Sunday, 12 April 2015


Sorry I have fallen behind on my posting lately--I'm terrible, I know--but life has been so busy! 

Not much to report on the TTC route since the past week was that in-between week of waiting for AF to take off and mull over possible adjustments to our game-plan before my fertile window for this cycle. Easter weekend also meant two business days were lost too, so my clinic still hasn't called regarding my ultrasound. And the technician who did the ultrasound said that everything looked normal to him (during the process), but they have a specialist who looks at the images and writes a written report that gets forwarded to my doctor, so he couldn't really tell me anything. And, he had to send me out into the lobby with water twice because my bladder was only a quarter full when I arrived (early, thank goodness) in spite of drinking the recommended amount of water an hour beforehand. So, when in doubt, drink an extra glass of water before you leave the house if you ever have to do an ultrasound!

In the meantime I called and scheduled an appointment for G to drop off his specimen for his SA, which he did on Tuesday. He was super cranky about it, and if there's a next time I suppose we better make sure we schedule for a day where he's got nothing work-related to do or he'll be pretty upset with me for a few days. He has also been freaking out because very little came out so there was practically nothing in the cup, and this has added to his anxiety about there being something wrong with him. He has made a lot of comments about adoption in the last few days...sigh. 

To stay grounded I've thrown myself into my roller derby training. On Thursday I went up island to spend the afternoon with my dear friend MJ and her baby Wes, who utterly amazed me with how he's so focused on trying to walk and talk--he's still a baby but I can see him striving so hard to become his own person and how he wants to start gaining his independence a bit! I am completely enamored with him when MJ and I visit, and I will shoot down any negative comment about gingers made in my presence because of this (just a heads-up)! Anyhow, we went to Bikram yoga for an hour and a half and, even though I was super sore from derby practice the night before and it has been about a year since I last went to a Hatha yoga class (which I find already pretty easy since I started with Iyengar when I first began my practice 4.5 years ago, and a bit of Moksha), I'm super proud of myself! I had to make a few modifications on a couple of poses and I couldn't get as deep a stretch as MJ (who has been going once a week and also working super hard to get back to Pre-baby weight since January), but the instructor commented afterwards about how I've retained my awareness of posture and alignment for each position. All those details like "shoulders back and down" and "knee over ankle" or "square the hips" from Iyengar were still built into my body-awareness and made it easy to correct myself when I needed too. Bikram was intense but awesome, and I felt so great afterwards! I really need more yoga in my life!!! Sure, it doesn't really make a difference to losing weight, but it will keep me well stretched, and benefit my balance for derby. 

I also have done really short light jogs last night and this morning with Zoe-dog, which isn't much of a work-out, but we really liked that. It also means she doesn't stop every two feet to sniff obsessively, which bugs me sometimes when we're on a walk.

I dreamt about painting last night too. It was really nice, especially since I haven't had many opportunities to be creative within my busy schedule. 

Anyway, my fertile window should start tomorrow! Wish us luck!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

One More Step

Here we are at CD1 again. This will be our twelfth month of TTC, and knowing that we're so close to that one-year mark comes along with some mixed emotions, obviously. My intuition for the last week has been telling me that this wasn't it this month, and my BBT has been lower than usual ever since about 3DPO. But I had a normal 28 day cycle with decent EWCM during my fertile window, and so I feel like this month wasn't all-bad, even if it didn't yield a BFP. I did do a heck of a lot of crying yesterday when I woke up with cramps. 

G was so hopeful. He asked me almost daily for the last 5 days if/when I was going to test. Last night he seemed borderline baffled when I told him I was spotting, and asked how it could be that I hadn't gotten pregnant this month when we'd BD'd during all the best days, used Pre-Seed, and I'd been so diligent about taking my vitamins and not drinking coffee all month. He was the one reminding me that it was over for this cycle until AF arrived. However, he's thinking that we maybe need to look into going to a few counselling sessions to better deal with TTC.

I have my ultrasound appointment in a little under two hours. Right now I'm at my parents' house while G is busy with office work and faculty meetings on campus, with a heating pad on me and lots of Midol. My cramps are so bad today that I feel like an invalid so the idea of drinking three glasses of water and keep my bladder full for any length of time today isn't very appealing. Not to mention the granny-panties and tampons. My mom keeps asking me if I'm excited. No, maybe a tiny bit, only in that we'll be one step closer to finding out if there's something else we need to be doing. Anything that brings us closer to bringing home future-baby is welcomed. 

Yesterday I brought out the deck of Sacred Geometry cards my grandma gave us for Christmas, meditated on TTC and pulled two cards: Transition and Intuition. Is this just a window of time where we are still preparing for pregnancy, still learning things that may have been holding us back, before we finally have our baby on board?

At least G has agreed to take me to my appointment this afternoon, and will be there to see everything that the ultrasound technician may point out to us. And maybe finally he'll get his SA done, and get over being embarrassed/grossed-out by providing his sample. 

One step closer. 

Friday, 27 March 2015

"But I want to be a paperback writer"

I don't have much time to write tonight, I spent way too long trying to figure out why I couldn't log into gmail and just realised that I was using the wrong email username all's been a long day, just saying.

I've been having a frustrating time at work lately. We've been booked up about a week in advance, often under-staffed, and because everyone's in a hurry it seems like the notes attached to files aren't being read and we're often over-booked or booked incorrectly. And, of course, this means that the scrambling-to-get-everything-done state we're already in gets all the more frustrating. But on top of all of this, it's also come to my attention that my coworker/friend-turned-salon-manager has been over-stepping my boundaries and meddling behind my back. I'd like to think that she's doing what she's been doing because she's sincerely trying to be helpful or supportive, but when I discovered via our groomer-trainee that she had called our Ops Manager last week and asked if I could leave work 15 minutes early for "family issues" without even talking to me about it, I was pretty embarrassed! Apparently because she knew I was mid-cycle she thought I should go home early and hop in the sack with G? This happened a little over a week ago, and beyond thinking it was weird when she had come skipping into the back where I was busy blow-drying the dog I was working on to announce that I could leave 15 minutes early, I didn't find out the details until just a couple of days ago. The difference between getting home at 7:15PM and 7:30PM that day didn't really make a difference to my personal-life, but having our Ops Manager think that some "issue" at home was affecting my professional-life was never something I would have wanted! Yours-truly is the employee that has only called in sick to work once during my two years with the company!

I've had other issues with our salon manager when it comes to her meddling behind my back. A couple of months ago she casually told me that she had been talking to our Ops Manager about how they needed to find my "replacement" asap, to which my Ops Manager asked if I was pregnant, and she responded "no, but every month that passes she's closer to going on mat leave!" I had to really hold myself back and calmly remind her that they'll have nine months to find my "replacement" once I'm actually pregnant, but currently it's a bit premature. Never mind we'd been TTC for 9 cycles at that point, and would have been going on mat leave then if we'd been so lucky to have gotten pregnant so easily.

For all the occasions that I've politely tried to let her know that the things that she's been saying to myself and others are actually hindering me and upsetting me, not helping me at all, it's all seemed to go in one ear and right out the other. I don't know what to do about it really. Do I over-step her and talk to our Ops Manager about what's been going on? Do I call our company's HR? All I know is that I can't continue on like this. I'm getting so frustrated and angry that I was ready to quit on the spot on Tuesday.

The woman whose dogs I groom every couple of weeks, on my day off, says her daughter is interested in a business partnership where she'd do dog-walking and I'd groom. I've agreed to discuss this possibility, but I'm not sure what I'll end up doing. I don't feel like I'm "done" with grooming, though I do feel like I want to leave my current company by September, but I also don't feel like it's my true career. Do I really want to start a business that I'm not sure I'll want to have in five years, or have as a career? Grooming is a trade, a fairly creative one, but it's not what I want to do forever.

I want to be writing. I want to be at my desk, working. We're lucky because G's income is roughly three times what I make, we don't live a very luxurious or materialistic lifestyle, we generally have maybe a couple hundred dollars worth of credit card debt, and even though our mortgage payments are on the high side we only have about 13 years left before that's paid off. I don't NEED to work, financially-speaking, I just feel like I need to contribute to our household bills and have my own money for anything I might need to buy, even if it's just for gas in the truck or the occasional chai latte with a friend. Writing doesn't pay bills or put gas in the truck right now, but I'd be so much happier.

Seriously, what should I do?

Sunday, 15 March 2015

A Letter to our Someday-Baby

Dear Someday-Baby,

I hope you have your dad's nose and dark hair. I hope you and Zoe-dog have so many summer days where you both can run on grass (parks, fields, your grandparents' backyards, literally everywhere, so long as you're both safely away from streets and being supervised) and play fetch with a Frisbee or a ball. I hope you giggle and laugh a lot, and that my cousin Pedia will share her toys with you when she comes to visit. I hope your crib mattress is soft and your knit blanket is warm and cosy. I hope you like to colour and try all kinds of new food. I hope every summer we can all go on a vacation together, even if it's just a little camping trip somewhere on the island. I hope you like all the books we'll read together and stories we'll make up. I hope you'll be excited to go to school when you get a little older.

Your dad and I have been talking about re-painting the loft this summer, and I think a light yellow would be nice. I want it to be a cosy space when it becomes your room, but I also want it to feel like it's full of sunshine even on rainy days. We're going to have to do a lot of spring cleaning and organising, but we want to do all of this to make it your room. We're making space in our lives for you, and the more we do so the more sure we're ready for you.

I want you know that your whole family is ready and waiting for you. Your great-granny Joan even has a wooden highchair stored away for when you arrive, and your great-grandma June has been sending me lots of positive energy in hopes you'll choose a month soon to incarnate. Great-grandpa wants to teach you how to skate, also. Your grandmothers are both excited about the possibility of you, and your granddad has been daydreaming about you for quite a long time now. You have lots of uncles and aunts, lots of cousins waiting here and some future-cousins that will hopefully come after you. When you get here you'll be your dad's dream-come-true, and I already know he's going to spoil you. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure you grow up to be happy and healthy, and I know you're going to become a really good person. I want the best for you, and I want you to always feel loved.

I know you've been hesitating to join us, but I want you to know it's okay and that not for one minute will any of us regret your arrival. We're ready in every way. Nothing about your creation will be "accidental", we've chosen you and will adore you no matter what form you take--you have the freedom to become whatever person you're meant to be, I promise, we'll only do our best to make sure we guide you in a direction without unnecessary discomforts or risks. You are my sole/soul priority.

We love you, Someday-Baby,

Your One-day-Mom

Forgiveness Rock

I haven't had a chance to post anything for almost a month--I am SO sorry!!!--and so I'm a little back-logged when it comes to updating what's been going on. Buckle in, this is likely to be a long post!

Currently I'm CD11, just finished taking Zo for a walk with G, eating spearmint scotch mints, drinking earl grey tea (today is also the one month mark of giving up coffee!), and listening to Broken Social Scene's Forgiveness Rock Record (slightly too loud, I might add) while G is busy marking his printmaking classes' assignments. We were hoping to have a window replaced, one with a broken seal, so that my parents could install the second gorgeous thistle stained glass window, but it's raining so it will be postponed until maybe tomorrow. But best of all, that funk I was in last cycle has subsided for the time being. I am hopeful! I am almost deliriously hopeful that that BFP is going to happen in the next few months!

Let me explain myself...

We drove up to Princeton, BC to see my grandparents and stay with them for about 4 days at their ranch. This was super important to me because they're hoping to sell all 200 or so acres and (hopefully) move to a smaller, more recluse island somewhere in the gulf, and G had never been there before. They had just recently sold off their cattle and are down to just three horses, a cat, and their little (well, she's actually only 3lbs lighter than Zo, but only because she doesn't have a waistline) poodle mix--very strange to not have the bigger farm dogs and the little newborn calves hanging around the barn! And very strange not to see Lippy and Tara, their two horses that they'd had since I was a toddler that have passed away of old-age in the last few years! Nonetheless, it was wonderful to breathe in that crisp mountain air and be surrounded by those rolling hills and the hayfield that spreads out just below the house and runs along the creek. Seeing my grandparents was so great that I honestly didn't want to leave. I think it was super important for us to be able to disconnect from our jobs and phones and unwind for a few days, and I wish we could have more of that peaceful space within our everyday lives a little more often.

The second afternoon we were there, G and my grandfather went downstairs and watched the hockey game on the projector screen, and my grandma and I went off to the now-hot tub-less hot tub room so that my grandma could do a bit of reiki on me. I hopped up on the massage table and as my grandma straightened out my legs and set me back into alignment she proceeded to explain that the reason why there was 5 years between when my uncle was born and when she got pregnant with my mom was because she had a tipped uterus. She'd moved and her new doctor had noticed and corrected her uterus; that was September of 1966 and she got pregnant in December, just four months later! She said she has had a feeling that I've inherited a tipped uterus too, and that she has been able to use reflexology to correct it for a few other female clients of hers over the years. She checked me (via reflexology, not like a pap--don't worry!) and concluded her suspicions were correct, and then she went about trying to set it back into place. As she worked she told me that the first time she'd done this it was for a hairdresser named Heather that had come to her appointment over 15 years ago in tears because she'd been TTC for years without success. She corrected it and 6 weeks later Heather was pregnant! A couple years later, when Heather was ready to start TTC again she went back in and my grandma repeated the correction, and even though it took a little bit longer she did get pregnant again with her second child. She said she predicted that it'll take a few months for me, and that she'd have to check to make sure it had set in place before G and I left in a couple days.

When she was done she went to the head of the table to begin doing her cranial-sacral work on me, and only maybe 10 minutes later we heard a vehicle come racing up the long driveway and park. My grandma got up to see how it was, and this is totally zany, but it was Heather the hairdresser! Heather apologised for not calling first, but she'd had so much shoulder pain that she'd come straight from her last appointment. I've known Heather for years and so we said hi and chatted for a little while as I got off of the table and she got up there in my place. My grandma mentioned that I was having a hard time getting pregnant and Heather immediately asked "did you do that thing?" and when my Grandma said she had Heather said "Oh good!" and settled herself. I worked on Heather's feet and just focused on keeping a steady stream of energy flowing through her, while my grandma focused on her back and shoulders. (Which was very good for me, since I haven't really done reiki at all over the last 5 years since I stopped going up to Princeton for work in the summers.)

My grandma also emailed her wonderful psychic friend Catherine-Sue about me, and Catherine-Sue pointed out that there is an Ace of Hearts as my Long Range Card for this year, which I had overlooked as simply being "the desire for a child" not a pregnancy sign for myself, and so I do have a chance of conceiving between now and my birthday in July, after all. Excellent!! She said to mediate on the Three of Hearts in Saturn and deal with this feeling of indecision/"feeling of pulled in multiple directions", and to NOT use "being too busy" as an excuse (which I am very guilty of). She said to prepare and to make getting pregnant my soul purpose for this year, to let the little soul of our future baby know we're ready for her/him to incarnate.

Finally, five minutes before we were about to leave a few days later, I got an email back from Psychic Mary Akinson with the reading I'd ordered three weeks earlier. This was her email to me:

Dearest Meghan,

Thank you for allowing me to read for you I'm most grateful. If any part of your reading is unclear please let me know. I will now look over your pregnancy path with my spirit guide Ashton to help.

I can see a pregnancy anytime within 10 weeks

I can see a healthy baby girl born at 40 weeks of your pregnancy.

I do feel vaginal delivery lasting under 7 hours with 11 minutes of pushing

Birth- Tuesday 8:12AM

Weight 6lbs 11oz

I can see her first word is PINK


I can see conception with a healthy baby son when your daughter is above 3 years old, providing you try again...

If any of your reading is unclear please let me know, and of course let me know how you get on.

Kindest Regards, May your path be blessed

Mary Akinson

I was so excited and relieved that I passed my phone to my grandma and told her to read the email on the screen. She gave a surprised little "oh ho!" and laughed, then said "that would be about right."

And my uterus had been still in place when my lovely grandma checked it before G and I left, also.

So that means two and and half cycles. Well, it's two now that I'm coming up to O this week. I've regained the emotional strength and determination to go out and buy more PreSeed (this time with the applicators) and continue on my coffee-free path. I haven't told many people but I did tell my mom about all this, and she was very supportive and excited for me. I also told my close childhood friend Mel the other day when we met up for tea and a 5km walk (which I was supposed to skate, but Wes was with her in his stroller and the weather was a bit cruddy). Mel was excited too, and told me that when she was still in Prince George a couple years ago she'd gone to a psychic who'd predicted she'd get pregnant with a little blue-eyed strawberry-blond son, who was extremely eager to be born--and now here he is, of course! She also posited the possibility of us combining her photography and my artwork for the illustrations in a children's book, but we'll see how that pans out.

So I have been busy with getting my teeth cleaned, getting my annual pap done and out of the way with Dr. C-G, and rollerskating. Once I finished up my pap I bought G and I some flowers for the bay window in our kitchen and made a special little stop at the knitting shop down the hill from our house...I bought three balls of yarn in a soft yellow-teal-lilac, which I will knit into our future-baby's blanket. I also took my soap kettle, wrapping paper, and other clutter out of the loft and stored it all away in the studio and the attic space above. I am doing my best to sort of call out to the little spirit of future-baby to say "we're so ready for you, we're making space in our lives for you, doing all that we can to prepare for your arrival, and this loft is going to be your room. You're only a twinkle in our eyes but we love you so much already and we're so excited to share everything we have with you when you get here."

Oh, I'm getting all emotional just writing this!

Sure, I'm nervous that maybe this hopefulness is only going to lead to a starker disappointment, but allowing myself to daydream a little has been so nice. I'm going to be patient with myself, and I've been reminding myself that if it takes a few months that that's okay--having a baby born about this time next year would be very nice! The flowers are starting to bloom, the weather is getting a bit warmer, and G is 4 weeks away from the end of his second semester of classes.

This time next year would be the perfect time to have our baby.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Sea Change

I'm in the TWW but I already know I'm out for this month.

Last week we BD'd just for fun (my idea) even though we were both tired. I almost immediately fell asleep afterwards and didn't get up to pee until the alarm clock went off the next could I be so stupid?! I woke up at about 3:45 on Saturday morning with a UTI--Happy Valentine's Day!!! It was bad enough that I considered pulling over during the drive to work and calling in sick because I felt like I couldn't leave the bathroom for more than 15 minutes. I even told our really socially-fumbling male Store Manager that I had a UTI and was intending to drink as much water as possible and get through my first appointment, but that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it through the day. Awkward.

So by about 2pm that afternoon, after about 3 water bottles and countless trips to the bathroom, I started feel like everything was settling down. I finished up work, went home, and was met with a yummy dinner, roses and a very good bottle of wine from G. I knew it was a bad idea, it's just that I hadn't had a glass of wine in so long and it was Valentine's Day, so I poured myself a small glass to have with dinner. Yeah, it wasn't too bad until half way through watching Anna Karenina on Netflix, at which point it spiralled into yet another whirlwind of agony. I was up until almost 3AM (yay 24 hour day!) before managing to fall asleep, then back up again at 7AM so that we could get ready to go to G's niece's birthday party down island. Not a good Valentine's Day, and certainly not romantic.

Yesterday and today have been better, finally, but I've completely cut coffee, even decaf, for the the last five days. I had the tiniest little bit of chai yesterday and that was okay, but it's better to limit sugar and stick with water, cranberry juice and herbal tea.

So we literally missed my entire fertile window this cycle. I O'd night-before-last/yesterday morning and we couldn't do anything about it. It's not recommended to BD with a UTI until at least two weeks of being symptom-free, and G didn't want me to continue to be so uncomfortable so we didn't risk it. We even discussed trying at-home AI with a needle-less syringe as a possibility, so that we'd maybe still have a chance this month, but Monday night I was still feeling so bothersome that I didn't stop to pick one up on the way home from work because I couldn't stand the thought of anything foreign being in me, even if it was for a really good cause.

G was actually really willing to give it a try. He turned down BDing the usual way last night once he found out that I still hadn't picked up a needle-less syringe. I know he was really disappointed but he still put my well-being first. I suppose in the future, if a similar situation occurs, we can default back to this at-home plan B.

The one good thing about this UTI: I have raced through Ali Smith's most recent novel How to be Both while passing all that time in the bathroom. I think I read about 80 pages Valentine's Day night, which I haven't done since the days of post-secondary reading-lists. It's written in a way that makes for really good straight-through reading though since this novel is written in two inter-changeable sections with almost no chapter breaks in either section. Her intention was to attempt to have narratives on different time lines running simultaneously, not so much interwoven, as though it were a symphony. She was especially influenced by fresco/secco and she has tried to create these layers in the novel, and I'd say she has it pushed to the limits, to a point where it works without sacrificing the quality of her storytelling. It's pretty amazing--I have been contemplating how she's done it so successfully and essentially nerding-out all morning.

Ali Smith is one of my top 5 favourite authors, and How to be Both is maybe the 5th book of hers I've added to my own personal collections. I used to say Jeanette Winterson was better, and she's up there on my list/collection too, but I think I've come to the conclusion that Ali Smith is much more versitile, perhaps more technical. Both have published work in the realm of literary criticism, but Ali Smith manage to turn it into a novel (another amazing book of hers: Artful) and that was mind-blowing for me. If I ever manage to write with as much skill and intellectual prowess as Ali Smith I was die an extremely self-satisfied woman.

I'm going to be gracious and give you all the link for the CBC Radio podcast of the interview Ali Smith did for Writers and Company. Rather than explain her work and these two novels, I'll let the author tell you about it herself:

On that note, I will take my leave of you all. I've got to take Zoe-dog for a walk and hopefully leap back into doing either some fiction or non-fiction writing while I'm still feeling all bubbly with inspiration.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

"Because you want your world a certain way"

My appointment to meet my new GP is in about two hours and I'm trying to keep myself feeling level-headed. I don't know what to expect but I'm assuming we'll at least glance at the specifics of those lab results, and discuss moving on to new tests and examinations of a gynaecological nature. G isn't coming with me this time but I know he wants me to discuss our concerns that maybe he isn't "shooting" with enough force to get his swimmers to my cervix and beyond.

I wish G hadn't cancelled his appointment a couple of weeks ago with his GP because I think that's what his doctor wanted to touch-base with him on during that visit.

I have been freaking out all this week about the possibility that we may either never have children, or might only be able to with a lot of medical help. G has said that he doesn't want us to go through IVF. On one hand I'm glad he doesn't think it's fair or pleasant that I go through the process required, but on the other hand I wish he'd be a bit more flexible--if that's what we have to do, if that's our only chance, shouldn't we be open to it?

I'm terrified that if it does really take years for us to conceive he might close down completely to having a baby under the pretence of being "too old". I have a little bit of time left to do this, in fact I think I'm just slightly past the prime age overall to have a baby (taking into consideration education, personal achievements, travel, financial and relationship status-wise, and amassed life-experience), but G is constantly concerned with fighting against the passing of time these days. Time passes a lot faster for him, he says. I get that, but I don't think it's an excuse to limit your pursuit of a fully-lived life.

On a much sunnier note, derby practise last night was great! Once again, roller derby has proved itself to be the best therapy I can get. Another freshy achievement: the start of baby-sized cross-overs and T-stops! Next time I have Kitty Glitter count how many laps around the track I can do in 5 minutes, it's going to be quite a bit closer to the 27 goal-point than ever before. By doing cross-overs rather than coasting sticky-wheels style I can maintain, and even pick up more speed, and that's huge. It means I can keep up better with the pack when we're going at a faster-than-moderate pace, and it gives me the potential to dart around blockers and stuff if I do jam occasionally. The T-stops are going to take me a little bit longer than cross-overs still because leaning on my edge wheels feels so unnatural and I'm totally in that phase of over-thinking it every time. I'm pushing myself, and it feels good--even my knees were sweaty by the time I was done the two hours and pealing my gear off.

Also, it looks like on March 7th we'll be doing another team photo shoot (I missed last Saturday's because of work and the film festival). This morning I dug through my dresser drawers and basically figured out two outfits for the shoot; one is a short black dress I bought in NYC when I was 20, and the other is a white and black striped dress that would totally work perfectly if I do get into reffing matches as part of the Nerd Herd. While I was sort of playing dress-up I was rocking out to the Pixies, and I totally felt like deep-down I've still "got it". I'm out of shape still, and that sucks, but in fishnets, a short dress, and my faux-leather jacket I've got legs for days--and that's always been my "problem area": thunder thighs! I actually felt hot for the first time in ages, and with my ruffled-up rocked-out long bob and bangs I looked sort of like I was in my early-to-mid 20s again. If I wear the gold tie with "fuck work" printed all over the bottom, it'll match perfectly with the mustard coloured cover font of a book of local ghost stories if I want to pull in a prop.

If my ex's could see me in my derby-best they'll all be kicking themselves....sigh. At least I think G still feels like a lucky guy, right? TTC is so not sexy and fun at this point.