Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stick a fork in me

Puerto Rico was not what I expected. The hotel was not what I expected. The beach was not what I expected. Sooo, Carpe Diem and screw expectations, we had a ball anyway. A ball, I tell you. For the record, Puerto Ricans have the right attitude.

The first day on the beach we were carefully encased in our fluffy lounges with a perfectly tilted sunbrella. I moved my book down a few inches from my face (my daily exercise) and noticed a woman walking toward the water. Not skinny, definately pudgy, more than pudgy actually and in a two piece bathing suit. My first thought, of course, was you've got to be kidding me. She surely cannot believe that that suit is weight appropriate. Please, no, that is not a good look. Book creeps down farther, more exercise. Heavens, it's been 15 years since I've even picked up a two piece at the store and she's got 50 lbs on me. Hrrmpf, what is she thinking?

I never found out what she was thinking, but I slowly realized that she wouldn't give two shits what I was thinking because she was having a good time. She was comfortable in her own skin, enjoying the beach, catching some rays and carrying the right attitude. And she wasn't the only one. I saw many, many women shakin' what their mamas gave them who in the U.S. wouldn't be caught dead without full cover pantaloons. Freeing actually. That's not to say that I skivvied down to a g string and nipple tassles, but it did cause me to think about how we Americans are so image obsessed. More than image obsessed, I think. We tend to define one standard of beauty, which is always skinny, skinny and impossibly young.

And speaking of skinny, I did some fine eatin. If you're ever in San Juan, ever I say, immediately exit the airport, head straight for Old San Juan and immediately go to Marmalades. http://www.marmaladepr.com/index.htm If the restaurant is closed, just sit patiently on the front stoop until dinnertime. My dinner consisted of three appetizers: (1) grilled peaches with lemon mascarpone and proscuitto; (2) paella bites and (3) gnocchi with braised beef ribs...don't know that I ever would have typed those two together in the same appetizer, but such is life's little blessings. I also got a little sample of love...the white bean soup. With thin scallions. Crispy pancetta. Black truffle oil.

Next week I'm off to Newport, Rhode Island for a company meeting. I've never been to Newport, so let me know if there's a sight I absolutely shouldn't miss. If it involves food I assure you I'll find it. My return should be greeted with a very large, expensive box of medicines. Sigh.

Did I tell you about the paella bites?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh Bother.

Ah, a full pot of honey. Cool, summer day. Flower-filled meadow. Good friends. Melanie the Pooh. Or maybe Ee-yore without the "woe is me". I will admit this only to you, blog land, but I'm a girl without much drive this summer. Today for example I find myself longing for Friday because then Saturday will be the next day. And Saturday brings a good float in the pool, a nice spy trash novel, and later, a cocktail. I call it the Just Coastin' Cocktail, vodka, fresca and a splash of cranberry. Ahhh.

I haven't enjoyed summer this much in a long time.

E and I are going to San Juan, Puerto Rico next Wed. for a long weekend. It's his birthday and we wanted to get away somewhere relatively easy to get to. The place we're staying has a casino and a spa. And a bar. I doubt that I will lose the ten pounds I planned to lose before next Wed., so I go with a light heart and a slightly chubby physique. No worries. Those ten pounds will be around to lose after San Juan. And it's true, tan flab looks a lot better than pale flab.

And on the infertility front, I ordered my meds today. $2,800. Not quite the same event it was the first time around, but that's ok. Start sometime mid-August, so I've got a few weekends to go.

I'm going back to my meadow now.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It seems like ages, dahling...

Goodness me, it's hard for a girl to escape the topic of infertility these days. I've counted no less than five articles on infertility issues online in the last week. For example, who knew that fertility in men decreases after age 40? (She types with a straight face.) And that's not counting the omnipresent pregnant celebrity, which I wouldn't know about anyway because I'm entirely too cultured to read about such things. Ahem.

I've very much enjoyed my fertility vacation. I've been keeping up with all of you, though I haven't been commenting as often. Sort of makes me a cad, I guess, like an "I meant to call, really" kind of blogger. In my defense, I've just needed to be away from it all. Dramatic sigh, back of hand to forehead.

I dipped back into the infertility pool this morning. Ordinarily, my RE's office is fairly empty. I show up, get wanded and get the flock out. This morning it was packed. With couples. Dear God in heaven, it was "results" day. First couple walks in, holding hands, anxious, I hear her tell the nurse at the reception area that the nerves are killing her. Another couple comes in, nervous smiles, gentle pats. And there I sit. Wondering. Trying not to make eye contact. Giving them their private hopes. Clearly, this is the first try for the first and second couples. The third couple that walks in looks a bit more road weary and time tested. I eventually learn that of the three couples, one is pregnant, the others are not. Could it be, finally, for couple #3?

There's always an easy familiarity at the RE's office. Jokes and smiles and hugs. My favorite nurse crashed her grocery cart into mine at the local Kroger. Crappy driver. I didn't stop to wonder until later if the couples noticed, hoping they would never have occassion to build that kind of rapport.

The appointment went well. Everything looks good, is where it should be, nothing where it shouldn't be. I have to take their word for it; I continue to believe that my uterus looks more like a rutabaga than a uterus on the dildocam. Hmm, maybe that's the ...? Anyway, everyone feels really good about this next cycle. Me, too. I feel good and strong and resolved. I really do.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Movin On.

I was raped when I was 22 years old. Just home from college, living with my parents, stymied about my future. I was walking through the neighborhood on the street next to the railroad tracks. I had my headphones on, listening to Soul ll Soul, Keep on Movin. Time to lose the freshman 15. A sunny, hot July day. Not a soul in sight. A man came up behind me and put a plastic bag over my head. I had just walked under the highway overpass. We struggled across the road and, talk about things going downhill from there, fell into a drop on the side of the road. Deep brush hid it from the road. It was where the drainage tunnel ran under that street and the two roads on the other side of the railroad tracks.

I remember four things very clearly. One, that I couldn't believe this was how it was going to end. So much life to live and it's over, like this? In a drop on the side of the road? I didn't see angels. I didn't feel the presence of the spirit, any spirit. No fear anymore, just blinding carnal anger that it would end like this. I remember clearly the musty smell of damp earth; damp smells bothered me for many years after. I remember my ear bleeding from the impact of my ear and headphones hitting the ground and, strangely, the rapist expressing concern. Asking if it hurt. But my clearest memory is after the rape. Right after. He told me to crawl through the drainage tunnel and not to look back. He wouldn't kill me if I didn't look back. I didn't look back. The light at the end of the tunnel was, blessedly, just that.

The police caught the man who raped me. They told me that when he was arrested he looked like shit, bruises and scratches and scrapes. They told me that he looked worse than me. I think they were just being kind, but it made me smile. Take that! His lawyer (damn lawyers!) said it was consensual, then quickly dropped that claim. He pleaded guilty. He was 18 years old and ended up spending the maximum in prison for 1st degree rape, 15 years. Registered sex offender for life. I fought my demons and my anger for a couple of years after the rape, but got over it with help. And time. I rarely think about it anymore. Truly. Even on the anniversary, July 2. Today.

I've been thinking about it, please not for sympathy, but in the context of Movin On. Life moving on, people moving on, even though you're not ready to or you just can't, for whatever reason. My low point after the rape was after the trial, after the "My God, you're so strong's", after the "what can I/we do to make it better, safer, easier, more comfortable's for you." At the point when the world goes about its business, as it does, as it must, but you haven't. How can everyone go on living, happily living, when my world is falling apart and the anger is making me toxic, I thought? Ok, fine. Then stop the world and let me off. Just for a little while.

What does this have to do with infertility? Absolutely nothing. Everything. Infertility, like any major life event, has the power to knock you to the ground, fixate you, obsess you, tie you in knots, cause you to fling open your arms and scream to the world "Are you kidding me, why ME?" Indeed, I've found myself perilously close at times to doing just that and then collapsing on the floor in a self-induced puddle of pity, soft underbelly exposed to the world. Life can really, really be a bitch.

At 22 I learned that shitty things can and do happen to good people. Lesson: Life's not fair by any means. I was older when I learned that you can deal with anything, violence, sadness, divorce, joy, disappointment, uncertainty, anything...given time and acceptance. Sometimes you deal by letting the world spin for a while without you until you're ready to get back on gracefully. Othertimes you just fight it out. Take that world! But the key, I think, is Movin On. Keep on Movin.

One more cycle and I'll take the outcome, whatever it is. For sure, I won't be immune from sadness or disappointment or joy, whatever the case may be. But I am going to keep Movin On.