Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Surprise... a new post!

Well, hello there!

Anybody still checking in on me?

I'm back, but only briefly. Consider this a cameo appearance. I just have a couple of very important things to say!

1. Everything is going well. 18 weeks tomorrow! Still don't know if it is a girl or boy. Thank you all so much for your continued support.

2. I'm reading your blogs! Trust me, I'm reading. I'm only commenting infrequently (okay, rarely), but if you see your blog listed over there to the right (or in the comments of my last post)... I AM reading (sometimes obsessively). And hoping. And sending my love and positive thoughts out into the universe for you.

3. If you haven't already discovered her yourself, please get yourselves on over to meet hopeful to hateful in 28 days. She's my friend, and she rocks. And you rock. So you should rock together.

4. Finally, please go over to see Jenderbender at Land of the Infertile. She is experiencing some absolutely terrible heartache. Please go give her all the love and support you carry in your huge hearts. Thank you.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Accelerated and Photogenic

Well now see, I told you there was nothing to worry about.

The baby is there, heart beating away, and seems to be doing just fine. We could see his little arms flailing about. My husband the martial arts expert swears he is making a knifehand strike.

I am 9 weeks and 5 days, and the baby is measuring 10 weeks. So he is accelerated already.

And photogenic. The nurse practitioner even said so. (I'm sorry I can't include pics... we don't have the necessary equipment, and I don't have the necessary tech savvy.)


So I think I will be taking a break from blogging. I realize this may make me the record holder of "Shortest-Lived Infertility Blog Ever", but I have good reasons:

1. I am hoping that things will be terribly boring from here on out. I hope there is not much to write about. If I were an artist (and I am SO not), I think I would be one of those artists whose inspiration only emerges when they are feeling tortured and depressed. I'm afraid that now all my posts would be full of exclamation points and words like "cute" and "awesome". I wouldn't want to put you through that.

2. Blogging has served it's purpose. Just writing and venting was incredibly therapeutic for me, and got me through some really difficult moments. I was able to keep my friends and family informed on all the medical updates as well as let them in on some of the thoughts and feelings that can be hard for me to express in person. But, the best part of all, and the most unexpected part, was the sisterhood and friendship that's been cultivated with all my fellow infertility bloggers. I just can't thank you enough for your support, encouragement, and empathy. You would really read the posts, and read them carefully, not just for context but for meaning and feeling, like you were searching to know and understand me. I know this from your comments and your blogs. For example, I can't tell you how much it meant to me to come home to find that Melissa left a comment on my last post saying that she can't wait to hear how things went today. She remembered that my ultrasound was today. And THAT, my friends, is "awesome!". And I see that kind of thoughtfulness happening everywhere, all the time, in the infertility blogging world.

Which brings me to number 3...

3. I feel so incredibly lucky. And I know that many of my sisters are still in the trenches still waiting for their luck to change. I'd like to spend my "computer time" reading blogs and commenting and trying to continue to offer support to all of them. I hope that it will be okay for me to do that even if I don't have my own blog.

If you are on my blogroll, I will continue to check in on you frequently. If you are not on my blogroll (perhaps you commented and my lazy self never got around to putting you on or maybe you've been lurking but never commented), please feel free to comment on this post so I will know to stop by your post and keep up on how you are doing.

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my mind and return to blogging at any time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fear Shmear

Okay, is anybody else sick of this "fear" theme yet? Because I am. It's time for me to move on. Enough is enough.

I allowed myself one final concession to the fear today. I called my new OB to see if they could see me earlier than Monday. But I was very rational. And level-headed. No fake emergencies. You would have been very proud.

The secretary kindly explained that patients rarely cancelled appointments, and Monday was absolutely the earliest time they could get me in.

But then she asked, "Are you having any problems?"

There it was. My "in". The open door leading directly to the coveted ultrasound. (In my head I pictured the ultrasound machine at the end of a dark tunnel with a ray of light shining down upon it, while in the background a churchy sounding chorus sings "aaaaahhhhh" in that way that happens in movies when something elusive is finally illuminated.) It would have been so easy to say, "Why, yes, actually I am", and fabricate some bogus concern. But I couldn't do it. I just couldn't bring myself to falsely claim some frightening symptom or experience that actually could be happening to me and that tragically does happen to many women. It just felt wrong.

So I told her the truth. "Well, I'm feeling kind of panicky."

She didn't laugh, which was really quite kind. She even said I could check back in with her to see if anything happens to open up. She is a good person, this secretary. I must remember to smile at her when I go to my appointment. We like her.

So, anyway. That was it. My last acquiescence to the fear. From now on I will be positive. Hopeful. Rosy. Upbeat, even.

Stop laughing, people, I'm trying here.

And stop taking bets on how long this will last.

Can I put fifty bucks on forty-eight hours?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Feeling Sick (...With Worry)

For the past couple of days, the fear has been winning.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night completely panicked that I am somehow no longer pregnant. That the heartbeat has stopped.

I know, I know, this is normal. ALL pregnant women, infertile or not, experience this fear.

Yeah, well, it still sucks.

My next ultrasound is on the 26th. That is 11 days away.

When I called last week to make the appointment with the OB, and they told me the next available time was on the 26th, I felt the panic set in immediately. My heart pounded and I felt sweat begin to bead on my forehead as I squeaked, "Isn't that a long time from now?" The nurse or secretary or whomever I was speaking with laughed and said, "Honey we never see anybody before the 8th- 10th week."

I tried to sound breezy and casual. "Oh. All right then."

But see, I'm NOT anybody. I am not your average pregnant person. I don't believe that any woman who has struggled with infertility is, regardless of how "normally" their pregnancy progresses. You see, physically speaking, I have felt two things for an entire year:

1. Completely and totally out of control of what my body decides to do. No matter how involved and informed in my treatment I chose to be, what happened inside of me was the result of my doctor's protocol and the whimsy of my reproductive system. I had no say over how many follicles developed, what size they were, the level of estrogen and progesterone in my system, etc. etc.

2. Although I couldn't control what was happening in my body, I damn sure KNEW about what was going on. I was monitored thoroughly, almost obsessively, so that my doctors and I knew what my body was doing. How many follicles, what size, estrogen level... you name it, I could recite the exact numbers.

So now, well, now I've still got number 1. But number 2 is no longer there. And, oh, how I miss it. It's hard to go from daily appointments to one every couple of weeks. I thought they would be more gradual in their weening. It was doctors who made me needy and dependent, and now they are just throwing me out into the street, expecting me to quit them almost cold turkey. It's cruel, really.

How am I supposed to wait another 11 days for another glimpse at what is going on inside of me? It feels like torture.

It's so bad that I'm considering concocting a fake emergency so that I can get in sooner. What do you think? Falling down the steps? Spotting? Skin turning bright green? Surely "obsessive irrational worries" just won't cut it?

Without medical monitoring, I'm forced to rely upon Dr. Google and my own subjective interpretation of my symptoms. Which goes a little like this:

(kneading my breasts vigorously) Well, the right one is a little sore over here. But, was it more sore yesterday? Yes, it was, I'm sure it was! And I think I only had to pee 6 times today. Surely that isn't enough. Or maybe it was 7. But I did drink lots of water, so maybe I'm just peeing because of additional water intake, not because my uterus is expanding. I think I felt queasy today, but was I really sick, or was it my imagination? Am I really craving those olives, or have I just convinced myself that I want to crave olives?!

11 more days of this? I wonder who I will drive insane first, myself or my husband.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Secret, My Ass

Have you all seen The Secret? It's been on Oprah, CBS news, and I'm guessing any other talk show/ magazine/ article/ website/ the oily little "Secret brigade" can get weasel their way into. It's a book, it's a movie ... it's complete and utter bullshit.

Maybe it's just me. But I don't get it. Does this not appear to anyone else as a bunch of money-grubbing, fame-hungry salespeople attempting to re-package and market the age-old idea of the power of positive thinking? A bunch of smarmy "experts" (of what, I have no clue) spouting useless, obnoxious, and even insulting cliches?

Or maybe I'm just being negative.

Take, for example, this cheesy and offensive bit of propaganda about how to become rich. Watch this first. Then, imagine in your own head what the Secret folks might suggest that we infertiles visualize. Perhaps it would go a little something like this:

I am a baby-making machine.

I am full of ripe eggs right now and at every second.

I have more children than Michelle Duggar.

I will find a baby on my door step.

We have more than enough correctly- shaped, forwardly- mobile sperm to make all the babies we'll ever want.

A lack of fallopian tubes/ ovaries/ progesterone/ ovulation/viable eggs/moving sperm will not get in the way of a natural pregnancy.

An unexpected pregnancy is on the way; it could happen at any moment.

I will have my dream baby.

I know that no matter what I ask, no matter what it is, if I believe it, a large muscle-bound genie will slink out of this Diet Coke bottle I am compulsively rubbing, and say "Your wish is my command."

So, there we are girls. We have The Secret. Our infertility woes are over. All those people who told us to just relax and to think positively, well, they were right all along! All that money and time we are putting into visiting those silly RE's? ...Completely unnecessary! The shots?... Gratuitous! The operations?... Absolutely optional!

All this time, all we needed was "The Secret".

Don't we just feel like fools?

Well, since I'm already pregnant (the HARD way, damnit!) I'll have to use The Secret to improve my life in other ways. Perhaps I'll use it to pay off our excessive student loans, get that Audi SUV my husband covets, buy a big house, heal any sickness that my friends and family may encounter, lose 25 pounds, and, if I'm not too tired from all this positive thinking and goodness-attracting, I guess I'll end the war and stop the genocide in Darfur.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Elizabeth was wrong

There is one. One sac, one fetus, one wonderful little heartbeat.

I am relieved, mostly. The idea of twins was frightening, and three... well, three just scared the crap out of me. A very very small part of me is sad, though. I guess because I know that, if only just for a minute, they were there-- even if they were just empty sacs--and now they aren't there. I suppose it is normal that I feel some sense of grief and loss.

But, back to the relief. I'm relieved to know that The One is doing well, and its tiny little heartbeat is going strong. I'm relieved to know what I am in for. I can picture-- as much as is ever possible-- what life will be like with one. One crib. One carseat. One breast at a time.

So, I'm done with the RE and moving on to a regular OBGYN or midwife. Again with the mixture of relief and grief... On the one hand I am thrilled to know that I never have to go back there. On the other hand, there was an undercurrent of sadness as we said good-bye to everyone today. I feel like I'm being pushed out of my safe little self-contained special ed classroom with the one to four teacher to student ratio and thrown into the overcrowded regular ed classroom with all the average and advanced learners. Will I get the kind of attention I need? Will I be able to keep up? Will I fit in?

All in all, very very happy news today.

Oh, and my sister-in-law told Elizabeth that "SuSu is having ONE baby."

Her response?

"Well, when is the next one coming?"

Saturday, March 3, 2007

At Least He's Cute

My husband: Have you been taking vitamins?

Me: Yes, of course, I take a pre-natal every day. For like, a year now.

My husband: Shouldn't you switch from a pre-natal to a natal now that you are pregnant?