Friday, September 29, 2006


According to my neighbors, I am glowing. They seem to think it's significant.. at least, the second neighbor to comment on it did.. the first neighbor, who is unaware of our situation, accepted that I was just wearing makeup for a change. (which I suspect is the reason she decided I was glowing)

What is this glow they speak of? Dare I worry that I'm emitting some sort of weird radiation? Because, you know, I'm 3dpo... far too early for that glow. Maybe I ate one too many boxes of cereal as a kid.. you know, the ones that came with the glow-in-the-dark toys inside. Back then there was no hygienic plastic bag encircling the toy to prevent cereal contamination. I could easily have ingested microscopic flecks of glow-in-the-dark coating. Hell, it's entirely possible I ate the toy itself... and, similar to the gum my mother swore was indigestible, it sat dormant in my body just waiting to make its way out all these years. I'm not going to admit to how many years, but I haven't been a kid in a long time.

It could happen.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

O Google, My Google... how I love the hits.

First, the ones which make me sad. I know I'm projecting, but some of these you read and you just know that the person on the other end of that search isn't in a good spot.

why iui fails oh hon, i wish i knew

drop in bbt a sign of miscarriage i hope not.. i really, really hope not.

.. and the ones that leave me speechless:

myopic uterus what?

theme park rides implantation conception here's someone who'll know what not to say to an infertile in this situation.

he is fertile uhh... congrats?

Then there's the ones that make me laugh tho admittedly I'm easy and it doesn't take much:

morning sickness 1dpo Three letters for ya babe... F..C..P..

you're my obsession lyrics There's always one that I look at and think 'bet you weren't expecting this search result'

pregnant but no hcg seems there are a lot of us with FCP out there

psychosomatic pregnancy signs after iui if I didn't know better, I'd think this one was me.

moms implantation pain
as opposed to dad's?

hate pelvic exams you and me both, kid. you and me both.

im having weird side effects from clomid i have nothing to say.. just the wording of this search cracked me up.

and the occasional search that makes me ask WTF??

ok for 8 month old to be out of my sight uhh... sure, leave
your precious bundle o' joy unattended. just watch out for those nutty
infertiles.. you know we're all just waiting to snatch your baby


Last cycle, I was writing my poetry right about now.

I'm in a totally different place right now. Not only am I not feeling poetic, I'm not feeling like my 2dpiui status is worth thinking about.

I'm having an awfully hard time writing about anything today because... well, because I'm just not really thinking about it. I feel crampy and sore from the IUI itself, bloated and nauseous from the estrace.. and I still have to force myself to actually put my mind to reproduction today. I can spend hours thinking about what I want to bake today but I'm just not interested in thinking about any theoretical buns I might have in my uterine oven. Just not interested...

So I'm going to focus on that - the blase attitude I'm developing today. I just have this feeling that either it worked or it didn't, and stressing over it isn't going to make a difference. Stressing over the relative merits of brownies vs. cookies, now that's productive. At the end of the day, I'll have a snack to show for it if I can only work out which one I want. Stressing over baby or no baby... won't make a difference. Not only that, but I won't have that all-important closure I crave. No matter how much I focus my energy on wondering, I still won't know a thing today.

So why even think about it? In past cycles, I've been known to be very superstitious. Wearing the lucky (or not as it turned out) necklace, choosing my daily clothing with conception in mind. No really.. imagine an entire two-week-wait that demanded I wear at least one item of my least-favorite-color every single day. Been there, done that... tossed the pink t-shirt afterwards. I've visualized positively, talked to my ovaries and my uterus... whatever I could think of. This month, I think my entire reproductive pep talk consisted of please don't fuck up. I dutifully had my post-IUI discussion with the uterus as I laid there... and then I took a nap. Why? Well, it certainly wasn't because I thought fertilization was best accomplished in my sleep. It was just because I was tired. Imagine that - on the very apex of my infertility treatment, IUI day, I was not thinking about reproduction every second of the day.

.. and I don't think that's going to make one tiny bit of difference in the outcome. Once again, I'm thinking Either it happened, or it didn't. I'll find out in a few weeks.

Jeez, if this attitude sticks around for the next few weeks, I'll have pitifully little to write about. Feel free to throw out suggestions for topics. I suspect I'll need them.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I think too much... with bonus feature: the IUI that almost wasn't

First things first, no? Yesterday's IUI almost didn't happen. As feared, we'd waited a bit long.. but let me back up and give you some background.

G was hanging with his usual babysitter, my neighbor. I like for his visits to her house to be short. She has a son who is close to G's age, and the two of them do not always get along. They react one of two ways - either they're best friends, or they fight like cats and dogs. Being as they're three, it's hard to predict what kind of day they'll have, so it's generally best to not have them together for extended periods, or I risk my kid getting beat on. We have recently discovered the hospital day care (who will watch him! for free!), but they will only watch him when I have an appointment at the hospital. Since the andrology lab that does sperm washing is not part of ths hospital, on IUI day, when I really need a sitter, they're not an option for the first half of my day. So G was at the neighbor's and I was determined not to spend a lot of time away.

After we left the lab with our swimmers, we had two things to do - the IUI, and a visit to the insurance office at the hospital to straighten out an issue we've been having with them. Since the last two IUI's had been a breeze, I told B to go ahead and deal with the insurance, I'd go solo to the insemination so we could get home faster. Smooth move.

Yeah, the last two went just fine... but this time, since I'd already ovulated, my cervix was already closing (closed?) and that whole painlessly-insert-catheter-in-five-seconds thing didn't happen. Two words: tenaculum and ouch. I was really worried my doc was going to call this whole thing off when he had that much trouble. He didn't.. although he did ask if I'd been through this before. Yes, but it never hurt before!

Survived that, and I have a tiny ray of hope.. I had this weirdly symbolic dream while snoozing through my half hour of laying down afterwards. FYI- weekend IUI's, done in L&D have much more comfortable beds. I'm not going to recount the dream yet, because I'm oddly afraid of jinxing myself, but I did want to mention it, so I don't seem so nuts if I get hopeful this cycle*, even though so many things went wrong that made this seem like a hopeless cycle.

Which brings me to the 'thinking too much' part of this.

This is not what I'd call the ideal IUI cycle. We waited too long, I had already ovulated, possibly as much as 24+ hours before the IUI, AND we'd totally blown away the IUI abstinence, which (as expected) drastically affected B's sample... enough that his count, typically low-normal, occasionally low, was flirting with 'severely low', but thankfully not too low for IUI. Interestingly, the lack of abstinence did not significantly change his motility. Which has nothing to do with anything, except that it's interesting trivia.

So, I'm telling myself that this is not the cycle to get my hopes up. The only thing that was significantly better than past cycles was my endometrium. That measured a fluffy 10-point-something, a big improvement over my piddly 6.9 last month. B's numbers were depressingly low statistically speaking. I had maybe two viable follicles (three if you include Monday's collapsing follicle), which is much lower than my average of five.

.. but I can't shake the knowledge that my two pregnancies both came about when it seemed hopeless. I got a positive test with G two days after B's first SA results came in. You know, where my doctor said she wanted to look into that before proceeding any further because it was a problem. My second pregnancy, conception occurred about two weeks after my doctor said it was bad enough to require IUI. So I have a proven history of conception when it's least expected. My public reproductive fuck you to my doctors, so to speak. Not to mention this was the one IUI where B was not even in the room. So I've got the added knowledge that it should not work this time, combined with the crappy-conception story of how the hubby was not present. Which does not make me less hopeful, it has the opposite affect. (I'm really f'ing backwards here.. recurring theme in my life)

*at the moment, i'm not hopeful, i'm confident... which is freaking me the fuck out. because, you know, i'm confident that fertilization occurred. the only thing keeping me from freaking out MORE is that i'm not confident about implantation.. just fertilization.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New sign of FCP - ovulation symptom analysis.

I just had an epiphany.

The last few days have included several (ok, two.. no, three) difficult babymaking decisions.

...and I, cynic.. nonbeliever.. I forgot the earlier wisdom of the fortune cookie.

And the reminder a few days later. you gotta look hard for that one, it's at the very bottom

Holy precognition, Batman! All signs point to... keep trying.

I woke up this morning with a small temp spike. Possible post-ovulatory temp, but very, very small. Better yet, I also had some serious ovarian pain. The one thing I love about clomid is that it makes ovulation downright painful.

she's a masochist! run now while you can!

No, that's not it - I like knowing (approximately) when ovulation occurs. BBT isn't precise enough, and the turkey's-done button that I'd like to install on my stomach is not yet a perfected technology. Til then, all I've got is the "ow-my-inner-girlparts-hurt" alarm. Eh, I'll take it.

Especially if it means that I'm ovulating now.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Real quick...

A couple of you asked about B's count in the comments in my last post.. figured I'd address it here.

His count is ok, it's low but in the normal range. Sometimes it's lower, sometimes it's higher, but it's always been at least ok. ("suboptimal" was the word my first doc used to describe it.. difficult but not impossible) Mainly, he has problems with motility and morphology. I know that count is affected by abstinence, but it's rare to see motility and morphology addressed - tho I did find a study this afternoon that said that more than 24-48 hours abstinence is actually worse for mot/morph...

So we hit it. I'd rather risk having fewer chances with the IUI than having no chance by missing ovulation.

And Erin, DocP is concerned with the manufacturer's response to off-label use of letrozole as a fertility drug. DocNH pretty much rolled his eyes at the same topic when we discussed it last week, he has no concerns about that aspect, so I don't either. After discussing the protocol involved in injectibles with DocP today*, I'm leaning heavily towards asking NH for letrozole next time I see him. When in doubt, I trust the doctor I agree with.

*DocP has greater concerns with using inj's on pco patients who don't have weight issues (the gist of it is that we respond differently to meds, and can go from nothing to extreme with a small dose change); since I already had one over-reaction to clomid, they would want to stim me slowly.. his exact phrase was "it could take a month or so" I'm not so sure I'd want to stim for a month, I just don't have the patience to spend a month preparing for a cycle that did not involve IVF.


But not the sugary good kind of fudge.

The Ralphie-Christmas-Story kind of fudge.

I should have known to listen to the B when he said we should get busy yesterday "just in case".

I should not have cracked that joke about ovulating during my ultrasound.

I should not have even wondered what a follicle looks like during ovulation.

So.. yeah, DocP said it looks like I'm ovulating. Hard to tell, he says, but the collapsing follicle in there is a pretty good clue. Possible that the other two will hold out for tomorrow, but not definite, could go either way.

He has no advice on if we should continue with the IUI or not.

.. and he's against the meds change that Doc NoHumor and I discussed last week. So against it that while he's willing to keep injectibles as a potential subject for discussion, he's not willing to keep letrozole on the table as a possibility.

But he's more optimistic than I am - "let's just assume you get pregnant this cycle and we don't have to worry about changing your meds next cycle".

Yeah... I'm not holding my breath on that one.

And I'm not supposed to cry before the two-week-wait even starts... that's not how this works.

Share your opinions on this, please... I'm really, really at a loss: In this situation, would you break the IUI abstinence in the hopes that you don't miss ovulation, and take the risk of having a not-so-great sample for the IUI, or would you keep the abstinence and hope that there's even something there to inseminate tomorrow?

Still not tonight dear, I'm f'ing tired.

I have so much hope for this cycle that I seem to have abandoned the BMD.

Oh, not entirely, I'm still not back to my Dew (my blessed, beautiful Dew that I miss so much)... choosing instead to substitute with diet (caffeine free!) soda of the variety that my parents used to drink. I hated it then and I hate it now. So much that I don't even like to drink it. The bonus to that is I'm hardly drinking any soda, which is probably a good thing, but let me tell you, the entertainment value of my food consumption is roughly equal to watching grass grow.

However, in the last week, I did consume way too many cinnamon rolls, and last night I made chocolate mousse.

Can I get bonus "effort points" for skipping fruit juice (which is bad-bad-bad according to the evil nutritionist) and maintaining my two-fruit-a-day maximum? evil nutritionist appears to have an anti-fruit bias, although he covered it up well with an explanation of the process by which the body metabolizes fruit sugars differently. whatever, I know he was evil and just making me cry wasn't enough - he had to take away my second-favorite food group also.. since, you know, I'd already laid off the Dew and he couldn't take my most favorite food group

At any rate, I'm doing a sort of cafeteria low-carb-ness lately. I'll have diet soda with my mousse and consider that even enough to cancel each other out.

But my big development is kicking the caffeine habit. I've backslid a little, but mostly I've given it up.

Did I mention that B has recently returned from Colombia? With coffee beans? Yeah, you know that sucks.

.. and we're now a one-car family and I'm dragging my arse out of bed at the crack of dawn to take the hubby to work.

I checked with Dr Google last night* and found two things - caffeine is bad in pregnancy, but fine while trying.... unless you're fertility-challenged... in which case you must give up caffeine for not only the nine months or so during which you have a successful pregnancy, but also the months (years) prior to that.

Fucking great. Take away my ability to conceive on demand AND my ability to stay awake past the G's bedtime. I suppose the Cosmic Gods of Reproduction figure that since we haven't had so much luck with that whole sex thing lately, we don't need it at all.

Thanks. Thanks a lot. B sends extra thanks.

bonus blog footage: second mid-scan is today. temp dropped in a BIG way this morning... partly, I'm sure, due to the obscenely early hour at which I took that temp, but possibly also partly my normal pre-O dip... I have visions of ovulating in the middle of my wanding, and while it would be interesting as hell to have DocP freaking out Mrs B, you appear to have lost a follicle.. this must be some vanishing follicle syndrome, rare and never-before-discovered, I'm not so sure that would make up for missing our IUI this cycle.

*after my consultation about the preferable abstinence period prior to IUI failed to give me the information I wanted - namely, that we were good to go then... It's a cruel, cruel sort of irony that the only time my body can get over its hormonally-induced lack of sex drive is the only time when I can't actually have sex.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Not today, dear I have an IUI... some day.

There's no definite "right" amount of abstinence before IUI, but we aim for two-and-a-half, three days or so.

B, optimist that he is, greeted our postponement last week by reveling in the fact that it cleared him for a little action for a couple more days.

Me, I'm just worried I'll ovulate before I make it to my next scan. And I made the mistake of telling him this.

So this morning, when he woke up feeling a little frisky, and I reminded him that we're within our three-day no-getting-freaky window, he looked a bit dejected, but followed it up quickly with "... but what if you ovulate today? I'm just looking out for you here".

I feel so lucky to have a husband willing to make such great sacrifices.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Personal Hygiene

Thanks to dd's 'stache, I remembered what I wanted to blog about.


Specifically, hair in the public* region.

But before I get to that, let me explain why I'm super-sensitive to this.

I'm not exactly hairless. As a teenager, I blamed it on my Italian heritage (after all, Gramma has a moustache, so it's not exactly unheard of in my family). While I'm proud of my ancestry, I could live without the fuzzy upper lip. I've been pretty vigilant about plucking, waxing or otherwise removing for over half my life. That makes a girl a little sensitive.

Particularly a girl who has a 'stache, extra-hairy legs, and Hobbit-toes.

It never occurred to me there are other, more private areas that can have excess hair. Until a few months ago.

While discussing the various fun symptoms of pcos with my doc, he mentioned that I did indeed display a bit of the PCO-related hair.

Which would be fine (I know I have a 'stache), except he was giving me a pelvic.. and he wasn't looking at my face when he said it.

O..M..G.. In retrospect, I think he was talking about that little area of my stomach just below my belly button. But since I was too freaked to ask, I'm not sure.

And that's made me a little sensitive about that part of my body.

I'd never really thought about it before. After all, it's not like I've made a study of other womens' foliage. Really, the only ones I've ever seen are in those movies, and they're .. uh.. manicured lawns. Since I don't have any comparison, and my doctor did make that comment, I'm a bit self-conscious when I'm going in for an exam.

I may not always shave my legs (it's not like I'm dating my doc), but I do tend to take care of the public region.

Until last week.

See, I'd tried out this new cleanser in the bathroom. My tub has never been so shiny! Or slippery! Yeah, the slippery part was a bit scary when it came to standing on one leg and shaving. I gave up halfway through. The half I didn't get to was sorely in need of attention. Since B had been gone, and I had not visited my doctor in quite some time, it had been neglected far too long. I promised myself that I'd find time to finish before my midcycle wanding.

Only my appointment was in the morning, I'm not a morning person, and I got up late enough that I had time to either shower & shave, or shower & run over to the neighbor's for coffee. Caffeine won out, and I had to go to my appointment with one half of my junk screaming bring me a razor! or a weedwhacker! for the love of God, trim this!

Doc NoHumor didn't exactly say anything, but he did tell me to get dressed before we talked about my scan, saying he preferred to talk to women with their pants on.** Naturally, that made me wonder if he was freaked out by viewing my unintentional pube-goatee, and I am doubly committed to ensuring that my parts will be suitably well-groomed for future visits.

Does that make me weird? Is it normal to worry that my doc thinks I'm a freak of nature?

I have no idea...

*no, that's not a typo... as many people as have viewed my goods, the word 'public' seems more appropriate than the other word.. and probably far fewer freaky google hits this way also.

**yeah, if it were anyone but him, I might think that was a joke.. but there's a reason I call him NoHumor.

Itsy bitsy teeny weeny...

All my ovaries need now are yellow polka dots.

Midcycle scan yesterday, not so great.

Three follicles, the largest was 17.6, the other two were 15's. Doc NoHumor is concerned they're cysts and not real follicles. geez, I'd expect that from Doc Paranoia, but NH is usually less drastic.

I go back Monday for a recheck.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this. Doc NH is a realist, leaning towards pessimist. He looks concerned every time he reads my chart.. which is every visit*. I know that we're in a more difficult-to-treat situation than the average not-ovulating-hand-out-some-clomid patient, and I am so thankful that he doesn't give me false hope month after month, but sometimes, I wish one of us were more optimistic.

Still, I have a lot of respect for his experience and knowledge, and I'll take that over hand-holding any day.

And Monday could bring better news.

*can I just say how wonderful it is to not have to remind him of past cycles every time? before we even talk, he's refreshed his memory of what we've tried and how it worked out.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


As my original due date draws closer, I've found myself thinking more about the child who almost was. Today, I should be exactly 8 months pregnant. Instead, I'm getting ready for a midcycle scan this morning.

While I can't speak for every mother who has ever lost a child, I don't think my feelings are unique in this.

One of the comments heard most often after a miscarriage is "at least you can have another".

I know that the people who said that (or the similar "it wasn't meant to be this time") to me are just trying to reassure (me? themselves?) that my miscarriage was a one-time occurrence, just one of those things, statistically unlikely to recur.


I didn't want just any child, I wanted that child. The one who wasn't meant to be. The one who would have been born next month, who would have celebrated her first holiday season this year, who would have made my son an older brother at three. Who might have had my eyes or B's dimples.

By my third trimester with G, I already knew he liked to party at night, that he got hiccups regularly, and that he hated anything constricting his space. He wasn't just a dream of a baby without a personality, he was my boy, the one who was super-sensitive to me poking his feet through my belly, who got excited in the shower, and who freaked out for a long time after loud noises. I wasn't surprised when he was born with his days and nights mixed up, hating swaddling and bare feet and baths (he preferred showers), and taking a long time to regain his calm when things were too loud.

I didn't get the chance to learn any of that the second time.

I never really understood how or why a mom could be so hurt and so devastated by an early loss. It's not as if she really knew that baby. I was blindsided by the feelings of lost opportunity that I had. I never got a chance to know her. I never even had a hint of her personality, of her preferences, never saw her face anywhere but in my dreams.

I regret what could have been, even as I look forward to what might become.

.. and I am happy that I am doing more looking forward than looking back.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Have you read about that woman who stole a baby after losing her own?

I cringe when I read things like this.

My first issue: they refer to a full-term loss as a miscarriage. Not surprising considering how little the general public knows about reproduction, but irritating to me anyway.

... but that's small potatoes compared to my main complaint about this. Plastering this story coast-to-coast is exploiting every parent's fear, and perpetuating the myth that mothers who can't have a child of their own are generally desperate and crazy enough to do the unthinkable.

Yes, infertility or pregnancy loss can make a person desperate... but I think it's pretty damn rare for that desperation to turn into something criminal. After all, if this were an everyday occurrence, it wouldn't be splashed over every news website and channel right now.

I think it's much more common for it to make people more empathetic, more sensitive and caring. I believe that most of us who are in a position to understand what it's like to feel that longing for a child do cringe at the thought of taking someone else's child.

Our desperation might turn into unresolved grief and an inability to get past wanting that child that we lost, or it might spur us to undergo painful and invasive tests or treatments that other people can't imagine trying. It might give us the strength to travel the world to find our child, or to fall in love with the child that everyone else has already given up on... but not to inflict our pain on someone else.

I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. That one statement has been echoed in many ways through many different blogs and conversations. It's the side of infertility that never makes the news, but I think it's a side that's more true than all of the desperate and unthinkable stories combined.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Let the nook begin.

CD10.. the B is home (yay!). I have an appointment for a midcycle scan in two days (yay!) and tonight is the cutoff night for pre-insemination abstinence (not so yay!). It's so very fun to live without your husband for five weeks and only have two days to catch up on all the nookie you've missed out on. I had to remind myself that last night was about fun, not babies.. I have this complex set of rules regarding sex during my fertile period, and ALL of them center around being sperm-friendly. Absolutely no KY! No swimmers being allowed out of the gate anywhere except the starting line for the race! You get the idea.

It was the KY that did me in last night. He's been gone for five weeks, that makes things a little.. uh.. disproportionate. Either he grows while he's abstinent or I shrink. Throw in the clomid which has "vaginal dryness" listed as yet another side effect; we all know I suffer from (almost) every clomid side effect... and you can imagine the quandary this put me in.. fortunately, my month-long non-voluntary celibacy made me more desperate than my need to keep the swimmer swimming. So that worked out. It's wonderful to realize that sex has nothing to do with babymaking on an IUI month.

Small update - while I was spellchecking this, G brought me the last lonely fortune cookie left over from the other night: A bold attempt is half of success. On the back, the Chinese word forJuly. It's another message, I tell you.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

It's. Too. Early.

I know I say this every month, but I really, really mean it this time.

Please... please... please let this be it.

I may not be hopeful or optimistic or even have halfway normal expectations for this month, but I am tired. I am so tired of side effects and fucked up hormones and pressure and worry.

Mostly today I'm tired of side effects.

Last month was the first clomid-free month I've had since April. I guess when I was on the nonstop-side-effect roller coaster, I didn't notice it as much. Now that I've gotten a couple of weeks with only minimal side effects,* I'm noticing. A lot.

I woke up this morning downright bitchy and nauseous. I managed to open one eye, roll over and find the remote to turn on G's cartoons. Then I got bitchy about that - how many times have "they" said that TV isn't good for young children, and it's lazy parenting if you use the electronic babysitter? Mom is supposed to be the first one awake in the morning. I suppose G should wake up to find me in the kitchen, apron on, and breakfast ready. Anyone else picturing June Cleaver?

I gotta admit, I'm no June Cleaver. There are mornings where I'm up before the boy, and I have breakfast ready, but I'm not sure that period-induced insomnia and cravings for baked goods qualify me for mother of the year just because I manage to present my child with a plate of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls. Especially when there are mornings like today where he's eating leftover chinese food for breakfast.

Yeah, so now that I feel like a bad mom first thing in the morning, what's next?

I'm a rotten wife as well. My husband called me this morning. Keep in mind, I haven't seen him in a month, and I can count on one hand the number of times that we've spoken on the phone in that month... and I was bitchy to him. That one I do feel bad about.

... and here's my bad caretaker #3 moment. I just heard the cat fussing and I realized.... I haven't seen her in hours. And suddenly I remember - she's in the back yard. Mind you, I have an indoor cat**. And it rained all night. I am grateful that Cat is resourceful. She came back in slightly damp instead of soaking wet, like the rest of my yard. Bless her little feline heart for alleviating my guilt a little.

So here I am, first thing in the morning and I've already let down ALL of my little family. I've slacked on my caretaking duties. Naturally, because I am FC the thought so this is why I don't deserve another baby skitters across my mind. What a load of crap.

I can't just be a normal person and admit the obvious: I am not a morning person... and I am having normal clomid crankiness.

My child knows this (and appreciates the morning cartoons), my husband knows this (and laughed at my crabbiness), my cat knows this (she'll forgive anything if it comes with a dish of food).

So... in light of the fact that my loved ones still love me despite my (human and normal) shortcomings, I have decided that - the problem lies with me.

It's not abusive or neglectful if my child gets to watch his favorite cartoon in the mornings. It's not horrible if I'm grumpy when I'm woken. Cat has food, love and (on those rare nights she spends outside) a safe back yard with shelter, which is far more than she had in her previous life.

And I am not a bad person. I am normal. At least in this respect.

*no, they never did go away completely, even with a full month off.

**ok, I try to have an indoor cat. It's a jungle out there, and I prefer to know that my big ball o'fur is safely within my walls. Problem is, big ball o'fur was a stray for the first few years of her life. It is highly difficult to untrain that. When it's nice out, she sneaks out.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Truth, Chinese style

"An exciting opportunity lies ahead if you are not timid"

Yes, I believe that fortune cookies are the shizznit. Obviously these little gems are individually handcrafted by someone out there who has a greater bond with the cosmic world than I have with Dr Google. My fortune cookies are not mass-produced by pseudo-psychics who have all the talent of Milli Vanilli.

These are real, genuine predictions, my friends. Right up there with the Magic 8 Ball.*

Oh yes, I'm taking this as a sign from the Reproductive Gods that if I press on this cycle, something will happen.

Of course, those fuckers have a great sense of humor - that something could be OHSS, mental meltdown, or any of those p-words that pop up with alarming regularity during my 2WW. (pregnant, possessed and psychotic are coming to mind immediately)

Cookie, I await the fruits of your prediction. Bring it on.

*Hey wouldn't it be cool to have FC fortune cookies? My magic 8Ball is predicting a future blog devoted to things that should be (but aren't) immortalized on that little slip of paper.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bring on the clomid...

First, thanks to everyone who commented on my last post. It's on my list of things to bring up at my next appointment.

So... I called yesterday and made that appointment.

And now I'm having second thoughts. I don't want to take another month off.

But I really don't want to have another disappointment.

This ambivalence is interesting to me.

I'm just not feeling it this cycle.

I know we're going to go through with the IUI.

But I really don't have high hopes.

Is it possible to survive an insemination and the aftermath without feeling the tiniest spark of hope? 'Cause that's what I want. I'm setting my sights low this cycle. That way they won't have as far to fall at the end of the month. Maybe it will hurt less if they fall from a lower height.*

Better yet, Can I call a do-over on all this infertility stuff and just be normal?

*there is, of course, that small possibility that they will not fall... but at this point, that possibility feels really small.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I've finally created a post with so much TMI that even I am not comfortable publishing it. I'm kinda shocked about that.

Anyone with any experience with clomid, miscarriage or vicious periods who is willing to read way too much detail about my monthly thing, and tell me if it sounds like it might be a problem... shoot me an email so I can send you this post.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Urban Legends rewritten

I've always been secretly relieved by the fact that I haven't personally heard most of the tactless comments that other FC's have been subjected to.

This week marked a turning point.

Not only did I hear "well, if I get pregnant again before we want to, you can have it", but I got the recitation of Urban Legends. You know the ones - "my cousin's aunt's coworker's best friend had a daughter who couldn't get pregnant for years, adopted and - wow! Pregnant! Twice!" and "Don't give up hope - I've heard of lots of people who got pregnant (twice, of course) after trying for years and years".

Don't give up hope.

My dears, Hope is the one thing I haven't given up.

But... how can you have a good Urban Legend without all the mundane details? I want to know the who, what, when, where, and most especially how. Without those details, it's just a shell of an Urban Legend... that's no fun at all.

So I'm rewriting some of the more common ones to add in some more detail.

Starting with the "trying for 20 years and suddenly gave up and got pregnant.. twice"

The Story of Florence

Florence gave birth to two children in 11 months... after 20 years of trying.

Her doctors called it a miracle, her new husband is ecstatic, and Florence is just a little freaked out.

Florence and her first husband, Al* were high school sweethearts. They married when Flo was just 17, and started trying to build their family immediately. They tried every position they could think of, with and without alcohol, stood on their heads for hours afterwards.. in short, they tried everything. They were heartbroken when they had no bun in the oven after a year. The doctor told them to keep trying - after all, they were young and time was on their side. Three years later, still no bun in their oven, they fired that heartless doc and went looking for someone who could help. They found a doctor (recommendation from a friend of a friend's cousin) who was willing to try any and all treatment so long as they kept on paying.

After 7 years of fertility treatments (male factor) they were bankrupt, and gave up all hope of realizing their dream. Did you hear me? They. Gave. Up. Hope.** Flo turned to the crack pipe to drown her sorrows. After spending what little they had managed to save after the bankruptcy to bail Flo out of jail one night (posession), Al gave her an ultimatum: Give up the crack, or give up me.

Flo walked.

Several years later, Flo realized she needed to kick her habit - she was getting too depressed watching all her crack 'ho friends flaunt their legendary fertility. In rehab, she met Bill. Together they got clean, fell in love and got married. Two weeks after the wedding, Flo discovered she was pregnant. (Of course, she was already 8 months pregnant, but had been getting negative tests for months; it wasn't until her doctor was called in to examine her unusual abdominal growth that they discovered her little miracle). When their child Apple Asparagus Eugene was just a few months old, they found out about their second miracle, Orange Broccoli Martha, who is now a chubby, happy two-month-old boy.

Don't give up hope - it happened to Flo... so it can happen to you!

How do I know this? Flo is my Aunt, and she just came for a visit today.

CD1, right on time. It's perfect timing to inseminate this month, my sugar-laden CD1 Sticky Buns just came out of the oven ha! I had a bun in my oven this morning - a sticky one no less! ... and I'm having a damn good day.

*some names have been made up as I go... ok, ALL names have been made up as I go

**this is important as it is a common thread in all fertility UL's.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Paranoia, Google-Style

From the Why Use Gmail? page:
There are no pop-ups, untargeted banner ads or warnings urging you to buy more storage. Gmail, however, will often place a few highly relevant, text ads adjacent to the body of your email.

Today's ad? GladRags Menstrual Alternatives

I think Google is stalking me.

I feel nutty.. oh so nutty...

... I'm analyzing my 'symptom' (yes, just the one).

Further proof that I do, indeed, believe in immaculate conception.

Dr Google and I had a talk this morning about "normal period but pregnant".

Denial ain't just a river, ladies.

Unfuckingreal. <-- the fact that this pisses me off this much tells me I'm PMS'ing.

Yes, not only do I have delusions of p-word, I have PMS. I don't even make sense to myself.

Good thought for today: It's CD28, 14dpo, AF tomorrow. Can I get a Hell, Yeah! for having a normal 28-day unmedicated cycle?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Send straitjacket please.

I've got another one to add to my list of potential signs of FCP.

I got all excited when my chart went triphasic this morning.

Oh my.

It was exciting to see that giant leap on my chart.

Despite the fact that neither of my p-word charts were triphasic.

And the even bigger fact that the only way I could be p-word is by immaculate conception.

And, oh yeah, the cramps and PMS that are strongly hinting against immaculate conception.

It's been a nice month off, I'm ready to move on... so this is a good thing.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

No, there's no pressure here.

I was reading my news today. An article about Japan's Princess Kiko (who gave birth to a boy.. uh.. congrats?), with brief mention made of Crown Princess Masako. I'm not really into foreign politics, for the most part (I'm embarrassed to type that, tho it is true), but this article bothered me. For once, it wasn't the woman who had the baby that bothered me... but the woman who didn't.

Many of us have friends or relatives who are hoping, wishing, and nagging for more offspring. Can you imagine the increased burden if you had an entire country not only asking for you to have a baby... but to have a specific gender when you do? Imagine feeling like you had an obligation to your entire country. My sMil asking for a granddaughter sort of pales in comparison to that.

Imagine millions of people speculating why isn't she pregnant? Then after six years of marriage (and speculation) a very public miscarriage. Then - finally - after eight years of marriage and speculation, a birth ... only it's a girl. Still not good enough.

Not surprisingly, Princess Masako is said to be suffering from depression related to her reproductive situation. Well, no shit. I get depressed thinking I'm letting my husband down... throw in a few million countrymen and the stability of the family succession, and depression is not only understandable, it's practically required.

.. and then, to top it all off, the entire country goes apeshit over her nephew's birth.

I always wanted to be a princess when I was little. I wanted the sparkly tiara and white unicorn.

Now, I'm kind of glad I'm not a princess... although I still wouldn't say no to a sparkly tiara.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My subconscious life as a rotten sibling.

Last night was a bizarre night for my dreams. Ordinarily, I don't remember my dreams. I think it's a side effect of my total denial of reality two weeks out of each month. I've learned to block out my subconscious mostly.

Last night was different.

Dream #1 involved B & I buying a house and painting a nursery. Now, we're not planning on buying anything any time soon, and I know there is NO way I'd paint a nursery without being at least 9.5 months pregnant. Even then, I think I'd use G's washable crayons just in case - something goes wrong and - poof! all trace of nursery decor is erased with a sponge and a bit of soapy water. Still, there we were, painting. Right after we'd bought the house and before I was pregnant. Now there's a surefire way to guarantee a bit of infertility, isn't it? The one thing that made sense to me was that we were painting the nursery blue. B's family, they don't make girls.

Dream #2 was far more bizarre. My mother somehow got pregnant. Despite the fact that both my parents have gone to great surgical lengths to prevent that, AND my mother is post-menopausal, there she was, knocked up.* I remember something about "why can't you just be happy for me?"**, and stranger still, I remember being happy when the baby was born. A girl, in case you're interested. I'm hoping this is my subconscious telling me that it's possible to not accept a pregnancy through its entire duration and somehow get really happy about a birth. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm definitely hoping I can get more cheerful about birth before my nephew is born 'cause I sure as hell haven't been able to get happy about his gestation.

Which - finally - brings me to my point. Yesterday, I was reading PCOS baby. She posted a really honest account of what it can be like when someone close to you gives birth while you are still struggling. I can't tell you how close to home that hit for me.

I'm struggling - both to get pregnant and to be happy that my sister is. For the first time in her life, she's really, truly, in a position to enjoy her pregnancy... and for the first time, I can't just be happy. I'm sure somewhere deep inside, I'm happy for her. I'm just having a bit of trouble finding that part of me. It's buried under my pity-party. As a result, we haven't actually spoken in months. No big fight, just a reality I can't face, and no desire to start a conversation with her pregnancy hovering like the giant elephant in the room. You know the one - no one's willing to talk about it, but everyone knows it's there.

Which makes me something like the worst sister in the world, right?

It feels that way at least.

I know it's not just me - phone lines work both ways and all... but I can see why she wouldn't be dialing my number any time soon. Especially since she's more than halfway through her pregnancy and I haven't actually called her to say congrats. Which I really need to do soon. Otherwise, I'll be congratulating her on her pregnancy at the child's high school graduation.

Not to mention I have these giant dust-collecting boxes of baby clothes that I know she could use. That I know I won't be using any time soon...

See - there I go again qualifying her pregnancy with my pity party. How on earth do I separate her life from my own feelings about my situation? If I could figure out that part of things, I'd be doing ok.

*I remember reading not too long ago that someone in blogland had a dream that their mother was pregnant.. I'm thinking that inspired my dream.. and I'm a little worried that blogland is invading my sleep now... perhaps this is another sign of FCP?

**which is weird because I'm pretty sure that if my ma turned up with a bun in her oven, she'd be the least happy one of all

Monday, September 04, 2006

Fertility Challenged

in·fer·tile (n-fĂ»rtl)
Not fertile; unproductive or barren.
Not capable of initiating, sustaining, or supporting reproduction.
Not fertilized and hence incapable of growing and developing: infertile duck eggs.
Not capable of sustaining crops or vegetation: infertile land.
Unproductive or producing little: a path of research that proved infertile.

I am not Infertile. Infertile sounds so hopeless and helpless.

I do not ever want to be hopeless or helpless.

And there is that whole "secondary infertility" label that, you know, pretty much rules out infertile.

I suppose, going by the strictest interpretation of "Not capable of initiating, sustaining, or supporting reproduction", yes, it does apply (at this moment). Obviously, I'm having some trouble with that initiating thing. The last time I was able to initiate successfully, I ran into the sustaining obstacle. So maybe there is a basis for the label. Notice I did qualify with "at this moment". I don't expect this will be a permanent state. No, I'm not expecting some massive medical breakthrough that will cure PCOS, or create olympic swimmers out of B's little guys... but I do believe that at some point, the Cosmic Gods of Reproduction (CGRs) will get their shit together and we'll have compatible parts for at least one more cycle. Preferably with a happier outcome than the last, in which the CGR's only had half their shit together..

CGRs, listen up, I want your shit together this time, not your sh. I know, I know, you laugh at women who are ballsy cheeky enough to give ultimatums, but I think I've worked out how this can be mutually beneficial. There is a month coming up in a few short weeks that you know would provide me with a potential due date that is less than desirable. So... make that one your shit-together cycle and it's a win-win proposition. I get a successful p-word, you get the last laugh, right?

Dear Lord, I've wandered off my train of thought again. This time, I've wandered totally off the tracks.

To get back to my point - the term "infertile".

I don't like it, so I am proposing an alternative. From now on, I think that "infertile" should be accompanied by "fertility-challenged". Even the acronym sounds better - "IF" seems so uncertain, "FC" .. well, ok that doesn't mean anything, but at least it's certain it doesn't mean anything.

There are times in my life when I feel very, very infertile... and times when I'm hopeful that this is just a matter of time (although not the relax and be patient kind of time, the wring every drop of hormone out of your body and keep trying kind of time). Those would be the FC times, rather than the IF times. At any rate, if "FC" starts popping up in the archives of the UG, at least you'll understand what I'm talking about.*

*if I create any more acronyms, I will need my own dictionary, won't I?

**you may notice this is my second post of the day... wow, I'm prolific... and productive (further proof that the 'unproductive' part of 'infertile' does not apply to me) ... actually, I'm clearing out some old drafts that never got to the publishing stage of blog-life. I'm not really that motivated.

Google is a beautiful thing...

For me at least - I recently found my keyword thingie, and I'm getting some fascinating search hits. I'm still getting a lot of "clomid side effects" or "clomid mood" hits, but those are so not creative or interesting - c'mon - all you cranky FC's hopped up on clomid, start thinking outside of the box...

Here's some highlights:

implantation pain psychosomatic Good one! While I don't know much about implantation pain, I'm all about the psychosomatic.

grail Oops - I'm probably not what you're looking for, huh?

do heavy periods mean no morning sickness Well you're an optimist, aren't you? Sorry to tell you this, but just because your reproductive system sucks in one way doesn't mean you get off easy in others - it might just suck in every way... and the fact that you're having a heavy period and still thinking about morning sickness is troubling. Have you been tested for FCP?

clomid side effects giddy laughter Well, I take it back, maybe there ARE some clomid side effects I haven't had.

12dpo temp Put down the Google and walk away. You're just going to make yourself nuts. BTDT.

... and my personal favorite:

limerick uterus I'm not even going to ask.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


I love it when I jump to conclusions.

I got an email from B tonight, telling me not to make plans for Sept 23 as he has booked me an appointment (with a woman he works with) at her spa.

Being the good wife, I immediately thought of a few things:

He's trying to make friends for me again. This is a recurring theme in my life. I (still) have the phone number of another coworker's wife sitting here waiting for me to call about a play date.*

And (worse) this could be an appointment for the bikini wax he's been talking about. (he asked out of the blue the other day if I'd be interested in one of those... when I grilled him on how that entered an otherwise normal discussion, it turns out that they'd been talking at work about female pampering.. since I had at one point expressed a curiosity about the benefits of waxing vs. shaving, he had asked the female coworkers for recommendations on where to go when someone else brought it up. Sure, I was curious - in a philosophical way. I am a terrific wuss about that stuff.. the discussion took an abrupt side turn when I asked him how he felt about the thought of having the hairs ripped out of his netherregions... his big comeback was that I had experience with waxing and he did not. Apparently, for a man, having your eyebrows done is a starter-wax and qualifies you for a snatch-waxing next... more guy-logic for you, I suppose.)

My third thought: (potentially worst of all) we should be inseminating then.

Don't get me wrong, I love it when he's thoughtful, and it's a very sweet thing.. but I hate the idea of scheduling anything in insemination-day.

Not that the whole take-it-easy-and-relax thing has worked for past inseminations, but still.

Not that a mani/pedi is going to interrupt the seminal triathlon.

And I do like the coworker who would apparently be accompanying me for this.

The more I think about it, the more I'm looking forward to it.

I do hate the idea of scheduling my entire life around fertility. I'd like to have a life in addition to my inner girlparts even during ovulation week. At the moment, I'm doing fairly well at not obsessing except during O-week and the end/beginning of a cycle.

OK, being honest here, I'm not obsessing at all this month and I am enjoying the hell out of my off cycle. Maybe I need a pedicure now, just to show myself how much I appreciate not thinking about my ovaries. The box of pop-tarts I had earlier was nice, but not nearly as big a gesture as a pedicure, don't you agree?

*call me weird, but I hate calling people. It's not quite a phone paranoia, but it's close.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

It's raining trees..

So.. it's been a few days.

Since I know you missed me, I'll explain.

Last week, we lost our power. I'm not a tough-it-out kind of girl (excluding reproductive issues, of course), so when the temperature in my house started creeping into 'warm' after four hours, I called my mama and we headed to the blessed air conditioned-ness of my parents' house.

I considered going home the next day, but I could not get anyone to answer my very important question. Is the power back on in my area yet? (at the time, we had been told that it was a blown transformer, and could be either a couple of hours or a couple of days.. one of which was acceptable, the other, not so much).

So I decided to stay a second day. That, and there was that whole tropical storm thing going on. I've got a gigantic, humongo oak in my front yard. It's about four feet across (not around, across), and 40 or so feet tall. It is located approximately 8 feet from my house. Freaks me out every storm. I was pretty sure that my peace of mind would be impaired were I to go home before the storm played out.

In retrospect, that was maybe not such a hot idea. My parents are lacking a humongo oak, but they make up in quantity what they lack in quality. In other words, their back yard is sort of a mini-forest. In the midst of the first wave of what turned out to be a lot of rain with little else, I noticed that one of the trees in the back yard was sort of leaning towards the house... so I called my mother at work* to ask her if this was normal. My mother, who is the least paranoid person I know first asks "is it the tree closest to the garage, because that one's been leaning since Isabel in 2003". I assure her that this is a different tree - I am aware of the leaning tree of Isabel; it's the reason I don't hang out in that part of her house when it's windy.. just in case. So then she says "don't worry - when they fall, it's not fast, it's sort of slow motion, you'll have time to move. And they're thin trees, the last one that fell on the house didn't even make a loud bang" ..

When they fall? And hey, ma, thanks for the reminder that this wouldn't be the first time your house has played catcher to the foliage. By the time I got off the phone with her, I was feeling so much better that my hands were shaking. G distracted me by insisting we stack up the Jenga-blocks. As a side note, I'd just like to say: If you are ever in a position to stack blocks with a three-year-old, make sure you are paranoid and shaking at the start of the game. It will put you on the same level and seriously reduce his frustration level.

In the end, the storm did not do any significant damage either here or at my parents' house**.

It did, however, damage my ability to blog.

I could not remember my username OR password. And I wasn't sure I wanted my blog history on the 'rents computer. I was able to access my mail, and my bloglines, but not my blog.

Strangely, once I was home, at my own computer, and not worried about whatever footprints I may be leaving, the username and password just flew off my fingers without a second thought.

So... there may never be any remote blogging going on here. Good thing I'm practically a hermit.

*do not ever let anyone tell you that realtors do not work hard. my mother spent half a tropical storm working, moving files to higher ground, showing property (yes, really) and fielding calls from clients. she spent the second half on the phone attempting to quell a legal entanglement involving a client.

**unless you believe my child, who was convinced that every leaf or twig that fell was, indeed, a "tree". According to G, there were several hundred trees down in our yard alone.