Category Archives: IVF

Zen who?

Today we had our second ultrasound and found not one, not two, but three heartbeats.

THREE.

We only implanted two embryos and were told by our doctor that he had never had a case of an embryo splitting in his 30+ years in practice.  Upon doing a little google-style research, the natural splitting of an embryo has a ONE PERCENT chance of happening.

I don’t win the lotto, raffles, or HGTV prizes.  You know what I win?  Three jury duties in one year and triplets.

Seriously.

Neither of us know whether to laugh or cry.  We both got the immediate “Oh, shit” down pretty much on cue.

I am making light of this, but I am really in a quagmire.  I have so many emotions that are conflicting and absolutely larger than life.  Too big for this body that is already full from supporting four of us.

What a glorious working of genetics that BD and my genes have resulted in our creating identical twins.  It’s amazing to think about.  But three babies in any frame – let alone my 5’1″ one – make for an officially high-risk situation.  BD and I are pragmatists and, luckily, aren’t constrained by religious dogma when it comes to considering all of our options.  But, even so, what a situation to be faced with – this was not even on the radar of possibility.

I’m so afraid.  I’m afraid of getting attached to these babies.  I’m afraid of making such a big decision as to what to do with their futures.  I’m afraid of not making the right decision.

We have several weeks – at least five or six – to go until we can make any decisions or have much more information.  A lot can happen in five or six weeks.  Heck, we went from one embryo to three in one week.  Who knows where we’ll be in six weeks.

I would love to find some Zen in the midst of all of this.

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Zen Day 39: Past Lives


The last time I picked this card – on Day 2 of this adventure – the commentary was, quite frankly, so beyond me that I obviously really had nothing to say!

I know that I was hung up on the concept of “past lives,” something that I really don’t believe in, per se.  I do not believe that souls reincarnate from one body to the next, willfully choosing to regenerate and continue an ongoing existence until reaching spiritual enlightenment.  Perhaps one day I will change my mind.

What I do believe in is the oneness of the universe and cosmos.  I do believe that you, I, this computer that I am typing on, the cords and airborne waves that transmit information, the Gatorade that I’m (still) drinking, as well as the purple martins chirping outside my door, my dogs rolling in dirty laundry, and my babies forming their tiny hearts (this week!) are all connected and made of the same thing.  What all these things have been, what all these things are, and what they will all become is the same – we are all, in some shape or form, of this universe and therefore share a oneness that is divine and eternal.

So, in that sense, yes I believe in past lives.  I know that what I am made up of has always existed and will always exist, even if not consciously.

Thus in contemplating the idea of “past lives,” I am drawn to that idea of universality, oneness, eternity, and the cyclical nature of things.  I am eternal as my children develop inside me, taking of my body to create new life.  I am eternal when I die, my ashes becoming part of the ocean and trees and rain and, perhaps one day, reintegrating into another life form.

For today, I will contemplate how I my eternal footprint looks – and will look.  As a part of the cosmos, what I do and who I am matters, if only simply because I exist.  My existence should bring peace and joy.  Am I doing that?  If not, what inhibits or obstructs me?  If I am, how can I spread it further?

To be completely honest, such questions and meditations take on a whole new meaning to me now as I sense my little maybe babies coming to life.   Life is so much bigger and grander than I ever imagined.

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Today, an hour into the day, I am feeling much better than I have for the past two days.  One thing is for sure: that Chinese dinner the other night, while awesome, has cured me of any yen for Chinese food (you know, the psychosomatic connection between food and feeling ill, perhaps).  It was a wonderfully calm and uneventful day yesterday spent at a resource fair for families of children in a federal education program for tiny ones; it was actually a really wonderful gathering of resources and it was heartening to see families find job solutions, education opportunities, and health and medical advice in one room.

One of my coworkers, who is like my auntie, is on me daily about getting my support system prepared for the children – daycare, doctors, babysitters, and the like.  Culturally, we come from very different places – where I was raised and am surrounded by people who believe you should be self-sufficient and manage your own family affair individually, she comes from a background where help and guidance and interaction are almost expected.  I am very lucky to have her and my other coworker here to provide that type of support when even my own family approach is to leave it alone to me to figure out.  So, I started vaguely browsing around for daycares and came to the realization that I need to engage in conversation with other mothers; the resources readily available on the internet are not the only ones (and certainly not the most affordable – $1000 a month for daycare?!).

I better stop procrastinating from getting the dogs off the pile of dirty laundry and start my day…

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Zen Day 38: Courage

The seed cannot know what is going to happen, the seed has never known the flower. And the seed cannot even believe that he has the potentiality to become a beautiful flower. Long is the journey, and it is always safer not to go on that journey because unknown is the path, nothing is guaranteed. 

Nothing can be guaranteed. Thousand and one are the hazards of the journey, many are the pitfalls – and the seed is secure, hidden inside a hard core. But the seed tries, it makes an effort; it drops the hard shell which is its security, it starts moving. Immediately the fight starts: the struggle with the soil, with the stones, with the rocks. And the seed was very hard and the sprout will be very, very soft and dangers will be many. 

There was no danger for the seed, the seed could have survived for millennia, but for the sprout many are the dangers. But the sprout starts towards the unknown, towards the sun, towards the source of light, not knowing where, not knowing why. Great is the cross to be carried, but a dream possesses the seed and the seed moves. 

The same is the path for man. It is arduous. Much courage will be needed.

Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang Chapter 4

This card shows a small wildflower that has met the challenge of the rocks and stones in its path to emerge into the light of day. Surrounded by an aura of bright golden light, it exposes the majesty of its tiny self. Unashamed, it is equal to the brightest sun. 

When we are faced with a very difficult situation we have a choice: we can either be resentful, and try to find somebody or something to blame for the hardships, or we can face the challenge and grow. 

The flower shows us the way, as its passion for life leads it out of the darkness and into the light. There is no point fighting against the challenges of life, or trying to avoid or deny them. They are there, and if the seed is to become the flower we must go through them. Be courageous enough to grow into the flower you are meant to be.

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It’s funny how some things work – from the moment I woke up this morning, I kept repeating to myself, “You can do this.  You can do this.  You can do this.”  You see, as of yesterday morning, I have officially exited the No Symptom Zone and entered some wacky land of combined meds/first trimester nastiness.  Mostly, the painful bloating is causing extreme cramping (which really makes me grateful that in my normal life I don’t experience these ever!!  Didn’t know how lucky I was!) and a general inability to transition between different positions without major discomfort.  I know this will pass and I know it is worth it, but WOWIEZOWIE is this distractingly painful!

Add in to the mix our dinner last night with my father’s ex, who still remains his biggest supporter.  It was a lovely dinner, but tinged with the melancholy and slight awkwardness that comes with that sad, hulking pink elephant sitting in the corner of the room.

It is nothing short of amazing to me that I am technically already five and a half weeks pregnant (a medical technicality that is frustratingly confusing to my entire family given the practical knowledge that this/these being(s) have only resided in my belly for not even two weeks).  It is going by so quickly and I want to treasure every single moment of it.  But with these distractions – both internal and external – it is so easy to forget to be present.

The Flower reminds me to keep the larger goals in mind, to “not sweat the small stuff.”  To be mindful that there is purpose and beauty and meaning – and that trials and tribulations are part of the journey.  Physical ailments will come and go, family crises will come and go, seasons and celebrations and mournings and lulls will come and go.  In all honesty, I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, let alone today.  All I can do is maintain the fortitude to put one step in front of the other and to smile.  And it will be as it should.

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Recap of Day 37: At the clinic yesterday, the nurse inquired if I was feeling any cramping or had any bleeding, to which I quickly replied, “Not at all!”  Fast-forward 3 hours and I was in a brand-new situation.  Cramp-opolis Population: Me.  And between now and then it has not subsided much.  I definitely noticed that I am helped some by not wearing anything tight around my bloated midsection (note to self: jeans are not such an awesome idea right now.  I don’t care if it’s the only clean pair of pants, don’t do it).  I’ve been fairly good about weighing myself – the clinic wants to make sure I don’t gain 5 pounds in a day, which would indicate massive fluid retention – and I’m consistent, so I really can’t do much except wait for it to subside.  Not my favorite solution of all time, but the one I’m stuck with….  As my doctor told me yesterday, if I weren’t bloated, he’d be concerned – bloating is common with all women who respond well to IVF and I just need to continue to drink ridiculous quantities of Gatorade and V8 until it goes away.

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