me down?

Here’s to life, our loving partners, and the little sparks we’re all waiting for…

IMG_1485.JPG

We spent Labor Day weekend in Albuquerque celebrating my mom’s birthday and I got to see my niece Giuliana again. I met her at Christmas when she was 8 weeks; now she’s 10 months! J and I sat on my mom’s front porch anticipating the arrival of my sister, brother-in-law, and said baby, and it occurred to me that she may not know who I was and let me hold her. When the car door opened and she saw me though, she let me take her. I was immediately enamored of this incredible little girl. She’s already crawling, laughing, making silly facial expressions. It’s so amazing to see this new person! Now I understand what people mean when they say babies are a “new addition to the family.” She looks like us and literally grew out of our family!

We hiked twice during the weekend, and went out for pizza and dancing with my mom’s friends. Did you know that when you have a baby around, you start crawling around the house and playing with blocks?! It was so fun. I would crawl around the kitchen island playing peek-a-boo with her, and she would laugh like crazy. She hiked (in her baby bjorn of course, courtesy of her dad) at the top of the Sandia peak. She salsa danced a little in my arms, blowing her lips, which she thinks is the most hilarious thing ever. My sister, brother-in-law and I cooked a gorgeous dinner for mom, and J, blessed partner that she is, hung out with my 89-year-old grandmother and Giuliana the whole time. Seeing her rocked my world.

20140908-202730.jpg

20140908-202758.jpg

20140908-202811.jpg

Needless to say, it gave me baby fever, which is good timing since I haven’t been ready to have baby fever since my miscarriage. Next week we meet with our fertility doctor to discuss what happened during our miscarriage and how we want to move forward.

I’m really sick with a bad head cold and J is out of town on business. I miss her a lot and she’s going to be out of town for pretty much the next week. It’s 90 degrees in LA and will get up to 97 this weekend, and we don’t have air conditioning. Work is stressful and I have a packed schedule until we leave for vacation. All of this makes and anticipation of going to Europe better! In Italy I will also get to see my even little nephew, Gabriel, and get more doses of baby! After we get back, it may be time for our FET. I’m not overly excited, because anything could happen, but I’m definitely ready.

Before I go, I want to say that I’m thinking of a few amazing WP couples tonight who have put their all into TTC, only to have repeated CPs and MCs. I am so sorry. I don’t understand why this happens to the couples who are ready and willing to be amazing parents. Sending you love, strength, and hope for the future of all of our little sparks.