This blog is no longer being updated, but if you like what you see here, be sure to join me over at Life Pared Down!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Show and Tell: What's in a Name?

I woke up with a slight headache today. Most likely from oversleeping. I can't help that I liked being warm and cozy under the covers and didn't want to get out of bed. But I got on with my day and attempted to be productive. I was out at the library and on my way home I got off a couple of stations earlier and decided to walk. Today has been brilliant. It's starting to feel (if only for a moment) like spring. The sky was bright and blue and the air crisp but warm. The sun's intensity warmed me to my core. I walked the 20 minutes without my jacket, attempting to ignore the pounding in my head (for which I hadn't taken anything for and was horribly painful). In that weird place between contentedness and pain, I walked and remembered. I don't know what set me off, but I was reflecting on how far I've come. How the years have gone by and despite Fates mysterious and sometimes cruel ways, I've done alright for myself.

If you read this post, you'll know that my childhood was far from ordinary. Having an older brother who fought (for years) and then died from cancer changes you profoundly. But things didn't end there. Life continued to throw my family and I curve balls we could never have seen coming. Out of respect and privacy for my family I won't go into details but suffice to say money (or lack of it) was an issue and a stress. My parents are incredible to me. They have managed to live through incredible situations and raise their children to be thriving, adaptable and caring individuals. A tough task for any parent. My brother and I are very lucky.

My own struggles include verbal bullying from Grade 5 to Grade 10. My brother died in Grade 5, so you can well imagine that I didn't possess the skills to cope with grief and bullies. I had an emotional breakdown in grade 8. We had been forced to move after my brother died (my Dad was in the army at the time). I felt like I was stuck in this place I didn't want to be, with people who were tormenting me and with grief as raw as the day D died. My breakdown was interesting to say the least and involved the school counsellor and my parents. I still have few words to explain what I felt in those days. Despair, for sure. Desperation, likely. But I couldn't seem to communicate anything significant to anyone, let alone those who cared about me. I rebelled in a a weird way, considering I was (to this day) never much of a rebel. Suffice to say that there is a part of me that is certain that if I had stayed in that rural place too much longer, my life would have turned out drastically different. I would have become like so many of the other teenagers that place created. I could easily see drugs, teen pregnancy, maybe even suicide as possibilities had things in my life not changed. Intense, I know, but that is just how it was.

But things did change and we came "home" back to the province where things, as crazy as they had been before and as they eventually became again, made sense. The verbal abuse by random classmates that continued even after the move baffled me, because I didn't understand then that they were just being teenagers, mean ones, but teenagers just the same. But I wasn't. I constantly felt like I was 10 years older than everyone and it came off acting a lot older. I still do and it still does. People have always guessed me as a lot older than I am, although in recent years, the difference isn't as great.

In Sr. High, I came into my own. The bullying ended and I participated in life to the fullest. I was in band and musical theatre. I was a part of the school Leadership group. I continued working part-time (out of necessity, not desire, trust me). I became a little (okay a lot) scatterbrained in the process of spreading myself too thin (just ask my friends who will gladly share a few interesting stories). But at the end of each day I could say that I lived life well. I had changed in the two years since we moved back and became the person I couldn't have back in the hell-days.
Jump forward to University, year two. A friend who I was in English classes with, was with me in the Used Book Store one day. I had shared a lot of the nitty-gritty details of my life with her. She came across this bumper sticker, handed it to me and said, "This is SOOO you." I took one look at it, agreed, and bought it with the biggest smile. This is it: (you can click on it to get a better look)

No Regrets

When I started my blog, the title was an obvious one. It is my life's motto, my ultimate goal (the joy of that woman is what I long for, strive for). That's why I'll never change the title of my blog. It will always fit.

My URL is another interesting story (and a little shorter).

In that same year of University, I took sociology, which as a side-note is a favourite subject of mine. After the final exam for the 2nd class I took, we all (Prof included) went to the campus pub for drinks and a little get-together. I had spoken of a couple deeply personal things that had happened in my life in this class. One of my classmates sat next to me and was asking questions about some of it. Always being a fairly open person, I answered as best I could. After our discussion she exclaimed, "Wow, you're pretty well-adjusted for someone who's been through all that!" I was stunned by the veracity of her statement, not having given much though to it in the past. Apparently, I'm well-adjusted. Hence my blog url. It too shall never change.

Mel posted a question in this post about whether you would change your blog title if you felt it no longer fit you or your life. As I've already said, I wouldn't. I will always be striving to live a full life with no regrets and I'll always be as well-adjusted as I can despite the circumstances. My blog subject of the moment may change but it will always be a reflection of who I am and where I've come. This growth is essential to my well being. I need to know that I can get past things and strive to take that next step. I'm driven by a twist of Fate I haven't quite figured out yet.

Maybe I never will. Maybe I don't need to.

Congratulations if you made it to the bottom of this very long post (my apologies), but be sure to wander over here to see what other treasures the class is showing...

Just for Fun

My hubby listens to CBC radio pretty much every day and now and then hears a few gems worth mentioning.

You have to check out this blog. It's so funny and REAL!

Hmm, maybe I should try the same. Maybe I'll trade my fertility goddess...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Turning Insanity on It's Head

Sometimes you just have to take where you are at the moment and turn it on it's head. In the battle to maintain optimism and hope, you may need to look at the path in a different way.

Handstands can sometimes be helpful...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Echoes of Hope

It's so damn fleeting... that moment of possibility, the moment where you can almost believe. But then all the negative and pessimistic thoughts flow over and it's gone.

My head and heart seem to be in tandem but they keep changing their minds. I try to think back to the other two times I've been in this place of possibility. What was I feeling, and how soon? How bad was the nausea? How long did it take to go from "ugghh, I feel a little crappy" to "omg, don't even bring that peanut butter anywhere near me!"? I don't remember. I have nausea and other symptoms noted on my chart from the second pregnancy but I can't qualify them in my memory.

And then there's the old mantra "every pregnancy is different". So how do I judge any of this? The way I feel right now, well, my instincts tell me that this isn't like last cycle, this isn't "those damn pills" working their devious magic. But I could be wrong, right?

What do I make of the twinges in my abdomen? Just some pre-af cramping (that I don't normally get)? Or is it something, someone, very special making a little home for themselves? I can't tell. Can I even bring myself to be that hopeful?

All of this is fear. Plain and simple. Fear that we might be successful; again. Fear that things will be lend up like before. I know that I'm meant to be a mother. Why is this so damn difficult?!?

How can I possibly sit here on the edge and not be optimistic like I usually am? Why the sudden change? Or is it not so sudden and I've just convinced myself that the wise optimist had returned? Why did she disappear all those months ago? Did she actually return? A part of me truly wants to believe so, but then again, doubt seeps in and I feel gripped by helplessness.

Has optimism abandoned me? Has my faithful friend gotten too tired to deal with my dramatic antics and finally taken her leave?

If so, what do I do?

Gods, this is really messed up of me! Get it together woman! <slaps alternate cheeks> Snap out of it!

Okay, a little better. Back to the game of Monopoly that a few of gals on a message board I frequent are playing in order to get through our respective two week waits...

All are free to join us in the TWW Looney Bin! We've got the Monopoly game I mentioned (with $ for Free Parking of course). There's also a song circle in one corner and someone has kindly offered yoga and mediation classes as well.

Come on down for some fun! (You know you want to, because, really, who wants to endure the TWW alone?)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Manic Monday

Sometimes we get our wish. And if you're lucky, it's not a case of having to be careful what you wish for.

I'm 4dpo. Except that I'm only on Day 16. What? My body has jumped ahead by at least 3 days? Cool. I think. I mean, it's fine since I was monitoring everything else and we didn't miss our chance.

But that means I'm back on "those damn pills" ie. progesterone.

Last night I woke up at 2am feeling like my body was feverish. 10 minutes later, I was chilled. Great! "Those damn pills" also give me hot flashes. Perfect. I fell asleep again at 3:30am.

So I'm thinking that my vitamin regimen is doing it's thing. Except that I was expecting it to lengthen my LP, not shorten the other half. But who's complaining? Certainly not me.

So I've skipped this first bit of my tww (two week wait). That means less days agonizing and over analyzing every twinge and ill feeling.

I won't even begin to tell you about my odd symptoms today that I didn't get last cycle. I'm not that convinced. Yet. But I will say I had a giddy moment. I got over it quickly.

On a completely random and different note, I am a big fan of So You Think You Can Dance and an even bigger fan of the Choreographer Mia Micheals. I've had this one song by MIKA (Happy Ending) stuck in my head for ages now (and now on my iPod) and had to go find the dance that went with it.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Show and Tell: Friends and Goddesses

Show and Tell So today was another amazing day. I spent the afternoon with two of my closest friends who are in town. Subsequently they won't read this post till after they're home, so they won't know until then how much they can change my complete outlook on life in the space of a few hours. It's the beauty and majesty of true deep friendship at it's best. I can say unabashedly that I love them both to pieces. Today was special because I was sharing some of my ideas and plans for this year. Not only did I get great constructive feedback but I got that amazing support that one needs when they're planning to leap off a cliff and are hoping against all hope that someone will throw them a parachute. You know what I mean, right? Those moments where you want to plan big things (for me, this is a constant state of being- but I digress) and just want to know that someone will be there to cheer you on whether you fail or succeed. These two people have always done that for me and I know will continue to. We'll be those friends who gather when we're in our 80's and 90's and gab about the old days when we first met.
Now that we have the scene set, I have to give you some further background before I show you my pictures.

I first met CT the first day of our grade 9 Art Technology class. As she told the story at my wedding (she was my Maid of Honour), she was waiting for a friend to get to class and was saving the seat at her table. Well in walks this new girl, who scans the room for an open seat, spots her table, walks over and sits down. So much for the saving the seat! However, class was going to begin soon.

If you haven't guessed it yet (but you're all smarty pantses, so I know you have), the new girl was me. I had just moved to Victoria from Ontario where my family had lived the last two years. I was excited to be away from where I had been (a long story that would take a few blog posts to recount) but I was also nervous about being the "new" girl yet again. So I sat hestitantly at the table and said hi.

And so began a friendship that has lasted over eleven years. Eleven years that has seen some pretty crazy moments.

One such moment came from that fateful art class. We had had many assignments but one day our task was to sculpt (get this) a fertility goddess. We were given sample images and terra cotta clay and told to go at it. Sculpting, we were supposed to go outside and use things around us to give the sculptures texture and an aged look. So CT and I went outside to roll our goddesses on the sidewalk. But mine was lacking oomph I decided. Now you'll have to ask CT why I did this as truly, I can't remember, but I walked up the fire escape stairs (the art class was on the second floor) and I tossed my goddess off it.
It was a completely insane thing to do. Yet, it yielded an interesting result:

So here we are so many years later and I have a shmushed my fertility goddess!! (and yes I've kept it)


Really, I don't truly believe that this one incident so many years ago has any bearing on my difficulty to carry a baby.

But... I have a shmushed fertility goddess.

I am an artist. Perhaps it's time rectified the situation...

Don't forget to wander over to Mel's to see what the rest of the class are not throwing off fire escapes...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Not Just Another Friday

Today the fog lifted and the sun shone.
The sky was brilliantly blue.
One of a few friends who are in town met me for lunch.
I am in less pain.
Work was productive.

Today was a beautiful day.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reflections from the Harbour

Careful of my heeled boots, I walked on the balls of my feet down the metal gangway. I treaded along on my toes till I reached the base of the floating pier. The cold dark water swirled back on forth underneath the cement and wood in the relaxed ebb and flow of the daily tide. Standing there, I took in my surroundings.

I love Coal Harbour. This lovely place where the hustle and bustle of the downtown core meets the serene gathering of green space and walking paths. This port city I call home enchants me. I love watching the cargo ships coming and going, and the float planes landing and taking off. The Seabuses, our trusty catamarans, ferry transit-goers from North Vancouver to Downtown Vancouver and vice-versa, the continual exchange just another near-constant rhythm in the life of this city.

Except I couldn't see them today. The fog (ever present these days) was nestled snugly outside the edge of downtown obscuring the North Shore and much of Stanley Park. I stood there with the sky above lightly overcast but bright, the sun trying it's best to break through fully. It was cold; hovering around zero degrees Celsius. My breath easily visible in the air. My cheeks chilled and flushed; hands buried deep in the pockets of my down filled parka. Shivering slightly, I drew my hood over my head and just stood there warm and content to observe.

I walk the Seawall all the time. Almost everyday on my lunch hour if I can. The power walk refreshes me and gives me that much needed energy to get me though the afternoon. Most days, I make the trek to the Westin Bayshore and back; a three kilometre loop I usually walk in 30-40 minutes. Long legs make for a long quick strides. Today, though, I felt this great urge to stop on the pier. It's a tie-up area for boats in the harbour. It's often empty unless it's the middle of the summer. Today was no exception, as I stood there alone with my thoughts. All alone except for the cormorants who are always sitting on the wooden pilings, sleek black sentinels guarding the harbour and its residents.

I've been trying to work out why I felt the need to stop today. What was it about the pier that drew me to it? The sight of the city and mountains engulfed in fog wasn't depressing in the way it had been last week, but rather, it calmed me. I felt something but I wasn't melancholy or sad. I'm not sure how to describe it. Maybe I'm just reacting to my stupid neck injury and feeling sorry for myself. After an odd and restless sleep, I woke up yesterday and could barely move my head without insane pain. I'm practically immobilized from the top of my spine to the bottom of my left shoulder blade. The pain has been so much that I'm near tears if I'm not hopped up on extra-strength Tylenol. Yesterday, I managed to see one of the massage therapists at the centre I go to. He worked for an hour on my back, neck, and hips. Basically, I'm stuck like this for another couple of days although I should start feeling better hopefully tomorrow. And what did I exactly do, you might ask? Well, it seems that in my neck, one of the tiny joints that run along our spine has slipped out of place a bit. Yeah, ouch. Because that means all the supporting ligaments and muscles are strained trying to hold up my head and keep my shoulder and arm moving. <Sigh> So I have to sit with perfect posture and not look down in order to keep my head perfectly balanced on my shoulders, or else it hurts. I feel like I should be wearing a neck brace and football shoulder pads. Interesting image, no?

Suffice to say that while the pain will diminish (hopefully very soon), it's left me in this peculiar mood. This injury certainly isn't going to aid in my attempt to get pregnant this cycle. And maybe that's it right there. I'm not even halfway through my cycle and I've already given up on it. Why? It isn't like me. Where's the cheerful optimist with her pom-poms believing in the best of all possibilities? Where did my enthusiasm go? I feel kind of blah about a lot of things right now. Trying to conceive a child shouldn't be one of them. But then again, 9 cycles and 2 pregnancies later and I feel like I'm still back where I started from: trying to conceive and carry a child.

So here I am, trying to reconcile where I've been with this current feeling of ambivalence. There's a part of me that wants to say that it's doesn't bug me, but it does. It's not me. I am never ambivalent. I feel things, one way or another. But right now I feel numb.

I walked the rest of the pier and back up the other gangway, again on the balls of my feet. The bitter winter wind slapping the few areas of exposed skin. I walked back up to the Seawall and kept walking. It was the only thing left to do.

Sometimes, the days where we feel the most defeated are the days we have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and hope that we magically find our way to the place we were headed.

So here I am, still walking. I'm tired and in pain, but I'm walking...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Book Review: Late Nights On Air

So in all the hub bub of last week and the weekend I never got to tell you that I successfully finished my book! Yes, I managed to read Late Nights on Air in one week.

I found myself gripped in it. Set in Yellowknife, NWT, in the mid 1970's, the story explores a host of characters who work at the CBC Radio Station before TV made it's way north and in the days of the inquiries and hearings over whether or not an oil pipeline should be built across the Territories. It's a time of change and turbulence.

Elizabeth Hay's writing style is interesting. She weaves the story like a river cutting the plain. It meanders, snakes back and pushes forward, sometimes gently, sometimes ruthlessly. She writes the story in a way that reflects the natural environment- sparse and beautiful and changing. Her characters are equally compelling. They are complex and mysterious, fallible and bold. They are real in that they are very much made of their pasts, revelling in memories both tender and sad. They seek a future for themselves. And like most of us, they have ideas and dreams but usually have no idea how exactly they're going to get there and make it happen.

It made me think a lot about choices and how so much can hinge on the smallest of them. How a simple decision in one moment doesn't just irrevocably change your own life but also the lives of those around us- for better, or for worse. This story gives you space in your own life to reflect on how you got where you are now and where you're going. It gives you space to be reflective in only the way a story set in sparse wilderness and a small northern city can.

So... did I enjoy the book? Yes! Would I read it again? Undoubtedly, as I feel I'd like to take it at a slower pace and revel in and immerse myself in the story as it unfolds, even though I already know the ending. Would I recommend it to others? Yes! Especially if you have absolutely no knowledge about "The North", that mysterious place above the 60th parallel that incites and inspires and endures.

So one down on my list of Giller Prize winners. Up next is M.G. Vassanji's The Book of Secrets. I haven't had a chance to start reading yet and it's due in a week but I think I'll renew it and take it with me on my trip. Where am I going you ask? Oh yeah, I'm working on our company conference again this year and will be whisked away to our beautiful wintry National Capital: Ottawa. 4 hours on the plane each way should give me a chance to get some solid reading done.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inaugural Firsts

If ever there is a moment to pause and reflect, today is one of them. A historical moment unlike any other in recent history. In my life, I've been witness to major things, but none so positive and promising, none so ground breaking as this day where the United States has sworn in their first black President. It's not just about a minority President being elected, but about this particularly inspiring person. Having been following Barack Obama for several years, reading pieces of his writing and listening to him speak, I am awed (still). He amazes me, simple. I have such hope for the future.

Now only if Canada could find someone to do the same for us. Then we'd really be on to something...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barren Bitches Book Brigade: Tour Sixteen

So it's my first sojourn into the Barren Bitches Book Club.

The current tour had us read An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken. The story is a memoir recounting the still birth of her first son and the journey through to the birth of her second son. It is a gripping and touching book, ever so gently weaving back and forth in time. It spoke to me deeply. I get this book because we have both lost children. There were moments when I had to put it down becuase it was too much, but I was so engrossed in it, I would quickly pick it back up again and keep reading. It took me only a few days reading at night to make my way through her story. Her writing style is so open and honest and yet you can feel that she could be possibly holding things back. But who that has lost a child doens't hold a few remaining cards close to their chest?

Our task is to answer three questions from the list we all created. After you’ve read my answers, hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at Stirrup Queens (http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/). You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’m in, are you?

On page 13, McCracken writes, "I want a book that acknowledges that life goes on, but that death goes on, too, that a person who is dead is a long, long story. You move on from it, but the death will never disappear from view. Your friends may say, Time heals all wounds. No, it doesn't, but eventually you'll feel better. You'll be yourself again. Your child will still be dead." Do you agree with the idea that those that have died continue on? Have you ever found that Time could actually change your perception of death? If you haven't experienced the death of a child (or even if you have), how might this translate into other areas of your life? (ie. infertility, adoption, loss of other family members, etc).

I used to think that death was this final thing, that once the person was gone, you had your memories, but that was it. That was before I lost people in my life. I first experienced this with my brother when I was 10. I found that as the years crept along he was still present in my mind and in my life. This became so much more evident with the loss of my two babies. They have names. They lived, if only for a brief time. But they are still here. They exist because they died. They will always have died. And so they will have always live.

Most people outside of the ALI community seem to distinguish between pregnancy loss in each trimester. When I was reading this book I kept running through my head about my miscarriage, how I felt quite similar to what Elizabeth McCracken described often enough. It still reached me, even though I lost my little one so much earlier in the pregnancy. If you have had a miscarriage, rather than a stillbirth, did this book still resonate with you? Or could you not relate at all to the loss that she experiences?

Did it resonate with me? Oh yes! The feelings of loss, the overwhelming grief is not limited to stillbirth. All loss hurts. I find it frustrating that others outside our community would draw these distinctions. As if the trimester you were in determines the level of pain you should feel over your loss. I think that’s why the ALI community has such an amazing power to heal. We all are hurting in one way or another. Elizabeth’s book breaks open the boundaries and allows anyone to understand the ways and means of grief.

My favourite line of the book comes on page 103: "Closure is bullshit." In your opinion (whether or not you have experienced pregnancy loss yourself), is this true or false?

True. Although it could easily be different for different people, for me, closure is bullshit. If it wasn’t, I could move on with my life; but as I said earlier, my two babies have lives because they died. How can one have closure over that? In my mind, closure is for those who no longer want to feel the pain. But as strange as it sounds the pain is comforting. It reminds me that I was a mother, however briefly, and that I loved my babies. That love is really all I have of them. If I give them up by feeling closure, what happens to them? I need the love, I don’t need closure. It isn’t real.

Can’t wait to hear what everyone else thought about this lovely little treasure of a book and to get some interesting discussions going. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Yes it’s a book about the death of a baby, but truly, it is so much more…

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Show and Tell: A Different Light

How often does the natural world around us reflect our inner state? Or is it that we see in nature what we feel inside? I have regaled everyone lately with tales of the ever changing weather here in Vancouver. Yes, we Canadians like to talk about our weather. ;)

And today is no different. For the last week Vancouver has existed in a fog bank. It will lift a little during the day and settle right back as evening approaches. There's something about the fog lately that has touched me deeply. Maybe it's that the aniversaries, birthdays and fake pregnancy symptoms(thank you progesterone) that made me so melancholy these last days have also allowed me to be more reflective lately (if that's possible).

The fog has been so very reflective of my mood. Dense and impenetrable, the fog masks everything on the inside so that on the outside, everything is blank, unseen. People on the outside look towards the fog, see the blankness, not realizing the churning emotions on the inside. The passions that erupt over the simplest things. The things that those who never never felt the ache of empty arms can ever comprehend or imagine. And yet they are they hidden in the fog.

But the thing about fog is that it's never the same. It comes and goes, becomes thinner and more transparent. It lends itself to letting others in. Kind souls who'll offer an encouraging word or a hug.

This has been my fog this week. It had closed me in in my grief for awhile but also allowed some truly lovely people to poke me back into reality a little. Thank you. The other wonderful thing about the fog is that it allows you to see things in different ways. Everyday things like trees and street lights take on a different ambience. They show themselves in different ways.

Sort of like people too.

Don't forget to walk Mel's way and see what others are showing today...

Friday, January 16, 2009

All Dressed Up but My Mascara Has Run

There is a big part of me that would love to just skip to the end of this week. People are right, it has been a rough week for me. Too much going on personally to feel committed at work and too much going on a work to have the energy to deal with the personal.

Thank you for all your kind and amazing words regarding yesterday's post. I was a little stunned; not sure why. I think maybe because that post was a letter to him that I had been composing in my head for days and needed to be voiced "aloud". This is my real voice and I'm growing more comfortable using this space to exercise it. IRL, I wear my heart on my sleeve but only to those who know me well. Others will just see this young woman who seems to have it put together. They can't see beneath the layers. They don't know that I've been a wreck these last weeks, months (YEARS?). Maybe it's better that way. At least I have here.

Tomorrow is Alex's EDD (estimated due date). The day I would have first understood the miracle that is motherhood. Known it and held it tight. I would reflect on many things tomorrow but a party of all things, will keep me away.

It is our work "Holiday" Party. We have been celebrating in the New Year as it is less busy and more people can make it. This year is different. For the first time we're holding it in a banquet hall. We've outgrown our President's home and we went to a restaurant last year. But tomorrow, it's almost 60 of us.

I'm on the Social Committee and it's been our task to plan the party. With my Event Planner hat on, I had the fun of designing the decor. We had to be careful not to have any sort of Christmas or other denominational references since we have a diverse crowd and not everyone celebrates these events. So I came up with a very neutral but fun "Winter Wonderland" theme. Colours are black, white and silver. We have feather trees and fake "mercury glass" hurricane shades with pillar candles and glasses holding beautiful overturned ornaments. It's a vintage winter theme. I had a lot of fun dreaming it up.

But the excitement has died this week. I know I need this party for my own morale. It's semi-formal and we get to dress up. I'm wearing a beautiful gown that I've never worn that I got years ago for $30.00. I intend to look and feel like an glamorous "Old Hollywood" screen star. But tomorrow will just another sad day in a week I can't seem to get over with fast enough. The two don't seem to fit in my mind.

Despite my negative rumblings, I have to say I enjoyed writing yesterday's post. For the simple fact that I got tell you all about this amazing person I knew and loved. I laughed and cried over those funny and tender sibling moments I conveyed. For a moment, I could feel peace in it.

How do I do that tomorrow? How do I bring myself to feel happiness over a life that never had the chance to make me laugh. Just cry tears. With Alex, I thought was pregnant and then thought I was proven wrong by a negative hpt and the arrival of my favourite monthly friend. Except that my intuition was right and I was pregnant. AF went away but I kept spotting for something like 10 days. By that 10th day I was convinced I was actually pregnant but also miscarrying. Dr. Google helped me figure this out of course.

I never told the story here of how we went to R's grandfather's 80th b-day on the May long weekend throughout this spotting. Here I was losing my baby (or rather going to) and we were celebrating. I actually had a good time. The biggest hitch to everything besides how I was feeling physically was that R's cousin's wife announced she was pregnant. My heart stopped. I never did hear how far along she was or when she was due. I didn't care. I couldn't care. It was too painful.

We came home and I went to my Dr the next day. He sent me for blood work immediately. He said I was probably miscarrying. The next day I was in so much pain that my manager took one look at me in the elevator on the way up to the office and told me to do what I had to do but to go home. The next day, I had to go down to my Dr's office for the test results. My hcg was 431. I was pg. But the cramps had brought along the bleeding by that point and I knew it was over. I never had the chance to even see a positive pee stick.

The loss of Alex confuses me in some ways. I miscarried naturally and it was incredibly painful (although not as bad as Kenneth but that's another story) but it had happened so soon into the pregnancy that I was confused about how I felt about it. I was so angry and sad and terrified, that I couldn't make sense of things. I bleed for two weeks.

At one point on my days off, Ryan and I had a nasty argument. It was the classic, "he doesn't know what I'm going through and is being insensitive" phase that often happens with miscarriage. I remember yelling through a flood of tears that I was the one who had to feel and watch the life of our child pour out of me. He brought it up in our second counselling session after we lost Kenneth when our marriage was having problems. We were having problems. When he recounted the exchange to our counsellor I broke down and cried. He held my hand with one hand and rested the other on my knee as I leaned my head on his shoulder, tears soaking his shirt.

Even now I can feel the anguish from that memory as I type. So very raw and angry and uncomprehending. We waited the month that we were supposed to before trying to conceive again. We were ready by then though. It was almost as if for both pregnancies that the length of time I was pregnant was more or less the time we needed to feel ready to try again.

Alex would have been 40 weeks today. But it was never meant to be. I know that but it doesn't mean that I don't wish it could have been different. But it's not and that's okay. In a way Alex had truly prepared me for the concept of motherhood. With Kenneth it was a given, but that first realization that I could actually be a mother was Alex's gift to me.

A most amazing gift that I hold on to tightly.

Tomorrow will be a sad day but also a festive and fun day too. If I don't go and enjoy myself, I'm sure the kids will harass me for it later so I'll be good and try to let the sorrow go.

Pam commented on yesterday's post by saying, "I understand those heartbreaks we carry with us. I often have to hold onto what Khalil Gibran said -- that the deeper sorrow carves into our soul, the more joy we can contain."

If what Gibran says is true (I think it might be), then my soul is a cavernous canyon awaiting to be filled. It most assuredly has known joy over these years but I think it's about time that the balance shifted from the one I've known more of, to the one I'd like to get to know better.

I feel it's my time. Would it be too arrogant or selfish to say that maybe, just maybe I'm derserving of it?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Birthday Remembered and One that Never Was

Today I wish you a Happy Birthday my dear brother. Though you left this Earth over 15 years ago, I carry you with me constantly. You had such a spirit, a strength, that guides me even today as I think back to these many years of struggle and sadness and triumph and acceptance.

You were born today in 1980. We, your family, celebrate your 29th birthday, in our hearts. I will light a candle and blow it out for you, making a beautiful wish on your behalf. Would that be okay? Actually, I'll have two candles as you are double digits after all.

I still find myself bothered when people ask How many siblings do you have? I never know what to answer. It often depends on the person and the context of the situation. With people I don't know and will probably never converse with again, I will tell them about M our younger brother who is living an exciting life in Australia as we speak. If I feel the situation allows for it, I will tell them about you D, and the amazing but short life you led. But this doesn't always happen. Does that bother you as it does me? Can you forgive the uncertain heart of your sister who sometimes is just so tired of the drama and sorrow in her life that she just doesn't want to get into that long story? I'm sorry. Truly. I don't mean to imply that you aren't important or that you are forgotten. It's just that time has carried me forward past the point where we lost you. I know you are with us on our journey but it's different, isn't it?

When I do get into the conversation about you, I'll tell them about the brother who lost the war with cancer. I tell them about the first battle with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer that affects mostly children. You were only five. Five, that's all! A small child who surely was terrified. Who didn't understand the fragile existence that is life. Or maybe you did. There's a part of me that thinks that that is probably true.

I'll tell them about how they put you on experimental doses of chemo and radiation in hopes that it would do the trick. They gave you the highest doses they could without killing you outright. There were surgeries too. Tumours removed. Just one? I don't think I ever knew, I was just a baby then after all.

I'll tell them how you won that battle with the utterance of the magical word remission. I'll tell them how your poor body suffered for that victory. How your pituitary gland was damaged and how you really didn't grow. You had to take expensive human growth hormones and inject them into yourself with needles (is it any wonder I hated needles all these past years?). I'll tell them that we had wonderful times, us three kids, just being kids as best we could, even though we knew that our reality was not like those of other kids our ages.

I'll tell them about that fateful day in the Safeway parking lot where I vividly remember Mom truly freaking out and yelling Why didn't you say anything before? How long has it been there? A puffy and red space under your left eye. I'll tell them how my parent's rushed you to Children's Hospital convinced it was an old nightmare returning to haunt us. I'll tell them that in fact it wasn't the old nightmare at all but a new demon. One we didn't see coming; similar but different all the same. Bone cancer. The result of all that radiation you had. The word tragic doesn't do the situation justice. At all.

I'll tell them about the second battle where you donned your armour again. This time, though, you are 11 years old and you know what it'll be like. Chemo and radiation and surgery, oh my! I'll tell them how we visited you in the hospital, M and I and Mom and Dad. And how M and I were scared (although we didn't know it at the time) and we didn't know what to make of the hospital and didn't know how to visit with our sick brother. So overwhelming for a 5 and 8 year old (respectively). We spent many an hour in the play room instead of with you.

Then I'll tell them how we all rejoiced when you won your battle yet again! What a miracle!

And how our faith in hope was shattered when that remission lasted only two years. How at thirteen years old, Mom told me that you weren't going to get better, and how I, a ten year old, would have to say good bye to you. How can I explain to them how that made me feel numb and broken inside? How I understood what death meant, but at the same time I didn't?

But you knew. You've always known. You knew that it took me till the tenth Anniversary of your passing to finally be free from my grief. How we all went to Saxe Point Park with your ashes to finally give the physical part of you back to the Earth from which you came. How I helped Dad free you. I helped lovingly spread your ashes into the bitterly cold Pacific Ocean, ever to be one with the Universe again. But you already knew that.

Do you also know that while Mom believes in G*d and angels, I've never been able to bring myself to believe the same? That my faith has taken a slightly different turn but that it's no less valid or strong? Do you know that I can feel your energy around me sometimes?

These things I can't tell people in conversation but I will tell them other things. Like how you taught me how to tie my shoes. One bunny ear, two bunny ears, then cross under and pull! How in a fantastic sibling fight you threw your harmonica at me and it hit me squarely on my chin and I wailed like a banshee, waking Mom out of her afternoon nap? (Boy she was mad). lol. Even today I still laugh over that memory. One of my favourites...

Mostly, though, Ill tell them about the boy who loved Star Trek (it was you who started us down the family Trek path after all), and was a great artist and was fascinated by computers. Mom thinks that you would have ended up in computer animation. That would have been cool.

Finally though, I will tell people how much you meant to me and how our short years together and your leaving changed me in such profound ways, I've still yet to fully comprehend it all.

Lastly, before I go, I want to ask if Alex and Kenneth have met their Uncle yet? Do you know them, my babies? Have you felt the tiny spirits of our boy Kenneth and Alex (our girl)? I like to think that you three kids come and visit me now and again because I can feel the energy around me stir in inexplicable ways at times. My heart knows (I think) even if my mind cannot.

It's Alex's birthday on Friday. The day s/he would have been born (estimated due date in any case). Will you come to the party and help me light a candle?

I love you. Always.

Your little sister,


P.S. My tears today are those of happy memories, not sadness.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Levelling Out

I've had a hot bath with lavender bubble bath and a delicious slice of german chocolate cake. Can't have a glass of wine just yet but I feel pretty good about everything all the same. R asked me if we were going to try again this cycle. Last month I had said that after this cycle we'd wait a couple of months so as to interfere with my involvement in my oldest friend's wedding (I'm in the wedding party and she knows all about our losses). But that was before when I was sure we'd get pregnant on the first try again. Since that's not the case, who knows how long it'll take and I know she'd forgive me is Fate went our way for once. So when he asked, I looked at him and said 'yes'. So here we go again...

As a side note, I see lots of blogs with two sidebars. Any idea how to get a second one? The templates on blogger all have one. And I have things I'd like to add. The artistic side of me is having a white space issue. I'm tech savvy enough and just need a little hint.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bluffs and Lost Hands

I've been tricked. I made the mistake of being confident and my bluff was called. I laid all my cards on the table and discovered they weren't the ones I thought I had held. Suffice to say, progesterone and I need to have a little heart to heart.

I'm CD2, af is here with a vengence along with all the symptoms I normally don't get, namely cramps and nausea. Still testing negative. LP was only 10 days. Temp dropped a little today but not enough to be consistent with what it normally does. I'll wait and see what happenes but I'm not holding on to any hope. If temps stay up, I'll test with a good test on Wednesday.

I want to cry and wash away the tears with a good glass of wine. I have a bottle of shiraz I opened last night to use in the beef stew I made. I'd let my tears swirl amonst the red and brace myself to try again. Our 'pregnant on the first try' luck has run out. This next pregnancy will likely take a little more time. Perhaps that is a good thing. Maybe it'll make all the difference in the final outcome. One can only hope. At least in the greater scheme of things, I still do have hope, it just ran out temporarily.
Day 11. Spotting has turned into light bleeding, sort of. Damn! The witch is here? What happened to not getting af until after I stopped the progesterone? Oh, you mean I'm one of those people who actually gets their period on the damn pills? But of course I would. I'm that special...

But... my temp spiked up by ALOT today. It should have gone down if I wasn't pregnant and getting my period. In fact, my symptoms increased this morning.

I've been here before. Getting my period and actually being pregnant. In fact last May I tested on 13DPO and it was negative. Even though I was pregnant. AF or not, I'll keep testing.

The hitch comes in with the progesterone. Still trying to figure out what to do about it. I'm scared to stop takng it but if af really is here than I can't keep taking it. But if I'm also pregnant, what then? I'll wait till bedtime and make the call then.

Oh, what would my life be without a daily dose of drama?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Rainbow

For her Show & Tell, WiseGuy posted a personality sampler. Here's my results:

Your rainbow is intensely shaded indigo, red, and yellow.


What is says about you: You are a proud person. You appreciate energetic people. You get bored easily and want friends who will keep up with you. You're good at getting people to like you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

I'm more than one colour. Does this mean I'm a little all over the place? Surprising, isn't it?

The only thing that really doesn't mesh is that I have friends of all personality types. I do like quiet people too. ;) But yes, it does take effort to keep up with me sometimes.

Show and Tell: Beautiful Words

This afternoon I wandered the library's fiction aisles, Giller list in hand, on a quest. One or two, was all I needed to begin my goal of reading all the Giller Prize Award winners and as many of the short-listed books as I can this year.

I begin the search for my quarry on a whim by seeing if I can find the two newest books. But no, that search was futile. So I start at the bottom of my list in 1994 hoping that the older books would be easier to find. Sure enough I do find two. I casually peruse the aisles, my gaze catching a familiar author here and there. Jojo Mayes being one I enjoyed very much. She was one of those clearance shelf finds that seem to stick with you.

On another whim I go take a look at the "New Additions" shelf to see what treasures were to be had. My gaze wanders the titles randomly seeing if anything catches my eye. Not today. I look a little further to my right and freeze.

Right there before me was the Holy Grail itself; the book I've been wanting to read ever since I saw the Giller Awards last year... Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay (and yes, I realize that I'm not punctuating the words with periods as previously mentioned, but let's face it, I'm going to be writing a lot about what I read and that's going to get very annoying very quickly).

The book was sitting on the fast reads shelf, just begging for me to reach out and take it. I momentarily pause and wonder Can I actually read this book in a week? After all, there are no renewals on fast reads and the overdue fines are $1.00/day. Ouch. No room for error here.

I grab the book, put one of my other books back, and proceed to go find my husband. We check out the books and leave. 249th on th ehold list, my a*s. Ha ha ha, I have my book! I've been reading since we got back and am on page 55 of a 363 page book. So far it's a good read and I'm intrigued. Back story mostly so far but some wonderful lines here and there that make you pause and think.

Since you're probably wondering if I'll ever get to Show & Tell, here it is:

There's a passage in the book where one of the characters recounts travelling with her father on a car trip. In a discussion he tells her about how "Mr. Funk, the poet and dictionary publisher, had compiled a list of the ten most beautiful words in the English language, namely: mist, hush, luminous, murmuring, dawn, chimes, lullaby, melody, tranquil, and golden."

It got me thinking of what words I'm drawn to and love, not just for their beauty, but for their ability to convey so much so simply. (Even if that conveyance is simply of personal preference)

So here is my list:
1. ache 2. lovely 3. subtle 4. wrenching 5. permanence 6. swirl 7. drift 8. rhythm 9. musically 10. despair

Just a few that came to mind.

What are your favourite words?

Don't forget to stop by and check out what the rest of the class is sharing...

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

I've mostly stopped itching.

My boss took myself, my manager, our receptionist and another assistant out to lunch at The Keg. Great lunch, great company. About five minutes after we got back to the office (we're a five minute walk away), my face went bright red and started to burn. I started to get all blotchy in my chest area. And then I start to itch like crazy. My face and chest, then ears, then arms, fingers and (now as it's mostly faded away) my knees and lower legs. AHHH!!!

Oh crap, I'm having a stupid allergic reaction! I get this with alcohol and it's actually not an allergy as much as an intolerance. But I don't have any known allergies. Sigh.

But since I could be pregnant and can't take most meds, I can't take Ben.adryl or most other antihistamines (I looked it up and it's iffy). So I quickly researched the matter with Dr.Google and discovered that green tea has natural antihistamines! Great, sign me up.

I'm almost done 2 large mug-fulls and while I have traces of the reaction, it's simmered down to a background irritation rather than the panic inducing burn and itch. Good thing I actually like green tea...

Calmest of Calms

Day 8 and this incredible calm has come over me. Peacefulness. No stress, or worrying. Yet nothing else has changed. The symptoms are more or less the same (except that I'm freakin' hungry!). Maybe my heart has caught up with my head. Maybe it knows something.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Song Challenge

So Dave has challenged everyone to choose a song that best fits how you've been feeling lately. Then go to You Tube and find a video of the song to post on your blog. Don't worry about what the video is so much as it's the lyrics that count.

So... I choose "Through the Dark" by KT Tunstall.

And the video is pretty cool to boot...

So you are here by tagged to do the same. Leave me a comment that you did this and I'll stop by for a listen. Can't wait to hear what you chose.

No Escape from Reality

Okay, a confession: (if you don't already know that is)

Love me or hate me for it, I'm Trekkie. Was hooked when my family first starting watching Next Generation been so ever since. Yes, I watched the show (and the following incarnations) religiously. And read the books. Now that there are no more shows on, they have taken all the "present-time" story lines and converged them into one big storyboarded soap opera in the books. It's freakin' cool to read all the different characters interact. It's a little harmless escapism.

Or so I thought.

The one thing about Star Trek that most non-lovers don't realize is that it takes our own reality and shows you how it might play out in the future. They tackle real issues and the characters have real problems just like everyone else today. And in the recent book I'm reading, their problems hit too close to home.

There's a couple from the Next Gen series that have moved on with their lives, and (finally) got married. They're older. They wanted to start a family. Then they discovered they had a genetic incompatibility (she's only half-human you see) and had to do fertility treatments. These treatments had some pretty significant side-effects and created a lot of stress for the couple (anybody out there relate?). THEN, as I'm reading this newest set of books, get this, they managed to get pregnant and are experiencing their SECOND miscarriage. Her Dr wants to do surgery to remove the fetus. She's in shock and couldn't bear to have it happen any other way but naturally, and he's a wreck over her physical and emotional pain, feeling lost and helpless. And this is as far into the book as I've gotten.

Excuse my language here, but holy sh*t! Even in a science fiction novel I can't escape miscarriage? I was in tears as I was reading the chapters. They're charaters in a fiction novel and I was deeply feeling their agony and frustration. I had to put it down for awhile. I'll be reading again shortly now that I can deal with it.

No breaks here, eh? Will be interesting to see how things play out...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


areyoukiddingme tagged me for a Photo Treasure Hunt. The drill:

1. Go to the 4th picture folder on your computer.

2. Post the 4th picture in that folder.

3. Explain the picture.

4. Tag 4 more people.


This is Vancouver after our massive snowfall. Just in case you aren't familiar with my little corner of Canada, there's a reason it's dubbed "The Wet Coast". I live in a temperate rainforest. Everywhere you look there is green. Even through most of the winter. So that's why we were all a little shocked to have 89 centimeters fall in the South Coast in December where the normal snowfall is 16 centimeters.
I get that other places get a lot more snow over a season than us here but it also has been hovering a round 0, meeting and then re-freezing. The streets and sidewalks were solid sheets of ice. They say the ER was filled with injuries from slipping on the ice. Now it's raining again and there is a lot of snowing melting into our drains. Batten down the hatches, Brace for flooding!
The tagging:
1. Dave
3. mlr

Recognizing the Truth

What I want so desperately is to believe that this will work again. I hate being in the tww (two week wait) this time. Not because I am impatient to test (though I am) but because before, I knew. Before, I had this unflappable notion that I was pregnant. The first time too. Now it's masked by doubt and fear. I can't seem to read my body. I blame the progesterone for maybe masking side-effects as pregnancy symptoms when really, the real culprit, is fear.

I'm scared to be pregnant again.

The first pregnancy had a specific set of symptoms. And I started to miscarry Alex without ever having gotten a positive home pregnancy test. The second pregnancy, though, was different. Everything was different. My symptoms were stronger, I never got my period. I felt pregnant and co-workers who knew said I glowed with happiness. It was going to be different. Then we lost Kenneth.

The only thing different about another pregnancy will be if I actually end up with a baby. There's no way to know if that will happen (oh, Magic Glass Ball, where are you?). I'm hopeful, and I mean truly optimistic. All the same, I'm scared sh*tless.

I've been nauseas all day. I can eat food but there's always this unsettled feeling in me. Drinking lots of cold water helps. It did last time too.

(Oh, and if you're reading this IRL (in real life) you are hereby sworn to secrecy. I beg you.)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Dear Progesterone:

This morning I had my coffee (thank you DR for that exquisite new drink) from my fav Seattle based coffee chain. Not feeling like having breakfast just yet I left it for a little while and took my vitamins. I'm a glutton for punishment because I insist on taking the prenatal in the morning even though it makes me queasy. Why you may ask? To prove to myself that I'm feeling something different- cause still undetermined (progesterone or pregnancy- the verdict is several days away still).

So after awhile I decide I should eat some breaky. I grab a packet of oatmeal and mix it up (gotta love having a kitchen at work) and throw in some dried fruit. I eat my small bowl and enjoy it quite thoroughly.

Ten minutes later as I wash out the bowl in the kitchen, I want to run to the ladies washroom and hurl. Lovely image I know, and you're very welcome. Except that I don't. I'm okay enough that I know I won't actually be sick, but damn, the feeling is there. It was like this with both of my pregnancies...

My dearest progesterone, please give me a break. Let this not be a little mind game you're playing on me! Please don't mess with my known pregnancy symptoms. It's rather cruel you see to trick a woman who has lost two babies into believing that maybe, just maybe, she might be pregnant again. This is the one who just had that vivid dream the other day of nursing her child (remember me?). I want this too much and my fragile heart can't handle being tricked.

Crap, now I'm almost in tears as I type this. It's still mid-morning. This is going to be a long day. Water, where my water. It helps the nausea you see...

Monday, January 05, 2009

One of Many Goals

In an effort to get myself reading more (I haven't done a whole lot since leaving school), I decided that I would set myself a reading goal. I had gone to the public library weeks ago and wandered the aisles aimlessly, trying to figure out what I should read next. I also figured the public library would save me money since Ryan and I are bibliophiles and collect like mad (to our credit though, we either get them on sale or use our discount card. My favourite way to find a new book is to go to the clearance shelves and pick one randomly. If the story interests me I get it. Usually they are under $10.00 and often they are under $5.00! However in attempts to really save our money this year, I am going to try and frequent our fantastic (and I do mean fantastic) public library.

So in addition to participating in the Barren Bitches Book Brigade (ie. book club) , I have decided to read all the Giller Prize Winners and for good measure, the Short List too. 14 years of the Giller Prize, 14 winners and 63 Short Lister. Some of the best of Canadian Fiction. I'll start with the winners and see where I get to. This should be fun. Now only if I can actually get a hold of the books. I tried putting a hold on Eliza.beth Ha.y's Late Nig.hts on A.ir (2007 winner that I really wanted to read) and was like 294th on the list. Hmmm, maybe start at 1994 and work my way forward?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Innocent Dreams

Do you remember your dreams in the morning? Can you wake up and say, wow, that was a weird/lovely/scary dream?

I can't.

In fact, in my life I can only clearly remember 2 dreams. Yes, 2. I will on occasion remember a vague moment but it it always forgotten within about 3 or 4 minutes. I don't know why I can't remember my dreams. It's so very elusive. I know I dream (otherwise I wouldn't beable to mentally function) but I always wonder what I dream about. My husband on the other hand wakes up describing his dreams in vivid detail. And some are just bizarre.

On the rare occasions that I do remember, it's usually something big. Something to make me stop and go, huh, wow.

This morning I woke up out of a dream. The sweetest little dream. The kind where you want to go back to sleep and delve back into it and keep dreaming.

I woke up dreaming I was nursing. It was so real I could almost feel it. Even as I type there's this intense feeling coming over me. It's emotional and beautiful and peaceful all at the same time. The baby I couldn't really see well but the insane emotions I was feeling were overwhelming.

A dream I can't wait to turn to reality. Time to go back to sleep yet?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Show and Tell: Inkblot?

Show and Tell

It's a bush! It's an inkblot! India? What the h*ll is it anyway?

I'm taking Wiseguy's suggestion and posting a photo of my birthmark. Hubby think it looks like India. Maybe it's like an inkblot where what you see reveals your deeply ingrained psychological frame of mind. Or not.

Anyway, once you've given it the once over (and don't mind my sadly acne etched back), let me know what your verdict is and then go over to Mel's and see what frame of mind everyone else is in.

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Whole New Year of Possibilites

So I made it! Woke up to a fresh new year. It was foggy in our neighborhood to begin with and later as the afternoon crept in the sun burst out in a brilliant display illuminating the North Shore mountains and all their snow covered glory. R asked me if it was some sort of poetry- I agree.

It's late on this first day of 2009 and I should be going to bed seeing as I have to work tomorrow (and I'm covering Reception all day to boot ). Instead I'm sitting here on our couch working my way through the Creme de la Creme List of Mel's. So many amazing posts, so little time to soak them all in. It will definitely take me time to get through them all. Mostly, I think I'm awed about the different ways people verbalize their deepest feelings. Here we are, all broken and/ or dented in some way in life, and we choose to put it all out there. For ourselves. For others. It's fascinating. As I see people comment on my Creme post, I am humbled at their responses. I think it has to do with the fact that when I started my own blog, it wasn't just a place for me to vent, as I tend to be a very vocal and emotional person. Instead, it was a place where I hoped that somewhere, sometime, and someplace, my words may help someone in someway. I write because I have known so many great obstacles throughout my life and they have shaped me (profoundly) into the person I am here; now. When I found the ALI community I rejoiced as here were so many people who had walked similar paths and who I could learn from. I wanted to hear the success stories. I wanted to cry with the let downs and losses. I wanted to, well, share and connect and feel a part of something bigger than my own tiny fragile world.

When I found Mel's blog, I understood that my world would be very different going forward. Between my family and friends and this new wonderful community, maybe I could find the strength to pick up the pieces and start a new puzzle. The old puzzle, you see has missing pieces that won't ever be replaced, but the new one is the same picture, just enlarged, expanded. The holes have been replaced by white space. Not emptiness but not an entirely tangible entity either. I'm building this new puzzle piece by precious piece, in this new year, with all of you. Thank you for joining me on this journey. Knowing that each and every one of you is there makes me feel stronger, less alone. It makes me smile and embrace happiness and possibilities.

CT and I selected our new Motto for the year. It, as usual, came randomly in a conversation. We have decided to stop making our own lives more complicated than they need to be. To encourage us along the way is a phrase my Dad used to spout when I was younger:

K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple Stupid

In other news my charts should show a rise in temp tomorrow confirming that I did O (on the edge of my usual CD15-17) and I should be able to start the progesterone. I'm nervous about this new addition to my cycle and hoping it makes the biggest of differences. I'm also hoping taking the Vitamin B6 does it's trick too. To know whether or not I should stop the progesterone so AF can come if I should happen to not be pregnant, I'll be testing Jan.14/15th. Jan.14th is David's b-day- my oldest brother who died from cancer when I was 10. A day that began an amazing (albeit short life) could very well be the beginning of another tempting of fate. Here we go again, the TWW (two week wait) begins.