Wednesday, September 30, 2009

temporary disturbance in the force

I'm sick. Miserably so... but I have a duty to my adoring public, no? (cue laugh track)

Yesterday I did the day 7 ultrasound and bloodwork. We've got roughly 19 follicles chugging along, and my lining is 0.6. So far, so good. I started orgalutran yesterday - it's supposed to keep me from ovulating spontaneously (you should have heard me laugh when they told me that one...). I go back on Friday for more monitoring. In the meantime, I'm still on 150 of Puregon.

Things I'd like to post about, if only I were feeling up to it:

- Yom Kippur in general
- this Yom Kippur, and the surprising reunion that defined it, in particular
- the many charms of Kali
- a pair of non-maternity jeans that fit and flatter me!
- mikvah
- progress on envy
- the sheer ludicrous beauty of my life right now

... and maybe I'd also do a bit on the google searches that have led people here.

But alas, back to my sickbed I go (*cough* *cough*).

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Before Kali was conceived, just before Kali was conceived, I wrote about finding joy in the midst of infertility, and how it seemed somehow like I had achieved the task that God had set out for me. It's not uncommon to believe that our difficulties exist for a reason; as a Jew I believe that my soul was given the opportunity to choose its path, knowing everything about it, and therefore the obstacles I face are part of my task in the universe. If only I knew what that task was.

I'm getting a sense, though, of what I need to do next. Not in terms of infertility, but in terms of my soul, my self; I believe this is the year that I am to learn how to control (and, hopefully, discard) my tendency towards envy.

A couple of illustrations:

1. I was 23 years old, and was finishing up my professional internship. While getting ready for work one day a good friend called to tell me she was engaged. Tears sprang to my eyes - she and her fiance had only been dating for a few months, whereas I had been dating Mr. December for six YEARS, and was desperately waiting for him to propose. I managed a breathless "congrats!", hung up, and headed to work. Not thirty minutes into my work day I had a complete breakdown. Sobbing, blubbering, I ran to the nearest room with a door and ended up telling all to my supervisor. Later that evening I confessed my sadness and anger to my parents: "It's like she butted in front of me! I've been waiting in this line much longer! It's not fair! I feel like Mr. D is never going to propose, and that makes me so unhappy!" My parents, particularly my father, were shocked and apparently unimpressed at my lack of sincere happiness for my friend. I was, eventually, able to be truly excited for her - two months later, when Mr. December proposed to me.

2. I was 26 years old and had just had a miscarriage at nine weeks, after seeing a heartbeat and being told everything was perfect. At the time I worked for a very small Jewish organization, and my boss was a wonderful man with a gorgeous wife and four perfect kids. It was about a month after my miscarriage, just about when my depression was at its worst. He told me (as gently as possible) that his wife was "expecting" again (I hate that euphemism, but I'll cover that another time) and that he wanted to be the one to tell me rather than having me find out in public and having to deal with it then. It was kind of him, but I broke down anyway. Through my tears I assured him that I was happy for them, but desperately sad for myself. It wasn't until I got to the car that heaving sobs overtook me. I called my mother and wailed, "How come God can make sure that Dov and his wife get five pregnancies and perfect, healthy children every time, and He can't give me ONE?!?!?!?" Ostensibly because of my depression, but catalyzed by this incident, I quit my job and spent the next eight months shutting out the world.

3. See yesterday's post.

As you see, I don't do well when reminded that other people have what I had wanted for myself. Not literally - I didn't want my friend's fiance, nor would I have liked to gestate and raise Dov's fifth child - but when I see others living experiences I've dreamt of, and been denied, I lose it.

I need not to. I want to be able to acknowledge others' happiness, congratulate them sincerely, and then continue to enjoy the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. I'm well aware that the world isn't fair; in fact, this has generally worked in my favour. But I'm still paralyzed, unable to move into the realm of counting my blessings and falling back on them when fate seems to be thumbing its nose at me. I need to watch Kali climb the jungle gym and laugh with her without lamenting the fact that I'm not also holding a newborn. I need to revel in Mr. December's love (and, dare I say, passion?) without feeling that our relationship is incomplete because we're not well on our way to having four children by age 35.

I know that sometimes I will be sad, and sometimes I will feel incomplete. But my goal for this year is that those feelings not be set off by other people's happy news. I need to kick envy to the curb.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It begins...

The so-called "second wave" has begun.

Tonight I received an email. Our friend sent around a photo of her daughter (who is about six months younger than Kali) wearing a bib that read: "I'm going to be a big sister!"

This can only be the first of many such announcements; most of our friends have kids around Kali's age (but really, they're all younger) and all of them have admitted to wanting more children.

This friend's second child will be almost precisely two years younger than their first. That's the spacing I always idealized... that particular dream died for me when my April cycle didn't work out.

I wonder how many more such announcements I'll have to smile my way through before I get pregnant again. I wonder whether it will always hurt like this.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not for me.

There are fabulous stories floating around the blogosphere. Stories about BFNs on pee sticks all the way to 17 dpo. Stories of wonky cycles miraculously ending in pregnancy. Stories of infertiles who unexpectedly conceive baby #2 from sex! in their own bed! after thinking it impossible. I suppose those stories come true for some people.

But not for me.

Hope is insidious, and I was still holding onto it. Maybe the evap line I got was actually a really, really faint positive - wouldn't that be grand? But no, that happy news was not for me. The nurse just called. She assumed I already knew the result. I told her I didn't. "It's negative," she said, "I'm sorry." I bet she was. But not as sorry as I am.

I don't have the luxury of a good cry right now. The dishwasher repairman is coming in ten minutes, and I'm pretty sure I need to empty the dishwasher.

I'm tired of going down this road. So very tired of it. I really didn't think I'd be spending nine months straight at the fertility clinic, but here I am. Again.

When we hit the one-year mark, will they bake me a cake? Or will I have to throw my own pity party?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

to do:

- go to clinic for ritual bloodletting beta blood draw
- call appliance repair company, get them to come immediately and stop dishwasher from leaking into basement
- call telephone repair guy, get him to fix the bajillion phone jacks that, inexplicably, don't work
- call Mr. D's cellphone company, remind them that they can stop billing me now because I CANCELLED MY SERVICE FOUR MONTHS AGO, YOU IDIOTS.
- call insurance adjuster, ask why nobody has come to fix the window that was broken in the storm three weeks ago
- wake, dress, and feed toddler; turn loose in backyard and let nature take its course
- wash dishes from holiday meals, since the dishwasher probably isn't fixed yet
- answer the phone call from clinic, telling me that I'm not pregnant this time either
- cry
- feed Kali lunch
- do laundry
- help bat mitzvah student review her portion and learn new blessings
- make dinner
- clean up from dinner
- collapse into bed; cheer self up by reading Darcy and Elizabeth book

Seems doable, if I get an early enough start. Don't you agree?

Still negative

You read that right. I POAS this morning again. Still negative, although I did get a lovely evap line some 10 hours later. Gah.

I really wish I could've written the opposite tonight. At least I had a chance to reflect and pray today, and am so grateful for so many things in my life, not least of which are Mr. December and Kali... and I continue to be thankful that we have the financial, logistical, and emotional wherewithal to pursue family-building, despite the challenges.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shana Tova

Tonight at sundown, a new year begins. We'll be celebrating by eating sweet foods (for a sweet new year), hearing the shofar (a wake-up call to take stock and become better people), and being with family and friends.

This morning's POAS yielded a negative, which was upsetting but not devastating. Maybe G-d just wants this happy news to be the kickoff to a new year, not the tail end of an old one. Maybe Monday morning will begin a very sweet year for us.

This year, I am endeavouring to not use my computer at all on Shabbat or holidays... so this is it. I'll be back online on Sunday night, and I'll update you on Monday regarding the beta.

Happy new year, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WORLD!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

10 dpo - negatory.

I couldn't help myself. I peed on a stick. It was negative.

I KNOW that 10 dpo is too early to know for sure. I KNOW that it could be positive tomorrow, on Monday, or even later. I know all that.

But I fear that Dr. Eyebrows is right: the previous IUI's haven't worked because of some other kind of problem, and that same problem will prevent this one from working, too. I fear that the upcoming holidays, this season of happiness, will be spent lamenting the children I don't have rather than celebrating the one I do. I fear that we won't get the happy resolution we're seeking here.

I wish I could go to sleep and wake up on Monday, after my beta. I wish I could just know already.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's not about the dishwasher unless I make it so.

A friend of mine just wrote a post about how, as an Orthodox Jew, she really regrets that she can't eat in someone's house just because they use the same dishwasher for both their meat and dairy utensils. She goes on to talk about how many people accuse the Orthodox of caring more about the dishwasher than about the friendship.

I understand that point of view. But I also think that it's not about the dishwasher until I decide that it is.

(full disclosure: I'm pretty sure that I'm the person my friend is referring to, given that we just had this conversation about her eating in my home. Maybe it comes up a lot, but I'm not betting on it.)

Here's my point:

I understand why, for an Orthodox Jew, it's impossible to eat things cooked in my pots and pans, served on my plates. It's like asking a paraplegic to walk up the steps into my house. Impossible. When that person says no, it's not a judgment - it's simply a statement of fact. So I can grouse about how offended I am, about how seriously I take my Judaism and how picky this friend is being. But ultimately, it's a fruitless exercise. Alternately, I can offer a solution or a compromise: eat in my home, but on paper plates. We'll order takeout. Or I can cook things in foil pans with single-use utensils.

It's just as if I invited a person who is wheelchair-dependent to my house with stairs. I could build a ramp. It won't be pretty, or as elegant a reception as I like to offer my guests. There are some parts of my house a wheelchair-dependent person would never be able to see. But we could still enjoy each other's company, a bite to eat, and stimulating conversation. It's not about the stairs, just as it's not about the dishwasher.

There are some of my much-loved recipes that my Orthodox friends will never taste. That's unfortunate, but far from a deal-breaker. Where I come from, hachnassat orchim (welcoming guests) is taken very seriously. It's about accommodating your guests to the best of your ability, and seeing to their needs, not to your own. And so I'm choosing to overlook the small sting to my pride and build the metaphorical ramp. And when we all sit around the table in the succah, breaking bread and celebrating together, the dishwasher won't even be relevant.

spotty at best.

No, wait, that's spotting. Spotting. Which I don't have while on progesterone... except at 12dpo with Kali, and yesterday (8 dpo). Perhaps my body is just enjoying the last remaining way to play with me, but I'd rather think that there's an embryo burrowing in right about now.

Mr. December is home. I'm so relieved.

Monday, September 14, 2009

the absent EPS report, 7 dpo

I can't honestly say that I've noticed any EPS so far. Well, there was that gushing nosebleed, but my sensible side says that's probably attributable to the fact that Kali poked her finger way up my nose in an attempt to wake me up. So the nosebleed means nothing.

Otherwise... no nausea, I'm only as tired as the progesterone makes me, and I'm not all mood-swing-y. I'm just here, kinda plugging along. It's kind of nice. Maybe I should spend every 2ww reading romance novels. Arousal beats anxiety. Every. Time.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

T minus 36

No, not the time til beta. I'm talking about time until Mr. December comes home.

In a fit of organization/decorating, I'm trying to pull a "while you were out" on him... sort of. I cleaned up the vegetable bed, planted fountain grass and decorative cabbage where there were bare patches, cleaned off the porch. The front hall will be getting cleaned up very shortly. I also replaced our rust-stained shower curtain (I can only bleach it so many times) and upgraded to those rolling shower curtain rings (I am so tired of the rings jumping off the rod because someone pulled the curtain too forcefully).

The house will be cleaned tomorrow. I really want him to walk into a cozy, clean, inviting home rather than into the pigsty this place has become.

And on that note, off I go to organize the medicine cabinet.

Friday, September 11, 2009

file under "stupid questions"

Am I safe to assume that being in a near-constant state of arousal is probably a good thing, as it vastly increases blood supply to my uterus?

(Mr. December sent me flowers. I practically swooned. Off to do some reading now.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I must admit...

I bought the sequel to the sequel. I've read half of it already. With Mr. December out of town, I'm frustrated beyond belief. My sympathies are with teenage boys everywhere.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

the embarrassing truth

Okay, first things first: anybody who is leery of encountering TMI in regards to... um... non-medical stuff about me, stop reading when I tell you to.

We had the IUI on Monday morning. It went well, sperm were wonderfully motile, blah blah blah. I had acupuncture before and after, and honestly, it was fabulous - because it gave me a free pass to nap on a bed in the recovery room, instead of waiting in the waiting room for them to be ready for me. And true to form, they were ready for me a whole lot later than they said they'd be.

TMI coming up here. S'ok with me if you want to read this, but I don't want to make you uncomfortable.

So... the thing about the estrogen high I was on is that it made me... erm... somewhat randy. Okay, a lot randy. And it didn't help that I was reading a Pride and Prejudice sequel that more than hinted about the conjugal habits of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. Did I mention that I love reading bodice-rippers? Seriously, it's better than porn. Way better. Poor Mr. December.

Yes, you should pity him. Leading up to the IUI he was required to abstain for a couple of days. Here he was, uncharacteristically chaste, and there I was, really really enjoying my book. I'm not ashamed to say that I demanded satisfaction. And oh, it was good. And hey, I was well within my rights. According to Jewish law, a husband is required to make sure that he pleasures and satisfies his wife. Oh, how I love being Jewish!

It's amazing how happy I am in the wake of a weekend of conjugal bliss. Please remind me of this next time I start to feel anxious or depressed.

Now... where did I put that book?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

One in a thousand.

That's the number of women for whom Suprefact produces the opposite of the intended effect. One in a thousand. And I, dear internets, am that one.

Dr. Eyebrows was playing wand-monkey today. As soon as the probe was in, I saw it: my left ovary, completely taken over by two huge follicles. And my uterus, with a fat-looking triple-striped lining. No wonder my body was getting all estrogenic on me.

"So," I asked, "do we IUI these beauties?"

"Oh, yes." Said Dr. Eyebrows. "And if you get pregnant off this cycle, there's another case study in the making." He admired the perfect 9 mm lining, the gorgeous 2.1 and 2.0 follicles, and then printed off a picture for my file. I have to admit, it is a very pretty picture. I haven't had a response that beautiful in... um... ever? Maybe suprefact should be my IUI protocol from now on.

Anyhow, IUI is on Monday morning. We've decided to go whole hog and sign up for in-clinic acupuncture before and after the IUI. To be honest, I'm not that optimistic - the last five IUI's haven't worked, and what are the chances that was just dumb luck? But you never know. Maybe, just maybe...

Oh, and I shot up (HCG trigger) in a public bathroom again. Surely that counts for something, no?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

dial "N" for "neurotic"

Every time I peed today, I couldn't help noticing that I have a ton of EWCM. So I decided to check out what the ol' cervix was up to... and discovered that cervix is very much open, and high, and soft, and all of the other things associated with ovulation and/or an abundance of estrogen.

So I put it to the internets: isn't suprefact supposed to supress estrogen? If it is, and if I'm on a daily dose of suprefact, why is my body acting like it's on an estrogen high?