Friday, July 30, 2010


I have a totally dysfunctional relationship with my job.

I work for a veterinarian - a job for which I have no formal training and to which none of my many years of higher education apply. I took it as a part time position four years ago, just something fun to do while I waited to get knocked up.

I had such high expectations for my life.

Now, years later, I am full time, part office manager, part vet tech, part doctor wrangler, marketing coordinator, client satisfaction specialist, poop recipient and cleaner of various bodily fluids. I wear many hats at work.

I love animals, so any time I get to have contact with them, or help puzzle out a diagnosis, is sweet. There is nothing better - nothing - than going about my daily routine with a kitty in need of TLC in my lap. I like to help people too, and so there are days when my job rocks.

Lately though, I've been feeling burnt out. Part of the problem is that my work world has been insulated from my infertility woes because for a long time none of my coworkers had kids or wanted them. Then, a coworkers best friend got knocked up and the insulation started to get torn away. I hear a lot of baby talk these days. And then, a new girl was hired.

She has a kid. He's four. And yet somehow, she still manages to tell a story every day about her pregnancy. If that weren't annoying enough, she has taken to harassing me about having babies because she "just loves them."

Insulation - gone.

I know that she couldn't even imagine my history - and I don't like her enough to tell her - but I still find her assumptions fucking rude. Soon enough, I will call her out on her rudeness.

Anyway, I thought I would bless you all with my very own top 5 list.

Top 5 Most Awful Things About My Job

1. I play with poop. Namely, I take samples from clients and mix the poop with a solution that will make parasite eggs rise to the top of a little glass slip, which is then read under a microscope. Daily, I get to smell the wonderful aroma of dog/cat (and occasionally, ferret) ass, fermented in plastic bags. If that weren't bad enough, the other day a lady literally walked in, threw a bag of poop in my face, and walked out (without paying!). Seriously, people, poop in my face. Go ahead and laugh - you know you want to.

2. Speaking of ass, let me mention anal glands. They are supposed to express a very pungent liquid when an animal defecates. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, they do not express as they should, and that is when we come in. I get to restrain the animal while my coworkers glove up and dive into the rectum to express the glands. Usually, the smell is the worst part. Every so often, though, something goes awry and that dark horrendous liquid from a particularly juicy gland ends up shooting onto a person. Hair, eyes, skin, mouth - all have been invaded by stinky anal juice. Hungry?

3. People suck. Some neglect their animals, or let them suffer because of money, or just don't train their dogs so even minor procedures become a wrestling match. Once, I got elbowed in the head - by my boss! - so hard I nearly passed out while trying to restrain an untrained dog. Some people are simply rude, like the folks who come in talking on their cell phones and expect me to stop what I'm doing to help them while they chit chat away.

4. Knowledge is a burden sometimes. I will now freak out whenever my animals seem off, because I always envision the worst case scenario.

5. I am (almost) an animal hoarder. It comes with the job. I dare you to find a veterinary employee who does not have a ridiculous number of pets (I have 6). You will fail. We all work in the field because we like animals, and part of the job inevitably becomes bringing the needy home (such as my latest addition, a 17 year old cat whose owner died and was facing euthanasia. He came home with me that day). The problem? See number 4. We obsess over their health, to a ridiculous degree. It becomes expensive, and stressful.

None of those, though, are enough to make me quit (yet). I need to find a new direction for myself, especially now that my insulation has been torn away, but I don't know which way to turn.

Hopefully, that magic fucking pill will help me figure it out.

the fucking pill

Yesterday was THE DAY.

I had put off starting the antidepressant all week, even though I knew with reasonable certainty that I was not pregnant.

I swear, I really am a head case. Even though I am on anti-anxiety meds, I had a mini anxiety attack regarding the fucking pill. My heart raced, and I couldn’t hold back the tears. I felt like I had the word “Failure” stamped on my forehead. I tried to control my life, to plan things out, to have babies, to treat depression, first without therapy and then without meds – and I failed.

I wanted to take it, because I want to change my life; I was scared to take it for so many reasons. I don’t know what it’s like anymore to be happy – sadness and despair are my home now. They are - in a sick way - comfy to me. I was scared of the unknown side effects. I was afraid to face the rest of the summer cookout/hangout season without wine (goodbye, my vine ripened friend. I shall see you on the other side, in vast quantities).

Mostly, I was scared I would choke on the fucker. I have a serious issue with pills, and this one is considerably larger than my folic acid, which I do occasionally choke on. Hubby stood by, ready to break out the Heimlich maneuver if necessary. We discussed various swallowing techniques. And then, I just did it – opened my mouth, popped it in, swigged some water, and swallowed.

And down it went, mocking me all the way to my stomach. “You were scared of me?” it said. “I was made to slide down your throat, you fucking nutcase.”

That was it. I’ll take another one tonight, and head off to therapy. No side effects yet, although I am tracking my weight since I was promised that 99% of people actually lose weight on this drug.
We all know, though, that I am a walking statistical anomaly. I fully expect to be the one percent that blows up like a pig, and whose fat thighs strain at her scrubs until they finally give up and burst open one day right in front of a client.

We’ll see.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

camp dead baby?

So, I read lots of widow blogs, for a lot of reasons: to explore a sadness other than my own, and also because my mother was widowed (with 2 young-ish kids), my grandmothers were both widowed with young kids, and my cousin, although she wasn't married to him, lost her son's father. I identify with the grief process in others, particularly widows and dead baby parents.

Many of the widowed bloggers I read will be attending what they call "Camp Widow". They'll be gathering together in community, support, celebration and hope. I read many of the blogs after Camp Widow last year, and people really seemed changed by it. And, as odd as it seems, they had FUN! After all, camp is always fun (isn't it? I never got to go away to camp as a kid so I have this vision that camp = heaven).

I want to go to "Camp Dead/No Baby." I know it sounds morbid but I just have this need to be around other people who know - who just know, and who think my dead baby jokes are funny and not indicative of my need for serious psychiatric help.

I'm wondering if a) there would be interest in the ALI community for something like this and b) if folks are interested, if someone would like to collaborate to try to get it off the ground.

Anyone? Anyone?

Monday, July 26, 2010


If I even thought for a second I might have been pregnant, I got schooled yesterday.

Aunt Flo showed up with a vengeance. I was crippled all day, physically. And I am mentally drained.

This was it, our last chance before we start dropping serious money on the problem (which we don't, at the moment, have).

I've gotten pregnant seven times. Seven. And I couldn't conceive once on femara.

And all around me, in blogosphere and on fb and in real life, people keep getting knocked up and having babies. I feel more left behind than ever, more alone than usual.

At least I have my (everything that isn't reproductive) health. I'll drink to that.

And then tomorrow, I'll start taking that fucking pill.

Friday, July 23, 2010

my own best friend

I thought things were set in stone for me, that sadness and grief and depression would be constants in my life, sorta like the evil monkey from "Family Guy" who pops out randomly to terrorize Chris.

I was wrong.

I had a therapy session Tuesday night that left me sobbing in the car on the way home, shaken to the core. Dr. A has been questioning my resistance to taking antidepressants. She told me, in no uncertain terms, that my refusal to medicate amounts to a subconscious desire to sabotage my marriage.

My first reaction was to give her the finger (she didn't see, as she was writing something at that moment, probably something along the lines of "batshit crazy").

But then I thought about it, and accepted that she was right. You see, I've felt for a long time like Hubby would be better off without me. In my darkest moments, I've told him to divorce me. I mean, I wouldn't want to be married to me - I have issues (ummm, that would be an understatement). If he left, I could let go of this guilt that consumes me, this feeling that I am an anchor around his neck dragging him down. He could go off and find a woman of proven fertility and have a family and be happy. So I stay sad and hopeless and inert, in this sick effort to push him away.

Only, he won't leave. I should have expected nothing else from a man who firmly believes that if you work out and don't puke, you didn't really work out. He commits, that man, even to the unpleasant.

And then I thought about my situation as if I were one of my friends. What would I say to friend-wifey? It might go a little something like this:
"You deserve to be happy. After all of the awful crazy things you've been through, you deserve it. Grief and trauma have changed you. Therapy is a good step, but if your therapist recommends a pill, don't be a dumb, resistant shithead (I can be a little meaner to myself than I would be to any other friend). Take the fucking pill. Make yourself well. Stop sabotaging your life."

So I decided to take the fucking pill (that is, if the red headed bitch comes for a visit this weekend, which, in all likelihood, she will). I will join the legions of Americans who medicate their sadness away, because I need to. I need to live, for myself, for Hubby, and for any child who comes into our lives (however that might happen). And as soon as I made the decision to get the prescription, I felt a weight lift off of me. I could breathe, and see hope in my future.

Plus, one of the side effects of this particular drug is weight loss. Who wouldn't be excited about that? I have to confess, that sold it for me - the thought that I could be a skinny happy girl makes me giddy. Nope, I'm not vain at all.

So, once I start the meds I'm going to try to blog more often, to have a record of me officially kicking depression's ass.

That's right, evil monkey, you are hereby evicted from my closet.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ICLW - welcome!

Hi there! Thanks for visiting! I love the feeling of community that ICLW brings, and I'm looking forward to finding some new blogs this month (and hopefully some new readers too!)

If you're new to the world of semi-fertile, read on - a brief recap of my long and tumultuous ttc journey follows.

I met my Hubby in January 2003. We got engaged two weeks later, and married in June 2003. I went off of birth control pills in June 2005, got pregnant in December 2005, and promptly miscarried in January 2006. Pregnancy number 2 occured a few months later, which also ended quickly. Two more early miscarriages occurred over the next few years, during which I endured every RPL test known to man. I did test positive for antiphospholipid antibodies (a clotting disorder) and was prescribed aspirin, a mega dose of folic acid, and injectable Lovenox (an anticoagulant) upon confirmation of pregnancy. My fifth pregnancy, in December 2008, was devastating, as it seemed to be normal until the ultrasound - and then, an ectopic was diagnosed. I had surgery to remove cletus the fetus from my tube - poor cletus, who was actually growing on schedule and looked good aside from his location. My seventh pregnancy, in the fall of 2009, ended in early miscarriage as well. Further testing revealed a high level of prolactin, which has been corrected with medication. And despite 6 cycles with femara, we have not conceived since (although I am currently in the 2ww from the last femara cycle, but not exactly hopeful).

Since the demise of cletus, I have been deeply depressed. I am working on getting myself well and healthy while we take a break to save for IVF. We may do a couple of IUIs in the meantime.

So there you have it - my utesaurus eats babies, and it makes me sad. I still try to laugh, though, and I am determined to kick depression's ass before I move on to beating the shit out of RPL.

Monday, July 19, 2010


In so many ways, I have been defined by infertility and loss. My primal drive to become a mother, and my failures along the way, have warped me, like wood that has gotten wet repeatedly, and has swollen and morphed into a new shape. It is still essentially wood - all of the things that make it wood are still there - and yet it's different. There are ridges and valleys where there weren't, although the grain is still visible. There might even be a little mold. And no matter how dry that wood gets, it will never look like the wood it used to be. Those ridges and valleys are permanent, until the mold eats it away into dust.

I am still essentially me, and yet I'm not. Infertility has seeped into my soul, rotting me from the inside out. I am warped. My life was once even, defined by the expectation of  "when." Now, I am all ridges and valleys, riding the rollercoaster of "if:" If I get pregnant again. If I don't miscarry again. If we save the money for treatment. If my marriage isn't wrecked in the meantime. If I can pull myself together enough to become a fully functioning, happy human being, regardless of how this all turns out.

All I can do is to hang out, dry out my soul enough so that the rot stops in its tracks. Those ridges and valleys are here to stay.

I am forever changed.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

the crawl

Slowly, surely I am putting one foot in front of the other on the path towards wellness. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of wishful thinking –most times I am army crawling inch by painful inch, through the sand traps of grief and the water traps of sadness and despair, under and over obstacles lobbed at me by infertility. I see a normal life ahead, just out of reach, and I want it, so badly, even if children aren’t in it. I want to live, and smile, and lessen the stranglehold of depression.

Therapy is so helpful, as are the anti-anxiety meds. I am really thankful that Hubby is open to the process, that he acknowledges that he needs to change too, if I am to get well, and that maybe he needs help to reach his own happiness. Our therapist gets me, I think. She sees right into the heart of our relationship and zeroes in on what is good, and what is bad. She has, in her own roundabout way, convinced me that I really truly am suffering from clinical depression. I don’t think I realized just how ill I have been until recently. I can’t believe I let it get so bad. I also can’t believe that I was more willing to accept a vision of myself as a total fuckup – a wife who can’t keep the house clean and the bills paid, whose inertia almost brought us to the brink of financial ruin, who barely has the energy for work and surely can’t fit time for friends in – than as someone with a mental illness. And so now I am double stigmatized – I am a mentally ill infertile who happens to take breast cancer meds and Parkinson’s meds and anxiety meds and aspirin and folic acid in the foolhardy hope that something will make it all magically work as it should. Yay me.

Hubby and I have a reasonable plan ahead (I know, I know, our plans change almost as frequently as our underwear). We’re going to try with our last cycle of femara. Then, we may take a couple of months off so I can detox a bit and get physically and mentally as healthy as possible. Exercise. Sweat. Do acupuncture and yoga. Eat well. Spend time with friends (or maybe actually make some of my own, since all of our friends here are couple friends and I let all of my female friendships die). All the while we’ll be building our savings account towards that lofty goal, IVF. And since it will take a while – since, in my depression, things like “paying the bills” and “not getting sent to collections” were not high on my priority list – we’ll try a couple of iui cycles. If all that fails – as it likely will – we’ll move on to IVF (which scares the shit out of me, because if that fails as well, I’ll be cliff diving off the precipice of depression to the depths of complete batshit crazy!).
We’ll get there, inch by inch. We might be the oldest parents of a kindergardener EVER, but we'll get there. I hope.