Eli's Corner

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oddly, gratitude

My husband set off on Saturday to do his first (un)official century ride.  He’d trained and crosstrained and was so ready when he set out with his buddy in the morning.  An hour later, the landline rang.  Nobody has that number.  I glanced at my cell phone.  Dead.  I ran upstairs as quickly as I could to get to the phone.

Flash back to a few days after our honeymoon when my husband set out for a ride and I got a call from an unknown number on my phone.  I didn’t pick up at first.  The person called right back, and I dove for the phone, knowing instinctively that something had happened to my husband.  Sure enough, it was a stranger telling me that my husband was being loaded into an ambulance.

Flash back a few months before that to me coming home from a movie with my mom and sister who were in town to help me plan last-minute wedding stuff.  I glanced at my phone and saw several missed calls from my dad’s number.  I checked my messages.  It was a stranger’s voice.  Somehow in my gut I immediately knew that my dad was either dead or in a coma.  It was just a question of which one, and if he was dead, if he had died alone.  Somehow it was that simple.  (A phone call would reveal that when he fell, he never hit the ground, that he was caught by two young men he had mentored when they were in prison.  I was so thankful they had been there to catch him when his heart stopped beating.)

These are the calls that make the earth stand still.  I remember that rushed, interminable drive to the hospital to find my husband, my father’s death still fresh in my mind, my whole universe imploding, thinking how things don’t always end up ok now.  Everything is up for grabs.  I remember a calming presence enveloping my mind, telling me this was not that, telling me he would be alright.

Running up the stairs to grab the phone, I went through an abridged version of all of these experiences.  It was my husband’s voice on the other end of the line.  Thank. God.  Yes, he had been in an accident.  Yes, he was on his way to the hospital.

We spent Saturday in the Emergency Room.  His elbow is badly broken, his forearm essentially dangling there.  For some unfathomable reason, they have not been able to get us in for surgery yet, so it’s been an exhausting week of waiting at the hospital, being sent home, being ready at 6am to go in and being told not today, getting 5:30am calls saying we’ll call you again every hour on the hour until we know, and on and on.  Meanwhile, he is swelling and in pain and has a giant hunk of sharp bone floating loose in his arm.  It’s incredibly frustrating.

And yet, every time I look at him this week, I’m so thankful.  Yes, I’m frustrated that they aren’t taking this as seriously as I think they should, but when I compare this to when 20 doctors were gathered around my nephew in the trauma ward last year, I’m thankful.  And when tomorrow (yes, it will be tomorrow.  It will.)  they wheel him out to put him under, I will make sure I say I love you, and I will be a little afraid, but I will be thankful.  And just so very thankful when it’s done.


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I’m trying to work in a coffee shop where a man in his 40s is trying to hit on a barista in her 20s by purporting to be The Definitive Expert On The State Of California, where she will be soon traveling with her sister.  His various comments about how the gods have graced her with the body of a swimsuit model are gag-inducing enough, but as a native Californian, to hear him assert that there’s nothing but swimmable, warm-water beaches from Oregon all the way down, and that the jewel of the Golden State is, undeniably, SeaWorld…it’s all I can do to keep from staging an intervention.

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update, and why the royal baby is and is not a big deal

Soooo, writing about not being able to have a baby actually gets kinda old after like a year or so.  I know, right?  Totally surprising.  I might need to branch out here, folks.  But I’m going to continue to document this process for various reasons (which I might write a post about at some point, but not today).  So the major updates will be on here.  One of which being I switched back to my old/new fertility clinic, gave up on waiting for those stupid Fragile X test results, and am planning to proceed with another round of superovulation IUI starting whenever my period starts, which should be, like, tomorrow.

In the meantime, I wanted to leave you with things that are more interesting than the Royal Baby.  But I have to say, I am happy for Will and Kate – seriously.  She probably had more pressure placed on her to reproduce successfully than any woman currently living on the planet.  I can’t even imagine.  It seems so utterly archaic that such a huge part of her role in life would be to produce an heir, but there you go.  Thank God I didn’t marry a prince.  This whole thing would just be so much worse (I mean, look at what happened to English royals who gave birth to girls…and I can’t even swing that).  At any rate, good on her for successfully bringing a child into the world…probably simultaneously the most mundane and miraculous event in human experience, regardless of who the kid’s parents are.  On the one hand I’m like, ok, so Prince William’s wife had a baby.  Whatever.  On the other hand I feel like anybody getting successfully born deserves pretty much as much fanfare as this kid is getting.  So here’s to them, and to all of us who were born.  Turns out it’s a pretty big frickin’ deal.

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the royal baby and other milestones

The world rushes past you in waves.

Birth announcements, birthdays, graduations.

While you sit on the sidelines.

Our first “official” month of trying (although we’d not been “not trying” for a while by that point) was a vacation we took to Italy.  I’d just found out a couple weeks before that I might have endometriosis, and my husband had just gone partially blind with a mysterious retinal embolism.  We were stressed.  I remember thinking that we would just get pregnant in Italy, and things would start to get better.

I remember there was a royal wedding going on, and we decided to hike Cinque Terre instead of staying in the hotel and watching the wedding on TV that morning.  (In hindsight, I don’t see how the latter was even on the table….at any rate, we made the right choice. Cinque Terre is amazing…and there was nothing on TV except the Royal Wedding for weeks afterward anyway.)

There was a royal baby born today.  I ran upstairs to take a pregnancy test because my period is almost due, but to no avail.  We’re getting passed again.  And again and again and again.  Have to let go of it every time, the idea that it should have been us.  You know you’re in a state when you feel personally affronted by the stupid royal family having a baby.  Geez.


you lose some…and you lose some

It’s a bad day on the baby front.  We spent yesterday evening in the company of some friends who were last here about a year ago, having just met each other.  This time they were chatting while absent-mindedly burping their one-month-old daughter (described as a “slight hiccup” in their plans).  The dad, a college buddy of my husband’s, kept talking about mortality and being an old dad and what he’s doing to promote longevity now that he has a kid in his twilight years.

None of these things was easy for me.  Then H2 got her period.  I was wrong.  This was not her time.  Her time may never come.  It is, in fact, possible that it will never come.

Then I googled early menopause and realized for the first time that I am at an extremely high risk of premature menopause whether or not I ever test positive for this Fragile X business.  I’m 34.  My mom hit menopause at 36.  I feel like I’ve mentioned this before.

This seems like something I really should have known and planned for, even without the endometriosis, even without my body inexplicably offing my offspring.  Just feels like too many things.  I’m losing steam.

I was on a really good streak this week, too.  All productive and hopeful.  Purging and organizing my closet.  Scrubbing our tiny outdoor balcony and planting fresh herbs.  Juicing like a mofo.  Cycling, swimming, and pilates-ing it up. Climbing on 3rd story ledges to clean hereforeto unreached outside windows.  Researching house projects that I’ve been unwilling to consider since The Dread Kitchen Reno of 2011.  Making awesome fajitas for people. Passing my most recent certification and knocking out work stuff.  Generally feeling more up and together than I have in a while.

But today I felt all weepy and losery and unable to focus.  In my days of youth, I was pretty good at just throwing unknowns into the “God will take care of it” category and trusting him with it.  I could (more or less) stop obsessing about hypotheticals because God was totally on it.  And it really felt like he was.  I know that faith is supposed to be a thing that exists independently of circumstances – otherwise it would be mere observation – but I feel like my trust has been breached by the dissonant clash of circumstances against what I’ve believed to be promises, what I’ve expected to happen, what I’ve hoped for, what I’ve prayed for, what I’ve put myself out there for.  And much as I know you’re supposed to hang on in these times, that these are the times when it really, really matters that you hang on, I find myself questioning the whole thing.  And it’s shallow, I know, since if I turned up pregnant in a couple weeks, I’d mos def ascribe it to divine intervention.  So there’s a li’l hypocrisy and dissonance for you.