things i never thought i'd be (and don't always mind that i am).

-a birdwatcher (and someone interested in how not to attract squirrels and crows)
-a person with a yard with too much grass
-a person with a husband who likes to mow the grass
-a person who highlights her hair (first timer!)
-a damned good gardener with a lot to learn (food and perennials, baby)
-a true believer in Karma
-a person who takes great pleasure in afternoons by a pool (my kind of parenting)
-a part-time employee (at 2 jobs)
-an unapologetic crafter

-someone who eats Swiss cheese (reduced fat, Alpine Lace)
-someone who doesn't cook dinner (most often) for her family
-married to someone who cooks
-a consumer of white wine
-a northwestern northeasterner (get it?)
-a chapstick addict
-a popper of others' pimples
-contentedly living in a small town just a few degrees north of a proper latitude
-a lover of Maine
-a person who wants a pale pink bathroom (with gold accents)
-someone who (almost, as in 99% of the time) never wears heels
-an infertile
-someone with only one child
-a summer person (more sun, more heat, please)
-an amateur photographer, obsessed

-a keeper of family memories
-a Hanes white undies devotee with a passion for fancier lingerie but no interest in purchasing it
-addicted to sunscreen (if it isn't 50, it isn't working)
-uh, 31?
-someone who keeps good quotes in a journal book (my diamonds)
-happily married
-a person who self-photographs shamelessly

-approaching vegetarianism (all about texture, and there are other sensory issues)
-a proud redhead
-a social worker
-a celebrity stalker
-a proud native Georgian.

The End.

Exhausted Mother Disguised As Social Phobe

I'm in Atlanta this week, the place of my upbringing. The place where so many of my friends are and have been.

Thing is, W and I had a severely delayed flight in last night. One one leg, they kept us on the plane for an hour because of the lightning. I was seriously dangling on the edge of cannibalism, I was so hungry. I think I tried to take a bite out of W's cushy cheek. Anyway, if I told you all of the details, you'd cry for me, for sure. I won't. Suffice it to say that McClarkle (not his real name), the youngest brother, graciously caught us at baggage claim around 11 PM, just before we toppled over into comatose states.

Fast forward to today. DUDE. I am supa-sleepy. My mom has WAY TOO MANY DOGS and I feel like I'm constantly fighting one of them off of my arm in order to protect my daughter and self. I've got the beach coming up and I don't want to be all banged up for my bathingsuit, you know?

Back to tired. All I can bring myself to do today is swoon over my new dress I bought in a fog this morning and cool my feet in the blow-up pool that W is currently enjoying. I can't even begin to start the call circuit, even though I really do want to see everyone. I just need to hide out in my bunker for a day or two until I'm ready to venture out into the larger environment.

I've also resigned my job with BlogHer. It's been more than three years. Those three years have been great and I've had so much flexibility to travel and, well, be home. Truly special. I've got another therapy job I'm excited about and a girl just can't have three jobs. They've been good to me. (In that time, I've also lost my blogging voice because I'm reading everyone else's all of the time. I'm looking forward to recovering my inner fabulosity). TO HAPPY ENDINGS AND NEW BEGINNINGS (clink clink).


Princess in route to ATL

P-cess, originally uploaded by morestrawberry.

The thing is.

When you miscarry or are in some way not able to get/be pregnant, everyone else in the world is suddenly pregnant or with multiple children. This is my truth.

The last 3 weeks have been an eternity. I had 21 pregnant days. I was beyond ready to ditch the infertility train in pursuit of a healthy pregnancy and, nine months later, a baby. Last Friday, the nurse at my doctor's office confirmed that my HcG levels were doubling normally but cautioned that---this early---things could really go either way. I'm not sure what she meant by that and I didn't care at the time. Everything was moving along as it should have been. The numbers don't lie.

Slowly I began to let others know. At my very core, I am not a 12 week wait-er. That's really all you need to know about me. Apply that to everything else, too. Oh, that gratification of telling close friends and family members that after years of trying, a pregnancy! Nothing better. At 5 weeks, my breasts were twice as big as they had been 3 weeks earlier. And vein-y. I started feeling bloated and, well, pregnant. My whole mental process revolved around my pregnancy---I did everything as I normally would, only I was doing it pregnant. As in, sure, hubs, I'll move that ladder but do you really think that is a good idea? Or, I mean, I'm not particularly hungry but this is probably my last pregnancy and that chocolate bunny just said my name. Does that make sense?

The last month had been an everything but the kitchen sink month. Limited caffeine and no alcohol. The Mormon plan. Plus Fertilitea, Ovacue, FertilAid, FertileCM, good sleep, low stress. Limited exercise (but, of course, just enough to keep the system running smoothly). And it worked! I got pregnant. And that hasn't happened since my ectopic in October 2009. I wasn't taking any fertility drugs and did not go through with the IUI. Just good old-fashioned babymaking.

Others around me began to suspect. I think I put off that aura of pregnancy goodness (i.e., alcohol-freeness, and there's a certain superiority that comes with that, let's be honest). Pregnant ladies and dead people: Saints. You know, infertility has been such a growing burden on my energies these last few years---the pain of it really grows as you begin to suspect/realize that the possibility of actually conceiving another baby is actually in question. I think the thing that has troubled me the most (and for many reasons) is that my body is somehow responsible for not being able to make a baby. And then, with that in mind, what can I be doing differently?

I will take that and run with it. My mind goes there and beyond. If I made a list for you of all the different formulas I've come up with to get pregnant, you'd fall asleep before you got to the end. I think B's eyes roll back into his head when I start putting together a new action plan. It just doesn't matter like this to people who have not been through it. Of course, that is, except people love you and worry. And that matters! But, seriously, I would never have had any idea about any of this if I had not experienced it. I liken it to parenting. When you don't have a child, you have no concept of the breadth.

And I do have one. My sweetest, who will be five this summer. Honestly, with all of the excitement, B and I made the "mistake" of telling her she was going to have a sibling. Although her immediate reaction to it was, "I don't want another baby. You already have one," I could tell she was beginning to warm to the idea. She developed a theme around being bossy and controlling of the little one (of course) and thought she'd have to show it the ropes---i.e.,


When we told her about the miscarriage, we told her that there was a seed that didn't look like it would continue to grow---just like some of the seeds we had planted for our garden. That, sometimes, that's what happens and we'll just have to try again with a different seed. She was incredibly sympathetic to me because she could tell I had been crying on the way home from the doctor. She and B were painting my portrait when I got home. "Maybe it is because she ate too many vegetables," she had said to B. I totally love my family.

I've had two ultrasounds and they haven't been able to find a mass of any kind in my reproductive junk. I had my blood drawn again today and will await the doctor's call regarding whether further treatment is needed. He's leaning toward miscarriage---and I'm grateful for that. We are off to Georgia on Wednesday (MeMe's come to be with us here and will travel back to Georgia, too) and I can't be around for Methotrexate. You like that? I can't be around for Methotrexate. I'm going on vacation!

We'll try again, of course. And I've made an appointment with the Pittsburgh IVF clinic. It's a drive but I have not been completely satisfied with the care I've received at my current doctor's office. I'm more confidant taking these issues back to an actual Reproductive Endocrinologist. And a female, landsakes. Lordy be.

So, that's what's up. I have been staring a lot these last few days. Don't try to have a conversation with me! I am all up in my head, trying to make sense of this bit of brokenness. Sure, I've wondered Why? But I think I am most comfortable with the idea that there is no why, that this is something that happens. Even to me. Something that makes me feel even more the beauty and sadness that comes with the journey. Something I'll get past.

Hugs and kisses.

Yet Another.

Hello, all. Sorry to not be here more often. Just wanted to let you know that I've just miscarried. I was about 5 weeks along (physically) and about 8.7 months along (mentally). This is so very hard. Just sad. I'll be back soon with some detail. Moving forward.

Thank goodness the Rapture is upon us, no? No more infertility treatments and weeding.

Too late.

Dear Dad,

I miss you a heck of a lot. I cried tears about you tonight, and not just for the unfairness of your early death. For everything leading up to it---for everything that put you in that place to die at 47 years old, of ugly lung cancer.

You were the coolest guy ever! To everyone! Funny, smart, adventurous. That's not what then was about, though. The time you were sick. Ugly cancer.

So now, what is this parenting thing if you're not a part of it? What is Death By Tickle if it isn't in your presence. What are jokes and humor? And boating and Sperry topsiders? Rollercoasters! And beach trips.

You were fireworks, skateboarding, eating raw meat, classical rock, secrets, and inside jokes. You were cool, demanding, self-assured, and hard to read.

Who do I tell her you were? How do I describe you? She'll never know. What does it matter now, really, 8 years after you're gone. Oh, your grandfather used to let me drive his car when I was five. Or, he had this big car like a boat---a convertible---that we'd ride through town in. All us neighborhood kids. He loved football and boiled peanuts. And dogs. And old people.

I'd do so much just to have you back, just as you were. So much. I promise I would ask all of the questions I never asked then. I would love you just the same no matter what. I know that now. Oh, the wisdom.

Too late. Is this how it always happens?

The Scene, 8dpo

Me: Do you think my boobs look bigger? Here, feel.

Him: Well, now that you mention it, yes!

Me: Really?

Him: Yes.

Me: Swear on Gabe's life?

Him: Yes.

Next morning.

Convinced I'm pregnant, I find I have a teensy bit of a bloody nose. I google that and early pregnancy symptoms.

In my head: I'm probably pregnant. I should test, you know, just in case. I do feel particularly huge today.

Also in my head: I should probably get a test. What if it was positive? Yeah right. Like that's going to happen. Oh, c'mon, Ashley, it could definitely be positive. Just think positively.

After CVS.


In my head: It's too early. There's definitely something to this feeling of large-osity. I'll wait three more days.