According to the trail guide, the ascent alongside the babbling brook was so gradual – and the view so beautiful – as to be hardly noticable. Although the brook was lovely, the ascent was decidely noticable. Especially given that everytime we stopped to catch our breath and admire the view we were besieged by gnats determined to explore our mucous membranes.
(Note to gnats: You can pick your friends. And apparently you’ve picked me. You can pick your nose (do gnats have noses? gnoses?). But you cannot pick your friend’s nose. Please keep this in mind for my next hike. Thank you.)
The trail continued on past several impressive beaver ponds, so that when we reached the pondlet on the left hand side of this picture, we were not sure whether we had reached our intermediate goal – the lake shown here – or just another beaver pond.
We were hungry. We were ready to be at the lake and stop for lunch. The question “don’t you think you should test?” had been advanced with increasing degrees of certainty on Pili’s part, met by increasing degrees of irritation on my part. The map and the trail description did not match. We continued on the trail, looking for the side trail that would supposedly lead us down to
the lake lunch. The trail ascended, steeply.
Screw this, we decided. We don’t care if it’s a beaver pond. We’re eating lunch there. We turned around. And found the trail.
Looking down from above, it’s clear that, as we discovered when we strolled down the trail, the little pondlet we came on at first is part of a bigger lake.
With two adoption agency interviews under our belts, I’m feeling a little less overwhelmed by the trail in front of us. A little more convinced that this will, someday, somehow, lead to a child.
The rest of the story:
I tested (101, thank you) ate lunch, and we headed up the mountain. These mountains, they do not mess around. Knowing what “gradual ascent” meant to the writers of the trail guide, we were not suprised that “rugged and steep” translated to “rocky and just short of a 90 degree angle.”
On the way back down, Pili decided that she would go for a nice refreshing dip in the lake. We hadn’t seen anyone else on the trail all day. Fortunately, I decided not to go in, after dipping one toe in the glacial water. She had just waded in, in all her natural glory, when I heard
someone the ranger coming down the trail. (Aside: Does anyone know why it’s called skinny-dipping? And is it still skinny-dipping if you’re not skinny?)
We got back to the campground and discovered our friends had come up to camp as well, bringing lobster and corn to grill, along with smores fixings. All in all, a very relaxing and much needed trip.
Tomorrow: When smokey sings…
To the mountains, that is, for a little restorative hiking camping trip.
In reference to the previous post about blogging and feeling like the oddball out in seventh grade…
If you’re not on my blogroll and you should be, please take this opportunity to leave me a comment and let me know. It’s not intentional, I promise you. I lurve you all, very much.
The Art-Sweet Pili Residence is proud to announce that we’re expecting.
“Smokey,” a charcoal grey paradigm 722 insulin pump will be dropped off by
The stork UPS on or around Wednesday, June 1.
(McClinic couldn’t get me into Pump training until 2 weeks from then, alas. The good news is that Pili gets to go with me. And then I’ll make my public pump debut at a dear friend’s wedding two days later. Any suggestions for integrating a pump into a bridesmaid’s dress?)
So, my sweet friends, I ask of you: What to expect when you’re expecting (a pump)?
I was going to write a chin-up, hanging in there, positive post. About going back to weight watchers and seizing the moment and maybe influencing a future endocrinologist in the process. Maybe post some really silly photos. Then I started reading my bloglines and I just lost that loving feeling.
I have a confession to make:
I don’t want to adopt.
Or rather, I don’t want to go through the adoption process.
If you dropped a baby in my lap and said, here, here is your baby. Love him. Love her. I would. Immediately. But the process. So much work. So much waiting. And as Karen has so eloquently described, so little to show for it. Perhaps I should make bumper stickers that say: I am nine months pregnant with a homestudy. Please lavish love and attention and societal approval on me. Or: “someone in another country has morning sickness for me RIGHT NOW.”
The other part that takes the joy out of the adoption business for me and that I should probably write more about, is that, to a certain extent, I don’t matter in this process. For some very good reasons, we’ve chosen international adoption and so one of us has to adopt as a “single” woman. Pili has the steady job with the dependable salary and the health insurance. Oh, and the absence of chronic illness. Honestly, when I think about it I’m amazed they even let me adopt a cat. Oh, I remember. Back then I had a real job.
So I don’t have to write a detailed biography and answer ten thousand questions about my childhood. And I don’t have to obtain certified copies of my birth certificate in triplicate, witnessed by a blind nun from Brazil. And oddly enough, that makes me sad. Because we don’t get to do this as a family, talking about both of our strengths and weaknesses and
making lemonade out of lemons celebrating the fact that because I have two part time jobs I will be able to quit one and be home with the kid. Instead the homestudy will have to talk about how great the day care is at Pili’s work, even though we probably won’t be using it. Being so irrelevant to the process also makes me into (even more of) a total evil controlling wench, second-guessing Pili’s every move.
It’s funny, because before we failed fertility 101 and 202 and 606, I didn’t care all that much about genetic connections. I am, after all, the person who falls passionately in love with all babies and spends far too much time at faculty parties talking to the children of Pili’s esteemed collegues, rather than the esteemed collegues themselves.
But now that we’ve gone down that road, and I’ve allowed myself to dream soft gauzy dreams of pregnant Pili and babies with my eyes and her mannerisms, I’m finding them damn hard to give up. As I type this I see my about to burst pregnant neighbor (yes, Gourmet, they are mandatory) pulling down her garage door and I feel a fierce shove of anger and resentment. I don’t want to have to go through all of this. I want the dream, and I can’t put it down. I picture a younger me, crying bitterly over a broken toy but unwilling to let it go so that my mom could try to fix it. Before the transcript of our medical charts read failure and bitter disappointment, I was excited about adopting. Now? It’s like having a book you really wanted to read assigned by a teacher you dislike.
I compare the bitter and painful arguments that Pili and I had last night about what questions to ask the adoption agencies and who should do the asking with the cotton candy sweet joy we felt during the brief few weeks of the pregnancy.
And I find myself thinking: maybe one more cycle? Maybe these eggs weren’t so good because I was overstimulated and then had to coast and produced so many. Quantity over quality. Dr. Short-but just raises his eyebrows quizzically when I ask that question. As if, what’s done is done, honey. Crying over $6000 of spilt milk? But I bet if I mentioned that we were thinking about cycling again, he’d change his tune.
The thought even flickers through my mind like heat lightening. Pump. Continuous Glucose Monitoring. I could like, maybe try, maybe.
Then the depression kicks in and I think yeah, right. Remember, nothing works art, this is you we’re talking about. And I start wondering what’s wrong with me that things never seem to work out for me. And poor Pili that her good karma gets pulled down into the gutter with along with my crap. And part of me knows it’s the heavy sunglasses of depression I’m seeing through while an equal part of me is convinced it’s real.
While I’m venting, I also have a little bit of a bloggity pet peeve with someone whose site I’ve commented on lots of times. She’s on my blogroll. And she has not, to the best of my knowledge, ever ventured over here. I don’t think she’s homophobic. She comments on other people’s blogs. She comments on other people’s comments on her blog. We’ve both been through a lot of the same shit recently. So why not me? Do I smell? (Lifting an arm and sniffing, discreetly)
I guess blogging and seventh grade really aren’t that different, huh?
* Before various people start sending me frantic emails: I don’t hate my friends in real life and in the computer who have been through hell and then some to get where they are. I don’t even resent them. Wistful, envious, yes. Resentful, no. I don’t want to avoid them, although sometimes it is hard to see what I want so badly and don’t have.
About the kids, not the money. The worst spam. Ever.
Do you think I was specifically targeted for this or was it just random?
From: Adopt UK
Subject: Hello Dear
My name is Rose Williams i work for the uk deaf government..in manchester.i will really love to pass this information to you. Which i know i am convinced that you are really willing to take good care of 4 years old kids a boy and a girl. Their mother and father came from unknown area and they live in uk..in 3 months ago their parents died in an auto crash, they left the some of 3,million pounds with the Uk deaf Finance Department, which is Equivalent to $6,000,000.00. The 2 kids are been admitted in the hospital were doctor Benedict is taking good care of them because they were included in the accident which occured few months back, to God be the glory
that they were not dead like their parents.we shall love a good honest deaf man or woman who can acept the 2 kids and take good care of them and after 2 months the uk government will always come to check after them.. and such that person will be given the 3million pounds to take good care of the kids.Please write me back if u are intrested so that we can proceed towards securing you all the documents.
p.s. My hat pictures are up on flickr, photo friday pool… go over there and check out some might fine hatness. There are some bonus pics too for members of the photo friday group or people whom I have “friended” on Flickr.
I just ate a BOX of Annie’s Mac & Cheese.
I was really hungry.
That my-blood-sugar-is-creeping-towards-low, no I DON’T NEED TO TEST, DAMNIT hunger.
[So that when you test afterwards and your blood sugar is high, you wonder if it was ever low to begin with or if you were just hungry. And that uncertainty – not being able to just trust your body and its signals – is one of the things you hate most about this eminently hateable disease.]
And now I should give some insulin for it. Which means I should test before too much more of the carbs get in. And then I should look at the box.
I don’t want to look at the box.
The box will tell me that the bowl I just stuffed down my face was supposed to be four servings. Four people should have eaten what I just ate. I will have to multiple the carbs by four. I will have to multiple the calories and fat grams by four. And then I will multiply my self-loathing by four.
And I will think oh I should go to the gym. Then I will feel better.
But the unwritten ma thesis and the heaps of work I took home that I swore I would do are also calling me.
And I will think oh next week. Next week I will go to the gym every day and I will go back to weight watchers and I will only eat salad and fruit and whole grains and be perfect. And before you know it, I’ll be a prima ballerina with the Moscow Ballet.
Which sets me up for a new wave of failure and self-flagellation and disgust.
In order to avoid looking at all these failures, I don’t look at all. I don’t test. I guesstimate (and under guesstimate) carb counts. I throw (ouch) the baby out with the bathwater. I cut off my nose to spite my face.
I know all of this.
So why the fuck can’t I change?
p.s. Blogger spell check suggested the following:
bloc instead of blog (!).
eatable instead of hateable.
carp instead of carb.
fuji instead of fuck.
pooh instead of p.s. (?).
And the creme de la creme? Blocker instead of Blogger.
Oh fuji! I ate too many carps!
Why, honey, miscarriage doesn’t make you want to fuji, fuji, fuji all night long?
How am I? How are we doing?
Fine, I say automatically. Well, um, okay. Y’know. The usual.
Sometimes that’s true. But mostly, I think, we’re still struggling.
I got an email from someone else who has been dealing with recurrent miscarriages. While she didn’t want her name used publically, I hope she won’t mind my sharing some of her words, which resonated with me so deeply.
It’s not fair.
No one should have to go through what you and Pili and [me & husband] are going through. Ever.
I wanted this baby.
I wanted you and Pili to have that baby.
We don’t get what we deserve. We all deserve to have these children that we want so badly. We do.
Thank you, my friend, for your words that so eloquently describe what words fail to describe. I share them in the hope that they will comfort others as they have comforted me.
And thank you, all of you, for your comments and emails and general e-love.
They have meant so much to Pili and me. They help as we struggle to hold onto our hope that someday we will be parents. As we try to balance putting this particular Tootie shaped dream away in the box (thanks Julia) while still holding on to our larger dream.
On Tuesday night, I held Pili and felt her belly pressed up against mine and imagined that there was already A! Baby! In! There!
On Wednesday, I held Pili, and couldn’t bear to touch her belly. Every time I did it just reminded me of the dream that had, soap bubble like, just collapsed around us. Coincidentally, I had an appointment with a new therapist on Wednesday afternoon. When she asked me if I had any kids I did not burst into tears. For about thirty seconds.
On Thursday we held each other and I reclaimed Pili’s belly. I kissed the two adorable moles near her belly button. And for a minute, I didn’t think about how there wasn’t a baby in there. It was just Pili’s belly, that I could happily rub and tickle and zerbert (STOP IT she yelps) all day. I tickled her belly button with her pajama drawstring, resulting in a tussle that almost sent me falling off the couch. And I thought: maybe we’re okay. Maybe we can get past this okay.
Tonight… Pili is snoozing on the couch. She has been since about 9 pm. I just put another log on the fire. (The fire! In May! Ridiculous!) And I keep thinking about how quickly things can change. For a minute, I think: She’s tired! She’s pregnant! That’s a good sign! And then I remember. No, this has nothing to do with pregnancy.
And I burst out in tears again, because I just want some piece of our life not to be poisoned by this sadness. I want to go away next weekend, just get the hell out of the house and the City That Always Sleeps. I want to be out in nature or to go to a romantic b&b. But then I think: what if Pili is finally
miscarrying is getting her period is I don’t know what the fuck to call it next weekend? The truth is we can’t escape it. And then that place too will always be tainted.
Friends who have adopted after infertility assure me that once that child is placed in your arms, it all settles down. You stop feeling like this – like a tree that has grown twisted and distorted around an invisible obstacle. I hope so.
And the other thing this blog is about? All I can say is that depression and comfort eating are not friends to exemplary diabetes control.
That’s not an empty sac. She just must not have found it yet.
At the smiling lady who held the door for us as we left the clinic.
At the ad for the new maternity suites at the local hospital that I passed on the highway afterwards.
At the book on tape I’m listening to, which happens to be a story about a pregnant teenager.
At the bubbly people on the stupid lesbian TTC list I still read out of some sort of masochistic streak who post their expected due dates and talk about names the minute they see a positive pee stick – and who don’t get smacked down by g-d for their hubris.
At myself, for getting my hopes up and for even mentioning it to people and for imagining how I was going to send my mother a copy of the ultrasound with my wishes for a happy belated grandmother’s day and how I was going to post it here with a title “meet tootie”. I should have known better. Good things do not happen to me. And now I get to disappoint my family once again.
At the homeless guy who held up traffic when I was just trying to get here to work.
At my straight friend who just started trying and was going on about how inconvenient it will be if she doesn’t get pregnant this cycle.
What’s to bargain about? Dear god, I know that it took us 1 fresh cycle and 3 FETs to get to this point, but if I give up taking your name in vain will you actually give us a real baby out of our four remaining embryos? If I hadn’t picked up that damn fit pregnancy magazine at the gym, would today have been different?
Do I have a fucking choice?
Like I said: Reality is the sand blowing into every crack of the traveller’s skin, the hot wind stealing what moisture remains from his eyes…
Pili urges me not to see this as part of some greater global narrative in which the overall message is YOU SUCK YOU SUCK YOU SUCK. But I can’t really see any alternative narratives.
We went to our friends’ wedding this past weekend. It rained a lot, which sucked, because we had hoped to get some nice hikes in, and because they had planned on an outdoor ceremony and had to move it indoors.
Despite that, the wedding was really wonderful. It’s the only queer wedding I’ve been to, besides my own, and they adapted parts of their vows from ours. Watching them face each other with tears in their eyes as they said the same words we did brought us both back to our own wedding. Pili and I squeezed each others’ hands and thought about how far we’ve traveled together in the past year and how much further we hope to travel together in the year to come.
These are the words we spoke that day.
I give you my hand and my love.
I take you to be no other than yourself, loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, with respect for your integrity, and faith in your love for me.
I promise to care for and comfort you and to be your ally, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, faithfully loving each other as long as we both shall live.
And I meant every word of it.
The topic for this weeks’s Photo Fill-in-the-day-of-the-week was your best vacation photos. In light of what’s on our minds this week, I thought I would post some more photos from our trip to India. While I’m not sure they’re my best vacation photos ever, they’re what matters to me right now.
This is a fertility shrine in the courtyard of the Meenakshi temple in Madurai.
The cobra head figurines are fertility symbols called Nagas. The cradles hanging in and around the banyan tree are given to the goddess by women grateful for her assistance in bringing them a child.
And then this photo from our trip to Japan. Inbetween fits of paralyzing anxiety, my joy at this potential pregnancy has been as sweet and pure as what I see on the laughing girl’s face. I hope I can hold onto some of that joy no matter what Wednesday’s ultrasound turns up.
On the phone today at work, someone wished me a happy mother’s day.
I hope she knows something I don’t.
Our first winter here in the snowbelt, before I discovered the wonder that is snow tires, I hit a patch of black ice on the highway and found myself spinning in circles. I spun 180 degrees, facing the oncoming traffic, or where oncoming traffic would have been, had there been any. And then I spun back, somehow regained control of the car, and pulled myself over onto the shoulder. I sat there for a minute, my heart pounding uncontrollably and then gradually eased back onto the road, back into the cars speeding by oblivious to the fact that I? Had almost died. When I got to work, all I wanted to do was sleep. The adrenaline had torn through me and left skid marks behind.
Right now, I am holed up in my office at work, with my face three inches away from the monitor so that I can see the text. My car is parked in the parking lot outside, but I can’t drive it for another three hours or so. I am exhausted. Going to the doctor always leaves me feeling this way. Like I’m lucky to have made it through in one piece.
My eyes were normal. Twenty years, and I’m clear for another year.
I did not however, escape without the mandatory harangue from the nurse, who informed me that my A1C was high. Gee, no one’s ever told me that before. Really? You mean if it’s under 7 I reduce my risks of complications? Well now that I know that, I’ll get right on it. I was very tempted to tell said nurse, who was carrying a good 50-75 pounds more than her doctor would probably recommend, that losing weight would reduce her risk of heart disease and diabetes. Because, I’m sure being told that is all she needs to make it happen.
I don’t understand why my eyes are okay. Dumb luck, I suppose. My last A1C, which I have strategically avoided mentioning here for fear that I will become a diabetes O.C. pariah, was 9.1. It’s been lower and it’s been higher. But I haven’t seen seven in a while. I don’t lack knowledge, I just have a very hard time moving from knowledge to action.
And so I leave the opthamologist’s office feeling not unlike I did on the shoulder of the highway. As though I have somehow dodged a bullet that by all laws of nature should really have passed right through me.
I know that a recent study showed no connection between being prayed for and successful surgery, but I can’t help thinking that maybe all your prayers, voodoo ceremonies, crossed fingers, and general goodwill helped – and will continue to help.