Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Slap me, please.

I keep taking my pulse. I heard somewhere that your heart rate increases if you're pregnant, so I keep taking my pulse. I figure that's the only change NOT caused by the progesterone. I can't tell you how many minutes I've wasted sitting in front of my computer, timer on, counting the beats. Even I'm rolling my eyes at me.

Somebody stop me!


In other news, purim is this weekend. Last night I made about 80 hamentaschen. Not to worry, I never make prune filled ones (ewww). I made four fillings last night: raspberry, chocolate, caramel apple, and honey almond. I'll be taking them to ceramics and to my class tonight to give my students. More baking coming up on Thursday. Stay tuned, I may post pics!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Last night I had the strangest dream...

At the end of another failed cycle, the clinic decided that they wouldn't treat me anymore.

"See? You ovulated." They said. "You don't need us anymore."


"Look, you're just not that infertile, ok? We have other people to deal with. We know you'll get pregnant on your own anyhow."

I tried to point out that I don't ovulate without meds, and even with them I never surge on time. But they didn't listen. Only Dr. C. came forward, crying, to hug me. Then she escorted me out of the office.

I can't help but notice that I had a weird dream about the clinic around this time last cycle, too. Anybody else notice strange dreams as part of the progesterone-induced psychosis?


I spent my evening watching Bill & Ted's excellent adventure. For the first time. It was totally excellent.


Tomorrow is 7 dpo. One week down, one week to go. Keep your fingers crossed, please.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

What IF...

You all know how much I have the typical religious lines about how "it's all part of God's plan" or "what is meant to happen will happen." But I can't help wondering, if this really was part of God's plan, what would that plan be? What would be the purpose of us being here in this hellhole of alternating hope and despair? What if I could see the plan?

Eventually I came up with a hypothesis. Bear with me.

I have a friend. Let's call her X. She's finally pregnant after a year and a half of fertility treatments. Why couldn't she have gotten pregnant sooner?

Well, two cycles before her BFP, I outed myself to her as an infertile. I was bitter and lonely, and suddenly here was someone who completely understood. Someone who was coping. Someone who had hope for the future. Someone in real life who would talk to me about my treatments and be able to make intelligent suggestions.

Had she gotten pregnant before I had a chance to out myself, X's pregnancy would have probably made me avoid her more (yes, I'm an ugly person that way). I wouldn't have known about her difficulties. We wouldn't have grown closer over shared confidences. I wouldn't have the joy of seeing her gradually loosened from the grip of IF. When she gives birth, I will feel the joy as if it's my own child. I want this for her. That wouldn't have happened if her path to motherhood had been easier and quicker.

I often argue that I'm a compassionate person, and I didn't need this to help me develop compassion. The truth is, I've gained a lot of compassion for my single friends through this experience. Going to a baby shower where everyone has babies is as painful and terrifying to me as going to a bridal shower where everyone else is married is for some single women. We have the same fear that it may never happen to us. The same feelings of being somehow less deserving, less feminine, less desirable, and ultimately not being chosen. I understood it before intellectually, but I don't think I would have understood it with my heart and soul before IF. It makes me look that little bit harder at single guys, hoping somehow that I can fix this problem for my friends. The truth is, you can control love just about as easily as you can control conception and pregnancy.

Now that I've been helped through this by X, I wonder if I'm supposed to pass on the favor. Maybe I'm destined to be infertile until the woman I'm supposed to comfort comes along, in tears and despair, for me to encourage and cheer her. If that's the case, I hope she comes soon.

I recently heard a Jewish saying that every (spiritual) descent is for the sake of a greater ascent. If that's true, I have lots to look forward to. My descent was deep and horrific. I look forward to rising to terrifying heights soon.

In the meantime, if you're the one I'm destined to help, would you please stand up?

Volunteering ~ it does a body good.

I just came back from our city's Jewish public library, where I helped verify that the catalogue actually reflects the books on the shelves. It's an old-style card catalogue, not computerized, so I was getting serious flashbacks to grade school. Awesome.

I don't have much of consequence to say. I'm trying to pass the time without thinking about the IUI or infertility. I know that next week I'll feel like crap and be crying my head off, but right now I'm okay. Better than okay - having a really good time.

I'm off to read another home renovation magazine. It's probably a better addiction than pregnancy books, right?

Lots of love to all of you... hopefully I'll get to post some real news soon!

Friday, February 23, 2007

I'm going.

Thanks for weighing in, girls. I'm going to Israel!

The cool thing is, IF I'm pregnant this cycle, I'll be 10 weeks when I leave and 12 weeks when I come back... it would be awesome to have something else to think about while I'm waiting out the first tri!


No big plans for today. I think I might head up to my parents' house and make challah over there for a change. Maybe I'll have a swim in their pool, too. And I'm thinking it's time for a haircut.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tough Decision.

My mom has offered to take me with her to Israel at the end of April.

I love Israel. I relax way more than I'm able to here. I love the language, the food, the people, the climate... I could go on, but I'll get to the point.

My acupuncturist thinks that if I'm pregnant, I shouldn't go.

I kind of think that despite what "they" say, there's nothing that can make a healthy pregnancy miscarry, and there's nothing I can really do to prevent a miscarriage if the embryo isn't viable.

AND if I'm not pregnant in April, I'll kick myself for not having gone.

What do I do? What would you do? Please weigh in with your opinions. I'll be calling the fertility clinic too, but I really want some opinions. (lurkers, that means you too!)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

IUI, better sperm, and cute doctor

Our IUI was this morning.

The pre-wash sperm count was better than the SA we did last week. I'm pretty sure last week's dismal morphology had a lot to do with the pot Mr. D. smoked. I guess it'll just get better from here on in... The post-wash numbers were something like 80 million, 80% motility and 60% morphology. The doctor seemed pleased.

We had a lot of fun at the clinic this morning. I'm a chatty person, so I tend to get friendly with all the staff. Today Mr D and I were speaking Hebrew with the doctor. Later, when my mom seemed dismayed that we actually had to go with IUI, I was able to say "don't worry Mom... the doctor who insemenated me is a nice Jewish boy." Tee hee!

I went straight to acupuncture after the IUI and lay on my back for an hour with all the needles to keep me company. Now I'm at home on the couch. I'm not getting up until 4:00, when I have to go teach.

Did anyone else feel crampy after IUI? Not ovulation crampy, but uterus crampy?

Keep everything crossed for me. Test date is March 6.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Just a good day.

Nothing much to report. I'm just having a good, productive day today.

I actually got out of bed before the alarm went off, made the bed immediately, gave the bathroom a swipe while I was in there, got dressed, and emptied the dishwasher. All before 9:30 a.m. Since then I've paid and filed the bills, updated some account information by phone, and run errands to the library, post office, bookstore, and bank.

I even had time to read home decorating magazines... which I purchased with a gift card I had totally forgotten about.

Some days everything is just about as good as it could be.

I hope the goodness of my day finds its way into all of your days too!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Day Eleven

What a difference less monitoring makes. I've only had three ultrasounds so far this cycle, compared to five or six last cycle. No wonder I'm so chilled out.

Lining: A whopping 8 mm!
Left ovary: one follicle at 1.8, and a bunch of smaller ones
Right ovary: one follicle at 1.8

Does this mean that both ovaries will be releasing eggs this time? Mr. December totally thinks that twins are the way to go. I figure two eggs means double the chances, right?

I have to give myself the trigger shot tonight at 7, and IUI will be on Tuesday. Cross your fingers for me!

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm still here...

For all of you who've gotten used to me posting on a daily basis, I'm still around. I'm percolating a big post, but I don't have the time to do it right now. Check back tomorrow- if I have time between making the soup and brisket and rehearsing my aliyah for shul on Saturday, I'll do my best to get it up here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

And the weiner is...

Well, ever since the topic of semen analysis first came up, Mr. December has been bragging about how "highly motile" his sperm are. Turns out he was right - but most of them are pretty ugly.

Here's the breakdown:
count - 34 million
motility - 60% ("excellent", says Dr. C.)
morphology - 20% ("a little low")

Dr. C. said the numbers are ok for timed intercourse, but that the chances are a lot higher with IUI. I'm trying to convince Mr. D. that IUI is the way to go... how many times does he really want to go through my progesterone-induced insanity?

And what about me? Well, the only number I remember is that my lining is now 5.5. I have follicles on my left and my right, but I stopped paying attention because I suspect that only one will mature, just like last time. I can feel myself starting to let go, and it feels good.


I can't decide whether or not to go to pottery today. It's snowing and the roads are all gross and full of people who've forgotten how to drive in winter weather. I wonder if my teacher will let me make it up another day?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Plan

After talking with my shrink today, and hearing her observations of how agitated I am, I realized that the problem isn't necessarily my lack of purposeful activity.

When we were just married, I stayed home for about 6 months. I had a blast, I loved it, and I would reminisce about it months later after I had returned to work. Being at home IS meaningful work to me - or it used to be - because I'm creating an environment for the spiritual and emotional life of my marriage (and hopefully soon, my family).

Today I truly believe that it's my high stress and anxiety level that is making it difficult for me to find meaning in things I usually love. So I need to get rid of the stress.

This week's assignment: exercise 20 minutes a day, outside (or in sunlight). And I think I'll finally use some of the spa gift certificates I got for my birthday.

So yeah, reducing stress is the name of the game. Anybody want to come over and watch funny movies?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Femara. Fuck.

I really think the Femara is making me depressed. I was doing fine until this afternoon, when suddenly I was gripped by this feeling of hopelessness and despair. Like I'm never going to get pregnant. Or like I will eventually have a child, but it won't be for another five years. And in the meantime I'll be slowly going crazy.

The problem is, right now there's very little else in my life. I'm working on renovaton plans for the new house, and I'm still doing ceramics. Oh, and teaching a class one night a week. But I feel like those things are filler... nothing with purpose, really. And when I think about doing anything with purpose, I realize that I'd probably be really bad at the follow-through. As in, I'd love to lead another birthright israel trip, but I don't think I can do the follow-up with the participants later.

So if it takes us another two, three, four, five years to conceive... what exactly am I doing with my life? Right now there's nothing. And there's nothing I want to do. Hence the despair.

So I have two choices: I need to either get pregnant, or else find something purposeful and inspiring to do with my life. And right now I don't know which one is going to be harder.


He's on the shit list.

Mr. D is now on my shit list. The boy went out and smoked up tonight. WTF? I specifically said NO pot until AFTER we're done ttc this time.


At least he's doing his semen analysis on Tuesday, which means that if his "guys" aren't up to the job, we'll know. And then we'll convert this cycle to IUI.

I hope the high was worth it. Cause you know, I'm making a lot of sacrifices here. Wouldn't want him to miss out on a moment of fun.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Vital signs

Uterine lining: "thin."
Right ovary: 1 follicle at 1.1, several tiny ones
Left ovary: 1 follicle at 0.6

That is all.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Once again, the first day of the rest of my fertility journey. Pass the Advil, please.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

And God saw that it was good.

We went to a bris this morning. My ex-boss and his wife just had their fifth child. (in case any of you recall, their pregnancy was the catalyst for me quitting my job) We went because a) I love their family and haven't seen them in a long time, and b) because it's the right thing to do, to celebrate these amazing milestones. And it's better than lying around in self-pity.

At breakfast, the father spoke. Since the baby was born (and circumcised) on a Tuesday, he talked about how in the story of creation, Tuesday was the day when it says that "God** saw that it was good" twice. On Monday, however, it doesn't say anywhere that God saw that it was good. Why? Because, he explained to us, on Monday the physical geography wasn't finished yet. There was water, there was sky, but there was no land, no place for life. On Monday God didn't say "it was good" because it wasn't yet. Tuesday's accomplishments brought forth a double portion of goodness.

To me, this was a more nuanced alternative to the usual religious platitude that "it's all for the best". Sometimes when life sucks, you're in the middle of a work in progress. You can't say it's good because it's obviously not. And even looking back, when you see the fruits of your struggles, you still don't have to pretend that the bad parts were good. It's not like the bible says "and looking back, God saw that Monday was actually good because it led to Tuesday." That would be ridiculous. Monday wasn't particularly good. God saw that. Tuesday was doubly good, partly as a result of Monday's hard work. But that doesn't make Monday good.

I was so relieved to hear this teaching this morning. I feel better. God is no idiot. He doesn't pretend that things are good when they're not. And so I don't have to either.

It's nice to know that my double portion of good will come. Is my Tuesday coming soon?

** You'll notice that many of the Jewish bloggers choose to write "G-d" instead of "God". On paper, this is done to avoid writing God's name on a piece of paper that may then be discarded or mistreated. Many years ago, I read a rabbinic opinion that since email and internet are electronic formats, the letters do not *actually* exist, and therefore it isn't a concern... so I abide by that decision. Just so you know. **

Monday, February 05, 2007

I knew, but I'm still crushed.

The nurse just called. Negative.

I knew that's what she'd say. I knew I wasn't pregnant. But my heart still hurts and I think I'm going to cry.

I don't know how many times I can survive this. How do you do it, month after month?

I guess there's no good alternative, is there?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Is there a bitch in the house?

Oh, yeah. I was optimistic for a while, but the bitch has returned with a vengeance. Could it be because every single test I've taken is not only a BFN, but a totally indisputable one? I'm talking a nice, dark control line... and then an expanse as pure white as the driven snow. Not even a hint of another line. Not even a dent.

Today my mom told me that my cousin tried for a "long time" and was getting really discouraged before she got pregnant. I shot back, "unless she had numerous dates with the dildo-cam, had to self-inject with hcg, and had to take progesterone suppositories that made her crazy, I don't want to hear it." And that's my final, bitchy analysis. I want a freaking medal for how hard I'm trying. And I know that I'm getting ART-light... no injectable stims, no IUI, no IVF... "just" cycle monitoring and the trigger shot. But I still want a medal. When people say, "oh, I understand completely, it took us a year to conceive and I was so worried!" I just want to slap them upside the head. They do not understand what this is like. Nobody does, unless they've been there.

My mom wants me to just stop obsessing about this - "of course you'll get pregnant." - and Mr. December laughs ruefully at how I feel the need to shoot down those IRL who try to comfort me. Well, duh.

I need to be understood. I need people to understand how soul-crushing this experience can be... the rollercoaster of hope, then doubt, then fear, then devastation... and the slow crawl back to hope. Every single cycle.

So yeah, the bitch is back. Big time. And I know that you, dear readers, can understand how I feel so utterly hopeless and angry, but can still end a blog post by asking...

is pointless anger an early pregnancy symptom?


could all those HPTs really be wrong?

I am so fucked up.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Once again...


But my temp skyrocketed this morning. Thanks, progesterone!

Friday, February 02, 2007


I need a baby. I very badly want to be pregnant right now. And for that reason, the universe will shit on me and I won't be. And it will take another 5 months to conceive. And then maybe I'll miscarry.

Sorry for the melodrama.

I just found out that my cousin is 5 months pregnant with her second child. I'm so happy and excited for them. Truly.

But their news has driven home the fact that I want a baby really badly.

Still nothing.

What does an evaporation line look like? I'm pretty sure I got one yesterday. It was waaaay after the time limit, so definitely not a positive... but somehow it's comforting anyway. I'm such a dork.

Is sleeping 14 hours out of the last 24 considered a pregnancy symptom? How about constant hunger? Please tell me it's just the progesterone. That will help me stay sane until Monday.

I have a busy day ahead of me... work on renovation ideas, pee on multiple sticks, pull them out of the garbage five hours later to see if I missed an actual line... does this sound familiar to anyone?

Thank God it's friday.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

To pee or not to pee?

I'm seriously thinking this is an addiction. I'm only 10 dpo. Even if I am pregnant, what are the chances? But those tests are under the counter... calling me... taunting me... argh!

I guess at least it'll be a scientific study in how early I can get a line. Right? Right?

Stop snickering. All of you!


Update: I have a new slogan for holding off on POAS.

Be Firm, Numbskull!