Not This Time, Dealing with Disappointment When Trying to Conceive

Originally posted on May 24, 2015 on Merely Mothers (now Evie & Sarah)

I’m sitting down at my computer tonight in a house so silent you can hear a pin drop, with a glass of rich, red wine next to me, and a plate of crackers and brie, which may or may not be pasteurized, in the fridge ready to serve as tonight’s supper.

To some of you, this might sound like heaven. To someone who began her TTC (trying to conceive) journey back in December, it’s the sound and sight of disappointment.

I’m known for my optimism, so I guess it’s no surprise that I thought I’d be pregnant by now. It’s also no surprise I’m not. Statistically, the odds are not in my favor each month. For someone my age, the ancient 35 that I am, IUIs have a 10-20% chance of working each month. But after six months, for couples or singles with no known fertility issues, that percentage hits about 80%. Being that rosy-glassed girl who nearly flunked statistics in college, I figured that meant by try number three I had nearly even odds of being successful, multiply that by the 100 mg of Clomid, a new donor, and the lucky Wonder Woman socks, and it was practically a done deal.

Then I ended up in the ER with a cat bite requiring antibiotics less than a week before my IUI, caught the stomach bug I’d managed to avoid all winter the day before my procedure, and moments before sticking my legs in the stirrups learned my new and improved donor had even lazier sperm than the last dude’s. Still, I stayed positive.

And my body responded perfectly. I had high temperatures, a few cramps (implantation for sure!), a bit of lightheadedness, and no spotting. It was the first time I made it all the way to my beta test (the blood pregnancy test) without Aunt Flow arriving first. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is a nasty shrew, who made all the signs of pregnancy identical to PMS, so despite my negative at-home pregnancy tests, I still held out a shred of hope right up until the nurse called this afternoon. Another negative. Thanks a friggin’ lot, MoNa.

Wonder Woman socks aside, my optimism felt more like a super gut-punch than a super power. Hope hurts.

I felt I’d managed the first two months’ disappointment with grace and dignity, but this month I just don’t have the strength. This month I’m a teary hot mess who wants to curl up in her sweats under a blanket with her cat and cry. Maybe it’s the added hormones. Or maybe it’s the added pain of coming home to an empty house with no one to rub my back and give me that “you’ll be okay” hug and later, when I’ve lingered on moping too long, to tell me to suck it up and move on. Or maybe it’s the fact the savings I wanted to have for the baby is dwindling and insurance won’t kick in until I suffer three more NTTs, which stands for not this time, the positive spin TTCers put on a negative test result.

Or maybe it’s just that this process is hard, harder than I ever really understood despite having friends and family who’d gone through much harder infertility treatments after years of trying on their own.

It was because of them and their greater struggles that I almost didn’t write this post. Who am I to complain after a mere three attempts? Granted they were expensive, perfectly timed, clinically executed attempts, but three, just three.

But then a friend helped my realize what I knew in my heart. Not writing about the hard months of this journey, not trusting others to understand and to forgive my little pity parties, was far worse than ignoring it. The women who’ve gone through more are the ones most likely to understand and forgive. And those just starting out, or those in the midst of this journey along with me deserve honesty. They deserve to know that even the most optimistic and upbeat feel beaten at times. Tonight, I’m beaten.

But tomorrow is the start of another stretch of this journey. And it’s one I intend to continue down, despite a few road bumps (and a potential hangover). I know in my heart I’m meant to be a mom. It might take longer than I’d hoped, but I’m guessing when my time comes, it will be even more wonderful than I imagine. I won’t quit trying, or smiling, or being foolishly optimistic. Even though such traits occasionally come back to bite me, they’re worth passing on, which is exactly what I intend to do—just not this time.

Photo credit: Schwangerschaftstest via photopin (license)

Just Don’t “Jinx It” When You’re TTC

Originally posted on May 10, 2015 on Merely Mothers (now Evie & Sarah)

Jinxes? Karma? Curses? All sounds more like the start of a plot for my newest novel than a TTC (trying to conceive) problem. Alas, this is nonfiction.

Recently, I was chatting online on the Single Mothers By Choice discussion boards with other women trying to conceive, and the topic of “jinxing” one’s chances of becoming pregnant came up. One brave soul admitted her fears, and suddenly we were all confessing our own worries that saying, doing, or even thinking the wrong thing might cause the cosmos to curse us with another NTT (Not This Time). Here we are, a group of educated women who all know how the biology of conception works, as terrified of our own thoughts as we were of Bloody Mary appearing in the bathroom mirror at middle school sleepovers.

I’ve given in to more than a few of these fears myself. I wouldn’t order more than two vials of sperm at a time, even when I knew I’d likely have to start the process of choosing a donor all over because of my decision. It felt like I was planning for failure, and I didn’t want such negative thoughts to jinx my chances. Then there’s my Pinterest board with articles on pregnancy and baby gear that I’ve kept secret (until now), because I didn’t want to be counting my chickens before my eggs got fertilized. I worried overly positive thoughts might tip the scales of karma against me, too.

Well, what is it that’s bad for the baby-making juju? Positive thoughts? Or negative thoughts?

All of it. And none of it.

It’s all harmful in the sense it can make you crazy; you can drive yourself nutty with all the dos and don’ts. Remember in that early post when I wrote about how I was doing all this to share the joy I find in life with a little one? At times, this journey can make you forget that reason, that joy. You can easily get so caught up in the end goal, that you let the journey fly by without taking a moment to enjoy the life that’s happening in between. I find myself wishing away whole weeks to get to the next step. At the same time, living in the moment can be a killer, too. It’s exceptionally difficult to find a balance between focusing enough energy to eat well, exercise right, and reduce stress, and focusing so much time and energy that it becomes a time-sucking obsession.

But the process of trying to conceive has also reminded me how blessed I am and how blessed any baby I bring into the world will be. (See there, I said it, with no fear of jinxing anything!) So many people have shared with me their best wishes, prayers, and positive energy. My best friends have donned funny socks on the days of my IUIs in hopes that more socks equals more luck. Are good luck charms and positive energy any less scientific than jinxes, or any less crazy for that matter? Nope. Yet those types of ‘superstitions’ aren’t harmful; they’re the buoys that keep me swimming and smiling when I might otherwise feel like I’m drowning.

So if believing in the magic of positive thoughts and funny socks means I also need to occasionally throw some salt over my ovaries, I’ll do it. I’ll try not to take any of it too seriously, especially the foolish fears. But I can’t dismiss it all either—there is power in footwear, any woman can tell you that.

And if people think I’m nuts, so be it. Writers are supposed to be a bit loony. I just keep telling myself this is all great fodder for my next novel. The question is will it be a sweet chick lit book or a murder mystery? (You never know what a character on artificial hormones might do!)

In the meantime, cross your fingers for me, okay? Hey, it can’t hurt!

Photo credit: Baby Love via photopin (license)

Fertility Monitoring

Originally posted on April 26, 2015 on Merely Mothers (now Evie & Sarah)

All I really remember from my school’s sex ed. classes is the video that my friends and I mocked for years that ended with the overly chipper mom telling her newly menstruating tween, “Let’s go out to ice cream!” Seriously, mom?

Lately, I’ve been wishing I’d paid closer attention, because there are so many things I’m just learning about my own body. And when you’re trying to conceive through fertility treatments, knowing your own body and its cycles significantly increases your chances of getting the timing right. Thankfully, there are some monitoring tools that can help.

Temperature charting

One method of fertility monitoring that’s been used for years is charting temperature throughout the course of the month. Recording your temperature first thing in the morning using a basal thermometer, which gives a more accurate reading, can often determine ovulation among other important information about your cycle. Use it over a couple months and you’ll be able to predict your most fertile days.

Pros

It’s cheap; basal thermometers start as low as $7 on Amazon.

Cons

It needs to be done daily over the course of multiple months in order to see the patterns necessary for accurate predictions. Also, your basal temp should be taken at the same time every day for the most accurate results. This means waking up at your weekday time even on the weekends. Finally, you need to know a little about how to read the charts. Luckily, there’s an app for that. See fertility apps below.

Recommendation

EUDEMON Digital Basal Thermometer for Cycle Control: I like being able to read the backlit screen without having to turn on a light, especially on the weekends when I often go back to bed after taking my temp. It also saves 30 days of data so you don’t need to worry if you forget to write down your reading one day.

Fertility monitoring apps

If you want to monitor multiple signs of fertility, including basal temperature, but want to leave the interpretation of all that data up to the experts, there are dozens of fertility apps available. The more data you input, the more accurate predictions they’ll provide, but most can predict your most fertile days and the day of ovulation with good accuracy after just a month of monitoring.

Pros

Most offer free versions of the app that pretty much do everything you need when trying to conceive. They’re also convenient since they’re available on your phone, tablet, and computer. And they give you piece of mind; you’re not alone in interpreting the data.

Cons

For the best results, you still should be taking your basal temperature daily, so you’re still setting the alarm on Sunday. Ugh.

Recommendations

I’ve tried two of these apps, Ovia and Fertility Friend. Both track tons of data, more than I ever bother to enter (does it really matter if I’m cranky that day?). And both are easy to use.

Ovia looks pretty. Its interface is modern, colorful, and fun. I particularly like the little sperm swimming to the egg whenever you pull it down to update. Unfortunately, for the first two months it predicted my most fertile days later than what they ended up being. If I weren’t using the digital ovulation test as well and were going about having a baby the traditional way versus IUI, I definitely would have missed some of the best baby-making days in the month. By the third month, though, it did adjust to my data.

Fertility Friend, on the other hand, is nothing special to look at. Its graphics aren’t fancy or fun. But it works. At least for me, I find it to be the most accurate of the two.

Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs)

If it’s tough enough to wake up early on Mondays and the idea of daily temperature taking doesn’t do it for you, this last option might be your best bet. OPKs are easy to use monitors that read your changing hormone levels prior to ovulation in order to indicate your most fertile days. All they require is a few days of peeing on a stick.

Pros

Assuming you know the average length of your cycle, these monitors only need to be used for four or five days as you approach ovulation. You don’t need to wake up at any particular time to do them, and they give clear, accurate results.

Cons

The digital ones—the ones recommended for those of us undergoing IUIs due to their accuracy and ease in reading results—are expensive. Even on Amazon, the cheapest place by far that I’ve seen, they are about $35 for a two-month supply.

Recommendation

Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Test: This monitor is great for couples and singles, as it gives not only the two peak fertility days (the reading needed for IUIs), but also the most fertile days leading up to that. It also cracks me up with its smiley face indicator. I’m waiting for it to wink at me one month or tell me to go get it on.

Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or trying not to get pregnant, it’s good to know that modern science and technology has taken a lot of the guesswork and superstitions out of fertility monitoring.

Featured image photo: Hey Paul Studios

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Motherhood Loves Company; The Magic of Mothers Groups

Originally posted on April 12, 2015 on Merely Mothers (now Evie & Sarah)

Shortly after announcing my intention to become a single mother, a friend of mine lent me a DVD of The Backup Plan, a far-fetched romantic comedy about a woman who made the same decision to go it alone, only to meet Mr. Right an hour after getting knocked up. Some of the best scenes in the movie take place at a single mothers support group. To maximize the comedic aspect, the film depicts its members as an eclectic, tight-knit group of hippies and man-haters. It was stereotypical but hysterical. It was also the night before my first Single Mothers By Choice (SMC) group meeting, so it was a tad terrifying.

Coming from a family where emotions and serious topics are preferably left unspoken or at least only used as fodder for jokes, the idea of a support group was new and uncomfortable. So walking into the church where the SMC meeting was held and taking in the circle of more than forty women required a little more nerve than expected, even for someone as loquacious as I am. I was tempted to join the half-dozen toddlers corralled in the center in their attempts to flee, but something drove me to an empty chair.

That something was the need to belong. The need to know I wasn’t alone in my desire to do something a little unconventional, a little crazy. Those toddlers and pre-schoolers were more than just loud and adorable. They were proof that what I want is possible. Their moms were not only surviving the early years of single motherhood, they were finding time to go to group meetings to support and encourage other single mothers on a Sunday afternoon.

We claim to be a society that admires individuality and self-reliance. But to attempt to do something challenging, which thousands of people have already done, without reaching out for advice, support, and encouragement isn’t self-sufficient, it’s needlessly stressful and arguably stupid. Living alone for so long I’ve become independent to a fault, but I’m not foolish. I know I can’t parent alone. I also know things will go wrong, probably quite often. I’m going to need support of all kinds, including the kind of emotional support that can only come from women who’ve walked this path a few steps ahead of me.

And those women, those moms? Well, they certainly weren’t the man-hating hippies Hollywood created. They were funny, educated, diverse women who just happened to find themselves single yet still wanting to be a mom. In other words, they were just like me. I looked around and realized I wasn’t sailing into the Bermuda triangle of parenting minus a first mate and a life-vest. I was on a well-stocked, able-crewed cruiser to motherhood. Suddenly the large number of attendees wasn’t daunting; it was empowering.

My mother never understood my interest in team sports. Or perhaps she just couldn’t see past the risk of her only daughter sustaining a life-long neck injury to see the benefits. I did—sustain the injury and reap the benefits. There’s something about doing something physically and mentally challenging with a group of like-minded women that allows you to appreciate the beauty and power of yourself, your body, and your gender. That might seem awfully deep coming from a hooker. (It’s a rugby position. Honestly.) But it’s an absolute truth and a feeling I wasn’t sure I’d ever truly experience again. Walking out of that meeting of other single mothers or single mothers-to-be, I felt a flicker of that feeling resurface.

Just like with my teammates on the rugby field, getting filthy and being unabashedly aggressive, those single moms and I are doing something a little edgy, and a little risky, and a little wonderful. We are pushing boundaries set by society and ourselves. And as scary as that can be, we push on, mostly because we know the rewards will be worth it. But also because we realize we are in good company.

Photo credit: DSC_4807 via photopin (license)

Two-Week Torture: Surviving the Waiting Period (No Pun Intended)

Originally posted on March 22, 2015 on Merely Mothers (now Evie & Sarah)

As with any new adventure in life, this journey toward single motherhood is teaching me a lot about myself. And I’m not talking about my biology, though I’ve certainly spent more time examining signs of fertility than I ever cared to. Nope, I’m talking about the stuff you can’t measure quantitatively. In this case, patience.

Recently I had my first IUI. The procedure itself was swift and easy; I was in and out of the office in a matter of minutes. Then came the next phase, the two-week wait (TWW). Two weeks. Two busy, work and fun-filled weeks. How hard could it be? I thought. My post-TWW self knows the answer: excruciatingly hard. But my naïve, pre-TWW self hadn’t a clue.

First mistake: I thought two weeks would go by fast. In reality it dragged on like a snag in my nylons on parent conference night, slowly growing worse and worse, becoming more and more impossible to ignore. Second mistake: I thought I could easily manage my anxiety. Then my car needed expensive repairs, my students turned in a mountain of work I needed to correct, and I had a 13-hour day smack dab in the middle of the TWW because of parent conferences (minus the runny nylons, at least). And my final mistake: I thought I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I logically knew it was only about a ten percent chance that it would work. But the optimist in me got the better of logic and began to turn every gas pain into a hopeful sign of implantation.

My disciplined plan to stay off the internet and refrain from peeing on a stick until day 12 flew out the window by day 9. Instead of unburying myself from some of that correcting, I spent hours researching everything from early pregnancy signs to daycare costs (one of many inducers of the midnight mini-panic attacks that plagued me during the sleepless stretch near the end). By the morning of day 10 I was down the rabbit hole. I’d cracked open the first home pregnancy test and wasted hours online. And I was pretty disappointed—not by the negative test result, but in myself.

I’m not that girl! my inner monologue screamed. I’m not impatient, undisciplined, or obsessive. Or am I? Had I forgotten that my parents taught me to read a digital clock well before most kids could tell time, just so I wouldn’t wake them up, all eager to start my day, at some ungodly hour of the early morning? Or that I can’t keep ice cream in the house for fear of finishing the container before noon? Or that I decorated my entire condo to look like Hogwarts for the release of the final Harry Potter book? Because those things sound a lot like the actions of someone who’s a wee bit impatient, undisciplined, and obsessive.

I guess I should have seen the crazy coming. But I didn’t, not this time. As disappointed as I was to have Aunt Flow arrive days ahead of schedule, it was probably a pretty good thing she did. I might have been carrying around pregnancy tests in my pocket for each and every pee by day 14. And I’m pretty sure that would have caused a stir at the middle school where I teach.

Good intentions and learning from experience aside, when something so potentially life-changing and wonderful is in my future, there’s no way I’m going to “Keep Calm and Carry On.” But letting it rule my life for two-week stretches at a time isn’t healthy either. So what’s my plan for next time? How can I embrace my proclivity to pee early and often and still stay sane? By allowing a little crazy each day.

As an obsessive to-do list maker (another sign I missed, apparently), I love planning out my week. I schedule in everything: household chores, school work, time to write, time to exercise, time to correct—and next IUI, time to obsess. This was advice shared by one of the many wonderful women on the Single Mothers by Choice forums, and it makes perfect sense. By admitting that I need a little time in these two weeks to get excited (and nervous), to get support, and to get answers, even unscientific Dr. Google answers, I won’t need to beat myself up when I give in. But by limiting it to a reasonable amount each day, leaving plenty of time to focus on the more important aspects of life, I won’t reach the end feeling I’d wasted two weeks with nothing to show for it but more stress. (Though hopefully I’ll have something to show for it, sooner rather than later!)

Waiting will never be easy. In fact, the more times I need to wait, the more torturous it will likely be. And not being the patient, disciplined, reasonable woman I thought I was adds some challenges. But challenges help us grow and change…or maybe they just help us see and accept ourselves as we are, as we’ve always been.

Acceptance aside, other suggestions on how to remain sane (or as sane as I ever am) are always welcome!

The Tips, Tricks, and Superstitions of Conceiving

Originally posted on March 8, 2015 on Merely Mothers (now Evie & Sarah)

Lucky Socks. Special diet. Visualizing. And foot warmers? Nope, these aren’t the tools used by competitive skiers. These are the tips, tricks, and superstitious routines of women trying to conceive (TTC).

I admit, even before making my first doctor’s visit, I trolled the web for any and all advice to help my chances. From supporting many friends, I’ve seen that TTC can be emotionally exhausting. As a single woman needing to rely on doctors and donors, it’s also expensive. The fewer cycles I need to conceive, the better.

Unfortunately, there’s no fertility potion, super sperm, or voodoo magic that can guarantee a BFP, or big fat positive. But there are plenty of old wives’ tales, some scientific research, and a few just-for-fun practices that I am totally willing to try.

Warm and funny: Apparently sperm and eggs are particular about the temperature at which they like to meet and multiply. While I understand the science behind not frying these puppies in a sauna or hot tub during the two week wait, some sites seemed to have some wonky ideas that take it a step further. More than one mentioned avoiding cold beverages. I like herbal tea and can live with room temperature water for a couple weeks, so why not? But my favorite was the blog that insisted on keeping one’s feet warm because “warm feet=warm uterus.” Really? For me, having cold feet at any time of the month is a torture worse than water boarding. I wear socks to bed in the dog days of August. So throwing some feet warmers in my slippers on cold nights is a bonus regardless of whether it works.

And since I’m wearing socks anyway . . . why not have a little fun? The best thread I’ve read by far on the Single Mother’s by Choice boards is the one titled Insemisocks. Yup, that’s short for insemination socks, and that’s not even the funniest part. Women not only don their adorable lucky socks on the day of their IUIs and IVFs, but a number of them go right ahead and snap a picture of them still in the stirrups. While I’m more comfortable snapping my sock-selfie in the privacy of my home while fully clothed, I’m still willing to partake. Anything that brings laughter to me and others (like the smirking nurse who gets to see them) is okay by me.

Sticking Power: After showing off my fab socks each cycle, there are supposedly a few foods that will assist in implantation of the embryo. In less clinical terms, I’m eating pineapple and nuts in hopes of turning my uterus into a tiny Velcro vessel. The pineapple ‘trick’ calls for taking a ripe pineapple and cutting it into five sections, keeping the core. Eat one section a day starting on the day of your procedure (or the day you get down to it, if you’re doing this the natural way) and bam, Velcro. The thought is the bromelain in the core increases your sticking power, but there’s no evidence this is anything more than a delicious old wives’ tale.

Another nutrient that reportedly has similar benefits (with a little more science behind it) is selenium, which is found in many nuts, particularly Brazil nuts, but also in cashews, walnuts, and Macadamia nuts. So once the socks come off, I’ll be snacking on some mixed nuts and pineapple chunks. I suppose a virgin piña colada would break the “no cold drinks” rule, though, huh?

Head games: One TTC tip mentioned in nearly everything I read, from the scientific sites to the mom blogs, was to try to relax. Whether it is through visualizing the cells in your body beginning to grow into a baby, doing yoga or meditation, or having acupuncture or Reiki treatments, you need to try to chill. This is much easier said than done, I’m learning, but managing stress is important for everyone, TTC or not.

If you can afford to get some trained help in this area, studies have proven acupuncture can increase one’s chances of conceiving. Having never had it before myself, I think it might actually increase my anxiety on the day of an IUI unless I get the chance to try a session or two ahead of time, so I’m passing on this one for now. Luckily, though, I have a close friend who’s trained to perform Reiki, another form of alternative healing and relaxation. The few sessions she’s done have been wonderfully calming and comforting, something that’s good for the soul, baby on board or not.

Since Skyping the Stork and telling him to make it quick apparently isn’t possible, I’m left with these other options: eat well, stay warm, laugh often, and stress less. It’s no magic bean, but until the time is right and the real magic begins, it’ll have to do.

Who’s Your Daddy? The Daunting Task of Choosing a Donor

Originally posted on February 22, 2015 on Merely Mothers (now Evie & Sarah)

Let’s face it, by the time I reached the decision to become a single mother by choice, I had become an expert at online dating—or at least an expert on reading and decoding guys’ online profiles. “I’m a bit of a geek” sounds cute but equates to “I have limited social skills outside of my ability to speak Klingon,” while “I’m working towards a degree in . . .” means “I’m still living in my mom’s basement.” So I thought wading through the waters of donor profiles would be a familiar and simple task. You know, just like finding a husband. *Bangs head on computer desk*

Healthy and handsome, and a little height wouldn’t hurt. That’s all I thought I needed to worry about when I started my search. After all, genes are tricky, unreliable buggers; I know this as the five-one daughter of a five-eight mother. So why get too hung up on all the details of baby-to-be’s donor daddy? I could choose a donor with features like mine and those of my family, but there’s no guarantee which traits B2B will get, and, really, will it matter? I’m going to love this child like crazy no matter what he or she looks like or how tall he or she grows to be.

But after twelve years of living alone, I need to get used to the idea that very soon I’m not going to be the only one that matters in my house. If all goes as planned, sometime in the not-so-distant future I will have a child that will some day likely grow curious about his donor. (Funny expressions aside, the word daddy doesn’t apply.) When I realized I would some day have to answer the question, “How’d you choose?” to someone to whom the answer would matter very much, the jokes about getting tipsy and playing Russian roulette with the search feature on the cryobank’s website all seemed a little less funny.

To me, the donor will simply be a very generous guy who helped me achieve a miracle. But to B2B, he will have a much greater significance—not just a medical history, but a whole half of his or her being. From what I’ve read and from my conversation with the social worker who meets with families using donor sperm or eggs, some children place very little importance on their donors. But others do. I can’t promise my child he or she will ever get to meet the donor, but I certainly can promise him or her that I picked him for a better reason than his height and eye color.

So, how did I choose? Well, I suppose my online dating profile expertise did actually play a roll. Just like with those profiles, donor profiles have a number of sections. After reading far too many, I decided which were important (aside from health histories and, yes, a little height). For me, the personal responses, staff impressions, and the expression section meant the most.

From the handful of answers the donors provided and the section where donors could choose to share a little more about themselves or their passions, I could get a little glimpse of their voices and a little insight into what was important to them. I looked for someone who cared about his family, was driven but also somewhat laid-back, and who cherished creativity and learning. In other words, I looked for someone who shared my values.

That said, having spent enough time online to know it’s relatively easy to paint yourself a wee bit rosier than perhaps you really are, I then compared my impressions to those of the staff. Granted, in all the profiles I read, none of the staff ever said, “This guy’s a real jerk.” But by reading between the lines a little, I could tell when they were digging for something nice to say versus when they genuinely seemed to mean it. It seems odd to rely on the opinion of a stranger, but I believe good people leave good impressions, and that’s important to me.

Though the childhood pictures were helpful to narrow down the final few, in the end I went with a judge of character. My child may never know his donor, but he or she will know that I did the best I could to pick a donor who spoke to me as someone who shared those traits I value most in myself and others: intelligence, kindness, and creativity.

Oh, and he is tall. So if B2B is pint-sized, he or she can blame genetics, not me!

Photo credit: via photopin (license)