Getting Over the Bump

I would say that I didn’t really start noticing pregnant women until we were about six months into our honeymoon phase of trying to conceive.  And then, they didn’t really bother me – I smugly thought that it would only a matter of time before I too was sporting the Bump.  But, a full year into our journey – after another six months in which I popped Clomid with no results and was told that my referral to the RE was imminent – I began to see them a little more differently. I began to see them as infertile women see them: unwelcome reminders of what I don’t have, can’t do and can’t seem to get.

I met with the RE, who I didn’t like and knew immediately that I was going to find someone else.  I was then referred to Dr. Uterus by a friend who had already been down this ugly path and she raved about him (as I would too).  I don’t remember if she told me that he shared his office with a high risk OB or not.  I’m pretty certain I googled him and found the place’s website which very clearly shows the other doctor and what she does.  But, even then, I didn’t get it. I figured they probably had separate entrances, etc.

Little did I know.

My first visit, I’m sitting in the waiting room and I am surrounded by Bumps. Bumps of all shapes and sizes, some big, some not so big, some threatening to take over an entire corner.  And I was more confused than anything.  It wasn’t until we started treatment that I came to know just how bad it was.  There were always Bumps. Morning, afternoon, it didn’t matter.  And, it bothered me everytime I went there. 

I began to complain about it to Mr. X.  I would moan and wail on the phone when I would call him after my appointments because it was just so painful, and I couldn’t keep it bottled up. Who better to share it with than my partner in crime?  He didn’t see it that way.  He told me, much later, how much he hated getting those phone calls.  I completely understand now. I would hate to get those phone calls, too. 

What I have come to realize, however, is that he feels that I should get over it, move on, greet the waiting room with its Sea of Undulating Bumps with equanimity.  I’m afraid I’m not that strong of a person.  I have tried, dear Lord, have I tried.  But, I would say 90% of the time, I am at least mildly bothered, and sometimes outright upset.  I think part of my being bothered is that I resent the fact that I have to deal with the Bumps in the one place where I had thought I could be free of them, my safe haven from happy couples lovingly gazing at her navel, cheery pregnancy posters and baby magazines.  If not your RE’s office, then where? 

If it was a normal waiting room, I think I would be able to deal.  I would understand that it is expected that on any given day, in the general population, you are going to run into someone who is visibly pregnant at the doctor’s office.  That I can handle.  But, the fact that it is in the place where I thought that my infertility and all of the emotions that go with it would be respected and understood, turns my normal “meh” reaction to the Bump into a full-blown “Get Me Out Of  Here” plea.  

You would think that time, with its healing properties, would have worked some magic on this.  Unfortunately, it’s been the reverse.  Time, with all of its happenings – including five failed IUIs and two breathtakingly awful miscarriages – has made it that much harder to sit in the room with Bumps.  They mock me with their smooth curves and the knowledge that within that bump resides an honest to God infant – you know, the kind that I can’t seem to grow. 

As much as I dislike these feelings and wish that I could look past the Bumps, I know that for now, it’s just not going to happen.  They will still bother me, without any other effort on their part other than just sitting there when I walk in.  And, I will still resent that they are there, in the one place I should not have to see them.  The vicious cycle will continue as long as I continue to walk into that room.    

top left image: SeraphimC; middle right image: Pet_r; bottom left: ToniVC

WWYD: What Would YOU Do?

I swear I find conundrums even when I’m not looking for them.  Here’s my latest and greatest.

I recently gave blood – as in donated it to the blood bank, not gave up numerous vials so that it can be tested for any number of tests with exotic abbreviations.  I used to be a pretty regular blood donor when I was in college and even after college, but the last time I donated, I got really, really woozy and so I didn’t want to donate unless someone was available to drive me.  The problem was, it just wasn’t cool to say to your friend, “hey would you drive me to the donation place, wait for an hour so I can give blood and then drive me home?”  Then, once I had found my driver, Mr. X, there were so many things to do and see so giving blood just wasn’t that … exciting.  By the time 2006 rolled around, we were thick in the wicket of IF treatment and I was giving plenty of blood as a result of that (plus there were all of the drugs, etc).  The last thing I wanted to do was give even more blood.

So, now in 2008, we are now old, boring married people, I have a designated driver and I am not pregnant, haven’t been pregnant in the last six weeks and I’m not in treatment.  I decided it was time to once again become a donor of blood. And, the donation itself was pretty anti-climactic, although I think the phlebotomist was a relative of Vampira. I still have a bruise over a week later. 

Here’s where the conundrum comes in: the donor ‘gifts’.  One was a really nice totebag, perfect for carrying the groceries to avoid those icky plastic bags. 

The other one?

A gift certificate to a SportsClips whose tag line is “Guys Win”.  And, in case there was any confusion about whether or not a lady could get a hair cut there, here is a quote from their website:

At Sport Clips, we’ve created the perfect place for a guy to get great service and a great haircut. Our mission is to create a championship haircut experience for men and boys in an exciting sports themed environment. Stop in today for the ultimate just-for-guys haircut experience!

Not only does this sound as enticing as having nails driven into my skull, I am not a guy.  I can’t use the darn thing and while I am fortunate to have  Mr. X in my life and I can give it to him, what about those ladies who don’t?  Why give a gift that only half the population can use?  

Do I complain to the blood bank about this obviously gender-specific gift since I’m sure that there are quite a few ladies who donate blood, too, or am I making a mountain out of a mole hill and I should just take my tote bag, clutch it to my obviously female bosom and continue on my merry way?

What would YOU do, dear reader?

image: tellumo

Wanted: WordPress Assistance, Inquire Within

I have been pretty darn happy with WordPress since I moved over almost three months ago.  I love how clean and streamlined the themes are and how professional it looks.

What I don’t love, however, is what a F&^*ing difficult time I’m having with my header.  As you can see, I’ve switched themes from Misty Look to Cutline, which is all fine and dandy except one little thing: on Cutline, you are limited to a header of 770 x 140 pixels.  I’m sure you are still wondering what the problem is.

Pretty much since I started this blog, I have used this fabulous image:

John Singer Sargent, Nonchaloir (Repose), 1911

But, I don’t like how little of it you can actually see due to the 140 pixel restriction.  If I had my way, you would be able to see the whole thing, but I understand that restrictions are restrictions. So, my question to those of you with that technical gene that I am missing,

How do I resize my picture to get this:

and still meet those darn restrictions?


I haven’t given much thought to the Great Do I Find a New RE Debate of 2008 in the last few days. We had company last weekend and of course there is that work thing, so the mind has been preoccupied in other areas.  But, it has been sitting back there, on a shelf, slightly pushed out in front of all of the other back burner items that inhabit that area of the brain, cheekily reminding me that eventually, I’m going to have to deal with it.

During that time, in the vortex of conscious debate and thought, it seems as if inertia has taken over the decision-making process, leading me where my general feelings of dissatisfaction have been taking me.  And, inertia is making a damn fine showing. 

Case in point: the mail last Friday brought a bill from Dr. Uterus’s office.  This is actually a rare occurrence – not because we don’t owe anything, but because they tend to save up their billing for one gargantuan one every six months or so.  And, for some reason that they have yet to satisfactorily explain to me, it always tells me that the bill is overdue and we must! pay! now! to avoid collection.  Seroiusly annoying.

But, with this bill that arrived less than a month after the last procedure (shock in and of itself), we owe him nothing, monetarily speaking.  We also have no embryos left, no sperm banked, nothing of ourselves cryogenically frozen and waiting to be used at the office.

We could leave … today

I’m just not ready to do the deed.

While inertia may be pointing me in that direction, only I can give the signal that it is time to move on.  And, I’m probably 75% of the way there.  There are some lingering feelings, doubts, remorses, general hemming and hawings going on that tie up that last 25%.  The good news is that I am still not ready to jump back into treatment so I have the time to really think things through.  Right now, though, all of the potential obstacles that would have made switching or leaving difficult or pesky are nowhere to be found.  The door is open and we are free to go with no obligations. 

If it were only that easy.

image: Cougar-Studio

Blog Hangover

Wow, do I ever feel like crap today.

I had such a virtual kegger yesterday, what with everyone congratulating me on my Blogoversary (thanks!) and me soaking up the lovely comments about the blog.  I think it’s gone to my head. Literally.

I feel fever-y, and headachey with a wicked sore throat and low energy (although no fever).  I suspect it is my annual Attack of the Allergies.  It started coming on yesterday afternoon and this morning it was in full blown assault.

My general feeling of crapitude wasn’t helped by the fact that I had to go for my annual pap smear today.  Let’s just say that after going to his office, which he shares with an OB, seeing poster after poster about pregnancy and birth, answering questions about my second miscarriage, and seeing a lot of expecting ladies who look to have been around the 7.5 month mark where I would have been had I not miscarried, I was feeling, to quote Janis, “as faded as my jeans.” Apparently, I still have some mourning left to do for No. 2 and the two pregnancies that I never got to complete.

If G wasn’t so stinky – we so need to give him a bath! – I would crawl into bed, break the rules that he isn’t allowed on the bed, and snuggle with him.  I’ll just have to wait for Mr. X, who is slightly less stinky, to come home for my snuggle. Sniffle.

image: Quasimondo

One Year and 200 Posts Ago…

I started this here blog. 

Happy Blogoversary to Me! Woot!

As with most projects that we embark on, my goal at the beginning was pretty narrow and one-sided: I wanted to bitch and moan about my infertility and just let out all of the nasty emotions that go with it in a safe, anonymous way.  Of course, the longer I was at it, the more it evolved into something much more.  The goal is no longer one-sided but multi-dimensional: talk about the emotions that go along with this crazy assed ride (yeah, that hasn’t changed), give inspiration to others on the journey, stretch out myself as a writer and try to make sense of it all. 

And, I can honestly say that blogging has helped me grow as a person, as a writer and as someone trying to have children. 

I think it’s pretty darn cool that one year later, not only am I still at it, but my blog has people(!) who read it (!) a lot (!) – wonderful people who take the time out of their busy lives to catch up on mine, and then provide me with wonderful support and compassion.  My blog overfloweths and I thank each and everyone of you. 

I do feel as if I should also pontificate on the fact that one year later, I still have no children or a viable pregnancy.  If you had told me a year ago that this is where I would be, I would have been depressed.  I would have secretly thought, but never uttered, that by virtue of starting a blog, it would just take a few more tries before I would get pregnant, as if the act of letting out my hot air would bring the stars into alignment and a baby into my uterus.  Obviously, that didn’t work so well.

But, a year later, I’m ok with it.  I’ve got a wonderfully full plate and I can very honestly say, that I am much happier now than I was a year ago.  And, I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I have been blogging. It has taught me how to evaluate what I’m feeling, figure out the nut behind it and either tackle it or just throw into the pile of thoughts that are just too ridiculous for words (how dare she look so good in maternity wear?!). 

So, it’s my One Year Anniversary and I’m still going bloggy strong.  Yay me and yay you!

image: CHRIS230 (cropped)

I Was Going To…

write a brilliant, thought-provoking post this evening.

But, then I realized that it is the night before my Blogoversary, and that heddy celebration will completely overshadow anything that I may write this evening, but I still need to have one last post which will be 199 before I can claim a 200th post to coincide with the Blogoversary – all part of my dastardly plan.

So, this is what you get.  Post 199.  A post about nothing. So very Seinfeld, don’t you think?

Posted in Uncategorized


I have been wanting to write these past few weeks about something that is growing inside of me (no, not that something) – something that has solidified enough that I felt it was time to blog about it. 

How do I say this?

image: Ravenelle

I’m really beginning to feel as if I want to live childfree. 

Damn, that was hard to write.  Have I just thrown my IF cred out the window?

I started having these thoughts a few weeks ago, right after our FET was a bust.  They brought me such a sense of relief and control, it was breathtaking – kind of like when you realize that you are off the hook from doing something that you really didn’t want to do.  At first, I thought it was just a symptom of us getting back into the game too early.

But, I’m still having these thoughts. It’s to the point where I’m not really planning on when we do the next IVF.  I’ll find myself feeling thankful that I don’t have children when I’m out somewhere and there are exasperated parents everywhere being harrassed by their kids.  For every one kid that is truly a ‘neat kid’ that makes you think, yeah, I’d like to have one, there are ten that are such monsterous nightmares that you are thankful to go home to your empty house.

I have spent the past three and a half years with one goal in mind: to have a child. It has been all consuming and dictated just about every major decision we made.  When I did get pregnant, I was overjoyed at the thought of the new life that was taking hold inside of me.  When the rug was pulled out from underneath us (twice), I was devastated.  I still miss my babies, and probably always will.  I was also still determined to succeed and have a child, preferably a biological child that I nurtured for nine months. 

But, now, I’m beginning to rethink my definition of success.  Is it to have a child? Then what? We’d still have to raise the child and what kind of child will we have? Even if the child has all of our genes, they are their own person, and will probably never look, act or speak the way that we imagined.  We will still have expectations and they will still be dashed – some for good, some for bad – and there will be times when we look at that child and wonder what we were thinking. 

To me, success after infertility has always implied that you have a child, by hook or by crook. But, what if success is actually learning all along that this wasn’t what you were meant to have?  Or, that what you want may not actually be a child? The more I think about it, it seemed as if for a while there, I wanted to bring a child into this world simply to ‘win’ the battle with infertility, to prove that I could do it.  I feel as if the real reason we started trying to have a child got lost in the years that we spent actually trying to have a child. 

Maybe I’m having these feelings because I’m so tired of disappointment and loss.  Maybe, deep down I didn’t want a child at all, who knows.  I do know that there was a time when I really wanted to make a child with my wonderful husband and raise that child with him. 

Now, 3.5 years down that path, this simple wish has become a complicated path and we have had the time to really question if that wish is right for us.

My Beautiful Failure

I have never failed at anything I have tried as spectacularly as I have failed to conceive and carry a child to full term.  It is my most epic and most deep failure – but it is also my most beautiful failure. 

How it is a beautiful failure?  Because I did everything humanly (and technologically) possible to achieve my goal.  I followed all of the directions, thought all the right thoughts, poked in all the right places and put up with all of it.  And, yet, I still failed.  My failure is beautiful because I am ok that I failed.  I’m still loved, accepted and respected – and perhaps, even more so than before because of what I have endured.  I don’t have to wear a scarlet letter F (or I for that matter) on my chest, or branded on my forehead.  I can hold my head up high comforted by the fact that I did everything that was required and could not change the outcome.  In short, my failure is not a measure of me.

For these reasons, failure is no longer a bad word to me.  It can truly be a thing of beauty:

(F) image: mag3737, (A) image: Jeremy Brooks, (I) image: Leo Reynolds, (L) image: mag3737, (U) image: mag3737, (RE) image: wryonedwards

It’s All Ute to Me

First, thanks to everyone for your encouragement in my endeavour of writing my very own piece of Chicklit.  And, I very well may take up those of you who have offered to read it.  No one – and I mean no one – but yours truly has read it so far.  And, I’m still a little shy about having others reading what I wrote. You would think with a blog, I would have no such problems. But, fiction and blogging are two very different things. So, thanks for the cosmic heave ho.

image: flattop341

And, I’m sure you are all on the edges of your seats waiting for an update on the status of my lady parts.  I think about it so much, I just have to assume that everyone else does too. I finally got in touch with Nurse to a T regarding my second period in two weeks and had a very unhelpful converation full of, “what exactly is the problem” and “I don’t know what we can do for you” and, my favorite, “I’m not really familiar with charting.”  Talk about frustrating.

The final consensus was that my initial “period” was probably withdrawal bleeding from all of the hormones and this period is the real period.  From a charting perspective, I started a new chart and everything has been reset. The good news is that Big Red appears to be finishing up and, knock on wood, it will be boring from here on out.

I was somewhat disappointed in my conversation with Nurse to a T, though. Despite being an IF veteran, I’ve never had an FET before, so I had no idea what to expect. Well, I expected a normal period and then a normal cycle. But, I wasn’t ever told to expect otherwise, so that was frustrating.  This was another potential nail in the coffin of my relationship with his office. 

I am still weighing my options on that particular front.  I will hopefully get a chance to sit down and talk with my neighbor who originally sent me to Dr. Uterus to see if the other REs in the area are better/worse/same.  Although, there comes a time when you hit a point of diminishing returns – he has the skills, the bed side manner, etc., but they can be outweighed by the sheer weight of negative experiences and anxiety.  I’m taking my time to make a decision because this is a big decision and I have the time.  I am lucky in this respect.

That’s all the news that fits to print!