5/29/2016

Only the Lonely


I'm having another lonely holiday weekend. It's really not so awful and I shouldn't complain. I just, well, feel lonely sometimes. Luckily, I'm an Introvert so I don't need to be social all the time, but then sometimes I think it holds me back because I don't want to go out into crowds or busy places by myself and find them draining.

I did get out yesterday to our local tap house that I've come to frequent (meaning go there once every week or two) and stumbled into watching the Warr.iors game. Half of it anyway; I have a hard time getting through an entire game when I'm watching by myself. Anyway, it was a pretty exciting game and really, they should have lost, but they pulled it out in the fourth quarter. I'm sure you're relieved and excited to hear that. :) Anyway, that was my social time.

S is visiting his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, and I can't help but feel sad I'm not part of that. Ah well. My excitement for today, now that I've finished my mediocre book, will be doing a couple of loads of laundry and moving my couch in the living room. Once I get the TV connected - which I'm not rushing to do since I have Hu.lu and it's nice to take a break - it only makes sense to move the couch to where my housemate's couch was.

Speaking of housemates, I got a bite on the available room from a woman who is a friend of a friend and sounds perfect. Please send good wishes for our conversation tomorrow night! The only thing that might get in the way is that her internship is in Oak.land, which is a 35-minute drive from here. It's right on the line of doable and inconvenient. I make the drive a couple times a week myself right now for client appointments but honestly, I'm hoping to get more clients closer to home so I can start using my new office and not drive so much.

My campaign to finally become a mom has stagnated so it could use some good wishes, too. I'm hoping and praying to get some donations this week, which is officially the last week. There is "extended time" on the site that I will likely use, but I guess I was over-ambitious with my goal. In my mind (the site won't let me actually change it), my goal is now half of what I started with - $3K vs $6K - but I'm currently just about one third of the way there. Honestly, I thought a few close family or friends of family would donate who haven't. But of course, I have to let go and trust that if it's meant to be, I will find a way forward. On the other hand, many SMCs have donated and shared my campaign, which feels so supportive and kind - thank you so much!

For those reading who have thought of donating but haven't had a chance yet, if you are feeling called today or you've been thinking of donating, will you consider making a donation today at a level with which you are comfortable? Or if you've been thinking of sharing the campaign, will you do so this week? I would really be grateful and any amount is welcome and feels so encouraging to receive. Thank-you! Here's the link to share: http://fnd.us/help_kristina_become_a_mom?ref=sh_42BUxc or you can share directly from the fundrazr site.

5/21/2016

Weekend Updates

Wanted to share an update after my dinner with S last night... In a nutshell, it was good but sad. We got into talking about some things about how things evolved in our relationship, even though the main focus was on what we want now and how we might be friends.

From what he said, it's clear that he was, from a fearful place, building a case against me (again), as he set up "tests" of sorts for me to prove myself. To some extent, I guess we all do that in relationships - try to figure out if the person is someone we could be with long-term and whether you are a good enough match to survive the challenges of life together.

The problem is, when you are "testing" someone, it changes the dynamic of the relationship and it gets in the way of love and intimacy. The other person - in this case me - will feel that they are being tested, will be able to sense an added urgency or behind-the-scenes agenda and will rebel or react in ways they would not have otherwise reacted.

Also, as S kept tally of these fears and worries about me, they accumulated into quite a list and ended up coloring any interaction we had with resentment. In a way, I feel really sad for him because he lived in this state, but I also feel angry because I experienced the pain of being on the other end of that behavior - wanting to connect and feel close as we had before but receiving judgment and anger instead. I know I have been guilty of fear or anxiety-based judgments, but I don't keep a tally or strategically test someone over time.

In any case, it seemed last night that, for what it's worth, he recognized the dysfunction in this behavior and was able to empathize with my side of it to some degree. We shared we both still care for each other and want to try to be friends, though it feels a bit tenuous or risky. It's worth it to try; at least I feel that way at this point. And the primary reason for our break-up is still our difference around wanting - or not wanting in his case - to become a parent, which feels like a very good reason that, in the end, makes this the right thing to do.

Going forward, I'm going to focus on what I want in my life, as a friend suggested in a comment on my last post, and that's finding a nice roommate, increasing my income via my business and part-time college counseling, and working on finances to move forward with the California Conceptions program to finally become a mom.

With regard to the latter, I wanted to share two more blog posts on my campaign that were recently posted by friends, Michaela and Jenny. Thank you both so much! If you write a blog and are willing to share my campaign or invite me to guest post, please let me know in comments or through the campaign page, and I'll follow up. I've been moved by recent donations by SMCs and friends from the blogging world - it means a lot coming from women who understand my experience. Will you consider making a donation at whatever level is comfortable or sharing my campaign in other ways? I'm hoping to raise $85 more before tomorrow to reach my $200 goal for this week. You can read about my long ttc journey in one of the blogs below...

A Single Journey: With a little help from my friends
Lambton Worm: Guest Blog - Kristina

I'm also planning to apply for a loan through my credit union in the near future and am in the process of applying for a grant. Hopefully, everything will come together and be enough to move forward in the fall, fingers crossed.

5/19/2016

All Over the Map

Feeling sad today. I think because it's the first relatively open day I've had to feel anything. So. much. change. I'm sad about my break up but also continuing to feel it was the right thing. Yet still it's a loss, and I miss him.

But honestly, as I think of it, I miss the good times, not so much how things moved back into feeling like I was constantly a bother to him. He never had time for me - no time to talk on the phone, no time to get together, no time to listen to my feelings. I know I played a role in creating that dynamic, but I know that part of it is just his personality. The way he is wired to deal with closeness and intimacy. Also, the way his mind creates reservoirs of resentment that wall his heart off to me.

I don't miss fighting to see him or connect with him, and I don't miss just plain fighting. I definitely have more mental and emotional space now, but I think I've been avoiding grieving. Maybe I've been in the stages of bargaining and denial. He helped me buy my car, which was a boyfriend thing to do. Now, we are talking over dinner tomorrow about closure - what does that look like? Can we be friends?

My thoughts are veering all over the map right now. At times - like last night after a couple glasses of wine - I think, well, maybe he could move in and we could be friends and housemates and support one another. Maybe even friends with benefits. Then I think, no way would that work, and it would be inviting more frustration and suffering. I was at least thinking - from a more level-headed place - we could remain friends and leave the door open a crack, maybe check back in on our relationship in a few months, when he is completely done with treatment (and hopefully I'm pregnant). I feel that if we close the door and completely break up, there is no going back.

But then, I remember how I have felt these last couple of months when things deteriorated again, and I know I don't want that energy or dynamic in my life. Every time we've been together, it's devolved into some version of that place. And I. don't. want. it. It's exhausting and sad and frustrating and draining. I want love - to give and receive it. I want a strong foundation of attraction that doesn't go away, even when we are frustrated with each other, at least not for very long. I want someone who likes my personality, brashness and all.

So, S doesn't want to leave the door open, and maybe I don't want to leave the door open, either. I do feel sad for the good times, the break-throughs, those moments of vulnerability and opening and feelings of I love you so much. We had a lot of those, too.

5/12/2016

Holding Up a Mirror

Another amazingly supportive post, this one from Laura at Our Surly Life. Reading it, I felt moved and really "seen," as well as a strong sense of belonging.

She also held up a mirror that I don't really think about that often - which is that I am the only one of my circle of mostly SMC bloggers to not yet have become a mom. I think part the explanation for that is that my blog is not just about ttc or becoming a mom, but also about relationship, career, self development, and just plain "life," and those are things we all share. But it's true that I have been "left behind" in that arena.

But honestly I haven't dwelt on it and have genuinely enjoyed hearing about their children and family developments. Sometimes the thought would cross my mind that I was learning from all their experiences and this would benefit me when I had a child.

In any case, I highly value this community of smart, courageous, and talented women and I'm grateful to be part of it! Thank you for your generous and compassionate post, Laura!

p.s. I went to doctor today my physical/check-up and also gave blood for a series of required tests for the program. :) Feels good to take steps forward. The bad news is that I gained more weight than I thought, and I need to lose 10 pounds to qualify for the refund. Argh

5/06/2016

TTC Story in Guest Blog on The Lambton Worm

In hopes of getting the word out about my campaign to become a mom, I shared a long version of my ttc journey as a Guest Blogger on Jenny's blog, "The Lambton Worm." Jenny is awesome and a dear friend in the blogging world. Please go visit and check it out! Here is an excerpt:

I always saw motherhood as part of my life and who I was meant to be. I dated a lot in my 20s and into my 30s, but most relationships ended after a few months. I’m one of those women who decided when I was in my mid 30s that it was time to stop looking at every guy I dated as a potential father and co-parent. I had lived with two men and I think marriage was possible with a couple (different ones than those I lived with, oddly!), but I wasn’t mature enough at the time. Later, it just seemed like I had trouble meeting guys...read more

5/01/2016

Good News and Bad News

These last few days have been full of good news and pretty darn bad news. The good news includes the success of my, "Career Exploration for Introverts," workshop on Friday, with seven attendees and four free half-hour career consultations scheduled. I will let you know how many new clients come out of the consults (I recently signed two new clients separately, as well!). I also learned a lot in this first round of offering this workshop, and I plan to continue refining and offering the content in the future. And the participants really connected with one another; so much so that I had to ask them to leave. For Introverts, as you might imagine, this is definitely unusual and a real accomplishment. :)

In other good news, my campaign to become a mother through California Conceptions just passed the $600 mark or 10% of the goal! I know a few folks who intend to make donations and a couple of them are close friends and family. If you would like to contribute, I would really be grateful. I am also offering "perks" of career counseling and/or resume review for various levels of contribution, which you can give to friends if you don't need it. If you write a blog and are willing to support me by posting about the campaign, that would be wonderful and sooo appreciated! If you contact me here or on my campaign page, I will gladly share a pre-written blog post that you could change and edit. Or you can introduce it however you like. I also am glad for all positive wishes!

I had fun and informative conversations with both the California Conceptions program coordinator and one of the doctors, and wanted to share a few interesting tidbits from those conversations:
  • They confirmed that they offer a refund if you don't achieve a successful pregnancy after three tries, assuming you meet the requirements of 28% BMI and a clear saline sonogram. I meet the weight requirement but am a little too close to the line for comfort, so plan to eat more carefully and continue exercising. I'll get the sonogram with them probably in a month or so.
  • My next steps - in addition to continuing to work on financing - are to get a physical and complete the list of blood tests. I can also move forward on seeing an approved therapist for one appointment to discuss the psychological/emotional aspects of donor embryos.
  • The doctor said there is a 65% chance of success each try, using one embryo, and 75% using two embryos. The chance of twins, while in a typical pregnancy is one in a thousand or so, with this process (due to using 5-day blastocysts) is 1 - 1.5% chance. So using two embryos, there is a 3% chance of having triplets. I think I got that right, but any math majors, please feel free to correct me! In any case, there is a much higher rate of multiples, which makes me reconsider my original intention to use two embryos each try. What would you do?
Last bit of good news...had a great "coaching circle" meet up with a few folks from my EOL program yesterday. A guy from the program developed this curriculum, so we are acting as guinea pigs but reaping the benefits of the Theory U material he is using and enjoying having a reunion with one another. We will meet two additional times virtually and possibly once more in person.

Ending with the bad news, which as I think about is actually good and bad news in itself. Good news is I'm alive. Bad news is that when I got my oil changed yesterday, the automotive place did not fasten my wonky hood correctly and it flew up on the freeway, shattering my windshield and blinding me for a few seconds. The policeman and tow truck operator both said I was very lucky, and that most people swerve or slam on the brakes when that happens. For whatever reason, I didn't do that, but instead kept driving praying I was in the lane, slowed down, realized I could peek through a crack where hood connects to the car and work my way over to the next lane and then onto the shoulder, at which point I burst into hysterical tears that lasted a good 10 minutes. It was pretty traumatizing - just the shock of it and knowing the danger. I was fortunate that the glass did not break out of the windshield frame, but instead cracked into thousands of pieces and send little shards of glass onto the seat and onto my clothing; the rear view mirror also flew off. I walked away unhurt. Thank God. I'm having the car towed from my house to a shop tomorrow and it looks like my insurance will cover most of repair, minus deductible, and give me a rent-a-car.

Thanks for hearing all my news. I hope your weekend had as much or more good, and way less bad than mine did!

p.s. I have had a couple positive conversations (all things considered) with S and will share about these in my next post...

4/21/2016

Significant Developments

This will be a very significant and eventful post for me. It may seem sudden, but what I've realized is that this suddenness is connected to the fact that I was waiting and feeling "on hold" for the last 7-8 months. Waiting for S and my relationship to progress. Waiting for him to come around and become clear on wanting to be a parent. Waiting for the worst of his treatments to be over and for him to be in a place where this could be a priority. And not only was I putting my dreams of motherhood on hold, but also my hopes for a deeper commitment.

After 3 years in relationship and 5 years since we first became romantically involved, I felt we knew each other well enough to move forward. At the beginning of this year, S asked me for patience around that. So I waited. Along the way, I felt him opening up and, if not yet embracing, becoming willing to accept becoming a parent with me. We had several talks, as I've mentioned on this blog; one in which we talked about whether we might go the donor embryo route or the donor egg route. I was surprised to hear he felt drawn to the donor egg route, if I was open to it.

All this to say, when we had our second big conversation about becoming parents last weekend, I anticipated us continuing to discuss options and process his concerns/fears about his age and about finances, but ultimately to get on the same page to work together towards a common goal or goals. What I was not expecting was for him to begin the conversation saying that he had come to a decision that he did not want to become a father again due to those concerns. That he had made up his mind. I later learned he had come to this decision over a month ago (!), which helps explain some of the dynamic and fighting between us during this time.

You might recall he has a history of making unilateral decisions and keeping secrets, then blindsiding me once he feels clear and has judged the time to be "right" to tell me. It has never gone well. When we had those processing conversations back when we ended our relationship the last time and when we got together again last August, we discussed that pattern and I asked him to be honest; to not keep secrets. I believe secrets are toxic.

In any case, last weekend when he said he was clear he did not want to be a father again, I was completely blindsided and went into shock and abandonment grief. It felt like a betrayal and that he was saying he did not want to be with me. Knowing how much this means to me and then to say he absolutely doesn't want it felt like he was breaking up. We parted ways pretty quickly after that without talking about it in more depth. We have exchanged a couple of emails and have plans to talk Friday or Saturday. I'm not sure if there is any way through for us. I am open to talking about but I can't imagine having a child and being with him but he not participating in caring for the child. And I don't intend to give up my dream.

So... fueled by the many months of waiting and re-committed to my dream - and also encouraged by several special online women friends who have been supportive through my many years of trying to have a child - I took some big steps this week, which include...
  • Updating my application for the California Conceptions donor embryo program, a program I had researched and considered three years or so ago.
  • Starting a fundrazr campaign to hopefully raise half the cost of the program - $6,000. 

My business has grown and it's likely I'll have counseling hours at a college again starting in May/June. I will know more about this next week and take further actions at that point. I'm also meeting with my bank to explore financing options. But both because I think I would likely only qualify for a few thousand and because I don't want to start a family too much in debt as a likely single mom, I am asking for support to cover some of the expense of the California Conceptions program.

I realize some of you reading this may not agree with this method of covering expenses, and I respect that...I ask that you also respect my decision. I have considered this carefully, and I feel in alignment with crowd funding as a partial support. In part, because I have supported others campaigns to help them achieve their sacred dreams, and I do feel this dream of mine is sacred. I've felt called to be a mom for over 10 years and spent time reflecting and researching and even taking steps back and not pursued it for some time while I looked at my motivations and healed from past hurts. I am a spiritual person and believe that God has guided me to become a mom; I feel it is part of my purpose and part of who I am.

Which leads me to a request. If you feel drawn to support my campaign, will you consider making a contribution and/or sharing my campaign with your circle of friends? I would be deeply grateful. If you don't feel comfortable with either of those actions, wishing me well is enough and also means a great deal. If you're still reading, thank you for hearing me. I will write updates on this blog as things progress.

With Gratitude,
Kristina