Saturday night, G and I went to see The Bourne Ultimatum, which was amazingly entertaining, if terrifying–it really highlighted the ability of the powers-that-be to track our every move, via increasingly ubiquitous public surveillance cameras, as well as ever-improving technologies for tapping our cell phone calls and email messages. Scary. Maybe that wasn’t the message I was supposed to get from the film, but it’s certainly what I noticed most. Well, that and the little mole above Matt Damon’s lip that stands out when he is looking particularly serious and emotionally tortured, as he did most of the movie. Mmm.

Ahem. Sorry, I may have drifted off there for a minute. I’m not even a Matt Damon “fan” like that, at all, but something about that controlled-yet-vulnerable Jason Bourne character really gets me going. How COMPLETELY embarrassing.

Of course, the actual point of bringing up Bourne was just to say that the 8:30 show we’d planned to see was sold out, so we had some time to kill until the 10:15 show–part of which we spent in good old corporate book giant Barnes & Noble.

While in B&N, this book caught my eye. For some reason, it was displayed on one of those tables near the entrance, where the New Fiction and New Non-Fiction, or the seasonal table displays (“Back to School” or “Mother’s Day is May 15”) usually are. Although I can’t imagine why it was there, this particular table display was all about New Age philosophy–I recall seeing a couple of books on Tarot, some on meditation and visualization, including a reissue of a favorite of mine from college, Shakti Gawain‘s Creative Visualization, and even the downright ancient classic Think and Grow Rich on one corner of the table. Maybe August is kooky hippie month.

I was big on New Age stuff when I was younger, but for a number of reasons have drifted away from conscious practice of it in the past six or seven years. Something about the Hicks book stood out to me, though, and I was moved to pick it up and flip through it. One of the first passages I read was this one:

We would describe the sensation of desire as the delicious awareness of new possibilities. Desire is a fresh, free feeling of anticipating wonderful expansion. The feeling of desire is truly the feeling of life flowing through you. But many people, while they are using the word desire, feel something quite different. Desire, for them, often feels like yearning, for while they are focused upon something that they want to experience or have, they are equally aware of its absence. And so, while they are using words of desire, they are offering a vibration of lack. They come to think that the feeling of desire is like wanting something that they do not have. But there is no feeling of lack in pure desire.

Now, I don’t think I have to tell you what this got me thinking about. I can’t remember clearly what my feelings about having children were when G and I started TTC in October of 2006, but I do know that as time passed and we didn’t succeed in our efforts, I definitely began focusing on NOT being pregnant, and on what we didn’t have–namely, a healthy embryo growing inside of me, on its way to becoming a child of our own.

As I continued to think about this, I even realized that I recently had stopped believing that pregnancy is in my future–every time I would fantasize about, say, getting a positive pee stick, a voice in my head would remind me not to go too far, would state almost audibly that “this really may never happen for you.” Seeing a visibly pregnant woman wasn’t an opportunity to remind myself “that’ll be me soon!” so much as it was a chance to feel frustrated, by focusing on the fact that I wasn’t there yet and might never be.

So I tried an experiment, standing there in B&N–I tried to imagine myself pregnant. Not just pregnant, but very pregnant, about to pop. I even tried to imagine going through the pain of childbirth, and the exhilaration of meeting our child for the first time. Further, I attempted to think of that imagined pregnant self as someone I genuinely expected to become, rather than someone I feared was not in my future.

I was surprised to find that this little bit of visualization felt not only refreshingly new (obviously I’d never let my mind go there before) but incredibly joyous and peaceful. It made me smile! At the movies, later, when I saw the inevitable baby bumps on women in line with us, I tried again, this time to think along the lines of, “wow, I wonder what I’ll look like when I’m that far along?” and “I’ll definitely be bigger than that when it’s my turn”–and again, I felt a thousand times better than I normally do when I see pregnant women and look away in envy.

Believe me, I know it’s completely Stuart Smalley of me to stop and read this book–especially since I eventually decided to buy it–but something in what I read in the store rang true, at least for me. I guess I haven’t entirely grown out of my attachment to New Age philosophy.

Of course, who knows whether changing my thinking to focus on expectation and anticipation rather than lack will have any effect on my fertility, but it seems like a worthwhile thing to try, given how much happier even the most basic experiments in it have made me feel. Since I seem to have never stopped believing that “thoughts are things,” I might as well start thinking something good.

Finally, seeing red.

July 10, 2007

After another 48 hours of zero period signs, not even spotting, I am thrilled to report that some very light bleeding has started, accompanied by what are very obviously menstrual cramps. Since I already went through my crushingly disappointed phase on Sunday, I’m just relieved that my period has finally deigned to show up. My worst nightmare would be full-on bleeding while we’re on vacation next week. But I should be almost finished by the time we leave for Cape Cod on Sunday. Whew.

In other news, we went to see Transformers yesterday, which means I could finally read this blog entry, one I stumbled upon during recent efforts to go from totally clueless to very marginally literate in the wide world of blogging. As you may have noticed, this blog currently has no blogroll, no list of blogs that I read, because until I got the bright idea to start my own blog, I wasn’t much of a blog reader. This is pretty lame of me, yes, and I have no real excuse, as any time I’d stumbled on or been directed to a blog I found it pretty interesting. But I wasn’t versed in the whole process of subscribing, keeping up with new posts, leaving comments, etc. So lately I have been spending long hours of each day trying to catch up on Every Blog in Existence. Well, okay, every infertility-, academia-, or blackness-related blog in existence, since those are my main life issues these days.

It’s slow going, as you may expect–and all I can say is, it’s a good thing I discovered the blogosphere after tenure.

ANYWAY. So, Transformers. I thought the post over at the ABW’s site was incredibly smart, and I don’t have much to add in terms of actual critique. But I do need to say one thing: I left that film feeling so, so… OLD. Sure, most big budget Hollywood blockbuster movies are made for teenage boys. But maybe 17-19 year old boys–boys who can drive, whose voices have changed, who have probably had sex at least once with someone other than themselves. This one seemed written for 12 or 13 year olds, max. If you’re over 30, I’d suggest you go see the new Die Hard instead.

On to the “infertility” portion of this post: we went to see Transformers with a dear, dear friend–G’s best friend N, a guy that I really do adore. N married us. He has so, so many endearing qualities, really. He also has no kids, and has never tried to make a baby with anyone, including his now ex-wife. (You can see where this is going, right?) N knows we’ve been trying, has heard us express how much it sucks. His advice has always been, “well, just keep fucking–gotta work sometime, right?” True enough, unless of course fucking actually doesn’t work for us. Which it hasn’t so far. (And PLEASE, N and everyone else, stop saying things like “must be fun to try!” to me. This is how I can spot the People Who’ve Never Tried to Make a Baby at fifty paces–there is NOTHING fun about sex on a schedule, but only those who’ve never tried it are likely to think there is.)

But maybe there’s a reason people like N think baby-making sex is easy and “fun”–they don’t even know how it works! Yesterday after N’s most recent assertion of “just keep (having fun) fucking,” I grumbled something about how that window had closed a couple of weeks ago, and he totally didn’t get it:

Me: You know there’s only like 24 hours every month when a woman can actually get pregnant, right? [not technically true, as an egg can sometimes live for up to 48 hours, but close enough since most sources say 12-24 hours.]

N: [sure I am kidding] What? 24 hours? Getouttahere!

Me: [patiently] The egg only lives 24 hours max after it’s released, that’s why the sperm is supposed to be waiting in there already… [trails off in face of blank/incredulous stare]

N: [uncomfortable silence, then brightens.] Look, I say Just Keep Fucking!

Me: [bangs head on table]

See what I am working with? Yeah, there are plenty of people out there who figure, ANY time you have sex you could get pregnant. For folks like this, the whole process of the menstrual cycle, of ovulation, of (literally) how babies are made, remains a magical mystery. P.S., this guy is forty years old, and has an elite Northeast college degree.

Still, I wonder whether we would be pregnant by now if I were so woefully unaware of the workings of my own body. Maybe ignorance IS bliss. Of course, it’s too late for us, but to any people out there just starting the TTC process, I recommend avoiding the internet and anything written by Toni Weschler. Babies come from the stork, and that’s all the information you need. Well, that and Just Keep… you know.