Monday, June 30, 2008

Living. Waiting.

It's Monday evening.

I successfully completed a fairly productive day of work.

Bed rest is over. :(

I remarked to someone at work today that I haven't started to dissect every little thing that's going on in my body to determine if it might be a pregnancy symptom. Ever since, I've been dissecting every little thing that's going on in my body to determine if it might be a pregnancy symptom, or worse, a PMS symptom.

I had a wicked sugar craving this afternoon, and it has occurred to me that this very well could be the first signs of PMS. I bought a jumbo sized box of skittles and sucked the sugary coating off of every single one while I drove home from work. Gained some guilt, lost the craving.

A week from now, I will know whether or not I am pregnant. This afternoon, I felt the first true twinges of sadness at the thought that this may not result in a baby. Maybe it's being out of my bed rest bubble and back into the real world that I am finally seeing the dust settle around my IVF whirlwind.

I have not lost hope. I have gained fear.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

as pregnant as I've ever been...

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the awesome language of infertility, I'd like to introduce you to a very important concept:

The 2WW, otherwise known as the dreaded "two week wait" during which you anxiously ponder the results of your latest fertility treatment, waiting to take a pregnancy test. Or not waiting, and taking four tests a day, certain that the negative result is simply due to a faulty test.

So I am now in the midst of the biggest, and certainly the most expensive, 2WW of my infertility journey thus far. The IVF 2WW. Perhaps you've noticed the large blue countdown to the right.

The 2WW can be a difficult time. No matter what anyone says, it is absolutely impossible to spend less than 23 hours a day wondering if the pregnancy gods will finally shine the light of favor over this cycle. Yes, I think about it while I'm sleeping. Do I judge your dreams?

I can't pass by this topic without stopping to point out how many times I have been told to focus on something else. Maybe this makes me bitter, but I'm pretty sure that telling somebody to "forget" that they may or may not have a fetus growing inside them is like asking somebody to forget that they have a left arm.


The 2WW is hard. Infertility is basically comprised of waiting and a good deal of neuroses. The neuroses is not necessarily a precursor to infertility, but it is certainly a side effect. Try having your uterus scanned three times a week and see if you DON'T end up making Jerry Seinfeld seem sane.

Another aspect of the 2WW is dealing with people who point out to me (as if they're the first to discover the world is round) that if my pregnancy test is negative, GASP, all the people who know about our IVF will know! People will know that I am not pregnant! People will know I am sad and disappointed! Gosh, I guess I really should have thought about that BEFORE I started airing my dirty laundry so publicly. What will people think if I fail to get knocked up? Will I be forced to live in some sort of infertile exile?

There is another way to look at this. Many optimistic infertiles have familiarized me with the term PUPO, or, "pregnant until proven otherwise." I may not necessarily be pregnant, but by golly, I am PUPO. And I have never been quite this PUPO before.

I know for a fact that there are two deliciously adorable embryos taking up habitat in my uterus right this very moment. I've never been able to say that before.

I could spend the remainder of my 2WW anxiously wondering how things will turn out. In all honesty, I can promise you that I will spend many moments doing exactly that. But it's not the only thing I will do.

I will also love the tiny little lives in my belly that my husband and I created. In the very least, we made some good progress...we got to cell division! And I'm not stopping there. I'm going to enjoy this time of hopefulness and wonder at all that it could become. Perhaps one day soon I will be shopping for some adorable organic onesies. Infertility can beat the dreamer out of the most imaginative of people. What once felt like harmless hopes and dreams become the sharpest knives in the artillery until hoping and dreaming feels so forbidden that you forget how to let your imagination go. For the next 7 days, I'm taking my imagination back. I'm going to dream until I'm drunk.

And I'm going to enjoy everything wonderful that I do have. Like this moment, sitting and writing on my deck with my husband lying next to me. Our sweet puppy is lounging in the shade and panting in the yummy June heat. Our grass is green and freshly mowed. My gardens are overgrown and lush with weeds and flowers alike. My ears are filled with birds and wind and always, good music. I smell grass and summer and sweat. And in this moment, I'm as pregnant as I've ever been.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Where's my cool breeze?

The embryos and I are resting comfortably.

They, like their mommy, enjoy turkey burgers and a good nap around lunchtime. It's a leisurely life we three live. And I could get used to this whole bed rest deal.

In all of this luxurious relaxing, I haven't forgotten that I had promised the details of my rather embarrassing moment of realizing I was still wearing my underpants as I sat on the operating table. And in deciding how to describe this in greater detail, it occurred to me that nobody wants to go back and read the details once I've spilled the punchline. Yet here I go, sharing details. Because I love details.

So. My loving husband and I are shuffled into the operating room for the big embryo transfer. He got to look all sexy and Gray's Anatomy-ish in some blue scrubs and face mask. I got to look all nursing home-ish in brown slipper socks, a johnny, and a robe. And let's not forget the powder blue shower cap. The nurse instructs me to sit on the table and pull the johnny out from under my bum. This is getting old hat for me. So I do as she says. And she's chatting away, attaching the big yellow stirrups to the table (these are no normal stirrups, ladies), when I realize that something feels, well, wrong. And I'm all nervous because here's my scrub-sporting husband and we're getting ready for the biggest, most glorified pap smear of my life, and I'm having a hard time figuring out what feels so, so wrong.

And then I realize. It's my cool breeze. It's missing. So in disbelief, I reached down under that johnny just to be sure. And where I expected to hit skin, I hit cotton. And by now, the operating table is all set up. The nurse has the big yellow stirrups waiting. The embryologist is smiling expectantly and I'm pretty sure making eyes at my husband. The doctor is at the back of the room, washing his hands. And I say, sheepishly, "um, I think I'm still wearing my underwear." Either that or my vagina is especially cottony-soft today. And she doesn't blink an eye. Doesn't miss a beat. She says, "oh honey, happens all the time!" (NO, it doesn't. Ask any infertile, and she will tell you that the first thing she does at any appointment is meticulously hide her underwear safely from view. Well doc, joke's on you, cause this time, I decided to hide my woo woo instead.)

So, what else could I do? I looked around the room. At the nurse, the nurse in training, the slutty embryologist, and the hygienic doctor. And I slipped those undies off in two seconds flat, bunched them up into the smallest little wad I could manage, and handed them to my husband with a smile. Who says IVF isn't sexy?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

E-Day Update

I will probably write more about this experience later, but for now, just the short and sweet version (then I will go rest with my baby embryos).

But I promise that sometime soon I will share my mortifying story of realizing, as I sat on the operating table, the little fact that I had forgotten to remove my underwear. Kind of makes it hard to get at the goods with my pink Vicky's in the way.


Transferred two embryos of "excellent" quality. Had one of the nicest nurses on earth. Froze four more excellent embryos. Pretty sure that these embryos are Claudette and Whitey, they were really fighters.

Finally, our beautiful, beautiful embryos.

It's E-Day

Today is THE DAY.

July 7th will also be THE DAY, but today is THE DAY for right now.
(July 7th=pregnancy test).

Today we transfer my little embryo-yos to their true home: me.

I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

I'm terrified and want to cry.

I've done everything I can to be ready for this moment. I've meditated. I've blogged. I've cried. I've yoga'd. I've cried. I've acupunctured. I've cried. I've read. I've cried. I've talked. And talked. And talked. And talked.

My efforts are not without reward.

I've discovered that I have a support network that previously, I might only have dreamed about. I have fabulous, kind, loving, funny, supportive people in my life. When I ran my first 5k last year, I remember feeling that the course felt much longer than anything I had ever practiced. I felt tired and alone. I had a cramp, I was running slowly, and didn't know anybody around me. I worried that I wouldn't finish, or that I would finish dead last and everyone would laugh as I stumbled across the finish line. But then I came upon the last half mile, and one by one, supporters started to fill the sidelines of the course. They didn't know me, but they cheered. And the closer I got to the finish line, the more people there were, standing and cheering words of encouragement. I felt so proud, so supported, as I crossed the finish line. These people didn't care that I was slow, that I had bad form. And I'm realizing that those people are with me now. Except for this time I know them, and they're all wonderful. And if it weren't for infertility, I might not know that right now. Some of them, I wouldn't know at all.

I don't know what will happen today, or in the next 12 days. Not knowing still gets to me. Even now, I haven't gotten used to it. But the reality is, I know exactly what will happen: I will be pregnant, or I won't. Simple as that.

And even beyond that, I know what will happen. Pregnant or not, I know I will survive.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I'm a wee bit hormonal.

Case in point: I called my husband on his way to work this morning, crying rather hysterically because he forgot to bring the laundry downstairs for me. Clearly, he forgot this extremely important task because he no longer loves me.

Perhaps you're wondering why I don't bring the damn laundry downstairs myself? Well normally I would, but it just so happens that being two days post egg retrieval (12 eggies!), my ovaries hurt.

Normally, I'm a delight to be married to. And for all of you who are jealous of my sweet husband, wishing that you were married to me, let me assure you that YOU DO NOT want to be married to me this week. Despite all of my beauty, charm, and wit, despite my fantastic cooking skills and domestic fortitude, I seem to be lacking in the sanity department.

I think that this is justified for a variety of reasons.

1. I have ten fertilized eggs sitting in a petri dish in Boston waiting for their mommy. My uterus is much more comfy than some sterile petri dish. Clearly, I'm suffering seperation anxiety.

2. My house absolutely has to be meticulously and spotlessly clean. And it's not. If I do not get it perfectly clean in the next few hours, my eggies might prefer to continue their petri dish inhabitation. And it's hard to clean, cause my ovaries hurt.

3. I am testing a not-yet-FDA approved form of Progesterone. Was this really a good idea? For the next 3-12 weeks, my woo-woo is home to what looks like a big, foamy life-saver. And last night it made me puke up popcorn. Have you ever puked up popcorn before? All those little kernally things get just as stuck on their way back up as they do on their way down. More so, even. I still have kernals in my nose. And I am NOT a puker. I'm the type of girl who will throw up in my mouth a little and then swallow it back down to avoid puking for real. So let me tell you I do not appreciate violently puking popcorn for close to 30 minutes. Plus, I don't think it's normal or healthy to puke blood.

4. I'm trying to make sure my uterus is prepped to be a good home to my eggies. And it's a lot of damn pressure.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I can't be entirely sure, but most signs seem to point out that hormones will push me over the edge into actual, certifiable, insanity.

Today at work I introduced my eggies, by name, to more than one co-worker. Whitey is turning into a real fan favorite. Oh Whitey, so stoic and calm. You take after your father to be. Claudette continues to be quite the badass. She seems intent on bursting through my right ovary any time in the next few hours. I think she takes after me.

In case I've ever failed to mention, I'd like to point out that infertility blows. However, we all know that gratingly obnoxious saying about life giving you lemons. So hell. Here's my seriously spiked infertility lemonade cocktail. All the things I can get away with because I'm ...(GASP!)...infertile.

1. I get to be a true bitch.
It's the hormones, I swear. Wanna fight about it? Bring it on, fat-head.

2. I save money on condoms.
Haven't spend a single dime on a good old fashioned rubber in god knows how long. Sure, I've spent exponential amounts on fertility treatments, but who's really counting?

3. I get away with nonsensical, emotional babbling.
Recently, on a particularly hormonal day, I told my sweet husband, "I'm just happy you're my husband...(sob!)...because, you're just...really nice." Handsome, strong, sexy, masculine, athletic? Apparently, just...really nice.

4. Guilt-free road rage.
Driving home from grocery shopping last week, I realized that screaming, "I can't see, you fucking idiot!" at some stranger in a blue minivan brought me to bitch heaven. Get. Out. Of. My. Way.

5. I can admit that it's my secret life dream to be on Oprah.
It would be cruel to make fun of me, seeing that I'm infertile and all. Are you reading, Oprah? After we have a nice girl talk on her big comfy stage couches (during which we'll laugh, we'll cry), Oprah will give me a big hug. Then she'll hold my hand, and say, "Your strength. It could move mountains." And then she'll offer to pay off all my infertility debt. And she'll probably kick in like, a million dollars just because I'm so nice and young and perky. And beautiful. Are you still reading, Oprah?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I've become totally unproductive at work. I feel a slight pride in this fact. If you're going to be unproductive, you might as well do it full out.

I am now the proud home to six good sized eggies, and quite a few mini-eggies. These eggies are high maintenance eggies. They require my full attention at all times, thus my new lackluster work ethic. With the slightest prompting from a good humored family member, I've now named the eggies. There's Steve, Marty, River, Isaiah, Whitey, and Claudette. Claudette's a fiesty one.

Yesterday I took the day off to bond with my eggies. We slept until 11am, woke up, and went to bed again at 2pm. We practiced Qi Gong breathing, some fertility yoga, a little accupressure, and indulged in a little Ben and Jerry's for good measure.

Today I took my eggies to work. We didn't get much accomplished. On my way home, I took to talking to my eggies. I made sure to stop each time I passed a pedestrian, lest they should think I've gone crazy.

So, here I am. Talking to my ovaries and shooting up hormones like it's my damn job. There is no normalcy when you're trying to grow a baby in a petri dish.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I remember in college once making the remark that I didn't "believe" in infertility treatments. That couples who couldn't have children should adopt one of the tens of thousands of children alone in this world without parents. I remember being disgusted at the millions of self-absorbed dollars that were thrown at the fertility industry. At those poor, driven women who would stop at nothing for a child of their own.

I can almost remember what it felt like to assume that I knew something. What it felt like to believe. To take for granted the fact that I would have my own children. So much so that I didn't even stop to consider compassion.

Having is a weak emotion. Having lets you loosen your grip. Lets you get careless. Wanting is where the strength is, the passion.

These days I grasp for dear life to my mind's picture of my maybe child. Those small, curling fingers. Tiny feet, miniature toenails. All of the love in the world renewed.

My linen closet is stacked with drugs. I have crisp white paper bags full of syringes that terrify me. Small glass vials of clear liquid. I brought them home and proceeded to reorganize the entire closet to make room. To give the impression of calm control. Everything is okay in a house with neatly folded towels.

Any fear, any hope, is hidden quietly among the sheets.