News and views from two ladies at the bottom of the world.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ruth: Postscript - I'm walking on sunshine

Well, I'm definitely not pregnant and it's a relief to know one way or the other. After working through the feelings I posted about before (singing and dancing them out in the kitchen actually), I feel light, happy, healthy and excited for the next try.

I'm going to step back from the computer this cycle and take things a bit more naturally instead of analysing the little minutiae of my emotions. At least that's the plan. So if I don't post for a while, that's what I'll be doing...more dancing and singing, less typing.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ruth: Red Rag to a Bull

Funnily enough, as I was talking on the phone to my mum about my latest negative pregnancy test, saying "I won't really believe anything until I get my period...", I felt an intense cramping that made me think Aunt Flo had come for a visit. I went to check and sure enough, there were faint signs of her arrival.

The dissappointment I felt was like a gentle ride down a dark river. I wasn't afraid of it. Compared to some of the places I've been it was pretty tame. I wanted some quiet and contemplation to experience the full richness of the ride. I needed to not go to the party that several hours earlier I'd been very excited about attending.

When I tell people that it didn't work this time they often quickfire with the reassurances like a blast from a pistol at a race. "It's only the first time!", "Don't worry! You'll get there!", "Come out tonight. It will cheer you up.". I know they mean well. They care. Dissapointment and grief are uncomfortable emotions for them to see in me or Marolyn. Personally, I find dissapointment and grief as comfortable as excitement and optimism. They are rich emotions that pass when given their due.

I have no doubt that I'll get pregnant when the time is right. I wanted to get pregnant this time. When I was trying to conceive I felt that I had to open myself to accepting a baby completely. Closing off part of my hope or love for this not yet existant being could have got in the way. Don't worry about me. I'm happy to be sad.

Bic Runga probably wrote this song for a lover who left, but she may as well be talking about my baby that didn't show for me this month.

Walk around the bathroom
Fill the sink
Wander round the kitchen
Make a drink
To occupy my time's my only wish
I've rearranged the magnets, on my fridge

Without you now, without you now
Without you now, without you now

Just can't make decisions
Think what to do
Turn on my television
And think of you
Splash my face with water
Brush my teeth
Your toothbrush gone from where it ought to be

Without you now, without you now
Without you now, without you now

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ruth: The resilience of hope

It's funny that even after reading a very clear 'not pregnant' on my digital pregnancy test, in the absence of aunt flo my hope of being pregnant is still very much alive.

It might be a misguided hope but it's not one I can squash. I need to welcome it. Whether this journey ends up being long or short, it's hope that will pull me through.

A few years ago part of my work was in a team designing and delivering workshops on recovery from trauma and distress to mental health professionals. My boss at the time was an extremely quiet man with guru like charisma. He would give a speech about hope. How in the depths of his dispair, locked in a cell in a psychiatric institution, it was a spark of hope that pulled him out of psychosis and back to control of his actions. How after two years of crippling existential angst that confined him to his bed, it was a spark of hope that helped him leave the house one day. This hope has pulled him and me and countless other people through journeys from inner pain so huge it's unbearable to places where we stand in the light and fulfil our potential.

Before I took the test I told myself and others that I had a 20% chance of being pregnant. Now that I've taken the test I say I have a 90% chance of not being pregnant. It's a pretty arbitary, conservative figure based loosely on science. But that 10% possibility of pregnancy feels like a piece of sweet rational belief in a time filled with unknowing and irrational feelings. It's pulling me though.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ruth: sleepless in owhiro...

I have a headache, achey joints, I feel overly emotional about things and I feel slightly nauseous. Pregnancy symptoms? I wish they were. Actually I'm just stressed out.

I was working till 9:30pm with a workmate to try and meet one of my 3 deadlines at the end of this week.

At 3am I was feeling so sick and so very awake that I couldn't take it any more. I finally caved in and took the pregnancy test. It felt kind of festive. Marolyn did very well to muster enthusiasm at that time in the morning. Waiting and watching the flashing little test symbol was exciting. The answer said 'not pregnant'. We both had to sit in silence for a while taking it in before either of us could decide how we felt.

It could still be to early to tell. But I'm glad I tested. I fell asleep pretty soon after that.

Going from possibly pregnant to probably not pregnant was disappointing but also, surprisingly, a relief. I feel like it will happen when it happens and this month has been such an up and down ride it will be nice to feel a bit more level and in newly familiar territory when we insemminate again next month. So right now I'm enjoying the process. No promises that I'll keep feeling that way.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Marolyn: Oh life is bigger, bigger than you, and you are not me...

So that is why I will fill you in on me in a blog.
Will you read? I don't know.

I had my first day back at work yesterday, I got there and I was in charge. It was a good and scary feeling. I actually thrive on the responsibility. I think that may be beneficial when I become a Ma (I think I that's what I want to be called. Hey Ma! gimme a bottle! Hey Ma! I got a nappie full of poo! Hey Ma! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!).

I am obsessed with a band called TV on the Radio. My friend Mikel gave me two great CDs of music I've never heard and, as usual I am addicted. All of my obsessive listening over the past year has been New York bands TV, Interpol and Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah. Coincidence? I think so. Maybe they are all very similar.

Now that I have a job, I've been spending money like crazy. I haven't even been paid yet, but that hasn't stopped me from buying copious house cleaning supplies (still preparing for the cat shit cleanup - I should make it into one of those fundraisers like in elementary school. How many piece of poop can I clean up in one day? Get sponsorships for each piece I shovel into my double thick plastic bags.). I also bought a secondhand cabinet for all of my vinyl records. Do I have a record player? no. Buttons. TV on the Radio CD. A subscription and 13 back issues of ReadyMade magazine, answer to everything you need and don't need in your life and... a badge making machine. That's a lot of stuff considering I've only been back in the country for 3 weeks! Maybe I am a trophy wife underneath.

Meanwhile we went to an embroidery night at a cool shop in Newtown owned by Mindy, a woman from San Luis Obispo. She makes a lot of the stuff in the shop herself and she has a really inviting and fun personality. She has kept her American Fire while I feel like I show mine to Ruth, but cover it up in front of others. New Zealand can be kind of reserved. No more though, since I've been back here I've realized that I am me and I shouldn't try to censor my expression because other people are boring.

Today is cleaning day. The Salvation Army is coming to pick up (and drop off) and we are babysitting the neighbors today. I'm looking forward to next Saturday. Yay.

Much love,

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ruth: The Waiting Game

The euphoria of inseminating has fizzled a bit and doubts are starting to set in. My temperatures have been unusually low. Although this can be explained by waking up at crazy times like 4am, it's still not a good sign.

Work is pretty stressful right now as I'm doing my new job as well as the old one until the new guy starts next week. They've just asked me to go to Christchurch for a conference on Oct 30th as the person who was going to present is on sick leave. It's exciting because my boss is doing a keynote speech that promises to be entertaining and I'll get to catch up with my little bro. The 30th was also our recommended test date so now I get an excuse to test early. We've decided on the 28th so the countdown is on.

I'm taking today off - the first real day to myself I've had since I got back.

Marolyn has been very inspired around the house lately so I'm going to join in with that, do some spring cleaning and take walks on the beach. Flax flowers are just starting to come out, ducklings are about and it's a good day to be in the bay. I'm up early enough to watch the sunrise and I might even spot our 80+ year old neighbour going for a swim.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ruth: Life is full of fabulous surprises

Wow, it's great to come home and Marolyn has been a domestic and IT goddess. Dishes done, dinner made and brand new blog up and running.

One day after our first round of inseminating and the feeling is...intoxicating. Yesterday I was so positive I was pregnant. We insemmed for the last time that morning and I'm sure I ovulated soon after. I went to work but my head was swimming and I felt like I really needed to lie down. So I grabbed a contract I needed to read and parked myself on the couch. I swear I felt these mini explosions in my tummy area. I was convinced it was the moment of conception. Then again it could have been gas. My boss lies on the couch all the time but I felt kind of self concious. It felt like too much was going on for me do anything else but lie there.

Today I felt more grounded and a little nauseous. Part of me was like "I feel pregnant already?" but really I'm just tired and at this early stage I won't even have pregnancy hormones.

No matter how this cycle turns out I feel like I've learnt so much from all the massive feelings I had during the insemination time. I'm really grateful I worked through those. We got a lot of support - from our gorgeous neighbours, our families, a wonderful friend who came over and gave us massages and some energy work...not to mention the fabulous donor himself who put up with his least favourite things (intense female emotions) and still delivered in style.

The mercedes we were hoping to buy to convert to vegie oil auctioned for $1000 over our maximum bid. I guess we'll just keep looking. I'm keen to buy soon so we don't lose the momentum we both felt in L.A.

Life feels very exciting and new right now. Insemination is a huge part of that but it's also returning from the States with plans to move there, both getting new opportunities at work, the vegie oil car revolution and the spiritual energy and healing experiences I've had lately. It's like the top has blown off my previous expectations of my life and the possibilities feel infinite.

I was taking a charting test for fertility friend and it was asking about the phases of the menstrual cycle. The correct answer was: menses, follicular, ovulation, luteal. An alternative answer given on the multichoice made me laugh, it said: menses, enthusiasm, optimism, anxiety. I guess I'm firmly in the optimism phase right now and who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Marolyn: Ready for the Adventures Ahead!

M: It's been a long time coming, but we have sucessfully finished our first round of inseminations! Phew, it was an experience. Hopefully, if we are lucky, we may not have to do it again. Now we wait until the pregnancy test on October 30th . It will be an interesting couple of weeks. I plan on watching a lot of DVDs and improving my handy(wo)man skills.

My list of things to do includes:

* Remove a monumental amount of cat poop from underneath our outside staircase. (Cat poop can be very toxic to unborn babies) I called about 20 cleaning companies yesterday but only got laughed at several times. So it's a stinky job for me.

* Clear the clutter. A small house, big crafting ideas and a love of pretty colours has filled our casa with muchos cosas. The Salvation Army will surely put us on their thank you list this year.

* Go to work. This is a hard one. After being semi-employed since April, I am going back to work full time + starting Oct. 24. I will be managing a prepress/design studio at the printing company I quit in April. You spin me right round, baby. The money will be good, but I will miss the freedom.

* Get a digital camera to keep all of yous updated on the bump to come.

That's all for now, got to get some cleaning done. Much love, Marolyn