Tuesday, June 30, 2009


In all this baby planning, I am assuming that I will be able to get pregnant within a few months of trying. I know that that is not necessarily going to be the case.

I have several factors in my favor — I'm 25, in good health, and my mother is a champ at the whole pregnancy and childbirth thing (5 kids, 5 no-med births). Still, there's no guarantee that I'll be able to conceive at the drop of a hat. I've read enough blogs by hopeful women who have been frustrated by their inability to conceive or a carry a child to term to know that the road is not always smooth.

My parents have one sister and one brother apiece. Both of my aunts had devastating infertility issues. After years of disappointment and commiseration, Aunt M, Aunt D, and their husbands decided to adopt. Both couples met with an agency in South America and were matched with children: Aunt M with a baby girl, Aunt D with two siblings — a baby and a toddler.

Aunt M and Uncle R went through with the adoption and brought home my cousin. Two years later, *surprise* Aunt M was pregnant and had a second daughter. It's always been a point of humor in our family — Aunt M's first daughter fits right in with our short, dark, Italian family looks-wise, while her little sister takes after her tall, blond, blue-eyed dad. Aunt M revels in her daughters and Uncle R is the ultimate soccer dad. They are supremely happy, but they didn't get there easily.

Aunt D and Uncle J backed out at the last moment. I was a child at the time, but I've heard that his family disapproved of adoption in general and of adopting Latino children in particular. Their story has not been so happy.

I try to think happy thoughts and plan for an easy conception and a healthy child. I plan for the best, but I really have all my fingers and toes crossed. If I were a praying person, I'd pray.

One thing I must say: If FB and I turn out to be infertile, I'll be pissed off that I took the Pill all those years.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I come from a big family. Not converted-schoolbus-for-trips-to-the-grocery-store big, but larger than normal: two parents, five kids, and a substantial menagerie.

I'm the first-born of five siblings:
  • me, age 25
  • brother BJ, age 23
  • brother G, age 20
  • brother W, age 17
  • sister B, age 13
I always loved being part of a large family because our house was always humming with activity and no one ever lacked for playmates, sparring partners, or rides to school. We never had any money, but I didn't really realize I was missing out on anything. Besides, I always had a baby to play with or a younger sibling who wanted a Harry Potter book read aloud, so I was perfectly happy.

As I take my first steps toward starting my own family, I wonder whether I will be able to give them the sibling experience I had. I've always assumed that I'd have at least three children, but that was before I contemplated the reality of having to balance pregnancies with work and caring for more than one child at a time. I'm looking forward to a first pregnancy, but how do you do it when you're juggling a two-year-old and a kindergartener? Maybe there's a reason why BJ and I were born almost exactly two years apart, but the gap widened with each subsequent sibling . . .

In any event, Snapdragon will be our eldest child. Not only that — s/he will be the first grandchild on both sides of the family. I do feel a little bad about trying to bring a baby into a babyless family. Barring a catastrophic failure of latex, little Snapdragon will not have any cousins anytime soon. I'll just have to hope that the adoring attentions of a phalanx of adults will fill that void.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Two Packs Left

I am not pregnant.

I have been on the Pill since I was 18 years old — seven full years this summer. I have two packs left, which will carry me through August and then . . .

I don't know how my body will react to the sudden withdrawal of its beloved hormone candies, but I can guess. The Pill has lessened my cramps, bleeding, headaches, and many of the other joys of female biology, so I can only assume that they will return in full force when I am Pill-less.

Of course, my goal in ceasing this hormone regimen is the ultimate in biological adventures. I understand that pregnant women look back on their pre-Pill cramps with fondness.

Two more packs and then,

the adventure.

Why Snapdragon?

A few years ago, FB and I discussed the relative merits of flower names over frozen yogurt outside of Willow Street Pizza. Rose was too Golden Girls, Lily too common, Iris too punk.

As we widened the scope of discussion — Dahlia? Lavender? Pansy? — we dissolved into giggles and one-upmanship. From the plausible (Azalea, Zinnia) to the unwieldy (Chrysanthemum, Rhododendron) to the ridiculous (Venus Flytrap, Tuberose), we spiraled out of control until I choked out, "Snapdragon."

Have you ever had frozen yogurt shoot out of your nose?

From then on, our hypothetical future child has always been called Snapdragon. S/he can only hope that our enthusiasm for the name wanes sometime before we sign her/his birth certificate.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009