Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year, New Me...Really

I buried my youth today. One of the things that has bugged me about infertility these last two years is that I feel like I'm stuck between two lives: my youth and parenthood. I went from being a raft-guiding, college girl to being a wife and teacher, expecting children to be close at hand. I only got married when I felt the ticking of my biological clock. (Don't worry, I loved my husband just as much then as I do now, but my mother always told me I would know I'd found my husband when I discovered that I loved him so much I'd want to have his children. She was right.) I just assumed that it would be a quick transition between fun-loving freedom and buckle-down parenthood, and I was ready for the leap. It has not been a smooth transition at all: it has been a long, frustrating, drawn-out affair that has put my identity into question.

I hold on to my youth and my experiences in a small, black, Molskine notebook. I've had it since the year 2000 and have chronicled all the books I've read, pithy phrases that have made an impact on me, things I've done, and things I mean to do. Every so often, I look back in this book and remind myself of who I am, what I want, and where I've been. Today I decided, however, that I need to re-evaluate things. I need to figure out who I am as an adult without kids. What are the things that inspire me? What do I want? What do I like to do?

So, I got out the new, red Molskine that I bought at the National Gallery in England this summer. I knew that my old black one was going to eventually run out of pages, and I was lamenting the fact that I'd have to switch over. But this, I think, is much better. I made a conscious decision to lay it to rest. It is no more. Now I have a fresh book, blank and inviting, waiting to be filled with quotes from new books, clippings from new magazines, lists of movies I want to see, and such. I am not the same person I was ten years ago, and I need to let go of that. I also need to let go of any preconceived notions I had about who I would be and what I would have at 31 (in one month) years of age. It's a new dawn, and I'm going to fill the page of my new year with a new me. (Though the old me can still hang out when I listen to Taio Cruz and go out dancing.)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Things That Keep Us Going

I went to see '127 Hours' this week with my mom and brothers - IT WAS AMAZING! The movie is the reconstructed story of Aron Ralston and his harrowing days stuck in a slot canyon. As most of you know, he ends up cutting his arm off, and the movie doesn't really dance around that. The cinematography is amazing, the soundtrack is cool, and James Franco does a really nice job of portraying (what I expect to be) a full-loving but slightly flawed main character. Almost the entire movie takes place in the canyon, with Aron's arm pinned between a 'Rock and a Hard Place' (the name of his book, if you haven't read it), but the director, Danny Boyle, (who also directed 'Slumdog Millionare') does an amazing job of keeping your attention riveted to the screen for what could have easily been a very boring 94 minutes.

At some point (SPOILER ALERT!) Aron hallucinates about the things that will make life worth fighting for, and he eventually sees the face of his son. (He has yet to even meet his future wife. It's all very hypothetical.) The little boy's visage gives him the strength he needs to do the inconceivable - cut of fhis own arm. It's awesome.

It did make me think, however, about how much we (and I'm talking WE, gals) will do to reach the end of our own battle. The very images in our mind of what our kids will look like, what they will say, and how much we will love them gives us all the strength to keep on keepin' on. To Aron, the very idea of having kids was worth putting a blunt instrument through his radius. For us, it's worth dozens of doctor's visits, months of despair, and hundreds of little white sticks that we pee on in the morning. (At least we don't have to drink urine like Aron. Ick.) In the end, like it was for Aron, it will all be worth it. It will. Someday.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oh, the holidays...

Day one of vising home was a marginal success: I didn't cry once! Hubby and I had dinner with my parents and my 6-months pregnant sister, her husband, and their two-year-old daughter. I love playing with my niece, who is adorable, and lisening to the funny things she says. (Yesterday, I asked her how many legs she had, and she promptly lifted one leg, looked down, and answered, "One.") But seeing my sister with a big (albeit cute) baby bump is just plain tortuous. I'm not going to mince words, here: this is really tough and a little bit f-ed up. Two other friends have recently announced their second pregnancies, too. It's begining to look a lot like Christmas, indeed. Santa sure isn't going to be brining me what I want.

Especially since, on the drive out to California, I experienced the aftermath of what appears to have been a very early miscarriage. It turns out the tardiness of my cycle was not just an oversight on my body's part - it was a physical reaction to implantation and then, inevitably, loss. On one hand, it SUCKED. On the other hand, it's something that I've never experienced before, and that means that something is happening that never happened before. I've never had any evidence that I've been pregnant for any time at all, and this was proof that at least something is going on inside me. Obviously, this isn't the proof that I wanted, but it's something...

I'm hoping that every day will be easier, and I'll be able to have a nice time here at home for the holidays. I was going to try drinking heavily and spending the whole week in an alcohol-induced hase, but I guess that's not a very healthy option. Maybe chocolate and shopping, instead...let's go with that.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Now My Body is Just Mocking Me

Here I am on day 35 of my cycle, with no apparent reason. I've taken multiple pregnancy tests (all negative, of course) and am clearly not pregnant, so why the tardiness? It is frustrating to watch the single pink line appear in the tiny window of a pregnancy test, for sure, but it's even more frustrating to have to sit around and wait for another week or two to begin another cycle. Not only am I not pregnant, but now I'm not pregnant and not even cycling normally. You suck, body, you suck.

My RN wanted me to come in for a blood test on Friday, just to check things out, but the holidays are a time of running around, skipping out, and generally over-booking yourself, so I wans't able to. What was she going to check for, anyway? I've been on Crinone (progesterone) since 3DPO, so I'm sure my body is all out of whack and doesn't know which hormones came from me or a plastic tube.

I can't help but think of the women on that TV show - 'I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant' - and hope that maybe, just maybe, I'm a one-in-a-million biological anomaly who can be pregnant and not test positive / show any normal signs at all. Can that happen? Can it please happen to me?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Well, the good news is... least I can start running again. If I'm going to be childless for the next two months, I'm going to set a new personal PR in the 5K.

Monday, December 13, 2010

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Test, Don't Test Anything At All

Oh boy, I'm at 13DPO. My cycle usually begins after about 30 days, and that would be tomorrow. So, do I test? Or should I wait a few days just in case? I called my RE's office today to talk about getting a refill of Crinone, and I spoke to my favorite nurse, who reassured me that even though I'm not feeling any symptoms, I still could very well be pregnant. She said (much like a few of you) that symptoms appear for different women at different times. As long as I don't start my cycle, things could still be positive. Well, unless I take a test, that is…

…so I bought a HPT, and I'll do it tomorrow morning. I've been trying to "let myself down easy" over the last few days, taking my BBT and telling myself that it's not high enough for me to be pregnant. But I guess you never know, maybe tomorrow it will shoot upward and I'll throw up my Cheerios, then take a test and see two pink lines. I just don't want to see that depressing single line taunting me from the edge of the sink tomorrow. If I don't test, I don't have to see it…it's the "Catch 22" of the 2WW. Super fun. I'm sure Joseph Heller never knew what this felt like.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Love You Guys!

Thank you to those who have experienced NO early pregnancy symptoms but have still seen a pink line. Your words of comfort are INVALUABLE to me. You guys are worth your weight in fine dark chocolate...and that is, like, the highest compliment I can give.

I'm feeling more optimistic now, maybe it's the fact that we now have less school days before vacation than I have fingers on two hands. (That's generally how I count my way to sanity. If you need toes to count the days, it's tooooo loooong.)

I am at 7DPO/IUI and I feel pretty good. My chest (yes, I still have a hard time saying the "b" word on my blog - call me prudish) is still pretty sore, but no new symptoms have arrisen. Nevertheless, I'm going to try to remain calm and positive, despite my observation at work tomorrow. Oh, how I wouldn't give to take a 2 week vacation to the Maldives for my 2WW - it would be almost bearable then. But no, I must submit to the minutae of everyday life, which makes it excruciating. Mmmmm, the Maldives...I'll leave you with that thought.

Monday, December 6, 2010

No News Isn't Necessarily Good News

6DPO and no news. Is that good or bad? I don't have a hint of nausea, not a single bit of spotting or swelling. My chest hurts a little bit, but that happens every cycle. A friend of mine tells me that many women don't even know they're pregnant until well after their cycle, but I contest that most women aren't waiting for any minute sign of a fertilized / implanted egg. I am not "most women". I am 26 cycles into the longest wait of my life.

Maybe I'm mentally preparing myself, maybe it's the pernicious effect of 125 crazy kids on my psyche, or maybe it's the fact that this is my my fifth one...but I can't seem to be optimistic about this IUI. I'm already feeling very down and disappointed. I'm having a hard time concentrating at work, and I can't stop crying.(Usually this state of mind is reserved for the day I start my cycle and realize that all the work has been for naught.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again (much to my dismay): I'm not sure what 'pregnant' feels like, but I know what 'not pregant' feels like...and this is pretty much it.

I need some Taio Cruz.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hooray for Cherries on Top! (I'm kinda hungry, actually...)

Thank you to Heather at The Road Less Traveled for nominating me for the 'Cherry on Top' award! In my third day of my 2WW, this really made my day. And, my fellow teacher, you know how hard that is to do when you're less than three weeks from Winter Vacation...the kids are crazy!

I'd like to nominate the following awesome women:

Josey at My Cheap Version of Therapy - she snowboards and battles infertility, my hero

Oak at The Acorn Chronicles - giving support and hope at the same time

Tishi at Learning to Swim in a Sea of Baby Bumps - because I thought it was hard being a teacher and not having kids, but she is going to have to keep her (delightful) little secret from all those preggos she works with!

H.C. Bishop at Life as a Navy Wife and Everything Else - because she's sassy and fun, and she's going to be 3 weeks along soon! Yay!

Ana at Our Pregnancy Journey - because her story makes me believe in science, and she makes cute blankets, too!

Thank you, ladies, for all of your support and help. I heart you!
(Thanks, also, to all the other gals who have already been nominated for the award and who offer their comments and companionship - I heart you, too!)

I Feel Like I'm Holding My Breath...

…which makes it very hard to blog. There's something about the 2WW that renders me speechless. It's as though there is nothing to say - I am simply waiting. Today is 2DPO/IUI and I am hanging on everyone's words of wisdom. Some people felt sick at 3DPO, others never did. Some got a positive result after 6DPO, some took almost 10. I'll just wait. And wait, and wait, and wait… in the meantime, I'll look up some videos on YouTube.