Posts Tagged ‘hope’

1000 aaah’s. #2 Fire & Blessings

We had an electrical fire last week that swept through our house like a great storm. An unexpected blizzard pummeled the Northeast, taking down power lines and trees. It was 2am when it made it’s way overhead, snapping an old elm which crashed onto our roof, taking the power lines with it. We awoke to a bang, then a buzzing and snapping. All the lights in the house began to flash like a scene from “Poltergeist”. An oily smoke filled our bedroom. We thought that the insulation in our attic had caught fire.

Our reaction was primal. Check on the baby. Call 911. Turn off the power. Grab the fire extinguisher and look for the source on the smoke. Throw on shoes, a coat, layers for the baby. Run downstairs.

We were getting ready to run to the street when we realized that we could not leave the house! There was a live electrical wire outside. We could hear it snapping and hissing as it hit the snow, like a snake spitting sparks. I was terrified. I held on to our baby as if he was still attached to me.

The Fire Department arrived swiftly. The house was dark and shrouded in smoke. It smelled like melted plastic. The firemen searched with my husband and found the culprit. Two surge protectors had caught fire after being zapped by the force of the current from outside. They were blackened and disfigured, with melted wires torn from the casing.

Thank G-d the Bear had shut off the power, because the firemen said the curtains and the bed would have gone up in flames had he not acted quickly. I was speechless. Evacuate. They said. No heat, no power. We complied.

We stayed with family for a week. We finally got back in last night. All the damage was inside the walls, except for a charred oval branded into the wood floor under our bed and a stink of sour metal. We lost our computer, our circuits upstairs, our washing machine, but we are safe and unscarred and our old house is still standing.

I stand in gratitude for family. For the primal instinct that flows through us. For the love we are lucky to have.

We didn’t NEED a fire to realize how much we have and how easily it can be taken away. But moments like this make you count your blessings. Something I truly needed.

Advertisements

What is “REAL”?- ICLW

When my baby niece was born, my sister would sit with her in her nursing chair and “count her blessings” with her before bedtime. Being only a few months old, she couldn’t do much more than gurgle, but I was so taken by their bond and their little rituals. When it was time to say goodnight, my sister would play George Winston’s piano accompaniment to “The Velveteen Rabbit,” narrated by Meryl Streep. My sister and I love this story and it has always meant a great deal to us. It was a treasure to share it with the next generation of little girls in our family.

I think it will always touch me deeply, now on the cusp of my own pregnancy, after a long hard journey to get here, it becomes even more poignant.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day… “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.  “It’s a thing that happens to you.  When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.  “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse.  “You become.  It takes a long time… Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.  But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.

“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

“The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

The Rabbit sighed. He thought it would be a long time before this magic called Real happened to him. He longed to become Real, to know what it felt like; and yet the idea of growing shabby and losing his eyes and whiskers was rather sad. He wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him…”

********

I don’t think REAL is about becoming pregnant, or being loved by a child. For each of us it is very different. REAL for me was acknowledging my strength and my flaws, my uniqueness and my hope to touch others. To love myself even with shabby edges and pain and imperfection.

To come out of this journey and feel WHOLE and find joy again on the inside is truly inexpressible. It has been a long road to get to this place inside my head. Once you have been diagnosed with infertility, whether by age or physiology you are somehow changed. But if you can find that spark to love and honor yourself, even through the hurt and pain, you are truly REAL.

Much love to you…..

Here is the opening to the Velveteen Rabbit. It’s quite beautiful. Enjoy!

Shell

Happy NEW Year!!!!!!

It’s a beautiful new morning of an exquisite new day of a fantastic NEW YEAR. Why do I say it’s a FANTASTIC new year when it’s only day 2? Because it’s NEW,baby!

It’s so fresh and ripe with possibilities. NEW is like getting a NEW haircut, or the most perfect bikini wax that makes you feel like your own version of a Victoria Secret model. NEW is like fitting into your skinny jeans- WITH ROOM TO SPARE. While I am nowhere near THAT on the skinny jeans front- thanks, IVF meds!- I can relish in the possibilities.

NEW is like actually going to the gym for a week straight (not me, yet) or finding a moment to read a good book by a fireplace.

NEW is reaffirming a love that’s been with you all along.

NEW is new HOPES, NEW STARTS, NEW BEGINNINGS.

NEW is anything you want it to be……

I have written a post of two that are locked in the “vault” until we are back from our trip. The high speed internet service here is anything but. The Bear and I are in Pasadena, California, for a whirlwind holiday of family and friends. We’re going to see the Rose Bowl floats today, which I have longed to do since I was about 12 years old. Tomorrow we travel to Portland, Oregon, to check in on some friends, and some property we own. I guess I have to acknowledge that I won’t be moving back to Portland anytime soon, and that makes me a little sad because I love it so.

I do believe that if it did not rain for seven months out of the year , Portland would be the most populated city in the USA. It’s so lovely and hip and REAL. You can actually have an affordable life there and still eat fresh, organic food. : )

The Bear is snoring behind me on the Westin Heavenly bed. I think he’s a little dismayed that I found the INTERNET again. He’s had me all to himself for over a week!

I was trying to set up a TOP 10 of 2009 list for you, and I will do it when I get back. I attempted this earlier, but the internet just wasn’t speeding me along. Until then, please go over to my blogs CATEGORY CLOUD and check out IVF and The RED SOX and the postings from NEWLYWED DIARIES-YEAR 2. The SINGLE GIRL CONSIDERS ADOPTION and FILL YOUR CUP are also quite nice.

Sending you love.

What NEW do you want 2010 to feel like for you. “NEW is like….”

Crazy!!!!!

I am going crazy waiting for RESULTS……..

Sending HOPE into the universe! Keep us in your thoughts.

(((hugs)))

Poem: Starlings in Winter

This poem was on NPR Writer’s Almanac today. I loved it and wanted to share it with you…

Wishing you joy…

Shell

Dec. 8, 2009 

Starlings in Winter

by Mary Oliver


Chunky and noisy,

but with stars in their black feathers, 

they spring from the telephone wire

and instantly

they are acrobats

in the freezing wind.

And now, in the theater of air,

they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;

they float like one stippled star

that opens,

becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;

and you watch

and you try

but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it

with no articulated instruction, no pause,

only the silent confirmation

that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin

over and over again,

full of gorgeous life.

Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,

even in the ashy city.

I am thinking now

of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots 

trying to leave the ground,

I feel my heart

pumping hard, I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.

I want to be light and frolicsome.

I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,

as though I had wings. 

“Starlings in Winter” by Mary Oliver, from Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays. © Beacon Press, 2003
European Starling eggs

Nesting: For more information on these beautiful birds. Click here.

Three little stockings

18 follicles at time of retrieval. 8 developing embies as of yesterday. I hope hope hope the numbers stay good and we have some strong little ones for the transfer tomorrow. 

I’ve been so restless today. I can’t sit still. It’s a gorgeous day in Boston and I had to take off and get lost in TJ Maxx, only to buy a ton of stuff I don’t really need. I felt a little twinge as I walked past the children’s christmas pajamas. Even through I will NEVER dress my future child in sparkly gingham and lace,  it felt a bit like a them vs. us moment.

I did do something unexpected. I bought 3 Christmas stockings. Quite remarkable for several reasons:

1. I am  Jewish!

2. We already have some tacky holiday stocking somewhere in the basement.

3. There are only two of us, right now…..

I just couldn’t help it. They were surprisingly lovely. Heavy gauge sweater knit and crocheted in  beautiful patterns. For The Bear- a cream colored stocking of gorgeous cable knit with gold trim. For me, a funky stripe of red, pink, lime green and white. And for XXXXX, a sweet little red fairisle with red pom poms.

I thought it might be interesting to mount all three on the mantle. To fill the little one up with wishes and notes that we could save until there’s a new person in our family to read them to. Notes of love and wishes that they come into our lives soon.

****************************************

On a different note, I have discovered a “cycle buddy” all the way in New Zealand. We write to each other and send some good energy across the pond. It’s Egghunt! Check out her blog. And if you are cycling with us, drop us a line. It’s been nice to stay connected.

I wish everyone reading this peace, love and good fortune.

Shell & The Bear

Baby Chronicles 1: Single girl considers Adopting through Foster Care

I am sending this to my girls.
 I need to share.
>
 Yesterday was my first night of baby classes. When considering adoption or
 foster care through the state, it is required that you take 24 hrs of
 classes to help prepare you for the long road ahead. I hope to start a
 journal (this might be entry numero uno) during the process, some of which
I plan to share , other bits I will just hold close to my heart.
 Read what you want, I just hoped to share it with those strong women I
 adore and admire. (Those I might need to count on in the future for
 guidance or reassurance during this long and emotional process- don’t say I
 didn’t warn you ! )
>
> I rushed out of work with my google map in hand, only to get lost 3 times
> in the maze of Boston traffic. Frantic and worried about time (would I be
> considered “unfit” if they knew about my Habitual Lateness Disorder ?) I
> made an illegal u turn across 4 lanes of manic traffic. “Come get me
> coppers !” I cried. . How many times over the next few years will I be
> rushing about to meet a daycare pickup or attend an after school event?
> Better start getting used to it now : the single girl transitions to a
> schedule not quite her own. This is someone Else’s clock, and these new
> “must do’s” do not conclude with a celebratory martini at the end of the
> rainbow.
>
> Bouncy and in working girl style I arrive as the bell rings. I run to the
> Loo to freshen up. A weight watchers meeting is happening in the same
> office plaza and it is hard to discern the hopeful future-moms from the
> aspiring weight losers in the ladies’ room. Everyone has this weird glimmer
> of hopeful anticipation which is scary when you think of it. Can loosing 15
> lbs be as exciting as evolving a future family ? Ask me in the summer when
> I try to squeeze into my swim suit!
>
> A woman in the bathroom chats me up, assuming we are going to the same
> weight watchers meeting, further exciting my awkwardness. Instead of
> listening to my social worker, I spend the next half hour wondering “do I
> need weight watchers?????” . And I can’t even blame my midlife tummy on
> “baby weight” …..shucks.
>
> But the vanity and the paranoia are only a mask to distract me from what’s
> really on my mind….
> AM I READY FOR THIS ?
>
> Knee high black boots, my skinny jeans a belted tunic sweater (which after
> the weight watchers incident made me feel as if I looked a little more like
> santa and a little less like a MILF) I wondered, am I mom material ? Can I
> still be coquettish with baby spittle on my blouse ?
>
> My classmates- “Mr and Ms” , very cool. It took me a while to see them
> clearly. Older, amazing hearts, hopeful to adopt a young person they know
> with autism. “Talulah”, earth mother if I ever met one. Her kids are grown.
> She is hoping to be a foster mom to a baby girl and is open to one who has
> special needs. She has the warmest eyes and a melodic voice and I want to
> crawl into her lap….. Our teachers- “J” our leader. She reminds me so
> much of my sister. This gives me great comfort and strength. “Red”
> boundless energy, the drama queen, she is an adopted mother and shares
> advice and humor. When she laughs she wrinkles her forehead and nose, and
> her whole body shakes. “Twinkle” a social worker who works in intensive
> foster care. Very luscious and energetic with a rhinestone studded tank
> top. Not at all what I expected for a social worker.
>
> These people are cool.
>
> I was hoping class would be quiet, full of yuppies with cross pens and an
> opportunity to hide in the back and process as we go. Instead we are
> expected to PARTICIPATE. To role play and reenact deeply emotional things.
> At first it feels more like group therapy than a class put on by DSS. I
> really had to take a moment and shed my eggshell heart-armor I was wearing.
> It was so real. I think we all cried at one point or another.
>
> Here’s what I learned today. (Aka- things that scared me):
> *Sometimes the kids that come home with you are afraid of you and don’t
> understand why they can’t be with their birth parents.
> * its good to create HOUSE RULES as it helps the child understand what is
> expected of them. Never assume they know what you want.(Even if the house
> is on fire)
> * Its important to encourage the child to speak openly about his history
> and maybe even put a picture of his birth mom near your family photos. It
> makes him feel like it is okay to talk about his past and he does not need
> to choose between you and the birth family.
> * a lot of social workers and people you will never meet will be deciding if
> you are the “right” parent for this baby. Kind of like yentas with the
> baby’s best interest at heart.
>
> My head is spinning and I am a little overwhelmed. I sat by my fireplace
> eating mango ice cream and realized… Wow. What a new, scary and beloved
> thing to do…
>
> And this is only the beginning.
>
>