Second trimester 2009: nesting & amnios


WEEKS 13 – 17

My best friend Dee had been diagnosed with cancer earlier that year in March, 2009. She was in fact the first person I had told I was pregnant (after Craig of course).  I like to think she had been my lucky charm in getting pregnant, as while we were waiting those 2 weeks post insemination, she had left her youngest son’s baby pillow at our apartment because she believe that it would bring me good luck.

For the next few weeks I spent time visiting Dee either at her home or meeting at a deli in the Valley or occasionally she and her family would come to Venice, and other times I’d have to visit her in the hospital.  She, despite having a serious cancer with a 50/50 chance, two sons, and being the earner of the house-hold, found time to help me nest.  We went through her baby’s clothing and blankets and sorted through what I would need.  She explained to me why she had the little baby gloves; she explained about how nails would grow and I’d have to clip them regularly so the baby wouldn’t hurt herself.

Yes, herself: I was convinced I was having a girl, and Craig and I were sort of agreed on naming her Scarlett, though it wasn’t officially official.  We didn’t refer to her by that name, though; Craig often asked how Ziggy was, the nickname he’d created from the term zygote, which simply refers to an embryo in early pregnancy.

I was feverish on nesting, and began gathering items not only from Dee but from Jodi, mother of two, and Lisa, mother of 3.  Nesting was a great time, a very special time, made particularly enjoyable for me since I had so many friends who were happy to hand things down to me, and since I am the personality type who just loves to prepare and anticipate (read: slight case of O.C.D.).

My mother called a couple of times and I hung up on her.  I didn’t have time for any negativity in my life, and was still in shock from her behavior from when I told her I was pregnant, and so I rejected her; she was too dangerous to my fragile condition, and I was protecting my family by keeping her away.


At around week 17, I underwent my 2nd trimester blood work, in which the plan was to gauge any possible genetic issues. The test results uttered to me by my Israeli gynecologist came back with a recommendation to seek genetic counseling, interestingly enough I found, paid for by the state of California.

I was very nervous, and gathered all of the information and experiences I could from the Internet and other couples.  Different people had approached it different ways.  I recalled a story of my college friend who for her 2nd pregnancy received the same type of blood work news, had an amniocentesis, complications from which ended the life of her unborn child, mid 2nd trimester in-vitro.

While we were still a single car household, I had rented a car that week (though I forget why) so was able to meet Craig at the doctor’s office during his lunch hour. He ate the lunch I had brought for him in the lobby, and then we met with a genetic counselor.  This woman, this genetic counselor, sat across from us outlining and educating us on the possibility of issues with the baby based upon my blood test.  The chances weren’t huge that we would have a baby with down or any other syndrome or issues, but they definitely existed, in part she presumed because of my age – I had conceived at 38 and was now 39 – and in part because of other statistics.

Neither she nor the State of California were able to recommend an amnio for me, but me, knowing full well that I wouldn’t be able to rest for the duration of the pregnancy without knowing the health of this baby, needed to do the test.

The woman left the room to let Craig and I discuss it, but I had already made the decision, and Craig supported it.

An Amniocentesis is a procedure in which a long needle is stuck into the woman’s body, all the way into the uterus, from which a sample of the amniotic fluid is taken and then tested, to determine any chromosomal abnormalities.  Not only are there risks associated with puncturing the sac, meant to protect your baby from all of the germs and elements that your adult body carries, but there is also always risk that the puncture turns into a hole – which most certainly would cause a baby to die.

It felt very invasive; not to me personally, because by this time I was used to doctors poking inside of me, but I felt uncomfortable subjecting my little baby to this intrusion; a mother’s instinct happens very early on and mine was in full effect as I rubbed my belly and silently comforted my child.

Craig had to leave to go back to a meeting, as the consultation had taken way longer than we’d anticipated, and once he left, I was left alone in this room with an incredible 3D monitor with the doctor and the technician.

It was time I would find out my baby’s gender.

I was confident that I was carrying a girl.  I’d had a dream that I was holding my really beautiful baby, and in the dream knew she was my daughter.

And then there they were, telling me SHOWING ME I was carrying Craig’s son.

I don’t meant to be sexist, but it actually seemed too good to be true.  I felt a pride rush through me that I’d never before experienced.  Our first-born was to be a boy.  I was going to have a son.  I felt almost virile and alive and began racking my brain for our baby boy’s name.

I called Craig.  He may have almost crashed out of pure shock.  He was elated.  I had never heard Craig so happy.  Still in the doctor’s office, I then turned my attention to the amazing screen that was showing movies of my baby.  He was jumping up and down.  Literally jumping as if he was in one of those bouncies they have at little kids’ birthday parties.

There he was, bouncing away in my uterus, incredibly active, and at one point – and this is no exaggeration and I have the DVD to prove it – he looked at me and gave me a thumb’s up.

And I became less interested or worried about the results of the amnio, because now on top of the silent connection we had built, I had physical evidence of my relationship with my unborn child, my son, and I couldn’t be brought to imagine that anything would go wrong.  I had plenty of friends who’d had amnios and there had been no issues. My blood work wasn’t that alarming that an issue seemed highly likely, so I chose to be elated.

I would sit in bed for the next couple of days and tell my friends that I, who had been so confident that I was carrying a girl, now felt like a superior human being because I was carrying a boy.  I don’t mean superior like I thought I was better than anyone else, but rather, superior because I had this little baby boy inside of me and he was growing and would carry on Craig’s name and I never felt happier.  All of these emotions as I laid on bed-rest, following the doctor’s instructions exactly so as to reduce any and all issues post this high- risk procedure.

I went over our meeting with the genetic counselor in my head multiple times, in which she described different percentages of risks for chromosomal abnormalities in our baby.  She had been warm and sensitive in an ‘I-work-for-the-state-of-California’ sort of a way; while she was sensitive to decisions we may have to make, she was in no way actually warm and fuzzy and sensitive.

After we’d told her that we were going to proceed and opt for the amnio, she had defined the waiting period for the results and next steps.  “If when I call and I get your voice-mail and the news is good, I will say exactly that in the message.  If we need to speak, I will leave my phone number and ask you to call me back.”

Like any human being, I became increasingly nervous while I was awaiting the results of that invasive procedure.  10 days later, I missed her call, only to receive a dreaded voice-mail message from her asking me to call her back.  I panicked, and then called her, at which time this genetics counselor advised me, “The baby does not have down syndrome.  We took 32 colonies of cells, and out of the 32, 31 are normal, meaning that each has chromosomes of 46.  What this means is that either the baby is going to be fine, or he has an incredibly rare disease called Trisomy 18.”

I nearly had a heart attack.

She said that it was possible these findings were just an artifact from the culture, as it is a culture’s job to ‘expedite’ the growth of the cells, so instead of dividing and multiplying normally, there could have been a glitch there – in the lab, which would be a reflection of the test tube experiment, and not what’s actually in my body.

She said a lot of things, and I didn’t understand most of them, as how could my brain actually function when I had seemingly stopped breathing?

I spoke to every professional I could find. I asked whether typically a baby with Trisomy 18 might abort on its own, and nobody had any answers, as there weren’t enough case studies.

I asked if this chromosomal count was perhaps leftover from the invisible twin who we’d lost so early on, and the answer was no.

I talked to my mother-in-law.  I cried to Craig, to my friends Jodi and Tammi, to my eldest sister – to anyone who would listen.  I made a decision to have a 2nd amnio, because, as I explained to Craig through a combination of dread and tears – still without taking a breath since I had that conversation with the counselor, I wouldn’t be able to rest for the remaining 21-odd weeks until I knew about the baby’s health.

Either way.

So on October 29th I had my 2nd Amnio.  Their intention was to test 85 colonies instead of 32 as originally tested.  And in the meantime, I had asked multiple doctors to research the disease further; lest our baby, my son, did have the disease, we had to make an informed decision as to what to do.

But I don’t know if terminating was a real option. We were so desperately in love with the baby, with the knowledge we were having a son, with our son, and while the stress and emotional weight was overwhelming, I didn’t give myself too much time to explore: What if??

So I went back in, and Craig took me home, and I don’t remember exactly how I felt, other than stressed and scared and at the point when I had to remind myself to actually breathe, since it wasn’t happening naturally.

Craig and I increased our prayer patterns to praying together several times a week.  I don’t know that either of us could have increased our personal prayers, because we each already had a very strong relationship with G-d.  By this point, I was in constant dialogue with him.

A little less than 10-days later, as they had expedited the results, I got the call that baby was fine.

I called Craig and Craig’s mom and my eldest sister, and broke down, sobbing hysterically. I couldn’t believe the amount of stress I had been holding, that was now physically manifesting itself in my tears and gasps and general being.

My Jewish father had taught me many years earlier that we shouldn’t get on our knees to pray at any of my mother’s Christian family’s weddings or funerals, as Jews don’t kneel.  But on this Friday afternoon, on this occasion, I went to my bedroom, got on my knees with my hands clenched in prayer on our bed, and thanked God from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to carry my healthy son.

Punishing My Self


First off, thank you for the notes you have written, the positive energy you have sent, the prayers you have uttered; I have begun to sense in a very tangible way that my husband’s and my mission is surrounded by a circle of loving people, who expend their energy and time to wish us well. I even know one person who is putting in a prayer at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem this week, the very thought of which moves me to tears.

I haven’t been able to write anything since my “Failure” posting, just because I could not put pen to paper (for lack of a better phrase).  I have begun composing thoughts and we are diving into next steps, but it’s been important and valuable for me to sit with my thoughts, as opposed to immediately sharing them.

A few days ago I took a walk around our new neighborhood.  I just needed to breathe some fresh air and find my self in a space reserved for just me; that time of the day when the rings and buzzes and dings from all of my devices are not in hyper mode, and I invite nature in to soothe me.

I missed living a stone’s throw (if you have a great arm) from the sand of Venice Beach. We’ve moved only 2 miles inland, and it is definitely a move up, and I am in LOVE with the energy and space of our new home, but I am not able to immediately step into nature as my back yard, as I had with our previous home. (I can easily change that by hopping on my bike instead of going on foot, and that way I’ll be at the breakwaters of the Marina within minutes so that I can connect to nature, which allows me to just feel more, well, me.  We got a bike pump this weekend, so I will try that next time.)

More importantly, I saw something that both bothered me and resonated with me during this walk:  We now live near a hospital, and I saw someone’s hospital bracelet ID crumpled up next to a crushed pack of empty cigarettes with a few cigarette butts on the side, littering the grass less than a block away from the hospital – a few blocks away from our home.

I intuit this to mean that someone got discharged, and then immediately polluted his / her body with cigarettes, when it is possible that the reason they were hospitalized in the first place was related to their cigarette smoking.

I haven’t taken up smoking again (or any of my other previous unhealthy vices, which would come in awfully handy right now if I was my old self), since learning over two weeks ago that the Frozen Embryo Transfer didn’t work, even though in these past weeks I have had to work more than 80 hours per week, move into a new home, talk to my doctor about next steps, keep social obligations, and experience the deep sadness that this latest disappointing news (an understatement, obviously) has brought.

But I do notice a trend that I treat myself differently after a loss of the dream, after the crushing of the hope, after the vicious words “Not Pregnant” appear on the expensive digital pregnancy tests.  I almost punish myself: I ate McDonald’s, twice.  I haven’t taken my pre natal pills every day.  I allow myself to get stressed about work (a bit hard to avoid on this current project, anyway).

What I should be doing is wrapping myself up emotionally in my equivalent of a warm blanket or scarf and Ugg boots, those things that I equate with comfort.

I should be drinking soup and taking the vitamins which replenish my body.

Do you notice how I say my body, as opposed to me?  This is something that we really explored in my therapy sessions in ’11, the fact that I can not actually separate my self from my body, that I am one and the same, but that when I get the bad news, and I know full well that it is nothing that I did or didn’t do perfectly, I tend to want to blame someone.

Blaming G-d is no good for me; I can be mad at him or the universe or whatever my faith is, but that does not make me feel better, so that’s not really an option.

I can’t blame the doctor, as he is doing the very best any doctor could.

So I have a tendency to blame my body, which in turn means I try to punish my body.  And so I don’t eat very well and I don’t take all of those great vitamins to prepare for our next efforts, and somehow that little bit of withholding of love, as it were, gives me the control I need back.

I have had no control over the outcome of all of these fertility efforts –obviously – so punishing myself has become a habit, a very bad habit.  I am aware when I am doing it; I knew that I was running out of those pre natal pills, and yet I waited for days to re-order.  I know that getting stressed about work instead of relying on the meditation and spiritual calm is not good for me mentally or physically.

But this punishing of my self is a mechanism that is familiar; I am sure it is deeply rooted in my childhood and times when I felt like I was being punished.

(When I used to cry as a baby, around 2-years old, my parents would put me in the laundry room in my high chair and shut the door, so that I did not disturb them, their dinner; the family. I don’t know why I was crying so hard, but I can tell you with certainty that when my child has fits like that, I will pick him or her up and hold him or her; I will not put my baby in a small room, alone, and punish him/her for crying.  I was 2; I did not have the ability to communicate with words yet, and crying was my only way of telling them something was wrong.)

Of course this behavior of punishing myself for feelings I had, for inadequacies I suffered, for failure, has spanned my entire life; I was a drug addict for years, starting as a teenager and into my 30s; I took drugs, actual poison when taken to the level that I did, to make the feelings go away, because I had been taught by observation that having feelings was wrong or bad.

So it’s not surprising that I wanted to punish myself for learning that I was not pregnant, again, or still.  But I can tell you that I recovered from this behavior more quickly than last time, and the last time, more quickly than the time before.  That is due to lots of work in therapy, an unwavering faith, and a plan.

Yes, A PLAN.  We know what we’re doing next, efforts are underway, and there is a great comfort in knowing that.  We had made a long term plan last October, and now that we are where we are, we are at the point where the plan goes into effect.

While my goal in writing this blog is for others who are struggling to feel less alone, and get the love and positive energy and validation that so many of you have been generous to provide along the way, I am going to shelve what exactly we’re doing next, for the moment.  What could be so personal that I wouldn’t share with you now? – you must wonder, considering how much I have opened up thus far.  Well, you will understand better later.  But for now, I shall get back to work, and continue earning the money that allows us the luxury to chase our dreams.

My next posting will be returning back to the Fall of ’09, when I was in my second trimester, so that you can learn more about love affair I developed for my sweet Finley while he was in vitro, and how he metamorphosed into Craig’s and my own beautiful butterfly.

Until next time.



I wish I were the type of person who could get angry instead of depressed.  Depression aches like a sharp dagger pointing at my heart.  It makes it hard to breathe.  It is impossible to get the tears to stop.

The confidence that we will be parents again is there.  That is unwavering.

But the disappointment that this is not our time, AGAIN, that this frozen embryo transfer did not work, despite all of the love and the prayers and the positive energy that each of you sent to me, to us, is baffling, overwhelming, and just plain painful.

I had to save this document right now under the title of this blog posting, and without a moment’s hesitation, I decided to name it, “Failure”.  That is really the best way to put it, isn’t it?

The problem is, when something fails, someone is accountable, and I refuse to be held accountable for this.  My husband and I did every fucking thing that is medically and spiritually possible to allow for this pregnancy.

We prayed, and we held hands, and we created the best energy possible to allow for the baby.

I have bruises and welts on my butt from the progesterone oil shots that Craig stuck me with every night.

I gained weight, I suffered insomnia, I had night sweats, and yet I still woke up every day and did my job so that we as a dual income house-hold could stay the course and deal with the incredible costs.

We have paid over $12,000 in fertility bills in ‘13.

We paid $58,390.89 in ’12.

(And I don’t feel like going through the other years at this moment.)

That sort of dedication SHOULD be rewarded. That sort of commitment to the idea of loving, protecting, nurturing, dancing with, playing with, tickling, and hugging a child SHOULD be achievable.  It’s not like I’m praying for a new car.

And it will be rewarded. I know that. Craig knows that. But for fuck’s sake, when?

We move into a new home this Friday. It is 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. We have been gathering our items to move, which includes all of Finley’s baby items, from the area in the closet that I typically refuse to acknowledge.  We have plenty of clothes and carriages and cute toys for Finley’s brother or sister, just waiting.  (Well if we have a girl, actually, I imagine we’ll have to get lots of different clothes.)

I have had to hold pre production meetings with corporate car clients while having a high fever and sweating the whole time. I have been on commercial film shoots with severe colds.  I have had conference calls during which I ran to the bathroom to throw up because of a crazy flu that made me hallucinate.  – You know the saying: The show must go on.

But today, the pain is so great, the depression so overwhelming, that I have to work from home. I had no choice, really: My typically blue eyes are blood shot.  My noise is swollen and red.  My complexion is puffy.  And my sadness is palpable; I imagine if anyone besides Craig saw me, they would not be able to focus on what I might be saying, because they would be sidetracked by the incredible depression I am both showing, and feeling.

We will be OK.  The baby will come.  There is more than one way to become a parent.  But for today, I am sad, and because you have all become a support group to me, and let me know that I am not alone, I wanted to share this.

To be continued.

The Waiting


I can’t help but think of the lyrics from the Tom Petty song “The Waiting is the hardest part.”

I mean it is not the hardest: holding my infant son as he took his last breath was the hardest.

Seeing the words “Not Pregnant” on the pregnancy tests I’ve taken almost every month for the past 3-years has been debilitating.

But the waiting in between embryo transfer and the day that I will know if I am pregnant is – while not the hardest thing I’ve endured – very, very hard.

As always, I read signs into every single feeling in my body. I have a friend who constantly tells me how in touch she is with her body, and I understand that to an uncomfortable and hyper degree.

I feel my blood going through my veins.  I imagine my arteries all around and leading into my uterus as a freeway with no traffic; like those pictures people would post on Facebook as the first cars to be driving on the infamous 405 after it was closed for construction on what we Los Angeleans referred to in that witty play off words as Carmegeddon.

When I have a successful bowel movement (pardon my graphicness), I practically congratulate my body for doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing.

I have felt sensations in my uterus; I haven’t felt the latching of the embryos like a pinch – but the last time I felt that pinch, I didn’t get pregnant; I didn’t feel it the two times that I was officially pregnant, so perhaps that pinching sensation I remember was the embryo detaching, because it wasn’t chromosomally normal? – which means that not having felt that pinching is a good thing.

I have other symptoms that could mean I’m pregnant, but since I am on Estrogen, Medrol, and Progesterone at this point, which are all supplements which are meant to help keep the pregnancy, it is impossible to know if the symptoms of fatigue or occasional awareness of my uterus or being highly emotional are because I am pregnant, because I am about to get my period, or actually caused by the medication.

I like to use a trick my friend Lisa taught me.  (Lisa also struggled with fertility and now has a full house of three little boys (one set of twins) – and she also used Dr. V and referred me to both my acupuncturist and my special $100/month pre natal pills.)

Lisa says, “I would tell myself I am pregnant, until I knew I wasn’t.”

So for all intents and purposes: making sure to eat well, to not carry anything heavy (10 pounds is the maximum I will carry right now, no small feat since I lug around a computer every day and am in the process of preparing to move to a new home), and trying to rest (even though it was 3 AM as I typed this, with less than 4 hours of consecutive sleep) – are highest on my list of priorities right now.

I take breathing breaks during the day, per the advice of both my therapist and acupuncturist.  Sometimes it means a 10-minute walk around the block; sometimes that means stepping outside for 3 minutes; sometimes it is as little as taking a little longer while in the bathroom to breathe in – to invite oxygen to flow through my body and make its way to the beautiful embryos who will have attached by now – 5 nights after the transfer.

Since we transferred 5 day embryos, who thawed at 95% capacity, which is the highest mark that Dr. V’s embryologist will ever give to thawed embryos, science theorized that the embryos could have latched onto to my uterus immediately, or within up to 48 hours of the procedure.

I was mandated to be on bed-rest directly after the transfer, which was a fantastic reason to be lying in bed and having a date with my DVR.  I had work to do that day, but taking valium as prescribed both before my transfer and as I lay in bed calmed my body down so that I did not get anxious or tense or do anything that would possibly expel what I hope will turn into a child.

I saw my spiritual healer the day after the transfer, for one of my favorite sessions with her ever.  I won’t use her name, and I will explain at another time how this woman has come to be in my life, serendipitous indeed, but I will say that she is definitely a beautiful angel who is gifted and able to shift energy fields and rely on her relationship with G-d and my own faith and guardian angels to invite my true spirit to enter my being.

Very immediately, upon her gently touching her hands to the bottoms of my feet, as I lay on what is equivalent to a massage table at her house, I felt energy rising up from my feet to my uterus.  There was warmth and tingling in particular areas, and in her very calm, gentle, loving voice, with a hint of true joy, she said, “There are both with you, just hanging out.  It is very strong.” She was referring to the spirits of the embryos.

My understanding is that the spirits hover over and make sure that they are ready and that their parents are ready, and sometimes they know you from a past life, and sometimes it is a spiritual contract, and that at this stage, they know who you are, or in this case, who me and my husband are, and that once they are born and brought into the physical world, they have no outward recognition of who that spirit is, unless of course they are enlightened individuals, which can certainly be the case.

She told me that she sensed a boy, and that he felt holy. She told me that the boy spirit said to tell me that used to be good friends with Craig and he couldn’t wait to see him again.

Me, with my head resting on the other end of the table and my spiritual healer at my feet, lifted my head quickly, “Perhaps it is his friend Tom who died almost two years ago?”

“Maybe, but more likely it is someone he knew in a past life.”

Now if you don’t subscribe to this sort of thing, you don’t subscribe to this sort of thing.  But like many people whose faith has increased due to things going wrong (why do you think there are chapels in hospitals?), I entirely accept that my healing experiences with this woman are real.  

I lay my head back down and cinched my eyes closed so that I could see the energy shifting through my body.  I felt blood flowing, I felt peace, and most importantly and uniquely, at the thought that she felt this presence of my spirit baby this strongly, I experienced joy.

She shifted positions after awhile, and came over to my right side where she put one hand underneath my chest and her other hand above my heart.  In her quiet whisper, she said, “Now I am working on healing the pain you felt when you were an embryo at the same stage.”  (She was referring to when I was an embryo in my mother, very early on – as early on as the embyros that are hopefully forming into my baby or babies as I type.)

I responded not intellectually or even emotionally, but sort of as if I was in an altered state, since during these healing sessions I am conscious yet not in a linear way.  “My mother didn’t know what she was doing.  She was overwhelmed by the idea of having three kids.”

Now I don’t know this to be true from my mother directly, though I need only think of everything I know about my family and how she was a young mother caring for three little children while my father was busy working very hard in his career to support us, but when I responded that way, it was almost as if I was responding from a place of forgiveness for what I must have felt spiritually, when I was in vitro.

There are many studies that indicate that when babies are forming in the womb they sense what their mother is feeling.  In my case, a baby forming inside me would feel love, be reminded constantly that he or she is wanted, and be told daily that any stress I feel has nothing to do with them; that they must not take on any of the stress my body and mental state has from my work, from fertility efforts, from marriage; from anything in my life. I am constantly telling them that their only job is to grow strong, and stay.

In many cases with women who are not in touch with them selves, these embryos at an early stage could begin to inherit the DNA of the stress the mother feels while they are in the womb.


In my mother’s case, according to this healing session, when I entered her womb at this early stage, because my mother was not connected to her self, because she was perhaps so overwhelmed with motherhood; with her life, I was not comforted, I was not reminded that her stress was not to be mine, and thus, I felt abandonment and inherited that into my DNA.

(Interestingly, I have inherited much of my father’s emotional DNA as well over the years, as a young child and way into adulthood.  And of vital importance, neither of these theories is being communicated with any sense of blame on them.)

At the end of my session, I opened my eyes, and as always, I could see her hands raised over my body doing the last of the cleansing for the morning.  We locked eyes, “I’ll be right back,” she said.

Always when these sessions are over, she leaves the room for a couple of minutes, to let me re-group.

Immediately and always after these sessions, I stretch and get up and walk over to the mirror to look at my self.  My eyes are never more clear and my spirit never more obvious and my face never more beautiful than when I am done with these sessions.  I have a very nervous energy on any given day, and yet the moments after these sessions, I feel serenity, and inklings of joy.

My healer returned to the room to have what I think of as our ‘spiritual debrief’.  “Tell me everything,” I said.

She told me that the last part we worked on was some pain of abandonment that I felt early on in the womb; that typically this is work that she does with a person much earlier on (we had been working together for over 13 months by now), but that we had to clear out other paths and issues from early childhood before we could get to this.

She said that she watched my angels wrap me in a cocoon to protect me, which was made of gossamer – which usually means something light and delicate. She noted that she thought it was particularly sweet of them to wrap me in a cocoon, because of my affinity for and relationship with butterflies.

I later looked gossamer up, to learn that Lycaenidae are the second largest family of butterflies in the world, whose members are called gossamer-winged butterflies.  I have confirmed with my healer that she didn’t know this association.  Magical.

I asked her more about the spirits of the embryos. She said there was a boy who was very strong, and that later a girl came.  She said that she didn’t know if she was supposed to tell me about the boy knowing Craig from a past life, but that the spirit prodded, “Tell her!”

We hugged and I thanked her and we locked eyes and I asked her the question that only G-d and time can answer:  “Is this going to take?”  She said right now they are very strong, but anything can happen, but she is hoping this is it, too.

That was last Sunday, one full week ago now, and the day after the transfer.

This morning I saw her again, anxious and full of fear and palatable nervousness about the pregnancy test I will be taking soon.  The session went great.  She did more work on the healing that I needed help on from when I was an embryo, and when we had our spiritual debrief, she told me she felt a little girl snuggling into the left side of my uterus. The left side of my uterus, I must tell you, throughout this hour long session, was tingling and heated and very active.

I don’t know what will happen when I take this test. I do know that no matter what, Craig and I will be fine; we will be parents to our next child or children soon – it is just a matter of when.

To be continued.

Putting my eggs into one basket


My faith

My faith

Despite the famous saying not to do just this, this morning I am putting all of my eggs into one basket.

The basket is my beautiful, warm and cozy, nurturing, nourishing, capable, and quite competent uterus.

The eggs are my embryos, which are comprised of my beautiful eggs and my husband Craig’s winning sperm.  (Even as a writer who loves words, I don’t know how much I can romanticize sperm.)

I’ve done everything I could, things I’ve detailed in the past as far as taking my medication on time, incorporating the treks to the valley for doctor visits in the early morning hours of my work days or on weekends; I’ve prayed to God and I’ve prayed to my spirit babies; I’ve even – for out of 11 days – dieted strictly for 8, with 3 days still being highly conscientious about what I eat, though not as disciplined.

I had acupuncture first thing Thursday morning.  Am I his only patient who walks in while on the phone with a client and tells him to cut the session short so I can accommodate another one of this client’s last minute fire drill (pain in the ass) requests?  No matter; I have a trick that allows me to quiet myself when my mind is appropriately spinning for solutions and options while metaphorical balls of production hover up in the air:

I invite me, Lorraine Kraus, to enter my body. I know that sounds crazy (even as I write it, I am trying to think of a better way to explain it).  I have been guided (by my spiritual healer) that I have to enter my self:

So much of the time I am acting as the woman at the grocery store trying to act civilized even when the person behind me is an item counter and I’m in the 15-items or less line, with 16 items.  I am Craig’s wife at an engagement party of his friends, making small talk with relatives of people I don’t even know.  I am my parents’ daughter, or my nieces’ aunt.  Most of the time I play the role of a commercial producer on the latest in a series of impossible projects, with clients relying on me, vendors reporting to me, and me reporting to my associates. Much of the time I am the woman in the waiting room at the fertility office, judging all of the women that are there – sizing up who is there for her first time; what level of fertility efforts she and her husband are at; wondering how they are affording these exorbitant costs; sometimes annoyed that this other patient has brought her first child with her – often proof that the efforts work – but annoying to me nonetheless.

So I invite my true self to enter my body, with my eyes closed, often my arms at my side and my legs uncrossed so I can make sure to unburden my spirit of any physical roadblocks, and I take deep breaths and wait for my self to come back in. Sometimes I see energy shifting behind my closed eyes; the colors change throughout this meditation, and there are often shapes that go with the colors; I often see a lot of blue and a lot of dark pink.  Sometimes, on rare and my favorite occasions, I have seen a light baby blue color, which I am confident is Finley. It’s a blue so pretty that you’ve never actually seen it; I have looked in art and nature, and I have never seen the exact hue, but when my eyes are closed and I am inviting the true essence of me to enter, my son’s spirit sometimes visits.

Whether or not that beautiful soul comes to visit, often during these meditations I am almost jarred out of the calm as I sense the physicality of the experience through happy tears or a smile forming around my mouth.  It is almost like when I am truly in my self, centered in what is real in the universe, as opposed to my living realities of going to the market or parties or work or to the doctor; living in this state of purgatory, I have a confidence that I am on the right path, which brings true serenity.

Anyway, I was able to do that for short stints of the 30-minute session with my acupuncturist on Thursday, and it definitely helped.

Friday, March 1st, I awoke very happy despite March being a dreaded month for me; March has contained emotional land mines for me since 1990, when my friend Nicole died.

Nicole had turned 20 on March 18th.  On March 21, while she was driving back from Spring Break in LA where we all lived to Tucson, where we went to school, she got in a car accident. While her best friends were picking up a cake and getting ready for her birthday party, reservations with a party of around 12 girls for later that evening, Nicole died.  And every year since, until December 2009 that is, her death and that loss was the worst pain I had experienced.

And Finley’s due date was March 18th.  When I had first heard that was his due date, as you may recall from an earlier posting, I was confident that Finley was my son; that nothing would get in the way of him making it to me; that he was, as they say, meant to be.  While G-d re-wrote that storyline, I created an alternate truth that perhaps he was a gift to her in heaven.  Early on I would ask her in my prayers to make sure he’s OK, that he’s warm, has enough to eat, that he is happy.  Regardless of how it all works “up there”, I know they are together.  When March 18th came in 2010, the day that he was supposed to be born, it was one of pain and dread.  But over time, over these 3+ years since he was actually born and then died, the date has lost most of its pain to me, though I still am very aware of it (and of course aware of how it must feel for Nicole’s dad this time of year, with whom I’ve sadly lost touch over the years, since I as a fellow bereaved parent relate to him more than I ever wanted).

Also in March is my sobriety date: March 5th I will have been sober 7-years, no small feat indeed. (I mentioned in my last posting, when I commit to something, I really commit J)  And while that is a happy anniversary of which I am truly proud, I remember the days leading up to the decision to let my Dad drive me to drug rehab – something my family and friends had been begging for me to do for months by this time.  My laundry was dirty; my car was filthy and I had driven to their house with my gas tank on red; I was a lost soul slowly killing myself in an effort to kill the pain (I was soul sick, something that I will describe in another book, one day perhaps).  So I can’t help but think of where I was 7 years ago now, with my laser sharp memory remembering details about those days immediately prior to me admitting that I had hit, when I had fallen flat on my ass; reached my bottom.

And then most recently adding to the reasons why March is hard for me is the fact that 2-years ago tomorrow, the original, the special, the hilarious, the complicated, and the absolutely fantastic soul of one of my best friends – Dee – left her body, after her long and painful balls out (pardon me) fight with cancer.  I found out just after 8 in the morning March 3rd 2011 as I was in my taxman’s office. Can you imagine?  Insult to injury to the ninth.  Our friendship that spanned 20-years is part of my DNA, and I miss her.

So I started my March madness on the morning of March 1st very cognizant of the landmines that are in this month.  I took a walk to the Venice Pier. I chatted with Dee’s husband to hear how he is and how he and the boys will honor our beloved Dee this weekend.  I saw a dolphin. I breathed in the air.  I sat in my secret garden and hoped for a butterfly sighting; I didn’t see one, but as I was sitting there I played the Kenny Loggin’s song “This is It” over and over, to remind the universe that THIS is my time.  Do you know the one?

“You say that maybe it’s over.  Not if you don’t want it to be.  For once in your life, here’s your miracle.  Stand up and fight.  This is it.”

Yes, I shall admit it: I love that song.

It is scary to write as my hope has become a liability, but I must embrace my hope with open arms:  Next March I want to look back on this March as the month I learned I was pregnant again.

I am currently the insomniac doing some writing, with only the glow of the computer (and some electronics) lighting up my office area, with now less than 2 hours to go before I am lying on a table with acupuncture guiding my blood flow, on a valium to relax my body and ibuprofen to guard against the pain, with a full bladder so that shortly Dr. V can see the outline of my uterus as clearly as possible before he sticks a catheter in me to test the plan of where he is going to place the embryos, just before the Asian female embryologist, who I don’t speak much to, but I like a lot, comes in the room where my legs will be wide open and placed into stirrups, with my husband at my side holding my hand and praying with me, and asks me my name, to confirm that those embryos, those beautiful embryos who I so desperately want to turn into my child or children, are mine, before Dr. V does the real procedure, by slowly placing the catheter, now with the embryos in it, back into my vagina, where he finds the perfect resting point – not near a scar that I have in my uterus which is likely from having a pre term C-section; when he puts all of my eggs into my basket.

Thanks for your love and support.