Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Asshats and Assvice oh my!

Time for reader participation my lovelies... (and that means lurkers too! - you know you want join the fun)

I've been barraged in the last few days with asshats coming out of the woodwork informing me that: a) it's just not the right time yet; b) parenthood's not all it's cracked up to be; c) well, you know.... you could just adopt; d) I have too many kids... do you want one of mine?; e) well, you know you should be thankful - I had a friend/cousin/hairdresser's aunt's niece's co-worker's sorority sister's friend that had a terrible pregnancy and blah blah blah.... etc. etc. etc.

Things like this used to really get under my skin, no scratch that - it more than got under my skin. It made me question whether I was good enough to have children... it made me question my worth as a person, as a member of the community.... everything about who I am. I equated my "womanhood" with the ability to bear children. I equated my worth as a wife with the ability to pop out genetic progeny.

And then I realized that yes, some of these people just are incredible asshats. Some of them don't even realize they're giving assvice. Yes. We tried robitussin, I drank enough green tea to easily reenact the Boston Tea Party three times over, we tried different positions, different times, different days, shaking a rubber chicken while standing upside down gargling decaf nonfat vanilla chai latte with a hint of cinnamon with patchouli incense wafting through my feng shui compliant dala lami approved bedroom that had been sprinkled with holy water and blessed by a santarian priestess immediately after returning from a relaxing vacation. O.k. well, the last was a little bit of a stretch, but chances are if there is an "old wives tale" that could possibly result in pregnancy - we are old pros at trying it - and you know what?

I'll let you in on a little secret - they didn't work.

Now... that doesn't mean that people don't mean well. Maybe it's the bleeding heart in me - but I think that deep down inside most people are genuinely good. Tactful, not so much... but I don't think they generally mean to hurt us. They're trying to help. Does that mean I don't wish I had a lifetime's supply of duct tape at the ready to quiet their comments? Or perhaps a high powered staple gun? Um, not so much.

It still stings, but it doesn't rip open the wound anymore. It's not as raw as it once was. I've just sort of accepted the fact that this is what's going on in my life - and realized that IT'S NOT MY FAULT. I didn't deserve it - and it sucks royally- but sometimes things that suck just happen to people who don't deserve it.

It's been a long time since I've been this calm about it. Sometimes I correct people when they make blatant misstatements about infertility and treatments ... other times I just decide it's not worth my emotional involvement and just roll my eyes as they prattle on.

So... with that said, I'd like to take a poll about asshats and assvice (for the sake of entertainment only - and absolutely no redeeming scientific purpose). Feel free to elaborate in the comments as much as you like.

1. What was the most ridiculous old wives tale you were told would immediately "cure" you of infertility and result in pregnancy?

2. Be honest - did you try it?

3. What's the most common assvice you get? Is it from friends/co-workers/family/strangers? How do you respond to it?

Bitch session may commence now.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Insult to Injury

Well... I ended up spotting for days... and days... and days....

Just enough to remind me that there was no way in hell I was pregnant and just enough to be a pain.

And then the deluge happened. Sweet heaven - soaking through a tampon an hour. Nice mental image eh?

Now that the waterworks are officially in the "full freaking blast" phase, I hab a bery bery bad sinus infection or something.


Add to that the fact that my parents are going to be coming up this weekend, and I'm going to have to have a very difficult talk with a friend today that I've been avoiding for a long time because I hate confrontation.

good times. good times.

But whatever my paltry complaints are, to those of you that are being affected right now by Katrina... my heart goes out to you. The eye passed over my old house in Florida - and the scene of devastation in my old neighborhood is NOTHING compared to the images filtering in from the Gulf Coast.

You are all in our collective prayers right now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Delusions of grandeur

After 29 cycles, I really shouldn't be surprised. I mean, seriously.

How sophomoric does it sound to hope that it would happen - unmedicated, unplanned, and on our anniversary no less?

Sigh. I started bleeding today, on day 24 - a good 5 days early than normal.

"Normal" - that's hilarious.

You know, after all this time it still isn't any easier.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sleepy little town

Yesterday we went on a cross-state road trip to watch M's favorite team play baseball. After passing through a particulary dense patch of fog, we came over a small hill and entered the sleepy little town of Emma.

In spring 2002, I was at a conference outside of L.A. I had been in meetings all day and left my phone in my hotel room. When I got back I had over 20 messages in voice mail... as I started listening to them the story started to unfold. My father's gruff voice was soft, and pleading - "please call the house whenever you can." Then my stepmother's voice, strained and tired - "honey please call... it's important." Then my sister crying "It's about Grandmama."

I never finished listening to the messages. She had a stroke, and was in the hospital. The doctors didn't think that she had much time left. After talking to my parents I was left sobbing. I surprised myself when instinctively the first person I wanted to talk to was him. We had been dating only a few weeks. And yet, I called him. I just wanted to hear his voice, to know that it was going to be o.k.

I sat in the bathroom all night with him on the phone - a continent between us. As we talked in the wee hours of the night she finally gave up and let go. I sobbed for my family's loss of Grandmama... the woman who routinely cheated all the grandkids and great grandkids at UNO, whose back porch I used to sit on and read to her cat Felix (when I was five, and the book was upside down), the woman whose laugh shook the whole neighborhood, whose house I used to find solace in when I was a child - walking down the dirt road knowing that a big breakfast of eggs and steak would be waiting as soon as I got there. We would sit around all day playing dress up and Sorry and Yahtzee. She was amazingly talented at knitting and crochet before the arthritis robbed her of her art. I still have baby booties she made for me, and have saved them all these years for a child of my own. She always wanted us four girls to learn how, and none of us ever took the time to learn before it was too late. I wish now that I had taken the time to learn from her.

Should we have a daughter someday, I would love to name her Emma. As we passed through yesterday, I wondered if I'd have that chance.

And part of me - for the first time in a long time - actually believed it was possible.

Hope may be fleeting, but it's here - at least right now.

Monday, August 15, 2005


We've accomplished quite a bit of unpacking in the new place. Of course, considering we've now been here for two weeks, I had hoped we'd have a lot more done.

On Saturday, our third anniversary, I was working on putting the books away, a difficult thing in a family that is as anal as we are. There's a strange system I have where all fiction books are organized alphabetically by author - and other "reference" type materials are organized by type. It's time consuming but considering the lack of control I have in the rest of my life, it makes me feel powerful to have some sort of semblance of order.

He was pulling books out of a box, and I was sitting on the floor in front of the bookshelf, and he handed over a stack of books I bought at Christmas two years ago when I was just sure that pregnancy was imminent. What to Expect When You're Expecting, The Expectant Father, The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy, Pregnancy Sucks, the Mayo Clinic Book of Pregnancy... I dropped them suddenly, as if they were scalding my hands - and looked at him. I don't want those in here. "O.k., then, we'll just put those in your nightstand shelf."

No. I said a little stronger, mustering up what strength I had to hide the uneasiness in my voice. I don't want those in here. The books were a physical representation of my naive hope, of my desperation, of my utter and complete failure and my stomach churned just looking at them. I just looked at him beseechingly, and I think - in a way - he understood. He picked them up and said that he would put them in the basement, so we can find them when we need them. My heart broke - as I thought, for what? Kindling material? We don't have a fireplace...

He still has hope. He still has faith. I am struggling with both, and finding my heart woefully empty.

As we continued to unpack, I came across a heavy dragonfly plaque and asked him to put it in the box with the pregnancy books. As a strange look passed his face, I explained, I bought it for the baby's room. He nodded, and placed it in the rubbermaid tub, sending our dreams to slumber amidst cast off sweaters, folding chairs and christmas ornaments.

I keep wishing that some little bit of Hope is wedged into one of the boxes still left to unpack.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Bad bad dye job.

My previously pretty coppery red hair (natural color) was to be "enhanced" a little to have the red brightened up.

Oh sweet mother it's horrible.

It's purple. Well maybe that's a bit dramatic, but it's at least purplish. Regardless, it's not attractive.

And I didn't really realize how purple until now - sitting at my desk.

This is awful.

And of course, one of the head honchos in the firm is supposed to be coming in today to meet me. I will be forever known as the girl with the eggplant hair.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Sweet relief

Well, apparently the people who gave me the Summary Plan Description ("SPD") for the health insurance plan gave me the wrong one. I flipped through the correct SPD - scouring through little booklet desperately trying to find the infertility section.

Covered Services related to the diagnosis and/or treatment of infertility, including, but not limited to, in-vitro fertilization, uterine embryo lavage, embryo transfer, artificial insemination, gamete intrafallopian tube transfer, zygote intrafallopian tube transfer and low tubal ovum transfer are the same as your benefits for any other condition.

(my empahsis added).

Thank you. We're limited to 4 completed oocyte retrievals, unless a live birth results, which means we will be entitled to only two more completed oocyte retrievals.

My heart is soaring. Now I just need to find a new doctor, and try to get on the waiting list for treatment. Granted, they we have a 20% co-insurance rate, but dear God - I am so thankful. My previous insurance only had a $10,000 benefit for infertility, but this has no dollar limit aside from the total lifetime plan benefit.

I am so immensely grateful for good news finally.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Starting Over.

Well, I'm back after an extended 'vacation' of sorts. Let's sum that vacation up here:

1. We decided to move to take care of family business to somewhere roughly 26 hours away (driving distance) from our home.

2. We flew up multiple times to the new place, found a place to live - interesting story on that one to be told later (we found it three hours before our plane left, talk about a last minute endeavor).

3. Somehow managed to: fly into City A, drive three hours into City B to take the bar exam, Take the bar exam for two days, drive back to City A and fly home (have luggage lost by airline - thus preventing 6 a.m. departure from home), completely clean house, have emergency car repair work done, and drive 26 hours to new home within the space of five days.

Of course, in the drive here - it was made patently obvious to me by God that I will be a horrible failure as a parent. You see, we have two cats. Since we were driving two cars (which unfortunately were packed pretty much to the brim as the movers forgot a lot of things in closets when they left - although they did not manage to forget to pack four fresh plums and two Granny Smith apples in the boxes which sat on a semi-truck for NINE days) we each were responsible for one cat in the cross-country drive. I took "Weegie", my extremely sociable and calm 22 pound Norweigan Forest Cat. He took the skittish, at times quite rabid psycho cat. I was exhausted from the bar exam and decided Weegie would be the better companion. Note to self, never favor one child over another - you will be summarily punished.

Weegie was extremely upset for the first thirty minutes of the drive, but settled down nicely, and I felt sorry for him locked up in the carrier. Second note to self, do not take your 'child' out of a safety device designed for his, or your own, safety. At first, he just came out of the carrier and sat nicely in the front seat, mewling upon occassion. Then, he reminded me that all good parents must have appropriate toys to distract little ones with for the duration of a 13 hour car ride, and damn it woman - the toys you picked are OBVIOUSLY deficient. He decided that he would much rather play with the gas pedal while I was driving. Once we had a little "talk" he stopped that and pouted in the seat. And then, to spite me, he urinated in the front passenger seat. I truly thought that there was no stench quite like cat urine, but this was to be (quite quickly) proved entirely incorrect.

After I tried soaking up an inordinate amount of cat urine with paper towels, he decided to take refuge in the backseat, in a box of cactus. Note to self (number what is this - twelve?) your child will always find the one thing you do not want them to have, and other people will berate you for abusing them so badly that they had access to such items of destruction.

I roused him from the cactus, pulled as many spines as I could out of him in a rest area (which caused him to meow horribly and passersby to shake their head at me), we got back on the road, now only 45 minutes behind my husband and the incredibly docile and sweetly sleeping other cat.

Once back on the road, it started raining horribly, and someone cut us off. When I slammed on the breaks, the cat meowed something horrible, and then this god forsaken horrible stench took over the car. It was so awful that my eyes were tearing up, and we were a good 45 minutes away from somewhere to pull off and the rain was coming down so hard that I couldn't even crack the windows to escape the smell.

Have I mentioned that this 22 pound cat has extremely long fur, which tends to get quite nasty when he's had diahrrea? No - well, trust me. It's bad. He then proceeded to crawl back into his carrier, (the scene of the crime) and get it all over him - nose to tail. He then is crying because he stinks so bad, and wants me to comfort him, and wants me to hold him - and proceeds to hop into my lap. I deflect him, and he tries to come over the top of the seat onto my shoulder. I know look like Mr. Hanky has attacked the entire interior of my car. We finally are able to pull over and we go through close to three packages of baby wipes getting the shit out of my hair, the car, his fur, you name it. The car reeks so badly I'm afraid to go through a drive through to eat, afraid it will knock out the Taco Bell window attendant. That, and the cat is now sleeping in the litterbox (the only thing in the car miraculously not covered in cat shit), so he's not visible, and the Taco Bell attendant will think it's me that has started biological warfare not Weegie.

Suffice it to say that this was a very long 26+ hour drive. Oh, and did I mention my period started on the way?

Instead of being depressed, I'm trying to look at it philisophically - it's a new beginning. Starting over. A fresh slate. All that good b.s.

We're working on trying to get through all three stories of boxes right now. I'm working on assimilating into my new job. I'm not really working on worrying about the baby thing right now, especially since my new health insurance does not fucking (rather ironic choice of curse word I suppose) cover infertility.

So anyway, I'm back, I'm bitter and living two blocks into a state that still believes in evolution.

We've got a lot of catching up to do.