My Bump Turned Me Into A Bro

Lately when I get home from the gym, I take off my shirt and stand in front of the mirror like a meathead.

I even take pictures! I get every angle, multiple times, and almost text them to people before the better part of me realizes that is not a thing I will want to have done.

I can’t exactly pinpoint my motivation. Maybe shock or awe? Maybe I am simply still looking for evidence, photographic proof that this is impressive midsection is really mine. What I know is that I certainly did not take sports bra selfies when my stomach was flat. What I did not expect was to like my body more now than then.

It’s such a complicated relationship, this one with my body, but I have been a girl long enough to know not to take this feeling for granted. The plain truth is I like my body right now. It took a lot of work to look like this.

And so night after night I pull off my tank and try different angles and take mirror selfies like the bro I now am.

Some (Possibly Irrational) Fears About Moving To Utah

  • Lack of quality sushi (I don’t remember the last time I ate sushi)

  • People calling it “Cali”

  • I’ve sort of wanted to dye my hair super blond again but now I can’t because practically everyone is fake blond there and I can’t be another fake blond

  • The obnoxious contrarianism that bubbles up in me whenever I am in Utah (see previous bullet)

  • I’ve been so much thinner since I moved away. Will my face get chubby again? Is it Mom’s dinner rolls?

  • Snow in April I mean really

  • Running into people I kind of know and having to decide whether to say hello or not

  • What if my Bishop supports Donald Trump?

  • The Real Housewives of Draper (I don’t totally know what I mean here but you know what I mean, right?)

  • Only one freeway!

  • Having to explain why we don’t have kids. Not that people ask, but they always want to know.

Apologies To Mother Earth

I feel sad this Earth Day to realize how much landfill space my infertility has taken up.

So many syringes and needles, the sharps containers I have to throw them all away in, not to mention the pill bottles or the plastic bubble wrap in the much-too-big cardboard box that doesn’t fit in our recycling bin. I’ve found myself wishing for a more sustainable option, and yet can see that when it comes to needles, recycling is not exactly advisable.

It simply seems wrong that my journey to become a mother should come at the detriment of Mother Earth, does it not?

I’ve wondered whether there is some more eco-friendly version of infertility treatment. What is the Diva Cup of the barren? I didn’t even look into whether such an option existed, I suppose because I did not anticipate so many needles. Bags and bags and bags of them, even though I tell the pharmacy each time to hold the syringes! I don’t know what I will do with them when it’s all done. Can you not even recycle unused syringes?

For now, I offer a sincere apology to Mother Earth: I did not know my quest would jeopardize yours. I promise my kids will recycle.

The Dreaded Endoscratch

There is actually a part of infertility treatments that is called “the endoscratch.”

Do you know what I picture when I hear that word? A talon-like fingernail, one that might belong to a Disney villain. The flesh is purple, the fingernail is neon green. It reaches up into the depths of me and HEEECH! I am scratched! 

Honestly who can I talk to about rebranding this industry?

The Waiting Room Music

I hear it everywhere I go now, so many times have I sat in that room.

It’s always the same song — calming guitar strums on loop, over and over, so calming and so over-and-over I find myself wanting to scream.

It’s just, could they not get a couple more tracks? Did they not realize how repeatedly most of us would be visiting this office?

At home, at the grocery store, during yoga, in church - I hear the waiting room music everywhere I go and it makes me want to scream.

14 Questions I Now Know To Ask When Apartment Hunting In California

I sincerely mean this to be a helpful and practical guide for those in need.

  1. Is the refrigerator included?

  2. Is there a dishwasher? (sometimes you assume, and then move in, and then there isn’t)

  3. Are there ceiling lights? (sometimes you assume, and then have to live in semi-darkness)

  4. Is the water pressure in the shower akin to someone gently pouring a cup of water onto my head?

  5. At night, will there be a street light that shines directly in our bedroom window?

  6. How much does a load of laundry cost?

  7. Has someone died in this apartment?

  8. What, exactly, is a flour beetle?

    8a: And also a silverfish?

  9. Are there rabid raccoons that like to brawl outside my window at night?

  10. How many minutes will it take to walk from our parking spot to my door?

  11. Will the pool be under construction for the duration of my stay here?

  12. Has anyone burned down one of the buildings because they were growing marijuana?

  13. Are there plans to cut down all the surrounding trees so it becomes scorchingly hot during the afternoons?

  14. Are there plans to suddenly sell the unit so we have to move?

    We moved this weekend because of number 14. I’m really sad about it. Think I’ll dump some flour beetles in our final rent check.

Insane In The Brain

A thought I’ve been having lately that is probably obvious but feels important is that sometimes you like people who turn out to be insane.

What I mean by insane is likely a very incorrect usage, i.e. that their opinions on religion or politics are horribly wrong.

You know the moment — there’s that new acquaintance from work or church who you friended online and it was all going well until that one post that was like WHOAH, so I guess they’re insane. Huh. Didn’t expect that.

I think what I do after discovering the insanity is important. Whether from now on each time I encounter them I’m like, “Oh hey John (YOU’RE INSANE) how did your Tough Mudder go?” And then walk away mentally mumbling about people like John. Or if I’m like, “Blah blah how was the Tough Mudder, oh and remind me where are you from? Huh, what was it like growing up there?”

It sounds obvious, but I guess I’ve realized how bad I am at doing it, and how much easier it is to simply write John off as being nuts. It sounds obvious but I think it’s important, like I think maybe the fate of the world depends on it.

Maybe it’s simpler than we thought, and the fate of the world really just depends on being friends with people who are insane?

In Vain

It is ugly but true that in my lowest moments of infertility I’ve said to myself, well at least my body still looks good.

(Whatever that means.)

Vanity allows me to take comfort there, but its solace is in vain, as ideally the thing I want to happen will negate the very thing I comfort myself with now.

It is an impossible paradigm I’ve set up for myself, but hasn’t it always felt impossible to be a woman?

The Days Are Accomplished

It is odd timing, but we’re reading about pregnant Mary in church this week. Every time I read her story, I always stick on that phrase: “the days were accomplished.” I’m sure this wording is merely a product of many translations, but it always makes me laugh a little, because it seems like the opposite of “time flies.”

I like imagining Mary dictating the passage, riding on her awful donkey through hot dusty streets. I like imagining her refusing to write how everything was great! Or that things were moving right along! “The days were accomplished” sounds as though she felt the full measure of every tedious minute. I like imagining that she wanted us to know it.

Without presuming to equate myself with the Mother of God, I do relate to this tedious passage of time. Because there is no fast-forwarding my fertility journey. Sure, I can decide whether to do more treatments or not. I can do things, or not, that may someday result in pregnancy. But the time will not fly.

The tests will be taken. The cycles will come to pass. The days will be accomplished, and I will feel the full measure of every one.

Side-eye Mary is my favorite Mary.

Side-eye Mary is my favorite Mary.


The last year has taught me so much about pain, specifically my own expectations that pain should be neat and tidy. I want pain to come like a runner’s hurdles — a clear challenge I can see coming, then jump over with a big push and go sprinting off into flat ground.

The last year has shown me the many ways pain can twist. There has been disagreement that won’t resolve. Death I can’t mourn. Life I can’t celebrate. It has not been the pain of clean cuts but of rug burns, angry and stinging and all the more confusing because there isn’t even any blood.

As it turns out, pain is less like a hurdle and more that TV show Wipeout. And my only hope now is to gird myself with the foam helmet of God and the thick life vest of yoga as I go, not sprinting elegantly over my trials, but stumbling from gauntlet to gauntlet.

I am aware you know what hurdles look like. I included this image because it makes me laugh so much.

I am aware you know what hurdles look like. I included this image because it makes me laugh so much.

Dumb Christmas Cards

One night mid-December Scott walked in the kitchen to find me shakily magnet-ing Christmas Cards onto the fridge, a single tear shining down my cheek. “Are you…ok?” he asked. I was not. People were too happy in their dumb Christmas cards.

He looked down at the stack waiting on the counter, thumbing through them to find the sadness perhaps only the two of us could see in so many smiling children. And then he threw them in the trash.

But! I protested. Those are our people! They belong on our fridge!

Except they really don’t, not this year.

It’s funny because I’m the one doing all the yoga, the one teaching yoga and telling my classes to “let go of what doesn’t serve them.” I’d even gone through the internal debate as I opened each festive envelope, surprised as each drew me closer to tears, thinking, should I stop opening these?

But of course I didn’t. Instead I decided to give them a permanent spot on the fridge, where they could make me miserable breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

It’s just that I’ve loved this tradition since I was a little girl, when Mom would tape our massive pile of Christmas Cards on the side wall of our kitchen, filling it top to bottom. I have loved hearing from friends since I’ve moved away, seeing their families grow.

I’ve always loved Christmas Cards, but they no longer serve me.

Thanks to Scott, they’re in the trash.

Donald Trump Stole My Baby

I recently realized I’ve been attempting to conceive for almost the exact period of time you-know-who has been on the political scene, and suddenly it all makes sense. Suddenly the anger fades, replaced by a calm glow of understanding.

I’m not being punished, or having my patience tried; I may not even have anything physiologically wrong with me. Maybe my baby is simply looking down from whatever cosmic cloud he/she inhabits and is like, “yeah, no.”

Body Confidence

For a long time I struggled with body confidence because I was basing it on what my body looked like, and my body did not look like I perceived it should.

When I got into yoga, I switched metrics and started basing confidence on what my body could do. I'm not talking about handstands (still can't do those) but more the feeling of growth, and knowing my body is stronger today than it was yesterday. It felt healthy to base my relationship with my body on what it was capable of rather than what it looked like.

But now my body is incapable. It's not doing the thing it is supposed to be doing, the thing a female body is uniquely designed to do, and I'm back to not knowing how to feel about my body, or even how to measure how to feel about it.

A little voice in me says, "be grateful for your body! that it even breathes is a miracle!" This voice has a good point, and I would like to be convinced by it. But a much louder voice tells me my body is a thing to be measured, and in so many ways measuring is easier because it is tangible. Numbers and sizes and poses are facts. A pregnant body is pretty hard to miss. But grace and gratitude are intangible and I have never known how to see them as being as important as numbers or facts.