coin return

It looks like we are going to be taking a longer break from fertility treatments than I expected.  Money issues.  Even the IUI cycles are outside of our budget right now.  Hopefully we will be back on track by next month,  we just have some catching up to do since Husband was unemployed last year and we don’t have much saved.  I tried to wait til he fell asleep to cry about it, but he caught me.   Sometimes when I cry he feels guilty so then I end up having to comfort him,  and I just needed to be disappointed for a while without having to explain myself.

I hate it so much that conception is such an expense for us at all.   Makes me feel like one of those vending machines that you put your last dollar into and then the candybar gets stuck.  You really wanted that candybar.  You’re starving and you’re not going to be able to take a lunch break,  and now the damn candybar won’t fall.   Then you borrow a dollar from a friend so you can order one more.  Then you’d have two candybars!   But no,  they both get stuck.  You shake it and you kick it,  you swear and curse and you call it names and pound your fist on the glass.  It’s right there!

Yeah,  today I’m feeling like I’m that stupid rip-off vending machine.  It’s a negative and unproductive way to feel but that’s where my head is right now so forgive a moment of wallowing.  Also I didn’t sleep much last night for all the number crunching in my head, so I’m extra cranky.   I just wanna kick the glass and shake the machine today.   If only there was an 800 number somewhere on me that I could call to get my money back.

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a midsummer daydream

Last night I had a dream about a little boy.  I don’t remember the rest of the dream anymore or what context it was in, but there was a little boy about two years old who was either trying to get my attention or trying to catch up to me.  Throughout the dream I would occasionally feel a tug at the back of my pants and it would be him, smiling up at me.   A couple times I actually tripped over him, but he stayed smiley and persistent and waited for me to pick him up.  I woke up with an anxious flutter in my heart like I do every time I see a stray child in my sleeping brain.   It goes from anxious flutter to heartbreaking disappointment in the amount of time it takes to pick your eye boogers.

I’m pretty sure I have a dream about having a kid this time every month,  starting a day or two after ovulation.   And every month I think it’s a sign.   This is around the time that I start thinking every damn thing is a sign or a symptom.   If I see a blue jay first thing in the morning,  that’s a sign.  If I have a craving for something new,  that’s a sign.   If the cat lays on my stomach instead of my chest, I start picking out a theme for the nursery.  So of course every dream I have gets picked apart for “clues” as to where my long lost child might be.

It’s usually a little boy I dream about, so naturally I have already decided on a boy’s name.  My mother, though, has already decided I’m going to have a girl because of dreams that she has had.  Sometimes when I call her she asks me if her granddaughter is on the way yet.  I hate when she asks, because I hate having to tell her no.  I’ve had “the talk” with her, and she has mostly broken the habit of asking every time we speak because she knows it hurts my feelings,   but the poor thing is having dreams too.

The dreams are a cruel tease.   It’s like “Here’s an adorable, somehow familiar image to go along with that impossibly endless longing of yours.  Beautiful, isn’t he?  Got it locked into your mind?  Good.  Now WAKE UP!”

But I guess with the amount of obsessing I do it’s surprising that I don’t have pregnancy or baby dreams every night.  They are just dreams.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I suddenly need to go take a nap.

Goodnight.

the empty bump

Reason #3,142 that I can’t wait to be pregnant:   No more sit-ups.

I have been developing a belly over the past couple years which would be adorable if I were 3 or 4 months pregnant.  Instead I just look newly pregnant… which causes all kinds of problems.   When I gain weight it all sits disproportionately at the front of my stomach, meaning nothing fits me right anymore, and worse: everybody wants to be excited for me that “it finally happened!”   Last spring I ran into a friend from out of town who hadn’t seen me in the couple years that I have lived in Texas.  One of the first things out of her mouth was “Oh!  How far along are you?”   Hisssssssssss.   I wish I could say that has only happened once.   Apparently the memo hasn’t reached everyone that you NEVER, EVER, EVER ASK A WOMAN IF SHE IS PREGNANT.   EVER.  Asking a woman if she is pregnant is exactly the same as saying “Wow! I can’t help but be distracted by your protruding gut-bubble.  Something’s alive in there, right?”

Several years ago I had pretty massive fibroids which of course made my middle swell up.  During that time I was constantly being congratulated by strangers for the bundle of joy I was carrying.   A common reply:  “Actually I’m not pregnant.  These are potentially malignant tumors which may prevent me from ever becoming pregnant  though, so you were close!  Thanks for pointing it out.”    I really did look pregnant at the time,  and the constant dull ache they caused made me rub my belly a lot -the way pregnant gals do.  The fibroids have been gone since March of 2008,  but the poochy tummy and accompanying bellyrub have remained obnoxiously in tact.  I thought I was going to wake up from that surgery 3 sizes smaller.  I still have the tummy puff, only now it’s got a big scar under it.  Like an underline for emphasis… “Look at this thing!”

I diet of course,  but it’s not as easy to lose weight as it was ten years ago in my twenties.  Also I live in Texas now, and everything here is deep-fried and/or covered in cheese.  But the inability to successfully diet is something else I blame on trying to conceive.   First of all there’s all the comfort feeding that happens.  I get sad,  I feel “empty”,  and there’s one surefire way to get something in your belly other than being knocked up:  eat a cheeseburger!   And then once I’m past ovulation I don’t want to diet because I fear I might be depriving myself or my possible zygote of some important nutrient that just might make the difference this time.  I tell myself  “If I’m craving it, then I must need it!”  Pretty good excuse for a second helping of lasagna, eh?    Also I used to go bike riding a lot,  then one day last year I fell off my bike and busted a big ovarian cyst I didn’t know I had.   I bled and hurt for days.  Scared the crap out of me, and became an excuse not to exercise “too much”  (when it should have just been an excuse not to try flying and biking at the same time).   I do sit-ups occasionally,  but then there’s the part of the month when I think “I wouldn’t do crunches if I was pregnant, would I?  What if I am pregnant right now?  What kind of mother am I, doing crunches in my delicate state?  How selfish!  I should be eating ice cream!”   Oh and by the way who are the sadistic assholes (or angels) who let me find out that  eating ice cream is good for fertility ?!   So much for low fat yogurt.

When this kid finally arrives, I get to blame him for everything…. including my big ice cream fed booty.   In the meantime,  I just wish I could hurry up and BE as pregnant as everybody seems to think I am.

 

heatwave

I’m ovulating right now.  I didn’t take a test or anything since we’re not doing anything “official” this month,  I just know.  It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when it was a mystery with all the bells and alarms that go off in my body these days.  It’s like that portal to alternate universes that opens in Stargate– kinda hard to miss.  For one thing I get obnoxiously horny.  I’m already going through the whole late 30’s “sexual peak” deal,  and adding ovulation to that is like throwing a molotov cocktail at a burning bush.  Talk about a hot mess.  I may be the exception to that rule that men are supposed to think about and want sex more than women.

Unfortunately I think about sex a lot more lately because we seem to have it a lot less.   Sex has become decidedly unsexy and I’m sure the baby chase is at least partly to blame.   Last year Husband was unemployed so naturally he was stressed out about that, which affected his drive… and probably (though not admittedly) his interest in adding a member to the household.  He always seemed to “not feel good” on the days when I needed to make him feel good.  The man version of “Not tonight, Dear, I’ve got a headache.”   Well about five months ago he landed a big new job that he had been wanting for a long time.  Problem solved, right?  Well now he’s stressed out because he has the job and is anxious and stressed about keeping it and keeping up with the fast pace of his company.   Now he keeps himself up all night thinking about meetings and presentations that are happening the next day,  so he’s got no energy left for playtime.   I give him plenty of massages to relax him and try to shift his focus from work stress to physical contact with his wifey,  but it just puts him to sleep.

Lately, when the Stargate opens and all my green lights are flashing for 3 days out of the month, we generally do make a point of having sex… but it can be with about as much excitement as when you “make a point” of washing the dishes before you go to bed:  “Alright, alright, I’ll do it.”

Don’t get me wrong,  Husband and I are crazy in love and super affectionate.  We’re the kind of affectionate that makes other people sick.  Love notes and flowers and snuggles and hand holding and “I love YOU more!” ” No… I love YOU more!”   We’re gross.  People who know us would be shocked and confused to know that our main “problem” is in the bedroom.  (“You’re trying to get pregnant?  Good for you! That’s the fun part!”)  But sex, which was once passionate, raunchy, sweaty lovemaking,  has become something like an awkward science fair project.    Bottom line:  it’s over quickly like a chore you want to rush through, so of course I don’t have orgasms anymore  (Not til after he falls asleep anyway).   Also I have to ask for it which makes it feel like he doesn’t want me, he’s just doing me a favor- like working on the car.   Or I have to remind him that “it’s time” and so we “have to”.   Oof.

We have talked about it,  we have cried about it,  and we are working on it.  I have suggested that we try to make a whole date night out of it.  I have suggested we take dance classes together to work on being in sync and to have something else to think about.  Men love dance classes, right?  I have made  suggestions,  but I have also tried to imagine what all this crap must sound and feel like from his perspective.   I think so much about how nobody understands what it’s like for poor little infertile me that I rarely think about what all this must do to a man’s ego.   “You are not pleasing me.  I am not getting what I want from you sexually.  Work harder!  I need you to think only about me, and also transform yourself into a 20 year old porn star on command.   And get me pregnant already dammit!  Or how ’bout we spend our entire savings to let somebody else get me pregnant since you can’t?  Also, and this is key:  Understand how I feel before I tell you!   I’m going to go sob in the bathroom for a while until you figure me out. When I come out with puffy red eyes and snot on my face telling you about the texture of my vaginal discharge,  tell me how hot I am.  Make it quick though, you’re late for work.”

That’s a lot of big ugly pressure for a guy who’s already stressed out.   Big ugly pressure is not sexy.   Neither are exam rooms, sperm counts,  or talk of things like EWCM.   I don’t care how open minded  they think they are,  the words “eggwhite cervical mucous” will never get your partner hot.   I have stopped giving him all the gory details about what my body is doing and why.   I have tried to make myself sound less like a science project and more like a hot chick he wants to bang.   I’ve started playing dress up and wearing heels in the house.  I’m not sure why that last part is effective, because I cannot walk in heels.  I walk like a drunk 80-year-old man when I wear heels,  but it works for him more than talk of stretchy mucous and pee-sticks.

I am trying to learn to tone down the desperate need to milk sperm from him and put more focus on the desire part of the deal.  I may need to tone down the desire part a little bit too, though.   Ever seen a female cat in heat?  How they roll around yowling and rubbing their butt on everything?  How they are so desperate to be touched that it actually makes you a little scared to touch them?  Yeah, that’s me for the next three days.

Oh, and as of last night~ Husband “doesn’t feel well.”

Meowwwwwww.

exam room makeover

We are already taking a break after our first IUI cycle last month.   Seems they weren’t happy with Husband’s swimmer count on game day (which may be our fault since we had sex the night before), so this month he gets to be the star of the show!  He has to have blood sucked out of his veins,  be poked and prodded, get drugged to tears,  and have a camera stuck up his happyhole.   Oh wait… no, that’s me.  He just has to have an orgasm.  Poor guy.

As eager as I was to get the show on the road I thought it would freak me out to have to pause so soon,  even for one cycle, but I’m relieved in a way.   I am sick to death of not being pregnant,  but I’m also sick to death of that effing exam room.  For one thing,  it’s really cold in there… all the time.   You’d think they would do something about that.  You want me to strip for you?  Get a fireplace up in here!

Whenever I have to spend time in a room I don’t like the looks of,  I redecorate it in my mind.   Certainly any room I have to spend time in without pants on needs to be cozied up a little.   I mean, when I try to get pregnant at home I don’t want harsh fluorescent lighting with the AC blasting directly up my ass.   Maybe they should have themed exam rooms the way they have themed honeymoon suites.  “Good morning Mrs. G… would you care for the Safari Suite this morning?  Or perhaps the Grecian Getaway?  Excellent choice, now please take off your pants.”  Or they could be like themed weddings in Vegas, with the doctor dressed like Elvis or Cleopatra.   Maybe some colorful lighting… Ooh!  And they could do some magic tricks to entertain you while they’re down there behind that paper sheet!   They should at the very least let you pick out the music.  Nobody should ever be forced to listen to Celine Dion when they are in such a vulnerable position.  Remember when you were a kid and the doctor would give you a sucker after you got a shot?  Yeah, the grown-up version is that they need to buy us a drink after every exam or procedure.  The waiting room should be an actual lounge with a bar in it.  Hell, with all the talk of  “Just relax” and “Don’t be stressed”  they should be prescribing cocktails before your procedure.  Like an anesthetic,  with a cherry in it.

We are going to start up again next month of course,  but I think I should call up one of those home makeover shows and get them in there before my next visit.

calm before the storm?

There’s a peace that settles in around Cycle Day 5 or 6.   Hormones have calmed down,  the bleeding and aching has stopped,  and I’m probably done mourning that negative pregnancy test result I got last week.

Today it doesn’t bother me that I’m not a mother yet.  Today there are so many other things I love and appreciate that thoughts of babies and motherhood and the function of my middle-parts  don’t cross my mind much at all.  This is a peaceful time when I can have a gas pain without hysterically Googling what it might mean.   I am calm,  and collected, and clear-headed.  I can think easily about other things without feeling in any way empty or haunted by something that has yet to be created.

Or if nothing else, I’m a little better for a while at bullshitting myself with crap like what I just wrote.   Who am I kiddin’?   This still sucks.  It’s Sunday afternoon which means not much is going on, which means I have time to think, which means I am obsessing over baby crap.  I need a good book to fill my head with.  And ice cream.   A LOT of ice cream.

 

 

dirty job

One of the bits of superstitious wisdom that I hear pretty often is that if you hang out around pregnant women and/or babies for long enough, something will rub off on you and you will “catch” fertility,  like a cold.   Wouldn’t it be nice?  We could all just get volunteer gigs at a maternity ward for a few weeks — badda bing, badda boom:  baby.  I have to admit though, I have no problem with it when a pregnant friend feels the need to rub her belly on me to pass on the mojo.

I am around babies and children pretty much all the time however, and it hasn’t “rubbed off” yet.  I recently took a part-time job as a substitute “teacher” at a local pre-school.   The word teacher is in quotes because this is an artsy alternative pre-school,  and I’m more of a zoo-keeper than a teacher.  We stay outside most of the day on what has got to be the coolest playground I have ever seen.  They’ve got sand,  paint, playhouses, rope swings,  tri-cycles galore, and endless space to run wild and be kids.  The ages range from 18 months to 5 years, and there are about 85 or 90 of them altogether.  How’s that for immersion therapy?

I thought it would make me sad to work with little ones all day, considering,  but it actually works in my favor.  There are so many of them and it’s nonstop action, so there’s really no time to think about myself at all.   I love it.  In fact I get antsy when too many days go by without being called in to work.  I think it appeases something in me.  All my unspent mommy energy has a place to go for a while and I don’t have to take it all out on the cat.  (He hates being cradled.  Hates it.  There is a scratch on my nose from where he recently tried to communicate this fact to me.)

But of course as much as it is happy-fun rainbow playtime, it is also screaming-fight stinkbomb cry-time.   Just today I learned that the most precious, adorable little toddler I have ever seen in my life was capable of shitting into her own shoes.  She had pulled her diaper aside  and let it run down her little legs until it was pooling in her cute little sandals.   About an hour later on the other side of the playground a 3 year old who looked to me like a curly haired angel straight out of a Renaissance painting opened his angelic little mouth and spewed multi-colored vomit an impressive distance of at least 8 or 9 feet.  Oh, and the snot.  Wow.  Yeah, they are as nasty as they are beautiful… and they are really, really… beautiful.

Of course it’s not always that extreme, but whenever I tell one of these horror stories to a friend they inevitably say something like  “See?  Now aren’t you glad you don’t have one of your own?”   Uhhh…  no, asshole,  I’m not.  But thanks for the reminder.   As usual, what they think is somehow comforting is actually patronizing and wrong.   I know that kids can be gross.   That’s why they make them so damn cute,  so you can handle all the nasty.  I know that they scream and fight and throw things.  I know that they put human fecal matter in places you never thought it could go.  I know that they will be rebellious and mean and ungrateful sometimes.  I know that they will work my nerves and drain my bank account.   I know that they will some day be teenagers and find horrifying new ways to shock and embarrass me.  I am not stupid enough that I think a giggling angel is going to slide down a rainbow from heaven and land softly in my lap.   No.  It’s going to come screaming out of my body like that thing in the Alien movie and then shit all over my house.  I know that.   I know all that and still I want it so badly it keeps me up at night.  I don’t want to have a baby because I think it will be clean and easy,  I want to have a baby because every cell in my body is wired for it.  I need it like I need to breathe.  It’s not a choice, it’s a need.

So no,  seeing a kid throw a tantrum in the store is not a good time to remind me why I’m “lucky” I don’t “have to deal with that.”  And no, the pukey demons where I work don’t scare me at all.   I love that nasty, stinky job and all those dirty, snotty kids.

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