Monday, August 30, 2004

Oh - and get out and Vote in the Primary!

If you have a primary election out there in blogville, U.S.A. where you live tomorrow -

Do yourself a favor and get out and vote. I don't really care who you vote for (o.k. that's not exactly true) but I believe that we each have a voice. Differing voices, differing issues, differing allegiances. Granted, some of these voices are silenced from time to time. But damn it - get out there and make yourself heard.

We have rights, but when we let them atrophy they are of no use to us. They are forgotten with disuse.

Vote for your convictions, even if they are opposite of mine. Vote for your hopes, your dreams, your conscience. But don't agonize over how you don't approve of something that is going on in the government if you aren't even making the effort to cast a ballot.

I remember the first time I voted.... I was so excited. It was an "adult" activity that unfortunately like many "adult" activities embarked on in that tender age in my life resulted in a bad decision, but I learned to like it - to know what I expected (and deserved) out of the relationship.


At the end of the day - the one thing that makes me truly and completely happy... is knowing that in about an hour (that's my approximate commute home) I'll get to see M. That's the one thing that keeps me going when all else seems lost. No matter where we live, no matter where we are, M is my "home", my safe place, my refuge.

Wow. am I sappy or what?

To have Hope

When I was in graduate school, after my divorce I moved in with V. V was close friends with my boyfriend E at the time, and while he and I have since parted ways on very unfriendly terms, V and I still talk from time to time. She and I share a birthday (she's a year older than me) and she's also an attorney (although in my home state).

She met her husband A during a trip to New Orleans that had a *bit* of alcohol involved. E was furious with her - said it would never last... A wasn't good enough for her, she hardly knew him - yada yada yada.

Well, V went on and on about how when she met A she just 'knew.' A part of her was complete. I was happy for her. True, I thought at first she should step away from the crack pipe - but then I realized that true love doesn't just come along every day you know... and for her to have found it well cheers to that! And - after I met M I knew instantly what she was talking about.

Years have passed and she and A are now happily married, and as I just found out today, they've started trying for a baby. She's in her second month of trying, and in some ways I am elated with joy for her. V had a difficult life and family situation growing up, but she is a very giving person, and I know in my heart that she will make a wonderful mother. They have a house, they're very financially comfortable, and she's ready to be a mother emotionally.

But I'm jealous of her. In a way that I can't explain. In some ways I have to admit that I always have been. V was always vivacious and full of life. She was thin, bubbly and brave. All the things that I wasn't. She was a big contributing force to me going to law school - and I'm thankful that I had someone like her to look up to.

But she sent heartfelt and sweet encouragement to me today which I really needed. And I am immensely thankful for that. But as she expressed her dismay that it didn't happen on the first try, it made me cringe a little. For while I certainly wouldn't wish this pain on anyone - especially not someone who I care about - it's hard to imagine what it must be like to have hope like that again, after all these months of let down and failure. I just want to have hope again that it's possible.

My cycles were 28 days for about 6 months, then I had 4 months of about 31 days, and then last month - while off the clomid and progesterone, I was a quick 26 days. Today is Day 25, and I'm dreading what's going to happen in the next few days. I just want to have hope again. Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Disclosure and other legal ramblings

As I mentioned before, I'm an attorney. My practice is incredibly specialized, and I have tried not to disclose too much about what I do because of fear of being "outed" in my workplace. I think all attorneys have a certain paranoia about them, otherwise we wouldn't be good at what we do.

So setting aside my perhaps (rational?) irrational fears of being outed as barren, and just actually identified by those that I know in general, I feel compelled to explain a little about what I do.

Part of my duties at work involves drafting health insurance and other benefit plans. Yes, I know. You are all entitled to hate me now - for it is people like me who make those damn benefit plans incomprehensible - and I know every good "infertile" (ouch - I can feel that label being sewn on) knows all possible permutation of benefits for infertility/pregnancy/childbirth provided by her employer and the government. It hurts me - at times - to draft the policies that exclude artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, GIFT, ZIFT, etc. My heart is heavy each time I put in clauses to prescription drug benefits that specifically exclude fertility medicines knowing how much we pay for the drugs that give us the hope - however small - that we may be able to develop and sustain a pregnancy.

It hurts because I know that the Supreme Court has decided that excluding benefits to reproductively challenged (somehow this euphemism is so much more comforting than "barren") people does not infringe on any fundamental right. It hurts because I know that in drafting these plans, I may be excluding whatever resources a person has to feasibly develop their family. I may literally be pulling out the rug from beneath their dreams. But you see, I have to do this. It's my job - it's my duty. It is in some ways - the ultimate trespass to my own identity.

And every once in a while, it's a wonderful job. For instance when I saw one particular client who provided extensive infertility benefits with a SINGLE deductible of $100 with no lifetime maximums, I nearly fainted. I wanted to quit my job immediately and start working there.

So I try to encourage our clients to provide these benefits, and I contact my legislative representatives to introduce bills to mandate coverage for this. But since my livelihood depends on my continued ability to practice law, I refrain from making "accidental" typographical errors to include coverage where it has not been approved. Instead, I try to draft the plans in ways that the average woman who is blinded by sorrow and rage is able to decipher and understand what she faces, both in terms of bureaucracy and medical treatment. I explain terms and I explain the process of appealing benefit denials. But - I can't explain the hurt, the pain, the sorrow she's currently going through and that she will face in the future. I can't explain the nuances of what infertility means for those of us that are there. I can't explain it - but I wish I could.

Monday, August 23, 2004

A bad case of the mondays

How to acquire a "bad case of the Mondays"

  1. Oversleep.
  2. No, I'm serious... really oversleep. Make your husband think you are dead when he tries to wake you.
  3. Finally wake up and scream expletives while seeing that you should have already been at work (and realize that work is at least an hour away).
  4. Fight jealousy to see husband (still in pajamas) cuddled up on couch with nice soft blanket and sell-out cat.
  5. Trip on weedeater on the porch.
  6. Silently cuss husband for leaving said weedeater on the porch.
  7. Feel guilty, and realize that at least you don't have to do the yard.
  8. Lose keys.
  9. Frantically search for them.
  10. Realize they are in the lock in the front door.
  11. Get in car, promptly stick fingernail through last pair of stockings you own.
  12. Decide to go ahead with the 80s shredded hose look, since you're too late to stop for another pair.
  13. Fight traffic.
  14. Stub toe (and scuff shoe) trying to hurry through parking garage.
  15. Sit at desk, heave huge sigh and start working on project you should have finished over the weekend.
  16. While computer is debating on whether it's going to start, look to cheery calendar for the funny quote of a day to cheer you up.
  17. Read quote, "I got married and we had a baby nine months and ten second later" - Jayne Mansfield.
  18. Cuss silently under breath and begin a new week.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

A leg up with the uterus

I got a very moving email from J yesterday... one that made me take a step back and realize that yes, I am infertile. But I still have a "leg up with the uterus" as he put it. As I mentioned before, J is one of my dearest friends. We haven't been terribly close since I've moved to Florida, but in my heart is he has always been with me.

J and I worked together in the same small town bank in graduate school, and our desks were next to each other. We talked alot, and because we had a number of classes together, we became very close. My exhusband (well - he wasn't my ex then) was away on a trip, and J and I had dinner at our apartment. Over two very large bottles of cheap wine (we were students), I confessed that I needed out. That I was afraid. I told him everything. And he reciprocated. I guess you could say we both came out. And then I got sick. HORRIBLY sick. Puking my guts out and passing out in the shower sick. And he showered the vomit out of my hair, put me to bed, and held me all night long. He made a wisecrack or two about waking up with a woman, but I knew in my heart that if I ever decided to marry again, I wanted it to be someone like J. Someone who not only would hold my hair for me while I'm sick, who could make me laugh so hard I choked, and who would be there for me unconditionally.

When I was going through the horrors of my divorce, it was J who kept me sane. J was the one who would sneak me into bars with him (I wasn't quite 21 yet) and would keep me up until obscene hours of the night to prove to me that there was some excitement to be had. It was J who let me stay over when I was too afraid to stay at my house, and we would sit up drinking and watching fashion shows in bed together. (Provided of course - that I agreed to change the sheets so they didn't smell like a "girl"). J and I took scandalously long lunches and ate great Mexican food, and he understood things without needing explanation. When I was trying to decide if I had it in me to go to law school, it was J who cheered me on. It was J who called the police while I stayed on the phone with my ex trying to keep him from committing suicide. J taught me that yes, chicken fried steak and gravy were really good stuffed into a baked potato (trust me, I didn't believe it either). It was J who coined my nickname "stumbalina" after watching me take a tumble down my stairs after one too many bellinis.

He was always there, always comforting and when he needed to be - he told the truth - even if it stung. A lot of people thought we were dating - and my exhusband actually accused me of having an affair with him. To be honest, if I had the chance, I probably would have. J gave me hope. He made me believe that there was good still left in the world. Because through all of his support of me - he never asked for any in return... and he was going through such awful - horrible things that I could not even begin to understand or help with. I don't think I ever told him how much I admired his strength, or how much I loved him.

I got an email from J not long ago, and began to pour out my heart about our infertility struggles. He told me that as a friend, he would be there for me. It's all apart of growing up - and dealing with adult problems. And I knew - in my heart, he would be there. Thousands of miles away - but yet with me every step of the way. When we were in grad school, J met JK and fell madly in love with him. They're together now after all this time, and while it hasn't been easy for them - in reality - no relationship worth saving ever is. He told me that he didn't know what he and JK were going to do and without saying it - he reminded me that yes. I do have a leg up with the uterus and all. I still have the hope - however infinitely small - that M and I will have our own genetic progeny. He and JK don't have that ability - and no matter how deep their love and devotion to each other- it simply isn't an option. My heart is so heavy for them both.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

For me.

I have put off a lot of things in the last year... vacations, new wardrobes, joining the gym, purchasing a new bike, participating in sports, commiting to traveling to events, etc. because I just *knew* that any second I was going to be pregnant and thus incapable of enjoying these things without some degree of guilt or danger.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to be 'with child' - but I also realize that in my quest to become 'knocked up' I've taken a hiatus from life. And what good has it done me? Well, thanks to an HSG and about a zillion doctor's appointments, I know that I have a nice cushy uterus and clear tubes (oh - the better to cradle you with my dear!). I know that I have enough life insurance to pay for my yet unconceived child's college education should I meet my demise in childbirth (oh - the better to educate you with my dear!). I know that I definitely have enough of the worry wart gene to be qualified to be a mom. (oh the better to drive you crazy with my dear!). The problem is - I'm driving ME crazy. O.k. maybe not crazy. No need to Baker Act me. Cross my heart... I promise.

But - I have decided to live for me - if even for a little bit. I've joined a gym. And yes, as much as the personal trainer mortified me by bellowing out my weight while simultaneously smirking, I still feel good. (needless to say - I did not hire this trainer after our *encounter*).

Yes, I am.

When I was a kid, I always wanted to see the "freak show" at the state fair. I desperately wanted to see the "lobster claw" boy and the "bearded lady". I could feel the desire rising in me when we would pass - and I begged, pleaded, and promised not to ask for anymore tickets to the ferris wheel if I could just see it one more time. There was always a man in a red and white striped blazer and a cheesy straw hat promising that for a few tickets I could see the MOST AMAZING spectacle on earth. I was sold. This was a must see event.

My mother's answer was always a resounding "No." She tried to explain to me that this was appalling, that it was horrible that these people were exploited for the tragedies that life had dealt them which made them 'different'. I didn't understand. All I knew was that no amount of cotton candy and corn dogs was going to diminish my desire to see. Then, I got older. I remember visiting the state fair as a teen, and I was filled with shame. I saw the grotesque paintings on the side of the "exhibit" and was crushed. We were a horrible society - we claim to be civilized and yet - we stare. we label. we point fingers. our mouths gape open. we grimace. we avert our eyes. we whisper under our breath.

When I was in high school, there was a young woman who played the french horn in band. After a bizarre playground accident in early elementary school one of her hands was supposedly amputated at the wrist. I never noticed her hand was missing, for she always hid her wrist in her pocket. I never knew her as anything other than a bright, funny person who had pretty hair. But there was talk. Mean spirited vicious talk of teenage girls who labeled her a freak... the handless wonder... etc. They didn't see how she had struggled, how she had grieved for her loss. They saw her not for who she was as a person - but labeled her on what was a perceived failure to be 'normal'.

In graduate school, I met an incredible person - quite possibly the most gorgeous man I've ever met. He had a great heart, an infectious laugh, and beautiful eyes. He was genuine ... loving, intelligent - and to be honest... pretty damn stunning. Then word got out. He was no longer "J" but rather the "gay" blonde guy. Even his friends labeled him as they spoke about him. Even I was guilty of it. (and "j" if you ever read this - trust in your heart that I am sorry. I am so sorry.)

As I've opened up to more and more people about my infertility, I've felt this bizarre pain in my if I can feel the label being slowly pinned, then sewn to me as I go to doctor's appointments and as I speak in hushed tones over bottles of wine to confidantes. The label is becoming the representation of who I am to others. This past week, a very close and dear friend hurt me tremendously without - apparently - intending to. A friend of hers, who was pregnant, was going to be taking her place at an event we were attending together and she sent me an email to "warn" me that this woman was pregnant. I was crushed.

Is my infertility now what defines me? When people see me am I no more than a scrawled diagnosis on a medical chart? What about that I tell lousy jokes, or that I am thoughtful, or that I sound like a bee when I laugh, or that I make a mean lasagna? And I find myself using the label to describe myself... and it hit me, I am so much more than that.

I am an attorney, a redhead. I am a woman with a big heart and I am honest. I am giving, and I am incredibly ticklish. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife. Yes, I am.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Hurricane Charley

The death toll has risen now to 17, and many people still aren't accounted for. I hope this situation, while horrendous, provides people with an opportunity to take a step back and evaluate what's truly important in their lives (and to also review their insurance policies). It's sad that often it takes a tragedy like this to make us evaluate our lives, but nonetheless, I hope that people do take a moment out.

There are a lot of things that irritate me, a lot of things that I don't think are fair or that make me upset. But these things are miniscule compared to the grief and tragedy that goes on around me every day.

So, yes. I am upset that I am apparently incapable of becoming pregnant. Yes, my family irritates me sometimes, it makes me mad that the cat just destroyed our brand new ottoman. Yes, I am irritated that I couldn't find any stockings without runners this morning and that I spilled coffee all over my car. I'm irritated that we can't afford a down payment on a house yet. I'm upset that my house is such a disaster right now. But you know what... I am eternally grateful that I have at least one more day to spend with my husband and my cats. I'm thankful for the sunshine this morning, and for having a roof over my head, and for the food in my tummy. I'm thankful for a job, and I feel incredibly humbled for bitching and moaning about the paltry inconveniences in my life.

I hope that everyone can donate time, money, clothing, or just prayers and positive thoughts to those who now find themselves without a home, or without a loved one. And I hope that you take the time today to tell someone you love them. You never know if this may be your last chance to do so.


There is a man two doors down from me who is unbelievably loud. He utilizes the "screamerphone" approach to every telephone conversation (i.e. he SCREAMS into the speakerphone) and has it set up to the highest level because he wants everyone on the floor to think that he's important. There's nothing quite as jarring to the nerves as an extremist right winger who literally asks each woman who calls if they want to have phone sex. I kid you not. You would think that a) while he's not an attorney, he was previously in law enforcement and would realize that this constitutes harrasment; and b) he works in a damn law firm. I literally have had clients asked me what was going on because they can hear him yelling in the background. It's that bad. I've complained, but they haven't moved him.

Nonetheless, I can't take the screaming anymore, so each night (I often work late and he's a 9 to 5 kind of guy) I sneak in his office and turn the speakerphone volume all the way down. Our office has an "open door" policy - they like you to keep your doors open if you're not on a confidential call to help with camraderie in the office or something. Well, I can't concentrate unless it's very quiet. And when you're modifiying giant legal documents, you can't afford to be sloppy.

My solution - I put a fountain in my office which plays various nature sounds, etc. I haven't used it in quite a while, but I decided to today. Whew. There is nothing making my day more unproductive than running to the bathroom every ten minutes. Between the extra cups of coffee today and the fountain, I'll be billing most of the day in the loo.


I am not known for being a perky rise and shine kinda gal. I need copious amounts of coffee before I'm even able to carry on a semi-coherent conversation. But this morning, I wake up and M is his usual human furnace self, Ashton (one of our cats) is snuggled in M's "nook" and damn it... it was just impossible to get out of bed. So yes. I should have been to work this morning early, and I showed up a good hour after the time I usually stroll in.

*Sigh* but it was completely worth it.

Oh - and I spent way too many hours last night watching cheesy movies on A&E. But wow. Richard Gere was hot in An Officer and a Gentleman. So what if I was still in diapers when it came out.

Friday, August 13, 2004

A happy second.

A happy second... anniversary that is. Two years ago today we woke up and sat in bed looking a the calm turqoise bay. We laughed... were we really going through with this? Were we crazy? Your response... "yeah well, what the hell". You've never been too dramatic.

We ate breakfast, sharing scraps of banana bread with the finches. We went on a long walk, and saw two burros on the way to the beach. The Jenny was pregnant. We went snorkeling and were attacked by monstrous angel fish who were intent on eating my swimsuit.

We spent all morning on the beach. Time seemed so slow. We napped on the white sand and I drew pictures on your back with my hand. It was after noon. It was time to go back. We showered, and I couldn't get the sand out of my hair. You tried to help me button the giant row of tiny buttons on my dress, and we had to solicit help from the owner of the inn. She drove us back to the same beach for pictures. I was shaking. Everyone who was snorkeling around us swam up to watch. The officiant started the ceremony with a catholic benediction. I stopped her and she started over. We're not catholic. You were hot in your tuxedo, but your tan feet looked so cute in the sand. I kept forgetting to breathe.

I am ashamed. I don't remember our vows. I don't remember what words I said that made me your wife. But I remember crying because I was so happy. I remember the joy in my heart when I promised to be yours forever. I still feel that and more today. I know you probably won't read this... but I want you to know... you're still the most amazing man I ever met.

This morning when we woke up you asked me if I would marry you. Yes. I would do it all over again. You have brought me such happiness.

Silent all these years

Before I start this - please understand that I don't need or want your condemnation for what this contains. You are entitled to you opinion of it, and of me, if you so choose... but I have made my own peace. Please understand that.

I was nineteen. I was married for less than three months. I was on the pill. And I knew. I knew without need of tests, of confirmation. And I rejoiced. I was incredibly happy. I felt that it could save our marriage. I found out with a test bought from Walgreens in the last stall on the right hand side in the bathroom of our undergraduate library. The test line came up positive before the control line. I cried with fear and joy.

It was the beginning of the holiday season. We had a tiny two bedroom apartment, and I printed out pregnancy calendars ticking off the days until a due date. I imagined how to decorate the smaller bedroom as a nursery. I wrapped baby booties under the tree for our parents. But I was afraid to tell him. It was finals time, he was working on his masters degree and we were stressed out. We were driving to his parents house and I made him pull over because I was sick. I was green all weekend... and his mother asked me if I was. I told her no.

The next day, on a Sunday - I told him while he sat on his parents couch. He took a gun from the closet and pointed it at me... then at himself. I begged, I pleaded and he called me an ungrateful whore who was sent to demolish his life. I was heartbroken and sobbed the three hour drive home. As we drove over a bridge, he quickly swerved the car to the edge and told me that he was going to throw me out and finish off his two problems at the same time.

He wanted me to have an abortion, and made an appointment for me right before Christmas. I couldn't go through with it... and cancelled. He hit me. Again and again and again. I honestly thought I would die. The week before Christmas, I was finally so broken that I caved in. We didn't go to my didn't go to my parents house for Christmas. I called but they knew something was wrong. I wanted that baby more than anything in the world. I unwrapped the booties, and put them in the closet.

It was the Tuesday after Christmas and we drove to another town so no one would recognize us. As we walked out of the apartment I sobbed and started dry heaving. He yanked me up by my hair and slapped me and told me that there was no other choice. He said he would cut it out of me if I didn't go. I threw up green bile. We drove in silence - I started bleeding more on the way to the clinic. When we got there, we sat in the waiting room together. They had a water fountain which was constantly running. It was cold inside. I was bleeding as we got into the doctor's office. There were a lot of women there. No one made eye contact. They gave a urine test, and then a sonogram. I asked to see, but they refused. 8 weeks 6 days.

I went back in the waiting room. He was gone - sitting in his truck. I went outside and begged him to take me home. I didn't want this. I just wanted the three of us to be a family. We would manage somehow. He refused. I went back in, dejected and bleeding heavier. They gave me a pill, and a little while longer they began. I begged the doctor not to, but he said it was too late. I sobbed so loudly they told me I was frightening other patients. The doctor saw the bruising, and asked me if I wanted to do this. I told him no - but there was no other choice. The doctor told me the baby wouldn't have survived anyway, that there was no heartbeat and that I was already beginning to miscarry before he saw me. I've never been able to reconcile the truth of this but I needed to believe him.

I bled heavily for weeks. He refused to take me back to the doctor. I went alone... and the doctor told me I had to get out. He said that maybe this was my chance to save myself.

I had a breakdown after that. Completely lost it for awhile. I would hide under the dining room table and sob. Hiding from him, from me, from everything. I have never been as scared or as depressed as I was then. I was too afraid to commit suicide or I would have. He finally told me that it was enough. We were over. He couldn't understand why I didn't "just get over it."

We split up soon after that. I couldn't stop the self-hate, and he couldn't - or wouldn't - understand or help. I finally summoned up the courage and moved out in May and filed for divorce. We tried working it out, but we were at an impasse. A barrier had been erected by my sorrow that I couldn't let go of. We spent one night together after that.

He bought a number of guns, and he broke into my house - my car, waited for me at work every day. He tried to commit suicide a second time. He told me that he had a vision of the devil as a black dog, and had spoken to him about me. He called me at work to tell me that he was going to shoot himself in the head with me on the phone. I heard him cock the gun, and then line went dead.

He took a handful of pills again. The police told me that it wasn't safe for me to stay with him, that I needed to stay away. His mother called me to tell me that I was destroying him. It was my fault. I found out the next morning. Again. This time there were no tears of joy and elation. This time I felt like I had to get out. I made an appointment, drove to another city and had them put me under. CNN was on in the waiting room. JFK Jr.'s plane had just gone down. Dolly Parton was signing 9 to 5 in the dressing room.

I was less than five weeks. I had a fever. I begged them... please - let me start over. They refused - it was too early, they couldn't guarantee results. I sobbed... and finally they agreed. They put me under, and I don't remember anything for about two days after. When I went back for a check up the doctor told me that she had been there before when she was in graduate school. It wasn't the right time. She asked how I was and I said I felt hollow. As if all hope had been extracted from my body. She said it takes time. Ben Folds Five's song "brick" was on the minute the car started.

I started over. I moved to another state. I changed names, haircolor, and started law school. For the first few months, I was afraid... I would sit and listen every night at the door afraid he was there. Years went by, and I met my current husband. I learned what it felt like to hope - to love. We eloped. We started a life together, I learned what a marriage is supposed to be. We started trying for a baby... and nothing. Month after month after month. Nothing. The doctors assured me that it's not because of the previous 'procedures'. My ex husband married someone else within a year of our divorce. He emailed me to show me pictures of the son they had - due on my birthday - and conceived on the first try.

As we try time and time again, I am faced with the awful guilt. What if I have already used up my "chances" - what if that's all that I had?? When we were first married, my sisters and I sat around with a needle on a string divining our reproductive futures. Two children were predicted for me. An awful feeling crept up on me. What if I've already used that allotment. What if there is no such thing as starting over? What if there are no second chances?

I'm no longer afraid to sleep at night. I have a husband who I adore, and who would never raise his hand to me. But I still wonder why I wasn't worthy for the first. Why was it that she was? The what ifs make my head swoon. All I want is a baby with M. I just want this hollowness to finally go away. The doctor said it would take time. I never knew she meant a lifetime.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

This is the way it should be

I spent a grueling night at the gym yesterday. 50+ minutes on the elliptical and I thought I was going to die. Surely that will be my version of hell - surrounded by tiny perky people in skimpy color coordinated lycra gym outfits slaving away without appearing to sweat at all while horrendously bad techno music pounds in my ears.

I got home and was absolutely exhausted... and was basically konked out as soon as my head hit the pillow. This morning M let me sleep in and then woke me up with slow deep kisses that made my toes curl. I've had it with "timed" sex, I forgot how wonderful it can be when we're not worried about timing. This is the way it should be. Too bad I'm not ovulating.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


Today is cycle day 6. I have another refill of clomid waiting for me at the pharmacy. I went on CD 2 to get it and ended up changing my mind in the parking lot. I can't really explain why I didn't pick it up. We've done two rounds of clomid so far, starting in May. The first cycle, at 50 mg. my projections levels were at 9.8 on CD 20. Granted, I think I evaluated on CD 17, so it wasn't truly a 7 DPO test. But regardless, no pregnancy was achieved, and we started over the next cycle with 100 mg.

So we started the next round. I felt like a psychopath with the horrible mood swings, and I would wake up every night literally sweat soaked, with the sheets plastered to my body like I was some sort of infertility pinata. But... an empty pinata... as that cycle also didn't end with a pregnancy.

I had a refill for the clomid left, but M was taking the bar, and I would have ovulated right about the day before the bar started. Not exactly the best timing considering that he was going to be staying about 5 hours away for the entire week. And as stressed out as he was, I didn't want to contribute to it - so I didn't take it in July. Well, the refill was still waiting for me, but when I went to pick it up the most bizarre thing happened. I couldn't bring myself to walk in the damn drugstore.

I'm a pretty contemplative person, but as much as I've mulled over my decision not to pick it up, I'm not sure that I have an explanation. Infertility for me has been a horrendous slap in the face. It was as if my worst fear - failure - had decided to infiltrate my mind, my soul - my very body. And somehow, on a medicated cycle, it was as if the failure was compounded. I felt as if G-d, the fates, what have you - was trying to make a statement...

thou are not worthy for pregnancy!

After two cycles of it, the failure of it seemed to crush me... bearing down with such force that I couldn't breathe.

I sat brooding at work today watching clouds roll in over the ocean, and I came upon a realization of sorts. Fertility is sort of like the weather. We have scientists who study it, and have tried to understand and dissect it from the dawn of time. But, even though we try to map out the causes, the effects, the probabilities - there are somethings which are just out of our grasp. We will never really understand why things happen the way they do. Sure we can make predictions and track developments, but we can't change the course.

Ever since I've lived in South Florida, people from "home" which we shall describe as a BIG state where people have BIG hair, drive BIG cars, and sound like the revival cast of Hee Haw - always ask me if "you seen wanna them hurricayyynnes yet?" Well, no. Technically I've come close, with a tropical storm, but no hurricane notched in my belt yet.

So stay with me here, I'm taking this weather analogy probably further than it needs to go.

I've decided that infertility treatments & a resulting pregnancy are sort of like a hurricane. You have a pretty good idea of timing, you have plenty of time to prepare, and you spend all the time leading up to it fervorishly making sure you have adequate provisions (insurance, support, etc.) and making appropriate contingency plans. You chart off the storm's course day by day with increasing stress as you realize HOW CLOSE YOU ARE to either being annihilated or spared from nature's wrath. You see, part of what makes a hurricane tolerable is that you have this ability to prepare for its arrival. You know with some degree of certainty when and if it is going to hit you - and if it does, you're o.k. Of course, you can't predict with perfect certainty, but you have a team of people watching, charting, waiting with you... everyone STAYING TUNED for the latest developments.

Hurricanes I don't have much experience with. The constant drone of information and tracking coordinates makes my eyes glaze over after a while. The adrenaline rush is missing, having been drawn out over the course of weeks.

Tornados are more like a surprise medically unassisted achievement of pregnancy for us infertile gals. Sure you know what the warning signs are that it could happen. But it happens with such randomness, that it's impossible to really predict. You can have a watch morph into a warning only to end with a night laying in the bathtub with a mattress over your head wondering how it missed you.

This may not make sense to anyone but me, but maybe... just maybe... I'm still hoping to be swept off a la Dorothy to be transported to "munchkin land". I don't want to feel like I am in control... it's much harder that way.