Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dear Child

Dear Child,

This is your mother. I'm writing just to let you know that I love you already, and have for a long time. I feel like you're very far away from me today, and in a way I'm thankful for the longer view, for the reprieve from the taut hope of imminence. But in a way I grieve the time and distance. So I'm writing this to span all that.

My child, my child, I long to count your little pink fingers and toes, to touch your nose, to feel your fist around my finger, and yes, even to hear you scream yourself red sometimes. I imagine seeing myself in your smile, your father in your eyes (I hope you get his - so warm and keen at once) and strains of your aunts, uncles and grandparents in your personality (they're awesome people, every one of them). I hope you arrive in time to know all 4 of my grandparents, your great-grandparents. Do hurry. Time gets only shorter this side of eternity. I want them to see your face.

Child, there is so much here to see and know and learn and take joy in. I know, I know, there will be times I try to sell you to your grandmother (and she will almost take you every time - but she will always remind me where you belong). There will be times you scream and slam the door and think you hate me. But all that, just like all this, will be worth it. There is such treasure to be found even in heartache. There are always streams in the desert. Not all tears are an evil. And love reaches far deeper and far further than we can imagine.

So child, here in the meantime, I love you and I go about my life. I love your father (he's amazing, and you'll adore him), I love your big half-sister and brother, I love our God. All will be most well.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Shorter than the last one...

Promise. This post will be shorter than the last two.

All I have to say right now is that I have "acute sinusitis" (but it's cute!), which is an odd diagnosis, since all the congestion is in my chest. But I have meds. And I'm looking forward to being better. Because I feel pretty stinking rotten right now.

I'm also trying not to shake my fist because today is CD11 and I don't want to miss an opportunity to try. I know I ovulate late, so it should be fine, but still. Still. I don't really have high hopes this cycle, though I think that's more due to the fairly predictable cycling of emotions throughout this whole TTC effort. One month, hopes are very high. The next, they plummet. I'm in month 2 of the 3-4 month post-HSG fertility spike, so our chances are better than even 2 months ago. But still, the heart is heavy. Something changed in me 11 days ago, and the question shifted from "when?" to "if?"

*sigh* *cough cough*

Maybe I'll go sleep for a while.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blessings... not disguised

I am sick. My chest hurts, my throat is raw, my lungs feel tight, my body aches, I'm exhausted and I have a fever. So that's me right now.

CD10 it is, making this weekend the "big" weekend. J is sick too, with something else, so it may not be the most romantic baby-making effort ever. You know, sex with masks on so germs don't get spread around and the occasional break to hack out a piece of lung. Sexy.

I had quite the lovely weekend. It reminds me of the Jason Mraz/Colbie Callait song "Lucky" which says, "I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend, Lucky to have been where I have been, Lucky to be coming home again, Lucky we're in love in every way, Lucky to have stayed where I have stayed, Lucky to be coming home someday."

So my brother and I decided to take a road trip. I'd been wanting to go to Virginia for a while, and he had some vacation time he needed to use up, so we decided to match up those objectives. We left Friday under blue sky and tons of sunshine and had an awesome drive. We took turns choosing songs to listen to, so there was great music the whole way, and we laughed our tails off at ridiculous stuff (like Big Muskie Bucket - an actual place in Southern Ohio), and got lost in Charlottesville looking for what we now believe are fictional restaurants, and then waited in our friend's driveway for 30 minutes laughing some more at how ridiculous we were for not going in. And he got scared of an axe murderer that I casually mentioned. And it was great.

These friends of ours are an amazing family - single mom, five great kids. I want to know the secret to raising up kids that are so happy and love each other so much. I know they're not perfect, but they're really something anyway. They just shine. All 6 of them.

It was funny, because this friend of mine knew me best about 7 years ago, back when I was a mess, in love with my own darkness, and so needy. She was a saint with me. When I was there this weekend, she said that I seem so blissfully happy now and I realize I really am. There is a raincloud on the horizon - a fairly substantial one - but for the most part, I am completely happy. I am secure in my marriage and my faith and my friendships. There has been an incredible outpouring of grace and mercy in my life. But I've also worked hard to get here, and I'm sort of proud of it.

It's funny realizing how far away some things are. I'm not going to get into any of it here, because in this case it's not important to understand the history to understand the present. But this weekend was the 7-year anniversary of a particularly devastating and particularly pivotal event in my life. It was the culmination of everything I had become and the trigger that launched the change. It was the best thing that could have happened to me, in a way, because it broke everything in my life that was breakable. And everything was swept away. And I have been rebuilt. And it's cool.

I also didn't know, really, how much I love Orthodoxy. I'm not, in a general sense, impressed with Christians. I'm a bit afraid of being "that Christian" who doesn't shut up about her faith and puts people off, etc. I don't really talk about it (my faith) much. My friends know I'm Orthodox, they know I fast, etc, etc, but it's not something we discuss. We agree on the basics - about what's important in life - and our friendship stems from that. But this weekend, I found myself talking about it. A lot. Sometimes I worried that I talked about it too much. But it was interesting because I had to put into words things I've been thinking about and learning, but had never really had the need or opportunity to articulate before. And I realized in doing so how rich and robust the Orthodox take on Christianity is and how much I love it. So there's that.

I'm on day 3 of the fast, and it's going well. This week we're still allowed dairy products, so it's easier. I'm not looking forward to the next 6(?) weeks with no meat or dairy. My goal is to totally forego meat with maybe two exceptions per week and forego dairy with one exception per day. I'm excited though, because I remember how much Pascha meant last year when I had fasted before it.


Lots to think on. What a good weekend.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I know it will sound funny to call what I'm about to copy and paste in here "fragments", but for the Orthodox, everything is long - even the fragments. haha.

These are some of the prayers chanted in a wedding ceremony. They were chanted in ours.

O God most pure, the Author of all creation, in Your loving kindness
You transformed a rib of Adam the forefather into a woman and blessed
them and said, "Increase and multiply, and have dominion over the earth."
By joining them together, You declared them both to be one. “For this
reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his
wife, and the two shall be one flesh - and those whom God has joined
together let no man put asunder.” You also blessed Your servant Abraham,
and opened the womb of Sara, and made him the father of many nations;
You gave Rebecca to Issac, and blessed her offspring; You joined Jacob and
Rachel, and from them brought forth the twelve patriarchs of ancient Israel;
You joined Joseph and Asenath, and as the fruit of their childbearing, You
bestowed upon them Ephraim and Manasseh; You blessed Zachariah and
Elizabeth, and declared their son, John the Baptist, to be the Forerunner of
the Messiah: out of the root of Jesse, according to the flesh, You produced
the ever-virgin Mary, and from her You were born, becoming incarnate for
the salvation of the human race. In Your infinite grace and amazing goodness
You were present in Cana of Galilee and blessed the marriage that took place
there, that You might show that a lawful union, and children from it, is in
accordance with Your will. Most-holy Master, accept the prayer of Your
servants and as You were present at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, be
present among us now, granting all of us Your unseen protection. Bless this
marriage and grant unto these Your servants Lisa and J a peaceful
life, length of days, chastity, love for one another in a bond of peace,
fair fame by reason of their children, and a crown of glory that will
never fade away. Make them worthy to live to see their children's children.
Keep their marriage bond undefiled. Give them of the dew from the heavens
above and the richness of the earth. Fill their home with bountiful food, and
with every good thing, that they may have enough to share with those who
are poor and in need. Grant to all those who are present here this day, all of
their prayers that are for salvation.
For You, O Christ, are a God of mercy, compassion and love, and to You do
we offer up glory: together with Your eternal Father and Your all-holy, good,
and life-giving Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages.

And then later...

Bless them, O Lord our God, as you blessed Abraham and Sarah.
Bless them, O Lord our God, as You blessed Isaac and Rebecca.
Bless them, O Lord our God, as you blessed Jacob and all the Patriarchs.
Bless them, O Lord our God, as You blessed Joseph and Asenath.
Bless them, O Lord our God, as You blessed Moses and Zipporah
Bless them, O Lord our God, as You blessed Joachim and Anna.
Bless them, O Lord our God, as You blessed Zachariah and Elizabeth.

And then later...

And you, O bride, be exalted like Sarah; rejoice as did Rebecca; and be
fruitful like Rachel, delighting in your husband, keeping the paths of the Law,
for this is what is pleasing to God.

Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Asenath, Zipporah, Anna, Elizabeth, Mary...

I guess I'm just thinking, just treasuring, just shoring up my memory. What a road has been walked.


On a totally totally different note. I just have to say that I'm on day 3 of the Clomid. Just took it. And the room is SPINNING. Wheeeeeeee!


And additionally, I have to say that I'm here in Virginia, visiting a long-time and unspeakably dear friend. With my brother. And it's lovely.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A poem by a friend

A friend of mine wrote this. I'm just loving it right now.

Crater - By Sarah W
Wrap your atmosphere around me –
I do not want to be the moon, unable to deflect
even the smallest cosmic speck. I flinch and dodge
a million bullets in a meteor shower, yearn to watch
the light show at night without fear. Without you,
my surface is sensitive – I bruise at the slightest affront,
scurry away to nurse my hurt. If I must wear
the craters of personal implosions and exterior stonings,
dress them in deep blue water with stunning clarity
so that none may question why this happened
but only know that nothing so beautiful
and pure could come without pain.

Plant in my volcanic cavity a hemlock tree
so all will witness how you’ve rooted yourself
in my explosive fragility and called me strong.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Classified ad

Useless uterus for sale or trade.

I'm willing to trade my low-productivity uterus for any sort of upgrade. Otherwise, will sell for scrap.

I've heard that if coated in plastic or brass, it could make a wicked weapon.


I woke up this morning with pain in my thighs and none in my breasts. And just like that, another house of cards came fluttering down.

This time is a particular shock. Both J and I were pretty sure it had worked this time. I mean, since when has PMS enhanced anyone's sense of smell? I just don't understand.

I don't want gummy worms after all. At this particular moment, I don't want anything at all.


PS. OW. It's certainly emphatic.


Three hours later: OW. Worst EVER. Refer back to the "Holy Shit" post of 3 weeks ago. Take that level of enthusiasm, inverse it, multiply by 4. I'll take the old style orgasms if the new kind is the price to pay for a period like this. I've taken 2 Ibuprofen and 2 aspirin and I'm still gasping. I'm not a sissy, I swear. On the plus side, the pain in my gut is taking my mind off the pain in my heart. I feel like I'm giving birth to a tiny horned devil, not just a couple tablespoons of blood.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stick it out

Gummy worms are delicious. I haven't had them in YEARS, but a friend brought some to work earlier this week and I'm now hooked (pun only partially intended). They even have little smiling faces. And they're tasty. And they settle my tummy.

Maybe I'm getting the flu.

No, still nothing. I'm walking the line between hope and belief. Not quite knowledge. But it's going to suck if it's not what it feels like. I will need many bags of gummy worms.

One week til the fast starts. Though J has informed me that I will not be participating in it at all "if". *humph* But that would be smart. But sad in a way. Can't think of a better reason, but I've been looking forward to it for a long time, so I may do some chatting to some Greek ladies and see if I can't get creative. Or maybe I'll fast 3 days a week. Or maybe I'll just wait and see.

But either way, Lent is coming! It's one week away! It's the crescendo that started at Christmas and will come bursting out on Pascha because God has become man and He is with us and HE IS COMING.


I heard the best story last night. It's real. It's not a joke. My friend B is a 4th grade teacher. This happened to one of her friends (we'll call her A) who is a first grade teacher. Apparently earlier this week, A noticed a little boy fussing and fidgeting and acting generally uncomfortable. So A went over to the boy and said, "Jimmy, what's the matter? Are you feeling OK?" And Jimmy said, "Well, I've just been circumcised and it's really bothering me." (put aside for the moment the questionability of circumcising a 7 year old) So A told him to go to the office and call his mom and see what she wanted him to do. So he goes, comes back, sits down. Shortly after, there's a huge ruckus in the back of the classroom. So A goes back there, and there sits Jimmy with his pants unzipped and all the goods just hanging out. So A says, "Jimmy! What are you doing?!" And he says (I kid you not), "Well, Mommy said that if I could stick it out til noon, she'd come and get me on her lunch hour."

Friday, February 13, 2009


It's days like this that make the end of the cycle that much more difficult to bear. Last cycle, I knew I wasn't pregnant. I could just tell. This time, I just don't know. My cycles are anywhere from 30 to 34 days long. I was anticipating this one being 31 based on my estimation of ovulating somewhere around CD15 or 16. At this point, I don't think the end will come before tomorrow.

All I know is that I am so so tired and I cried my face off last night (but there are some moderately good resons for that - if you read the post that I've since deleted, you'll have some idea what I'm talking about) and the girls are painful (as usual). It's the level of exhaustion that I'm hoping is a really good thing, and not a sign of an impending Noahide deluge.

I'm very grateful that I don't have any pregnancy tests in the house, because I would definitely go break my heart by taking one.


I've been having an increasingly hard time over the last few weeks/months connecting to my stepkids. It's really been bothering me because they're great kids, and I love them, but I've had an increasing sense when they're around that I just want them gone. I find them annoying and frustrating and exhausting, with none of the benefits that parents talk about accruing to offset all the costs. And it's been bothering me.

So yesterday, I decided to go out of my way to reconnect with my stepson. I'm a waitress, so I know what it means to be happy and helpful and upbeat and energetic when I don't feel like being any of the above. I know how to fake it, so to speak (though in certain applications, I never need to, snicker snicker). So I did that. I wanted him to feel valued and loved, because I know I've not been doing a good job of showing the kids how much they mean to me.

I was surprised to find that I had to get around this huge wall of sadness and frustration and fear (from all this infertility crap) to reach him. I didn't even know it was there until I tried to get around it. I mean, I know I've been battling sadness and frustration and fear, but I didn't realize that it was forming a barrier between me and the blessings I already have.


I'm very hopeful this cycle. Very hopeful. And very much afraid. Because we've done everything right. I had the HSG done, so we know all the plumbing is clear. We had sex every day 8 days in a row, so we know that there were plenty of swimmers for Little Miss Picky Egg to choose from. And if it didn't work, I know that my overall optimism will suffer for it.


Truly, I do have other things on my mind that I intend to blog about. Like opinions on this whole economic downturn/stimulus/socialist/notmycupoftea business. Maybe later.

Today, I just sort of need people to pat me on my head and say, "there there". It's OK if you roll your eyes when I'm not looking. In my more lucid moments, I roll my eyes at myself too.


Oh. My husband rocks. No orgasm stories to gross you out with. He just rocks.



Wednesday, February 11, 2009

not thinking about it

Can you tell?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The ups and downs

Here we sit. Square in the middle of CD28. My body is fussing with my brain. Again. Hormones are RAMPANT y'all.

Everything makes me almost cry.
The girls finally just started hurting. In the last 14 months, the only predictable thing has been the for the last 4 months, the girls have started to hurt on CD 20 or 21. This month, a week late. Not that I mind. But why?
Uneasy tummy.

All I know for sure is that I don't want to do these next 4-5 days. I want it to be Friday, so I can be bleeding and on the road to emotional recovery. It's like watching a hammer swinging through the air, heading straight towards your thumb. The thumb will heal, but damn if it doesn't hurt for a while.

Or maybe the hammer will miss this month. Maybe in 5 days I'll be laughing. Maybe in a week I'll be sick and tired. Those would both be very good things.

Either way, I AM going to "do" the rest of this week. I will wrap my coat a little tighter around myself and walk up the hills and down the valleys and come out a little sorer, a little tireder (I know that's not a word but I'm using it anyhow and if you trytostopmeIwillfreakoutonyourassmmk?), and a little stronger.

But in terms of ups. I'm enjoying the "Jason Mraz" Pandora station at present. I'm into these kinds of sounds right now. Jason Mraz, A Fine Frenzy, Maroon 5. Yeahhh.

AND my new computer arrived! And is finally working! Hooked up to the internet! Wirelessly! Finally! In fact I type this very blog on it. It's so spiffy. It has a clock and a weather report right up in the top corner of the screen along with little widgets/gadgets/thingies that tell me breaking news, run a continuous slideshow of pictures from around the world, and allow me to put reminder notes-to-self right where I can see them on my desktop.

Welcome to the space age, y'all.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Diagnosis: hormones

Whatever the reason, my hormones are on the fritz. I've calmed down a bit about the food cravings thing. I remembered that about 3-4 months ago, I went through a week-long phase where I couldn't get food spicy enough and really really wanted strawberry milk shakes at all times, while fighting gag impulses when faced with yogurt or a banana. I'm seeing a similar experience here. All I can think about is pizza, Thai food, and Mongolian fire oil. In parallel with last time, I ate a tiny chocolate bar and have felt sick since. My husband is making chicken pot pies for dinner tonight. I know I'll love them. He's a magnificent cook and I'm grateful he's cooking (I've been SWAMPED with work this week - still am - shouldn't even be writing this). But chicken? Me wants spicy veggies and complex carbs.

Additionally, I've been experiencing a rather odd "high" for the last 2 days. Does anyone know if serotonin levels are known to spike with premenstrual hormones? Because that's how it feels. Aside from the odd moments when I hear about a friend of mine finding out she's going to have a little boy in a few months at the same time as I'm listening to a saddish song and I start crying... I feel inexplicably happily anticipatory. Like a kid before Christmas. And I'm ridiculously productive. Or I would be if my cat would leave me alone. But all signs of elevated serotonin (happy hormone).

And my sentence structure is faltering. Sure sign of some sort of instability. (But alliteration is always awesome!)

It is CD24. Maybe my period will start early for once and that's why I'm going slowly bonkers.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

This is my brain, this is my brain on... what?

So my brain is definitely pregnant. Not sure about the rest of me - we're a good 10 days away from any news on that front. But my brain thinks it's pregnant. Today I was grocery shopping, as I always do on Thursdays and I'd already decided to get myself a French bread pizza for lunch. Odd enough - I haven't had one of those in years. And then I thought I'd get myself a jar of pickles to eat with it (I never eat pickles). With orange juice. ? Gordon Ramsay would gag. But it sounds darn good to me.

(Disclaimer: this is not me actually believing myself pregnant and "finding" symptoms. I'm just terribly terribly amused.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I don't think I've mentioned, but my husband and I love to cook, especially together. Most of our dates at the beginning of our relationship involved us in his little kitchen learning new recipes. There was a particular incident with a lobster even, which turned out delicious in the end.

So last night, our weekly date night (we don't have the kids and I don't work on Monday nights), we thought we'd try a new set of recipes the hubby found courtesy of Gordon Ramsay (*sigh* *swoon*). He was in charge of the chicken, and I was in charge of the potatoes. There was supposed to be white asparagus as well, but it turned out to be covered in pink slime, which we didn't take to be a positive omen, gastronomically speaking. So J took the whole chicken, chopped off its legs and wings (we'll use that for soup or something later), stuffed the body with salt, a head of garlic, thyme and maybe a lemon (?) and poached it for 15 minutes in homemade stock (carrots, celery, leeks, coriander, black pepper, and something else I don't remember right now). Then, he took to out, cut off the breasts and pan-fried those skin-side down with garlic and thyme. My taters were cut into tiny cubes, parboiled for 4 minutes, and then pan-fried in olive oil also with garlic and thyme. Towards the end, I added tiny pieces of pancetta. So we have chicken and potatoes. BUT THEN there was the morel sauce. I don't remember well how it was made - something to do with white wine, morels, cream, garlic, and other odds and ends. Results? AMAZING. Be very very jealous.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Hey look! It's CD20 already! Wow. Fastest cycle ever. Thank heaven.

There is no excuse whatsoever for little Eggy to not have met with a suitable suitor. Let's not be picky, little cell. They all come from the same place. Just accept one.

Yay for Pandora right now. I've got "A Fine Frenzy" station on right now, and for the most part, I'm loving the selections.

I also have to say that I do not like football (American, you silly Brits and Aussies). I don't understand much about it. I was in the marching band in high school, yes, so I was at every high school game, but that doesn't mean that I know anything beyond the barest essentials. There's a bunch of guys in spandex beating the hell out of each other (HOW do they not die?) trying to get a funny shaped ball onto painted grass. All that to say, I nearly had a stroke last night watching the last two minutes of the Super Bowl. Holy hell. I do have to say that I feel rather sad for that poor long-haired red shirted fellow who had his winning Super Bowl touchdown stolen by the bald yellow shirted guy.

So our priest is on a three month sabbatical. He may or may not be coming back. My vote is in the "yes" column. YES, he should come back. The interim is fine. Nice guy, a little tone deaf which is a shame when the whole service is chanted, the sermons aren't quite as meaty, but a nice guy. But I miss Father Nicholas.

Can I also say it's 3 weeks til Lent starts? weee! I'm so excited. I've been looking forward to it all year. It sounds odd to say, because it's approximately 6 weeks of being a vegan, which I don't much care for (I love cows - eating them), but it is by far the most profound period of time of the year. I remember last year after Pascha actually missing the fast. And with Lent comes Holy Week. There is no other time of the year that you can see so clearly the enormity of the Church - rooted in history and spread out in time and space. It's amazing. We have such a fantastically beautiful legacy, and it comes so near that week. Poor Protestants don't know what they're missing out on.

I should get to work. The crazy lady has finally produced a substantial to-do list. I'm actually quite happy about it. :)