Archive for the ‘ICLW Stories’ Category

FutureMom’s Network. Join us!

I think I am going to set up a network for FutureMom’s in the Metro-Boston area. Why search for a playdate when you can hang out with cool chicks that you REALLY like. Maybe there will be cocktails involved at a later date….mmmmmm, I miss cocktails!

I am not sure if I will set this up via email, facebook or meetup yet, but if you are expecting in 2010 and interested in learning more, please contact me by posting a comment or send me an email through the ABOUT ME page on this blog.

Thanks!

Shell

The Story of the Stone

A friend, whom I adore, asked me this weekend why I call this blog “Romancing the Stone.” I couldn’t answer her at the time, because it wasn’t the right moment. Although I once loved Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas, it really has nothing to do with the film of the same name. 

Many years ago, I was diagnosed with severe fibroid tumors. They were causing my body great distress and sending me to the emergency room on occasion. This came to light at the same time that my sister was due with her first child. I still remember the day that I was painting a mural for my niece-to-be when I had to be rushed to the hospital. If I chose to proceed without surgery, the fibroids would greatly compromise my quality of life and my ability to one day conceive. If I removed them , at the urgent request of my doctors, the scarring they would leave behind might decrease my ability to conceive and increase my chance of miscarriage.

(Fibroids are very common. Some cases are severe while most are mild or can be overlooked. Mine just happened to be pretty bad).

My little sister was bringing this joyful miracle into the world. At the same time I was diagnosed with tennis ball size tumors the size of a 3 month old fetus.

It is still hard for me to speak about this. The decision was truly difficult, and made me realize that I DID long for children one day. Sometimes, it takes a crisis to make us realize what is really in our hearts.

I had a myomectomy, which left a C-section like scar at my bikini line, and a hole in my heart. For years, I worried that nothing would take root in my womb. That it would remain cold and hard as a stone. 

This blog became my plea to that deep part of me to “wake up” and take flower. That is where “Romancing the Stone” came from. A little hope and coaxing every day. A little bit closer to my truth and my hope for my future.

It has been a long journey to get to this place where I stand now. Every day I wonder if something will happen to rock my foundation. But I try to nurture myself and my community of sisters every day, and I feel as if I have come so very far. 

So tomorrow, the Bear and I will see our “little flower” and pay homage to huge miracles that come in small sizes. We visit the doctor for our 18 week ultrasound. I still have my fears and doubts every day. But I remain in hopeful disbelief and pay great respect to the G-d of small miracles.

A stone does not have to stay a stone forever. Rocky soil can often nurture a seed to flower. It may take more time, and sometimes it may not be as you have planned, but trust it. It will happen.


Sending love.

Sugar and Swine

Happy ICLW ladies!

Here’s my day so far….

SUGAR:

We had our 14 week OB appointment yesterday and it’s finally sinking in that this is REAL. It was the first time that we heard the baby’s heartbeat on the Doppler. My sugar and protein levels are normal and my blood pressure was great. The Down’s blood and ultrasound came back and we were so pleased to hear that our  chances for Down’s have decreased from 1:49 (just based on my age of 41) to 1:997. Dr. Feelgood said that was the same rate as a 23 year old- exhale!

This month, I have been thinking about what we would do if the baby were faced with Down’s or some other challenge. I have to admit that my position has truly evolved since this little thing has taken root in me. I feel so protective of Baby Beluga and just want to nurture her. While I pass no judgements on anyone who chooses to change the course of their pregnancy, or maintain it, based on negative genetic test results, I understand how very very difficult this path is. Right now, I would lay my life down for this little being. I cannot explain how much I have changed…

I was so happy that the Bear could be with me for the Dr.’s visit. He is beside himself with this news, and I think he will make the most wonderful Papa.

SWINE:

On a sad note, the Dr. confirmed that I will require a scheduled C-section after looking at my operative reports. Several years ago, I have some tennis ball sized fibroids removed and they had to cut through the uterus at it’s thickest part. Bless Dr. Feelgood for actually reviewing the operative reports with us, and not just assuming I would need a C! I feel much better after she explained. It seems that some women can do a vaginal birth after C-section, because the uterine wall is very thin when a woman in pregnant, and there is minimal tearing and scarring. I had a lot of uterine trauma due to my myomectomy and the risk  of tearing is very high. This has to due with the side and angle from which they performed the surgery. I bring this up because any woman who is considering labor after an invasive myomectomy can ask their OB to review their Operative reports, and formulate an individual birth plan with them. Don’t let your Doc. make any assumptions without reviewing your complete medical history.

So it’s a bummer that I can’t deliver like my momma did (well she was probably drugged out with dad in the waiting room way back then!). At least we KNOW, and feel that we were given a fair shake. Now I also know I can have Dr. Feelgood do the procedure, instead of the OB du jour who is on call when my water breaks.

Another yuck about today is that the Bear has a terrible bout of food poisoning. IT’S MY FAULT because I insisted that we celebrate the good Dr. appointment (and the fact that I have only gained 3 lbs) with greasy pork sandwiches at a local BBQ hut. Now he’s rolling on the floor in a terrible state, and I feel awful. I’ve never seen him like this! (I have to admit that at one point, I wondered if he had couvade syndrome – where the dad-to-be takes up the woman’s weight gain and symptoms- but after his night of tummy horror I realized it was legit.)

My very best to all of you! Sending love and good juju!

Fireflies, yoga and girl-power! (ICLW)

Baby Bear

Monday is our first official meeting with our new OB. I have heard mixed reviews about her. She comes highly recommended by my RE who says she’s a “brilliant surgeon and seasoned Doctor.” But when I read more about her through patient reviews, the reception is extremely mixed. I have heard” Wonderful.” “Entirely inappropriate” “Was too busy to call me to follow up after my MC.” and “Fantastic”.

So there are lots of red flags in my book. I don’t want someone too touchy feely, and I would prefer a Dr. who has seen a little bit of everything. I promised myself, the Bear and our little Firefly that I would bail if she gave me the creeps. I interview and hire people often as a Creative Lead at my job, so I am not going to be intimidated by this situation, even if she IS elbow deep in my va-jayjay.

What is it one should look for in the Dr. who with join you on this ride? Spirit, intellect, compassion, respect? The ability to perform well in a crisis?

Everything in my frame of reference seems new these days. The conscious expansion of my hips and midline. These new weird clothes I bought with this fake elastic panel. Baby stuff. It’s pretty lovely and scary and overwhelming.

The Fertility Support Group I began is doing very well. We have over 43 members so far in the metro Boston area. Some from as far as New Hampshire and Maine. I have never met more courageous and beautiful women, and I am honored to be a part of this. Our next MeetUp will be a cookie swap extravaganza. It might seem kinda frivolous, but what could be a better bonding experience than sharing stories over freshly baked treats and cold milk? Sometimes it’s that little digression that makes it more relaxed and REAL. Kitchen table wisdom.If you are curious (or close to the metro Boston area, come check us out). We also have a fan page on facebook, if you would like to join remotely (still trying to figure out how to use this!!!!!) We are called RubyFeather Social Club. Please help us spread the word so every lady around these parts can find some face to face girl-power.

I am finding that the RubyFeather girls have really taken to using the message board to share events, fears and challenges. We have begun to have a very thriving on-line community, which enhances our ability to support and empower other ladies on the journey.

There are 5 of us who are newly pregnant. One of which has since become inactive. The others continue to support and encourage their sisters, just like they did before. I love that about women.

One of our newer members and I are going to try out a prenatal yoga class tomorrow. I don’t know what I will feel like, being surrounded by bourgeoning bellies, as I have spent so many years on the OUTSIDE of this circle and it has been painful to watch. I just want to make it through our 10 week Dr.’s appointment with positive results. I want to hear the Firefly’s heartbeat again. Then I can rejoice (for a lil while) and believe this is really, truly and completely happening.

Much love to you. How will you be spending your weekend?

ICLW-A Little “(Baby got)Back Story”

I love this time of year. Besides the manic rush to fill everyone’s stocking with things they don’t need-I blog, and dream, and get lots of comments. I treasure every comment someone takes the time to leave behind as I do believe they fill me with some superpower juice. (Perhaps it’s just the meds).

The Bear does not understand my fascination with blogging (something, by the way, I thought I would NEVER do). G-d forbid he catches me tweeting. I tell him it’s kind of like his unbridled obsession with football, or with sugary breakfast cereal. “You know when you paint your belly blue and you go out there in the freezing cold and have a tailgate party at Gillette Stadium? ” I explain “All that (dare I say) brotherhood and bonding over pony kegs??? Well, that feeling you get is what blogging gives me (without the hangover).” 

A little hooyah for all my sisters on the “Visiting” team. Our stats might be questionable, but we are here to kick some @ss!!!!! 

Random strangers

 

And we don’t have to paint our bellies blue to do so!

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For those of you visiting this blog for the first time, I wanted to give you a little backstory. I am a 41 year old newlywed. That might sound rather “golden aged” but I still get carded and have wonderful skin. I feel 28 on the inside when I am not pumped up on meds.

I always aspired to be a high powered career girl with many lovers and pool boys who would fan me with palm fronds. The career developed beyond my expectation, but the lovers were duds and no pool boys materialized. One day I read this ridiculous article in O Magazine where the writer suggested that if you put your INTENTIONS into the would, you would reap a bountiful harvest. She said you had to write a list of 100 things you hoped to find in a partner, to fully actualize your hope in your mind. I had nothing to loose, as I found the love-over-30’s dating scene to be somewhat lackluster, so I gave it a try. I got stuck around #64 I remember, but I mustered on. I remember asking that he “had a job”, “had nice hands”, “was devoted to his family” and “cracked me up” among more direct and personal hopes. (These hopes might seem simple and shallow but you would be AMAZED at some of singletons out there!) Writing this list made me feel somehow empowered. But as most “life changing” resolutions go, I quickly forgot about it.

About six months later, I met this crazy guy after a string of horrid internet dates. On our second date, he insisted on cooking dinner for me in my tiny condo. I noticed his big hands. As he passed me a glass of wine, I thought about my penchant for pool boys. Was this somewhat better?

After a few dates we began sharing our history. I told him things in the hope of scaring him away, so that I could resume my independent life. I mentioned that I had pursued adoption through foster care (then on hold), and had explored being a single mother by choice (unfortunate miscarriage). Surprisingly, he did not run screaming from my life. Instead, he somehow understood and expressed his desire to one-day become the father he always wanted to have. He was a keeper.

We were married five months later.

After we were married, I stumbled on that journal of “man-traits” as I was cleaning out the office. I was surprised to see that it felt as if I was describing him! The only pitfall- the “# 72.stylish dresser” is sometimes questionable, but hey, he still ROCKS in those nylon wind pants and that shade of acid washed jean will one day come back again!

So that’s our story. Fifteen months into our marriage and we have endured extensive prodding and poking (and not in the good way,) several losses and many bumps and cheers on the road to baby hood. We have also experienced countless tears and laughter. I would never want to do it with anyone else.

Write your list. Then throw it away. It probably won’t bring you additional luck, but it’s nice to put your hope and intention into the universe.

(Thanks Elizabeth) 

Wishing you joy.