IVF #1: Peace Be With Me

Just a quick update to let you all know that things are going smoothly. I went to my ultrasound yesterday and the doctor said that “everything looks lovely.” I had a good number of follicles growing, and the mysterious cyst/larger follicle had only grown about a millimeter. Last night, I took the same dose of my meds as usual, but tonight I’ll be upping my Menopur dose and adding in Ganirelix. Real-life peeps: Ganirelix is used to ensure that I don’t ovulate before the egg retrieval. Aren’t the med names so futuristic? I can barely spell them. In fact, I probably did spell at least one incorrectly.

My abdomen is starting to bruise from the injections so that makes for some slightly uncomfortable pants-wearing. I’ve switched to leggings for the foreseeable future. I’m still having mild headaches, but the moodiness has subsided for now. A weird thing I didn’t expect is that I think the drugs are messing with my appetite—as in, I don’t really have one right now. I’m not complaining, I just assumed my appetite would be raging since weight gain during IVF seems universal. But I guess that weight gain is probably more due to fluid retention and carrying around, like, twenty monster follicles in your ovaries rather than inhaling a bunch of food.

At brunch this morning a friend asked me if I was feeling positive about the outcome of this cycle. I wasn’t sure how to answer that question. I’m not feeling negative per se, but I certainly don’t have a crazy gut feeling that this cycle will work. I’m more or less just trying to get through each injection, each ultrasound and each phone call from the nurse without getting too far ahead of myself. On the one hand, there’s no reason why it couldn’t work. On the other hand, it’s near impossible for me to actually imagine getting a positive pregnancy test since it’s been so long since I’ve seen one.

Should I be more positive? Maybe. But I’m trying to be gentle with myself and just feel how I feel.

I set an intention at the beginning of this process that I was going to let go and surrender, and shockingly I have more or less done that. That’s not to say there haven’t been minor setbacks, but so far, so good. If I can keep this up through the end of the cycle I will be thrilled.

I feel calm. I am at peace. For now, that is enough.

Prayers For Peggy: Reflections On Love And Motherhood

You might have read in my previous post that my mom was back in the hospital again, this time with meningitis. The meningitis is under control, thank God, but my mom hated being in the hospital. She was miserable to the max. So a couple of days ago, she transferred to a hospice facility. I haven’t seen the place, but my mom, dad and brother say that it is wonderful. You can even bring your pets there if you like!

Hospice is a scary word. Once I heard she had transferred there, I did some research, and what I found made me feel better. Hospice is not about giving up hope, but rather it’s about regaining a better quality of life. It’s about being with your family. It’s about comfort and peace and love. My mom indeed seems much happier and much more comfortable there. And that, my friends, is all I could ever wish for my beloved mother: peace, comfort and buckets of love.

I’m going to put myself out there now and share a letter that I wrote to her because it also explores some of the thoughts and feelings I’ve been having about motherhood.

Dear Mom,

Since I’ve had my daughter, I’ve been thinking about you all the time. I don’t remember a lot from when I was very young, but the one thing that I do remember—strong and clear—is a feeling of overwhelming love for you. I think that’s my first real memory—not a place or a time, but a feeling of love for you. I was a true mama’s girl, as I’m sure you recall. I remember wanting to touch you and hug you and just generally wanting to be around you as much as possible. It occurred to me the other day that, before Tim, you were the original love of my life. Most people only associate that phrase with romantic love, but I think that’s silly. I am lucky enough to have three loves of my life: first there was you, then Tim and now there’s Colette. But you were first and I wanted you to know that.

Love,
Tanya

This letter, of course, became the family joke, with my dad and siblings crying that they “didn’t even make the list.” And to that I say, whatever, peeps. I gots plenty o’ love to go around.

I would be extremely grateful if you all could keep my mother in your thoughts and prayers. If you could send as much goodness as you can spare her way.

I love you like crazy, mom. I love you to the sky and back, and even further still. I love you all the way to the stars and the moon and into the furthest reaches of the ever-expanding universe. There is nowhere you can go where my love cannot reach you.

Goodnight, Wake Up Yoga West

The studio where I practiced yoga for the very first time, Wake Up Yoga West, closed its doors last night. Fortunately for me, there are two more Wake Ups in this city, one of which is a stone’s throw from my new house. And while I look forward to practicing in those other locations, I will always have a soft spot for the West studio.

The owner of the studio gave one final class, which both Tim and I attended. I knew my pregnant body wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the poses, but nothing would have stopped me from making that class—I was determined to honor this space that shaped my life over the past three years. And determined to honor myself, and all that I’ve become in that time.

The class was emotional. The instructor cried, and if I were more comfortable with my own emotions, I probably would’ve cried, too. You’re likely wondering why the closing of a yoga studio has impacted me so much, so I’ll try to explain. I see two reasons.

One, I’d come to see Wake Up as a safe place, a shelter from the rest of the world. I knew that no matter what was going on in my life, I’d be guaranteed an hour-and-a-half of solace once I stepped inside. The studio helped me through wedding stress, struggles with infertility, the death of Tim’s childhood friend, the reemergence of my mom’s cancer, and the joys and fears of a new pregnancy. In short, we’ve been through a lot together. I would go to class, sweat out all of my bad energy, and leave with a feeling of calm. The studio began to feel like a trusted confidant, one who listened and soothed without asking for anything in return. How often in life do you find that? Almost never, I say.

Two, the instructor talked throughout the class about the cycle of life and how everything has a beginning and an end. This is something that’s been on my mind a lot these days, with the impending birth of my baby girl and my mom’s illness. The instructor stressed several times how it’s important to find joy and peace in the endings, not only because they are part of life’s natural cycle, but because in every ending there is a beginning.

And there it is. The very thing I’ve been struggling with lately: finding peace. I’m having a hard time reveling in all of the joys of now and not worrying about what might be around the corner.

So I’m going to take a moment to do that. Because the truth is, I couldn’t ask for more than what I have right this second—I’m pregnant with a healthy baby girl, my mom is still here with me and I’m married to my favorite person on the planet. Those are just the big three. There are countless other things to be thankful for. And yes, any of that could change tomorrow. But it’s not tomorrow. It’s today. It’s right now.

I’m hoping that you, awesome readers, will also take a tiny moment out of your day today to tally up the things you’re thankful for and to rejoice in what is right now. Because even though everyone says it all the time, and it’s the most obvious thing ever, it’s the thing I forget most often: all we have is the present.

So thank you, Wake Up Yoga West, for everything. I bid you a sweet adieu.

Namaste.

Posing with Victoria, the instructor who taught my beginning yoga classes at Wake Up West.

Two Weeks Down, ?? Left To Go

One easy way to avoid alcohol: hang out with pregnant chicks.

First things first, a huge thanks to all of you who commented on my post about giving up alcohol. I felt some serious love and support from you guys. And I love you all right back.

I want to give a special shout-out to my friend Zac, who offered to abstain from alcohol until I get pregnant. For those of you who don’t already know Zac: he will actually do this. That’s just the kind of guy he is. For your sake, Zac, I hope I get pregnant soon!

It’s been two weeks and a day since I’ve had a drink. And guess what? It’s totally fine. So far. I made it through a concert. I made it through a wedding. I even made it through a visit with my brother, who might be my favorite drinking buddy on the planet.

I’ve been sitting here for the past few minutes trying to figure out why it has been fairly easy for me to drop something that was such a huge part of my life. I’m guessing it has much to do with the fact that every time I’ve had a drink for the past month or two I felt guilty about it. I felt bad about myself when I was drinking and even worse the next morning. I wasn’t listening to the voice telling me I needed to stop and I knew it. So I think finally quitting was a relief. No more guilt! No more nagging inner voice being like, “Dude, what are you doing?”

Do I feel amazing and more energetic than I have in years? Nah. I feel pretty much the same, physically. Although, not having a hangover is definitely nice. Mostly the changes I’ve noticed have been mental. I feel more at peace. Finally – after months of hemming and hawing – I had the courage to make a major, healthier change for myself. And that feels pretty darn good.

I doubt every day will be as easy as these first two weeks. Of course not. This could just be the honeymoon period, right? But seeing as I have my end goal in mind and a wealth of support from all of you, I believe I’ll be just fine.

A sober (and happy) me in Pumpkin Land.