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.