Monday, August 13, 2007

An egg and my friends the birds

This is my first cycle after the early miscarriage and also without any meds. This is our "rest" before the FET in September (strangly I am missing the shots...seriously missing the schedule of it all...the power it brings). My cycle this month dragged on and on until I finally got an "egg" on my monitor this morning. I can tell I have been growing an egg b/c my left ovary has been tender. Everyone should have one of these handy dandy devices! Honestly, where was this thing eleven years ago? It really is true that women should be more in tune with their fertility and their bodies. Way back when I would have NEVER dreamed that I ovulated this late on any given month. Perhaps this late LH surge is due to my poor body being out-of-whack with the miscarriage and all of those darned drugs prior to. However, it would have been interesting a decade ago to have a monitor to track my cycle each month. Yes, I know about BBT and it's not for me. This is less trustworthy perhaps but it suits me better. I beamed this morning when I saw the egg image on my monitor. Silly huh? :)

About the birds.

You see, every Spring and Summer for three years barn swal*lows have built lovely little nests of mud on the interior wall of our porch. The first year it was with awe that we stood in our foyer, peering up through the window above the front door. The mommy and daddy bird darted in and out of our porch, adding their contribution to the nest that would eventually serve as home to their precious little eggs and, if they were lucky, successfully hatched babies. Our family of four oohed and ahhed when we saw that there were six hatchlings who had joined the world, their yellowish thin beaks peaking over the edge of the dirt and spit home. The parent birds made constant trips to keep up with the ravenous eating habits of these little creatures whose needs were constant. One morning, we awoke to find a dead hatchling on the porch, a casualty of it's ever-growing siblings over-filling the smallish nest. Two, three, four...the hatchlings fell out of the nest day after day and onto the porch only to be left to die if they had even survived the fall. Our hearts broke each time another baby made it's way out of the nest and each time we wondered if the parents felt a loss or was this just status quo to them as they persevered to tend to those who were left. Within a week of breaking out of their creamy spotted shells, that first group of hatchlings had been whittled down to one healthy little guy left. He stood confidently on the edge of the nest, feathers starting to poof and grow. The parents perched on the window across from him and kept him company as he grew. One day, I went to check the nest and it was quiet. No parents and no baby. He had flown away to start his own life. Out of six hatchlings, one had survived...odds that don't sound so good to me.

The funny thing is, those birds come back every Spring to tidy the nest or even re-build parts of it. This year the couple tore the old nest apart and re-built the entire thing, leaving their demolition and reconstruction debris scattered all over our porch. Every year, though, the couple loses most of their hatchlings with only one, if any, surviving. Despite the odds they return. And we humans? At the end of every summer we say we are going to tear down the nest or put up a plastic owl because, quite honestly, we can't stand to see another baby bird fall and die on our porch. But, you know what Blodgom? Every Spring, when momma and daddy barn swallow come around, we leave them to their business, we watch again in awe as the nest is readied yet again and we check each day, waiting for thin little beaks to once again peak over. And each time we have hope that *these* hatchlings will all make it, this time it will be okay. So far we have yet to knock down a nest or buy a plastic bird of prey to scare them off. What is it that keeps them coming back year after year when one or none survive? Why it is each Spring we await the hatchlings knowing most won't make it?

This morning, when I found the second hatchling of the season on the porch even though Ivan had lovingly put it back in the nest just last night, I wondered why we do this over and over every year.

And then I looked up at the one healthy bird left and I remembered why.

As we move towards our FET, I feel a little like those barn swallows...working feverishly to host and care for new life, hoping for the best and moving on through the disappointments to start anew.


Mony said...

I also have the joy of nesting swallows setting up home year after year right in front of my office. I love seeing them return & like you, look for the tiny beaks. Last season, 3 kids all survived & hung out together, balancing on the rooftop with Mum & Dad. I love watching the flying leassons begin & the parents urging the babes to take flight. I feel so proud when they do take their first plunge!

topcat said...

I heart that post.

Samantha said...

That was a beautiful post.

Sarah said...

probably the closest you can come to making any sense of it.

you're probably right about being out of whack due to the last cycle, i guess that's why they recommend a month off. i hope it goes well.

Kelly said...

I heart that monitor too. I heart your stories.

Von said...

Thank you for dropping by.
I would love to talk to you some more about your girls you adopted.
We are not quite ready yet to take that route. We have an FET in Sept, hopefully, and will see after that.
Love this post about the swallows.

Malky B. said...

First off, the fertility monitor is actually better than BBT because with temperature charting you only figure out when you ovulated after you've ovulated. Don't worry about seeing peak at day 19 still well within normal range. Another blogger just got pregnant after reaching peak at day 25 and so far all is well - she's about 7 weeks along. Beautiful post about the birds and what they represent.

Sara said...

Happy O day!

Nature can be cruel. Many bird species are "clutch reducers", meaning that they lay more eggs than they could possibly rear to fledging, and then the nestlings compete for food and attention, with most losing out along the way, but one or two of the stronger luckier ones surviving.It's a bit like IVF where we get stimulated to produce many eggs in the hopes of ending up with one high-quality embryo.

The thing that laying lots of eggs, rather than just one, does for the parents is to allow them to take advantage of the occasional very good year food-wise, and raise extra chicks if circumstances turn out to be optimal. Hopefully one of these years you're going to see a whole nest of little ones survive. That will really be something to celebrate.

Reproductive Jeans said...

Ok--so I am getting ready to backtracking a bit, and had to come and ask if you do trust your CB easy monitor? Is it worth the $$? Thanks=)