1.20.2016

AROUND. HERE. LATELY.


You guys. Mercury isn't in retrograde. I am in retrograde.

as is huck's latest hair cut. again.

The week before Christmas vacation, my laptop took a Sprite Zero swim.

That horrible feeling of second-hand angst right there? That is a sign you are human! Congratulations! Seven hundred dollars, it cost me! But let's not dwell on that! 

And then my grandma died.

And then, after my Instagram just stopped working for a week, a pregnancy test two-pack told me I was pregnant! Before very quickly changing its mind the following day and being like, Nah, just kidding. 

(Thanks for nothing, Clomid.) 

AND THEN MY TOILET WENT OUT OF COMMISSION.

Wait! This part is good. (Debatable.)

Apparently when our bathroom floor was built, like, in the dark ages, soooooomeone wasn't paying attention, because it has been leaking raw sewage since, well, maybe since foreverSince 1890 when the house was built? Generations of sewage. Up into our floors. And then under our feet. Errbody's poop. It's pretty well and disgusting. We noticed it just before Christmas, and by New Years when we were back from Portland the vinyl had bubbled up and the Odd Jobs handyman dude finally came by (in his multicolored, handprint-covered jalopy that I'm pretty sure might be a retrofitted ice cream truck, I sort of want to steal it) to rip up our floor and promptly lose the flange to our toilet, which apparently nobody sells here in Moscow? Because he was just like, "Oh well, I'll just come back tomorrow."

How hard is it really to find a decent flange around these parts? And I would like to spell it "phlange," please.  (Ph f sounds are where its AT!)

Brandon Holbrook was all like, "Hey! Maybe she'll get us a hotel room for the night where there's an indoor pool! Silver lining!"

Brandon Holbrook is a super optimist like that.

But no, we got a bucket. Yes, my story ends with a hole in the floor where the toilet used to be, and the clanging sound of a bucket banging to the floor in the middle of our living room while the landlady stood there, looking at me expectantly as though she had just brought me the kindest of gifts out of the goodness of her heart.

It was camouflaged, so that was cool. "HUNTER'S LOO," it read on the top. 

"What am I supposed to be doing with THAT!?" I asked as the reverberations of the handle clanged around in the empty toilet bucket.

"Well, in case you have to poop." Something like that.

(Huck used it. He reported it a pleasurable experience.)

The next morning, my iPhone woke up broken. Broke! Broke as a joke! Screen, completely glitched out! Some long-term water damage apparently decided to kick in and bust stuff randomly during the dumbest week ever, which was almost the cherry on the cake. Until! The bleeding started. That was the peak of it.

Oh I knew it was coming, and it wasn't all that terrible. But it was sad. In that dull way this time, where your wrinkled balloon is finally declared certifiably deflated in all the possible ways, but the worst of it is over and most of what you feel is relief. 

I cried until my face was wet while Brandon held my hand, and then I sat very still in my bed and I made my final What Comes Next decision. Thanks for nothing, Clomid. 

But I was ready for it. 

The night before, knowing what was coming, I had laid in my bed with my eyes shut tight, the poop bucket empty in the living room, and I had let myself hope. Big hope. I had let myself hope like crazy that my next test would come out positive. I mean, know what a positive result followed by a negative means, but I still went all the way with it. It was my last cycle on the Clomid. I was going to commit the cardinal sin and just get my hopes UP. You never know! Right? 

So it was going to be twins, I just knew it. I had ultrasounds and I picked out their names. I went maternity clothes shopping and I wondered which carseats to buy. I went on bedrest. They were born three weeks early. They got matching haircuts for their first day of school and they got really into horses and friendship bracelets in the middle of their fifth grade year. Lots of freckles, tea parties, and high school dances, all in my imagination, all by myself, between the hours of midnight and 1AM.

It was magical. 

And then I went through an entire box of extra super tampons in under two days. IMPRESSIVE! But like I said, I was ready for it.

Though for a minute there I was 26 again and working at the Schweitzer on the hill and wondering "what if this really doesn't happen for me?" until I snapped out of it and remembered, yeah, no. It did happen for me. And it was everything. I did it and I loved it and I don't need anything more. My job now is to move past the part where I need it to happen again and to exist instead in the place where I am grateful and I love it, I love everything about my life, just as though I had chose it for myself to begin with.

And oh, I can do that! I do that aaaaaall the time. Mercury ain't got nothing on me. I might be small. But I am scrappy.


In other news: Gra. Nny. Squares.


And trench coats! See? It's not been all bad, check out this London Fog I scored secondhand for fifteen dollars! 

But the point of this is here: When in doubt, try it with your bag on. Trrrrrust me. It clears up, like, EVERYTHING. All of life's problems can be solved with purses on in dressing rooms. 

(It also helps with making clothing purchasing decisions.)


I've also been so grateful this week for my girlfriends, who got appropriately excited for me when my pregnancy test was being nice and then appropriately ticked off for me when it turned out it to be an asshole instead. Thanks, sisters.

Oh ya gotta have friieeeeeeeeeends!


(Especially friends with daughters who'll sit on your lap after brunch and play with your hair and tell you it's soooooo puffy (highest of compliments for this perfect specimen of a 2-year-old).)

Well! That's all she wrote. And now I got the extreme pleasure of sitting on the floor with Huck while he transforms Chase from a police car into an autobot over. and over. and over. 

Counting myself pretty lucky for that one. :)

57 comments :

  1. What an expensive and positively shi-tae week. I'm sorry. I still want all the babies for you.

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  2. Natalie, I'm so sorry for all of your Clomid disappointments. Truly.

    Your account of the sewage and poop bucket had me in stitches, though! You are a very funny and talented writer.

    Again, so sorry. About the poop too. :) Lots of hugs to you.

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  3. Oh Natalie. I've never met you and probably never will (internet goodness or badness, whichever way you look at it) but my heart breaks for you. Prayers, well-wishes, all that good jazz headed your way. Hope things look up on your end soon. And good for you for keeping positive through it all! Can't be easy.

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  4. I'm so sorry. That cycle of emotions is so hard.

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  5. Hugs. Infertility bites. Clomid had nothing on my brand of infertility. Needed much bigger guns. (Insert image of Al Pacino from Scarface here)
    Glad to hear you have your husband and your girlfriends by your side to get you through the hard times.

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  6. I just can't. I love this so much in so many ways. The honesty. The way you can laugh (?) or at least poke a little fun of your misfortune.. I mean it kind of gets us through life to be able to laugh at our misfortunes right? I respect that. And I relate to you in so many ways with the kid thing. So different, but similar feelings. Stay scrappy. It looks good on ya. www.thismomsgonnasnap.com

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  7. Hugs and kisses to you, dear. You’re dealing with all of this like a boss, Xx

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  8. Hormones are hell and I don't blame you for quitting. I hope you'll consider other options if they're palatable to your checkbook and heart. I promise it's the child that matters, not the DNA. Donor eggs and adoption, my BFFs. But whatever you do or don't do I wish you so much happiness. When we have a dream it can feel strong and brave to let it go. But only your heart and time will tell you what's right in the end. So so so much love and support, from a very longtime reader. You're a warrior even when you don't feel like one.

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    1. ABSOLUTELY agree! that's why we've opted to stop with the treatments (before i give myself cancer!!!). there are so many other ways to build a family! once we're settled in all the way, we'll be able to start the adoption process. there's a holbrook still i need to bring home. you know?

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    2. I was adopted! At age six, actually. Every time I think about my adoptive family saving me from the situation I was born into, I am brought to tears just knowing that people loved me enough to choose me even though they didn't give birth to me. If you ever want to discuss anything from the perspective of an adoptee, don't hesitate to email!

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    3. So so glad to read this! I'm so happy for you. Best of luck!! I'm also adopted myself and love seeing how it's turned into something not just normal but celebrated! My daughter is my first baby and my first blood relative - it adds a little spark of magic that only adoptees get to experience :) lil fringe benefit don't mind my bragging :)

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  9. Sh*t happens, right!? I really find your perspective admirable and I'm sorry that you're dealing with troubles big and small.
    I'm sitting here thinking that you just never know what life will bring to you next! If you're grateful and you love life, I'd say THAT's the cherry on the cake. Wishing you all the best.

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  10. I am so sorry for you. That is just the pits. Maybe your poop bucket was a figurative to your whole week and the clomid that wasn't. Because well.. shit.
    What's really terrible is that you have tried everything (as you've said) and if so, not even diet change for insulin resistance and supplements can't kickstart the crap out of you LPD. YUCK! Bodies can be stupid as hell sometimes and it isn't fair. I hope you can find something that works for you and that you are able to heal. Just remember, there's more than one way to have a bouncing babe!
    You've got a pretty killer one by your side already too. and chickens!

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  11. What a shitty week. Infertility blows. There isn't any other way to look at it.

    I hope you get something even better than an indoor pool...maybe even time on an actual beach.

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  12. These are not fun times. I remember those days of dreaming between 12 and 1 am hoping beyond all hope the pregnancy test was wrong. I tried Chlomid and didn't have success either. The hormonal swings were awful on top of how disappointing it was. We finally went the route of IVF and couldnt be happier with the results. Our baby girl was born 3 weeks ago. I hope your family will grow how ever that may look as you have a big heart.

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  13. I adore you. That is all.

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  14. Dear Natalie: I just love you. Laughed and teared up a little for you over this one.

    And who brings their rentees a "hunter's loo"?! YIKES.

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  15. I am so sorry about your pregnancy loss.

    We have one child - my heart condition worsened after we had him and we had to take the tough call not to have a second. So I understand what it feels like to grieve the idea of a second child, even if my circumstances are different. I found it very helpful to consider my friend who was unable to have a child even with IVF - how could I moan about not having two children when I had a perfect, healthy, adorable little boy snuggled in my arms? It took time to come to terms with it, and there's nothing wrong with grieving the idea you had of what it should look like, but when you're able to be wholeheartedly grateful for what you have instead of what you don't have, it's a really wonderful peace. I know you'll get there. In the meantime, many hugs.

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  16. I recently gave up on a five year infertility saga and your little paragraph about all the dreams in between 12 and 1 am made me bawl. I wish the best for you and your family.

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  17. Sending lots of extra love. Thank you for sharing the good and the bad with us.

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  18. Long time reader...I cried and laughed and cried while reading this. So sorry for your literally crappy week but thank you for doing such a good job of writing about it. P.S after reading this I looked down and my daughter was playing with her chase rescuebot! Does your son have the high tide boat? It's pretty amazing...I found myself playing with it the other day...alone. It has lots of compartments. I love compartments! Jamie @ www.hayesamaze.squarespace.com

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  19. Aw. I'm sorry! Cheer up, friend. I desperately wanted two children. My first was a brutal traumatic childbirth, though. For the first year, I was so angry that my ability to choose to have another child was taken away from me by the actions of negligent hospital staff. But it has gotten better with time. I'm less angry now, and trying to focus on all the wonderful things I can give my only child now and in the future. Nature permitted us one. We lost a battle, but we won some too. Families are hard because we can't just choose for ourselves what ours will look like. Some women appear to do that, but everyone's choices are limited by what partners and nature permits. You are not alone!

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  20. I've been wondering about you! I'm so sorry Natalie. :( It just doesn't make sense and I wish I could figure it out. You have a beautiful perspective, one I could use.

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  21. That is total shit. I'm sorry your electronics deserted you and the toilet failed and the Clomid didn't do it's job. I'm sorry you had to get your hopes up only to have them dashed. And I'm sorry you got to the point where you closed that door. I've closed and reopened that door more times than I can count, and isn't easy either direction. I'm glad that you have Huck though, and Brandon, and the wonderful life that is all yours.

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  22. Oh this was just...everything I love about my loyal visits into this space. Just when life feels like you're "in the depths of despair", "a perfect graveyard of buried hopes"...you remind us that "life is worth living as long as there is a laugh in it". For what it's worth, I'm going to keep imagining big things for you...because "when you are imagining, you might as imagine something worthwhile."

    How's that for a serious Anne of Green Gables scripture study session? Datz right. Sending every ounce of peace and love and good imagination your way! Thank you for sharing your beautiful mind with us.

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  23. What. The hell. Is wrong with your landlady.


    What a harrowing few weeks you've had. I'm really sorry. It sounds like you've found a lot of clarity from the situation though. I hope that you can find another way to fulfill your capacity to love a child. There are so many in the world who would be so lucky to have you as their mum.

    All the best xx

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  24. Hugs and positive vibes to you, Natalie!

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  25. I'm sorry about the false-start. I have been wondering about this part of your life, and feeling disappointed and at the same time hopeful every post that goes by without an update. I am in the middle of daily injections, trying my hardest to stay positive and realistic about it... and when I read about your experiences, it makes me feel like SOMEONE GETS IT.

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  26. All of this is beautiful and heartbreaking and devastating and funny as hell- if that's possible. I'm really sorry and that just sucks. Like Alice before me- sending positive vibes your way and may you have a gorgeous bathroom with a functioning toilet in the near future.

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  27. I really love finding post like this, that are so honest and raw about the really crappy things in life. Thank you for that. So many good vibes and prayers your way.

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  28. Five days after moving into my our first apartment with my now husband, we ahd a very similar poop in the floorboards situation. It got in our closet (we were in a basement apartment) and ruined my new big girl work clothes. It was AWFUL-I totally feel your pain, I'm sorry. And about the baby stuff..geeze. So sorry. Sending you a million internet hugs on your new journey!

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  29. Sorry about your shit week. The good news is it will probably get better, seeing as how it's unlikely to get much worse. Thanks for sharing the good and the bad.

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  30. I am so, so very sorry your pregnancy lasted only a little bit. I had one of those two (and second IVF twins!) so I know how devastating it is.

    XXXX from South Africa

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  31. ♥ so sorry about all of that :( i wish sometimes that we would have adopted after we weren't able to have any more than our crazy amazing daughter. she says she doesn't want a younger sibling, but does wish she had a big brother. her dad and i have a running joke that one may come forward yet, haha

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  32. I'm hurting for you. And hopefully for you, in the long term, for the fullness and happiness of your life :)

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  33. so sorry to hear this Nat, I really am, it will happen for you one day:) xxxxxxxxx

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  34. Oh Natalie.. I feel you, girl! Beautiful writing! petiteandprim.com

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  35. I hav never commented here but I just wanted to say that I love your writing, I love this space, and I am so sorry for the painful week you have had. You seem like a wonderful mother and Huck is a very lucky boy. I hope that you get a chance to do it with as many children as your dreams desired. - N

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  36. Thanks for this post. I'm in the same boat, but we're not going to sink!

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  37. Cried my eyes out at this. Miscarried 5 months ago and still hoping for Little #1. I've read and reread your journey with infertility and it always gives me hope. I especially love reading your old posts, right before you got pregnant with Huck. Much love to you and hope to your heart.

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  38. I love your honesty in these posts.
    That was truly a shit week. There's no other way to say it. But you always manage to come out the other side, radiating positivity. I massively respect you for that.
    Keep being awesome.

    Lou
    naturallybeige.com
    xx

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  39. I'm sorry. That's awful.

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  40. Damn. The poop and then the poop. Ever so grateful for your perspective and candidness, as always. Please keep sharing as long as it feels good for you. Cheers to what's next!

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  41. Oh girl, I'm so sorry. It's beautiful how you can write sadness into lovely reflection. Sending hugs.

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  42. So, can we talk about that photo of Henry with the shopping cart vs. the photo of him with the grocery basket when he was a chuuuuubby babe? He's grown up into a handsome little fellow.

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  43. I love your honesty. I know i don't know all the details , but i went through that clomid rollercoaster as well. My first son came so easy. But,4 years pf trying again and a shit ton of tears and clomid later, i had this same experience. your words brought back that night in bed, dreams dashed. I am sorry this happened, and i hope so much brighter days are near.

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  44. You are a wonderful mama (and a heartwrenchingly good writer, sob) Natalie and you deserve all the babies, they're just going to come to you in a different way now. Your loyal readers will be here loving you and wishing you well all the way xxx

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  45. I love your heart and your humor, friend that I don't actually know. I know the heartache of hoping every single month. And that ache that comes when your cycle starts. I am sorry, my friend.

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  46. I love your heart and your humor, friend that I don't actually know. I know the heartache of hoping every single month. And that ache that comes when your cycle starts. I am sorry, my friend.

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  47. I love your heart and your humor, friend that I don't actually know. I know the heartache of hoping every single month. And that ache that comes when your cycle starts. I am sorry, my friend.

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  48. Oh girl. My heart is breaking for you. You are the best of mothers, and infertility really sucks balls.

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  49. where is your bag from?

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