Episode 1: the tea shop.
The day before triggering (as it turned out) I went looking for serious jasmine tea to one of the most extreme tea rooms in New York, early enough that the owner herself was at the till. Now, she's managed to keep her overpriced little emporium going for over 10 years by sheer force of personality. So I suppose it's not surprising that she worked hard to distract me from the sad truth that she was out of all varieties of of jasmine tea (except for some peculiar scarcely scented but highly origami-ed leaves). I'd admitted to medical issues on my way in ("My doctors don't want me to take hot baths, so I'm looking for something else soothing, and I shouldn't have much caffiene*, so it has to be green"). After I declined some horrible herbal wellness concoction (with wheatgrass!), she finally asked point-blank what was going on.
"I'm doing an IVF cycle."
"Like Julia Roberts?"
"Same place, I suspect."
"My sister. My sister did that. I'm an aunt to twins." Pauses, stares deep into my eyes. "You need to clear yourself of everything else, you know. It's all what's in your mind. My sister did nothing her first cycle, just accupuncture her second cycle, but for the third, she did that, and Alexander, and Reiki, and..."
I stare at her in horror.
"Look at you! You haven't breathed since you came in here. Do you do breathwork? You need to clear your mind. My sister became a Reiki master, after what it did for her. I can get you an Alexander teacher."
I keep staring.
"Julia Roberts had her birthday party here, you know. And Julia told me she did Reiki."
Finally she shifts back to sales (right! you sell tea, lady, and I buy it! that's what we're here for!) and begins pulling out her other green teas. We settle on a green lychee. She promises she's got a shipment of her best jasmine coming in that afternoon.
Out of sheer suicidal stubborness (plus, I have to confess, the empty magic-dragon-balls canister had smelled really good), I went back the next day. The owner wasn't there, and neither was the tea. It made me feel better to find out that she'd lied about something.
Episode 2: Closer.
The night before transfer, I went to see Closer. I like bleak emotionally compelling movies, and I'd never seen Julia Roberts in anything before (really). Wow, did she look miserable, and every second of her age. And the costuming, with all the loose trousers, made me wonder if she shot it early in her pregnancy.
I suspect I would have loved the movie if I hadn't had to listen to the rest of the (very New York, very young) audience shout back at the screen. On the one hand, yes, there were a lot of confrontational scenes where of course, one might want to. But everyone else was on Larry's side, and I was rooting for Anna**.
Episode 3: the tabloids.
The National Enquirer tells me one twin is in the NICU. The Sun says they've both gone home. There's a lot of inconsistency in the reported birthweights. But mostly all the fuss has reminded me of how extreme what so many of us go through is to "normal" people.
So, on the one hand, I respect people's right to privacy. On the other hand, after the horrible blooper of mentioning genders so very very early, there wasn't much that could be done. Most overseas sources, and even some domestic ones, are reporting she did IVF.
And, on the third hand, kill me, but I really, really want to see pictures.
* I have tried to be less compulsive during this cycle. For instance, Cornell has never said anything harsh about caffiene, so I figured a cup of green tea every other day or so wouldn't kill me, and might help with the compulsive napping (alas, it didn't). Of course, just being in the city has had me walking a lot more; I think not cutting back physical activity so drastically has been sanity-preserving. I'm also not getting ritualistic about the PIO shots—no icing beforehand, no heating pad afterwards (so far, the bruising is much less bad—smaller volume? different oil? I don't know). And, about a week ago, I stopped diarizing every pill, every shot, every twinge, like I had been.
** Look, I don't hate Gwyneth Paltrow either (although I might if she didn't have to bleach her hair).