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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 17: A Good Idea for an Invention.

P. asked me if I was going to take a pregnancy test now.

I told him that they don't make 72-hour DTD pregnancy tests.

...And we wait.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Modern Love: NYT article

I just came across this NYT essay. Great insight and great writing:

My favorite quote from the article:

My younger brother tried ineptly to comfort me: “You’re 31,” he said. “It’s not like you could have a baby this late anyway.”

Day 16: Cloudy with a Chance of Baby Showers

DTD, DTD, DTD. It is done. Or not. Now, we wait.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Cup Runneth Over.

It feels as if someone turned on the ovary faucet and eggs are pouring out. I had NO idea what women were talking about before. Now I do. I wish I didn't. My whole post-pubescent life, I had been placidly, contentedly even, ovulating under cover of night. Now it's like an air-horn.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sleepy Eggs?

So if I take Ambien on Clomid, will my eggs be too tired to make it out of their house and take a walk along the fallopian tubes? I can see them now: rubbing the sleep out of their eyes, knocking into the ovary walls, looking for their glasses, keys, gathering the kids, and yelling over their shoulder,

"Let's Go! She's surging! We don't have all day!"

Actually, I'm told we have a 48-hour window after the surging happens.

Oh, I finally took a second surge indicator test today. I practically strapped that little stick to my belt until I got a reading. I've been thinking, and what that contraption needs is sound -- a little bell that chimes when its ready to deliver its news.

Better yet, how about different music for the two different answers. For the blank, non-surge indicator circle, I think a good song would be "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne, or - no - wait, how about, "Can I Get a F--- U" by Jay Z. Yea! that one is most appropro. For the happy surging face, I'm torn between Olivia Newton John's "Let's Get Physical" and Salt n Pepa's "Push it." Maybe "Push It" is best saved for a positive pregnancy test.

SO, still no surge today, but I think tomorrow is the day I take my E-ticket ride. (For those of you who don't remember back that far, E-Ticket rides at Disneyland were always the ones with the longest lines: Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, that sort of thing). So tomorrow, I'm betting the house and DTD, no matter what.

I'll maintain radio silence and keep from sharing any sordid DTD details, not to worry. It's still a PG-rated blog. For now.

Day 9: Waiting to Pee. Again.

I wake up this morning all excited to take yet another surge indicator test and I'm extra happy because I totally have to pee and the directions tell you that the "first morning" pee is the one you want only they call it urine, not pee. So I pee on the little stick and the little readout is reading it and I set it down because it takes a couple of minutes.

And then I go into the kitchen and eat an grapefruit. Then I put the kettle on to boil. Then I try to scrub the muffin pan that I made mini-quiches in last night in last night. They egg is stuck to the bottom of the goddamned little muffin cups and curse myself for forgetting to put little paper muffin liners in the little cups, and then I remember I want to put in a load of laundry...Do you know where I'm going with this? If you have taken these tests, then you know that you have a small window of time when the readout is displayed and then it clears itself out and goes blank. Yeah. I remember the surge test and I run to the bathroom, and: blank.

Now I have to wait until I have to pee again and I totally don't have to pee right now and drinking more water just sort of dilutes the whole thing, so I have to wait for a real pee, not a forced just-drank-a-gallon-of-water pee. I'm am a huge, multi-tasking dork.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 7: Away We Go?

Know what today is?  It's the day we are supposed to DTD.  But I took one of those digital LH-Surge indicator tests that is supposed to tell you when you are about to ovulate. The thing that you pee on has a little digital readout and a smiley face comes on when you're surging.  

If you're not surging, then you get a blank circle. But I think it should have a sticking-tongue out face.  With a middle finger.  


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day Five: Clomid Chaser

I swallowed the last of my series of five Clomid dosages last night, fittingly, I thought, with a gin and tonic. The cat-ladies of the pregnancy-blog world would be horrified.

So the other day, my OB/GYN called me. Every time that woman calls me on the phone I feel as if I've been called by the Pope himself. It's akin to running into your science teacher at the grocery store when you're in the third grade: something's off with the world. I supposed it's also because a personal phone call from my physician feels so old-fashioned. And, I think it's because growing up, doctors were considered to be the end-all, be-all, no matter what.

Doctors were given almost god-like cult status in my home; being a doctor meant you were smarter than everyone else, you were more important to the world than most other people, and you were rich. That may not apply these days; especially, from what I hear, the rich part, but doctors still hold a certain allure in my eyes.

So when she calls me, I turn off the radio. If I'm in my car, I pull over. And if I'm in a room with others, I leave and go to a quiet one where I can be alone with her voice. I hang on her every word and am nervous to take any more of her precious time with my own silly questions. Only, she's never been anything but friendly and honest and approachable with me, which is why I can't get over the sort of celebrity-sighting feeling I have when I see her.

I have no idea if she's a "great" doctor, or if others like her, or hate her or feel indifferent. But I've been with her through some pretty bad shit, and I feel sort of committed to her. Friends don't understand this loyalty, and, it's true, I've considered switching to another doctor several times, just to see what's out there, you know, play the field of physicians and whatnot. But it really seems like such a process, to establish a relationship all over again.

I'm off to the lab to have my blood drawn to check my hormone levels. If I combined all of the blood that I've lost or had taken during this process, I swear it would fill a swimming pool.

With that gorgeous image, I bid you until next time...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day Four: Egg Pop?

So, I heard some disturbing news the other day. My friend, O., informed me that, if I've never experienced it before, this month, I should definitely feel an egg being released from my ovary.

What the WHAT?

I've been menstruating for 26 years without feeling that little egg pop through to my tubes, and I certainly don't want to start now.

Maybe all of these years when I thought I had indigestion...?

Just for fun, I decided to Google this whole concept. You know what? You know how you can enable that feature in Google where it finishes the phrase you're thinking about writing for you? Well, as I typed the words, "I can feel myself ovu--" finished it for me!

There are a whole lotta ladies out there talking about their ovulation sensations. One blog, appropriately titled, "VaginaPagina" --yes, really-- features several posts from dozens of women happily engaged in shared ovulation sensation experience. That's it, no other questions, just statements about how ovulation feels.

All but one. She posted that she was jealous cause she never felt a thing. (No, it wasn't me.)

But I think I'm starting to figure out this shared-experience thing.

As we grow up, nformation about our reproductive systems is passed along surreptitiously: in darkened classrooms in the fourth grade when we're forced to watch grainy movies about "Your Body"; between the dog-eared pages of Judy Blume novels; through whispered old wives tales'("don't kiss him in a wet bathing suit"); and the ever-present, omniscient voice of "a friend of a friend."

Being a woman has so many upsides -- pink lipstick, platform sandals, Gloria Gaynor songs -- but also so much that's kept way underground. I'm glad all of the friends of friends are finally banding together. We'll figure it all out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day Three: Druids DTD

So there are all of these pregnancy blogs,where you can write-in your questions and then other women respond. Based on my own research, doctor visits, and just plain common sense, it appears that the majority of the women answering the questions have acquired their information from the following four sources:

1. Fairy tales
2. Ancient Druid folklore
3. The Christian Coalition

Just kidding about the last one. That's just where I read about all of the Hollywood Stars who give birth to beautiful, blonde-flecked twin babies at age 45. This, has naturally led me to assume that when I have twin babies, I'll skip out of the hospital with a baby-filled basket on each arm, wearing size 27 skinny jeans (which is a bit redundant; all jeans sized 27 are skinny jeans).

There's this one blog I came across where the women post their picture, their screen name, and then, along the bottom of thier posting, in italicized letters, their due dates, like, "ScreenKitty is due on September 10!" Or, if they haven't managed to get pregnant yet: "Boodles has been TTC for two-and-a-half years." By the way, it may just be a coincidence, but a great many pregnancy blog contributers have feline-sounding screen names.

Which leads me to the acronym thing. Who knew? Did you know? I had no idea. These blogs and listserves and Web sites are filled to the brim with these acronyms. Nowhere is there a key which explains their elusive meanings.

But I have to say that satisfaction I have derived from decifering these little Rosetta Stones is exquisite. Here are the few I managed to disentangle:

TTC= Trying To Conceive
DTD= Did The Deed

OK. So I only figured out two. But I am planning to devote a large portion of the remainder of the evening to Googling more acronyms in the hopes that I'll garner knowledge of this underground society's mysterious language.

Back to the blog and the crazies. One poor woman, MrsPeepers22, started things off asking if it was OK to drink alcohol and take Clomid. Then the deluge began.

SnookyPants102: Well, I wouldn't take a single drink, Clomid or no Clomid, if I was TTC! (Her profile features the italicized "Due in 10 weeks-- it's a girl!")

Then, another woman got into the mix:

PurryFurry1: I agree with SnookyPants102. Why take that risk? I sure didn't take a single sip while I was TTC

Poor MrsPeepers22. Now she's branded as a selfish drunk.

MrsPeepers22: I only asked if it was safe to combine Clomid and alcohol, since I'll be going to my best friend's wedding. I didn't ask for your opinion!

SnookyPants102: Then why did you even ask? (Incidentally, there is a direct correlation between the amount of pontificating and the number of weeks pregnant of said respondents)

Then, it escalates. I can practically hear MrsPeepers22 shrieking when she tries to salvage her reputation:

MrsPeepers22: I didn't ask for your opinion! I just wanted to know if I could combine the Clomid with an alcoholic beverage with no adverse side effects! And, incidentally, I won't be ovulating during this time, so I think it's ok! Furthermoe, I've been TTC for two years now, and if I didn't take a drink in that entire time while ovulating and I'm still not pregnant, why put my life on hold if it may not even happen?

Yeah! MrsPeepers22 kicked Snookypants102 and PurryFurry1 to the curb!

I read on for a bit more -- someone may have implied that MrsPeepers22 should pray more since SHE had been blessed (I HATE that phrase) with a bouncing baby girl after trying for many years, blah blah blah.

I closed the page. But I'll probably go back sometime, just to see if MrsPeepers22 ever changes her italicized status to "Due in...!"

I hope she drank at that wedding and DTD and got pregnant that very weekend. That'll show PurryFurry and SnookyPants.

Day Two: Smoke, Mirrors, and Retractions

I went to yoga today and, during a transition from cow-faced pose to downward-facing cobra, the left-hand side of my uterus pinged me. Must get back to her soon, she seems pissed.

Ouch, though. Of course, I'm figuring that it can't possibly be due to the fact that I twisted the wrong direction during the Warrior pose, it's got to be Clomid making me achy. O. informed me that I will surely feel the ovulation this month, since I told her I never ever feel a damned thing.

By the way, I recommend that you never, ever, read about Clomid online. There are a bunch of stories about Clomid and health insurance. I don't even know if they're real. I clicked on a flashing red box marked "WARNING READ THIS IF YOU PLAN TO TAKE CLOMID!!" while I was reading some how-to-get-pregnant blog, and it was yet another blog, laden with testimonials about not being able to be insured for five years after taking Clomid unless you have your tubes tied.

The whole thing sounds so nuts and crazy and urban-legend like that I stopped reading it and went to my default Web site, There, I could read about Brittany Spears wearing a see-through top or Tiger Woods spotted at sex rehab or look at Jennifer Aniston's gorgeous, toned, and tanned legs in a dress that cost more than my entire college education.

Sometimes, I look at those celebrities, the women of child-bearing age especially, and imagine how many of them have been through something like what I am going through, or what I'm feeling about getting pregnant or having miscarriages or trying to get pregnant, and their smiles make me sadder still because they can't walk out the door and buy digital ovulation predictor kits without the entire tabloid nation knowing about it. That's really too bad for them. But then they do have those dresses.

Seriously, though, losing a pregnancy or not being able to get pregnant is something so many women share as an experience, even if we don't share it out loud, across the board. Being famous and rich doesn't help the pain. Wait, it does. Never mind. No, but really, truly, this is a situation that is frustrating and sad and sometimes even embarrassing.

And we know, it's the secret no one talks about, we wait until it's safe to tell others, the required three months or even longer, to make sure the tests and the heartbeat and the levels of whatever are just so, before putting our toe in the water to reveal, "I'm pregnant! It's true! It wasn't a stomach bug! I didn't have a stomach cyst the size of a cantaloupe! I didn't not drink because I was detoxing! It was all a ruse!"

Which of course brings us to the fact that all of this smoke and mirrors has to occur in the first place. Telling others that you're pregnant is just making you too vulnerable, too prone to pity. At least that's what it is with me. I'm truly horrified at the thought of people sitting around, tsking, and saying, "Poor poor thing. She lost it, you know. Nine weeks." Or, "Poor, poor thing. And she even started to gain the baby weight. That's got to be tough." Which is why you pretend to detox instead of drinking or, as my husband and I did once, pretend that you are drinking, but have the other person drink the drink for you. All of these smoke and mirrors to avoid the dreaded explanation of what happened. Which, in most cases, is totally and completely unknown.

The first time I got pregnant, I told my dad, but asked him to keep the whole thing under wraps. "Just wait until I hear a heartbeat, for godssakes, dad," I pleaded. And he was like, "Oh, what's going to happen! Everything will be fine!" and then he proceeded to email every last one of his friends. I felt sorry for him on the day that I had to tell him I miscarried. I felt bad about all of the email retractions he would have to write.

Funny, how after that miscarriage, I had more men than women walk up to me and tell me how sorry they were. It's not that the women were any less sorry for me, but the men seemed much more outwardly touched by the news and compelled to express their sympathy. The women in my life were interested in the details of the procedures and the pain (not much) or the tests. We women live the physicality of pregnancy and birth and even rearing children so much more than men do, and my friends' intuitive leanings toward the less emotional and more pragmatic ended up making sense. But I liked how their reactions surprised me about men, and that was a nice thing.

It's almost 7. Only a couple more hours before my next hit. Maybe tonight will be the night that I start with the sweating. Oh, I almost forgot: I also get to lok forward to being more emotional, acting more "female" as my Dr. put it. Really, I thought. What the heck does that mean. I suppose it means that as a "female" I'll go around baring teeth or falling into weeping fits. I've reminded P. that this emotional collapse is impending. He has brushed it off for now, but I'm worried. I wonder if I won't have my head about me. I picture it like when people turn into werewolves of Dr. Jekyll turned into Mr. Hyde, and I have no control over my actions, I'll upturn tables, eat the heads off of chickens, kill prostitutes in Victorian England, and then wake up with a raging headache, without the slightest idea of the havoc I wreaked.

I think I'll make dinner before I take the pill, just to be on the safe side of possibly poisoning my poor husband.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day One: Sweaty Bachelor Nights Ahead

Day One of Clomid. I took Clomid, well, actually, it's generic clone, clomiphene citrate, around 9 p.m. My friend, O., suggested I take it before bed due to the hot flashes I should be expecting. So I dutifully waited until 9 p.m. and drank it down with a glass of water. Immediately afterward, I walked into the office where my husband was on the computer, and announced, "let the games begin." We high-fived.

Wonder if I should keep a change of clothes and a cooler of cold drinks on my side of the bed for the impending sweat.

It's been one hour since I took the pill. I swear, I can feel my eggs lining up at the door of my fallopian tubes, ready to burst forth.

I stay up until 1 a.m., watching The Bachelor and Law and Order and I blame the Clomid for my lack of sleepiness. But in truth, I have no idea if that's a side effect or not. I decide that it is and I will undoubtedly sleep less and less with every passing day until I ovulate, and then I will be too exhausted to have the sex.

1st millennium B.C., Near Eastern fertility goddess