Words to Live By

Happily married. 41. Infertile/perimenopausal. TV and iPod addict. Transplanted Canadian living in California. {Warning - abundant sarcasm and frequent *gasp* profanity lie herein.}

Monday, February 28, 2005

Now You Tell Me

I had lunch with a friend today. She is pregnant with her second (at 40) after struggling to have her first (her son just turned 1). I don't begrudge her her success, and I wasn't upset or angry to hear that she was pregnant again right around the time when I was hanging up my stirrups. She said something to me today that made me feel justified, vindicated, righteous...I'm not sure what the right word is. She told me she would have given up a long time ago if she were me. If she hadn't gotten pregnant for the first time when she did, she was about to call the whole thing off (c'mon, everybody sing along).

I want to thank her for saying that its OK to stop. For the most part, people want me to keep trying, not to give up, believe in miracles, blah blah blah. Not everyone, mind you, but even people who should know better are saying stupid things. I recognize that at times like this its difficult for anyone to figure out what they can say that won't sound stupid, or aggravating, or holier-than-thou, I don't want to sound ungrateful. But...some are applauding our upcoming vacation plans as the Secret Weapon we've been missing to get those eggs and sperm to come together. To be honest, if I get pregnant now, easily, without medical assistance, after all that we've been through, I am going to be royally pissed.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Picture of the Day #1

Shack in Hopkins

Here's a couple more pictures from our trip to Belize. This is someone's home, no electricity, no running water, but a happy home nonetheless.

Picture of the Day #2

Garifuna boy with puppy

This little boy was a little scared of having his picture taken (some sort of voodoo, he thought), but we convinced him it was all right. A lesson in how to live simply, for sure.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Book Review & Some Random Thoughts

In an attempt to take my life back (with a nod to Sue), I'm going to start including other facets of my life here beyond my reproductive tract. I'm currently reading Prague: A Novel by Arthur Phillips. I had not heard of the author until a few months back when I heard a radio interview promoting his second novel, The Egyptologist. Beyond an ardent Discovery Channel fan, I was intrigued by the idea of a fictional retelling of Carter's discoveries, so I put it on my wish list. Then one day in the book store I ran across a hardcover of Prague on sale for a ridiculously low price. Even though I had read the first sentence, I decided to give it a go. I thought, he can't keep that up for the entire book, can he? Well, yes, yes he can. Here's the first sentence:

The deceptively simple rules of the game Sincerity, as played late one Friday afternoon in May 1990 on the terrace of the Cafe Gerbeaud in Budapest, Hungary: 1. Players (in this case, five) arrange themselves around a small cafe table and impatiently await their order, haphazardly recorded by a sulky and distracted waitress with amusing boots: dollhouse cups of espresso, dense blocks of cake glazed with Art Nouveau swirls of translucent caramel, skimpy sandwiches dusted red-orange with the national spice, glass thimbles of sweet or bitter or smoky liqueurs, tumblers of bubbling water ostensibly hunted and captured from virgin springs high in the Carpathian Mountains.

The story moves along at a snail's pace, fighting and scratching its way out from behind endless adjectives and clever wordsmithing. I can see the author sitting at the keyboard, coming up with one set of descriptive monikers only to delete those and put in an even cooler set, grinning with glee at his cleverness. Its his first novel, so perhaps this can be chalked up to that, but whoever his editor was should be fired. I'll take a close look at The Egyptologist before shelling out the cash and delving into it. Having said all that, the capitals and other great cities of Eastern Europe are on my list of places to visit before I need a walker, so I continue reading.

In the random thoughts category, coming to a crossroad in life like I have this week makes one wax philosophical. What's My Role? is the question du jour. (OK, sorry, I'll stop, just dissing Mr. Phillips.) I am the family historian and geneaologist, having taken over the family tree project from my older brother and putting every detail I could get my hands on into a sophisticated software program. I also saved a box of old photos from my grandmother's house after she passed away so a scrapbook could be made, noone else seemed the least bit interested in them. I am the daughter/sister/wife/aunt/cousin/friend who has everyone's birthdays and anniversaries marked on my calendar, who never fails to send a card or a present, even though most people in my life don't reciprocate. I live 2,000 miles from where I grew up and went to school, so a large segment of friends and all of my family are far away. I feel the need to keep in contact with them, and do, but I'm not sure exactly what fuels my actions. Do I want to make sure they haven't forgotten about me, or am I looking for compliments? I have an extraordinarily dysfunctional family, and there are members of it that are dead to me, even though they breathe free air somewhere. My relationship with my mother is particularly and peculiarly strained, but we have come to an uneasy understanding of the amount of contact we can each tolerate. This is part of why I wanted to have a baby. A fresh start. A new beginning without tragedy or weirdness or secrets. Maybe its my destiny to be the one who watches everyone else and writes it down instead.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Picture of the Day

Beach in Belize

I'm fooling around with this new program, Hello, to post pictures. Pretty easy and cool! This picture was taken in December 03 on a little island off the coast of Belize, where we went snorkeling. Just a little reminder for those of you out there still in the grips of winter - summer will return!

Horror Stories

There have been so many horrifying stories in the news lately concerning infants and children being killed, maimed or abandoned. By their parents. As someone who wants children and can't have them, I find this inexplicable. Yesterday alone I read three stories at CNN.com, one from Georgia, and two from Texas, Houston and McKinney.

As I struggle to understand why something as seemingly simple and natural as conception has eluded me, I find myself at odds with the planet. There is no cosmic or karmic lottery, people aren't picked to be parents based on how loving or capable they are, and bad things happen to good people and vice versa. Trying to wrap my brain around the world I live in is a challenge these days.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Sorry, No Clever Title

After a week that included a fever of 101.3, insomnia, food poisoning (a record 4 pukings in one night) and the accompanying dehydration, my period arrived, right on schedule. I woke up Monday morning with such a sense of clarity and knowing, I didn't even have to go to the bathroom and confirm. I cried in my husband's arms for an hour. Its over, folks.

I waited until now to write this post so I could get past the initial hyperbole that fills my head in these situations. I will try to avoid words like never, as in I'm never going to hear a little voice call me Mommy, or failure, as in I'm a failure at the one thing that I was pre-programmed to do, etc. You get the idea.

In answer to the question How Are You?, I've come up with many answers: Sad. Angry. Frustrated. Resigned. Ready to re-prioritize my life. Even a little relieved. Hmmm, there were a lot more when I did this in my head the other day.

I'd like to say good-bye to the following: Thermometer, Fertility Monitor, Fertility Friend, Assorted OTC Supplements, Clomid, Gonal-F and Her Syringes, and Dr. T (my wand-monkey). I'm also saying good-bye to a lot of cyber-friends on SK, resigning as Host. I've planned this for months, and truthfully, it wasn't as hard as I thought. Its a relief to know that its there if I want to check on anyone, but I no longer need to push so much energy in that one direction. As I said above, re-prioritization is definitely in order.

I'd also like to welcome back Coffee, Alcohol and Ibuprofen. You've been missed, dear friends. Oh, and I can't forget Hot Tub, Alcohol's buddy. OK, our's doesn't have a view of the ocean, but the trees surrounding it give it an Enchanted Forest feel once the steam gets going.

No, we are not going to do anything to prevent pregnancy, so technically, I'm still TTC as long as I still have the Red Tide (thanks for the assvice, BTW), but after 2 years of preparation and 3 years in the trenches, our love-making will no longer be accompanied by a sterile collection cup or a catheter. We might need Alcohol to remember how to do it without the Wand-Monkey.

If we are able to conceive on our own, it won't be a "miracle", a word I've seen bandied about too much in the past few days, it will be the beginning of a long and stress-filled road with many obstacles and milestones to conquer. We're not getting any younger. We have not wasted this time, and I don't regret it. Just moving on.

Now I have to go and plan our trips to Vegas and Hawaii. I shall return, fear not, my cyber friends.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Turning Blue

In addition to feeling like I am watching a movie of my life instead of living it, and playing Jekyll and Hyde constantly (moving from positive to negative), I also feel like I am holding my breath. I know a lot of us feel like their lives are on hold while we are TTC, its worse this month because I've got it stuck in my head that this is THE LAST ONE. The last medicated cycle = our last decent chance of success. A part of me knows that it could theoretically happen in the future, we aren't going to do anything to prevent conception and I still ovulate at least some of the time, but with my high FSH levels and my age rocketing forward, the chances are pretty slim. In about a week we will know for sure. Until then I'm having trouble making a decision about anything.

We are trying to set up a trip to Vegas next month. The weekend we want to go is the weekend after a NASCAR race, so everything is booked. I've been sending emails to owners of timeshares and condos, but nobody has answered me yet. We still need to book the flights too. But I can't.

Then there's the proposed trip to Hawaii next fall or winter. I've found a couple of great B&Bs and did a bit of research on flights, but despite my best efforts, I just can't get into the planning. I'm too busy standing on the edge of a precipice and holding my breath.

I can't even finish the room upstairs we've been working on for months. Is it going to be a nursery? Or just my dresssing room? Ugh.

On another topic, hubby and I had a nice Valentine's Day, we celebrated yesterday since we were together the whole day. He brought me some beautiful flowers and we went out to a wonderful restaurant for dinner. He really is a special man. I don't know what I would do without him.

I'm sorry my blog hasn't been funny or even very entertaining lately. I don't do well on meds, and this month I had ONE DAY where I didn't take something, starting on CD3. I went from Clomid to Gonal-F to an HcG shot to Prometrium. Bear with me while I finish off this ride.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

IUI Update

I'm officially in the 2WW. The stats for the IUIs were both good, which is amazing considering what hubby had to go through just to leave the sample for the first one. We often underestimate how stressful and emotional this is for our partners, this is such an egocentric process. I felt so bad he had to go through with leaving a sample when he was feeling so bad, but he understood that time was of the essence and soldiered through it. Yesterday I was feeling very bloated and crampy all day, not too surprising considering the millions of sperm that are partying in my uterus right now.

In an attempt to psyche myself out, we are looking into going to Hawaii in the fall. Pricing out flights, researching B&Bs, that sort of thing. Since the trip will be canceled if I get pregnant, I figure the best thing to do is to act like we are going. We're also looking into going to Vegas for a long weekend in about a month. That one I figure we can plan on no matter what happens.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

It's That Day

I generally have one day per cycle where I have a sex dream, its a couple of days before ovulation. Its my internal clue that its time to start with the lovin'. They are so bizarre that I don't even want to begin to describe them, not your typical stuff. But, doesn't matter, its the thought that counts.

I'm finally feeling like something is happening in my ovaries. I'm still really tired all the time, the combo Clomid/Gonal-F is a harsh double whammy for an old lady like me. Of course, I've spent the last 5 days playing tour guide and drinking wine, so that's bound to take its toll as well.

I'm really trying not to get ahead of myself, its one of my worst self-destructive tendancies, but I have decided that if we are not successful, its time to plan another Big Vacation. Even if its 6 months in the future, I need something to look forward to.