Archive for January, 2011

Well Trained, But No Bone

One of the weirdest parts of this whole process is seeing signs in everything. Not faces in toast, but “see, because of that, I must be pregnant.” It’s constant during the two waiting weeks of each cycle. This time the sign was brought to us by our dog… in her mouth.

Last weekend, we had an unusual weather day in the Northwest and decided to walk to our nearest dog park to let the pooch run and for us to enjoy the strange, warmth-giving orb in the sky. The park was filled, and our anti-social girl takes off to the tree-shaded area where she likes to hunt but never catch squirrels. We usually follow a pace or two behind to keep an eye so she doesn’t decide to run out of the park altogether. This one time, we were so D deprived that we decided as long as we could see her tail, we could stay way on the opposite hill and enjoy the sun. Well, after a minute or two, we see her tail making strange spazzy movements. K said it looked like she was doing the crouch-n’-pounce with a small dog; this seemed likely because, if she’s gonna deign to play with any dog, she’ll do so with small dogs. But then we decided to start walking toward her and see what was what. At the same time, she starts trotting toward us, in sight of all the dogs and people and god, lifting her legs like a show pony, proudly displaying the fattest squirrel I’ve ever seen hanging limply in her mouth. We were horrified (I have a strong aversion to rodents bordering on a phobia). We got her to drop it, and I grabbed a big stick to keep her away from it while we panicked about what to do. A very unhelpful male human informed us that we’d better get rid of the very fresh kill before other dogs start messing with it. Well, we only had the plastic newspaper sleeve we brought along for Killer’s poop, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to use my hand to lift that thing and try to shove it through the 6-inch diameter hole of the trash can. I asked a stranger to use her cell and called the Park dept., but of course they were closed. We had no choice but to suck it up, put the leash on, and take that park-length walk of shame in front of all the judging eyes — leaving the carcass right where it was. After getting home and calling around, we realized no one was going to clean that thing up but us. So we drove back this time, with a shovel, garbage bag, and no dog. Having to do a disgusting thing, having been horrified and humiliated by the action of our dog, I was sure that we passed some huge universe parenting test. I saw the big, furry, glassy-eyed sign that I had to be pregnant this time.

Alas.

A couple days ago, the PMS signs started rolling in. And as much as everyone tells me they are the same symptoms as pregnancy, I say that I have come to this point in so many cycles, in my own body, thank you very much, that I know what these signs were saying. I won’t go into them here, but once my temperature dropped, I knew. The negative pregnancy tests were just the verification I needed to stop taking the twice-a-day progesterone pills that have been fueling this latest loop of my hormone roller coaster.

With all my crying, poor K had to ask my mom, who was here a couple weeks ago, to come back and take care of her baby. I feel 12, but I have to say I am really looking forward to some more sympathy cuddles. In the meantime, I’ve decided that I’m emotionally and mentally nearing my limit. I want to move directly to IVF. If that doesn’t work, then I feel we’re done. I’m only 35 for fuck’s sake. And I’ll be done trying to have a baby?!

Is this really my life?

I’ve been seeing and hearing physicist Brian Greene making the NPR and Colbert Report rounds this week about his new book on parallel universes. I totally buy it, even if it’s just based on math at this point. Because somewhere along the way, my life switched with another “my life” that I am less familiar with. In that other life I’ve been leading, we are all at the park: me, K, our kid, and both my parents, and we are enjoying the sun while our dog chases squirrels from tree to tree — and, as always, failing to catch any.

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Up the Wazoo

I hate when it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. There’s too much to report and accidentally forget. But I’ll give it my best. I hope you have a comfortable seat.

The Clomid. I have nothing nice to say about it. The first night I took it, K and I watched the movie Mother and Child with Annette Bening and Naomi Watts. Spoiler alert: when the Watts character dies after childbirth, I lost it completely. I was crying like it was my party. The next day was no better. I felt stoned in a bad way, and then we and some friends watched the movie Inception. During this time, I was reading every minute-to-minute report on the AZ shooting (being from Tucson myself) and thinking that the world is totally effed and no place I want to bring a child. The next few days were not as bad; just one more crying episode on the last night I took a dose. I talked a lot about not doing it ever again and looking into adoption pronto.

It didn’t take long after completing the cycle for the effects to wear off. My mom came to town and I got back on the fertility treatment track. Last Friday we had a look inside and saw two big, beautiful follicles. It was only day 10. K administered a trigger shot on Saturday night (to hasten the ovulation) and we did an IUI at the clinic on Sunday morning. I wanted to be happy about the follicles, but I know that with my decreased ovarian reserve there’s a good chance the eggs from those follicles are duds.

The IUI went well; just the usual sharp pain from the catheter. I shouldn’t complain at all. Our donor had to get up super early to go masturbate before going to work on a Sunday, all while feeling really sick. I cannot even imagine being asked to do something like that. Not even for money. I know guys are different creatures, but c’mon!

He gave us a nice sample that was washed and spun down to just the 24 million sperm. I was given a prescription for progesterone suppositories (for better absorption), and we were on our way.

I had the usual post IUI cramping. But during the days after I started the progesterone, I got some really intense cramping. I have had a coughing cold since Dec. 23 that has definitely affected my stomach muscles, but this pain went groinal (my new word). So, I am now taking the progesterone orally and hoping the cramping subsides quickly. I can’t shake the cough, which is getting so tired. I’ve been to two doctors and acupuncturists, and I’ve taken everything and tried everything to get better. I can’t imagine a less hospitable place for a burgeoning life than my lower abdomen when I have one of my coughing fits.

To top it all off, I got my poor mom sick. Listening to her cough made me so sad. Then I stuck her on a train. Will I have an ungrateful daughter, Karma?

So, this is where things are at. I cough and I ache and I wait. Hopefully we’ll know something by next weekend. I hated the Clomid and can’t imagine one more IUI cycle with it. But the injections I’ll have to take for an IVF won’t necessarily be more pleasant. Messing with hormone levels is not for the faint of mood. Inserting them where the sun don’t shine (Portland?) is not for the faint of vagina.

One Way or Another

I’m sitting in my teashop, hoping none of the other patrons can read the agony on my face—aglow in MacBook sheen. Another period and another day o’ pain. Really bad pain. Is it wrong to want to get pregnant just to take a 9 month break from the cramps? I’m here because I am taking baby steps to Walgreen’s. I have my first prescription of Clomid waiting to be picked up at the pharmacy, and I just can’t get myself there yet. The teashop isn’t technically on the way, but it’s out of the house, which I haven’t been since our return from the Christmas, er, I mean, the Midwest.

Probably on the plane to Chicago, I inhaled a happy virus floating on the Southwest flight’s recycled, cabin-pressurized air. I hacked my way through four nights at a suburban hotel; literally all coughs and no ZZZs. The heaters in every room, plane, and car helped to further dry my irritated throat. Please add to this unpleasantness nonstop Christmas music and my personal discomfort with all things crossy and christy. Ooh, and don’t forget the food allergies!

I’ve set up quite an ugly scene, but the truth is that everything went pretty darn well on our trip to family land. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of Catholics when we arrived at K’s grandparents house in Indiana. But all were very decent (no horn checks!). Some folks spoke with us a bit, but mostly it was an opportunity for me to put faces to names and support my lovely K, who definitely needed to be there. It was the last Christmas Eve celebration that her grandmother and grandfather would be hosting as they will be moving into a small, more manageable place this year. I can only imagine how overwhelming it was for her to see full-grown humans where she last saw babies, and full-fledged parents where she last saw younger cousins.

We spent Christmas day with the other side of her family, who have known me for almost 9 years and who, as it turns out, may struggle more with my un-Christianness than with my being another lady. But, with the genuine affection I’ve developed for them over the years, I gave it my all (Well, not sign-of-the-cross-before-dinner all, but I did see The Chronicles of Narnia in 3D. Funniest thing about this is that I had to inform K that it’s a big ol’ Christian allegory—why do American Jews know these things?!).

Is that Aslan or me on Clomid?

Anyway, I brought my virus home with me, tried to give it to K, and only recently, finally, started taking the Western meds. I love me some Chinese herbs and such, but ‘nough’s enough. On the health front, I’m happy to report, unsurprised, that I am STD free! I am all set to proceed with the fertility treatment as planned.

So I’ll finish this post and run right over to… the pet store across the street to get our pup some treats. Then I’ll go to… the library to pick up a CD on hold. But right after that, I’m heading to… the grocery store. Shit. Walgreen’s shares a parking lot with the grocery store. I will have put it off to the final errand.

Why the trepidation? If you’ve read any other posts in this blog you’ll know the general answer to that question. But the specific one is that I fear the monster inside me and what hormone play will do to my otherwise carefree demeanor. And I fear a gotcha universe that will mess with my life, as follows: you want to be pregnant? here, have multiples! how did that Clomid treat ya?

BUT, I will do whatever it takes. I will have me a baby to love and teach and be in awe of and nibble. It’s been suggested to me that, in the face of infertility and the poor odds, it’s good to have (or at least discuss) a plan B. Adoption? Really? Do people really let lesbians adopt? What countries would we need to exploit? What funds beyond funds would we need to procure? Finally, are we up for the challenges of raising a kid that will not only have two mommies but have two very white mommies? I read this article last night that looks at the growing prevalence of non-white Jewbies. Of course, the article discusses the phenomenon in terms of heterosexuals, but I took the message to heart: I waited too long. I got an education. My infertility… is all my fault. Check it out here. What do you think?


(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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