Monday, September 29, 2014

To the lady in the white Kia SUV

Venetian Red Subaru Outback
"Venetian Red Pearl"
Heather got a new car a few weeks ago, a Subaru Outback that fulfills her need for bells & whistles from the inside but acknowledges its practicality on the outside.  Ladies and gentlemen, Heather has a mom car.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


When I first started hanging out seriously with Heather, I'd look at her out of the corner of my eye sometimes while we were watching TV, or shiver when we snuggled.  I couldn't believe that I got to be with this fantastic person and that she had picked me to do it.  I felt lucky to be with her and amazed that she wanted me around.

She's a f*cking catch, you guys.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Check out my new post with the Rookie Moms about Mommy & Me yoga!

I've written up a witty, glamorous, whimsical little piece on my unprofessional attempts at Mommy & Baby yoga for the ladies at Rookie Moms.  This is #7 in their Rookie Moms Challenge series, and I've got big hopes for future challenges and posts.

If nothing else, head over to the Rookie Moms site to see Evie on her adorable yoga mat.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Village of Obnoxious Drunks and Foot-Grabbers: Addendum

If you haven't heard about Ray Rice, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, feeling the belated consequences of punching his wife in the face so hard that she passed out and had to be ignominiously dragged from an elevator by her assailant-- well, that's the gist of it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

It Takes A Village: Of Obnoxious Drunks and Foot-Grabbers

Baby Bjorn carrier
Evie crotch-dangling in her Baby Bjorn carrier
If you're not intimately acquainted with baby gear and baby-wearing, you may not be familiar with the controversy over "crotch-dangling" carriers and "frog-legged" carriers. What both types share is the dangerous exposure of baby arms and legs to the grubby hands of anyone who wants a baby fix.

Back the fuck off, you guys.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Post-Natal Nihilism: The Liberation of Motherhood

Today I went through the drive-through at a nearby frozen-custard spot twice within a half-hour.

I say that not just to brag-- although, yes, I'm kind of a baller-- or to point out how good frozen custard really is.  I say that because I live in the fire now; the earth is my frying pan.

Friday, July 25, 2014

5 Reasons You Need a Postpartum Doula

Doula Beth with Baby Evie
Even after just three months of parenting, I kick myself all the time for doing or not doing XYZ over those few months.

"I should have gotten a co-sleeper,"

"I should have swaddled her more tightly,"

"I should have been more assertive with baby-wearing," ad infinitum. 

Those, though, are accessories: they might have helped, or they might not.  Maybe Evie wouldn't have been any more comfortable in a co-sleeper than she was in that damn bassinet.  It could go either way.  What I'm sure I should have done, though, is keep our postpartum doula on the premises at all times.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Breastfeeding Sucks: Latch, Milk Supply, Bottles, and Other Crap

Idealized fucking breast-feeding
 One of my favorite parenting resources online is Kellymom.  I've stopped reading it.

My last post was about how our birth experience didn't go as hoped-for.  There were few hippies present, few comfort methods employed, and no birthing tub at all.  It was like dominoes, as all our best intentions toppled.

I actually felt okay about it.  It was out of my control.  There was no guilt.  First, there were no natural contractions, so we had to scratch the homebirth and go to the hospital for Pitocin induction.  Two dominoes: hospital, Pitocin.  Plus, the Pitocin scratched the no-IV plan, so I was strapped to the bed.  That meant I couldn't use any of the comfort methods we practiced, like walking or squatting or using a birthing ball.  Another domino there.  Then the epidural, then the c-section.  Nothing went as planned, but I could hardly feel guilty that my cervix swelled.

Breastfeeding Sucks

The Hospital

Harder to accept were the faulty breastfeeding efforts.  Evie started out great, nursing very easily, cozy against me.  It hurt like a motherfucker.  Her latch looked right-- lips flared, her mouth wide-- but it hurt so much I was sure she had a bad latch.  What I remember from our breastfeeding class and related reading was that pain came from a bad latch, not "Dude, it will hurt a lot."  I could have skimmed; who knows.  I can only say I was surprised.

My figuring at that point was, hey, the really important thing is to get this kid fed.  Especially since she only had colostrum to work with, and she'd had to wait a couple hours after she was born to nurse, it seemed like the right thing to do was to let her get her fill, then worry about correcting her latch when we got home. 

Nipple goddamn shield, pre-sugar water
We were in the hospital for kind of a while, and I don't remember when things started getting iffy.  A know-it-all nurse (who, in fact, was really knowledgeable) suggested that Evie didn't like feeding at my left breast because I had an inverted nipple.  Did I want to try a nipple shield, she asked, to draw it out?  I was horrified-- the dreaded nipple confusion was upon us!  Still, I was scared that Evie was struggling.  I agreed to put sugar water on the nipple shield to entice Evie, which I knew was also against natural-birth, natural-feeding protocol.

It worked.  I felt terrible.

I don't remember why I asked another nurse for a pump, especially since I was still only producing colostrum at that point.  Maybe it was another part of the plan to draw out my deformed nipple.  I wonder if that was the beginning of the end.

Getting Home

We got home around noon on Easter Sunday.  My parents came over with food and comfort while we struggled to get our bearings.  I don't remember when, after they left, things got shady, but we were up most of the night with an angry baby.  There was a 4am car ride that kept Evie asleep only till we got home.  Panicked, Heather and I agreed that we would take her to the pediatrician first thing in the morning.

Newborn goddamn formula
Said the doctor, "She's hungry.  Feed her."  She suggested that my milk hadn't come in and that supplementing with a little formula might be in order.  Filled with hormones and self-doubt, I wept in the backseat all the way home, staring at Evie and wondering why I was such a terrible mother.

We had formula that both the doctor's office and the hospital had given us.  (Such a controversy!  I disapprove of the message it sends, yes, but it was also really handy to have on hand when the breastfeeding stalled...)  Heather mixed it, then filled a syringe.  Evie had no reaction to the taste, which was handy but heartbreaking: nothing special about my breast milk at all.

Breastfeeding Resources

After leaving the pediatrician's office, contemplating the dark prospect of formula-feeding that lay before us, I frantically texted Midwife Amy.  She asked when our postpartum doula, Beth, was due to visit.

"Not till tomorrow," I said. 

"Can I come by?" she replied.

Heather, Evie, and the fucking bottle
That is how much I was losing my shit.  By the time Amy came over, the dreaded formula-feeding had occurred.  I was ashamed to admit it to her.  She comforted us (well, me, because Heather wasn't having a problem at all), but I was in tears the second Beth walked in the next day.  Beth has a master's degree in social work and is active in the area's breastfeeding coalition, so she was as prepared as anyone could be.  She watched me attempt to nurse Evie and reassured me that it was Evie who was over-reacting.  It had nothing to do with me, my nipples, or my methods.  She was just too greedy to wait for my milk to let down.  So we gave her another bottle.

That made two bonafide natural-birth, womanly-art experts, kindly absolving me of this shameful act.  First I had a c-section and missed the Golden Hour of baby-bonding, and now the profound connection between mother & child through nursing was shot to fucking hell.  They were as qualified to question me as anyone could be, but they didn't.  Of course, they were as qualified to help me find a solution as anyone could be, but they couldn't.  Turns out, just like the birth, sometimes things suck and the all-natural plan doesn't work.

A little while after Beth gave me the bad news about Evie's greed, I sat all dejected-like in the rocking chair as Beth changed Evie.  (Seriously, postpartum doulas are the best.)  She was cradling the baby when she turned to me:

"She's trying to suck."

Evie and another fucking bottle
Okay, you know, that was just an asshole move.  Evie tormented me by screaming at the sight of my breast when I'd spent years fantasizing about nursing a baby, so much so that I cried to all the hippies, and then, once she gets next to a hippie's nipples, she's all ready to nurse.  That's some mean shit.

Beth handed Evie to me, and she casually latched on.  Like it happened all the time.

After that, I got lucky when Evie nursed once or twice a week, after filling up on the bottle first.  This left me pumping constantly and frantically, trying to keep up with her appetite.  I cried about it all the time. 

Evie is just eight weeks today.  Over the past two weeks, she's begun to be oddly flexible about bottle and breast.  One argument might be that she's had several weeks to get confident that she'll be fed, so she doesn't need to be so desperate.  Another argument might be that she's kind of an asshole.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Still blogging here

Celebrating Evie's birthday
This is the e-mail I sent my family and close friends at 3:30am on April 16th:

"So, what's up: theoretically speaking, there's a 72-hour clock on this leaking before the Powers That Be require me to be induced (and deliver) in the hospital.  Usually women start contractions on their own within that period of time, but we'd like to avoid the hospital so we've been trying to get things rolling on our own.  Today's attempts at castor oil were non-starters.  If nothing happens on its own by Wednesday morning, Amy is going to strip the membrane and may end up breaking the water as the next option.  (Presumably that just means making a bigger hole than the little one that's open now.)  If none of that starts it, we'll have to go to the hospital.
Amy says the baby is still doing very well, and I'm fine physically.  Still, it's kind of a shitty situation and I'm edgy at best.  Heather's more stable, so you can reach out to her if you feel antsy.  I'll give you guys a heads-up when there are contractions or Amy takes some kind of action; otherwise, it's probably safe to assume nothing has happened and I don't have the emotional wherewithal to talk about it."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The haps: leaking water, twiddling thumbs

"Every labor is different."

So far, my labor is made up of leaking amniotic fluid into an unending supply of white washcloths.  Monday, when this started off, the leaking thing seemed like it was for the best: the alternatives were a) nothing happening and b) a gush that might mean a speedy, scary labor.  We were definitely ready for something to happen and not ready to rush to the hospital when my body drained itself.  A slow leak is supposed to lead to a steady labor, and, since your body can replenish amniotic fluid for a while, you're not stuck in an emergency scenario either where your couch or the baby's immediate health is concerned.

That's immediate health, though.  You can't just leak forever.  When the fluid can get out, bacteria and other nasty shit can get in, and that puts a bit of a clock on it.  I mean, hopefully nobody's putting half-eaten popsicles up their vaginas, but my guess is that they feel pretty tempted to poke and prod to see what's up.  This afternoon, about 30 hours since I started leaking, Midwife Amy came by the house to check the baby's heart-rate and assuage her parents' fears, and she was firm about skipping any vaginal exam.  I was okay with that.

What I am not okay with is my iPhone, which has brought together the concerns of our loved ones with my intensely unstable hormones.  Once people who love you and/or your baby get the idea that the baby is forthcoming, they find it difficult to go 12+ hours without news.  That's adorable, except that there is nothing to stress out a lady in stalled labor like being asked about her labor, and I really thought I'd make it to active labor before telling nice people to go to hell.

The guidelines vary by practitioner.  Obviously, home-birthers are more of the "let it happen naturally" type.  The midwife's office has a big poster that says "My body is not a lemon" in the front room, and that's the general outlook: women's bodies are designed to give birth, and most women's bodies will do that safely, without medical interventions.  Most women will begin contractions within 72 hours of their water leaking, and Amy's inclination is to let my body start labor on its own.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Skipping the castor oil

So I'm cramping and slowly leaking fluids from my vajay.  The leaking has been going on since about 11:30 on Monday morning, with the cramping coming and going since Monday afternoon.  Yet... not a damn contraction to be had.

Initially, Midwife Amy was enthusiastic (per my comment that there was some blood on the toilet paper, she replied, "AWESOME") but emphatic about my need to sleep in advance of the blessed event. 

Since I'd had no contractions yet, we've got a ways to go, leaving me the opportunity to clean the kitchen, do some laundry, and watch TV.  Heather stayed late at work to finish up some final tasks (including what I would call an ill-advised email across the company to tell them my water had broken), went to the grocery store for provisions, then came home and started cleaning.  I'm not sure if it's more because people are going to be in the house or because the baby is going to be in the house, but, listen, folks, it's clean.

Bear in mind, I'm not stupid enough to tell a lot of people, but it only takes a few texts and phone calls to f*ck up a solid snooze.  I've learned that Heather is not okay with me missing a call or text at any time during the third trimester, and I was pretty sure that after I told her my water seemed to have broken I was not going to get any nap-time exemptions.  Combine that with the animal-control company calling to confirm our appointment for raccoon investigation tomorrow...  I figured I'd catch up on my sleep when Heather was in the house and I could ignore the phone.

No news: 40 weeks and 2 days

For lack of any other resident, yes, the cat's in the cradle.
Saturday night I thought finishing the last of my book would do it, and then Sunday night I thought that the thunderstorm would do it.  Now it's Monday morning and I know that the baby will never come, because I woke up before 9am, ate a healthy breakfast, and haven't gone back to bed yet.  I believe that my maternity-leave sleep schedule has come full circle as a sign that this is no longer a precious liminal state but simply my new lifestyle.  I will be pregnant forever.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tips & Tricks for Inducing Labor: Crap or Not?

Let's just say this: they don't even know what causes labor to start.  One story is Mom's hormones, and another is Baby's secretion of surfactant in the lungs.  Could be something in the baby's brain.  Given that doctors can't figure out what element you're aiming to kickstart in the first place, they sure can't make any promises about what's going to make it happen.  Like many other uncomfortable pregnant ladies, I am willing to try, and Snopes be damned.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

There is a birthing stool in our living room.

There are handles so you can hang tight as you labor.  What a nice thought!
So our beloved midwife Amy told me a few weeks ago that I should feel good about the slow sloughing of my mucus plug starting around 37 weeks.  It's a good sign you won't go past your due date, she said.  Awesome, I said.  Then we had an appointment a few days ago, at 38.5 weeks, during which she told me she suspected we had another two (weekly) appointments to go before I popped.  WTF, lady?

Granted, the new estimate gives me a little more time to finish up with fence-repair estimates and vet trips.  I went for a massage on Thursday, saw a movie Friday, did some laundry on Saturday...  But, yeah, the other thing Amy said was that she was going out of town for the weekend on some obligatory family road trip, so, should her estimate fail, we'd be reliant on pinch-hitting hippies to bring our baby into the world.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Rookie Moms' Newest Contributor: Me!

Oh, lord, I am so famous!

So here it is, folks!  I'm a guest contributor to the oh-so-fabulous Rookie Moms website, and the screenshot to the left there is their Facebook post marking the occasion.

Hopefully this is the first of several guest posts: founding Rookie Moms Heather and Whitney graciously invited me to contribute to their 2014 series of new-mom challenges with a crew of other wise & witty ladies, and we've only got to wait on Miss Evie to appear before things get going.

Anyway, hit up my post on their site, comment generously, and browse around!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Prenatal Insanity

I've always hated the stupid ways people use the word "insane," like my high school friend getting all, "Oh, I'm totally insane.  I ate, like, three bowls of cereal that night.  I'm crazy."  Dude, no, that does not count.  Of course, my other powerful pet peeve from those years is the canonization of Winnie the Pooh, et al, by my middle school friends.  "I'm a Tigger girl!" said the one who wore Tigger sweatshirts every day, and the whole crew of them were giddy about visiting the Disney store at the mall for even more Pooh paraphernalia.  Oh, and going to the mall was dumb, too.  I feel really bad that my kids will someday have to survive the teen years.

Which is to day, I feel like an asshole for using the word "insanity" against long-standing principle, but the last few days have been fucking rough.

Monday, March 31, 2014

More yuck: hand-expression of colostrum and addressing the lady parts

Today is the first day of my maternity leave.  And when I say "maternity leave," I mean indefinite unemployment.  That's a big topic that I neither feel like discussing today, nor feel qualified to discuss since it's only lasted a few hours.  All it means is that I am-- on this occasion-- not blogging during the workday.  Congratulate me!

Friday, March 28, 2014


In good news, I lost more of my mucus plug this morning, a development that pleased Heather so much that she didn’t mind being woken to see it.  (She had a lot of questions the first time and I felt it was more efficient to just show it to her this time.)  In suckier news, my lord, I’m still throwing up all the damn time.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Getting there: 37+ weeks pregnant

Last Saturday, I hit 37 weeks, and suddenly my joyful embrace of pregnancy has dissolved.  Let's do this, yo.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Baby showers and the consumer impulse

When I first got pregnant, I told my mom about all the things Heather and I planned to buy.  She began to grimace, then told me (with the spirit of her frugal Midwestern father flashing behind her eyes) that she did not believe that people should be sucked into such rampant consumerism where babies were concerned.  The used dresser that she and my dad bought, she declared, was a perfectly adequate changing table for my sister and for me.  I considered her point, but replied that this was not just a first baby, but a long-planned, much-wanted baby, and we were probably going to get sucked in.  Reader, it was the truth.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Third-trimester nausea: total scam

This last Monday, I missed birthing class to stay home and vomit.  Heather frowned on the choice, but I’d thrown up twice during Sunday’s make-up class and innumerable times throughout the day Monday, so I told her to screw off and go to class alone.

(Note: that’s just big talk.  I apologized profusely for abandoning her and suggested that she claim she had to be home with her poor, pregnant wife.  Bravely, she declined my suggestion, sitting through class and contraction practices alone, but it isn’t like I didn’t get sh*t for it.)

Third-Trimester Nutrition: Fail
I have the sense to know what I’m supposed to be eating to feed my growing fetus.  Lots of protein, says Midwife Amy, plus all the bright-colored produce.  It just doesn’t happen.  Whatever this morning sickness is, nothing that even approaches healthy food stays down.  A nice whole-wheat bagel and Greek yogurt?  Nope.  The yogurt (part of my protein plan) seems to be particularly repugnant to little Evie.  Probiotics! I say to her, and she’ll have none of it.  A blueberry doughnut, though?  Absolutely.

Coddling: Fail?
Heather remains disbelieving and disapproving of the foods that stick, which are almost invariably unhealthy.  I told her that I couldn’t be responsible for what her daughter rejected from the womb, and she said that I should learn to just swallow my vomit if it contained fruit or vegetables.  I was pleased to reply yesterday, after the topic and the yogurt came up, that I was at the seven-month mark, and she was now obligated to commence full-time coddling.  Bam.

Now, Heather is a fine person, and she’s a fine Valentine’s gift-giver.  She got me cupcakes and a pre-natal massage to go with my flowers.  You can’t do better than that.  However, coddling is not her strong suit.  She admits it, so hopefully I won’t get scolded for saying that.  It takes more patience than she has on call, and to be honest I’m conflicted over what to expect.  Is it a diva move to ask her if she’d help me put on my socks in the morning?  Maybe that’s too much to ask—mornings aren’t her strong suit, either—but I’ve gotten two good foot-rubs out of the deal so far…

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Burrowing squirrels

Once upon a time, in eighth-grade Latin class, our teacher, Mrs. Looney (real name), was trying to tell us about the hardiness of the Spartans.  This was before we had Gerard Butler’s abs to do it for us.  She told us a story about some kid who, on his way to school, encountered a squirrel.  He started to play with it (which is maybe something squirrels tolerated in Spartan times), then realized he was running late.  The solution, of course, was for him to put the squirrel in the pocket of his smock/poncho/toga and continue on. 

I don’t know if the dude’s pockets had zippers or what, but apparently the squirrel was trapped and began to panic during the school day.  The kid sensed the animal’s panic, but didn’t want to interrupt class, so he just sat there, pretending nothing was happening.  If things weren’t dubious enough already, Mrs. Looney’s tale wound up with the squirrel eating through the poncho and then into the boy’s stomach, ultimately killing him.

The reason I mention this—aside from a sincere desire to share historical trivia with you—is that I now think of that squirrel every time the baby moves.  I imagine that there is a panicked squirrel kicking my ribs, or nosing my belly button, and that somehow he has been trapped there for seven months, growing ever more impatient.  Maybe when the time comes, it won’t be a dark-haired little girl but a wet, frazzled squirrel who emerges into the birthing tub.  I will earn millions selling my story (and video), and fundamentalists across the globe will declare it yet another sign that lesbians should not have children.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Prepping for birth: labor positions and baby positions

Pelvic-rock position, or, baby in a belly hammock
In last Monday's child-birthing class, we experimented with labor positions by visiting spots around the room with taped-up diagrams and attendant equipment.  In the side-lying station, we used doubled-up yoga mats and an array of pillows, while we used a scarf in the belly-lift area to see how it felt when my "labor coach" hoisted my bump towards the ceiling during a pretend contraction.  Turns out, not all that different-- but, then, these contractions are simulated by holding a bag of ice in your hand, and my reading suggests that labor might actually be more uncomfortable than that.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

"Private Practice" Syndrome & craigslist

Today, Heather called me at my desk:

"No more craigslist, baby.  I don't want anybody cutting your baby out."

She had my attention.

Monday, January 13, 2014

"I'm tired of you being pregnant."

Heather, post-coddling
Heather is, as she would put it, “bleeding out of her vagina” and wanting to be coddled.  These are always tender moments for her—populated with fuzzy bathrobes and movie marathons on the couch—and normally I accommodate.  Saturday, I curled up against her aching back, hoping that sometime soon Evie could massage it with emphatic kicks, stroked Heather’s hair a little, and got up to get her Motrin.  I felt like a good wife.

In one of these weakened moments, Heather confessed that she was tired of me being pregnant.  We’ve been butting heads recently about how much coddling I expect now and in the near future, as I contend she’ll need to step up her game as it gets harder for me to climb off the couch or pick up groceries.  She feels she’s done a fine job thus far, and my response is that, yes, but in movies, the husbands/partners/gay-best-friends-who-help-single-moms tend to be doting throughout.  They put up with limitless hormonal abuse and seek reassurance from similarly-abused men.  Her response is that those are movies.  

Fine.  Be difficult about it.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Thinking on it

Pregnancy hormones are no joke.  This much I’ve learned in the past few weeks—as have my co-workers and Heather.  There were flashes as far back as our trip to New York, but it’s as though my misanthropy is growing in concert with my belly now, accelerating exponentially in size & power. 

Monday, January 6, 2014


I’ve been eating Harry & David pears like I’ve never had fruit before.  It’s probably going to make me super-sick, but…  Speaking of which, I definitely threw up all my movie popcorn last Tuesday after seeing “Philomena.”  Mainly I was pissed because I felt terrible through the whole movie, then didn’t get it out of my system till we were home.  What I’m finding is that I can’t handle anything snug over my belly, or near it, so even unbuttoned jeans are intolerable.  I have a generous elastic waist on my skirt today, but it’s got to be rolled down.  I don’t understand this late-second-trimester resurgence of nausea, nor, I think, do my co-workers, but the past few weeks have been shaky on that front.  My theory is that Evie feels the need to assert herself on holidays, just to remind us she’s in the mix.  I got sick on our wedding day and every major occasion since then, so why not New Year’s Eve? 


The upside, I guess, is that the expensive pears have stayed down thus far and the accursed popcorn did not.  Perhaps my body is just combating the poor nutritional choices I’ve made.  And then some. 


Much as Heather makes fun of me for bemoaning nausea after early-pregnancy declarations that I would welcome it—declarations which she happily mocked over New Year’s Eve dinner while I tried to breathe through the dry heaves (so sick, in fact, that I forgot to bitch her out for it)—I do recognize the privilege of it.  I love that it’s getting hard for me to turn over in bed or get off the couch.  I only get to wrangle a baby bump for so long, so I’m going to rub on it and talk to it at every opportunity.  (Last night I tried to read to Evie at bedtime, but found that my voice couldn’t match the dry tones of Robertson Davies.  I wasn’t going to start her off on misinterpreted literature.)  I think I’d be appreciative of pregnancy no matter our experience, but after years of begging the universe for a baby, we’re going to soak this up.


There’s a big part of me that feels like an asshole for being pregnant.  I feel such an allegiance to other people who’ve fought, or are fighting, to conceive, that succeeding feels wrong.  As giddy as we were when my first insemination worked, there’s a sense in which this pregnancy feels—to me—like a slap in the face to Heather.  I remember when other people’s pregnancies felt like a slap in the face to me: when Heather’s sister accidentally got pregnant with her fourth child, for example.  There’s a book I came across once, titled something like Every Drunk Teenager; Why Not Me?, and I think that pretty much captures the sentiment. 


Obviously fertility has no basis in virtue—terrible people get pregnant, as do good people in terrible marriages and any number of people who can’t afford it or aren’t equipped to be good parents—but I think we all get sucked in by The Secret and its ilk, preaching that thoughts become things.  The example they give is that a boy who really wants a new bike can, by imagining that he has it and envisioning himself riding it, by dint of will-power, bring that bike into his possession.  This is an alluring theory, except that the (largely unaddressed) flip side suggests that, if you are poor, or handicapped, or your child dies of cancer, it’s probably because you didn’t envision health and wealth with enough fervor and conviction.  (In the movie, the guy who assiduously locks his bike is destined to have it stolen because of his negative expectations.  Um…)  If we had spent more energy envisioning Heather’s swollen belly, would she have gotten pregnant?  Did I get pregnant because I spent five sleepy minutes every few nights on visualizations of embryo implantation?  Or—or—is it that I’m younger than Heather and have a bigger egg supply to start with, and visualizing had not a whit to do with it? 


Still, I pretended that the universe felt we’d “earned” a baby because of how hard we struggled over the past few years, and I guess there’s always temptation to think there’s balance and justice in the world.  Maybe it’s only because our thoughts became things that I credit it.  I never claimed to be consistent.