Adieu, Old Friend

Dear 2008:

happy-new-year-old-man-time-and-chiI have to admit, I had high hopes for you. 

You were supposed to be the Year of the Baby.  You were supposed to be the Year that was Better than the Year Before.  You were supposed to be the Year I Became a Mother.  If you refer to the memo that I sent you on December 31, 2007, you will see this most clearly. 

What? You didn’t get that memo? You only got the memo I sent on January 1, 2008?

Oh. I see. Yes, I did pronounce you the Year of No Expectations.  Maybe that wasn’t the best plan after all since you apparently read it as the Year of Not Expecting. 

Don’t take my frustration out on you? Well, why ever not? You’re a big fat target, 365 days of potential now in the rear view mirror. 

Re-read my memo? I don’t see what good that would do.  Yes, I agree that I am a fabulous writer and this memo was particularly insightful, but I’m not in the mood for self-reflection. I’m in the mood for some 2008-bashing.

Anger is not a productive emotion? Since when did you become insightful? It seemed like you were paddling me from one end of the calendar to the other and now you try to get philosophical on me? I don’t think so! I’m out for revenge. You cheated me and toyed with me. You gave me hope and you snatched it away.  Someone has to pay for that!

Why blame you? Well, why wouldn’t I blame you? All of this happened on your watch. And, don’t try to remind me that I had some wonderful times this year. I know that bait and switch trick! So what if I got to go to Paris and we were so fortunate to become parents to G? Who cares if we found a new doctor and celebrated our fifth anniversary? Who cares if I made my first quilt and it turned out beautifully? The bad outweighs the good!

What do you mean life is about the good and the bad? Honestly, I’m getting a little tired of you being the sage in this relationship. Time may heal all wounds and produce untold wisdom, but you don’t have to rub my face in it.  Thank goodness there are a little more than 24 hours left in you.

You don’t want to part on that sour note? Hmpf. I suppose I can appreciate that. How about we leave it at this:

While I was not able to get my biggest wish this year, 2008, I grew, learned, loved, laughed, lived, did the best with what I was given and in spite of it all could say that for the most part, I was content.



Mrs. X

ps – please tell 2009 to stop peeking in the windows. It’s not time yet and it’s kind of creepy.


The holidays bring on all kinds of emotions.  Joy at seeing family.  Giddiness at the sight of a beautifully decorated tree with colorfully wrapped presents underneath.  Warmth from too much egg nog.  Pain on the next morning from a hangover from the egg nog.  More pain due to paper cuts from wrapping paper.  Frustration at keeping cats out of boxes (mine are so in need of boxhab) and wrapping paper.  Wonderment at whether family is really trying to drive me crazy. 

I actually really do enjoy the holidays. I swear.

kevindooleyOne holiday emotion I find very hard to handle, though is reflection.  There is something so perfect about the holidays for reflecting, too.  It’s the end of the year with the preceding 12 months in the rear view mirror, ripe for next-year quarterbacking and analysis.  There are long stretches of sitting around and drinking that are particularly conducive to reflection, even more so if you are trying to avoid family.  And, there is the general need to look back to see if you’ve made measurable and documentable progress on whatever goals you had at the start of the year.  Put it all together and you’ve got a recipe for unnecessary angst because, inevitably, what is different is not what you want to be different and what is the same is not what you want to be the same. 

I am an excellent example: in the ‘different’ column, I have added another miscarriage to my resume.  In the ‘same’ column, still no baby (or even pregnancy).  Ouch.

My inner optimist (who frankly, is like a 90 pound weakling compared to my inner pessimist), is piping up to tell me to look at what has changed for the better since last Christmas, again ignorning for a moment, all of the breathtakingly awful things that happened since last Christmas.  I’m game for a try.

One very quantifiable and wonderful difference from last year is that we have G this year.  Bless that dog, he is such a wonderful balm for whatever ails me.  Never one to let me wallow, should he find me down, he just looks me in the face with those big, limpid brown eyes, and without a trace of malice or mischief, belches right in my face.  And I laugh. How can I not, when a big Golden Retriever belches in my face?

And, I truly believe that I am more accepting of our infertility.  By ‘accepting’, I mean that I am no longer as angry as I was about it and the little green monster makes less frequent visits.  I feel like I have finally worked through most of my ‘why me’ phase and moved on to the ‘appreciate what you have’ phase, even if what we have is not all that we want. 

kevindooley2I would be lying though, if I said that I was not thinking about what next Christmas will be like.  Will it be like the last four Christmases of our reproductive journey? Or will there be a new ornament on the tree for a new member of the family? I’d like to think that I would be ok if the answer was that there was not a new family member joining us next Christmas.  Although, the familiar tug in my stomach tells me that right now, that is not the case as it would mean that the next 12 months will be spent in futility.  Perhaps I should just focus on this Christmas for now, huh? 

To all of my friends inside of the computer, readers, commenters, lurkers alike, may the season bring all of its joy to you and yours and may we all get what we want, if not this Christmas, then soon. 

image: kevindooleykevindooley

You Gotta Pay to Play

merrick-monroeBack in August, on the immediate heels of my spectacularly failed and drama-infused FET, I gave about a milisecond’s thought to doing another IVF in the fall and immediately shivered the full-body shiver of revulsion.  I knew that while my body might be ready, the rest of me certainly was not.  The thought of walking away from Dr. Uterus had already started to germinate, I had fresh memories of a particularly horrific and prolonged go round with the progesterone shots, including one 30 minute hyperventilation session in the bathroom before I was able to do the deed, and I just wanted to be normal again.  I didn’t want to count follicles or fret over sperm counts.  And, I certainly did not want to to go through beta watch and OB scans of doom, because to be perfectly honest, that was exactly what I thought was going to happen. Again.

And, I secretly wanted to test the theory that Mr. X and I could actually get this thing done on our own and achieve the Holy Grail of Infertility: a spontaneous, honest-to-God two-people-only-involved pregnancy.  A baby for free!  No beta watch crap, I could go in for an OB scan when I was ready and even if things didn’t work out, I would know that it would be possible for us to get the job done on our own.  Naive, I know. Just like all of my other notions of this getting and staying pregnant business.

ian-muttooThen my cycle started getting really whacked out, a fact which I attribute to Dr. Uterus’s parting gift of two months of Estrace and progesterone during the mock and real FET cycles (which, while making me lose 5 lbs and dropping a dress size was awesome, was so not worth the rest of it).  The Clomid of November too whacked up my system despite producing some beauties of follicles and it’s just now getting itself worked out.

So, rather than being the fall of procreation, it’s been the fall of “what the f*&% is up with your uterus?” And, I’ve come to the realization, that we will likely have to do another IVF to have a solid chance of being able to utter those magic words: “I’m (so not even in an altnerate universe) pregnant.”

We still have until February before things gear up again and I start taking the birth control pills.  But, given my new whacked-out-ness, who the hell knows if we’ll even have a glimmer of a shot without the high tech solution.  And, I’m back at where I started: the girl with no current discernable problems other than two back-to-back monosomy miscarriages which may or may not be the result of spectacularly bad luck who apparently cannot get pregnant on her own but has no idea what to do differently this time to make it work. 

images: merrick_monroe, ian muttoo

A Dark Night of the Stomach

Oh, dear reader. What a nightmarish 24 hours this has been.  Truly, a dark night of the stomach.

It started yesterday morning when I was feeling a little … off.  I have a weird stomach by nature – a touch of lactose intolerance and general grumblings if the food is too rich.  Breakfast should not have elicited any complaints, though. Toast, fruit and orange juice is pretty safe territory. But, I just kept feeling queasy and bloated.

By the afternoon, things were not looking good.  Bending down would bring waves of nausea and I soon realized that there was something very not right in the alimentary canal.  Stomach cramps were visiting far too often for comfort and making me generally miserable.  I signed off from work, climbed into bed and did my best impression of a mummy. I felt better in bed, but had to get up around 6pm.  I soon learned that moving around was not a good idea.

By 7, I was feeding the cats and the smell of the wet food sent me running to the bathroom for a nice rendezvous with the porcelain god.  I despise throwing up with every fiber of my being and so I try to avoid it whenever possible. It was not possible this time.

I spent the rest of the evening marooned on the couch, having been wrapped in a blanket by Mr. X, sipping Crystal Light to keep hydrated while watching Patrick Dempsey make a grand fool of himself in Made of Honor.  Silly boy should stick with playing McDreamy.  I also checked in with the porcelain god everyonce in a while, but thankfully, no more upchucking.

By 10, I was in bed, with a bucket next to me, fervently hoping that the worst was behind me (no pun intended).  I felt better this morning, and actually had a raging appetite at lunch, but now I’m feeling a little queasy again.  This bug is not completely knocked down, but I think he has finished having his way with me.

At least its CD 6 so I have at least a week to recover before prime babymaking time arrives.  Did I mention I still have a list-full of chores to do and next to no energy?

Code 83

Today’s mail brought a familiar envelope from our insurance company.  It was one of the many explanation of benefits that we have received from them over the course of this journey to procreate.  They stopped coming for a while, in a direct correlation to our stopping treatment of any kind, with Dr. Uterus or anyone else.  But, with the Clomid Challenge, they’ve started to trickle in again.  Today’s missive was different from its predecessors, though.  There were six little words at the bottom of the page that made my heart sink just a little further into its shell:

Code 83: Maximum Lifetime Benefit Has Been Met.

We have used all of the money that was allocated for us.  It’s all gone. 

I knew this day would come.  What I didn’t anticipate, however, was that I would still have no child in my arms to show for the investment.  All I have is a piece of paper telling me that they will not pay for my office visit on November 12 because, “Maximum Lifetime Benefit Has Been Met.”  It reminds me of the scene in Dangerous Liaisons, when the Vicompte de Valmont intones again and again as he is breaking up with Madame de Tourvel, – a woman he truly loved – “It’s beyond my control. It’s beyond my control.” .  He kept repeating it as she got more and more upset and the letters will keep coming intoing the same six words, “maximum lifetime benefit has been met”.  

I should be grateful that we had this money in the first place. I should not be angry that it is all gone.  I should not feel as if we wasted it because the bedroom in the back is still filled with boxes and my uterus is in no way filled with a child.

But, I’m angry that the money’s gone, I’m angry that we have nothing to show for it and I’m angry that Dr. Uterus spent it all on things that didn’t work. I’m still so angry at all that has happened.

Another Letter to My Lady Parts

Dear Lady Parts:

The last time I wrote to you was in March, that cruel month.  At the time, I begged – nay pleaded – with you to just get on with the miscarriage that Dr. Uterus had predicted was going to happen.  Of course, you didn’t listen to me, probably because you were harboring the little secret that, oops, I still was pregnant.  Way to let me in on the secret there, honey!

I admit, I haven’t exactly been on speaking terms with you since then. Instead, I’ve preferred to let others do the talking – Dr. Salsa with the dildo cam, my thermometer for my BBT – but, it’s time that you and I sit down again for a heart-to-uterus talk.

Let me be blunt: what the f*ck is going on with you? Seriously, this is ri-g*ddamn-diculous.  Ever since the FET, you have been totally whacked out. I had two periods within a month after the FET and now again, after the Clomid challenge. What gives? My temperatures have been all over the place at the wrong times or they’ve been static, again at the wrong times.  I get periods after 12 or 20 days.   I never claimed to be the most regular girl, but come on. You’re killing me with this damn uncertainty and wickedly freaky behavior.  And, frankly, Mr. X is getting very confused.

Since I can’t seem to reason with you and you aren’t talking to me, I’ve decided that we need to see a counselor. Someone who can mediate our differences, someone, like Dr. Salsa, who speaks Uterus because apparently, I’m just not fluent. 

I’m sorry it’s come to this, but I just can’t have this kind of tomfoolery.  I’m trying to get pregnant, here, in case you hadn’t noticed – yea, all those troops bombarding you? that’s the whole TTC thing – and you are not cooperating. 

Maybe someday when we are both shriveled and shrunken, we’ll look back on this and laugh. But, right now, we’re still in prime baby-making time and you are seriously making this way more complicated than it needs to be.  So, get your act together before I’m forced to take more desperate measures. 



Just For You….

So, earlier this week I bragged told you about the fabulous deal I got on some very fabulous shoes.  There were numerous requests for pictures, so that you, too could share in the orgy glory  of the bounty.  I cannot leave such requests unanswered.  I would be breaking the number one creed of blogging: the reader is always right. So, without further ado, here, my friends, are the Shoes:

First up, the Coach pair in all of their peep-toe heavenly goodness:


They make me want to paint my toes fire engine red. 

And, second, but certainly not second best, behold the Prada shoes of unbelieveable gorgeousness:


Both pairs have graced my footsies this week, and if I do say so myself, looked mah-velous. 

Can you tell that I love shoes?

Quality, Not Quantity

Everyday Everyonce in a while, I peruse back through some of my previous posts.  I like to read what I wrote at various points, both to see how much has changed, and how much hasn’t.  I also like to read because, frankly, I really enjoy reading what I wrote. It gives me warm fuzzies, like reading a great recommendation from a former employer or a card from Mr. X when were first courting.  What can I say? When it comes to my writing, I am at my most vain. 

free-parking-9I was reading some of the posts from last month when I did NaBloPoMo, though and I did not get my usual fuzzies.  I checked to make sure that my fuzzy-meter was still calibrated and it was (damn! that was a good post). So, the lack of fuzzies must have been directly related to the writing.  Case in point: 90% of the posts did nothing for me.  (Ugh, did I really write that Clomid made my teeth hurt? Oof.)  I pondered this fuzzy deficit and realized that for me, the act of having to write something everyday inevitably lead to less than the high quality product that I like to put out. (Oh, Lord, I just saw that I wrote “I like to put out.”  Insert juvenile snickering here). 

Sure, I can do 30 posts in 30 days.  But, did I honestly add something to the general discourse? Not really. 

You’re probably thinking, well, duh. 

I see now with perfect clarity that there was no way I was going to be able to produce brilliance night after night.  But, bless my overachieving little heart, I really thought I could.  I think I’ll leave it to the professionals next time.

I can say that I’m exceedingly glad to be free of the tyranny of daily posting.  I can let posts develop, simmer and go through multiple revisions before they really say what I want them to say.  And, if they still suck, well then, I’ll just let them sit and think about their transgressions in my drafts folder.

I’ve learned the valuable lesson that just because I can post, doesn’t mean that I should, at least not every day.

Orange is the New Green

I get ‘itches’ from time to time.  ‘Itches’ can range anywhere from the desire to try again as quickly as possible with the medical establishment to get knocked up to the desire to renovate the kitchen. Another popular itch is for retail therapy.  The retail therapy itch started to build the other morning when I despondently viewed my closet and realized that I had just two pairs of pants that a) fit me and b) looked good with boots.  I’m sure you are shaking your head at this terrible dilemma and wondering how I could possibly continue to function. I tell you it was hard, but some nice wool skirts did help.  And, then some decent weather that allowed for non-sock shoes. 

tillweAs the week drew to a close, I realized that my situation was indeed dire and that I had not visited my favorite consignment store in quite some time.   By Saturday around 1:30pm, Mr. X and I had finished our general choring and running around, and I realized that the store was open until 4pm.  It was the perfect opportunity to scratch this itch, particularly since Mr. X had  headed to his cave to play that infernal game.  I snatched up my car keys and bade him farwell.  (Actually, I told him I was leaving him for the wonders of the consignment store.  He took it pretty well, all in all). 

Fifteen minutes later I was parked in front and could see the wonderful rows of clothes just begging for me to try them on, all organized like the rainbow – just like I do at home.  Almost as soon as I arrived, I was informed that items with orange tags were 50% off and that there were a lot of them. I tend not to instinctively pick the orange tag – or whatever color it is that month – item.  But, it was a nice piece of information to tuck away once I started making decisions.

I dived in with the jackets, detoured briefly to the dresses (Diane Von Furstenburg!) before making my way to the tops (meh) and a quick perusal of the handbags.  Then, it was back against the wall for a quick peek at the jewelry and then on to the jeans and pants.  I silently cursed the European numbering system for jeans and made a guestimate at what would fit.  I hit the black pants with a vengeance and then went through the button down shirts.  Took a gander at the belts (I didn’t know it was possible to make things so hideous) and then headed to the section that I save for last: the shoes.

The shoe section had been carpet-bombed in orange tags.  I inspected all of the size 8 shoes and found four candidates to audition for a place in my coveted shoe collection.  They would join the likes of Ferragamo, Calvin Klein, Ann Taylor, Nine West, and Bandolino, to name-drop a few.

I started trying on and trying on and trying on.  I won’t bore you with the details of the clothes because frankly, it became clear pretty quickly that my destiny that day was to buy shoes.  First, three of the four fit very well.  Of the three, two had the orange tags.  And do you know what shoes those were?  Oh, my.  I still cannot believe it myself:  PRADA and COACH shoes, people.  I got both for $90 or each for 45-freaking-dollars. 

I can’t decide what I’m more excited about – how gorgeous the shoes are or what an awesome deal I got.  Truly, that is a dilemma.

image: tillwe

Arsenic and Old Mrs. X*

I’ve been seeing on a few blogs this notion of having a list of things to do with the same number of items as the person’s age.  So, the older you are, the more shit you have to do (isn’t that always the way?). 

hugovkIn an embarrassingly short amount of time (ok, February 2, but it’s less than 2 months away!), I will turn 33.  I know to many of you this still qualifies me as a baby (or worse), but take a moment to reflect back when you were in your thirties and the odometer kept creeping up.  I would bet some of the very scarce cash in the economy that you felt just a little freaked out.  If you didn’t, well, good for you. Go have a martini and leave me to my momentary ramblings.

So, back to the project thingy.  I would presumably have to do 33 things during the year that I am 33.  I’ve given some thought as to what exactly would populate this list. I know that I want the items to be attainable – so world peace is out – and quantifiable – so not worrying as much is out.  I also want them to be doable – so becoming a doctor or an astrophysicist is really out. 

But, can I really think of 33 things that meet this criteria and are meaningful?  Maybe thinking of 32 things should be my first item.  For those of you are doing it, don’t be surprised if I lurk on over to your blogs to see what your answers are. 

One item that I know will not be on the list: getting and staying pregnant.  This is not because I think this is unattainable or impossible.  It’s just that I don’t want to set myself up for failure if it doesn’t happen or put (even more) pressure on myself to have it work out.  And, I want to focus on more non-IF activities, in the event next year is as barren as this year.

Keep an eye on the pages at the top of the site to see if I decide to take the plunge. 

(* I should explain the title.  Wikipedia has thoughtfully informed me that 33 is the atomic number of Arsenic.  I find this strangely hilarious.  Further link-clicking reveals that I am currently in the year of Germanium. Good times.)  

image: hugovk