Lucky 7

Do you want to know the lengths I went to this morning to be prepared to receive the call from the embryologist while still being able to complete my morning gardening?

I put the cordless phone in my sports bra so that I could be hands free and still do my thing.  And, darned if it didn’t fit nicely!  I am sure any passing neighbor would have been greatly amused to see me wheeling out the wheelbarrow with my mulch with a white cordless phone sticking provacatively out of the top of my blue sports bra.  I always like to give a good show.

In the end, it didn’t matter because it reached that hour with no phone call that I either had to take G for his walk or he would do without since it is So. Freaking. Hot.  The boy has a fur coat, and anything past about 10am is just brutal for him.

So, I entrusted the phone with Mr. X who was still lounging in bed and warned him that he was required to answer the phone on pain of death.  I departed with the pooch, fully aware and not a little bit relieved that the embryologist would likely call while I was gone.  And he did.

Today’s fert report: of the 10 contendas that we had on Friday, 7 are 6-10 celled and there is a straggler 4 cell little guy that he’s watching. This means that two contendas have been voted off the island.  But, 7 are still going strong with one bringing up the rear.  For now, we are focusing on our lucky 7.  We are still in the game and that is good.    

Transfer (5d) is on Tuesday.  We have been having some discussions amongst ourselves that we want 3 embryos transferred.  Last time we had 2 transferred with zilch result.  I brought it up with Dr. Salsa and the embryologist at my WTF meeting after March’s IVF failure.  At the time, they made rather non-commital noises, but didn’t rule it out completely either.    

Regardless of how many are transferred on Tuesday, that’s when the hardest part begins: The Wait.

My Dog Ate the Hot Dog

I knew that almost four years down the rabbit hole of trying to reproduce would do some weird shit to my head.  I expected that. What I didn’t expect is that it would make me weep over the fact that my dog ate the hot dog.

thebusybrainAllow me to explain.

Remember in my list of 33 things to do in this, my 33rd year, I wanted to train with G (the hot dog eating dog) to do service in hospitals? Well, for the past seven weeks on Thursday nights (including the day after my ER and the night before beta!) he and I have trudged out to a local church to learn the ways of the master (who I refer to as The Hun. Her people skills leave much to be desired.)  It has been a real test of humility for me. Not so much for him. It’s been a treat fest for him. 

Last night was the final class before the final exam next week.  It was the night that we went over what we had learned and discussed what would be in the evaluation.  G and I have been working on just about everything that we did this evening, including the Recall. 

The Recall involves the dog starting at your left side, putting him in a sit, making him stay while you walk away some twenty steps or so, making the dog continue to stay even after you turn around and then calling the dog to come to you.  The whole point is that he is essentially not attached to a person for about 20 seconds and you have to be able to control when he gets up and where he goes – by making him come to you.  When we started this, he would get up almost immediately and we’d have to go back and get him to sit again. 

I enlisted Mr. X’s help in practicing with G.  Mr. X would stand just off to the side in case G made a move to get up or would start to come to me before he was called.  G has gotten so good at it, though, that I was able to continue to practice with him this week even though Mr. X was traveling.  I was pretty confident that G would do just fine with this particular item when we practiced it in class.

But last night, of all nights, The Hun had to throw in a hot dog. 

tonylanciabetaShe was attempting to do two things at once: practice the recall and practice getting the dog to leave the hot dog.  She told us that only one dog before in the history of this particular exercise has eaten the hot dog.  There were six dogs in the class this evening, including G.  Would the hot dog survive?

The first couple of dogs go.  The Greyhound makes a few half-hearted attempts, but is easily swayed by his owner to leave it.  The Doberman, same thing. The Lab, not even a sniff.  The little Schnauzer – what hot dog? And then it was G’s turn. I knew even before we got there that he was going to make an attempt on that hot dog. 

I got him into his sit, put my hand in front of his nose which is our sign for stay.  I began to walk away and The Hun quietly said, “oops” which is the notice that your dog is no longer sitting. Sure enough, out of the corner of my eye, I see the flash of Golden fur in the direction of the unprotected hot dog. I lunged and tried to knock it out of his way, but he was too quick. In one gulp, the hot dog was gone.

And I felt an overwhelming sense of failure. Once again, it seemed as if I was the only one who was different, and not in a good way.  Not even the freaking Bull Mastiff who was eyeing that hot dog like it was a mailman went for it. 

I was not able to control my dog to get him to leave the hot dog. I failed. Again.  And, what would normally have been a little frustration and a sign that we need to work on his leave it skills with a little levity thrown in when he belched heartily after his tasty treat, to me was a weeping-inducing event – at home, not in class. I held it together! 

What I realized is that IF has perverted my notion of what it is to fail so much that the fact that my dog ate the hot dog is now on par with a failed IVF cycle. It was just another epic failure in the long line of epic failures. Natural conception: FAIL.  Pregnancy: FAIL, twice.  IVF: FAIL.  I have racked up so many epic failures in the one arena that is supposed to be easy and simple that even 14 year-olds can do it, that even when I try anything else and still fail, I cannot see it as a learning experience. I cannot get past the failure. 

images: top left (TheBusyBrain), bottom right (tonylanciabeta)

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The letter

Yes, G, has agreed to temporarily abandon his favorite orange ball and 14-hour a day sleeping habit to say hello to everyone. Due to that whole lack of opposable thumbs thing, though, I will be typing for him. But, I am not censoring transcribing correctly whatever comes out of his slobbery little mouth.  Without further ado, may I present G:

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The Dog and Baby Show

I can’t remember now where I heard the adage that couples just starting out in life should start small when it come to keeping other things alive.  So, start with plants, graduate to animals and then actual live human children.  The theory is that if you can keep plants and animals alive, then you can probably do the whole baby thing. 

I used to think this was a bunch of bunk mainly because it doesn’t take into account whether or not you actually want to keep the thing alive.  I’m terrible at keeping plants alive because I consistently forget to water them, and I am not remorseful enough to make an effort to remember.  I have no problem remembering to water the kitties, however, because I have every desire to keep them alive and purring until they die a peaceful death of old age.  The saying assumes that each has the same level of respect.  I love my kitties and I tolerate my plants.

I do think, though, that whoever came up with this theory was on to something when you apply it to dogs.  In fact, I think G, our new (to us) old Golden Retriever has (temporarily) cured my Baby Lust.  I honestly had no clue how much work a dog really takes.  Walks twice a day, daily grooming, playing twice a day out in the backyard, feeding, holy crap it is unbelievable!  And there’s the worrying about training, leash pulling, eating the kitties’ food, chasing the kitties (that happened yesterday), the thunderstorm phobia.  This dog is more work in one day than the kitties are in an entire week.

It is enough to make you question whether you really want to have an infant who is likely ten times more work. Yeah, I said it.  Is that heresy?

There would be some marked differences: Mr. X would share a whole lot more of the responsibilities, and presumably we would have 9 months to get used to the idea of an infant. But still. After the honeymoon phase ends and people stop coming by to visit to see the new baby, it is you and them and that’s it.  Of course, you can take the kid everywhere. The dog, not so much.

For now, I’m going to enjoy not being obsessed with the state of my uterus (or anyone else’s for that matter) and enjoy navigating my way through new doggy-mommyhood. Woof.

image: wader