This is really hard.
I am crying every day, something I am familiar with but have been spared for a while.
I am distracted, not by sadness that this round did not work, but by the creeping realization that it likely won't ever work. I know I have said that it is different now that I have Ada, but it is still an ache I can't lose.
It has only been a few weeks and it will get better. I know it will get better. When will it get better?
A friend stopped by and we celebrated his good news - a baby girl. Chris and I are thrilled for our friends and very excited to meet the new baby. Our friend left, and moments later returned to express his sadness at our bad news. I was an immediate puddle, appreciative of his love and concern, but horrified that I could not stop crying.
I cry at work and then turn around to talk about health reform or political gossip, pretending my nose is not running and my eyes are not red. I cry when people ask me about it, but annoyed when they don't.
My co-worker who is in treatment for cancer came in to the office while I was still red-eyed and soggy. How can I be sad about my life? I recently talked to two good friends who have fertility issues of their own, both related to past or current medical conditions. How can I be sad about my life? What kind of asshole am I?
Friday, May 30, 2008
This is really hard.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The old computer is dead, long live the new computer. To celebrate being back online (my god were we in withdrawal), I offer the following scenes from a recent trip to the Dog House:
Friday, May 23, 2008
My computer died on Thursday. I was happily working when the machine started buzzing and I got a scary, never-before-seen error message. I turned the thing off, then unsuccessfully tried to turn it on. Then I noticed that the little white light that flashes on a mac when the computer is on but closed - not flashing. Bad, bad sign. I finally got it to turn on, but it froze halfway through the start up. Twice.
There goes our stimulus check. Plus a little more, since Chris convinced me that a 13 inch screen would drive me crazy. That I NEEDED a 15 inch screen for work.
I am hoping Chris can help get stuff off the hard drive, or someone else can. Because oy, even though I have gotten better about backing up photos, a couple of months worth are on there, along with the new Bon Iver album I bought on itunes last night. Poof.
Plus, as long as I am complaining: I have not heard word one from the sponsors of that Kirtsy contest. No computer, no bike, no tea. (Dramatic sigh.)
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Some of the searches that have led to people here. Maybe you can explain these:
"scroti rhode island"
(Help, Canadians, one of your fellow countrymen was looking for this.)
"girl bladder rock"
As in a girl's bladder is cool, or girl has a rock bladder? Maybe the girl with the rock bladder can help find:
"girl pumpkin face"
"Pictures of my sisters vagina"
Sorry, your sister and I are close, but we don't have that kind of friendship.
"Grandpa babysitting picture jokes"
"what the hell are you doing poem"
"very old ladies gets milk"
I wouldn't deny them if they wanted some. But only 2%.
"list things that scare me"
Wouldn't it be more fun if you did that?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Loading up an empty elevator car with discarded Christmas trees, pressing the button for the top floor, then throwing in a match, so that by the time the car reaches the top it is ablaze with heat so intense that the alloy (called "babbitt") connecting the cables to the car melts, and the car, a fireball now, plunges into the pit: this practice, apparently popular in New York City housing projects, is inadvisable.
Up and Then Down
Monday, May 19, 2008
This song has been on the radio a lot. Even though it is a new song, hearing Billy Bragg's voice catapults me backwards 20 years, to my first year in college and my roommate and best friend.
Despite growing up in a huge city, I felt pretty sheltered and naive when I got to college. My friend affected a world weary attitude that I bought hook, line and sinker. We became friends immediately, and our tastes, clothing style, manners merged. Maybe mine merged more into hers than vice versa. Ok, definitely. Looking back on it, our relationship turned me into a sidekick, but a willing one to her strong and compelling personality. I wanted to become someone new, so why not model myself on this young woman who both enjoyed my attention and showed herself interested in me? I still carry some of her in me today. (At the very least she taught me to shop in vintage and thrift stores. )
It seems weird that someone so important to me for several years should drop so completely out of my life. It isn't the first time, and it did not happen all at once. We both got serious boyfriends, Chris and I moved out of state, we had the predictable complaints about who had wronged whom. . . It doesn't really matter anymore. But I think of her when I hear that song, and wonder where she is and if she thinks of me.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
(or: Look, some GOOD news!)
You may or may not know about the web site formerly known as Sk*rt. Due to a legal kerfuffle started by a magazine (also called Skirt), the women who run Sk*rt needed a new name. (The backstory is easy to find. For a funny recounting, see Jenny's version.)
A contest was held, and now the site is called Kirtsy. But, before the brouhaha and name change and and and, the site had a "Young at Heart" contest. By leaving a comment on the site's blog saying what I do to remain young at heart, I was entered. (Apparently I said that I eat dessert first. Innovative, huh? Not sure it keeps me young at heart, but it does help ensure Chris doesn't eat all my cookies before I can get to them.)
Right, the contest. Well apparently I won! Good thing one of the Kirtsy gals sent me an email to let me know. I haven't exactly been keeping up on my internet life lately. So, yay! I won a bike and some tea. Weird combo, but I am sure I can put the tea in a bottle and sip it while I tool around on my new bike.
So, thanks Kirtsy gals (and your random number generator)! Really, already I would have done anything for the fabulous Laurie, but now? Well, I'd let her ride my bike, that's for sure.
Monday, May 12, 2008
(or: Working Out Some Issues, in four parts)
Part I: In which I did everything right but still didn't get the outcome I wanted
I really thought I was pregnant this time. I knew that all the symptoms - nausea, difficulty sleeping, the two-day long headache - they were all side effects of the progesterone I was faithfully injecting into my ass each night. I knew that. But still I hoped the symptoms were positive signs. I didn't feel so sick last time, did I? It must be a sign, I thought. Except it wasn't.
Nor did it help that I did everything I was supposed to, on time and perfectly. The stimulation cycle went right, my eggs grew fast and well. I had acupuncture in the weeks leading up to, as well as just before and after the transfer and again a week later. I (mostly) rested when directed and I refused to lift my heavy child, for fear of tensing my abdominal muscles. I strolled instead of rushed. I let the house fall to pieces, neither cleaning nor really caring about the mess.
On Thursday I knew the truth. I felt that wetness, the precursor to my period. That day or two of dampness before the blood comes. When I felt that, I went from hopeful to whatever it is when you know the truth but you push it down for another day, thinking you can change reality by the sheer force of your wanting.
Part II: In Which I Soothe Myself By Moving the Furniture Around and Steal a Phrase from a Famous Blogger
I am not one of those people who cleans to soothe or calm herself. However, when I am disappointed or upset, I do like to reorganize things. (I totally see that it is an attempt to impose order in some small way. Plus it is way more fun than cleaning.)
This time I moved the dining room furniture around, something I'd been considering for a while but didn't want to do while I was trying to be a good host to my embryos. I wonder whether it matters at all what I did or didn't do. People get pregnant on ski trips, while training for 10ks. Did it matter that I bent over my garden, tugging at weeds and scooping compost? Did it matter that I was stressed about work? that I was frustrated daily by Ada? I kind of doubt the impact of those last two. I got pregnant with Ada during the most stressful days of a very unpleasant new job, and annoyance hardly seems like a key factor in fertility.
I knew it probably made no difference, but what if I did not slow down enough? I marched up and down the stairs after my transfer. OK, not marched. Tiptoed. But more than once. More than too much? Why didn't the embryos implant? With Ada, I was a poster child for IVF. Or should I say poster mom? We had a defined problem, need intervention to get pregnant, and were immediately successful when we tried IVF.
This time I am older, but not "old." No whisperings or notes on my chart about "advanced maternal age." Yet. So why is it different? I keep thinking of a phrase Dooce uses. I wanted to be valedictorian of IVF.
Part III: In Which I Get Overly Meta and Beat Myself Up for Doing What Bloggers Do
I convinced myself I needed to write about this. For other people. For the women who find me by searching for "progesterone in oil," "how many units of follistim," or "I can't stop crying why can't I get pregnant." Not for me.
This is important to me, but not just for the help it might offer strangers. For me. Writing makes it real and takes some of the sting away. The past few days I have gotten calls and texts from close friends. I have not wanted to talk, because what is there to say? There is everything to say, but nothing too. Nothing that will change the truth of it. I want this out because I need to talk about it but I don't know how to do that in a way that doesn't give me a headache.
I don't really like to read blogs that are so pain-focused. I want funny, or crafty, or ooh, look at that shiny thing! Why I think anyone would want to read about my pain is beyond me, even as I need you here reading about it.
Part IV: In Which, Despite My Failures, I Resolve To Try Again
Despite the fact that a famous Einstein quote keeps ringing in my ears, I want to try again. My ever supportive family has offered to help us once again, and I am not quite ready to give up yet.
Part of me wants to walk away, to get used to the idea of just having one kid without simultaneously working on having another one. Karen suggested that coming to terms with the alternative makes it possible to try again. The thing is that if I can't give up entirely, I have to try again as soon as possible. I need this to get resolved sooner rather than later. Even if it works, I will be 37 when I have a baby. And if it doesn't work, I want to know that so I can get on with my life.
I have a required month off, then a test of my estrogen and fsh, apparently to see the effect of my pituitary playing drill sergeant to my ovaries. If that looks okay we can start again. If not, I am not sure what. I will deal with that if and when it is an issue.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Thursday, May 08, 2008
All week, every time I thought about whether or not I might be pregnant, my stomach flip-flopped. Friday at 9:30 I get a blood test, but I won't know for hours after that. I feel so hopeful, but know that the hope will just serve to make the crush of disappointment worse if I get that sad-voiced call. A couple of months ago my sister was joking about Obama's 2006 audacity of hope speech. She said that everything bad that had happened to her in the past few months was worse because of hope. Maybe we should call it the insolent heedlessness of hope. The horror of hope. (Fred Milton would say "hope: so toilet!")
But still I can't help it. That irrefutable kernel stays with me.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Monday night Debbie, Ellen and I went to hear Rebecca Woolf read from her memoir Rockabye. That was lovely and we stayed out past my bedtime, but more importantly, the next day I got a call from Debbie asking if I had seen her (amazing, humongous, world-encompassing) sunglasses.
I sprung into action. I had not noticed them, but then a lot gets by me these days. I asked Ada, who was the obvious suspect, having stolen my sunglasses earlier in the day.
Sheepie: Glasses? What glasses? I usually drink from a bucket.
Better check with Horsie.
I've got 20-20 vision. Have you asked OX?
Ada suggested we go upstairs to ask Hippo.
will'ya, before I break it over my knee.
Me: Ada, are you SURE you haven't seen Debbie's glasses?
Yeah, sure, I have them right here.
Debbie, stop by whenever, the glasses will be on the mantle.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Karen - you are one of my most favorite people, and you always have been.
No hard feelings about that time Rachel and I set a trap for you at the Camden house, right? I mean, if Mom (who after all is the one who fell in) mostly gotten over it, shouldn't you? What if I promise not to show the pictures of you dressed as Ping?
Happy birthday, Karen. Thanks for being such a fantastic sister and wonderful friend. I love you.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
The early days of life with a new baby knock everyone for a loop. When Jana put out a call for advice for soon-to-be second time moms Her Bad Mother, Mrs. Chicky and Mrs. Chicken, I immediately thought of the long nights nursing and listening to the middle-of-the night noises I rarely heard before Ada came along. With that in mind, and hopefully also offering some help to my friend (and new mom) Stephanie, I offer the following night advice:
(1) Do not ever comment on what a good sleeper your child is.
(2) Magical thinking works on babies - your strong belief that if you count to 70 and then put your child down she will stay asleep is correct, not a sign of psychosis.
(3) When co-sleeping, no matter how uncomfortable you are, remember that shifting position will cause your baby to wake up and demand to be fed. Be sure to wake your partner for the diaper change.
(4) If your child is inconsolable, a ride in the car may work wonders. Plus, if you get thirsty driving around town, you can always stop at taco bell for a soda. Sprite has healing powers after 1am.
(5) That urge to throw the baby out the window is probably normal, but just in case, hand the baby off to your partner and get some sleep.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
I do not like her. She could hoist my shivering body from icy waters, broker a peace accord in the Middle East and grant me all credit, pilot a spaceship to Mars and plant a flag on which she had painstakingly needle-pointed my portrait . . . and still I would not like her.
The April Fools' Joke I Played on Myself