Thursday, December 28, 2006

TTC update

Nothing exciting or new on the TTC front, except yet another cycle. Ho hum. I'm on cd 13, which for me means about another 5 days before I ovulate. A few little twinges and whatnot, but nothing spectacular.

I'm in my second cycle of taking femara for improved ovulation, but I don't think it's doing diddly-squat other than making me produce gigantor follicles. My ovulation date hasn't moved up any (still around cd18) which is what Dr. McHottie was hoping it would do for me. And since I'm not triggering, the chances of me getting multiple mature eggs (=more chances) is very slim. I really don't think the femara is doing much for me, except perhaps confusing my insurance company and making them think I have breast cancer.

That reminds me of something kinda funny. Since I'm on metformin for my PCOS, and met. is typically prescribed as a diabetes treatment, some computer at my health insurance company has decided that I have diabetes. I keep getting little pamphlets and emails about diabetes health. The disturbing part is how much they talk about foot rot and infection. I mean, I don't have diabetes, but even if I did I think I'd get tired of people constantly telling me to check my feet.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Days of Yore II

Something happened last night, something that was far deeper than remembering old days. I was chatting with an old friend, a fabulous man, when he paused for a moment and got a very serious look on his face. He asked me, “Are you doing okay these days?”

You get asked that all the time. “How are you?” “You doing okay?” “How’s tricks?” Okay, so you might not get asked “How’s tricks?” unless you’re from 1930, but you get my point. The thing is, though, you know it’s just a polite inquiry, and that the person doesn’t expect anything more than the polite answer of, “I’m fine, how are you?”

But I could tell that The Fabulous One was truly asking me how I was, if life was treating me okay. He really wanted to know what was up with me. And after a moment’s pause, I smiled and told him that yeah, I was doing okay.

The damndest thing is that I wasn’t lying. In that split second, I realized that I really am okay. I’m not wealthy, but I have a job and a roof over my head. I have family and friends who love me and are beloved in return. If I’ve ever gone to bed hungry, it’s only because I was too tired to go into the kitchen and fix something to eat. I don’t have a child of my body, but I have a little girl who is the child of my heart. I have the comfort of spirituality, without it being a crutch.

It was an amazing revelation. So often I concentrate on all the things I don’t have, the things that are going wrong, and the disappointments, that I forget how truly blessed I am in this life. I’m not a Bible-thumping missionary or anything (see previous post, filled with club-going and massive drinking), but I do believe in something greater than I, and that there are messages and clues for us if we just pay attention.

I haven’t been paying attention, but I’m working on it.

Days of Yore

Last night I took a walk down memory lane. I finally went out to collect my birthday drink, even though I’m 4.5 months late. I went out to one of my favorite bars to hear a DJ friend spin, and it was fantastic.

I was reminded of my younger days, when I was a club/raver girl. Just about everyone I knew and associated with was in the same clique, and we had a social schedule to rival that of an 1800’s ton matriarch’s. But one of the best parts of it for me was the music. I was crazy about house, and even though I’m out of touch with what’s out now, I still love it.

After a small family gathering, which included the imbibing of margaritas and apple martinis, I decided to actually go out. So, I traipsed off to Midtown, where, on a Saturday night at 11:30 pm, I was lucky enough to find a parking space only about 20 yards from the bar. Huzzah!

And then I walked into a den of prancing Nancies. Man, I love gay men. There’s nothing like breathing air scented with Polo and Kenneth Cole, and hearing giggles that are higher pitched than my own. I really miss being a Hag. Anyway, this bar used to be filled with aging ex-club-goers like myself; now, it seems like it’s mostly a haven for the wonderfully fabulous.

By the way, apparently the extremely streamlined, 50’s style skinny-legged pants are still in fashion with the light in the loafers set. Who knew?

Anyway, I went up to the bar and order a whiskey on the rocks. I think I shocked the bartender, since most of the drinks I saw around were either beers or pastel-colored fruity drinks. What can I say, I like whiskey. Well, I really like Irish & Scotch whiskey, but Jack will do in a pinch.

So after I said hello to a couple of old friends, I found a seat and sat back to chill and enjoy the music. I gotta hand it to Jay: he was on fire last night. My head was in a constant state of the “club bob”, and my shoulders were rocking like I was having a seizure. The club bob, by the way, is something that you generally only see in ravers or club kids. See, when metal-heads are rocking out, their head bob action is an up-and-down vertical motion, where the chin is going down on the downbeat, on 1. The club bob, though, is more of a horizontal motion, where the head moves forward and back, with the head going back on the downbeat, on 1. Almost as if the bass is so strong and overpowering, that your head is retreating in reverence every time it drops. Anyway, even now, years after my clubbing days, I can identify old club kids at shows and concerts, just by the way their head bobs. Although this isn’t 100% accurate, as I have noticed that rappers are doing this, too, while they drink Hennessey & Cristal, and talk about women being bitches & hos. But we were doing it over 10 years ago, so it’s ours. Nyah nyah.

I got seriously sidetracked… so I’m sitting there enjoying myself, and the DJ plays some old tracks for me. Let me tell you, there is nothing like having a custom set played for your enjoyment! I heard tracks I haven’t heard in 9+ years. And even better, he did a “retrospective”, playing some of the best tracks from the past year, since I haven’t been out in a coon’s age. I felt like a junior reporter, running up to the booth every 10 minutes to peer over his shoulder to find out the name of a song I really liked. My favorites of the night were “Days Like This” by Shaun Escoffery (Spinna & Ticklah remix) and “A Pain That I’m Used To” by Depeche Mode.

So it was a good night. I started out with margaritas & apple martinis and wrapping presents, and ended up with whiskey & shots and house music. Joy to the world, indeed.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hallowchristgiving, my favorite holiday

I have a goodly number of friends, and count myself blessed to have them. However, there is a small group of them that I consider family, people that I am closer to than my blood relations. Of that small family group, there is an even tinier sub-group (I suppose they're Family with a capital "F") with whom I love to spend time whenever possible. A few years ago, we all got together for a Christmas celebration.

So, the Tennessee contingent of the Family journeyed off to Georgia to be with the others for an extended weekend. We played and laughed and, well, had an all-around good time. We decided that Sunday would be our "Christmas Day"-- it was actually about a week before Christmas-- so that Saturday night was our "Christmas Eve". We had to have a grand feast, right? Of course we did! But we didn't go the traditional route of turkey and dressing, oh no!

We had a boil. We took a bunch of big ole pots, filled them with water, boil seasoning, and an entire can of cayenne pepper, then tossed in crab legs, shrimp, sausages, potatoes, onions, and corn on the cob. Since it was going to be a messy dinner, we covered the dining room table with newspapers, and used paper plates and napkins. And that's where Hallowchristgiving started.

You see, we'd been talking about how since we'd only been together once during our favorite autumn/winter holidays-- Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas-- that we were celebrating them all at once. Add in that it was (our) Christmas eve, we were having a grand feast like you do on Thanksgiving, and that we were eating off of the coolest Halloween plates, and it somehow became Hallowchristgiving.

We all enjoyed it so much that we decided that it would be an annual event, and our new tradition. We generally get together about a week or two before Christmas, and re-create the grand boil feast (forever more known as "The Beast Feast and Sea Creature Feature"), and eat until we're about to explode. Then later in the evening, once we can move again, we get to open our presents. Checking our stockings happens the next morning, because of course, Santa won't come until we go to sleep! ;-)

This past weekend was our 4th Hallowchristgiving celebration. Despite my own personal angst, I had a wonderful time being with my Family. It just seems to get better and better, and I can't wait until next year.

One last note for my TTC friends: it's always so freakin' funny to me when the Family is emailing each other about Hallowchristgiving, because we abbreviate it HCG. Even though I know better, human chorionic gonadotropin always pops in my head for a second when I see those letters. :D

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm still around!

Okay, so I went on vacation last week, and only had computer access for a few minutes a day. So, no blogging for me! And while I would like to wax lyrical about the sights and experiences of my mini-holiday, I just don't feel like it right now. So, here are the highlights:

-Tuesday 12/12: arrive in Nashvegas. 14 dpo, no positive test. Nauseous.

-Wednesday: do the touristy/Christmas/I'm just so freakin' glad to be away from home & work thing. 15 dpo, no positive test. Go to see the Rockettes (fantastic!), start having the most evil cramps I've ever had in my life.

-Thursday: more touristy stuff. 16 dpo, no positive test, no spotting or bleeding. Nauseous.

-Friday: Feeling like shit, skip company Christmas party because of nausea & extreme cramps. Head home. 17 dpo, still no spotting or bleeding, still a negative hpt. Go home. Late at night, around 11pm, start spotting. Despite the lack of a positive hpt, lose my shit completely. Hope is insidious, and I'd let myself start to hope.

-Saturday: By noon, the Red Sea is flowing. Almost a freakin' 18 day LP!!! That just ain't right. Spend most of the early afternoon crying, but have to pull it together because friends are in town to celebrate Christmas. Whoohoo. Yeah, I was SO in the holiday mood. Not. But my friend-family turned out to be the best medicine for me, as they really lifted my spirits.

So, anyway, that's the quickie version of the last week for me. I went in to see my doc Monday, to make sure everything was as it should be. And you want to know the damndest thing? All that physical and emotional drama, and it was just the drugs extending my LP. No dead baby, no cyst; just an over-productive corpus luteum. Remember that giant follicle I mentioned? Well, it turned into the mutha of all progesterone pumping fools!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

There's no such thing as TMI in TTC

((I wrote this 2 days ago, but it didn't appear on my blog for some reason.))

Being the gently reared Southern blossom that I am, I can appreciate women who are more genteel and reserved. Women who find discussions of intimate details a little embarrassing, and who would rather be lynched by a horde of angry slaves than to say the word "cock".

The problem is this: there is another side to women. It is the practical and down-to-earth part of femininity, and is the side that is usually mistaken as being bitchy or crass. But here's the thing: they are just flip sides of the same coin.

I, like a lot of people, am a whiz at being a social chameleon. I quickly size up the situation, and decide what's appropriate for my surroundings. I might burp, fart, and use dreadful obscenities while hangin' wit my peeps. And when at a church social, that same potty mouth wouldn't dare say anything stronger than "darn". I don't see it as being fake or a poser; it's doing what's right for where you are, and a part of that Southern thing: you make people comfortable-- and thus also yourself-- by behaving in a way that is hospitable. Whether that's serving iced tea to an unexpected visitor and asking, "How's yer mama 'n them?", or shooting a Car Bomb and agreeing that, "Yeah, that blonde DOES have a great ass," it's all the same thing.

Anyway, something that's a peeve of mine is the prissy women on the Site That Shall Not Be Named. I mean, we're all in the TTC game, but they're worried about posting something "TMI"?!? I don't think there's a thing as Too Much Information when it comes to anything pertaining to sex, menstruation, pregnancy, and giving birth. There's a time for discretion and daintiness, but this ain't it.

Sex is hot, sweaty, and animalistic. Not to mention a little silly, really, but I've talked about that before. As women, we menstruate, and have blood and clumps of tissue oozing out of us on a (if we're lucky) regular basis, often accompanied by cramps and diarrhea. If we get pregnant, there's PCs (or pussy cramps, which is what my best friend called them while pregnant), nausea & vomiting, constantly oozing cervical mucous, and hemorrhoids.

Giving birth kinda pulls together all of the above, but kicks it up to the Nth degree. There's pain, screaming, moaning, blood, and shit, and at the end of it all there's a new person adding their screams into the mix.

How can ANYTHING connected to these processes be considered TMI? Have we become so "civilized" that we can't talk frankly with other women about our bodily functions? Other women who, by the way, are in the same position and going through the same things?

I want the Red Tent back.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Evil Mr. Spacely Strikes Again

Today had to be one of the most craptastic days I've had in a while. And yeah, maybe that will seem a bit self-centered once you read what happened, but hey: my blog, my feelings.

My Uber-Boss (my boss' boss, from out of town) came in town today and fired my boss. Just like that, boom, it was done. To say that I was shocked would be an extreme understatement. My boss has had excellent evaluations, is great at his job, and wasn't embezzling or anything like that. I'm not stupid: this was a case of Uber-Boss covering his ass, since he hasn't been doing his job. So of course, since there's some trouble at work, someone had to take the fall. And you can bet your candy-corn ass, it wasn't going to be Uber-Boss who got the chop.

Here's the deal: my boss wasn't just a boss; he is my friend. We have worked together for over 3 years now, and I can honestly say that with the resources he was given by our company, I think he did the absolute best job that he could. This is all so shitty that I honestly don't know if I'm going to be able to sleep well tonight.

And of course, there are the super fucked-up aspects of this. My boss' partner just had triple bypass surgery about two weeks ago. My boss is in the process of closing on a house... and is now suddenly unemployed. And let's not forget that it's only about two and half weeks until Christmas. Yeah, Happy Holidays.

I am so upset by this. I mean, even though I know it isn't the entire company doing this, I can't help but wonder how I feel about a company that would fire someone without warning 2 weeks before Christmas. Sure, I got about a million reassurances that my position was secure (pending a sale, of course), but how I can trust the word of Uber-Boss Spacely?
And for the 3 people who're wondering, I am now 7dpo. And even though I'm sure I'll take it back tomorrow, I almost hope I'm not pregnant. I just can't deal with anything right now.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I have a follicle THIIISSSSS big!

There are eggs growing in my ovaries, and I swear that they feel like they're this big. I'm just waiting to ovulate to get some relief from the damn things. When I think of women who're doing IVF, where the point is to have as many eggs/follicles growing as possible, I sweat & shudder, and tip my fedora to their bravery and determination. Not to mention, to their high threshold of pain.

I'm around cd 17, so if the ovulation stimulation part of this cycle is successful, the Big O should be happening any day now.

More jizz and Instead cups. Thank goodness for poor college students who need extra money to buy kegs and bongs!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Double (or more) Trouble?

So, it's a brand new cycle for me, and I'm doing something that has me slightly terrified: I'm taking an ovulation-stimulating drug.  My RE figures it'll increase my chances, and while I know he's right and I'm willing to take my chances, I can't deny that the increased chance of multiples scares the snot out of me.  And at the same time, a tiny part of me would be thrilled.  If that ain't sick, I don't know what is.
I mean, this is one of those things that's hard to talk about on The Site That Shall Not Be Named.  Everyone there is so desperately trying to conceive, that I feel like an ungrateful whore for thinking, "Man, I would be so freaked out if I got pregnant with twins (or more)."  I see so many younger women on there with all those annoying glittery names and a half-million blinkies (oh Gawd, I could go on for an hour about how much I hate that shit), and almost all of them are hoping that they have twins.  I just don't get it, especially the women who are trying for their first.  The adjustment to becoming a parent is hard enough, without trying to deal with two at a time.  Who honestly wishes for that?!?
Don't get me wrong; if I were to get pregnant with twins, I'd be scared but would love those children with every ounce of my being.  I'm just realistic enough to know that as a single parent, it'll be excruciatingly hard.  And to all the women who have had multiples, my hat goes off to you, because you are mommy-warriors of the Light.  You've been through the Valley, and now know that you're the baddest mutha' there.
I guess my fear is increased by the fact that I know that I'm already at higher risk for multiples, just naturally.  I'm black, overweight, and older, all of which carry an increased chance of multiples.  Ah well, I'll take whatever I can get.  Maybe if I have a whole bunch of them, I can get a gig in a circus or something.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Fish Sex

I started spotting this afternoon. So, this month's journey/suspense/angst is over, and a new one can start. Sometimes being a woman is really gross, you know?

Uh oh, I think I feel a stream of consciousness coming on...

Have you ever thought about how weird mammal sex is? I mean, there's a protruding tube of flesh on the male that fits into a channel of the woman's body. The flesh tube gets wiggled back and forth until it explodes and shoots out snotty gook full of wiggly tadpole thingies, that them swim around inside the female's body for several days.

Ewwwwww. Sometimes I think fish have a better design.

[Wanda Fish] "Okay, I'm just gonna squirt out about a kajillion eggs here on the seafloor."

[Marty Fish] "Hey, that's cool. Are you done yet?"

[WF] "Almost." (Insert fishy grunting noises here) "All right, I'm finished. Whew, that took a lot out of me! I think I'll eat a few of these eggs to recoup my strength."

[MF] "No!!! Wait! I gotta do my thing!"

(Insert squishy noise here. Or actually, would it squish, since it's already underwater? Yes, this is the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night.)

[WF] "Are you okay? Your face kinda looks like Goofy. Of course, being an aquatic creature who's never seen television, I don't know how I know what Goofy looks like, or even what a Goofy is, but somehow I instinctively know that you look like Goofy."

[MF] "Urk! Argh! Grrr! And other manly, I mean fishly, orgasmic noises!"

[WF] "Are you done yet?"

(Insert one last squish.)

[MF] "NOW I'm done. That took a lot out of me, squirting my stuff all over those eggs. Eww, it's everywhere! Oh jeez, it's getting in my gills! I'm breathing it! AHHHHHH!!!!"

[WF] "Just eat a few dozen of the eggs and you'll feel better. Don't worry; after we eat, there'll still be about a padrillion of them left."

Yeah. I get really silly sometimes. Oh, and for all the fish-oriented people out there, yes, I do know that some fish get busy. But I like my fish better.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I can't wait for kids to "ruin" my life!

Deep in my heart, I’d like to think that I still have the party-girl spirit that I had in my mid-20’s. However, the fact that I’m nearly 3 months late on going out to my once-favorite bar to collect on my promised birthday drinks, kinda clues me in that I don’t have the party-hardiness anymore.

But I don’t really miss it. I mean, I have waves of nostalgia that come over me, remembering nights of martinis and my favorite DJ boy-toys spinning; girls decked out to the Nth degree, and the boys all with their casual suaveness. It was fun, but I ain’t that girl anymore.

It’s always funny to me, when people try to “warn” me about having a baby, about how much I’ll have to “give up”.

[Them] You know you can’t go out clubbing on a random Tuesday night, right?

[Me] I haven’t done that in at least 7 years, but thanks for the heads up.

[Them] No, really, everything changes! You can’t hang out at the bar until 3am, then go over to the illegal after-hours juke joint and keep partying. You have to stay home ‘cause you have kids! And you can forget about going to the movies until they’re at least 4.

[Me] Wow, that sounds great, ‘cause I’m all about staying home these days. I go to the theater to see a movie maybe twice a year; I’m a DVD rental whore, myself. By the way, I’m so sorry that you resent your children, and think that they stole your youth. I, however, drained my fucking youth-cup to the dregs, enjoying every drop, and am now ready to grow up and have a family.

By the way, I’m somewhere around 7dpo. And I hate prenatal vitamins.

(Day after) Humpday Humpable: Shemar Moore

I swear I tried to post this yesterday. I promise. But for some arcane reason, I couldn't get the picture to upload. Then once I did, I couldn't publish the freakin' post.

So anyway, here's this week's eye-candy, Mr. Shemar Moore. I thought he was hot about a million years ago when he was on soap operas. Now, though, he's apparently on one of those gloom-and-doom cop/lawyer/murder-death-kill TV shows. He's still hot, of course, but I don't watch those shows.

I hate those cop shows with a passion. My mum loves them. But I think that's another post entirely; so, enjoy the sights!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fat (Pregnant) Women Need Clothes, Too!

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I am a "fluffy" woman.  I can pinch way more than an inch; I can grab hold with an open hand, and fill that sucker up.  And I've been fluffy ever since puberty hit, and there's no looking back.
The worst part was when I was younger, in the 80's and early 90's, when plus-sized clothing was a joke.  Sure, you could find clothing in larger sizes, but it all looked like something you'd find in your mom or grandmom's closet.  When you're zaftig and in your teens and early twenties, you want to be fashionable, too!  But the choices seemed to be limited to boxy suits, caftans, big shirts, and leggings.  Not to mention, all of the above were in oh-so-attractive (NOT) loud colors with giant floral patterns gayly splashed on them.  Apparently fat women like flowers.  Who knew?
(I won't even go into the swimsuit options.  Here's a clue, though: giant ruffled skirts that supposedly hide your massive thighs, in bright fuschia, with huge yellow cabbage roses all over.  Yeah, that's discreet.)
Then finally, someone got smart and realized that Big, Beautiful Women like pretty, fashionable clothes, and are willing to spend the same ridiculously-high amounts of money on them that the skinny-minnies do.  And we finally got clothing that didn't look like something that Lucy might have worn while planning her next escapade to get into Ricky's show.
But I still worried about one thing: what if I get pregnant?  Will I have to resort to muumuus?  Will the big shirt and leggings have a comeback?  Wait, were they ever actually IN?!?
Then I got the best email ever yesterday: L*ne Bry*nt, a wonderful clothing store for us fluffies, is starting a maternity line in November.  I am so freakin' stoked, and I'm not even knocked up yet!  At least I know that if I'm ever preggos, I can find actual maternity clothes instead of resorting to just buying a larger size.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I Had My Cherry Popped

Yes, you read correctly: I am no longer a virgin.  In the last 24 hours, I have lost several of my virginal states.
I have a weird body that refuses to follow the rule of, "a positive opk indicates that one will ovulate within 24-48 hours."  Oh, no; for me, it's more like anywhere from 12-24 hours later, which makes timing inseminations a very risky business.  Well, I got a positive opk yesterday morning, and insemmed early last night.  For the first time, I have had an anonymous stranger's joy-juice floating around in my va-jay-jay.
After the giggly time of laying down with my hips propped slightly for the recommended 20-30 minutes, I decided to double my pleasure, double my fun, by using an Instead cup.  I figured, couldn't hurt, might help, so I opened the package, and stupidly decided to use the thing for the first time EVER.  Did I mention that I was still lying down?  So there I was, hips propped up, and sticking this cervical cup up my hoo-hah.  I am far more familiar with my genitalia that the average person.  Go me.  It actually went in easily, and I was very proud that I'd gotten it in without any trouble.  Another first accomplished!  Of course, getting it out was another thing altogether.
Four hours later, I decided to take the Instead cup out.  Those people should be flayed with a cat o'nine for implying that it was easy to take it out.  I tried every finger on my hand, laying down, sitting up, squatting, everything, and the damned thing wouldn't come out.  I could feel it just fine, but it wasn't budging.  Fifteen minutes later, I was convinced that I was going to have a very embarrassing visit at my doctor's office.
"Yes, I've shoved something up my vagina, and I can't get it out.  No, no, it's not a gerbil or anything; just a cervical cup.  Why?  Oh, just for fun, I guess.  The batteries ran out on my Silver Bullet, and I decided to try something new."
Anyway, I finally remembered a sentence that was waaaay in the middle of a big paragraph on the Instead cup instructions.  I would like to say here, in this public forum, that this should be in bold print, underlined, and in a separate paragraph all of its own.  If you bear down (like you're having the biggest shit of your life, or perhaps giving birth-- not like I'd know what that was like!), it'll kinda push the cup forward where you can snag it easily and pull it out.  Once I figured that out, it was easy sailing.
So now I'm just enduring the nail-biting wait to see if I actually ovulated or not.  And then it'll be the TWW.  And then... Well, you guys all know the drill.
And for the 2.3 people (how do you have a fraction of a person, I wonder?) who've asked me about the friend/known donor situation, well, I have my doubts that it'll happen.  I love the guy to death, but procrastination is his middle name.  And since he has to find out the answers to some legal questions--which of course will take him 1,059 years (see "procrastination" above)-- I moved on to anonymous donor sperm for this cycle.  I'm not getting any younger, and I didn't really want to miss out on a conception opportunity.  It's possible that he/I/we will manage to get things worked out in time for my next cycle, but I'll just have to see.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fertility report

I'm still staring at negative opks and waiting to ovulate.  I swear, I'm starting to hate those damned things.  That second line just won't get dark, no matter how long I stare at it.
Side note: I'm actually enjoying watching the "Lawrence Welk" show.  Man, I must still be buzzed from last night.
Side-Side note: Sharp knives, pumpkins, possums, and alcohol can be a dangerous combination.  Or a really great party.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Being 15 all over again

It's really kind of weird for me to be feeling like I did when I was 14, 15 years old.  If anyone else was like me, you always had the feeling in high school that you weren't quite cool enough to hang out with the popular kids.  Maybe you were poor and couldn't afford the "in" clothes, or perhaps you were too chubby to be accepted by the cheerleaders.  Maybe it was your unstylish car, or that your parents were religious freaks who kept you locked up at night.  For whatever reason, I know that there were a lot more of us misfits than there were of the "cool" kids.
Here I am in my 30s, and supposedly a fairly put-together kind of gal.  I thought I was beyond feeling the hurt and insecurity that can come with nonacceptance, but I was wrong.  No matter how old you are, someone can say or do something that wounds.
For me, it was discovering that people I considered friends... well, don't really like me.  It was a staggering realization.  I mean, even though these are Internet friends, and not the in-person friends who know me inside and out, it still hurts.  And I really feel stupid-- just like I did when I was 15-- for caring what people think of me.
I guess it's really that, I DON'T care what everyone thinks of me.  But I do care what my friends think, since they are the ones with whom I share my life.  And to find out that people that I considered friends don't actually give a flip, well, there's a ball of anger and hurt roiling in my belly.  But that's okay; I'll do what I always do:
"No, no, dear; we don't talk about those kinds of things; it's just not done.  You keep smiling, then talk about how heavy her biscuits were when you get home."
You just gotta love old-fashioned Southern repression.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

HH: Ewan part 2

You know what? I have absolutely no snappy patter for this Humpday Humpable special second edition. This was just begging to be seen, so I obliged!

Humpday Humpable: Ewan McGregor

This week's (belated) Humpday Humpable is a shameless shout-out to my best gal-pal, who just happens to have a thing for Ewan McGregor. So, C, this one is for you!

I have to say, she has mighty fine taste. This is an excellent specimen for exploitation, er, a nice looking bloke. Welcome, Ewan, to the growing ranks of Humpday Humpables!

I must admit, I can think of worse ways to waste time at work, than finding hunky guys on the internet!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bad dreamtime(s)

I had the most horrible dream last night. I dreamt that a ultra-secret government agency (you know, the kind that don't officially exist) drugged and kidnapped me, and removed my fallopian tubes and ovaries. Apparently there was a fear that if I ever reproduced, my child would be some kind of universal super-being. A bit of a mix of the Kwisatz Haderach and Superman, or some such. It seems that it was too much of a risk for the government to allow, that I might produce this uber-kind, and s/he wouldn't be under their control.

I woke up from my drug-induced coma to find myself in pain, and with surgical incisions along my abdomin. After two days of uncontrollable weeping, I turned into an icy automaton, and announced that "They" had taken my life, my future, and ended my bloodline, and that I was dead inside. Then, I started a bloody killing-spree, tracking down the ones who'd hurt me. Throughout the vengeance-stalk, I was completely emotionless. It was just something that needed to be done. Or, as we sometimes say in the South, "He just needed killin'."

I've been having a lot of weird violent dreams lately, and most of them have dealt with issues of vengeance, getting back at someone who's wronged me. Now, I don't mind the justice issues, but I can't help but wonder if it always has to be so Technicolor Crimson. And I would really prefer not to have sympathy twinges from my girly bits today, as if they're reminding me that they're still there.

Ehhhh, maybe I need to start drinking more.

Friday, October 13, 2006

HSG Results In!

I had my HSG* Monday afternoon.  I just to say that everyone was wrong: the nurse, the doctor, the lab tech, the radiologist.  All wrong.  They all told me that it would be worse than the sonohystogram.  Hah!  Compared to the agony I went through with the sono., the HSG was a cakewalk.  The sono. was pain level 8, while the HSG barely registered at a 3 or 4.  Of course, the best thing about both of them is that they're brief.
The hospital made a copy of the films for me to take to my doctor, and I didn't know until they handed them to me that the world had gotten all fancy and high-tech.  The pictures were burned onto a CD-ROM, which, of course, I have been staring at for days now.  I took the pics in to my follow up appointment this afternoon, feeling all kinds of happy.
You see, the sono. indicated that both tubes were blocked.  But Ye Olde Hysterosalpingogram clearly showed my right tube open, although the left one is partially blocked.  Hey, I'll take one open tube over NO open tubes any day!
Of course, there was no way I could stay happy and high on having an open tube, oh no.  After checking out the images of my girly bits, Dr. McHottie suspects I may have adhesions.  Although the dye was flowing wild and free from my right tube, there is a distinct shape far to the side of the dye, hinting that there's something in there that isn't supposed to be there, a possible Jello-Mold of pelvic adhesions.
So, from high to low, all in one short office visit.  Of course, the only way to know for sure is to go for laparoscopy; I'm not sure I want to do that, though.  Dr. McHottie is fine with me trying for a few months first, so I think I'll go that route.  It's possible that a) I don't have adhesions, or b) I do have adhesions, but they won't interfere with egg transport and delivery.  I guess the only thing to do now is try, wait, and pray.
*HSG explanation: Shel, this is for you. :D  An HSG is a radiology procedure where they inject dye into your uterus, and take x-ray pictures.  The purpose is twofold.  One, to check the shape and structure of the uterus, making sure it's okay.  Two, to see if the dye will fill the fallopian tubes, then spill from the ends into the abdominal cavity.  This shows whether or not the tubes are open, which is kinda important, since if they're blocked, sperm and egg cannot meet, and said egg cannot make it to the uterus... which means you can't get pregnant!
Oh!  Charlotte, you wanted to know about the baby batter situation.  I'm... working on it.  There are details to be worked out, and arrangements to solidify.  Of course, I'm getting antsy since next week is when there will be a party in my pants.  I'll post more when I know more!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Family Daze

That's right, I'm full of sweet chocolaty family goodness right now, and I hope it's enough to carry me through until Christmas!  Like so many people, I have Family Issues; that is, with my blood relatives.  With the exception of my mother, grandfather, and one or two cousins, it really wouldn't matter that much if the rest of my family disappeared from the face of the earth.
My friend-family, the family I've made for myself, is another thing entirely.  What a wonderful feeling, knowing you are loved and accepted just as you are (Great Bridget Jones' ghost!).  That there are people who know your flaws and faults, but love you for them, rather than despite them.  And I have spent the weekend with some of the most important of those people.  Ahhh, the sweet, sweet feeling, almost as good as chocolate.  And those are some strong words coming from me, believe me.
Anyway, I can't think of anything better to keep in mind as I get ready to head off for my HSG.  Happy thoughts and lots of love.  I'm trying, anyway, even though there's a strange ache in my belly that fears the worse.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Humpday Humpable: Jonathan Rhys Meyers

To continue my shameless Wednesday tradition of exploiting delicious men, this week's eye candy is Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Now, if you're anything like me, you were wondering who in the hell is JRM?!? So, here's a little backstory... on me, really, that just happens to do with JRM.

In early May 2005, I got the best present from God ever: my niece/Goddaughter was born. She was jaundiced, and soon developed colic. So, trying to help out her parents, I spent oodles of time at their house assisting as much as I could. In the first year or so of her life, also in solidarity with the parents, I watched very little television, rarely saw any new movies, and had no social life other than the wee one.

The last month or so, I've finally begun haunting video rental stores, trying to catch up on all the movies I wanted to see but missed. One of them was "Bend It Like Beckham". I thought that the coach in the movie was cute, in a boy-next-door kind of way: not drop dead, model gorgeous, but very cute. Of course, the Irish accent didn't hurt, either! Being far too lazy to strain my old eyes trying to read the credits at the end of the movie, I decided to look online to see who was the Irish cutie coach. And of course, it was JRM.

I freaked out a bit as I saw how many websites are devoted to this guy. Apparently, he's a "ranker" on the hottie lists. Who knew? I just thought he was worth a second look. Anyway, here’s where the story comes full circle (no, really, I promise). The first really great pic I found of him—where he doesn’t look anorexic or totally androgynous—is the one shown, him portraying the King, Elvis Aaron Presley.

Aside: Yeah, I’m an Elvis fan. I sometimes go to Candlelight Vigil during Death Week. Blow me.

Now, JRM is looking much better to me. I mean, any man who can give good face to the King like that just got several more brownie points in my notebook. So I wondered: how did I miss this? I didn’t even know anything about this Elvis movie!!! And then I found out that it aired on TV the same week that my niece was born, which is of course why I missed it.

Anyway, enjoy the eye candy. I’m going to watch Viva Las Vegas, eat a peanut butter and banana sandwich, and massage my scooties.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Extra lovin' for my oven

Okay, so what's going on? Is it "offer semen to Kim week" or something?!? Don't get me wrong; I love my friends, but I'm kinda freaking out by the outpouring of love and jizz that seems to be coming my way.

Man, there are so many 5th grade moments in the paragraph above, but I'm leaving it alone.

Another couple that I know has offered me their, uh, libations of love. I think I'm starting to leave happy land, and am headed straight for slightly freaked out land. I have no idea why I'm freaked out; I mean, it's an embarrassment of riches, so to speak. And again, the offer was made completely on their own; we weren't even talking about any remotely relating to my uterus.

[Me] "Hey, can I have some more salad?"

[Friend] "Sure. By the way, you want some semen?"

[Me] "Well, no, not on my salad. But thanks, anyway. So, do you often serve jizz salads?"

It didn't really happen like that, but the real event was just as surreal. Anyway, I don't even know if I'm open for business. I have my HSG scheduled next Monday, so I'll find out soon if my tubes are open or not.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I can't help being goofy

A person who shall remain nameless asked me why, if my blog was supposed to be all about my TTC experiences, that I have some really goofy stuff posted on my blog.  She thought that it took away from the "grittiness" and "realness" of the whole singleton-TTC thing.
There's a damned good reason for it: I am more than just my vagina and attached bits.  Yes, I started this blog/journal because of my TTC journey; and yes, I spend way too much time dwelling on my fallopian tubes.  But I can't let this 2.5 year trial by fire redefine my entire life, and completely change who I am.
Like everyone, I am more than just one thing, than just one quality.  I love romantic comedies and action flicks.  I like smirking and nodding knowingly when I see a guy with a great ass.  And yeah, a good book can send me over the edge, laughing like a madwoman all alone in my room.  Of course, I'm also a certified nerd, complete with comic books and video game addictions.  And I love my family, with mom being number 1 on the list.
And there's also the bad bits.  The laziness and fear of failure that sometimes makes me not even try new things; better not to try, than to fail, right?  The insecurity and self-image problems that make me think that people don't/won't remember me, that I don't make enough of an impact to be "worthy" of remembering.  The overwhelming arrogance that surfaces from time to time, convincing me that I know better than anyone else, and that you'd be a fool not to do everything my way, because of course, it is the best way.
So that's why I just go "off-topic" from time to time.  If all I did was dwell on the angst of TTC, and on all the unpleasant parts of me, I'd be a basket case.  Those bad bits are only a little bit of me, and this is my journal about ALL of me.  I like to think that I'm a pretty nice person, relatively interesting, and fun to be around.  So you should get to see something more than just my reports on my reproductive organs.

It's not my fault

Back when I first heard of web-logging/blogging, I thought, "Oh great; yet another way for frustrated writers to masturbate their egos on the internet, splashing their crap on the WWW canvas like wannabe Warhols." Okay, so it was a mixed metaphor, but you get my point. I stayed away from blogging like it was the plague. There was no way I would ever write about my personal feelings and life events, for anyone to read.

Then I "met" some great people online, on the Site That Shall Not Be Named, and noticed that several of them had blogs. Huh. Well, they seemed really cool and supportive, so I gave in and checked out their blogs. I was totally shocked and awed. And I was hooked. Next thing I knew, I was reading some of the blogs that they linked to. And then blogs from those blogs, and so on.

I found an incredible sense of community with all these couples and singletons. I wasn't alone; I wasn't the only one playing the Infertility Game [by Milton Bradley]. And while I don't wish my own misfortunes upon others, just knowing that there are other people who intimately know exactly what I'm going through.... it helps. A lot.

Next thing you know, I'm starting a blog of my own. For someone like me, it was one of the scariest things I've ever done in my life. I was getting naked in front of a bunch of strangers, showing them my scars and my flab, exposing the bits that are usually covered and safe from prying eyes. But I realized that it's a good kind of naked, really. The oddly-pasty bits of me that never get to see the sun, are getting a tan for the first time. And I'm realizing that ugly bits maybe aren't as ugly as I thought they were.

It's all so wonderfully cathartic. I never had the discipline to keep a journal, but for some reason I don't have a problem doing this. Go figure. But the funny thing is, when I first started, I was paranoid that I would be anonymous and unknown, that no one would ever read my blog. Then after the first week, I realized that it didn't matter. I'm not writing for anyone but myself; this is my own medicine. Don't get me wrong-- I'm happy when my friends read it, because then I don't have to verbalize everything that's in my head. There are often things that I can write about, but that I could never say out loud. But this is my blog, my journal, and my purge. And it's not my fault that my mental vomit is being sprayed out into the universe.

Cali, Tammy, and Sarah's fault, for being so great and getting me hooked. And I thank my lucky stars for them, because if I'd never read their blogs and consequently started my own, I'd probably be bonkers by now. Arigato gozaimasu.

And I have no idea why I went Japanese for a moment.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Meaning of Love

I had the most remarkable experience tonight.  I was reminded that I am not alone in the world, that I am loved, and that there are people who want me to be happy.  That sounds simple, but it was immensely profound.
You see, I've always preferred the idea of using a known donor, despite the possible legal ramifications.  I like the idea of knowing the person whose genetic code is half the make-up of my child, knowing their personality, knowing their personal history first hand.  And, I had a donor, but he has disqualified himself by going and dipping his cup in an unsanitary pond, and coming up with the ick.  That is, herpes.  And while I don't have anything against people suffering from that virus, I certainly didn't plan on using donor sperm from someone known to have herpes!
"Yes, doctor, I'd like you to use the same speculum you used on the previous patient."  Yeah, ewwww.  Same thing to me.
Anyway, my two best friends in the entire world, a married couple, completely surprised me tonight by offering hubby's semen to further my quest for motherhood.  I was completely taken by surprise.  They already have one child, and he has made it perfectly clear that he doesn't want anymore.  So that fact, plus that they are my best friends/siblings separated at birth/family, made me certain that this was never an option.  I was so mistaken.
Don't get me wrong; this isn't a desperation move.  Back when I was first starting this journey, he was honestly one of the first people I thought of.  But I thought that all the reasons stated above would make it an impossible situation, so I crossed him off the list right away.  I mean, we literally refer to one another as siblings, despite the obvious difference of our skin color, so I never thought he'd be amenable to the idea.
Tonight, though, without ANY prompting, hinting, or anything from me, the offer was made.  I cannot even begin to describe what an awe-inspiring moment it was, that this couple was willing to help me realize a dream, to create life and love.  That the offer was made out of pure love, with no ulterior motive or thought of gain.
Tonight, I was shown once again that the bonds of love and family, even if not by blood, are strong and real.  Every now and then, with my weird self-doubt and insecurities, I have to be reminded.  Even if, later down the road, it gets too weird and doesn't work out, I will never forget the selflessness they showed, and will cherish this night as a golden memory.  An autumn night, sitting on a patio, drinking pinot grigio and smoking too many cigarettes, and a perfect moment of perfect love.

Friday, September 29, 2006

My Jungian Type

After running into a mention on Demeter's blog about her Jungian type, I remember doing that in college, way back in the Stone Age. Yes, Jung was around even back then. So, off I trotted to waste some time at work, and take a million different versions of the typing tests.

Do you have any idea how incredibly hard it is to be honest about yourself, even when nobody is watching? I realized while taking the first test that I was giving the answers of the person I'd like to be, rather than who I really am, and reset the damned test and started over. And then took another. And another. And yet another. Each and every test I took gave the same result: INFJ [Intoverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging] type. So, what does this INFJ mean?

Well, there's a lot of information out there about the
INFJ personality type, but the thing that really gave me shivers was one sentence I read: "INFJs may fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless. The concept of 'poetic justice' is appealing to the INFJ."

Okay, so that was TWO sentences, shoot me. But here's why that kinda freaked me out. So, I feel like I'm telling you a dirty little secret, but I have "bedtime fantasies" that I run through my head, like a private movie, to help me go to sleep. Sometimes it's simple, like thinking of something happy that happened that day. Or maybe I'm imagining how great it would be to win the lottery, and how I'd spend all that cash. And of course, since I am a fully functioning adult, sometimes it's a fantasy of the va-va-va-voom! variety.

But one type that pops up, quite frequently, is of me somehow getting even with someone who's hurt a loved one. Whether it's through regular means (like sabotaging their career or wrecking their car), or through comic-book shenanigans (somehow becoming a ninja and kicking their ass, or having superpowers and hurling fireballs/lightning/cosmic rays at them), I always feel really good.

How did those people know about my fantasies?!?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Caretaker's Guilt

The relationship I have with my mother is complex.  Then again, what mother-daughter relationship isn't complex?!?  She is, without a doubt, the most important person in my life and a source of joy; she is also the source of many of my frustrations and guilt.
Mom isn't old; she's just in her late-50's.  But her health began to decline in the early 90's with a bout of breast cancer.  She beat it, and has been cancer-free ever since.  However, things have just gotten worse as the years have gone by.  She has a degenerative spinal condition, which gives her almost constant back pain that can only be handled by heavy duty narcotics, and surgery won't help in her case.  She has a heart condition and hypertension.  Thyroid problems.  TIAs ["mini-strokes"].
I am 36 years old, and am already a caretaker for my mother.  It just doesn't seem like it was supposed to happen this quickly.  I mean, I know there's no cosmic clock that deals out "fairness" cards at certain intervals, but I didn't think I'd be facing these issues until much later in my life.
Don't get me wrong.  Mom is still a fairly vibrant person, can get around [on good days], and can drive.  She isn't bed-ridden or anything.  So, I'm not a "true" caretaker in the sense of having someone totally dependent on my for their physical needs; although I have been shouldering the financial burden for several years since she had to retire and go on medical disability.  But I know that there is no way I could leave her, and that starts the cycle of frustration and guilt.
I love my mother, and sincerely pray that she is around for many years to come.  But sometimes, in the deep dark hours of the night, I rail against fate for chaining me in my situation.  I cannot enjoy true privacy sharing a household with my mother.  I cannot decide to relocate without taking her with me.  Something as simple deciding to have dinner out with friends sets in motion a ritual of figuring out what she'll have for dinner while I'm out.  Each and every decision I make about my life cannot be just about me; I have to consider how it will affect her, too.  And sometimes I wish she would just die and set me free.
Do I really mean that?  Of course I don't.  But I am human, and I accept my momentary lapses for what they are: ephemeral.  But regardless of how many self-help books and support groups for caretakers I check out, I can't help the guilt that follows one of those late-night evil thoughts, even though I know I don't wish ill on her.
The best "cure" I've discovered, when I'm having these episodes, is to imagine that I am a parent.  If I were a parent, I'd be facing these same issues... not to mention having the same mixed emotions of love, resentment, and guilt.  And if I were a parent, I'd think that my feelings were perfectly normal. It works, most of the time, pulling the Jedi mind-trick on myself.
Now if I could only have a child, and find out if I'm right.  Oh yeah, 'cause you know that's the only reason I wanna get knocked up. ;-D

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Humpday Humpable: Vaughn Lowery

You know, there's just something lucious about this man's face. And abs. And ass. Etcetera. I especially love the cleft in his chin. Yummmm. Anyway, I bet almost all of you are wondering who in the heck this is, this Vaughn Lowery. You're thinking, yeah, he's cute, but that could just be some guy you met at the market.

So, this pic should clear it all up. Yes, it's "that guy" from the Joe Boxer commercials a few years back. There was the original one in the bedroom set, then several that were made for Chirstmas. I know there was "Unwrap", where he was dressed as a present; and there was also "Antler Boogie", where he danced with a quartet of women. There may have been more, but hey, do yer own freakin' searches!

I still giggle when I watch them. There's just something so cute, although vaguely Step-n-Fetchit, about his grin.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Heroes: my new obsession

Okay, I am one of the biggest geeks/dorks/etc. on the face of the planet: I admit this freely, and without reservation. I like role-playing games [no, not the kind with whips and nurses uniforms!], tabletop miniature battle games, video games, comic books, and all sorts of things of that ilk. In case you’re wonder, I do indeed have a vagina. And I have just finished watching the premiere of Heroes; on NBC, and I am as excited as a teenaged boy with a Hustler magazine and a bottle of Jergen’s lotion.

Oh Gawd, it was awesome!

To me this show was, without a doubt, the best comic book television show [that wasn't a comic book]. I mean, the entire show felt like you were reading a graphic novel, and was exceedingly well done. What’s even cooler is, there is going to be an online comic, I believe a 22-parter, that will fill in some of the gaps, and give a little more background info than is on the show.

To us nerds, this is known as “fluff”. ::snicker:: Whenever someone talks about fluff, I can’t help but have a 5th grade moment and think of fluffers. And if you don’t know what a fluffer is, go look it up. I refuse to be responsible for the warping of your fragile little minds.

Anyway, I now have a new television addiction, which means of course that it will be cancelled after 5 shows.

Friday, September 22, 2006

New RE in town!

Well, it's official: I've gotten off the fence of indecision, and have had my first visit with an RE.  And I have to say that Dr. M. [or as he-of-the-gorgeous-blue-eyes will henceforth be known, Dr. McHottie] was absolutely fantastic.  He got right down to business with me, and is being aggressive with my diagnosis and treatment.  Of course, considering my age, PCOS issues, and possible tubal complications, aggressive is the RIGHT answer!
Dr. McHottie has a great "bedside" manner; even when we were getting down to the nitty-gritty, he was just, well, great.  He has experience [at his previous practice] with treating singletons, same-sex couples, and oh yeah, "regular" married people too. ;-D  He never even raised a brow when I gave my opening speech: "I'm single, wanna get knocked up, yadda yadda."  Okay, I didn't use quite those words, but that pretty much sums it up.
So, when my next cycle starts I'll be having an HSG to get a better look at my tubes, and see whether or not they're blocked.  Even though I really want to know, I am SO not looking forward to it.  I've already had a sonohystogram, which is basically the same test except with saline and ultrasound [rather than dye and x-ray], and it hurt like a motherfucker.  Buuut-- the HSG actually shows pictures, rather than impressions, and will give us a better idea of what's going on in there.
If my tubes are clear, and I'm "open for business", then it's on to the next giant hurdle: picking a bank and a donor.  I was using a known donor, but he's gone and disqualified himself with a lovely STD.  No germy semen for me, thank you!  So, if I get to that point, I'll start the arduous task of looking over a billion sperm banks, and trying to pick one out.
Maybe I should just buy a puppy...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Humpday Humpable: Arnold Vosloo

On this lovely Humpday, the glorious day that signifies that the workweek is more than half-over, I decided to celebrate by finding a photo of a beautiful man. A Humpday Humpable, if you will.

Actor Arnold Vosloo, as Imhotep in "The Mummy". Yum. Need I say anything more?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Photos and crap

Yeah, yeah, so the picture looks like crap. I'll figure it out one day. Cut me a little slack; I'm totally new to this whole blogging thing!

Monday's Read

Okay, so one of my online buddies has me feeling all nostalgic-- and not necessarily in a good way-- about my young teen years. So, I'm going to give in, and just wallow in it. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison is the first in a series of books about a Brit teenaged girl. I love them, even though they're technically classed "Young Adult". Ehh, I don't care; if it's a good read, then it's a good read.

What really makes it kinda scary, yet funny, is that if you just change a few details about Georgia (main character), she could be your average 20-something woman. Like, change "going to school" to "going to work", and it would actually work. And all the romantic angst? Just about the same, really, as what most 20-somethings go through, which is what made it kinda scary. Do we really not grow up for so long? I clearly remember the 'drama' of my mid-twenties, and it is remarkably similar to high-school crap!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Moving Right Along

I can't think of that phrase without seeing Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear.
Anyway, I have my first honest-to-goodness RE appointment next Wednesday.  No family doctor, no Ob-Gyn, but a real, live Reproductive Endocrinologist.  I'm nervous and excited, all at the same time, but can't wait to see how it goes.  With any luck, I'll soon find out whether or not my tubes are actually blocked.
Because, of course, like infertile women throughout time, I'm holding out hope that maybe my test results were wrong, that there was a mistake.  That perhaps I was one of those cases who had a tubal spasm, rather than actually having a blockage.  That maybe, just maybe, my innards aren't in as bad a shape as it seems.
There is just something so profoundly human, and humanizing, about facing and suffering problems with fertility.  It is something that other people can never truly understand, unless they have suffered themselves.  You go through cycle after cycle, experiencing highs and lows that even crack addicts couldn't reach.  And it all starts with a spot of blood.  When you see that little crimson speck, that damned spot, you know that you weren't successful, that you aren't pregnant.  For a while, you grieve, and can't help feeling a bit silly about being upset over an[other] unsuccessful attempt.  But the emotions are real, and valid, and so damn it all.
As your cycle goes on, you start getting excited again: maybe THIS is the magic cycle where everything goes right.  Then anxiety starts kicking in once you get closer to ovulation.  Have I been taking enough vitamins?  Am I monitoring my cycle enough?  Do I have enough fertile cm?  Did I have good timing with sex/insemination?  Are those swimmers good enough?  And so on, ad nauseum.
Then The Big O finally happens, and you can relax.  Well, for about 3 minutes, anyway.  Then you start worrying again, especially if you do temperature charting.  What's that dip in my temp; was it implantation?  I spotted, is that a sign of something?  OR I didn't spot, is that a sign of something?  Why are my temps so low/so high?  I have cramps/boobs hurt; is that my period coming, or an early pregnancy sign?  My left toe is twitching, what does that mean?
Now we start worrying about when to test.  Should I POAS [pee on a stick, as in a pregnancy test] now, or wait a few more days?  You give in, and test way too early, and get a negative [just like you knew you would].  But even though common sense tells you it's too early, you immediately begin the hardening of your heart, insisting to yourself that you aren't pregnant, so you can "protect" yourself from the pain coming.  And the depression kicks in.  But in a very weird way, even in the midst of the angst, there's always a little kernel of hope that it still might happen.  And then it doesn't, because a few days later that damned spot comes back again.
I started off writing thinking about myself, but ended up thinking about all the women I've met over the past few years of TTC [trying to conceive].  Although I wish I'd had the pleasure of meeting them under different circumstances, I am so blessed to have met them at all.  My life would not be as enriched if I had never known such valiant and strong women, and I am honored to have met you all [and you all know who you are!].
Earlier I said that it was humanizing to go through TTC with fertility issues, and I'll tell you why.  Facing infertility, you have to face everything about your physical condition and do it head-on; there is no way to temporize if you want to be successful.  You go through invasive tests and procedures, things that would make strong men cringe just to imagine.  You have to explore your depths, and find determination and resolve that you never knew you had.  You have to address your doubts and concerns, and decide again every cycle whether or not to continue.  You face soul-crushing despair when a cycle ends in a negative, and experience uplifting hope when you start anew; the emotional travails are so tremendous that it is beyond my meager ability to adequately describe them.
But the most important thing is that through it all, there is love.  Love is what drives us, and love is what keeps us going.  The dream of having a child, loving a child, makes everything worthwhile.  So, try to remind me of that when I'm bitching next time, okay?

Saturday, September 02, 2006


I really am a dirty old woman.  I realized that I'm constantly having "fifth grade moments", which is what my circle calls it when you do things like:
-snicker whenever someone says the word "balls", even if it's in reference to a sport
-giggle uncontrollably if someone says anything about "toes", because all you can think about is the camel variety
-guffaw without shame if an uttered phrase has anything in common with excretion
And so on.  You'd think that, with all the time I spend talking to other women about our vaginas and reproductive organs in general, that I'd be over anything so asinine.  Nope, not a bit.  I still giggle when someone mentions hot dogs.  Don't even get me started on space and black holes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My day with Mum

Well, we're home from the hospital; mom had her heart catheterization done today.  We had to report to the ambulatory surgery area at 7:00 am, ugh!  They took her vitals and got her changed into the standard issue, ass-out gown.  Since she used to work at this hospital, she knows practically everyone there, which was really nice as we got a little special attention.  ;-)  About 8:00 am, they took her away from me and I went to stare at the walls in the waiting area.  Note: daytime TV is really, really insipid, as I discovered in the waiting room.
They called me back to the area around 10:30 am; she was back from the procedure. They said that her heart actually looked really good, but because the entrance site kept trickling blood, she would have to remain supine for at least 3 hours, instead of the 2 hours we were originally told.  The nurses brought her some lunch, she munched a bit, then took some lovely drugs since her back was hurting.  She soon passed out, and I just sat and read by her bedside.
At 1:30 pm (believe me, I was watching the clock!), the nurse said she could sit up.  They called for one of the surgical docs to come and check out the site.  He said it was looking good, so we were able to start getting her dressed to go home.  After the obligatory instructions and do-not-do-this warnings, we were able to leave.  So, finally, we were leaving the hospital around 2:30 pm.
Mom is now resting, and doing okay.  She's a little nauseous, but she has a delicate constitution and gets nauseous just from gross jokes <g>.  Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and kind words.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Apparently being single IS a crime

I've been referred to a high-muckety muck fertility clinic to see what can be done about my poor tubes.  So, I call up and talk to Nurse Ratchett for 10 minutes, since once I said the words, "I want to make an appointment," I apparently was only then required to answer her questions.  I wondered when I'd get a chance to ask questions, and I finally caught a break.  When she asked if my insurance were my own or my spouse's, I jumped in with both feet.
"Actually, that's something I need to ask you," I said, probably sounding desperate.  Which I was, since it was the first thing I'd been able to say in ages that wasn't rattling off numbers.  "Do Dr. K and Dr. K treat single women?  I don't mean just treating; I am single and want to be a mother."  Since by this point she knew the basics of my problems, there was no doubt of exactly what I was asking.
"Ahh," she answered cautiously, and oh-so-intelligently.  "Well, they will see single women and work on diagnosis.  If there are problems, they will perform necessary surgery to correct them.  But, any fertility drug therapy, insemination, or IVF treatments are reserved for married couples."
BUZZ!  Wrong answer, nursie.  But of course, I went ahead and made the appointment; if nothing else, I can always cancel it, and if I decide to keep it, I won't have to wait another 30-60 days to see them.  I really have a feeling I'm going to cancel the appointment, even though it will pretty much leave me stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Drs. K&K are the only fucking reproductive endocrinologists/infertility doctors in the whole city who are covered under my insurance.
I just don't understand why it's such a pain to find a doctor to treat me as a SMC (single mother by choice) wanna-be.  It's not the first time I've run into this problem; both my family doctor and my ob-gyn have said that they wouldn't be "comfortable" helping me achieve pregnancy because I am single.  My ob-gyn even said that, were I to come in pregnant and single, it wouldn't be a problem.  But to actually help me get knocked up?  Oh no!  She even said that to even consider treating me, she would insist that I undergo counseling first.  And even then it wouldn't be a certain thing.
Apparently, a stupid teenager who gets pregnant is deserving of more respect and assistance than I am.  It doesn't matter that I'm 36, well-educated, employed, and stable.  Nope, no way; unless I have a ring on my finger and a M.R.S. degree, I am violating the natural order of the universe and must be stopped at all costs.
Sometimes living in the Bible Belt really sucks.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My uterus, my buddy

Many of you already know about my infertility problems, but for those of you who are new, here’s the story of me and my uterus.  You might not believe it, but this is actually the short version!!!


I was one of those women who never had regular periods, and my doctor, like many others, just suggested that I get on birth control pills (known in the trying to conceive [ttc] world as bcp) to make me “regular”.  Well, even though that didn’t really address why I was irregular, I was young and dumb, and just took the damned things.  Then I realized that bcp make me crazy and stupidly hormonal, so much so that I couldn’t stand using them.


That glorious moment, that epiphany, happened one evening while watching some musical special on PBS.  Celine Dion, who I don’t really like, was singing that song from “Titanic”.  Rather than changing the channel, I sat there and listened to her sing about love going on and whatnot, and realized that I was in tears.  I was blubbering like a baby, and muttering phrases about love being eternal, and how special life is with love, etc.  A half-hour later, I knew something was wrong with me, and the bcp had to go.


I got fed up with no one knowing what was wrong with me, so I started doing a lot of research on the internet.  Armed with pages of notes, I went off to see my family doctor, convinced that I had PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).  She sent me off to an ob-gyn, who ran googobs of tests on me, and I was right.  Suddenly, I wasn’t just a woman with irregular periods; what I had, had a name.


PCOS isn’t a disease; it’s more of a collection of symptoms which are collectively known as PCOS.  Some of the most common symptoms are: irregular/no periods, painful periods, anovulation/irregular ovulation, inability to lose weight, hirsutism, acanthosis nigricans (dark patches of skin in armpits, back of neck, knees, elbow or groin), cysts on ovaries, acne, hair loss, etc.  I had so many of the symptoms that I knew what I had even before the official diagnosis!


Now I knew why, despite nearly a year of rampant, unprotected sex when I was 24 and trying to conceive (except for that time span, I was always a super safety girl!), nothing happened.  I wasn’t ovulating, which means that there was no way I could get pregnant.  So I started taking various medicines to treat some of the hormonal imbalances in my system, and lo and behold, I started ovulating.  It wasn’t always textbook regular, but it was ovulation, so I was happy.


A year goes by, and no pregnancy.  Zip, nada, nothing.  A second year, and I still have to buy maxi-pads.  So off I go on another round of doctor’s visits, vaginal ultrasounds, and blood work.


Last month, I had a lovely procedure known as a sonohystogram.  They force saline through your uterus and fallopian tubes, while doing an ultrasound at the same time to see how things are inside.  The good news was, my uterus looks marvelous.  The bad news is, they couldn’t see any spillage of the saline from the end of my tubes, which means that they’re blocked.  No wonder I wasn’t able to get pregnant, even once I started ovulating!  The eggs couldn’t make it through my tubes, the sperm couldn’t make it to the eggs, and thus no babies.


Now I’ve been referred to a fertility specialist to see what can be done.  However, since I’m such a ttc maniac, I already know what my options are: IVF (in vitro fertilization), or laparoscopic surgery to try to open my tubes.  IVF is too freaking expensive—I mean, we’re talking anywhere from $9,000 - $15,000 per month—so that’s right out, unless I win the lottery or something.  Lap. surgery might work, but it’s still expensive, not covered by my insurance, and carries a high risk of ectopic pregnancy.  My odds are not too good, to be honest.  I’m starting to try to convince myself that I can be happy even if I don’t have a child.  It’s really like being an alcoholic: some days are good, some days are okay, and some days you’d be willing to snuff your own mother for a drink.


So, that’s the story of me and my reproductive tract.  Now you’re up to speed, and we won’t have to go through this much detail again! ;-)

Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my birthday, the day I turn the big 36.  Yep, another birthday down, another step closer to the grave.  Okay, I’m really not upset about it anymore; it’s here, I’m over it.  Actually, I’m pretty excited, but not about the B-day.  I had a shipment of books arrive from Amazon this morning, so I’m pretty stoked.  Not only did I take the day off work, and have lunch with my best friend, but I get to slob around and read new books.  Yummmm.



Tomorrow is my friend Shel’s birthday, and since we have birthdays one day apart, we used to celebrate “Birthday Weekend.”  Back when we were young, and both our livers and personalities were more courageous, we would party hard for two straight days, celebrating.  Now, we might get together and share a bottle of wine, and talk about how exciting we used to live before we got “old.”  I don’t regret it, though—the growing up—because there are a lot of advantages to being my age, than being 24, broke, and living from one self-induced drama to the next.



Here’s my horoscope for today: The stars say that collaborative projects are winners. Even your most heartfelt project will improve when a few other concerned and talented individuals have a say. Be open to their suggestions.



Huh.  So maybe I should get some suggestions from writer friends about my latest project…

Friday, August 11, 2006

What's in a name?

Sometimes I am the most anal-retentive person on the planet.  When I sign up for things, and have to create a screen name, it becomes an agony-filled ordeal.  Because of course, I can't just be Hotstuff555; no, no, I have to spend an hour choosing just the right name for my purpose.
My mainstay, 15 year old email address is related to my long-ago dreams of writing: I choose a name derived from a fictional Persian storyteller.
My screen name on a site-that-shall-not-be-named (but that has to do with baby making), is Arabic and means "beautiful vision", which is how I felt about my dream of being a mother.  Of course, that was two years ago, before I became bitter and jaded, but I digress...
My identity here on Blogger, Meshkhent, is the name of a rather obscure Egyptian goddess.  She is a birth-goddess, associated with the birthing bricks that women would squat upon as they labored.  She was most often portrayed as a brick with a woman's head atop it.  So, since a lot of my writing will be about me, me, me wanting babies, babies, babies, I thought that somewhat appropriate.  And no, not because I'm as thick as a brick, smart ass.  I know you were thinking it.
See?  I told you I was anal-retentive.

My birthday is almost here. Yay Me. Not.

I'm almost 36.  Yikes.  I really thought that I would be a grown-up by now; when is that supposed to happen, I wonder?  I mean, I know that I'm technically an adult: I'm over 18, have a job, take care of my responsibilities, give to charity, etc.  But I still feel like a kid on the inside, and sometimes feel like I'm a fraud.  Like I'm a kid playing dress-up, wondering why no one has called me on it.  "Hey, you!  You can't fool me!  You look like a old hag, but I know you're really 16.  How did you manage to get a real estate license?"
My best friend and sister in spirit, Cheryl, told me something about her mom that I remember whenever I feel like this.  Her mom said that one day she was looking in the mirror, and suddenly felt very sad.  She said, "When did I get old?  I see this old lady in the mirror, but when did I get old?  I still feel exactly the same on the inside, the same way I did when I was your age.  But now there's an old woman in the mirror."
Apparently I'm not the only one who feels that way.  I'm really starting to resent birthdays, especially with all the fertility hoopla.  Every b-day that rolls around is another reminder that my ovaries are going to start sputtering like a car running low on gas: it might still run, but you know it's going to quit at any moment.  Add in my PCOS issues, and the fact that it looks like my fallopian tubes are completely blocked, and this birthday is really starting to look like it might be celebrated by me, a pack of Camels, and a bottle of Beaujolais villages.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Answer to "Why?"

Okay, so a friend was checking out my new blog site and asked me where on earth the title came from. I can’t actually take credit for the phrase, but I’ve shamelessly stolen it for myself since it seemed appropriate.

One of my gal-pals, LL, is known in our social group as “The Innuendo-ator”. She has the remarkable superhero ability to make perfectly innocent remarks that are incredibly provocative to those of us with dirty--and juvenile-- minds.

So, one hot summer day, while the Gang was all together having a cook-out (and probably drinking far more than is wise while under the Southern sun), LL was fixing her plate, and her husband gave her a hot dog, fresh off the grill. She looked down at her plate, and saw where the hot dog’s juices were running everywhere from being punctured by the grill fork.

LL wrinkled her cute little nose and exclaimed, “You got weenie juice on my cookie!” There was dead silence for a moment, and then snickers began. Yeah, we were having a fifth grade moment, all right.

So, considering the fact that a part of what this blog will be about is my search for answers to my fertility problems, I figured naming it “There’s Weenie Juice on my Cookie” was pretty appropriate. So now you know. And as they used to say on GI Joe, knowing is half the battle.

Immigration Solutions

I actually wrote this a couple of months ago on another site, but decided to re-post it here. I mean, I LIKE it when I get all worked up and start ranting. ;)

Okay, so I know it's 2006 and we're supposed to be all touchy-feely, sensitive and PC here in America. Oh, sorry, pardon me while I gag. Puh-leeze! I'm so tired of all the rallies and protests by persons of Mexican descent. Oh god, now I'm being all PC. What I meant to say was, protests by beaners. And I can say that with no guilt, since I'm 1/2 Cuban. Just like I could say the "N" word if I wanted to, since I'm black. But I really don't want to. Uh uh, no way. But I digress.

Solution: lock down the borders. Make an annoucement that any attempts to cross illegally in the United States will be treated as an act of agression, and that soldiers will shoot to kill. Anyone illegally in the US at the present time must report to Containment Camps, where they will be given two options: 1) be returned to Mexico, or 2) they can work for a specified amount of time at the government's discretion and direction, after which they will be granted citizenship provided that they can pass the tests.

Any illegal alien who does not report to the Camps by the specified date, and who is subsequently found, will be treated as a hostile entity. They will be subdued with force if necessary, and either executed as an enemy to the US, or immediately deported.

I mean, it isn't hard to become a citizen of the US if you just go about things the right way. The USCIS (US Citizenship & Immigration Services) has a list of about a trillion ways that you can be naturalized. And if you don't, or can't, meet them, then you need to go home. Sure, sure, I was kidding (a little) about the camps and the rest, but we really need to be more aggressive about this.

America is a good place, despite the bitching of many of my peers. I can understand people wanting to live here, especially those from less fortunate countries. But our protected rights and privileges extend to our citizens, not to every Tom, Dick and Juan who manages to hike across the border.

Illegal aliens have no rights other than those of being fellow humans. And if we would wake up from this hippy-trippy, peace & love crap that we've been wallowing in for the last decade, maybe we could handle this problem without the ultra-liberals having hissy fits.

Okay, I'm just ranting now, and I'm stopping. I could go on forever about this...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Run, my little furry friends!

Huh. Apparently, I am a lemming. Watch me join all the other lemmings rushing to my death, leaping off the cliff.

Or writing a blog, as the case may be.