Thursday, February 25, 2010

the boys

So, the boys are cancer free. As Hubby explained it to me, he strained himself (probably while working out) which lead to some localized swelling that felt like a lump. He just needs to take it easy and take anti-inflammatories for the time being. What an emotional rollercoaster!

What a pair we are, though. I think part of what makes our marriage strong is that we have the ability to laugh in the face of one fucked up universe. Indeed, while we waited to get the ultrasound results this weekend, we laughed quite a lot. At the possibility of cancer. And miscarriage. And infertility. We're quite a jolly bunch.

Hubby can now join the club though - sitting in a dark room with your genitals exposed and a stranger manipulating them. If he had had to put is feet in stirrups I probably would have cracked up, instead of giggling like I did.

Oh, and of course I ovulated Monday, which means that his poor sore boys had to perform this weekend (with the doctor's permission). How do you know that your husband is an infertility veteran? Well, when he remembers your ovulation schedule and checks with his doctor to make sure sex is okay without being prompted.

In other momentous news, you'll never believe what I did last week.

Have you guessed?

That's right, I shopped for a baby shower gift. Of course I didn't actually attend the shower, but I bought a gift and a card and I didn't cry once. I think I'm a bit numb, and frankly, I like it. I was so fucking proud of that ten minutes in Target, which really is pathetic because, well, all I did was grab a gift and go. But for years I haven't been able to even look at the baby aisle, so this was, however lame, a huge breakthrough for me.

Come to think of it, lately I haven't been crying at all. Weird. Is this - could it be - what it's like to be happy? Or am I just numb?

After all of this time, I've finally accepted our situation for what it is: completely craptastic and awful, and I wish it were different, but it's my life, and for the first time in a long time, it actually seems more appealing than death.

I must have the opposite of seasonal affective disorder, because it has been one hell of a winter in Iowa this year. We're breaking records left and right (snowfall, days with five or more inches of snow cover, temperature) and everyone is whining about it while I smile.

Monday, February 22, 2010


It's not the big C.

That's basically all I know right now, but relief is slowly untying the knot that's been in my chest since Friday.


Friday, February 19, 2010


I had a much more interesting post planned.

Then Hubby called me from work this morning. I knew from his voice that something was wrong.

He found a lump in his testicle.

My heart dropped into my stomach. The world shifted just a little bit.

I realized that we need to refocus our lives. We need to enjoy life, because we may never have children. But we have each other, and that's what matters.

He's already been to the doctor (that's how I know he was freaked the fuck out), who does not think it's cancer, but is scheduling a testicular ultrasound just to be sure.

I'm still kind of freaked out. It's probably nothing serious, but I can't handle losing him too.

Please let it be nothing.


Thursday, February 11, 2010


Yesterday, I had my "What the fuck do we do now?" appointment.

It was fabulous. Man, do I love my RE. He always makes me feel like having a baby is within my reach, and that I am not a freak with a wombinator where my uterus should be. A few months ago, we had discussed moving on to injectables/IUI after clomid. However, considering that we have found another piece of the puzzle to correct (prolactin), he seems to think that femara alone should do it, and that getting the prolactin under control will greatly increase my odds of carrying to term.

So, I dropped of my prescription at the pharmacy and picked it up later in the afternoon. It only cost me $10, which surprised me because I didn't think my insurance would cover it. I shrugged it off, though, and continued on my way. Later, I pulled it out of my purse and started reading the drug info.

Hmm, I thought, this looks odd. The drug they sent home with me was medroxyprogesterone. At first I figured that it was just a generic or something, but it was nagging at me that my doc had said there are no cheap generics available.

I did some further digging, and realized that what they had dispensed was actually provera. As in, prevents ovulation.

I called the pharmacist to confirm that this was an error, and she tried to blame it on my doctor's sloppy handwriting, and said that the pharmacy tech was confused by it. Umm, no. First of all, provera and femara don't have all that much in common except for the ending. Second, if they were confused, they should have called his office to verify.

So I'll pick up the correct prescription tonight, pay through the nose, and get started on a medication that won't prevent me from ovulating.

Vigilance, people. Vigilance. Trust no one.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

the difference

Yesterday, Citizen Wifey reported to the courthouse to do my civic duty as a juror (in the midst of yet ANOTHER freaking snowstorm!).

I sat on a jury panel for a civil trial.

The attorneys for both sides were questioning the jurors. One attorney asked if anyone had anything coming up this week that they didn't want to miss, cancel, etc.

I thought about telling him that on Wednesday, I have my "What the fuck do we do now?" appointment with my RE. I thought about saying, in open court, that I am about to start a new cycle, I've used up my time on Clomid and need to figure out what our next steps are because I'm desperate, and I really really don't want to push that appointment back.

I didn't. I was too ashamed to admit that my body has failed, repeatedly, to do what has been done by women throughout the history of the human race.

And then the girl in front of me spoke up. "Well," she said, serenely rubbing her little belly, "Wednesday is our first ultrasound appointment for our new baby." Whispers of congratulations abounded in the jury box as she beamed.

Ahhh. There's the difference.

Friday, February 5, 2010

insert snarky title here

Wednesday, my birthday, started off fairly disastrously: first, Hubby and I found ourselves locked in the house. The lock on the storm door was frozen shut, and it took us several minutes to fiddle our way out of it. Then, on our way out to the car, I tossed a trash bag into the can, and watched my piping hot, unsipped cup of coffee go flying into the can with it. We chuckled and proceeded to get on the road.

About a block or so from the house, Hubby noticed that I didn’t have a coat/hat/gloves on, and suggested that we turn around, “in case something happens with the car.” I brushed him off and suggested we just get on with our day. Fast forward to twenty minutes or so after I dropped him off, as I headed to my appointment with a sports medicine doctor: I stop at a light. The light turns green. I press on the gas. The car goes 5 mph. I press harder. Still 5mph. I turn on the flashers. People are honking behind me. I turn into a nearby parking lot and somehow have the presence of mind to coast into a spot facing out so it’ll be easier for the tow driver.

I guess Hubby should get some side work as a psychic.

Shortly after getting the car safely into the parking spot, I lost my shit. I could think of only one thing: the transmission needs to be replaced, and our fledgling adoption/IVF account is going to be wiped out. I sat there, bawling and freezing and laughing at my shitty shitty luck. After I got the tow set up, I called Hubby who then called – gasp – his mom to come get me.

She showed up a bit later, and we sat in her warm car to wait for the tow truck. I had gotten myself under control, but as we sat there, the same thoughts started running through my head and the tears once more began to fall. And, without intending to, I confided in my MIL. I told her why I was so upset. She was very nice about it, trying to be soothing. I wonder now if she feels bad about turning us down for the adoption loan, especially in light of me whining about spending all of our family building money on the car. Probably not – they seem to be particularly clueless about money and us and family building. I think they are under the impression that either we make much more than we do, or that we have much less debt than we do. Last week, they even suggested that we buy a pool table they found for $1400.00. We laughed at their ridiculousness.

After that, though, the day regained some good momentum: I was able to push my appointment back a bit, and got some answers as to why my knee has been bothering me. I went to acupuncture. I got a hair cut. I hung out with Hubby and read all of my lovely birthday messages on FB. We found out that it wasn’t the tranny at all but the battery and alternator, and the repairs cost us about ¼ what we were expecting. I got another blog award, which I will be posting about soon (thanks again!). All in all, the day ended on an okay note.

And yesterday, I went off the emotional deep end. Fucking FB. Sometimes, I wonder why I go on that site. I inadverdently discovered that my friend A, who I work with and who knows about some of our issues, is planning multiple baby showers for our friend M, none of which I have been invited to. On the one hand, I totally appreciate her leaving me out of the loop – no need to invent some crazy excuse for my absence! After all, baby showers are my kryptonite and there I no way in hell I’m going to one. On the other hand, it made me feel more like a freak. It reinforced that I am different, that I am damaged, that I am isolated in my world of grief and loss and frustration.

I also realized that I will never have that particular experience. Even if I am pregnant right now – I am 11dpo, I think – with a healthy bean my body doesn’t find some way to kill off, I will never have the baby shower. It seems like hubris, after all I have been through, to expect that my baby will be born alive and healthy and will come home before he/she actually does. Just another layer of sadness.

And then, I found out that my ex, J, knocked his girlfriend up and married her. He broke up with me to chase his dream of being a rock star. I spent the next several years building a life with Hubby, working and buying a house to raise our someday family in, trying to pay off debt and be responsible. He toured and played and wrote music, and now he gets to have everything I worked so hard for. Disclaimer: I have no feelings for this guy whatsoever. He broke my heart, but Hubby was the balm that healed it, and made me wonder why I ever had feelings for J in the first place. I’m not pining after him or anything; it just sucks monkey balls that he’s led the life he has and now gets to have a kid.

On the bright side, I got a sweet birthday package from a fellow infertility blogger. Thank you, flmgodog. You really perked up my spirits when I needed it.

Oh, and this is post 100 for me! Yay! I guess it’s fitting that it is long as fuck :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

the measure of a life

my life
is measured by the time that passes
in two week chunks
marked by hope
and a frenzy of fucking
and more hope
only to be followed by
bitter disappointment.

except when it isn't
and then,
the measure is
two days
that feel like
two years
and always, always,
the bitter disappointment
surrounds me like a hug from hell.

just once
I'd like to measure
my life
in a forty week chunk,
and give
to my baby
not death.

ego stroking

On the eve of my birthday, while I dwell on the fact that I had my first miscarriage at age 27, and am now about to turn 32, I thought I'd distract myself from the self-pitying tone this blog often takes and celebrate myself (or at least the things in my life that DON'T suck) on the advice of the naturopath I saw last week.

  • I love tattoos, and am planning my next piece (with the help of a former student of mine, which is slightly weird but not really!)

  • My Hubby is great, and always amusing. He talks in his sleep sometimes, which will always make me chuckle for hours. His latest bout of gabbiness involved lamenting over the "retarded spiders" (apparently, they were everywhere!).
  • Jeremiah Weed sweet tea vodka. Yum. Nuff said.
  • Unexpected friendship blessings, both in real life and on the internets.
  • I'm glad that I have figured out how to ward off some of the sadness by working out. Exercise endorphins = cheaper than therapy.
  • My supportive family - I've always felt like somewhat of an outsider (I'm the youngest of all the cousins, after all), so I never really knew how supportive they all could be until we started opening up about our fertility struggles.
  • My wonderful pets. They're fun and cuddly and keep me grounded (even if they sometimes drive me insane).
  • My kindle. Best. Gift. Ever.
  • I finally got back into road racing, and finished a 20k earlier this year. I'm planning on running it again this year, and adding some other races to my schedule (unless, of course, I get pregnant, in which case I'd be more than willing to adjust my schedule!).
  • I love my house. It's not nearly "done" or decorated as I'd like it to be, and it's always a drain on our money and time, but it's in a great area to raise a family. Or, at the very least - if that whole family thing doesn't work out for us - to stumble home from the bars without having to pay for cab fare.

I hope that all of you find something to celebrate today!

Monday, February 1, 2010

another piece of the puzzle

Last week, I got two sets of interesting test results back.

First, on wednesday, I got the results of my gluten intolerance testing. And the answer is: inconclusive, but positive for Leaky Gut Syndrome, which can be a symptom of gluten intolerance. I was also positive for candida (yeast) in my intestines (haven't yet figured out what I'm going to do about that). The naturopath I saw suggested that if I wanted to confirm the gluten intolerance, I eat something with gluten in it and see how I feel. Well, I did just that, and was sick for the rest of the day, so I guess I'll stick with this gluten free thing.

Then, on Friday, I got the results of my repeat prolactin test from my RE's office. And the results were not good. Last time, it came back at 31. This time, after fasting (which is supposed to help) it came back at 38. Normal is under 25.


Luckily, this is easily corrected with medication, so I'm taking yet another pill.

Initial consultation with Dr. Google tells me that both leaky gut syndrome and high prolactin levels can play a role in miscarriages, particularly in recurrent pregnancy loss.

I want to be hopeful that with these extra pieces of the puzzle figured out, I can carry a baby.

I try to train my mind to think positive thoughts.

Underneath, though, the true current of my thoughts chants "Antiphospholipid antibodies. Rh negative. Leaky gut. High prolactin. Aging ovaries. Not meant to be a mom."