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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Don't RSVP to my Pity Party, You're Not Invited Anyway

I've seen my acupuncturist twice in this past week, and will see her again tomorrow.  I have to take my hat off to the acupuncture; I feel a renewed sense of calm that I haven't had, maybe, ever.  You can chalk it up to a placebo effect, or you can say that my meridians have been controlled or that my chi is balanced.  Whatever, I'll take it.

And so, when I spoke with one of my close friends the other day and she asked me how I was doing, and I said I hadn't felt so great in months.   I alluded to the "dark" places that Clomid had taken me, and how I now felt renewed and alive once again.

"What do you mean, she asked, were you depressed?"

"Yes, that's exactly what I meant," I replied.

"What about?"


I paused for a beat.  The answer to that question might, to most readers, be obvious, and the question itself might have seemed daft.  Why indeed, would a woman who has had two miscarriages and tried unsuccessfully for several cycles to get pregnant, be the least bit sad or depressed?

I explained that I had become overwhelmingly melancholy when I took Clomid for those three cycles.  The feeling had no name, it had no circumstantial basis -- that would have been too easy to express.  I was not sad that I didn't have a baby, I wasn't pining away over my unused crib in my basement, I was blind with a feeling of despair that is simply hard to fathom unless you've ever felt suicidal or like you were trying to claw your way out of a wooden box buried deep in the ground.

"Well, why didn't you say anything?  Why didn't you write about it on the blog?" She asked.

I've got to hand it her, she had a point.  Here I was laying bare all of my woes, but I kept one of the worst aspects of the process to myself.

Maybe I felt that the blog had turned into a sort of funny pages about trying to get pregnant. Perhaps my own pride got in the way; it's hard to admit when your sadness is so undefined.  I also didn't want to throw a pity party.  The only person invited to that is my husband, who is legally bound to tell me hundreds of times, without complaint, that I'm not a loser and that I'm cute and skinny and small.  He is also bound by law to ignore my frequent trips to the freezer for ice cream immediately following a fat debate.  HE is invited to the pity party.

But once again, (no small thanks to friends) I'm called to my mission: to be open and honest and forthcoming about my process.  In the hope that it might assist other women to feel less self-conscious if they've gone through a similar experience, to teach to those who haven't, and, selfishly and most of all, to make it easier for me to put one foot in front of the other.  And I'm walking taller.

Next week: "energy work."  Whatever that means.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Luteinizing Louboutins

Ever take a pregnancy test and have it come out negative but you take the other two tests in the box anyway, just in case that one test is defective?  Yep.  I've done that every cycle.

I could have bought a really nice pair of shoes with the money I've spent on three-packs of early detection pregnancy tests.  Ok, maybe not a pair of Louboutins, but at least a pair of sale-rack, past-season, peep-toe Manolos:

I'm here to say that I am going in a totally different direction with this whole thing now: I'm going au naturale.  Tonight I have my very first acupuncture appointment, dedicated to addressing fertility.  And I'm jumping into the deep end of the pool: not only am I paying to have little needles poking my meridians, I'm also signing up for Maitri Breathwork.  I'll even take herbs and do weird dances during the full moon if it will help.

Told ya I'm going whole-hog. 

My only worry is that I'll be told to stop ingesting caffeine and wine, in which case things will not be very pretty around our house.

Oh, but I almost forgot: I feel totally awesome not being on Clomid.  I'm getting less bloated by the hour. My clothes fit better, I'm not annoyed all the time, and the husband claims I look skinnier than I have in months.  (Maybe I had to prompt him for this last detail; maybe I had to ask three, four times, "I'm skinnier, right?  RIGHT?"  Or maybe he just said it.  Can't remember now.  Point is, it was said.)

"Acupuncture Diaries" doesn't really have the same ring to it that my current blog title does, so forgive me for keeping it and moving on with my experiments nonetheless.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ham Belly and Cheese Thighs

Yesterday I Googled the terms "Clomid + weight gain."

I read the accompanying sheet that came with my prescription but I swear that I don't remember the part about becoming a fatter version of yourself.  They should also add a part where they tell you that every month, you have various tell-tale signs of pregnancy, such as frequent urination, sore breasts, and a bloated middle, except that your pregnancy tests still come out negative!

I just thought of an awesome new ad campaign for our favorite drug: "Clomid.  All the symptoms and none of the pregnancy!"

My weight gain hasn't been evident to the naked eye -- unless I'm the naked one.  I'm thin, so its the sort of bloated, fatter feeling and the slight increase of a muffin-top over my jeans that only I can notice.  Well, me and my husband, that is, who now likes to squeeze my middle while announcing "Ham!" in a very loud voice.

Another side effect of Clomid for me?  Depression.  I looked this up too.  Mood swings, anxiety and depression were listed on various Web sites.  Mine was what you might consider "severe."  True, it lasted only about three days, but those days, they were dark, my friend, very dark.  If you had seen me walking down the street, there would have been a storm cloud raining directly over my head.

Which has led me to decide that I'm not taking Clomid any more.  Ironically, I have been taking the lowest possible dose, 50 mg, so I wonder if my Dr. will try to talk me into a cycle at a higher dose.  But I also worry how much worse the symptoms would be.  I will have to be locked inside a padded cell for those 36 hours.

I'm a bit bummed about my decision, because taking Clomid made me feel a sense of control, like I was actively doing something to increase my chances, instead of waiting and waiting for nature to take its course.  Nature's time frame doesn't work for compulsive, control-freak, Type-A personalities like yours truly.

Well, I've said my peace and now it's 8 a.m.  Time for ice cream.

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