Tuesday, November 1, 2011

There Will Be Blood aka A Love Letter To My Husband

I cried my head off yesterday. And I balled my eyes out. I wish you could literally do that. You could carry your detached head in one hand and your eyes in the other. Preferably in a fashionable glass case. When people saw you they’d think, “Wow, she’s going through something big and important.” Then they’d be really nice to you and give you free stuff like massages and J Crew gift cards.

After a week of experiencing what I was convinced were pregnancy symptoms, but turned out to just be a cold, the tell-tale signs arrived. First the spotting, then the cramping, then the wanting to tear someone’s head off.

Since Halloween was shaping up to be a bloody one, I decided to forego my original plan of passing out candy and take a yoga class instead. I wasn’t feeling strong enough to face a barrage of adorably pudgy toddlers dressed as ladybugs and mini slutty French maids. Yoga would be a safe haven. A place where I could hide and lick my wounds- downward doggy style.

Unfortunately this particular yoga instructor had a habit of starting way too many sentences with “this pose is one I just taught in my pre-natal class blah blah blah.” I didn’t hear the rest because I was too busy screaming in my own brain, “Please stop reminding me that there are rooms full of women growing babies in their bellies and stretching!”

At one point she actually said, “I guess we don’t need to use the blocks for this pose since none of you are pregnant.”

I think there should be some kind of caveat on murder. If you are struggling with fertility and have major PMS- which is a double whammy, you should not be held responsible if your hands find themselves wrapped around someone’s neck.

But despite my totally justified rage, I decided to let her live.

After yoga, I killed another 45 minutes at the grocery store just to ensure I’d miss the grubby handed candy grabbers. But when I turned on my block, the streets were still thick with thieves, (and pirates, and Harry Potter characters, and a few teen girls I wished would put some pants on) so I made a mad dash inside my house, turned off every light and proceeded to read Entertainment Weekly in the bathtub. The bathtub is my go- to therapy. Well, when my therapist isn’t available. If my therapist conducted our sessions in my bathtub that would be the best. And I could smoke as many cigarettes as I want. This would be my ultimate fantasy. But since I am not allowed to smoke anymore and there are likely some ethical issues with bathtub therapy, I have to take what I can get.

After soaking until the tub went cold and my fingers were appropriately pruned, I retired to bed for more pouting and magazine reading. My husband came home and said brightly, “Hey sexy, how was your day?”

I wanted to say, “It was pretty okay, I got some work done on my screenplay.”

But instead what came out was a sob followed by, “I can’t really do this right now!”

I cried really hard and for a long time. And he just held me. He didn’t say stupid things or tell me not to be sad. He just held me and told me I was beautiful.

Let me tell you, when I cry, I am NOT beautiful. My face crumples and looks like it's folding in on itself. Think the Cryptkeeper on a bad day. Giant globs of snot pour from my nose, I make loud yelping sounds, and my eyes simultaneously swell and age by ten years. There is nothing delicate about it.

But my sweet new husband poured me a tiny sip of wine and we toasted to “being sad.”

How can I be sad when my partner in life is such a wonderful person? Two years ago today was our very first date. Neither one of us could know during that flirty wine filled afternoon that we'd be going through this. But while we may navigate it awkwardly at times, we’ve found a way to be kind, loving, and compassionate to each other through an incredibly stressful experience. Of course I wouldn't choose this ordeal, but since I'm in it, I couldn’t have chosen a better man to share it with.

Happy Anniversary My Love…

(Also, I’m not just writing nice things about you so we can get a dog. But we totally should!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I Can Do This All Day

Yes I am on my computer, and yes, I am way behind deadline on my screenplay. I'm doing this instead:

It's sick. I haven't spent this much time internet obsessing on a topic since that time I online stalked every ex-girlfriend of every guy I've ever dated.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's a Vicious Cycle

This last year of missed conceptions is like nothing I've ever experienced. But if you held a gun to my head (please don't do that) I would say it most resembles very shitty dating. Also known as dating.

Phase 1: Getting Your Period is Getting Dumped

You can feel that you are about to be dumped, but you hope it’s your own paranoid brain playing tricks on you like that time you thought your next door neighbor was the unibomber and called the FBI. In your defense, he had a very suspicious beard. The about to get dumped signs are everywhere. His calls have become infrequent and perfunctory and he’s working late almost every night of the week. The last time you were together, he didn’t even glance away from his iphone when you took your bra off- and you have a great rack. Then, you get confirmation- he’s working late alright, with his new assistant. And the punch in the gut is she’s taller, thinner and younger than you. Oh, and she’s French.

Phase Two: Pre- Ovulation is a Sexy New Guy to Help You Get Over the Last Jerkhole

You're feeling a roller coaster of emotions. “It’s all my fault,” “Why did I fail like this?” “Is this happening to me because my ass is too flat?” "I suck!" There is a lot of crying in bed. You would cry other places too, if you left your bed. But you don't.

After a few days, things begin to look up. You’re still raw from the recent dumping, but you've washed your smelly parts and rejoined society. You even laughed at someone's stupid joke. That someone also happens to be the really dreamy fellow that you met at Starbucks this morning. And the best part- he asked you on a date. A proper date even. He didn't grumble out of the side of his mouth that you two should "like totally get some beers together sometime or whatever," and he did not once call you "dude." This could be promising.

Of course you're still feeling bruised from the last let down, but this new fellow has the COOLEST EYES. You gear yourself up with some Stuart Smalley style positive self talk in the mirror and put yourself out there again. Sure this guy could turn out to be a sex offender, but he could also be the “One,” and are you going to let him pass you by because you're a wimp?

Of course not, now go get that upper lip waxed girl!

Phase 3: Ovulation is a Great First Date.

It’s not just a great first date, it’s possibly the best first date you’ve ever been on. The two of you get each other’s corny jokes, you both love obscure German vampire movies and you belong to the same 24 hour fitness. Basically, you're soul mates.

You are floating on a cloud of happiness and feel bright and shiny like a new penny. A very horny penny.

Phase 4: Potential Implantation is Waiting By the Phone

You spend the first week between being confident, then pretty confident, then not so sure that he will call. How could he not? You two are great together!

He’s going to call, he’s definitely going to call. Oh god, what if he doesn’t call? He might not call.

The second week comes and you’ve totally lost your mojo. You go over the date in your mind, analyzing it from all possible angles. You berate yourself for bringing up that time you were briefly committed (voluntarily!) to an institution and that you legitimately like Norah Jones.

Your friends tell you that “He could still call.” But you’ve already begun the grieving process of another failure. You start consuming more chocolate than usual and sleep for ten hours a day. You resign yourself to a life of spinsterhood and consider taking up knitting.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Two- Week Wait

I was just perusing the internet and I came across an article titled “Two- Week Wait Survival Tips.” I came across this because I googled “two- week wait survival tips.”

If there is someone out there reading this who doesn’t know what the two- week wait is, or tww as those in the trenches call it, it is the time period that elapses between trying to make a baby and in my case so far, finding out you didn’t make a baby.

I am currently in the early stages of my very own two-week wait. I’m still a few days from obsessing over every bodily function and emotion as a possible pregnancy symptom:

Here are some of my google search greatest hits:

“is insomnia a sign of pregnancy?”

“are very smelly farts a pregnancy symptom?”

“uncontrollable crying, early pregnancy symptom”

“I feel like roller skating, could I be pregnant?”

But I’m not too early in my tww to not obsess over so many other things.

Let’s see if this article is actually going to help me…

Two-Week Wait Survival Tip #1 – Stop Obsessing Over “Pregnancy Symptoms”
I’m sorry, who wrote this? My aunt who told me that I can always adopt?

Asking a woman who is in her two-week wait to not obsess over pregnancy symptoms is like asking a woman who is pregnant to NOT look smug. She is simply incapable of succeeding at this task.

Two-Week Wait Survival Tip #2 – Keep Busy

Oh, Don’t worry, I’m busy. I’m busy tracking my PH levels, meditating to my fertility mantra, and googling IUI success rates. When I’m not doing those things, I’m building a time machine in my basement so I can go retrieve eggs from my 24- year old self.

Two-Week Wait Survival Tip #3 – Schedule Obsessing Time

They suggest scheduling fifteen minutes once or twice a day for obsessing. How about I try for fifteen minutes twice a day to NOT obsess?

Two-Week Wait Survival Tip #4 – Get Support from People who Understand

I am 100% behind this tip. I joined an online support group and I can’t tell you how much this has helped. Knowing you are not alone in your transformation from a reasonably sane (with the help of anti-depressants) woman into a baby obsessed emotion machine is a HUGE relief. You need the kind of women who will inquire about your follicle size, your husband’s motility percentages and your most recent RE appointment with the kind of intense fervor that can only be provided by someone who has gone through this or is going through it now. Seek those women out either online or in your community and make them your friends.

I didn’t read the rest of the article because I got sidetracked researching IVF vacations in the Czech Republic, but I do have some tips of my own.

1. Always have on hand some high quality dark chocolate. I recommend Lindt Mint Dark.

2. Fashion Magazines. Vogue is my favorite because I want shiny pictures of pretty people and an article about a model from the Sudan who went back to her homeland and opened an orphanage.

3. Watch Bridget Jones Diary.

4. Yoga, yoga, yoga, yoga.
Here are five yoga poses for fertility that feel yummy.

5. Drink ridiculous amounts of wine. Of course we can't do that. But oh to dream...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

How to Be a Terrible Wife

Endless articles exist on how to move through reproductive challenges gracefully, but what about if you prefer the path of most resistance? Here are some of my own helpful tips.

1. Put a urine spattered ovulation test stick in your husband’s hand, point to the bedroom and say, “It better fucking work this time.”

2. Buy a fertility book called “Making Babies,” then read it to your husband every night in bed wearing sensible cotton underwear.

3. When your husband makes his third coffee stop of the day give him the most judgey face you can muster and snap- “Fine, then you can pay for the IVF!”

4. Cry when you see a pregnant woman, cry when you see a baby, cry when you see your reflection in the mirror, cry when you see anything with your eyes.

5. Go on an extreme “PH fertility diet,” that restricts you from eating all of the foods you love, but make sure you do it at the same time you go off your anti-depressants.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What to Expect When You’re NOT Expecting

If you are trying to conceive and it’s just not happening as fast as you expected, as in RIGHT NOW DAMMIT! I’ve put together this helpful list of Do’s and Don’ts. It won’t get you pregnant, but it may help you out along the way.

DON’T Commit a Senseless Act of Violence
If you see a pregnant woman strolling around the Farmer’s Market on a Sunday morning* with her well behaved toddler on one arm and her ruggedly handsome husband on the other- do not throw hot coffee in her face. No matter how much you want to. You will be arrested.

*You will see a pregnant woman at the Farmer’s Market. 100% of the women that attend Farmer’s Markets are pregnant. Even the 60 year- old lady that sells rhubarb jam has a baby bump.

DO Use Your Vivid Imagination
When you come face to face with the blinding glow that is the pregnant woman, don’t let it get you down. Instead use this as an opportunity for introspection. In my moments of introspection, said pregnant woman is afflicted with chronic halitosis, a very unfortunate looking vagina or a husband with a penchant for hairless Asian men. This always makes things seem a little brighter.

DON’T Bring Up Cervical Mucus in Casual Conversation
Unless you are talking to your OB/GYN, your fertility specialist or your friend that’s a nurse, no human being- including and especially your husband wants to hear the words “cervical mucus,” escape your lips. I don’t care how awesome your cervical mucus is.

DO Scream at Your Zucchini
Unlike pregnant women at the Farmer’s Market, the zucchini in your garden don’t have feelings. So feel free to unleash all your rage and frustration at these blatantly fertile vegetables. It’s about time someone took down those obnoxiously fruit bearing plants.

If you don’t have a garden, your local grocery store’s produce department will do.

DON’T Blame Yourself
Maybe you experimented with recreational drugs in your early 20’s, wasted your most fertile years in dead end relationships, or chain smoked your way through college. Perhaps you did none of this or, like me, all of this and more.

There’s no point dwelling in the past and ruminating over former bad choices. Why not take all those feelings of negativity and self blame and place them directly where they belong- on your parents. It’s fine, they’re used to it.

DO Relax About People Telling You To “Relax”
I don’t care if this person is your best friend, your OB/GYN or you grandmother when they utter the phrase “You know, you just need to relax about this,” it may invoke a feeling very opposite of relaxation and more closely aligned with committing an act of physical violence.

As much as you may want to punch your BFF, she’s really just trying to help. Instead, seek out and confide in that one friend who gets you, who gets this (maybe because she’s been through it too) and who can make a kick ass Margarita.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

If This Random British Guy Says it, It Must Be True

Fertility blogs are a great way to kill an afternoon. For one, I like to immerse myself in horrifically sad topics and we all knew the Casey Anthony trial had to come to an end eventually. Secondly, I am sickly comforted by people who are having a tougher go of getting pregnant than I am. Are you a forty-three year old woman undergoing your fourth IVF cycle? Well you just made my day a little brighter. I'm not proud admitting that, but I suspect I'm not alone. Then today in my quest to find some sad sack having a rougher go of it than I am, I came across an article that made me think.

Mostly about punching the author.

The article is titled “Getting Him Into Babymaking,” and it’s written by some British guy. I know he’s British because he says things like “blokes,” and “hijinx.”

This British guy, who from here on out will be referred to as Mister British Fancy Man wrote a list of things you should never do if you want your husband to keep banging you into pregnancy. Or as he refers to it, “to help women get the best out of their steed.”

The article began with information that I can only describe as useless, as in, "men need time before they are ready," and you must make sure "he’s actually ready for you to be pregnant." The author also states that getting your hubby to agree to impregnating you after a few beers doesn’t count as a yes. Because we all know women are the 100% of the time pressuring men to have babies. And men are so daft (that's British speak for stupid), you can totally convince them after a couple of beers.

For the record, my husband brought up babies first, and second, and third.

But this was all well and good and not too troublesome, until I got to the part where he states that we women make the mistake of telling men when we are ovulating. He claims this is the “fundamental mistake made by all women.” Really sir? Even women who aren’t trying to have a baby? My grandmother? Catholic Nuns? I guess so, since he has so clearly stated it is all women.

He also advises women to never mention thermometers, ovulation windows, etc. Ever.

While I can see the wisdom in his statement, as it could potentially put a damper on sexy time, I have to again, disagree. Perhaps he might consider the possibility that some men actually want to know. Or that some couples might not have sex every other day, so it helps them to know their window of opportunity. Am I meant to stay mum on a topic that is affecting my life to such a massive degree? So, when I have a doctor’s appointments to check if that spot in my uterus is indeed a cyst, shall I just tell him I was getting my nails done? And does this work in reverse? Maybe I don’t want to hear about the mobility of his sperm. Maybe knowing his sperm numbers is a huge girl boner killer for me! Did you ever think about that Mister British Fancy Man?

I’m not saying you have to have a full disclosure style relationship with your husband on every single aspect of the experience of conception. I cringe whenever the term "cervical mucus," escapes my lips. Can we all agree from here on out to call it Baby Making Taffy?

But what I am saying is, sharing this journey of baby making with my husband has made it less painful, but more importantly- brought us closer.