PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Infertile Sleeping Beauty

Whenever you watch a movie, there is typically a clear resolution at the end of the film, the soundtrack kicks in and the credit roll. Well, ok. I should say most movies. Physiological thriller like INCEPTION or BLACK SWAN are exceptions to this rule. With those two movies in particular, the audience not only had no clue what the resolution was but typically, they would turn to each other and be like, “Uhhh, does anyone know what the f*ck just happened???

Getting back to my point though… if you take romantic comedies for example, the hero gets the girl or the couple gets married or they have a family. It’s a general happy and conclusive ending where they live happily ever after. End of story. Cue the sappy Celine Dion song.

When you’ve been struggling with infertility for awhile, the happy ending is you get pregnant and go on to have a healthy baby. That’s what you’ve been working towards, struggling with and wanting more than anything. What I’m realizing though is that a positive pregnancy test doesn’t automatically mean that everything you’ve endured while trying to get pregnant is now completely fixed and happy again.

My husband and I have been through so much in the last two and a half years. We’ve had medicated cycles, inseminations, in vitros, financial strain, debates on how to proceed, periods of depression and our own separate feelings of failure to contend with.

It's like our relationship is a country. Our country has been under attack for the last few years. We’ve been hit with Clomid bombs, estrogen grenades and financial ruin. However, the attack appears to be over and the President is currently assessing the damage. Our country still stands but frankly, it kind of looks a little like sh*t right now.

Now, I don’t mean to "over metaphor" you to death but I need to add one more. Lately, I’ve been feeling like the “Infertile Sleeping Beauty”. I’ve been in a hormonal, depressed coma for over two years and just now, I’m waking up. I’ve behaved badly. I’ve whined and put Sam in a position more often then I would like to have to take care of me. I complained about our lives, our infertility and often pushed aside what was good about us and our relationship. I have not been myself. Not the real me and now that I’ve “come back”, and even though I know in my heart that I handled things the best I could, I can’t help but be slightly mortified at my behavior. “Who WAS that chick? What a lunatic!

I don’t know if Sam will ever fully understand what it felt like to be on one medication after another; hormonal, upset, physically tortured (in a sense) and worst of all, feeling like a total colossal loser as a woman. We all know on paper that having fertility issues does not make you a failure… but that’s simply not how it feels. Of course, this doesn't excuse my two and a half year long tantrum. It’s only meant to try and explain it. No matter the reasons, I feel terrible about my reign of terror and I have apologized to him often.

In the thick of it though, while I was off having my prolonged mini-depression, I think it’s safe to say that Sam felt abandoned. He gave me space but that space slowly created distance and in that distance, we appear to have created different coping skills. Sam began playing online video games and took up photography. I turned to the online community (which has been enormously helpful) and started reading the most mindless chick lit books I could get my hands on. More and more, we had our own little lives and our own ways of dealing. It was like, “I need to decompress… I’m going to this side of the apartment… you go to yours… I’ll just see you at the next retrieval.

I don’t mean to give the impression that Sam and I are desperately unhappy. We absolutely love each other, he is still very much my everything and we’re beyond grateful to be ten weeks pregnant. It’s more that we’ve created some counterproductive habits, our relationship has been strained and we aren't on the same exact page as much as we used to be. Luckily though, we're in the same book... and possibly even the same chapter... so there's hope!

Any which way, this is the time, more than ever, to come back together and rebuild. We have to become reacquainted with one another and develop new habits and strategies to work together. It’s not, “What can I do to get through this?”. It’s “What should we do to help each other out and plan for the future?” I realize we should have been doing this all along, but as many of you know, when you’re in the hell of infertility, you really do what you need to do to just get through the day.

We’ve been making an extra effort to spend more time together and we’ve been going to couples counseling more frequently. There are things he feels like he can say to me that he couldn’t say to me before (when I was in my Infertile Sleeping Beauty state) and I am way more together now to actually hear him and express myself in a coherent manner. We’re figuring out how to reconnect, to better communicate, to decide what type of parents we want to be, where we want to live, how to work out the financial future and how, most importantly, to be one big happy family unit.

It’s a process and I know now that I was na├»ve to think getting pregnant would magically fix the damages of the past few years. It takes work. I just hope that when the baby is born and the credits begin to roll, Sam and I are starring in a Romantic Comedy with a happy ending and not a physiological thriller where everyone is like, “Was that a happy ending? Did they dream it was a happy ending but it’s not? Where am I? Whose underwear is this?”

I guess we’ll see...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

My husband and I were laying in bed the other night when he said to me, “Listen. I love you and I’m not trying to be difficult but I really don’t think I can “handle” diapers. I’m sorry, I’m just being honest.

In response, I said, “That fine… as long as we’re clear that I don’t think I can “handle” performing oral sex until you’re able to “handle” diapers.” We’ll see what happens…

This past Friday, we heard the heart beat of the baby (now allegedly the size of a raspberry). It was 175 beats per minute and it sounded like the fetus was a pro-boxer hitting a punching bag. My Reproductive Endocrinologist also remarked that the baby had grown quite a good amount since our last ultrasound. I can only assume that the baby has inherited my curvy genes.

I told my RE that I had made an appointment with an OB/Gyn in two weeks. I added, “Not that I’m breaking up with you yet though…

She smiled and said, “Well, that’s ok, because I’m breaking up with you. It’s an amicable break-up.

When I asked her what she meant, she said, “This baby is officially too big to be here.

Now, I’m not an overly emotional person but for some reason, that made me cry. It was a happy cry but one where I couldn’t even talk or collect myself. It’s safe to say that I think I threw everyone in the room for a loop. I was just so overwhelmed that I was finally graduating from a fertility clinic… and that for now; the baby was strong and healthy. I had to check my driver’s license to make sure this was actually happening to me.

So, for the next two weeks (again, another two week wait), I’m in between doctors. I’ve been relying on friends, the internet and books for advice while I notice new symptoms and cravings. For example, I’ve noticed I’ve been listening to more Queen music. Does this mean I’m having a boy, girl or an English flamboyantly gay rock star?

I’ve also been getting more and more morning sickness (although in my case, it’s pretty much all day). I have a friend who, whenever she was pregnant, would do a running commentary on Twitter of how many times she threw up in a day. She'd even go into horrific detail including what meal preceeded the event. Even before I had fertility issues and became a super snarky sourpuss times ten, this used to annoy the sh*t out of me. Who wants to read about any activity involving you, a toilet and any kind of bodily function? I don’t care if it’s only 140 characters. It's disgusting!

So obviously, I could never sit here and whine about throwing up. Aside from the fact that it’s for a good reason, one that I’ve wanted my whole life, I can never forget that I paid $15,000 for this. I’ve spent good money and I want all the bells and whistles!

However, I do feel the need to say a few things on this subject. Hopefully I can do so without being too graphic and without making any of you want to hurl:
  1. I am now living off of toast, bagels, crackers and ginger ale. Picasso had his blue period. I’m currently having my beige period.
  2. I have mastered the art of cleaning my toilet while using it. Martha Stewart would be so proud.
  3. My respect for bulimics has grown exponentially.
  4. Yesterday, I dry heaved so hard that I peed at the same time. This, my friends, was not my sexiest moment.
I’ve tried saltine crackers, ginger ale, smaller meals, Tums, ginger candy and preggie pops. Many have suggested I try medication but my doctor “doesn’t believe” in giving anti-nausea medication in the first trimester. I can respect that and in reality, this should only be going on for a few more weeks. As long as I can avoid having to wear Depends and as long as I don’t throw up on anyone at my job who decides my bonus, I should be able to get through it.

As I wrap up today’s blog, I received an email from the Baby Center. The subject line was, “Baby poop guide: What you need to know!” Wow. They are sending this early! Perhaps I should forward this to my husband to give him time to prepare… and to decide which it’s going to be.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Doesn’t ANYONE Want to See My Vagina?

I had no idea how difficult it would be to find an OB/GYN. I’m not talking about one I like. I’m talking about one that takes my insurance and is accepting new patients. So far, they either don’t take insurance at all, they aren’t accepting new patients, they don’t do deliveries anymore, they’ve moved out of the city or in the case of one doctor someone recommended to me, they are currently in the middle of a messy lawsuit. Oy.

As you may remember, there was a doctor who actually takes my insurance, who is affiliated with the fertility clinic I’ve been going to, and who specializes in high risk pregnancies. He was my holy grail. Wait, no. He was more like my holy speculum.

Anyway, allegedly, he was reviewing my case to see if he would take me on as a new patient. If they requested I also write an entrance essay, it wouldn’t have shocked me in the least. “What My Uterus Did This Summer” by Jay.

After waiting a little over a week, I called his office back and got a receptionist on the phone. After explaining that I had called twice already but hadn’t heard back, I added, “I feel like I’m single again and I’m sitting by the phone waiting for 'him' to call.” Luckily, she laughed and said, “Ok, for that – you have my undivided attention.” She confided in me that he’s actually been on vacation (not sure why that would be a secret exactly but whatever) and she’ll go ahead and schedule an appointment. I'll see him in a few weeks.

Although I’m thrilled to have “got in”, I can’t help but be slightly annoyed that I had to be Shecky Green in order to get someone to pay attention to my va-jay-jay. My private area doesn’t need an opening act. It needs love and attention!

And on that note, in one of my many, “You’re Pregnant and Don’t Know What The F*ck To Do” books, on the subject of oral sex, they advised, “If your partner performs oral sex on you, be sure they do not blow air into the vagina.” Beg your pardon? I didn’t want that when I wasn’t pregnant. Why in the holy hell would I be interested in that now? Seriously – that doesn’t stimulate anything but my need to punch my partner. Furthermore, it’s a vagina. Not a balloon for crying out loud.

What’s super scary is you know this must have happened enough times that someone needed to put this in the book. I see the writers sitting around going, “We’ve REALLY got to make sure we address that blowing air in the vagina thing. It’s become such an epidemic!” And all the others nod in agreement. “Oh yes, we should have a whole chapter on that!”

Also, continuing my “what food, animal or mineral” is the baby this week, the baby is currently the size of a blueberry. Maybe it’s just me but this immediately makes me think of WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY when Sam Beauregarde (the father of Violet Beauregarde) says, “Violet! You're turning violet, Violet!” after she eats the incomplete three-course meal gum and subsequently starts swelling up to the size of a Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. As Sam is escorted to the juicing room, he says, “I've got a blueberry for a daughter...” Any which way, at least it’s not the size of an oompa loompa or a snozberry. Who’s ever heard of a snozberry???

This Friday, we have another appointment with my reproductive endocrinologist at the clinic to see the baby again and actually hear the heartbeat for the first time. I’m so excited and of course, nervous. I am hoping with all my heart and soul that everything looks good, that the baby is healthy and the heart beat is nothing short of fabulous. I’ll keep you posted. For now though, I’m just so happy someone will be checking things out without me having to do a stand-up routine and especially without blowing any air up my wah-hoo.