Saturday, March 18, 2006

Getting back on the bike

You know what they say about falling off a bike: you have to get right back on. I got my period today, so it looks as if I've fallen off the bike. I'm bruised and battered, but mostly I feel numb. J and I haven't cried. I don't know where the tears are. They feel trapped in the ache inside my chest.

But soon I'll take the first birth control pill in preparation for IVF#2. I'll get back on the bike. Dusty and wobbling, lacking what confidence I had before the fall. But I'll pedal because I have to. The fear of standing still is worse than the fear of falling off again.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The no-guilt diagnosis

I went to see a doctor today for something entirely unrelated to infertility. There were no wands employed. No poking around in inappropriate places. No stirrups. I didn't even have to get undressed; although I'm so used to hearing the command "Get undressed from the waist down," that upon entering the exam room I almost did it anyway, just by instinct.

The downside of this doctoral visit is I've been diagnosed with patellar tendonitis (basically, my knee hurts). The upside is I don't have to do squats anymore. ... But, wait. I wasn't doing squats before this. So I guess that makes the upside not having to feel guilty about not doing squats. Sweet!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The prometrium advent calendar

Since my IVF was converted to an IUI, I really have no idea how to count the days of this cycle. Usually my cycles are 24-25 days long, but in this case, when exactly was day 1? The day I stopped taking birth control pills? The day I got my period? The day I started stims? I'm not sure and the prospect of having to do math was hurting my head, so I came up with a better approach.

My doctor gave me a 15-day supply of prometrium (progesterone supplements) that I started the day after my hcg shot. I decided I won't do a home pregnancy test until I've run out of prometrium. So everyday (twice a day, actually) I take a prometrium and count how many are left. That's how long I have before I can test. It's like the Advent calendars I used to love as a kid. Except instead of enjoying a chocolate each day leading up to Christmas, I get to shove a yellow pill up my hooha. It goes without saying that I'd prefer the chocolate.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

And now for some comedic relief

Just who, exactly, were these instructions written for? (Click photo to enlarge)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Meltdown in FAO Schwartz

You should have seen it. A crazy woman crying in the middle of FAO Schwartz. Red face, puffy eyes, running nose. It was quite the sight. Of course, to have seen it myself, I would have had to look in a mirror. Yes, I was that crazy woman.

I should have know there would be trouble. The first mention of the colossal Vegas-sized toy store filled me with dread. But I was with my sisters-in-law (who each have several young kids) and my mother (dotting grandmother to said kids), and who was I to spoil their fun? So I steeled myself against the fuzzy pastel onslaught, and agreed to go. I wasn't naive enough to think I'd enjoy the visit, but nor did I think I'd end up a blubbering mass in front of the Thomas and Friends display.

This is what my life has been reduced to: a grown woman crying in the middle of FAO Schwartz. Pathetic, isn't it? You see, I've never been one to begrudge others their prizes in life. I don't get upset when I hear friends or acquaintances are pregnant. I don't sniffle at the sight of babies. I can go to baby showers. And for heaven's sake I can go to a toy store without having a meltdown. ... At least, I used to be able to do all those things. But something is different now. I've snapped. I've crossed a line I never realized was there.

I've begun to lose hope.

It used to be that I believed in the end we would have our own kids. That the road might be hard, but if we were patient and persistent, we'd get there. In the end. I don't think I believe that anymore. I'm no longer sure this fairy tale will have a happy ending.

That's what I realized standing among the stuffed bears, pink tulle princess dresses and wooden train sets. Looking around, it felt as if all those brightly-colored manifestations of childish happiness were meant for someone else's life. Not mine. And it made me incredibly sad.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Vegas, baby!

I'm off to drown my sorrows in gold lamé and all-you-can eat buffets. (Hee. That rhymes.) May I have better luck at the slots than I've had with the big roulette wheel that is infertility.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

So begins the waiting

We were back in the cheap seats yesterday, but the IUI proceeded largely without incident, if you don't count a little game of hide-and-seek with my cervix. And so it is that we begin the 2-week wait. For those of you who don't know, the 2-week wait is the period of time between when you ovulate and when you can check to see if you're pregnant. It's interminable.

I will attempt to distract myself as much as possible. I'll watch the Oscars and chuckle at the absurdity. I'll go shopping. I'll clean the bathroom and do laundry. I'll go to Vegas next weekend with my family. I'll (attempt to) stay focused on work. I'll do anything and everything to keep from thinking about the possibility that I might be fostering life, from succumbing to the bitch that is Hope.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Making a baby in someone else's kitchen

J and I went to the clinic today for the first of two consecutive IUIs. When we got there the place was dark. A power outage if you can believe it. After all the anxiety of this do-we-or-don't-we IVF cycle, I had assumed that once we made the decision to downgrade to an IUI, at least the rest of the cycle would be quiet and uneventful. I mean, I've had IUIs before, I knew what to expect. I should have known it wouldn't be that easy. The power outage was like a little parting gift from fate or karma or something, just to keep us on our toes.

But as luck would have it, the lab still had power as did some of the exam rooms. Not the normal exam rooms, but those reserved for embryo transfers and other procedures. And I can tell you, I now know how the other infertile half lives. These are the VIP rooms: cushy padded exam tables with Craftmatic adjustability, a modesty drape of real cloth (I know!), and comfy padded leg rests instead of stirrups. It was like flying first class. I half expected to be offered a tasty little cocktail. If only.

But the nurse was a bit disoriented. Apparently, she doesn't get to work first class very often. She kept opening drawers and cabinets searching for the supplies she needed. She struggled to adjust the big overhead light and fiddled with the Craftmatic controls all the while furrowing her brow and scrunching up her nose. J made the comment that it was like trying to cook in someone else's kitchen. Which I suppose it was.

So now that I've tasted first class, I'm not sure I can go back. Tomorrow I'll try to trade in some infertility frequent flier miles for an upgrade. I'm sure I have enough by now.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bruised

I'm a bit exhausted tonight, so this is going to be a short one. There's no good news to report anyway. We only had 3 (maybe 4) follicles this morning, so we converted to an IUI. J and I are utterly disappointed. All those shots for 4 follicles. It sucks.

You know what also sucks? The nurse having to stick you in the arm four (yes, four!) times before hitting a vein. So in addition to the bruises on my pincushion of a belly, I now have bruises on the inside of both my elbows plus my wrist (where they finally managed to strike pay dirt). Oh yeah, and on my butt from the hcg shot. All these bruises make me look like a total junkie. Worse, they make me look like an inept junkie.