Saturday, November 26, 2005

People seem to think we're having a baby

Or, maybe, a garage sale.

Our cramped basement has suddenly sprouted a swing, a bouncer, a car seat, a playpen, several gargantuan and mysterious but colorful plastic items in varying stages of dismantlement, three stuffed animals and a hardly-used Baby Bjorn.

I am the last of my family, friends and extended acquaintances to get myself pregnant--a consequence both of my advanced age and of the fact that most of my friends, though infinitely fertiler, are a few years older. The resulting swarm to give us stuff--physical, baby-smelling, bulky stuff--has caught me off guard. I was quite prepared for them to give--and me to selectively absorb or ignore--advice, assvice and the like. But all this stuff...well, it just seems so premature. And so real.

I'm not minding it; don't get me wrong. Not at all. It is thoughtful and kind and generous. It just, for want of a better term, trips me out. Because you can't look at this stuff and not picture it in use. And, I mean, wow. That just starts to blow my mind.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Bay Area IF Hoedown

Susan over at Holding Pattern is arranging a little Bay Area get-together for the IF blogging community. If IF has left you gray and grizzled and you want to speak loudly in public about the ignominy of it all, please come.

Thank you, Susan!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Blogkeeping of the Motel 6 variety

It has been a while since I updated links and, when I started in on the project a few minutes ago, realized that it would take more hours than I can possibly squeeze out of my life right now. So, I am asking you a favor: If you have a blog regarding infertility/adoption/pregnancy after infertility/parenthood after infertility, I would love to add you to my lists (both the site links and my Bloglines). If I have you listed but your address has changed, please let me know. If you'd like to be removed from my links list, please let me know that as well. If you want your sheets changed more than every third day, or if you need fresh towels or a wakeup call, just call the front desk and ask for Blogkeeping.

And, of course, if you want some real traffic to your site and mints on your pillows, instead of the paltry few travelers who might find you from this roadside dive, Julie's Big List of Blogs is the place to stay in elegance and luxury.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Half

Much to my continuing amazement, she is halfway baked today. Not half-baked, as in a crackpot idea--though I can't rule that out, what with never having experienced motherhood before--but halfway baked, as in twenty weeks.

We are getting along better now, she and I. She is making room for herself, a commodious domed home in my belly; I am now able to eat enough to keep her satisfied. (In fact, I can now eat more than enough--just ask Baby Hungry Man and Anna H., whose frittata, fruit, bacon and lemon loaf I consumed with joyous abandon, leaving in my wake only the tiniest of crumby orts.)

There is a constant thread of hope running through every seam of me--the hope that she will stay there, growing and changing me, for another twenty weeks.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Faith

Faith is a word that makes me take a step back. Its religious connotations are immediate and make me uncomfortable, but it's more than that. As a general, aspiritual concept, it is simply something with which I am not personally acquainted.

When we started trekking the infertile trails, those very few people who knew of the hike insisted that we should have faith--faith that we'd get to the top, faith that it would work out for the best. My regular doctor said we should have faith that our bodies knew what to do and would do it eventually (the futile path of charting and sex that this sent us on, I will not go into here). My first RE said we should have faith in medicine, faith in his skill and faith in the power of positive thought.

A friend in San Francisco said we should have faith in fate.

A friend in Texas said we should have faith in Jesus, and she prayed for us.

When waiting for that first beta, I wanted to have faith in the possibility of simple possibility. When The Bad Test came back, I wanted to have faith in the odds. Since The Good Test came back, I have wanted--badly, badly--to have faith that she will keep growing and kicking and that, one day in early April, she will come home with us.

I've realized, though, that it's just not a part of my internal makeup--that there are only two things in my life to which I might, even tentatively, apply the concept of faith. One is Jeff, whom I love and trust beyond measure, and of whom I believe all good things in a way that may or may not be wholly rational. The other is that I have no idea what will happen next.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

And then my phone rang

I realized that my phone had been on "vibrate" for the last five days, so I turned the ringer back on. As soon as I put it back in my purse, it rang.

It was the genetic counselor, not my doctor. I took that as a good sign. She sounded chipper, not serious. I took that as another good sign.

She said, "I have good news for you."

And then I cried, and I laughed, and I thanked her as though she, personally and all by herself, had caused this good news to come into being.

I can't stop crying. The relief is overwhelming me.

Monday, November 07, 2005

How do I pass the time?

There is a brief calm before the next storm here at work, and it has opened up this time and space in my head that I wish were firmly filled with urgent, unemotional things.

I keep thinking about the results. When my mind wanders away for even a moment and then is snagged again on the amnio bramble, my heart races and I can't breathe quite right. Thinking about it without interruption is the only way that I can keep the panic at bay.

I had a dream last night that the news was bad. They were going to run more tests, dozens or hundreds, but the best possible prognosis was still terrible. I was heaving and unable to make a sound, and then I half-awoke. For a few seconds I thought the dream and more had come to pass, and that I was struggling to regain my senses from the sedation of a D&C. When I finally got my eyes to open, I just shook. Jeff didn't wake up.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

No complaints

We were in and out of the perinatology clinic inside of two hours. In that time I learned a few things:

My stoic front is thin as paper.

Genetic counseling does not involve any counseling.

Genetic counseling does involve drawing useless, hangman-style pictograms.

I am older than I thought.

Teenagers are having babies on purpose.

My doctor filled out the AFP form wrong.

Recalculated, I might have screened negative.

They don't like to recalculate.

My bladder fills up with surprising speed.

Babies' hearts have four chambers, too, and you can see them all.

I am no longer blase about needles.

Amnio does, in fact, hurt.

A lot.

Like fire.

With cramps.

Jeff's hand should not be squeezed with the force of burning pain.

The tapping/pulling/fluttering sensation in my lower abdomen is not gas.

It is also not a boy.

She has ten fingers.

She has ten toes.

She rubs her eyes.

She looks like a person.

A baby person.

I am in love.

I am terrified.