Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Patience and Privacy

I decided to write a post on these two important words after a nice chat with my best friend Jennifer. They are two attributes that I admittedly do not possess. I am the least patient person I know, besides my husband, and I am an open book on the verge of suffering from constant word vomit.This blog has given me the opportunity to be frank and open about my feelings as my husband and I begin the journey into parenthood. However, it has also posed the question:
How much information is too much information?

I began this blog not long ago hoping to chronicle the ending of my birth control and the beginning of a new chapter. So far I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts here and think I will find it therapeutic going foreward. Pregnancy and the time surrounding it is so special, however, that most people do not believe it is something to be shared or talked about. There is that very common rule of thumb to not tell people you are trying, as well as to not reveal that you are pregnant until the end of your first trimester. People do this out of fear.

The fear comes from not knowing if you will be able to conceive, not knowing if you will be able to carry a pregnancy, and not knowing if you will lose the baby or terminate due to an unforeseen condition. These are all valid fears. I fear all of these things myself. They are the unspoken "what-ifs" that every woman deals with and I am no exception. So the question is posed: do I write about it all, regardless of the outcome? Do I reveal my insecurities and my fears in the hopes that someone somewhere will read this and feel like they aren't the only ones?

I can't do this blog justice if I do it half-assed. If I blog about nonsense until 20 weeks when  I can properly reveal to the world that I am pregnant then it defeats the purpose of writing about any of it. It may sound bizaar, but I feel like this silly little blog can be my truth, the truth of how I feel and what I go through, physically and emotionally while trying to get pregnant and God willing, while I carry my first child.

The feeling that has become overwhelmingly apparent to me from writing this blog has been impatience. That is what I recognize in my own writing. It is not a quality I am proud of, but it is one that I have to deal with. I am reading this book, The Lady of The Rivers by Phillipa Gregory right now and last night I read the most profound quote about patience, women and the desire for children:
"First you have to know the emptiness of your womb, of your arms, of your heart. That can hurt. You have to have the courage to look at yourself and know the loss that you feel. Then you have to change your life to make a space for the child who will not come. You have to open your heart; you have to make a safe place for the baby. And then you have to sit with your longing and your desire, and that can be the most painful. You have to sit with your longing and know that you may not get what you want; you have to encounter the danger of longing for something without the expectation of getting your desire." - Jacquetta to her daughter Elizabeth

I took that to heart and it was a piece of writing that resonated with me because the scariest thing about "trying" to get pregnant is the fear and the possibility that it may not happen, or that it may take quite a while and effort. This whole experience might be a good learning opportunity for me, to learn to know what I want, to know what I desire, and sit and wait with patience and calmness for the cards to fall into place. That was the advise that Jennifer gave to me, to "not stress about it". It was hard for me to explain that I'm not stressed about getting pregnant, I am impatient only because I know how much both Matt and I want this in our lives. But I will try to sit with patience and just enjoy the process, as people say. In all honesty, this has been the best part of our relationship so far with so much happiness and time together just being married that I am glad we waited until now to start trying as opposed to starting right away when we got married. The future holds a lot of promise with or without a pregnancy that I should start to learn some patience, although the privacy part may not follow.



Monday, October 28, 2013

Shoot and a Miss

I'm not pregnant yet.

At least, I don't think I am. I jumped the gun out of excitement and took one of those early response tests that let you tell before you miss your period and it came back negative. I thought it could be possible since we had been aware of my ovulation and I have been feeling off lately, but alas...I think it is only regular PMS which is a bummer on a lot of levels. My period last month after getting off birth control was the worst one I've had since I can remember so I'm sure being on BC was softening the blow of cramps etc. I know a lot of girls get onto BC to make their periods more bearable but I never realized that it made that much of a difference for me.

Matt knows I was really hoping to be a one and done kind of conceiver. One try. One cycle. One baby. But perhaps it will take a bit more effort than I originally thought. It's funny because I spent most of my life thinking that if a guy comes inside me and I had forgotten my pill that day that BAM! I was going to end up knocked up. Only when you get to an age that you want to get pregnant do you actually find out how difficult it is. I read an article today that said that it takes a while for your ovulation to come back after stopping birth control and that even when it does at come back that you have a 20% chance of conceiving each month (I'm sure someone did that math so I wont argue against it but it seems kind of absurdly low).

Matt has assured me that we are still in the grey area, that I jumped the gun on taking a pregnancy test and even though it is highly possible that I am not pregnant there is still a chance that I am. To me, I just feel achy and crampy and bitchy pretty much how I usually feel before my period so my guess is that it didn't happen this month.

It feels like people all around me are getting pregnant and having babies. This is also thanks in large part to Facebook which projects everyone's happy and quickly growing families onto my computer screen every day. The crazy thing is that you never hear about the sort of stuff I'm writing about...the process, the tries, the weird process of stopping birth control and hoping to defy odds and hit the bullseye each month. Online all you see are growing bellies and new babies and happy carefree new moms who just had to have sex once unprotected and they're pregnant.

I know I am being a little dramatic about the whole thing here...I have after all admitted that I am feeling extremely hormonal so my apologies. I know that I will get pregnant and that this was only our first time trying and that we weren't even expecting to get pregnant this month

I just didn't know I would care this much...


Friday, October 25, 2013

...Shooting with No Safety

This was the first month that we have entered the "trying" stage of getting pregnant. I am off my birth control and have been for a month and we had our first attempt.

So we've been having sex every other day and using my phone app to track my ovulation (which I'm sure is 100% accurate lol). Anyway, I don't expect anything to happen in the first month, after all sometimes it takes several months to even be able to get pregnant after stopping BC. I don't feel pregnant...although my body has always been kinda a mystery ever since my first period came so I am not exactly an expert on my own reproductive system.

Matt is just about as anxious as I am to get knocked up. He is a very impatient guy and he keeps talking about "when we have kids..". I am pretty impatient too so if we get pregnant this month I will feel so happy to be getting into the nitty gritty of it. In the meantime Matt is really enjoying my enthusiasm to bone, not like I'm not always enthusiastic but the other day we were in a little fight and even mad at him I insisted we do it. It was kinda hot. There might be something to the whole Russian roulette method of having sex...I almost can't believe this is what sex was like for women for thousands and millions of years before birth control...maybe we just messed things up with the invention of birth control.

just a thought...


Italy Day 3 (Second full day)

Our third day (second full day) we decided to check out the Boboli Gardens and the Pitti Palace.This was a big deal because it is something I have never done in Florence before. We picked a beautiful day for it, the sun was shining and the air was cool. We got there early in the morning in order to avoid crowds and obviously, to get to lunch faster.

We walked into the palace and it really was like we were all alone. We walked up several staircases before we ran into the first person who worked there. It was eerie, almost like we were trespassing but I guess that's just how laid back the Italians are about their palaces.

The palace was gorgeous but the real highlight for us were the gardens. I don't know what I was expecting but the Boboli gardens overtook my expectations by a lot. They were huge! Vast green landscapes jutted off in every direction. Hills and topiary forms, sculptures and rose bushes. It was hard to imagine that this used to be someones home. Matt, being the avid gardener he is found inspiration in each little part we saw.

Hopefully as we grow older together we will find our own piece of land somewhere and spend our days making it into our own Boboli Gardens. At least that's the plan. Lots of land, rustic cottage with enough room for kids and dogs, a large garden and fruit trees all over, space to raise chickens and goats, and a little barn with a large farm table to do fancy Italian dinners for friends, family and clients.That's our American dream...the rustic, country, dolce vita way of life American dream.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Italy Day 2

Our first full day in Florence wasn't actually spent in the city. We had pre-paid for a full day wine tour of the Chianti region so all we had to do was show up at our appointed meeting spot to meet our tour guide and our fellow wine tasters.

I really reccomend pre-planning and pre-paying for day trips before you go anywhere on vacation. We researched the best trips for what we wanted to do and paid for them so far in advance that by the time we got to Italy, we didn't have to worry about a thing. The tour we ended up booking was with a company called Tuscan Wine Tours and was worth every penny!

We started bright and early at 10am and took a van to our first location. Our tour guide Piere was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and really funny which made being in a van with five strangers very comfortable from the get go.

At the first winery we not only got to try four delicious wines but they paired it with some pecorino cheeses that they also make on premise. The wine was incredible and after we tasted the wine we had the opportunity to buy some from their little store. We left with a steady buzz, some lardo and a jar of black truffle honey. Next stop was lunch!

We drove up some steep winding dirt roads to a hilltop town where we were having lunch at the local butcher shop. The butcher is pretty famous, having been on shows like Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on multiple occasions and as such, wasn't there to meet us when we arrived. Ironically, he was in the States at a Slow Food convention in Los Angeles so we toured the butcher shop without meeting the "crazy butcher" Dario Cecchini. After about five minutes there we no loner cared that were weren't meeting the famous butcher and instead focused on the delectible food being set before us. The meal was comprised of, what else? Meat! Tender, juicy, fresh, grass-fed, happy cow meat.

At the end of the meal we all had grappa and coffee which just increased our buzz level to drunk and left us warm, boozed up and ready to drink more!

Our third and stop for the day was to a small independent winery run by a lovely woman who inherited the property from her father. Another flight of Chianti Classico was served outside under a pergola overlooking all her growing grape vines.

The last stop of the day was some free time in the town of Greve in Chianti. A small town full of shops, butchers, and cafes, Greve gave us a chance to walk around and explore a little bit. Matt and I wandered into a butcher shop and explored the walls of charcuterie for sale as well as their cheese cave!

By the time we had to head back onto the bus I was exhausted! I slept the entire way home. It was such a magical day that even writing this I can't believe it all actually happened. Just another day in paradise.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Italy Day 1

I haven't posted in quite some time, about 2 weeks I think, but for a pretty great reason. My husband and I have been off in Italy! Well, actually first we went to my girlfriend Katie's bomb ass wedding up in Maryland. Her wedding was so stunning, so elegant and such a great roaring party the whole weekend that by the time Sunday rolled around we could barely believe we were heading to the airport for a week-long vacation to Florence.

We arrived Monday afternoon and after locating our hotel the Boscolo Astoria Firenze we spent the rest of the daylight hours strolling the streets of Florence, getting acclimated to our new surroundings. The weather was just perfect, and I could tell Matt was in heaven. For me, it was like I had stepped back into a dream that I had forgotten about. Florence was the same as it always was, but being there with Matt made it feel new and exciting and familiar all at the same time.

Our first meal in Florence was at this tiny trattoria that we found by accident. The Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco (the white boar ) was everything you envision an Italian restaurant to be. Small, rustic and loud. Packed with tourists and locals alike the menu was strictly written in Italian and offered some of the more famous Florentine specialties. 
 We started our meal with two shared plates:

beef carpaccio with arugula and pecorino

and Crostini Toscana (crusty bread topped with chicken liver mousse)

We then moved onto a shared plate of Papardelle con ragu di cinghiale (wide pasta with a wild boar ragout). Unfortunately we ate that so quickly that I don't have a picture of it. It was that good. But the real star of the meal was the burrata. For those that aren't familiar, burrata is a type of mozzarella cheese that comes from Puglia in the south of Italy. It is a ball of pulled mozzarella that is stretched around a creamy center of curd and cream, so what you end up with is the creamiest, most decadent ball of cheese you've ever had. It is served in a variety of ways but we happen to have been visiting during truffle season and ours was presented with shaved black truffle, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

The simplicity of this dish was what made it so spectacular. As you can see, it doesn't look extraordinary but it was one of those perfect bites of food that had we been in private, we would have been screaming in ecstasy over each mouthful.

Our first night was absolutely perfect and it really set the tone for the rest of the trip. I will keep posting pictures and stories from our trip this week so keep an eye out for more great pictures from our bucket list trip to Florence!