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Book News

October 2, 2016

It’s that time again. I’m getting ready to release my fourth book. This book will be called Spaces Between Notes. I’ll be doing the cover reveal later today (or tomorrow for those of us on the West coast) along with an ARC sign up.

For now, I’ll leave you with the summary:

Nikolai Amorosa is one of those men’s men. You know the type—allergic to feelings, couldn’t have a heartfelt discussion if he tried, which he never did. Then, he lost his voice, and any chance of communication went out the window.

Unable to speak or otherwise interact with anyone, Niko’s anger was off the charts. It could’ve been worse; he could’ve been in jail. Instead, he found himself doing construction on Carys Harper’s house. Carys talked—a lot—both with her voice and her hands. She was also at the beck and call of her deaf little brother, Benny, which drove Niko nine kinds of crazy. Not that he would’ve said anything, even if he could.

Something else that drove him crazy? Carys was stubborn. She wouldn’t let him wallow.More than that, she seemed to hear all the things he couldn’t say. She understood him like she understood music. She heard what existed in the spaces between notes. She knew that sometimes silence screams the loudest.

It Takes A Village

May 22, 2016

Sorry about the delay between posts. Life got all…lifey. Go figure, right?

After my initial appointment with the infertility doc and her vampiric practice (eleven vials of blood…I’m pretty sure she’s feeding her habit), I made an appointment with a social worker at my doctor’s request. Now, remember, Kaiser Permanente is my medical provider. They’re all about preventative care, which is something I appreciate. In this case, the idea is to make sure I’ve thought of all the basics and that I know what my resources are.

What are the basics of deciding to have a baby? Well, money, for one. But we’ve talked about this. I don’t have a lot of it. However, lots of people have raised amazing children on much less than I have. I do have a steady and secure job with reasonable prospects for bettering my position. I’m also an author. Self-published, but hey, it pays a few bills. Curious? Check me out: Kristina M. Sanchez on Amazon.

People keep asking me what I’m going to do about child care, and I don’t get the point of that question. Day Care was always going to be a reality for my child. Even if I had a choice—which I don’t—day care would be the way to go. Mommy has writing to do, kiddo. I’m one of those people who doesn’t think that’s a bad thing. My kid knowing they can rely on someone other than Mommy? I’m okay with it. Here’s the only thing I know about who’s going to take care of my kid while I’m at work: he or she is going to love Baby. Not like me. No one is going to love this kid like their mother, but they’re going to be well cared for. Just don’t ask me about the money, because I have no idea yet.

The social worker asked about my support system.

Meet the family

MommyAndMeThis is my mother. My mother is a rock-star. This is a chick who, in the sixties, fought the State of California when they said she couldn’t have a promotion because she was a woman and won. We have our moments. What child doesn’t have a complex relationship with their parent? But my mother is aces. Boy or girl, I want my kid to grow up like my mother: strong, fierce, independent, and always able to pick herself up when the world pushed her down. Despite significant struggle, my mother has raised three children, is well traveled, and has always had an interesting career. One of the reasons I’m so keen on having my children now is so that they’ll get to know their grandma.

My siblings

SiblingsRJ, my baby brother. No one believes he’s my little brother. They all think he’s older. I’m proud of this kid, man. He works hard, and he’s accomplished so much. And he’s the funniest person I know. We fight like cats and dogs, but at the end of the day, I know I can count on him when the going gets rough. Plus, I’m depending on him to take Baby shopping. Trust me, he has a better fashion sense, boy or girl.

Adriana, my little sister. RJ’s wife. Sweeter than pan dulce. I have no idea why this chick hangs out with a guy like my brother, but I’m glad she does. She’s been my cheerleader through all of this. Always sunny, always kind, always supportive. I lost my biological sister when I was nineteen, and I missed that sisterly bond until Adriana came around. I’m glad she’ll be here with me.

My Baby Daddy

MellyDon’t ever let people tell you the Internet is no place to make good friends. That’s a bunch of bologna.

So, I’m hanging out in a chat room one day (a chat room about a mutual interest, not romance) and I meet this woman. The woman who would become my Melly. Fast forward years later, and she’s my best friend. We travel together and see each other often despite the fact she’s a NorCal girl.

Why is she my baby daddy? Well, that’s what I call the person who provided the sperm. I have no idea why she loves me that much. It’s overwhelming. But I know I’ve made a friend for life, and my baby will have something more than an auntie. They will have a Melly.

Dear Baby,

The social worker asked if I had any male influences for you. It was important, she said, for a child to have positive male and female influences.

I guess now is a good time to tell you, your momma has opinions. What that means for you, is you’re not going to get to just accept popular opinion. Question everything, little one. Think about everything people say, everything that seems ‘normal’, everything you read, and everything you hear. Which doesn’t mean to be skeptical—though a healthy dose of skepticism won’t go amiss—but to be aware. The world is not a two-sizes-fits-all place.

Ugh. I can already see teenage you rolling your eyes. I know, Baby. It’s going to get tiring. I feel you.

Here’s the thing that gets me about her question. I’m a sociologist, and I know that gender is a spectrum. Sex is a spectrum too, by the way. I can’t figure out why anyone would think seven billion people would fit into one of two categories.

What makes a good male role model? Do you have to have a good role model in your life that has a penis? What if I exhibit a lot of traditionally male traits? Do I count as both your primary male and female role models? If there was not an adequate role model in your life who happens to have a penis, does that mean you won’t be well-rounded?

Why is this penis, or lack thereof, so important?! I don’t understand.

I’ll tell you what, when you have questions about how to do your hair all pretty, what shoes to wear, all that traditionally girly stuff, I’m sending you straight to your aunt. I’m useless with that stuff. I own dresses, but I don’t like wearing them.

The world isn’t black or white, baby. There are way too many colors in the world to limit yourself to black or white. Question everything. Try not to see gender as something solid—it isn’t. I promise, I won’t hold you to any gender, regardless of the genitalia you’re born with. And heaven help the first Mcdonald’s employee that asks whether I want a girl’s toy or a boy’s toy with your Happy Meal.

Go Back to: Episode 3 – Infertility

Infertility?

January 30, 2016

I have insurance through my work with Kaiser Permanente. I love Kaiser. Aside from a couple of years here and there when I had no insurance, I’ve had insurance with them all of my adult life.

My first doctor appointment was with my primary care provider. I went in rather than just shoot her an e-mail because it had been a while since I’d had a pap smear. I figured that was probably going to be on the list of things I needed to get done.

Here’s a good thing to keep in mind if you have to see your PCP to start this process: your PCP doesn’t know with any certainty how other departments and specialties work. Remember that.

Infertility Doc – Visit #1

I have to admit, I chafed when everyone kept saying I was having problems with infertility. It’s not a word anyone wants to consider unless they can’t help it, right?

“Just so you know, I’m not having infertility problems,” I told the scheduling nurse. “I want to have a baby by myself, that’s all.”

“Same thing,” she said. Good thing she couldn’t see me flipping her the bird.

I got to the office. As the nurse took my vitals, she set a laminated page in front of me and asked me to read the questions. They were asking me if my partner had made me come there or if I was suffering any kind of abuse from them.

How awesome. Sad that it was a necessity, but awesome that they took the precaution.

Wand

…At least take me to dinner first.

Anyway, without getting derailed—I could go on about domestic violence and rape culture forever—I was ushered to a room with one other occupant—this fellow, pictured on the right. That was when I remembered the scheduling nurse had said something about a physical exam and an ultrasound. Maybe she said vaginal ultrasound. I was too busy being pissed at her for calling me infertile. Whoops.

The infertility doctor came in, interrupting my staring contest with my friend who was so obviously ready to go. She invited me to come chat in her office where Mr. Intimidating couldn’t get in the way of our conversation.

My doctor is a trip. She’s prone to phrasing her conversation in questions which she then answers herself. She drew everything out as she talked.

First, she explained what I ‘suffer’ from is situational infertility. The problem is I can’t get my eggs fertilized on my own. Hence, I’m infertile for lack of sperm reasons. Ahh. I forgive you, scheduling nurse.

Then, she said she had to let me know my options.

“Adoption,” she said. “Either of a child or of a donor embryo.”

Adopt an embryo? I’d never heard it phrased that way. Regardless, I’d already nixed adoption of a child for situational reasons, and if I’m going to have to be pregnant, I might as well use my own eggs.

“You can freeze your eggs now as insurance so when the right person comes along, they’ll be available for your use or for a surrogate,” the doctor said.

No. I’m not waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right. I want to have a baby. Everyone else can fuck off.

“Then there’s what you want to do,” the doctor said. “Intrauterine insemination.”

When I assured her that was still what I wanted, we continued. The doctor laid out the basics–Kaiser didn’t have a place to store the sperm, so I would have to rent a tank. Kaiser didn’t endorse any particular sperm bank. That was all up to me. She did have a recommendation about what to look for in donor sperm.

“You want sperm that’s CRV negative,” she said. “Why do I care? Essentially, there’s a slight risk of birth defects in CRV positive sperm.” She rolled her eyes and waved her hands. “It’s so tiny, but why worry about it if you don’t have to?”

Then, she started in on me.

Addictions? I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I drink at parties. Caffeine?

Well…

I’m not addicted. I know I’m not addicted. I’ve gone for a couple of weeks without caffeine. No headache. No withdrawals. I just happen to like caffeinated beverages, okay? Jeez.

“Why am I asking?” the doctor asked. “Caffeine has been linked to birth defects. It’s a small chance, but again, why worry about it if you don’t have to? Better to get help with any addictions now.”

Fair enough, doc.

Now, onto my friend we left ready and waiting in the exam room. “We want to make sure there are no problems that we can see. The ultrasound is to examine your uterus and fallopian tubes. We want to see five or more eggs in each tube.”

I’ve never been on a date, but hey, I’m open minded.

The doctor had a nurse there to “assist” her. Really, I knew she was there to hold my hand if I needed comfort. Like I said, I’m not ashamed of any of my various parts, but someone shoving an instrument–sheathed in a condom, as pictured–into your vagina is rarely going to make for a good time. Unless you’re into that kind of thing. I didn’t need the comfort, but I appreciate that it was there.

It’s not a horrendous procedure. The wand is only about an inch or so in. Again, not comfortable, but not painful. And it’s a quick exam as these things go. There was some pressing and probing—a slight pressure. The doctor narrated. There was my uterus. It looked like the millions of pictures of uteruses I’ve seen in my life, just sans the baby that’s usually there when people wave those things around. Then she went searching for my fallopian tubes. She pointed out the bumps in them—apparently indicators of how many eggs were hanging around, ready to be released. She pronounced herself satisfied with the number, and that was that.

Next step? Downstairs to the lab to let them take half my blood. No kidding—the technician pulled out eleven vials. Eleven. I suspect they’re feeding vampires on the side. If they have a Dr. Carlisle Cullen on staff, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Dear Baby,

Am I the only one who finds it funny that conceiving a baby this way includes the use of a condom? Would that be considered ironic? Ah, your mom’s easy to amuse. Don’t mind me.

The walls of the clinic here are lined with beautiful babies. I wondered what you would look like amongst all those pudgy faces. I wondered if the doctor and nurses ever stop to look at all the little people they’ve helped into the world, and what it must feel like to know they all exist partially because of them. Wow.

It’s funny, Baby. All my life, I’ve read stories and heard about how special it can be to make a baby with the person you love. Usually there are just two people involved. There are so many people who will play their part in bringing you to me. I think that’s pretty damn special too.

Go Back To: Episode 2 – Frequently Asked Questions or Go Forward To: Episode 3 – It Takes a Village

Frequently Asked Questions

December 26, 2015
Me

Meet the author: That’s me!

Turkey Basting: Frequently Asked Questions

Okay, so now is a good time to talk about background information.

First, you should know up front I’m very blunt. I’m not going to apologize for the fact I’m a human being with human parts who does human things. I fart, I pee, I poop. I have a vagina. This is a blog about the process of having a baby. We’re going to be talking about things in my vagina. This is fair warning to my friends out there with delicate sensibilities who would prefer not to hear about things like natural human processes and medical procedures. Why the shame? Let’s talk about this ish.

In addition to bodily functions and things my doctor sticks inside me, I also intend to be very upfront about anything that happens to come up. First and foremost, it should be blindingly obvious that I don’t believe the “traditional” family is the only worthwhile family out there.

I decided quite a few years ago that I have no interest in significant others. It’s not that I’m jaded; I just know who I am. Relationships, like all potentially-good things in life, take a lot of work. It’s just not the kind of work I’m interested in pursuing. Say what you will about relationships—even the best of them come with a fair amount of crap to deal with. And that’s fine. There’s no such thing as an endeavor that doesn’t come with a downside. My thing is, the upside of relationships aren’t worth the downsides to me.

The keywords there are to me. Look, whatever works for you, whatever makes your personal life better, is none of my business. For me, I have yet to see another person’s relationship that I’m envious of. There are plenty of downsides to being perpetually single too, but guess what? For me, the positives of singledom outweigh the negatives by a huge margin. It’s a pretty simple equation, really. And a valid one.

Long story short? I’m a happily single woman. I’m not closed to the idea of coupledom. If something amazing came along, I’m not going to reject it on principle, but I don’t foresee any relationship being as great as having my life to myself.

But Kris, you loon, if you’re afraid of putting up with crap, why would you want to have a baby by yourself? Talk about a load of crap, whoa. Literally and figuratively, you know what I’m saying?

I do. But you remember the part where I said I’ve never seen another person’s relationship and wanted one myself? Well, that’s not true of parental relationships. Plenty of people have piss-poor relationships with their kids, but I’ve seen too many gorgeous parent-child relationships not to be envious. I want that in my life, and I’m ready to have it.

Okay, but even I have to admit it’s easier to have the one when you have the other.

Anyone who knows me knows I’ve never had the desire to be pregnant. I’ve been obsessed with pregnancy since I was young. I used to watch A Pregnancy Story on TLC every day after school—two episodes in a row,every day. When any of my friends are pregnant and let me touch their bellies, I’m stoked. Pregnancy is a beautiful concept when it’s happening to someone else.

 

Preggo SideEffects

Oh, yeah. Pregnancy is magical. Article found on BabyCenter.com

But let’s get real here. There’s nothing pleasant about pregnancy. Even the easiest pregnancy results in squished organs, swollen feet, and the inevitable process of birth. I already know what you’re going to say. “Feeling the baby move…” and “the connection to your baby…” And that’s all well and good, but it still doesn’t negate the mountain of potential side-effects of pregnancy.

Have I mentioned how much I hate barfing?

Plus, I’m about 175% okay with adoption. As in, I don’t need a biological connection to my child to feel like it’s my child. Adoption was my first choice, and the one I was dead set on until recently. Recently, it became apparent that adoption would be all but impossible for me. There are a lot of reasons for this I’m not going to get into now.

Suffice it to say, I’ve thought it through. For me, pregnancy is a means to an ends. I don’t expect to enjoy it. I’ll be thrilled to be proven wrong, but I’m going in thinking realistically. I do fully expect the end result will be worth the (sometimes literal) pain in the ass.

Which leads me to my first step: consulting my general practitioner. Reason for visit: I want to have a baby, and I need your help getting knocked up.

Yeah, there is no non-awkward way to say that.

Dear Baby,

Mommy’s prattled on a bit, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

There’s no one right way to live your life, kiddo. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Not even me. In fact, if I’m trying to tell you the ‘right’ way to live your own life, feel free to use my own words against me. Mommies have a tendency to do that—believe they know what’s best. You know, in my experience, it’s often true, but you also have to be free to make your own mistakes.

One thing I’m sure of, ducky? I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I can guarantee you even now, you weren’t one of them.

Go Back to: Episode 1 – To Kid or Not To Kid  Go Forward to: Episode 3 – Infertility?

To Kid Or Not To Kid

December 9, 2015

To Kid Or Not To Kid: That is the Question

MeandPam

Me and my big sister, Pam.

When I was young and knew exactly how my adult life would unfold, I knew I was going to get married. I’d be married and have my first baby at twenty-seven. My sister, who was fifteen years old when I was born, was married with a child at twenty-four. She strongly advised against me following in her footsteps, so I decided twenty-seven was a good age.

Twenty-seven came and went. I wasn’t ready for kids.

Throughout my twenties, I was always back and forth on the kid debate. Let’s keep it real. Life without kids sounds amazing, okay? I’m not rich, nor do I expect I ever will be. There are a lot of things I want out of life. I have a long bucket list and kids makes that list more complicated and more expensive. What? You want to save me literally millions of dollars? What? I don’t have to deal with school plays, recitals, parent-teacher conferences, tantrums, school expenses, activity expenses, food, clothing, and medical expenses, other people’s snot-nosed kids in my home, and, perhaps best of all, I don’t have to deal with other parents? That sounds horrible.

Not.

But…

I want kids. It’s a conundrum. There’s so much I want to do that would be so much easier if I didn’t have kids. At the same time, these days, I think about sharing the things I want to do, to accomplish, with my kids. Somewhere around thirty, I started imagining my future with the assumption my kids would be around.

Great. Problem solved. I want kids. Let’s get it done. Should be simple, right? Ha! It never is.

It’s true what they say that no one is ever ready for a child. I don’t even have a child, and I know that. The secret, I think, is that all the factors are at an acceptable level.

I don’t make enough money to raise a child the way I want to raise them. However, my job is more secure than most, and there is a clear path to making decent money. It’s an attainable path. I’m almost done with my bachelor’s degree—Sociology, if you’re curious. My end game is to be a senior social worker with the county of Orange. I’m on the path.

I’ve never wanted to be an older mom. My parents were thirty-seven when I was born. It’s not that I feel like I missed out on something. In fact, since my mother was in a secure place for a lot of my childhood, I had a lot of advantages. I simply don’t want to have a toddler at forty. That’s all. I’m thirty-three. If everything goes as planned, I will have my first child at thirty-four. The age is right.

Basically, I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be, and I’m eager.

PenisSize

Get it?

There is one more problem I forgot to mention. Kind of a large problem. Well, as large as an average of 5.5 inches can be, anyway. The problem is, I’m currently only in possession of half of the biological components necessary to spark a life into being.

But more on that next time.

Dear Baby,

Right now, you’re a glimmer in my eye. You’ve been carefully planned. Plotted. Hey, your mom’s a writer, little person. It was bound to happen.

I’m sure by the time you read this, you and I will have been through a lot together. I’m sure I’ve made you hate me and made you sure I hate you. Ouch. I’m sorry. Your mommy is a mess of flaws. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the definition of human: we are a beautifully flawed species.

Here is the cold, hard proof of how much I wanted you. It’s out here on the Internet. You know what they say. Nothing ever really gets erased from the Internet. Keep that in mind. It’s good advice.

This is the start of your story, baby. It doesn’t start the same way as a lot of your friends. It doesn’t start, “When a woman and a man love each other very much…” or, “When a woman and a man had one too many drinks…” or, well, you get the idea. Your story begins, “When a woman decided she wanted a baby, and she didn’t want a man…”

Go forward to: Episode 2 – Frequently Asked Questions

Finding Purgatory is Free

August 13, 2015

Finding PurgatoryGood morning, my lovelies.

Today is my birthday! To celebrate, I’ve listed Finding Purgatory free for the next five days. Now is a great time to pick it up. 🙂

If you’re so inclined, an Amazon or GoodReads review never goes amiss.

Find Finding Purgatory free 8/13 – 8/17

Finding Purgatory on Goodreads

Free Books and Finding Purgatory

April 3, 2015

Just a reminder that today is the last day you can get Duplicity and One to Tell The Grandkids for FREE on Amazon.

You can also pick up my new book, Finding Purgatory, for $2.99.

Happy Friday!

Finding Purgatory

Bang!

In one short moment, Ani Novak’s life is turned upside down. Her beautiful family is destroyed and she is left completely alone. With an unnamed desire, she seeks out the little sister she had walked away from when she was nineteen.

Tori Kane is barely eighteen, jaded, and reluctantly in need of her sister’s help. While Ani is in the position to financially support her sister, the one thing Tori really needs money can’t buy and Ani no longer knows how to give—trust.

Neither of them expected paradise, but they want more than the hell their lives have become. There has to be a middle ground between heaven and hell where they can just be.

Buy Finding Purgatory by Kristina M. Sanchez on Amazon for $2.99

One To Tell The GrandkidsOne To Tell The Grandkids

Since she was a teenager, Taryn Sato skirted the edge of disastrous decisions. When she found herself pregnant after a one night stand with a complete stranger, she knew she was giving her family an opportunity to say “I told you so.”

Caleb Ryder was more of a big brother than best friend to Slate McKenzie. When Slate found out he was going to be a father, Caleb promised to be there for him. Though Caleb was the type of man to learn from his mistakes, history threatened to repeat itself in the form of Slate’s baby’s mother, Taryn.

A story about finding love when you aren’t looking and finding your place when your family tree is really a forest.

Buy One To Tell The Grandkids by Kristina M. Sanchez on Amazon for FREE today only.

Duplicity by Kristina M. SanchezDuplicity

In Lilith Callicotte’s profession, being able to indulge in a little fantasy was a plus.Not much that came out of her pretty little mouth was real, but then again, what did her rich, playboy clientele care about truth? Lilith made lying more than an art – it was her life. But as lies often go, it only took one client asking too many questions for everything to unravel.

Buy Duplicity by Kristina M. Sanchez on Amazon for FREE today only.