Friday, July 30, 2010

I Called the Witch Doctor...

Since I'm not going to submit myself to any proven scientific procedures in the next two months, I thought that this might be a good time to try some "alternative" remedies. (Not THAT one. I believe that's generally considered bad for women trying to get pregnant.) But I do remember my mom mentioning that her friend sells a product that can cure a…get ready for this…parasite that inhibits some women from getting pregnant. Apparently you can get this parasite from cats, and all it takes is a simple elixir to fix it. (I think she used a different word, but the whole thing conjures up images of Victorian-era sham artists who sold things like "Dr. Wixler's Magic Elixir". I think it's funny. Check out this website for more hilarious panaceas: I also faintly remember reading an anecdote from "Getting Pregnant: What You Need to Know Right Now" (which, incidentally, I should have read a looong time ago), in which a doctor mentions a woman's miraculous pregnancy after being cured of just such a parasite.

Depending on how much this costs, I just might give it a try. If nobody else can figure out what's medically wrong with me, maybe it IS possible that something is eating my unfertilized eggs for breakfast. You never know.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stubborn? Optimistic? Complacent? Tired? Why AM I Giving Up On Treatment?

Much to my mother's chagrin, we're taking a break from treatment. Firstly, it's the dawn of a new school year, and I simply cannot handle tri-weekly trips to my RE's office (1.5 hours away). Secondly, we need some time to refill the infertility coffers, if you will. The trip to Europe was very necessary, but also very expensive. (Let's not even talk about how many people said we shouldn't go because we should be saving for IVF.) As I prepare for two full months of doing essentially nothing, I have to wonder: What's my deal?

I've narrowed my mental roadblock down to four fantastic adjectives: stubborn, optimistic, complacent, and tired. I might just be being stubborn: I truly believe that I should not have to go through all this crud just to have a child, and I'm sticking to my guns. Stubborn. Or, I could be exercising my relentless optimism: I don't really think I'll need scientific intervention after all. Optimistic. It could be that I just don't care anymore: I want a child, but as Grandma says, "If it happens, it happens." Complacent. It's also possible that the mental stress of trying to conceive a child for two years (I hope I'm someday as strong as all of the other blogging women who have been at this for longer than I) has left me tired: I simply don't want to do it anymore.

Anyhow, I'm not sure which of those emotions has been the driving force behind my decision to halt all IF treatments at the moment, but I do know this: I'm still on the road to becoming a mom. I've just taken a little detour.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Never Knew That About Parenting...Thanks for the Enlightenment

I love my art. As a part-time portrait photographer, I sometimes get to take photos of weddings, parties, and families. Despite how I may feel about the people I photograph (hello, can you say Bridezilla?), I always revel in the beautiful images that my husband and I are able to take. I pat myself on the back when I take a photo that I know will make someone happy. And because I love taking photos so much, I sometimes even put aside my own personal issues in order to take baby photos. Today we took photos for an adorable little girl who just turned one. I had an awesome time playing with her and getting her to smile. Slowly, our little model's mood went south, but not before we got a lot of unbelievable cute shots. And I had truly enjoyed myself until…

…grandma turns to us and asks (you know what's coming), "Do you two have any kids?" I'm about to answer with a delightful anecdote about my darling dogs, but she interjects with, "You probably don't want any after dealing with this temper tantrum."

Wow. You're right. My husband and I obviously thought that parenthood was all rose gardens and applesauce. As a teacher of 120 little darlings a year, you'd have thought I'd know about the inevitable mood swings of a child (which are, in fact, not so different at 11 than at 2), but no, I've remained oblivious to these dangers of child-rearing. You're right, lady, the last 10 minutes with your gorgeous (but slightly cranky) granddaughter, who has her mother's eyes and your chestnut hair, has turned me entirely against parenthood.

I think I'll go out and get myself another dog.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No, Seriously, Give Me a Baby

I have obviously been blessed with an uncommonly supportive family. Over the past month or so (as news of IUI #3's inevitable and crushing failure makes its rounds), I have had two female relatives tell me that they'd be happy to carry my baby for me. I find this offer to be both generous and frustrating. Why? Well, on one hand, it is nice to know that if I decide to go the surrogate route (which I'm not at all opposed to), I won't have to pay a surrogate to carry my kid. It's also nice to know that there are people who love and respect me enough to endure 9 months of physical torture in order to allow me to be a mom. That's just plain touching. But on the other hand…

…when I say "have a baby for me", I mean for them to naturally conceive a child - thereby avoiding all crazy scientific procedures, expensive drug-induced menstrual cycles, and weeks on end of time-consuming doctor's visits. They mean that they would be happy to have my fertilized egg artificially implanted in their womb. I want it to be as easy for me to have a kid (and just as cheap) as it is for others. This may seem odd to some people, but I'd rather have a child that does NOT share my genetics than go into massive debt ('cause there's no guarantee that I'll even be able to conceive with one, two, or three IVF procedures) in order to have one that does. In other words, I'll take any baby I can get, and let's face it, it doesn't cost anything or take that much effort for most people to get pregnant. I feel like if it's free and easy for everyone else to get pregnant, it should be free and easy for me. Won't someone just go out, get knocked up, and give me the baby? How is this any different from adoption? Am I shallow and strange? Agh. I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of Crazytown. I would give anything to my brothers or sisters - even a vital organ. All I'm asking for is one of something that they can have over and over again. Is that so bad?

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Joys of Non-Parenthood

In the latest installment of "I'm Not a Mom, But I'm Awesome", I'd like to discuss the ease and comfort of traveling without a baby / child. Recently, my husband and I got back from a trip abroad, and I must say: We had a fantastic time. We did whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, and wherever we wanted. We weren't hindered by the length of time away from our hotel, the distance to a baby changing station, or the child-friendliness of our activities. At one point, we rented bikes and rode across a beautiful garden in Munich. There's nothing I love more than a spontaneous bike ride on a shady gravel path, dappled with sunlight and strewn with leaves. When you have kids, very little is spontaneous. It's planned. Pacifiers must be packed, snacks brought, naptimes considered…it's all very complicated.

So I may not be a mom, but I can get up and go, see, visit, relax, play, or ride. On the seat of my bicycle, 3,000 miles from home. Sans diaper bag.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Would I Rather Have a Strawberry Smoothie or Intercourse…Is This a Trick Question?

We're TTC "au natural" this month, due to our travels abroad. No matter, I think I remember how to do this: take BBT in the morning, track temperature…then get down like teenagers on prom night for a few days straight. (That's a metaphor. I was a paragon of virtue on my prom night, actually.)

On the final day or so of the cycle, I’m so sick of doing the dance of love that I'd rather have a nice breakfast instead. And that's the decision that I was faced with the other day. Primed for morning lovin', my husband and I lie there, trying to get up the mental strength (well, he was mentally ready, aren't they always?), and I just kept thinking about how much I wanted to get up and make myself a delicious banana strawberry smoothie in my new blender. Sigh. How have I become reduced to this? Something that some women have to go out on the town in stilettos (painful) just to get, I'd rather trade for a breakfast shake? It just isn't fair. Nevertheless, I did what I knew I had to do. (May my future children know the sacrifices I made for them. But not too much about them. That would be weird.) On the flipside, though, I did eventually get my smoothie, and it was awesome.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Back to the Blogosphere

Wow. You spend two weeks away from the internet and things just keep moving right along without you! (It's kinda like High School, when you're there you think it all revolves around you, and then you realize that everyone lives and breathes without your presence.) I have been trying to read everyone's posts, but I do need to do one important bit of housekeeping: Thank my bud Ana (Getting Help Making a Baby) for my first-ever Blog award! I'm not exactly sure how to go about this, but I'll give it a shot.

Blogs that I love to love:

1. Learning to Swim in a Sea of Baby Bumps
2. I Heart Colorado (Because not everything is about being infertile.)
3. Mojo Working
4. Trying Not to Scream
5. The Elusive Embryo (There are happy endings after all.)
6. 999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility
7. a + b, waiting for c

Thank you, Ana, for passing this award to me. I will try to pass it along to others as well (I only have seven now, but I will keep working.) - big ups to all bloggers who pour their heart and soul into the world wide web. It's an emotional paella out there.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Careful...she's gonna blow!

We all knew it was going to happen - the imminent emotional meltdown that comes from spending too much time in the company of babies. I thought I would be able to get through the week of being with my sister and her family, but today I made an idiotic mistake: I volunteered to help make my niece's scrapbook pages for the first 12 months of her life. Why, you ask? Because it needed doing and I'm darn good at stuff like that. And I was doing fine until...

...I got to all the cards that the rest of my family had sent to my sister and my niece when she was born. They were signed by my own dad, brothers, and grandparents. I could hear the pride in their voice and the joy in their words as they wrote to congratulate my sister and her husband on their newest addition. (The last addition to my family had four legs and did not get an adorable announcement / shower.) It hurt so much to know that I may not be able to give my parents and family the satisfaction of seeing their daughter / sister / whatever make a contribution to the continuation of our family lineage. I may not see (at least in the forseeable future) the look of utter happiness on my Dad's face when he gets to finally dress up his grandaughter (that has his nose) in Harley Davidson garb. (Let it be known that my sister is really my step-sister, so I still feel like having a baby would be a "first" for my Dad, as it is just a little different with your blood-relations. Let it also be known that I love my sister dearly.)

Luckily, when the situation became too much and I began to shed big, fat tears, she totally understood. She said all the right things and none of the bad ones ("It will happen..."). She hugged me and admitted that she didn't know what it must feel like - which she doesn't.

So, we got that out of the way. Now can I just enjoy being with my family in Germany, for crying out loud?! Because my little niece is just adorable, and taking photos of her is so much fun...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trip Update

Hello all!

This is your intrepid infertile explorer writing to you from the far corners of civilized Western Europe. We are currently in a lovely little hamlet called Harrogate, where there seem to be an inordinate number of both retirees (pensioners) guessed it - babies. Good god, is there something in the water here? Incidentally, there is a "miracle" well of sulpher water in town that I attempted to drink, just in case. If the cure-all for infertility is in water that smells like rotten eggs and tases like the inside-out bowels of roadkill, then count me out. Nothing that foul could be the cure for anything, except a relationship that you want out of. (One sniff of that on your breath would send any man running.)

Hubby and I have had a really nice time rambling around the Yorkshire countryside. So much, in fact, that I'm almost able to turn a blind eye to all of the adorable prams being pushed about. Almost... But don't worry, my friends, as it turns out there are a plethora of baby-challenged women here in the UK, too. It seems to be as much an issue here as it is there. I even read an article in a magazine (much like a younger version of Redbook) about a new book by a guru of infertility about a special diet for IVF. (Which looks like I may need to pick up, as plan A did not work out, sadly. More on that later, still drying my tears at the moment.)

Must go - early to sleep and rise tomorrow. Jetting of to London for a half-day, then Germany on Wednesday. Hope you all are weathering your collective joys and sorrows well, I will be back to read and comment in just one short week.

All the best,


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Let's Call This...Plan X

For the past two years, I've been joking about "adopting" a baby from another country. (You make it all look so easy, Angelina.) The quotation marks, as you can probably imagine, are my way of saying that I'm just going to downright take one and avoid all the messy paperwork and financial entrapments of a legal adoption. (This is where I hope that Big Brother is not, in fact, reading my blog.) Well, the husband and I are leaving for England and Germany on our big trip tomorrow, and the question remains: which country of origin do I want my little progeny to hail from? I figure it probably needs to be a poorer country, so England is definitively out. Switzerland is so small that they'd probably miss a fraction of their population if I took a child out of the country, so that's out, too. Poland? The Czech Republic? Oooh, how about an Austrian baby? He/she could grow up to be the next governor of California, for all I know. With the good German surname that I have now, I may just want to fritter away a little Germany baby - less suspicious. If only Croatia were closer…

Of course, if this IUI works out, I may not need to steal a baby after all. For the sake of my husband, personal freedom, and the good reputations of my family and friends: let's all hope that plan A works out and I won't be held up in an international prison for the better part of decade. Conjugal visits would NOT be the ideal way to continue TTC. Wish me luck, y'all!

Friday, July 2, 2010

I've Got a Bun in the Oven. No, Really, I'm Baking Something.

I may not be able to pull a Catherine Heigl (a-la 'Knocked Up') and produce a baby on a whim, but I'll tell you what I can do: make a killer meal. That's right - because I don't have kids running around, I can achieve culinary masterpieces like from-scratch Cinnamon Raisin bread and delicious Asparagus Parmesan Risotto. Since I don’t have to work around naptimes and coloring contests, I can have the house smelling like rising dough and baking bread by the time my husband gets home from work. (Don't worry, the irony of trading one domestic trap for another is not escaping me altogether.) I can ride my bike to the store to pick up much-needed accoutrement, like saffron and chipotle chili powder, AND I don't have to worry about stocking up on diapers or formula while I'm there! I can make things that most kids would take a "no thank you bite" of and go running for the pizza rolls. Why can I do all this? Because I'm not a mom, but I'm awesome. Be awesome today, my friends. (Even if you cheated and used a bread-maker. Shhhhh.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

That Joni Mitchell Was Full of It

"Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone…"

Ah, Joni, if only you ever struggled with infertility instead of drugs, you'd know that it is perfectly possible to mourn something that you've never even laid eyes on, let alone held in your arms. The lyrics really should say, "don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till everyone else you know has it and you don't, thereby making you feel like a freak of nature who is never going to fulfill her lifelong dream of investing your hard-earned wisdom of the world to a younger version of yourself (big breath)." It's not as poetic, I'll give you, but it's a far sight more truthful than the original. Can you love someone you've never met? Can you desire something that doesn't exist? Can you mourn the loss of a person who only has existed in your dreams? I think we all know the answer to that - a resounding "yes". And you better believe that I'd pave Paradise if it meant I get to be a Mommy. I don't care how many coconut trees I have to bulldoze.