Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things I Don't Know

I wrote this review on my LivingSocial: Books page on Facebook. What I didn't say in the review is how the book affected me personally. Cohen was not that much older than me when she discovered she was pregnant at 6 months, and her writing about her ambivalence about (even hostility towards) her pregnancy was fascinating to read as I try so hard to conceive. Granted, I have only two of the four strikes against me that she had to grapple with: I have not-such-great health insurance and I'm of "advanced maternal age," but unlike Cohen, I am not a DES baby and I am not taking teratogenic drugs. It's hard to imagine not being aware of the pregnancy in the first six months--especially as I am hypersensitive to anything going on down there these days, but if you've been told for more than a decade that you are infertile, I suppose you wouldn't be looking for those signs.

Her discussions around her feelings about taking care of a child with a disability were hard to read. I don't know where I come out on that one yet, and I don't think anyone does that hasn't faced it. I just hope that I would be less depressed and more communicative with my partner than the author describes herself being.

The scariest part of the book was her description of her process of laboring and giving birth. At one point she says that a doctor told her that after 35, a woman's ease at giving birth and her needed recovery time increases exponentially. I mean doctors say all kinds of shit, so hopefully that's not altogether true, but it does make me feel like I ought to start doing yoga like, now.

Here's my review:

Anyone working in the field of abortion rights should read this book--today. I heard an interview with the author on NPR a few months ago and scrawled the name in my agenda so that I could remember to order it. I forgot about it until I attended the premiere of the Human RIghts Watch film festival a few weeks ago to see the film "12th and Delaware" about a corner in Florida where on one side of the street is an abortion clinic, and the other side is a Crisis Pregnancy Center--basically a "clinic" set up to fool women that they provide abortion services but instead offer them a sonogram and aggressively and with lots and lots of lying, try to convince them not to have an abortion.

There are like, tens of thousands of CPCs that have cropped up all over the country, and it is part of the culture shift around abortion. If we simply demonize the right to lifers and we don't start examining our feelings about life and answer the hard questions about abortion, we're going to keep losing this culture war and women's lives will be at risk. Alice Eve Cohen's articulation of why abortion rights are important in the face of her decision to keep an unwanted pregnancy are starkly and refreshingly honest. Her thoughtful revealing of her struggle around this pregnancy should be front and center in discussions among those of us who fight to retain abortion rights in this country.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Solstice Disappointment

When you have a yardsale, you see tons of kids--newborns in little front-packs, babies in doublewide strollers, toddlers knocking things over . . . And when you go to a yardsale, you see tons of baby detritus--plastic pieces of things that look necessary but it's unclear what they are, stained onesies, weird yesterday's toys . . . We had a yardsale this weekend and what I saw was all that AND proof that this is not the month.

I wasn't as sad as I expected to be, mostly because I kept reminding myself that this past month was the first month that we were really on target with our timing. Its so strange, it's not the baby part that I feel saddest about, it's this feeling that my body isn't nurturing anything. I get that feeling when I have my period, I get it during that time in between when my period ends and the time that I am "fertile." So, basically, half of every month for the past year I've felt like a non-nurturer.

I have to turn that around. I have to create a hospitable womb. (Nothing I'm saying here is knowingly supported by science, by the way). I am going to take the prenatal vitamin every day. I am going to stretch and exercise. I am going to take this "super oxygenated female fertility formula" from our chiropractor. I'm going to avoid yogurt at all cost. (I have this weird feeling that yogurt strengthens your body's ability to fight invaders, and that Nat Geo special on the journey of the sperm made me feel like sperm was being treated as invaders by my body).

I'm also going to make sure that D's little guys are as young and fresh and frisky as they can be (by ensuring that he has lots of orgasms over the next month!)

Three more months of quackery and then I'll pack myself off for some professional consultation.

Thanks to my two good friends who are new mommies and passed along about $75 worth of ovulation tests. I'll start them the day after my period ends and we'll see what we can do this time around.

I have to investigate how common it is for fertilization to happen, implantation to happen, and then immediate flushing. The spotting I had several days before my period made me feel like there was implantation, but that it was not sustainable. I wonder what I can do to turn that around?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bugaboos and Hummers

Have you ever tried to get around one of these things in a small cafe in New York? Sheesh! I was having breakfast a nice little place called Perch in Park Slope yesterday with a friend who has a two year old, and we had such a funny experience. Perch sponsors a kids' sing-a-long every morning at ten, so around 9:50, the kids with their nannies or moms started pouring in, each with a different kind of stroller. My friend was pointing out the McClaren's and the Bugaboos . . . and she and the restaurant owner (who has two kids of her own) were saying that the Bugaboos were like the "Hummer" of the strollers, kind of an unnecessary status symbol. Well, this one power-mommy (aerobics outfit, visor, armed with a backpack that looked like she was going to war) overheard and piped up in a very defensive and angry tone: "The Bugaboos are the best strollers out there, hands down." Yikes. If looks could kill.

Anyway, I have a theory that childhood obesity is related to these little mini-wheelchairs for kids who can actually walk. I say: if you can walk, you walk. If you need to be carried, well, let Daddy carry you. : )

If we're blessed to have a child, I wonder if I'll look back and say: "I can't believe I said that about the bugaboos! They really ARE the best strollers!" And I have to say, even in searching for a picture of the double wide Bugaboo for this post, I found a cute little frog Bugaboo with three wheels--which is the only kind of stroller I think I would want.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Every little sign . . .

So after the LH surge test finally showed the surge last week, I think we took the right steps towards conception, at just the right times. : ) The online fertility advice peddlers estimate that "implantation" is to occur at a certain time after the egg is fertilized, and tomorrow was the pegged day for said implantation. Well, yesterday I was walking down the concourse at the legislative building in Albany and I got this weird gripping stomach ache. Never felt anything like it. I kept walking, wondering how much worse it was going to get, but it never did. It just kind of waved, and then subsided.

I was okay that rest of the night, a little tired and listless for no discernible reason, but that could just be because I was in Albany. : )

Anyway, I get home tonite, and what do you know? A little bit of blood appeared when I went to the bathroom. Could be anything really, I suppose. But every little sign is interesting and worth recording. Apparently, at the point of implantation, there is a little bit of blood when the egg kind of smashes itself into and grabs onto the side of the uterus. I think. It's amazing how little I understand about this process.

I told D that if I didn't get a positive pregnancy test by July, I want a kitten. And I want this one. One of D's friends is a cat-rescuer, and little Cyclops as we've affectionately named her is one of her rescued kittens. A little trouble with the eyes, and too young to adopt, but by the time I'll need her (hopefully not/hopefully!) she should be okay. But with only one eye. We'll see.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Finally, a surge!

Well, already our zero dollar baby is not a zero dollar baby. I've spent well over $50 on ovulation tests so far! ($15.99, $23.99, and $22.99 respectively)

Yesterday, I almost became hysterical when the test, again, failed to show an LH surge--the sign that you are about to ovulate. I let out one of my banshee yells (which David hates), spent about an hour googling things like "Does no LH surge mean that I'm entering early menopause?", and then finally made up my mind to be calmer and go through with the plan--have sex anyway and just cross my fingers. I didn't get to the stage where I attempted to make peace with the fact that we might not be able to have children--I'll save that effort for a more desperate time.

This morning we tried again, and after breakfast I walked up to the drugstore to purchase yet another kit. This time, I bought the one with 20 test strips (I've been testing 2-3 times a day).

I waited a few hours, tried not to drink too much water, and when I finally tested at around 2 pm, voila! The test line was darker than the control line, which means that there is now an LH surge. I think this morning's attempt was perfect timing. Now we just have to keep at it for another day or so and hope for the best.