Sunday, October 31, 2010

good choices

Yesterday at 5 pm I took my final clomid dose. My sonogram is on Tuesday morning. So what should I be doing between swallowing the final pill and checking to see the results?

  1. eating lots of fruits and vegetables
  2. drinking plenty of water
  3. getting lots of exercise and rest
  4. relaxing, putting myself in a Positive Mental Attitude
and what did I do last night?
  1. dressed up like a bunny
  2. got drunk on sangria
  3. stayed up too late
  4. had sex for fun (WHAT?)
  5. spent all day today being lazy as shit and eating cupcakes
I'd like to tell you that I treated myself to one final night of partying because I thought deep down it would be my last chance to drink due know...the impending pregnancy.

But really I just wanted to get drunk at my halloween party and so I did. I'm not ovulating at the moment or in the 2ww so I figured the chances of it hurting my success this cycle were theoretical. Right? 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clomid Meltdowns: 0-2

Last cycle it was the car accident situation which led me to question my worth as a human. This time around it was the stupid guy at the Meijer pharmacy, also a mistake at Dr. Lovely’s office.

I won’t go into the multitude of things that Jeff at the pharmacy did to just totally piss me off, because they’re tedious, and really it’s just his attitude. So anyway, I picked up my Ovidrel and clomid and headed off to a pub downtown where I had plans to meet friends. I was trying to put Irritating Jeff behind me and get psyched about starting the clomid.

I got to the restaurant and pulled out the clomid only to notice that something wasn’t right. They only gave me 50 mg and I was supposed to have 100! One of my friends arrived right as I had started crying because I didn’t know what to do – I thought I was supposed to take 100 but maybe they changed their minds and forgot to tell me since I did in fact respond on the 50? Or maybe they made a mistake? And while I’m already crying…let me just tell you, dear friend, how much this whole thing sucks. Poor thing, she should have sat in her car for a few more minutes.

So after much deliberating and anxiety, I decided to take two.*

Then, that night I got home and my dog ate my favorite shoe, which I could have easily paid to replace had I not just dropped another $50 at the Meijer pharmacy.

* I did the right thing. The nurse assured me 100 was the way to go, and she called in 50 because her notes said it was my first clomid cycle, not my first clomid cycle at that office. Of course when she called in the other pills I had to pay the co-pay again which was another reason Irritating Jeff could gloat and take pleasure in my misery. Oh well. I should just start taking my paychecks directly to Meijer!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I promise I'll treat my baby better than I treat my car.

Last cycle, I made a huge deal over taking my first clomid. Kind of “here we go honey, there’s no turning back.” I think I even sang a little song before I put the pill in my mouth. Then, immediately afterward, I got in the car to go pick up dinner and backed out of the garage with my rear driver’s side door open.

I caused $2500 worth of damage, which I didn’t know at the time, but I knew it was bad. I had a huge conniption fit about how it was a sign that I was too irresponsible to be a mother and I don’t deserve a baby because I can’t even handle a husband, a house, two dogs and a car without effing it up. And I didn’t even manage to go get dinner before it all happened.

Thankfully, our insurance covered it and we only had to pay the $250 deductible. But still, $250 is a LOT OF MONEY to pay for a stupid, scatterbrained, completely preventable mistake.

Here’s to hoping that nothing catastrophic happens today after taking the clomid…

If I die before I get to be a mom I’m going to be seriously pissed off!

Monday, October 25, 2010

counting my lucky stars

I met one of the ultrasound techs at Dr. Lovely’s office today for a baseline sonogram for clomid #2 (100 mg). No cysts, yay! So we’re ready to start this cycle. She was very nice and she let me insert the dildocam on my own…is this normal? She had me reach under the gown and insert it “like you would a tampon”. It’s the first time I’ve ever done that (I’ve had probably 4 vaginal ultrasounds before today, with two different doctors). It made for a much more comfortable experience.

I go back next Tuesday for a day 12 sonogram to see what’s happening. Cross your fingers that my follicles grow, grow, grow!

The u/t seemed appalled by the way my first cycle was handled. She couldn’t believe they sent me home on CD11 and told me I didn’t respond, especially since it seems I responded late. So I have hopes that if things look grim next week, I’ll get to come back a few days later and check in again, instead of just giving up on the whole cycle.

This practice even has “follicle appointments” set aside at 9:30 and 9:50 every morning for all their patients undergoing infertility treatments. It’s an entirely different outlook than my former doctor, where I was made to feel like an irritating barren woman.

I feel so blessed to have found an OBGYN who pays such close attention to infertility and offers such close monitoring. I know from experience they are hard to find, and I don’t exactly live in a major city. This location is about 7 minutes away from my work. 

I feel like the luckiest infertile in the world!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I have NEVER been so happy to start a period. This period is special because it was seemingly started by clomid, which means that perhaps I did ovulate on 50 mg after all!

Of course being pregnant would be a huge victory. But as this is my first non-provera-induced period since November of 2009 -- and apparently my first ovulatory cycle since February 2002 when I started the BCP -- it's a victory in it's own right. And I feel victorious.

I'm hopeful that maybe my ovaries can learn to cooperate after all.

The timing is a bit unfortunate, as the flow really started at about 4:40 on Friday, 10 minutes after Dr. Lovely's office closed. And she had mentioned perhaps starting 100 mg of clomid on CD3 this time around, but since Monday will already be CD4, we're going to miss that train. I'm trying not to freak out about that.

I'm also a little confused...if my cycle lasted 33 days, wouldn't it follow that I ovulated near CD17? Then why did I have ovulatory symptoms on CD24ish? I'm trying not to worry about funky luteal phases and such, and just be happy with my baby step in the right direction. It's appalling how little I know about my own cycle, and that's because I was a child the last time I had my own non-hormone-induced cycle.

I know in the coming months that CD1 will be a heartwrenching day. But this time around it's cause for celebration : )

Friday, October 22, 2010

cramps galore

So then I called Dr. Lovely’s office. And I was thinking “so here’s the test…how is her staff going to be…is her nurse also going to prove useless?” Well she was very kind and she informed me that they never ever prescribe Provera without bloodwork confirming that you’re not pregnant. I might have let that annoy me, but I didn’t because it shows they’re really taking me and my uterus seriously. Half the time when I called nurse useless for Provera I just lied and said I had a negative pregnancy test, anyway (what? Those things are >$5 a piece and sometimes you just know in your bones that you’re not pregnant).

So I went over lunch to get my blood drawn and the lady who did it was extremely nice and sweet and got my vein on the first stick…which is no small accomplishment. My veins are picky and I have been traumatized by blood draws more than once. On Monday I’ll find out the results of the blood test (ha!) and get my Provera prescription. In the past I would have been furious over a delay of three days, but I’m okay with it. It’s just three days.


I wrote that much of this blog post and then got distracted by work. In the meantime, I started having pretty uncomfortable cramps that feel suspiciously like menstrual cramps. I’m also having some watery light brownish spotting. It’s CD 34. Could I possibly be getting ready to have my own period? If so, I think that means I ovulated. If that’s the case, I would be so happy that I ovulated that I wouldn’t even be that upset that I’m not pregnant. It would be SO GREAT to start having a cycle on my own (but that’s a lot of ifs).

In light of this new evidence, I’m actually glad I don’t get my Provera till Monday. Maybe my body is going to use this full moon to get itself back on course. If not, I’d like to at least give it a couple days to try to figure it out before I start medicating it again!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Introducing Dr. Lovely.

Yesterday I met with my new OBGYN, Dr. Lovely. And she was lovely indeed. Even though they were running 45 minutes behind, she sat and talked to A and me for several minutes, answered all our questions, and seemed extremely competent, kind, patient, and encouraging. She didn’t laugh at the questions I thought were dumb and she didn’t make me feel like I was making mountains out of molehills.

She said that the current plan I’m on is what she’ll also have me on, except she personalizes it a lot more. At my previous doctor’s office there was a strict protocol and if it didn’t work, too bad. Dr. Lovely is planning more monitoring and more customization. I’ll still be on 100 mg of clomid, but she’ll have me come in for a base ultrasound at the beginning of my cycle to determine if I should take it on days 3-7 or days 5-9. I like that kind of extra attention.

She also said there’s recent research that if one dosage of clomid doesn’t work, there’s no need to wait the cycle out and start again with a new one. She made it sound like if I come in for my day 11-14 ultrasound and I’m not responding to 100 mg, she could give me 150 that day and keep right on going. Makes sense, I guess, because if you’re not ovulating anyway you might as well keep trying. So I’m excited that she might let me cut out some waiting…you know I HATE waiting. She also mentioned that if the ultrasound indicates I’m not responding, she might bring me in a few days later to check again, just to keep tabs on what’s going on in there.

A says “but I thought you hated the dildocam”. I guess I hate not being pregnant more.

One thing I regret mentioning is that I had those symptoms early last week that I thought were signs of ovulation. That piqued her interest and now she wants me to wait till Day 40 to start Provera. I didn’t have the heart to tell her (too embarrassed) that we didn’t have sex then and we actually haven’t had sex in like two weeks. It’s embarrassing but I just have NO sex drive. We’ve also been busy. It makes me feel like a fraud of a wife but what can I say? I’m still going to call tomorrow with my negative HPT result and ask for Provera. Maybe I can tell the nurse the situation without any shame.

I didn’t realize until yesterday how much of my stress in this situation was because I felt like the people in charge were incompetent. Now that I feel like I’m in good hands, I feel a huge sense of relief. Maybe the disappointments won’t be so disappointing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cleaning the Window

Something has got to change.

At the moment I have a couple of friends who need me. They’re Going Through Something and require large doses of compassion and patience from me. Usually I’m a good friend and have no shortage of compassion (I am, after all, the woman who cried for an hour when she hit a bunny with her car this year).

But I just don’t have it in me right now, and it’s because I’m emotionally depleted already. And it’s too early to be this exhausted by everything.

The window through which I see the world has gotten covered in the grime of infertility. My infertility, that of the women whose blogs I read, my impatience with the process, my resentment towards people who have children so easily, the fundamental feeling that something is missing in my life, my general sense of injustice that some people go through this and some don’t. I can’t see my situation or the situation of anyone around me clearly anymore, because this infertility gunk has built up and it’s distorting my vision.

I’m not even Going Through Anything right now, in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I was disappointed my first cycle of clomid didn’t work, and really frustrated by the waiting game. Yes, it’s been almost 11 months since we started TTC. And I’m giddily nervous about a new cycle starting up. But really at this time I should be feeling pretty “life as usual”, and if my “usual” is to be completely emotionally unavailable to those I care about, something has got to change.

I’ve got to get back to the point where my TTC/infertility journey is just part of who I am, and does not define me. I am not na├»ve. I know I’m an IF baby and it’s possible that I’ve barely taken the first few steps of this journey. There’s potentially a hell of a lot more heartache, frustration, expense, and unpleasant medical procedures ahead of us. And if my desire for a baby and my ache to be pregnant is consuming me already, I will be in no shape to continue on when the going really does get tough. I don’t want my trials to ruin my marriage and my friendships.

So I’m off on a journey to find some balance and perspective through this whole thing. 

I visit the new OBGYN this afternoon, and I will hopefully switch to her practice to get away from Nurse Useless and the incompetence that reigns at my current doctor's office. I’m a bit nervous about the appointment but mainly looking forward to it. I know it’s selfish and silly, but I wish she would just give me some words of hope and encouragement.

Monday, October 18, 2010

dear co-workers

You are excused for your stupid, insensitive comments because you don’t know that they are stupid and insensitive. That doesn’t mean I won’t correct you when you say things like “They strike me as a couple who will have kids right away” or “I think it’s really irresponsible when people don’t have kids until their thirties.” 


Dear co-workers who know that I desperately want a baby but am temporarily thwarted and frustrated about it,

Please don’t tell me about your niece who is expecting twins and how she got to go to a “mothers of multiples” garage sale over the weekend and get a whopping good deal on two cribs, two car seats, and a million adorable, heart-wrenching onesies. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT. And you’ll have to forgive me if my eyes glaze over during the course of your story because I am mentally composing this blog post.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What a complicated mess.

I have been trying for 30 minutes to organize my posts into categories. So far, all I have come up with is “PCOS” and “pre-infertility”. All of the other topics are so complicated and nuanced that it’s hard to categorize them. I tried “optimism” and “pessimism”, but so many posts have both that they’re not mutually exclusive. I tried “screw you, infertility”, but then I realized pretty much every post I write in the foreseeable future will fall under that category.  

So for now, this blog, just like the infertility process, will remain a complicated mess.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

“It’s like failing a test when you got all the answers right.”

This morning I went to the walk-in clinic because a week of painful constipation got the best of my nerves. I had a really hard time deciding if I should go or not, but the sensation had gotten so uncomfortable that I was fearing kidney stones or appendicitis. Nope, an abdominal x-ray cleared up the mystery. The doctor said, and I quote, “That is a LOT of poop!” Thank you, thank you very much. She seemed shocked and appalled.

When she first came in to see me, she asked me a ton of questions. When I mentioned that I took 50 mg of clomid last month, she said “So what’s the status on the fertility?” to which I laughed and said “There is none.” Her face got all weird and I thought I had offended her (maybe she missed the class in med school about using humor as a coping mechanism).

She ordered a urine test and, lo and behold, I’m not pregnant. After she had made her diagnosis and given me all sorts of not-so-helpful tips about what to eat to keep myself from getting this way again, she left the room and said on her way out “good luck!” I said thanks, silently cursing her and her poop jokes. Then she turned around and said “Good luck on the clomid, too. I’ve been there.”

Turns out, the walk-in clinic doctor conceived through IVF at age 41. !!!! And then she went on to conceive again at age 44, through IVF. I was so shocked and thankful that she shared her story with me. She said she did 5 cycles of clomid and it never worked for her. Seriously, what doctor let you do 5 cycles of clomid at that age, but I guess I’m not a doctor. When she went to an RE, she tested positive for an antibody that literally kills embryos. She made sure to say a few times that she knew how frustrating TTC could be, but that I should have hope.

One thing she said has really stuck with me. Well, okay, she said “It’s like banging your head against the wall”, which I could relate to. But then she said “It’s like failing a test when you got all the answers right.”

Hmmm…something to think about.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

nausea + oniony strawberries = ?

Sigh. Well the heroic s-e-x that I had planned for last night never came to be – largely due to an emotional breakdown on my part.

I got home at 4:45 and needed to leave at 7:15. We walked the dogs, made and ate dinner, and then I had about 40 minutes left for the s-e-x. I gave the dogs their kongs and peanut butter and went upstairs. My husband took probably about 3 minutes to follow me upstairs and that was enough to completely flip me out.

I currently feel the least sexy I have ever felt. I’m unhappy with my current weight but too tempted by junk food to be able to fix it. I have terrible acne which I can’t treat because it needs antibiotics I can’t take while we are TTC. I don’t like my latest haircut, so I kind of feel like a boy (or an ugly girl). I have been so uncomfortably constipated that my abdomen feels sore to the touch. My boobs hurt. All in all, I don’t want to be touched, I feel disgusting, and believe it or not that did not lead up to a raucous lovemaking session.

Then I started beating myself up about how stupid the whole thing was – obviously I’m not ovulating and I was foolish to think I was, right?

So I told A to “just cancel the whole thing, just forget it”, and proceeded to cry. He (understandably) is growing extremely frustrated with my mood swings and general dissatisfaction with life over the past year, so he got ticked off and I ended up storming out of the room to do the dishes instead of him.

This morning I felt terrible – 30 minutes or so of constant nausea, which could only be cured by teeny tiny bites of a blueberry bagel. I woke up with a stabbing pain under my belly button – more constipation, I’m sure. Then I bought some strawberries from the work cafeteria and I swear to god they tasted like onions. My coworker tasted them and thought they were fine. So between that and the morning nausea, I have to admit I got a little flicker of hope that maybe I was pregnant.

Of course that’s probably ridiculous.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For when Dr. Google just doesn't cut it.

Questions to ask at my “second opinion” appointment next week with the new OBGYN
  1. Should we have a semen analysis before we do the next clomid cycles? We should definitely have one before our IUIs right?
  2. Why aren’t my PCOS symptoms going away? Is this like an extreme Amazon woman version of PCOS? I’ve been on Metformin over four months and still have the gross facial hair and the terrible acne, still no normal cycles, etc.
  3. Does Metformin really prevent miscarriage?
  4. Speaking of, on a scale of 1-10 I am 230 freaked out about miscarriage. Please say something to calm me down.
  5. Can you please diagnose me with that HSDD thing or whatever it is when sex is the last thing in the world you want to do?
  6. Should I be concerned about endometriosis? I don’t have any symptoms but I’ve heard it often goes hand in hand with PCOS.
  7. Should I have a hysterosalpingogram? I have no idea if I’ve spelled that correctly.

This list is a work in progress.

Nurse Useless

Next Wednesday I have an appointment with a new OBGYN. I have a few good recommendations for her, and she is the only OBGYN in town who has infertility services and the letters PCOS on her website. Whoo hoo!

Because I am just hateful and spiteful like this, I decided to make a list of the reasons I don’t trust Nurse Useless, at my current doctor’s office. Disclaimer: I love my doctor, even followed her to her current practice when she left her former practice. Unfortunately, I don’t get much time with her, and am forced to deal with Nurse Useless, who does things like this:
  1. Last December I called to announce “I’m going off the pill! Wish me luck! We’re about to get pregnant folks!” I asked her what to expect and she said it may take 3 months to regain a regular cycle (ha, ya think?) She never mentioned prenatal vitamins, she never checked to see if I knew how to time ovulation, she never mentioned to limit caffeine or check out any other medications I might be on. I know I am responsible for a lot of that too, but you’d think it would cross her mind to mention it.
  2. Some time in January (I think), when I was way late on my expected period, I called to see what she thought. She told me, and I quote, “Call back in April”. Well, that’s encouraging. Your bedside manner is top notch. Not to mention, December + three months does not equal April.
  3. In March (I cheated), I called back, she prescribed me Provera. Okay, I guess she didn’t mess much up that time.
  4. On CD45 or some shit, I called back and poured my heart out. “I’m TTC and I took Provera to start a period and I had one but it’s been a long time since that period and I had a positive ovulation test but now I’m thinking maybe it was a false positive, and I’m starting to get nervous that it’s been like four months since I went off BCP and my cycle is all effed up. What do you think?” And her response was “What pharmacy do you use?” WTF? So I asked “What are you prescribing me?” And she said Provera. Hello! I don’t want any Provera. So I tentatively said “I have a lot more questions and I don’t know--” at which point she cut me off and told me that maybe I should come in and talk to the doctor. Ya think??
  5. At said doctor’s appointment, I was tentatively diagnosed with PCOS, given Provera to start a cycle, and told to report for Day 3 bloodwork for the official diagnosis. CD1 was on a Friday, which meant the blood draw had to be on Sunday. On Friday morning when I called to make the appointment, she told me to fast for 8 hours for my blood glucose test (only when prompted – I had to ask about fasting). That afternoon I consulted Dr. Google, who told me the fast was 12 hours. I called the hospital where the lab was ordered and yes, indeedy I needed to fast for 12 hours. That four hours made a huge difference when you consider I went to have bloodwork done on Sunday morning and was at a bachelorette party that Saturday night.
  6. The following Thursday, she called at 4:27 (three minutes before the office closed) to give me the results of my bloodwork. She left me a voicemail saying “Your bloodwork is normal, call me if you have any questions.” Say what? We don’t want the bloodwork to be normal, we want to see that I have PCOS so we can diagnose me. I called back but the phones were off. It was Thursday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend, the office was only open from 8-12 the next day, and during those hours I would be on an airplane on my way to California. I was not about to spend the next four days in a state of panic about the cryptic voicemail she left. So I called my doctor on call, who called the nurse, who said that oh, whoops, actually we were still waiting on some of the labs. NICE. Useless, I tell you.
  7. When I started on the Metformin I felt like crap for a month. About halfway through I called to see what I could do to ease the side effects. She told me to reduce my carb intake. I said “Hm, that’s funny, my pharmacist told me to increase my carb intake, is that not right?” At which point she said “hang on”, put me on hold, and then came back and said “yes, increase your carb intake.” (it’s all the same thing, really, right?)
  8. When I had been on Metformin for 10 weeks, I called to verify that I knew what the plan was (Provera, clomid, ultrasound, etc). She told me we could get started on the Provera early. I was all like YAY OMGZ LOLZ !!!one!! And then I said “Hang on, even though my last Provera-induced period was only two weeks ago and I’ve only been on Metformin 10 weeks instead of the required 12. And she’s all like Yes, I will call your Provera in to the pharmacy. And then later called back and acted all shocked about when my last period started and said I couldn’t take the Provera for two more weeks. Shocker.
  9. Even with all the confirming and verifying I did, she neglected to mention that there might be a shot involved at the ultrasound, if everything went well. I think that she didn’t ever know that would be the case.

And that brings us to the present, and explains a little bit about how excited I am to potentially switch to another office.  

decoding the symptoms

Last night my nipples were so sore that it hurt to lie down on my stomach in bed. Today I have some serious clear/white discharge going on *down there*. I also have painful rumblings in my abdomen which could either be menstrual cramps or just more of the same uncomfortable constipation I’ve had since Saturday (skipped class last night and still never went you-know-what, darnit).

So I sent A a super romantic email today:

I feel like there might be a miniscule chance I’m ovulating. We should go up stairs tonight just in case. Sound like a plan? : )

I know, I know - men and women all over the world are swooning at my seductive skills. Don’t you wish your girlfriend was infertile like me?

Today is CD24, which would mean a pretty late ovulation if that’s what this is. It could also be PMS (don’t forget on Sunday I had some serious hormones going on, including THE RAGE). If it’s PMS I’m going to take that as a good sign. If I actually have a non-Provera-induced-period, I’d have to think that’s a step forward.

I remember about a week before we were scheduled to start Provera for this cycle, I had similar symptoms. Sore nips and vague could-be-cramp feelings. I didn’t write it down, but now I’m guessing that was around September 9, maybe? And then I was surprised that my period came on Day 5 of Provera, which would have been 10 days after the symptoms. Is it possible these are ovulation signs? Or is that just being too hopeful?

I have some leftover OPKs at home and in a fit of optimism I took one on CD 13 or 14. It was negative, although the line was *almost* as dark as the control. The next day I took another one and there were two lines; however, I had thrown out the box this brand came in and didn’t know which window was the control…haha! I’m a pretty terrible infertile.

I had to stop by the drugstore over my lunch break (and by had to, I mean I needed candy), and I debated all the way there about whether or not I should buy some more OPKs. I decided not to. There’s a risk of a false positive due to the PCOS anyway, so no use getting my hopes up. Plus, if I am ovulating now, I should have taken the test on Sunday or Monday.

I did break down and buy some HPTs. Sigh. What a terrible weakening of willpower that was. These odd symptoms aside, this Saturday is CD28, which would be a great time to test if indeed this had been a normal 28 day cycle. (Oh! That’s funny!) So I thought maybe I should have some HPTs at home – plus, I’m supposed to call the doctor next Friday (CD 34) with the results of a HPT, so I’ll definitely need one then. If it’s positive (I’m crying, I’m laughing so hard!) then I’ll get prenatals and such, if it’s negative, I’ll get more Provera and get to start this clomid business over again with 100 mg.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The one where lemon bars ruin my marriage

Today is Monday and it's the day I should be at yoga class. But I'm not.

I have gone to this yoga class every Monday since February and the only time I missed was for our anniversary. I made sure I told my teacher multiple times in advance that I would miss, because I didn't want to be a yoga slacker. Also because I adore my teacher and she's the sweetest thing ever.

But I spent all weekend with (literally) crippling constipation that has gotten a bit better but still has me alternately clutching my abdomen/weeping and running to the bathroom thinking I'm about to have explosive diarrhea (which I did on Friday, at Meijer. yay).

So today at work the idea of spending the evening at home being lazy and extremely close to a private bathroom at all times just seemed too delicious to pass up.

I blame my Metformin for the intestinal distress. For as long as I have been on it, I've swung back and forth between constipation and diarrhea. However, the constipation I suffered on Saturday was in a whole league of its own. I felt like there was a baseball in my gut and I could hardly bend at the waist.

So, Infertility: 1, my colon: 2

There has been another thing going on, and I'm wondering if I can blame on infertility and get away with it. And that is...RAGE. Pure rage of the kind you feel when you're a teenager and your parents exist. The kind of rage that you feel when your husband dares to touch you at the grocery store. RAGE.

While I am not currently taking clomid or BCP or any sort of hormones other than whateverthehellisinthe Metformin, I blame it on the whole infertility thing.

The conversations go a little like this:

A: What's wrong, sugar?
A: Are you going to be okay?
Lulu: Yes, it's just that I can't cut my lemon bars and it's so devastating I might never recover. AH!
A: Can I do anything to help?

And on and on.

Can you blame a girl? My cousin just announced her pregnancy on facebook with a darling little video and I have really painful shit in my intestines.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

open letter to the universe

Dear Universe,

I promise I deserve a baby more than my facebook friend, who just had a beautiful little boy and named him...



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Silly Catholics

I was raised Catholic, but the Catholic faith has never resonated with me. I have never felt comfortable praying or with organized religion in general, and while I believe in some sort of higher power, I don’t believe in the archaic rules prescribed by the Catholic faith.

Two examples:
1. From USCCB: IUI (intrauterine insemination) of "licitly obtained" (normal intercourse) but technologically prepared semen sample.

The sperm are collected from a perforated condom after normal intercourse, washed, and then injected into the uterine cavity, bypassing the cervix to avoid "hostile" mucus. Cervical mucus hostility is an immunological reaction brought about by several known, and some unknown factors. A postcoital test would find no living sperm in mucus during the fertile phase. Other treatments for cervical mucus hostility include abstinence for two years to allow the antibodies to diminish or disappear, or the use of condoms (not acceptable for Catholics). Various treatments with steroids have been tried without much success.

The logistics of this boggle my mind. IUI is okay, but only if the guy doesn’t masturbate to provide his sperm sample, because masturbation is a sin. So you have to collect the sperm by having sex while wearing a condom, but because Catholics condemn birth control, the infertile couple has to make sure they’re not blocking conception by perforating the condom.  

2. From The Catholic Insight: In IVF, a fertilizable ovum is removed from a woman's ovary and put in a petri dish (the Latin for dish is vitrum) to which a few concentrated drops of sperm are added. On the third or fourth day the fertilized ovum is put in the woman's womb. Only a small percentage of fertilized ova result in a child being born. The other children are lost or killed. 

The instances of infertility can be increased by previous venereal disease, late childbearing, the previous use of intra-uterine devices, irreversible tubal ligation, and previous abortion, for all of which a woman might be responsible. IVF also is expensive. 

No person and no couple has a right to a child. A child is a person with rights; it is not merely an object, a possession. A doctor treats disease; he should not do what is over and above the goal of health. He is allowed to treat a woman for a condition causing infertility, but not to "manufacture" her child. And medical treatment of the woman is often more successful than IVF in overcoming infertility.

Other considerations are that (1) in IVF, imperfect sperm are not screened out as they are in natural conception, (2) imperfect or supernumerary foetuses are often killed, (3) more children are born prematurely, with problems resulting from this; (4) medical problems for a woman can occur in IVF more than in natural pregnancy; and (5) the whole process is a degradation of parenthood, which should begin with an intimate and profoundly personal expression of love. 

Sometimes the ova that are put in the petri dish come not from a man's wife but from another woman, or the sperm fertilizing his wife's ova come from another man. This can easily result in psychological and legal problems, and certainly results in a moral one. 

Questons: What is the status of this teaching?
Answer: . For the reasons given, the Church considers IVF to be mortally sinful. Indeed, one of these reasons is sufficient of itself to outlaw the practice: the degrading of the two-in-one-flesh unity of parents by deflating the importance of the flesh as a vehicle of love in the formation of new life. 

My problems with this way of thinking (and there are many) include the following:
1)      Saying that infertility can often be caused by previous STD or abortion, and blatantly putting the blame for infertility on the woman, is irresponsible, dishonest, hurtful, and just plain factually inaccurate.
2)      medical treatment of the woman is often more successful than IVF in overcoming infertility” Really? I’d like to hear more about that, because it’s not like women are just dying to do IVF. It’s almost always a last resort when all other treatments have failed.
3)       Is it true that imperfect sperm are screened out in natural conception?
4)      “the whole process is a degradation of parenthood, which should begin with an intimate and profoundly personal expression of love.” NICE. What about parenthood that begins with rape? That child is somehow less worthy because it wasn’t conceived in a profoundly personal expression of love?

Silly Catholics. All your rules are written by men, anyway.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Disappointment playlist by Lulu

1. Throw it all Away - Brandi Carlile
2. Tell Me There's a Reason - Girlyman
3. Devotion - Indigo Girls
4. Downpour - Brandi Carlile
5. The Story - Brandi Carlile
6. Yellow - Coldplay
7. Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve (high school, anyone?)
8. Poker Face (Glee Cast Version) - Glee Cast (only if you're a lame Gleek like me -- I don't think the Lady Gaga version will do the trick)
9. Let Me Go Easy - Indigo Girls
10. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season) - The Byrds
11. Ob La Di, Ob La Da - The Beatles
12. Breathless - Taylor Swift (shut up)
13. Become You - Indigo Girls
14. Let it Be - The Beatles
15. Over The Rainbow (Glee Cast Version)

This is the CD I made on Wednesday after the disappointing ultra sound. It has a couple of other songs on there, but they don't really fit. It starts out nice and slow and depressing (so you can get in a good cry) and by the end you're feeling like life is okay, after all.

Happy listening!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

out of the closet

This weekend I outed myself to my family through email. I'm glad I did it but I'm feeling a bit emotionally depleted from the whole thing.

Not to mention...they all think I am better friends with God than I am.