Thursday, December 21, 2006
I've basically been in a coma since Monday night, and not for the reason you think. Around 4am that night, I woke up and I was sick. I mean, SICK. Not barfing, or anything like that. But I just knew I was coming down with something BIG. I got up anyway and went to work. By the time I strolled in, I was shivering, coughing, and about to pass out. I walked in late to a meeting and everyone stopped and looked at me as if I had another head growing out of my chest. I was promptly told to go home, which I did.
I seriously don't remember anything after that. I don't remember driving home, I don't remember drinking the N.yquil and climbing into bed. I only know I sent my boss an e-mail from my black.berry telling him I wouldn't be in yesterday because I saw it this morning in my "sent" folder. Yesterday was the first time I've ever called in sick since I've been at this job, which is 5 years. I've left early due to illness, but I've always at least tried to go in.
So of course this left M to deal with her chemical pregnancy loss by herself. We only got the news on Monday, so we only had about 8 hours to deal with it together before I was down for the count. She is doing surprisingly well.
She went back to the clinic for a blood test on Wed morning to make sure the levels were falling (they are, beta:55) and to have a post-mortem with CityDoc. I would have loved to have been there, but I was thrashing around in a nightmarish state brought on by crazy-making meds in a pool of sweat, snot, and dirty tissues. M had to bring the Buggins, too, which is just terrible for so many reasons. She tried to get her into the hospital day care but they were not open yet. So M brought the mini DVD player and "E.lmo's Christmas" and the Buggins sat there like such a good little girl while her mommy and CityDoc discussed the ramifications of a botched pregnancy.
Since I wasn't there, I can't really speak to the meeting, but here are some quotes I got my wife:
"I wish all my 38 year old patients responded like you"
"From a clinical point of view, a chemical pregnancy is MUCH better than a negative"
"You obviously have no implantation issues"
"My guess is there were genetic abnormalities in the eggs, because everything else was perfect"
So, M felt better after speaking with him. She is still terribly sad about the failure of this cycle, but somewhat hopeful about future cycles. We need to take some time off. After a chemical pregnancy, they want us to take a full cycle off anyway, and then if we started a fresh cycle right away we'd have to cancel our trip to St. Thomas in March, which neither of us are keen to do. So we'll start a fresh cycle in March, she'll be on the bcp's on our trip, and we'll dive in full force around the time that Serenity's bulbs are poking up.
While sad, this time off will allow us to focus on the Buggins. We need to. The poor little bug has been listening to this for too long. On the day we got the news, when M was crying hysterically into my shoulder, Buggins was standing there saying "Mama, W'as Wong? W'as Wong?" She's only 2 for Pete's sake. She deserves so much more than this. It's not fair to her.
Because I was so sick, M and the Buggins got out of the house yesterday and M took Buggins to the day care associated with my work because she loves it there so much. She needed to have a fun day, and M needed a day to be by herself and sort everything out. So M spent the day in Boston, walking, shopping, getting various things done (eyebrows I think) and it was very healing for her. What was especially healing for her was that she stumbled upon a Mul.berry Bag that was 40% off. I only know of this bag because she makes me search for it when I'm in London. I don't know what's so special about it. It's a bag. But she has wanted it for a long time, and she called me yesterday from the store, jarring me out of my ny.quil coma, and took advantage of my condition to ask if she could have it for Christmas. I probably thought at the time that she was asking me if I had ever wanted to pitch for the Boston Red Sox, to which of course I answered "Yes". So, that was an expensive phone call. But man, did it make her happy. Money well spent.
So we're doing ok. We're going to NYC on the 26th to see my dad for a couple days. And we are going to have a fun, merry, Buggins-centric Christmas. It's going to be complete with Santa, and presents, and carols, and friends, and parties, and very few thoughts about chromosomally abnormal embryos. Just like the olden days.
I lied before. I said I didn't remember anything about the 2 days I was in bed. Not true. I have blogger set up to send my comments to my black.berry, which I kept next to my bed. Every now and then I would reach up with my snotty fingers and grab the device, and read through all your caring, touching comments. I read every single one (So did M) and they really made us feel good. This is a tremendous community. It cannot be adequately described in words. Thank you all for your nice thoughts. And most of all, CONGRATS to the many, many people who defied the crappy odds and got pregnant this month!
Monday, December 18, 2006
I think we all know what this means. I'm sure someone has heard of some story of some couple whose HCG level stayed the same for a while and then grew, but it's less likely than winning the lottery. This cycle is done for. M is due to get her most painful period ever on Christmas day.
M fell apart when she got the phone call. They told her to stay on the progesterone for a few days just in case, she told them to forget it. They said she had to come back on Wed for another blod test, and she told them to forget it. The nurse had to explain the risk of ectopic, and that she absolutely had to be monitored. M couldn't speak any more and told the nurse to call me instead.
My poor wife. She was so nervous signing in to the clinic this morning that she couldn't remember our home phone number or her cell number. Her hands were shaking so much that she couldn't write her name on the log. She's such a stress case. IVF plays directly to all of her weaknesses, and none of her strengths. It's not fair.
We had planned for every contingency. We knew, from past experience, that she should not be alone when she gets the news. And that we should never be at the mercy of one of these phone calls again. We would always control the information ourselves, and we'd always know BEFORE the call. And I would always be next to her.
Well, we were naive. We never considered this outcome. We took the pee test together, it was positive. She had the beta on a Saturday so that I would be with her the whole day. We did everything right. But the god damned HCG was too low, and it all came down to ANOTHER call, on a MONDAY, when I HAD to be at work. It was like our last BFN all over again. I had to rush home to peel my wife up off the ground.
And it's not like we can just sit at home wallowing in our misery or decide to get dressed up and go out for dinner or get drunk. We have the Buggins, who at 2 doesn't give a rats ass about IVF. She wants to play, and sing, and dance. There is no time to feel bad for ourselves, we have to put on a happy face. When I arrived home, all the Buggins wanted to do was play ring around the rosy, and M was in a ball on the couch. At times like this, having a child already can make it even harder. And yet, at the same time, so much easier.
We think we might be done. M has made about 50 proclamations today, in a futile effort to feel in control. We'll see how many of them stick. But as of right now, we might be deciding to be a one child family. Which we know, despite this terrible pain, makes us very lucky.
I'm sorry for making many of you sad with this news. I am thankful for your comments and messages of hope and understanding. We are not doing well today, by any stretch. But I think we'll be OK soon.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Our celebration might have been a bit premature. The clinic gives us a 50/50 chance.
This is the worst possible kind of news, because it drags the process out. If the number falls by Monday, M goes off the drugs and awaits her period. If the number grows at all, she stays on the meds and basically waits for a possible miscarriage.
M is very upset. Feels as though the holidays are ruined, and is dreading an AF that will be terribly painful.
I know that with the buggins, since she was natural, we never knew her numbers. Maybe they were low. Maybe this is normal for M. Maybe this baby will be fine.
That's the shit of it. We are no less uncertain about this pregnancy, and this uncertainly could very well last 2 days, or even weeks or months.
Trying to keep my chin up today but it feels like a very dark day. If anyone knows of a low beta pregnancy that ended well, I'd love to hear about it.
Next beta Monday.
By the way, you may have noticed that I finally came over and joined Blogger Beta. This is primarily due to 2 reasons:
1) I'm fairly certain that the folks at Blogger are responsible for our shitty HCG test. I think they figured that if I won't go to their beta, they'll go to MY beta and screw it all up. OK, blogger, that was a low blow, but I got to give you props. You accomplished what you wanted. Here I am. Now fix M's HCG level and put it back to where it was SUPPOSED to be, you pieces of shit.
2) They no longer allowed me to comment on your blogs. The bitches. I gots to give my love to the pixies. I gots to.
By the way, if you were once on my blogroll and have fallen off, fret not. I plan to increase the size of my roll (hee hee hee) but it is being complicated by the fact that a) i have no idea what the F I'm doing and b) I'm so exhausted from such an emotional day that I can no longer see the screen but for some reason I refuse to go to bed even though my poor wife has been asleep for hours and I should just go up there and lie next to her but I feel like I need to see if this day can be salvaged before it goes in the history books. Judging by the last run-on sentence, it's not looking good for me.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Yes, thank you, thank you. Thanks. Thank you very much. Please sit down. Yes. Thank you. Thanks. Really, please sit. Thank you. Thanks.
Now, before you all start high-fiving me, I should tell you: The line is faint. I mean faint. So faint, in fact, that after M peed on it, we looked at it for a while, and there was no line. We hugged eachother, and we each tried to comfort the other.
Then I went back and looked about 1 minute later. There was a little line.
It was a little darker a few minutes later, but still very faint. And it has stayed very faint. With the buggins, the line showed up in like 5 seconds and was the darkest pink I've ever seen. So we think we've reached some sort of pregnancy, but there is a very good chance it's only chemical. But that, in itself, is better than nothing.
Beta tomorrow - will post results - I really appreciate all your comments and well wishes. More than I could ever say.
I'll comment to each person's blog separately, but let me just say how happy I am that so many bloggers have gotten knocked up this cycle. I feel like most of my blogroll tested positive this month.
M is taking a HPT tonight, she's decided. Yes, she has changed her mind several times about this topic, and I wouldn't be surprised if she changed it again in the next few hours. But as it stands now, I'm buying a test on the way home from work and she's pissing on it.
Commenting on other people's great news can be hard when one's own news is terrible, so let me reiterate now, before I know if it's a BFN or a BFP, that I am TRULY thrilled for all of you. If I don't say that as much as I should after the test, it's only because we're hurting.
I'll update tonight with the HPT results.
** For some reason Blogger will not let me comment on any blogs. Either I'm on some sort of double secret blogger probation, or I am so stupid that I am failing the word test like 15,000 times in a row. Either way, no comments.
Monday, December 11, 2006
M is pushing the POAS date further and further out. At this rate, she'll be ready to take the pee test the day after the kid is born. Or the day after her period starts, whichever is sooner.
She says she is SURE it is negative. Big cramping going on. Not like little cramping. Like lying in bed knees up going "ooooooohhhhhhhh" kind of cramping. That can't be good.
I would love to feel hopeful, but since I can't actually feel anything MYSELF, and since I depend on M for all my input, and she's feeling negative, well, not sure where that leaves me. Believe me, I'd love to hijack some of her piss and throw it on a stick and be done with this 2 week nonsense. If I wasn't SURE it would result in a negative, I'd piss on the damn thing MYSELF.
That gives me an idea. The "hot water treatment". Ever heard of it? I used to do it to my brother when he slept. What you do is: when a person is asleep, you dip their hand (or fingers) in warm water. It triggers a relaxation impulse in the person, and they relax their bladder. Immature hilarity ensues as they pee all over themselves in their sleep. 99.9% of the time the person wakes up first and then beats the shit out of you. But the .1% of the time it works is so sweet - it's worth it. I might try it on M tonight with a little cup and a pee stick. And a catchers mask. And mace.
In a normal cycle, M would be getting her period tomorrow. So the clinic isn't really waiting THAT long to test. It just feels long. We are going to do a home preg test AFTER the beta. Yes, you read that right. AFTER. We are going to come into the city, give blood, then go home and she'll piss on the stick. That way, we can control the information. Why not do it before the blood draw that morning, you ask? Good question. Because if it's a negative on the HPT, I will NEVER be able to get her in the car to go get her beta test. She would do the same thing the Buggins does when I try to take her somewhere she doesn't want to go: she would exercise that miraculous ability to turn her bones to jello and slump down on the ground so that it's impossible to be picked up. We call it the "jelly girl" move. Buggins is a pro.
Traveling again tomorrow, Wed, and Thursday. Prob won't be posting. Try to exist without me.
Be careful out there. (Hill Street Blues)
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Last night M decided that testing today was still too early. Who am I to argue with that.
Sorry if any of you are let down; we're not going to know until Thursday night.
A WHOLE WEEK of anxiety and obsession! What fun.
Thanks for checking in -
Friday, December 08, 2006
By this Sunday it will be almost certain that the HCG from the trigger shot will be gone. That's our biggest worry - a false positive or an early miscarriage that we may not have known about had we not tested early (happened once before). Sunday will be 13 days since the trigger, and a rule of thumb says it takes 10 days for HCG shots to leave your body.
So M says she'll pee on a stick on Sunday morning. That way, we'll have all day Sunday to deal with it together, and then Monday morning we have an appt at the social worker who can help us deal with a negative.
Sunday morning. Today is Friday. That's just 2 days. This morning I thought we'd be testing in a week, and I was fine with that, because it seemed like a short wait. Now Sunday seems like it's a month away.
This is probably the last post before we know if the cycle worked. I'm usually such an optimistic person, but I have a terrible feeling about this. It's not that I'm worried it's negative, it's that I'm DREADING the negative that I'm already sure of. Dreading the tears. And the screams. And the thrashing around M will do as she frantically searches for some sort of control over a situation she can not control. She will want to make important decisions within minutes of the news. She will scream proclamations. She will be so angry. So, so angry. God, I'm dreading it.
But maybe Saturday will be nice?
Anyway, thanks for all your support this cycle, it has meant a tremendous amount to both of us. I'll see you back here on the other side of the pee test.
Good weekend everyone -
Thursday, December 07, 2006
M and I, however, are avoiding HPTs like they were polonium-210. First of all, we still think it's too early for us, our beta isn't until the 16th. But also, it's quite obvious now that our chances are much less than they were before. I mean, Spark, Lola AND M can't possible ALL get pregnant the same month. Some couple has to break the cycle. Well, clearly that couple has to be us. So we'd rather not find out until we have to.
Oh - so a highlight of my trip to London was the hour I spent in a little coffee shop with the lovely and talented Thalia. She had nicely offered to have coffee with me when I was in town, and I'm sure she thought (hoped, even) that I would never actually take her up on it. But of course I did, because I'm on a mission to meet all of you. So far, I have met Serenity, Lola, and now Thalia. Anyone else want to meet? Just say the word. I'll be in San Francisco next Tue & Wed, then in NYC on Thurs. Open call.
Anyway, I very much enjoyed meeting Thalia. She clearly is a very smart, sophisticated and kind woman who has spent her life indentifying her goals and then achieving them. How difficult this IF curse must be to someone like that. I mean, it's no picnic for anyone, but I would think it must be particularly rough for someone who has spent her life executing on her plans and taking control. IF is like one giant bitch-slap.
We talked about her husband, my wife, our extended families, our careers, and our common struggles. I was working on very little sleep so I'm sure I said a handful of stupid things. But whatever, it happened in a different country so it's like it wasn't real anyway. The one question I wanted to ask but forgot: What in the name of all that is holy is a "clotted cream"? And why would someone eat it?
Thalia is sporting a couple embryos presently and could benefit from your kind words and thoughts.
M's plan is to do an HPT the night before beta, just so that we can control the news ourselves rather than have someone call us with potentially (and statistically speaking, probably) devistating news. So that's another full week. As of now, nary a symptom in sight.
Buggins said "Merry Christmas Daddy" on the phone today. That was a first.
Monday, December 04, 2006
This post has been brewing for some time, and I don't think it's at all ready. But I have nothing to write about today and I'm out the next couple of days so I figured I'd see if I can try to express this feeling I have. If I can't, I'll just save it as a draft, not publish it, and you knuckleheads will be none the wiser, right?
So basically, it's like this: I still feel like a kid. I realize that I'm not unique in this regard; most people still feel like kids inside. But I REALLY feel like a kid. And I'm clearly not. One glance at my driver's license dispels that notion - I am 35 years old. My dad had FOUR kids at my age. He was definitely an adult. He had cocktail parties with monogrammed barware and people would come over with ties on and drink scotch and say important things. I mean, I do that too...I go to parties with a tie on sometimes, and I love scotch, and I think I may once have said something important. But the difference is...I don't know what the difference is. But there is one. It's like THEY were REALLY adults. I'm just ACTING like an adult.
There are other things I do that make me think I'm not really an adult:
- I still always want the window seat on an airplane and I spend the ENTIRE flight with my forehead glued to the glass. I have noticed that NO OTHER PERSON on the flight does this. It's not as if its my first flight, for pete's sake. I've flown all over the world, for years and years. Still, every single flight, eyes staring out the window.
- When I sit at my desk, I almost always sit with my right foot tucked under my left butt cheek. I'm sitting on my foot. Even when I'm wearing a suit, like right now, I'm sitting like a 5th grader. Can that be normal? I don't see anyone else sitting that way.
- When I hear a news story about a "35 year old man" or a "38 year old woman" I always think that they are kind of old. But I don't think of MYSELF like that at all.
- Even though I have more money than either of my parents, I still always hope there is a check in my birthday card or x-mas card.
- If I were ever on a plane that got hijacked, or in a bank that got robbed, I still expect that they'd let ME go free, because for God's sake, I'm just a kid.
- I feel like if I ever broke the law and got busted, I'd get sent to juvie instead of big person prison. Yeah, I know I'm wrong there. And I'd be popular in prison. Seriously.
There are easily 100 more things just like that I could list. Does anyone know what I'm talking about here? I still kind of feel like I haven't expressed it properly. At what age do you actually stop feeling young? I seriously feel EXACTLY like I felt when I was in my 20's. I'm into different things, but that's only because I can afford them now. And having a kid didn't make me feel older, that's for sure. I mean for F*cks sake, I'm playing with Leg.os every day now. And I get INTO it, too. At first I just handed her the pieces and she would place them, but now it's like "Buggins, give me that, it should go like this" and then next thing I know she is off doing something else and I'm STILL playing with the f'ing leg.os.
Anyway, that's my post for the day. Sorry it's not altogether thoughtful or well constructed or coherent. But what do you want? For Christ's sake, I'm just a kid.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
The good news is that of the two than went in, one was VERY good, and the other was good. We wanted to make sure they didn't put any bad ones in, because last night we watched The Omen and we saw what can happen when you get a bad one.
The "not good" news is that the other 7 didn't quite made it to blast. There probably won't be anything to freeze, which is a huge disappointment for us. I suspect, were it not for the valium, M would be having a cow right about now.
They are going to continue to monitor them, and if they reach blast then they'll freeze them. But they think it's unlikely. I DID think things were going a little TOO well.
This cycle has been different than past cycles. Not nearly as much stress, NO fights, no crying. M was a great sport throughout all of it. That is due in large part to stripping away from M all the things that really drive her crazy (dealing with the nurses, dealing with the insurance people, dealing with the medicine.) So I took over all of that this time. And it made a HUGE difference. Yesterday we barely thought about the transfer today. We went to bed last night almost as if it were any other night.
I woke up around 4am wracked with butterflies in my stomach, but I wasn't sure why. But my stomach was in knots. I lay there for almost an hour pondering what was bothering me, and then it hit me: Twins. I am terrified of twins. We have NO support system, no family, friends who have their own problems, a small house in an expensive town and my wife has a very low tolerance for stress. Twins would destroy us.
Before long, I realized M was lying awake too, and we started talking. Turns out she was lying there worrying about twins too. If we were childless, it wouldn't be an issue. But we have a 2 year old. After a long discussion we decided it would probably be best to transfer only one blast, to eliminate the twin risk. But that was when we thought we'd have a whole litter to freeze.
So M went in at 11:15, and I waited outside with the Buggins. The doctor said to M: "You should transfer two" and M said "OK." Well, so much for our discussion.
We are now officially in the 2 week wait. I think it may pass more quickly than others, at least for me, because starting Tuesday I'll be in London for work and then San Fran and then NYC. So I'll be keeping myself busy. And getting lots of sleep in giant king size hotel beds. Love that.
Thanks for all your well wishes!
Friday, December 01, 2006
First of all, I've never been so eager to create a new post and push the previous one off the front page. Phew...
OK, so we're going to blast. 5 day transfer. We were not able to get the details of our embryo quality (which frustrated me) but the nurse said that we had "at least 6 embryos that were at either 6,7,or 8 cells". Because she didn't have the info in front of her, she said she will call back today with more info. Grrr.
UPDATE: Actually, they called me this afternoon and gave me the info I was looking for. It turns out, ALL NINE embies are 7 or 8 cells, and it looks like they ALL might make it to blast. Hard to believe. We may have a real shot at making some frosties!)
But...that's great news. The little suckers are doing well! And we may have some left over for the big chill.
Sunday is the day. Wish us luck. I really appreciate all the well wishes.
Also, about the previous topic, I just want to say that I appreciate all the thoughtful comments, even the ones I don't agree with. We had a constructive and open exchange of ideas, which is why I do this in the first place. I have no hard feelings, and I hope no one else does. I always want people to feel free to be totally honest and open with me.
On to sunnier topics. Like the weather. It may hit 70 degrees here in Boston today. On December 1st. Global warming anyone?
Thursday, November 30, 2006
- People with kids in the clinic (waiting room or hallway) don't want their kids in there any more than you do. Perhaps more. It's no place for kids. Some people (many in fact) have NO CHOICE.
- The idea that you would cancel a cycle due to a lack of child care is STUPID. If we did that, our doctor would laugh at us and then tell us we obviously weren't serious about the process and would probably refuse to treat us any more.
- My child is not hurting you. The other children in the waiting room are not hurting you. Infertility is hurting you. For that, I am sorry. I wish there was something I could do for you, but there isn't. There is something I can do for our own infertility, though, and that's to undergo treatment. Which we are going to do, even if we have to bring our kid.
- Don't blame mothers for having to bring their kids. Secondary Infertility is just that. Infertility. Kids are part of the process. Clinics are NOT just for infertile people with no kids. It's for all infertiles, primary and secondary. If you have to blame someone, blame the clinics for not having a separate "family" waiting room. Believe me, we'd love that.
- It's not my responsibility to make you comfortable in the waiting room. It's my responsibility to make my wife comfortable, and to take care of my family and make sure everyone is safe and well cared for. If that impedes on your comfort, then I do regret that. But again, not my problem. How you cope with things is YOUR problem.
- My wife and I have been in BOTH camps. We have been the sad childless infertiles sitting in the waiting room, hurting inside and wishing we were pregnant. I've given mothers and their kids dirty looks. I'm also now the guy who sometimes (literally only 3 times) has had to bring his kid to the clinic. I have the benefit of wearing BOTH pairs of shoes. You have still only been in one. To gain comfort with this, you will have to come to terms with the fact that there are some things you just do not understand, because you have not been there. When you have a baby, and no childcare, or your sitter has called in sick at the last minute, and you have a belly full of follicles you've been working on for 6 weeks with daily shots, BCP, Lupron, etc, believe me, you're not canceling your f'ing cycle. You're bringing your kid.
- Finally, let me tell you about my neighbor...actually, she's the person we bought our house from. Only recently did we find out that she struggled with infertility for years. And she went through some pretty hard core treatments...surgeries, a strict diet of Lu.pron and Follist.im...you get the picture. Anyway, after almost 4 years of this she finally gave birth to a baby girl this past June and when we talked to her about this she said "Seeing kids in the waiting room used to upset me, but I fought hard for this kid and there is NO way when I start the fight for my second that I'm leaving my little pride and joy with some stranger who I'm paying $20 an hour just so I can pop in for a 10 minute blood draw and ultra sound...NO WAY!!"
That is all I have to say on this matter.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Of the 12 eggs:
11 were mature
We need to call them Friday morning, and they'll tell us whether it's a 3 day or a 5 day transfer. If it's a 3 day, then 10am on Friday. I hope we make it to blast.
I'm happy with the results! Friday seems like a loooong ways away.
He called me last night (we were already in bed).
Dad: If I were going to give you something for Christmas and it was monogrammed, what order should I put the initials? (First of all, this man is smart. Prep school, Princeton, retired senior executive of a major corporation. He can't figure this out himself?)
Me: Well, Dad. That depends.
Dad: Why? Depends on what?
Me: Well, some things are traditionally monogrammed with the wife's initials. Sheets, towels etc. Some things are monogrammed with the husbands initials, like barware. By the way, I gave M monogrammed high thread count sheets for our anniversary, so stay away from that please.
Dad: Jesus. Well, I can't tell you what it is, but it's not especially feminine. And it's for both of you.
Me: Ok. I'd say its safe to go with M's initials.
Dad: Ok, in what order?
Me: Well, that depends.
Dad. Oh for christ's sake.
Me: Well, do you want to do it right, or wrong? If you really want to go down this road, you may as well do it right.
Dad: I'm not sure I want to go down this road.
Me: Are the initials all the same size, like block lettering? If they are, the initials go in order, like ABC. Or were you thinking rounded initials, kind of old school?
Dad: I don't fucking know!
Me: Well, its a decision you need to make! if you want them old school, the last initial is in the middle, and is the largest letter. First initial in front, middle initial last. OR, some people do it jointly, with last name in middle, and then one first name in front, and the other first name last. Of course, in different situations you would have her first initial first, and my first initial last, and in other situations, the reverse is true.
Dad: I think I'll get you a card
Me: Works for me.
Now I'll grant you, I was clearly the more obnoxious person in that exchange. On purpose. My dad does not exercise patience or a great deal of thought when doing things. He is into instant gratification. GOD FORBID he should have to RESEARCH something. If he got me something monogrammed, it would be some beautiful, expensive thing with the WRONG initials on it because he didn't take the time to do it right. THEN, because it's monogrammed, we would end up not being able to return it. We'd keep it for a year, and then M would secretly throw it out. Happens every f'ing year.
Ah, the holidays.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
It's funny, ICSI is the only part of this whole process that I kind of have a problem with. I feel like as long as egg and sperm can come together at the meet-n-greet at the Petri Dish Cafe, then at least the "magic moment" isn't manipulated. It's the ultimate "survival of the fittest". But now, they can just inject any old sperm into the egg. Maybe that sperm wouldn't have had a chance the normal way? Maybe he's super dumb, or lazy, or will grow up to be an ultra religious right winger. Or maybe...he'll like country music? I can't bear the thought.
By the way, what is it with Asian porn? In every one of those "collection" rooms I've been to, they're full of Asian porn. Not American porn with Asian girls, but Asian porn with Asian writing on the box. (And perhaps Asian dialogue, but I wouldn't know. And if I DID know, I wouldn't admit that anyway) I mean, I think some Asian women are very beautiful too, but c'mon...WTF? Is it some kind of IVF male obsession that I'm missing?
Anyway, ICSI happening tonight. As long as we can transfer a couple and still have at least 1 cycle of frosties left over, we'll feel very good.
M is feeling great, bounced right back from anesthesia and was shopping in the fancy hospital gift shop within 30 minutes. Buggins was at a new day care affiliated with the hospital. Number of babies in the waiting room today: three.
I'll update tomorrow with fert rates. Wish my boys luck!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Final E2: 2364
At least this time the HCG shot is at a reasonable time, 10pm. Last time, it was at 2:30am and I spent the first half on the night awake for fear I'd sleep through the alarm and the second half awake wondering if I had stuck the needle in the right place.
Retrieval set for Tuesday morning, transfer 5 days later. We're doing ICSI or ICBM or CSI Miami or whatever it's called.
Another interesting day at the clinic. I met Lola, and this time she came up and said hi. She was in for her retrieval, so it was nice of her to spend a few minutes chatting with me and M when she obviously had a few things on her mind. I met her husband, too. Let me tell you, there are not many people who can make me feel short. I'm 6 foot 5 inches tall. Mr. Lola makes me feel short. Both Lola and her husband are awesome. Super friendly and nice to talk to. Buggins was there, and she was being shy and anti-social, but they were very nice to her.
Speaking of The Buggins, she made a MAJOR waiting room faux pas. You see, I was with Buggins in the hallway outside the waiting room, and M was in a chair in the waiting room, waiting for her turn to be poked and prodded. Buggins knew exactly where M was sitting, and would periodically escape my clutches and go running into the waiting room yelling for her mommy. I would run in behind her, scoop her up, and bring her back to the hallway. Multiple times.
Well, after a while, M was called in for her ultra-sound, and a woman sat in M's vacant seat. This woman happened to have similar hair, similar build, and the same coat at M. At one point, Buggins got away from me and ran back in the waiting room, and my one quick glance at M's old chair and I knew exactly what was going to happen.
Buggins ran up to this woman, who was alone and reading a magazine, grabbed her leg and yelled "HI MAMA!!"
Time seemed to slow down right then. The room went deathly silent (Oh, except for Lola's laugh...) I looked into the young ladies eyes, which had widened as if to say "No way did that just happen to me. No way did a little girl just run up to me out of nowhere and call me Mommy as I sit in the waiting room of an infertility clinic". Yes. Her eyes said all that.
I apologized to the woman and explained that Buggin's mom had been sitting in that seat before her. She smiled and we bolted out of there. A few minutes later, I noticed that she had switched seats, possible to avoid a repeat of that fiasco.
I hope that girl saw that as a sign from heaven that she would one day be someone's momma. Or at least I hope she thought Buggins was cute in her little snowman sweater.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Phew. I went on about that a bit longer than I intended and much longer than was appropriate.
M and I had to stick around here for the holidays, because she had to get an ultrasound. My 3 siblings, their spouses, and all 10 of their kids got together at my sister's house in upstate NY, but we obviously could not make it. Explaining that one to them was not easy and I think some feelings got hurt. But hey, our feelings are hurt by IF, so it's all good.
The RE's office on T'Giving morning was more action-packed than I was prepared for. We brought The Buggins with us, since we had the first appt, 8am, and we really thought we'd be the only people there because of the holiday. Not so.
Something about that place makes the Buggins misbehave, I don't get it. Seriously, she is the most even-tempered, well behaved little girl, until she gets to our clinic. Then all bets are off. (Remember, that's where she bit M's finger).
Apparently, I was "spotted" by a REAL LIFE blogging buddy, Lola. We had both figured out that we probably used the same clinic, and our timing is pretty much the same, but since she has never posted a picture or even described herself, I had no idea what to look for. (She did mention once that she likes wearing 4 inch heels, but I'm on the lookout for ladies like that all the time anyway, so the RE waiting room would be no different.) Lola - had you worn those, I'd remember you perfectly.
Anyway, she saw me, and what's even better is that she saw the Buggins have a freaking BREAKDOWN when M was called in and Buggins could not follow her. We normally don't bring buggins in the waiting room, in fact I normally don't go to these appointments at all, but we made an exception that day. I scooped up the Buggins and calmed her down by promising her things I had no intention of ever providing (a whole car made out of chocolate? Forget it).
Unfortunately, despite recognizing me, Lola did not introduce herself because she was unsure whether I would welcome it. Let me clear that up right now: If any of you ever see me in real life, no matter what I'm doing, please stop me and introduce yourself. I will ALWAYS be happy you did. I can not think of an instance where I would be unhappy you did, unless you went on to mug me or something. Or spit on me. Because if I see you, and I know it's you, I don't care if you're on the phone. I'm coming up to you. And we're talking.
So after Buggins calmed down, I brought her back inside the waiting room and went to the far, far corner and sat down. After a few moments of quiet, I thought perhaps Buggins was going to make it easy on me.
That's right about when she started lifting up her shirt, showing all that God gave her, and yelling "Daddy eat it!!". Daaaadddyyyy, EAT IT!"(Lola - did you catch that little show??). Buggins was referring to her Bee Boo, which is an innocent little game we play in the privacy of our own home. Perfectly innocent, I assure you.
Well, it didn't look so innocent to the lady sitting across from us. She totally looked at me as if I was some kind of sicko. I guess a little girl flashing her stomach and yelling for her Daddy to "EAT IT" is a bit of a red flag.
M's follicles all look good, not too many, not too few. It looks like we'll trigger on Sunday or Monday. We're back tomorrow for another U/S.
We finished up the day with an excellent dinner at The Hampshire House, which you may recognize as the restaurant upstairs from Cheers. I think it was called Melville's on the show. We love it there.
Have a great weekend everyone -
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
10 follicles, all looks "great" down there. Estradiol level (whatever the F*CK that is) is 219. I'm told that's "good". Back on Thanksgiving morning for more.
If anyone can help me understand what the estradiol number means, I'll give you a dollar. Seriously. I'll pay.pal you.
Now I'll tell you why I don't even deserve any more children and why I feel like jumping out my 32nd story window.
Because M had to leave early to get to her appointment, I had the pleasure of taking miss Buggins to her pre-school. I've never done that before. M left some stuff out for me to take there, like buggin's little Maisy Mouse bag, which held her goldfish crackers for snack time, as well as a little bib so she doesn't get crumbs all over her fancy little school clothes. M told me to remember the "moo milk", which is a little container of vanilla milk with a built in straw that buggins LOVES. She said they were in the fridge, and that I should not forget to grab one. Sure.
So the time came, I gathered up all the stuff, put buggins in her big coat and hat, and we headed off for school. I dropped her off, she seemed very happy, and off I went to work.
4 hours later, M picked her up from school. Her eyes were all red and puffy, and the teacher said buggins had been VERY upset. It seemed that at snack time, there was no moo milk. I forgot the effing moo milk. She was forced to eat goldfish crackers with no moo milk to wash it down. She had to sit there and watch as all her little friends got to drink THEIR drinks, but her Dad is too fucking stupid to remember hers.
Its one thing to suffer because of something dumb you did. It's an ENTIRELY different feeling when someone else, who happens to be totally innocent and dependent on you, suffers because you forgot something. Seriously, the thought of buggins in tears because I forgot the milk has put a huge lump in my throat and butterflies in my stomach. I think I will be plagued by guilt over this for the rest of my life. I will be apologizing for this at her wedding. Which I'll probably forget to give her a present for.
Buggins, if this blog still exists when you can read, and you happen to stumble upon it, I want you to know that I am very, very sorry. I will always make sure you have everything you need in the future. As I'm sure Mommy has told you several times, Daddy isn't very smart. But he loves you.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Smarshy: Buggins, what's happening tomorrow?
Buggins: Want cookie
Smarshy: No, Buggins, what's happening tomorrow?
Buggins: Rick. Rick touched the pumpkin.
Smarshy: What? Say that again
Buggins (getting annoyed with me): Daaadddyyy...Rick chachy plumpgrem!
Smarshy: Buggins, I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that. Say it again.
Buggins: Rick cheldmen prugum!!!
Smarshy: What?? Rick cheldmen prugrum?
Buggins (totally exasperated with me): RICK CHILDRENS PROGRAM!!
Oh my God. She wasn't saying Rick touched the pumpkin. She was saying Rick Childrens Program. As in "I want to go see Rick at the Children program".
I totally threw Rick under the bus needlessly. I guess I can put away my lead pipe and brass knuckles. And I was all geared up for "mortal combat" type bloodshed and asskicking.
Oh well. Crisis averted. Riddle solved. She is at the Childrens Program right now, stuffing her little face with french toast sticks and subjecting Rick to hours of Ring Around The Rosey entertainment.
Baseline ultra-sound was this morning. M has 10 follicles, which they said was very good, given that she was on birth control pills for 2 weeks. The Dr. said many women have none on their first ultrasound. And she hasn't even had any stims yet.
So it looks like M is off to a good start. They expect her to be a "good responder". Yeah, that's my lady.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Almost all the people who work there are women (and they're all ridiculously hot, for some reason). The only guy who works there is Rick. Buggins loves Rick, and it always seems to be Rick who plays with her, writes her daily report, etc.
Also, Buggins is starting to make sense when she speaks. There's alot of "La la cribbie Elmo Banana" but then sometimes there is an actual sentence to be heard, i.e. "hello daddy, I had a fun day".
The other day she said something new, which caused me to pause and wonder just what the HELL she was talking about. She was following me around the house saying "daddy, daddy, daddy, daddddyyyyyy" so I finally turned, squatted down to her level, and said "Yes, Buggins?".
She replied, "Rick touched the pumpkin".
Well. My imagination started to run a little wild. She has since said it a number of times, at least 2 times a day. Buggins would not be able to watch someone do something like this and then describe it like that. She is saying "Rick touched the pumpkin" because someone said to HER, "Rick touch the pumpkin". Maybe it was in the form of a question? As in, "Rick touch the pumpkin?", or, "May Rich touch the pumpkin?" OR, what I'm MOST afraid of, "Do you enjoy it when Rick touches the pumpkin?"
The big question in this case, obviously, is...what the hell is "the pumpkin". Is it an actual pumpkin? Or is something sinister going on? Is my buggins crying out for help?
Now, obviously I am mostly joking here, and this type of thing should not be joked about. If I thought someone was out there touching Buggins pumpkin, I'd be doing alot less writing and alot more ass-whoopin'. But it does give you a glimpse into the paranoid mind of the father of a very pretty little girl. I am CONVINCED there is a madman around every corner waiting to make off with my little Buggins. And what I'm sure was a very innocent case of "pumpkin touching" temporarily sent me down a very dark path. I expect to head down this path at least once a day for the next 18 years.
I've decided that even though I'm sure everything is fine, and nothing untoward happened, I still have to go kick Rick's ass. If he asks why, I'll just say "Watch out who's pumpkin you touch". That'll teach him.
As far as Mrs Smarshy and I go, we haven't been touching the pumpkin in quite some time. Did you know that Lupron is one of the drugs given to repeated sex offenders to quell their sex drive? Yeah. If it has that effect on crazy sex maniacs, imagine the effect on little Mrs. Smarshy.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Too much to say to do it all in one post, so here is a quick executive summary:
Things are good on this front. We are on day 7 of Lupron. I love giving shots. Actually, I only like it every other day. For some reason, it doesn't hurt at all when I put the shot in M's left leg, but when I put it in her right leg, she screams like I'm poking her with a red-hot branding iron. That takes the fun out of it. Well, most of the fun. It's still a little fun.
So far, no side effects at all - no headaches or abnormal craziness. I say abnormal because if there was NO craziness, that would be incredibly abnormal.
We start stims on Saturday. I imagine that's when the evil Sith Lord will invade my wife's body. I'm planning on shutting down half my brain for that 2 week period.
She has to get an MRI on Friday because they think she may have an obstructed bile duct left over from her recent gall bladder surgery. Depending on what they see, this whole cycle could end up in the shitter. If she does have to have surgery, we hope we can at least get to the retrieval stage first, and then make some frosties. We'll see.
Buggins in sick. My poor little buggins. Nothing is as terrible as seeing your little girl sick, and there is NOTHING you can do about it. Fever, sniffles, coughing. I would give anything to take her illness away and give it to myself. One good thing about it: she gets really cuddly when she's sick, like a puppy.
M and I are still seeing the social worker every week, but we had a breakthrough. Actually, she had a breakthrough. I was staring out the window watching workmen lay brick on some new construction. They had nice form.
Anyway, I'll tell you all about that (the breakthrough, not the brickwork) another time. I gotta get home to see the Buggins.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Sometimes, when I get home from work, I announce that I'm very hungry and that I'd like to eat a Bee Boo. Thus there is a brief chase, accompanied by glass-shattering girly shrieks, until I catch her, then lift her up and pretend to eat her bee boo while tickling her. After a few minutes of frenzy, I release her and we both sit on the ground, catching our breath and feeling exhausted. Then I have a beer. This goes on almost every night.
The last couple of days I've noticed a disturbing change. I get home and announce that I want to eat a Bee Boo. Buggins looks at me, and instead of running away and screaming with glee, she simply stands there and lifts up her shirt. As if to say "Ok Dad, come and get it. Do your thing".
That makes me feel very
1) Stupid, as if this whole time she's been playing this stupid game for ME
2) Dirty, for obvious reasons
3) Sad, because our little bee-boo phase must be coming to an end
Also, it makes me a little worried. I mean, is that all it's going to take to get my little girl to lift up her shirt to some dude? What's next? I want to make sure I teach her not to go flashing her boobies to every pimply little dickwad who wants to cop a feel. So far, it looks like all someone has to do is announce they want to eat a bee-boo, and up comes the clothes (I think she may have even continued watching TV while holding up her shirt). Complete lack of passion.
It also brought to mind what she might be like if she were in a loveless marriage someday. Really. She gave off the whole vibe of "alright, make this quick, I'm watching my programs".
These are not thoughts I want to contemplate about my little girl. I ALWAYS want her to run from anyone who wants to see her bee-boo.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Serenity just moved over to beta. Should I do that? All I've heard are crappy things about it. But I don't want to be the only loser still stuck back in regular blogger. What should I do? I'm inclined to stay here, if only because Serenity has already used the "lighthouse" motif, and anyone who know me knows that I'm all about lighthouses, and now I can't use that without copying Serenity. What a quandary.
Ok, so 5 things:
1) Rent the movie "Without Limits", starring Billy Crudup and Donald Sutherland. I am the very first person you see in that film, right after the opening credits. That's me, walking through the parking lot with a tray of coffee. If you watch it, you'll notice I was kind of, um, LANKY. Not so much anymore. That was 10 years and almost 35 pounds ago. The fact that I could put on 35 pounds and still not be fat at all tells you what a skinny dipshit I was. I've since gotten a haircut too, thankfully.
2) Whenever I see my wife being incredibly sweet to the Buggins, or whenever I see her being a great mother or whenever I get the sense that I'm being a good father, I get overwhelmed with sadness that I have not been able to explain. I am working with a counselor who is helping me realize that at that moment, I am mourning the fact that I did not receive that level of parenting from my own parents. Literally, the baby in me is jealous of my own baby. Weird.
3) I believe that we bloggers are totally full of ourselves. This exercise if absolute proof of that, in my mind. Why would I think 5 things about me would be of any interest to anyone? Why do I think I have anything interesting to say? I know many of you say, and I myself have said, that this blogging business is all about getting feelings out and the therapy of sharing. I think there's some truth to that, but I mostly think we all just want people to read our shit and think we're funny/smart/interesting.
4) I got a bonus in March that changed my life. That's when M stopped working.
5) My mother is an alcoholic who lives alone, thousands of miles from any of her children. She has a sister who lives 4 hours away by car. My mother refuses help, will not move, and is combative and is filled with self-pity. She does not return phone calls and prefers to hang out with her friends during holidays instead of her family. I am very afraid something will happen to her and we won't know about it for days or weeks. Not so much because I'll miss her, but because of the horribleness of dying alone and no one knowing for along time. The horror that that can happen to someone, despite the fact that they had decades of a happy, normal life, raising kids, being married for 40 years. Then, to live a hermit life of an angry alcoholic and to die alone, it just shatters the idea of happy endings.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Remember when Martha Quinn and all the other MTV jerkoffs were trying so hard to make voting seem cool to our disenfranchised youth? Ah, the innocent 80's and 90's. Damn kids weren't voting enough. Some of them even chewed gum in the hallway.
I rocked the vote last night, with M and the Buggins, who isn't yet totally clear on the "V" sound and thought we were going on a "boat". So in the middle of the little voting room, she was screaming "Going to Boat! Going to Boat!!". Yeaaah. Rock the Boat, baby.
Speaking of rocking the boat, we really stuck it to ol' G-Dub last night. Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, blah blah blah. I just really like the fact that, despite all of the immense power inherent within the presidency, we can still stick it to him if we don't like what he's doing. No electoral college in the congressional or gubernatorial elections. Just us. We kicked Dubya in the pantalones. Sorry George. Now, take these cookies. And this milk, careful not to spill. Go sit in that comfy chair in the corner, and try not to make any loud noises. We'll come and get you in 2008 when it's time to leave.
My state (MA) elected it's first black governor. It seems odd to me that that is such a big deal. He ran against a woman, who would have been the first woman elected. That was a big deal too. What is it with this country? Margaret Thatcher was running the UK decades ago. And don't forget Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth, Catherine the Great. A woman running things is really not a very new idea. One visit to my home proves that point.
Started Lupron this morning. I was like a shot wizard. The reason for that is that I went to Shot School yesterday. I went to the clinic (BY MYSELF) and got a lesson in how to use my wife as a pincushion. I am now officially an expert in syringes.
The nurse who taught me was a middle aged woman. Not especially nice looking, but certainly not homely, either. The thing about her was that she has got the most incredible colored eyes. They are like a pale, sky blue. I don't think I've ever seen eyes that color. And, she happened to be wearing a p.atagonia pullover that was EXACTLY the same color. Exactly. Now, this is no ordinary color, it's like "pale blue #423534". Hard to replicate in nature. And the P.atagonia really made them pop.
So of course I said something. That's just my nature. When it comes to things like this, I just have no filter. I said "Wow, you know your eyes exactly match your pullover, it's really a very nice color". She looked at me in amazement, and then sort of stuttered a thank you and got all weird. It occurred to me as I was leaving that she may have thought I was hitting on her. While I was learning how to shoot my wife up with fertility drugs.
Hey nursie, if you are reading this, I wasn't hitting on you. I just liked your eye color, that's all. Get over yourself.
Monday, November 06, 2006
There are only a few things, from a guys perspective, that come close to spackle in terms of variety of usage. Duct tape is up there too. But it's what spackle GIVES you that makes it so special. While duct tape will hold things together, spackle goes one step further - it gives you a fresh start.
Have a hole in your wall? Spread on some spackle. Did you drive a nail into your wall in the wrong place? Pull it out, and slap on some spackle. Did the pieces of drywall not connect evenly, and leave a gap? Spackle spackle spackle baby.
It covers your mistakes. Just wait for it to try, grab some sand paper or a wet cloth, and sand or wipe away the excess. What's left? NOTHING. It's like the badness was NEVER THERE. No one will EVER know.
Oh, I have so many uses for spackle in my life. There are a few ex girlfriends I'd like to spackle over. I knocked the buggins in the head with the 'fridge door when she was like 10 weeks old. I'd like to spackle that. My wife recently said that she would love diamond earrings, and I responded that I'd consider it if she were pregnant. I'd slather a whole CAN of spackle on that conversation.
Can't they sell Life Spackle?
I'd buy it at CostCo, in like a 10 gallon tub. Instead of a spackle knife, I'd spread it around with a snow shovel. But I would save a whole bunch for the middle of December.
Why? Because that's when we'll get the results of the current IVF cycle we're on. I would stand by the phone, spackle knife fully loaded and in hand, and when the call comes in, if it's a negative, EVERYTHING is getting spackled. The phone, my wife, her memory, everything. Then I will sand it all, and paint it all nice and happy.
Friday, November 03, 2006
I still can't quite bring myself to create a post of any significance. I originally started blogging because I thought it would bring me and M hope, but lately I think it's been having the opposite affect on me. It's making me feel hopeless. This is a community of people who I have grown to care about a great deal, so I feel each setback and negative event that befalls any of you acutely, as if it were happening to me. I would feel the positive events too, but there just seems to be a dearth of those. I'm not going anywhere, though. I'm far too involved in all your stories to disappear now. I just don't have much to contribute at this point.
I'm in shock over Kellie's news. If you haven't already, please visit her and offer a kind word.
M and I are still on the rollercoaster, and at every twist and turn she is screaming to get off the ride. The social worker we *have* to see together I'm sure thinks we're a couple of nutjobs.
The latest drama was that the box of fertility meds arrived, and when M opened it and saw how many shots and boxes of drugs were in it, she reacted literally as if she had opened the box and found a severed head inside. I was traveling that day, and I got calls on my cell phone while I was in a meeting and she was literally hyperventilating into the phone. She decided right then that the cycles was cancelled.
The next morning she decided she would try to continue the cycle.
That afternoon she cancelled it again.
Today its back on.
I'm going fucking crazy.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
We made it to a few houses before Buggins announced "ALL DONE HALLOWEEN!". When Buggins uses the phrase "all done", one ignores that at one's peril. The rest of the evening she spent standing by the door, waiting for trick or treaters. When the doorbell rang she would scream "BIG KIDS!!!".
Kids are fun.
Here are a coupla pics. (note the master carving)
Plus, it came out in our couples session that M feels like I'm spending too much time reading and writing blogs and not enough time talking with her about OUR cycles. That's pure crap, by the way. But she said it, and she said in front of the THERAPIST which of course made me sound like some kind of a freaky internet weirdo. Trolling for infertiles. Come here, little infertile...want some candy?
I just read Songbird's blog; I haven't checked in on her in a while. I am so sad about her news. I just don't understand all these miscarriages. I mean, WTF? Anyway, her news is a week old, but please go lend some support.
Not much going on here. I've been working in the basement, trying to make it look nice. Installed some drywall for the first time, so that was interesting. The 1st peice I put in looks a whole lot different than the 10th and 15th and 20th. You can literally see how I progressed down the experience curve.
We got our IVF schedule. It's all going down on Thanksgiving week. Retrieval on Tues, Wed, or Thursday (T'Giving Day), with transfer 5 days later. So I guess we're staying home this year? I hope we get the really crappy, second string nurses who have to cover for the good ones while they take time off. It's always fun to see them bumbling around, bumping into eachother, trying to use the u/s maching as a telephone, etc.
Buggins is going as a kangaroo tonight. I'm taking her out on the town. If we stop by your house, and you're not there, then GOD HELP YOU. I'm bringing eggs, shaving cream, and m-80's.
Friday, October 27, 2006
It all started when we had to meet the "social worker". As part of our treatment, M and I had to sit down with a counselor to talk about all the various IVF related issues and how they affect us. She claimed she was not a gatekeeper in any way, and that she was not an "obstacle" we had to clear prior to beginning our cycle, but I think that was bullcocky. She wanted to make sure we weren't crazy people.
Counseling sessions with couples are really really hard. That was my first experience with it. I did NOT like alot of the things my wife said. Everything really came out into the open. That meeting really put me in a funk. Turns out, we have some serious issues. The social worker pretty much insisted that we go back and see her regularly, like once a week, until we can start to clear some things up. So I've got THAT going for me.
Then, as we were leaving the session, seething and angry at eachother for all the crappy things we said, M's cell phone rang. It was the Buggin's pre-school. Apprarently there was a really foul, unusual odor in the building, and even the fire department did not know what it was. So they had to evacuate, and all the kids needed to be picked up IMMEDIATELY. Well, guess what? M was in BOSTON, with me, and it would take a good hour to get to the school (we had to fit the social worker appt in during the 3 hours Buggins is in school). So it was cold out, Buggins did not have a warm enough jacket or gloves, and she was stuck in the frigging PARKING LOT waiting to be picked up. So M totally lost it. She felt as though her baby needed her, and she wasn't there, instead she was in the city focusing her attention on making another baby that doesn't even exist, and meanwhile her little baby that DOES exist was shivering in a parking lot. So it was clear to me that M could not make the drive from Boston to our town, given that she was sobbing and convulsing. So I drove her most of the way there, until she was calm and composed, and then dropped myself off a train station so that I could get my ass BACK to Boston and to work finally. M picked up the Buggins, who was having fun with her teachers in the parking lot. She was just fine, except her little hands were cold. They never did find out what the smell was. I suspect Buggins just let one fly; she does that from time to time and it really is pretty noxious.
So then, after they were home safe and I was at work, M and I got into a RIP ROARING fight on the phone about stuff that was said to the social worker. She hung up on me, and I called her back. I hung up on her, and she called me back. Yeah. One of THOSE fights.
But, the truth is, after we got through the fight, we were in a pretty good place. We understood eachother alot better than we did before, and I think that fight was good for us. We had a babysitter lined up for last night (it was parent teacher night at pre-school, but noxious gas cancelled it) so we decided to keep the babysitter and go out for a nice dinner. I'm glad we did. We are much better off now than we were before meeting with the social worker, but the journey was BRUUUTAL.
Anyway, it's sunny and it's Friday and things today are pretty good. So I have THAT going for me too.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
1) I think I've grown spoiled by the level of comments on my blog over the last few months. Because I only got about 10 on my last post, and now I'm afraid you all have grown weary of me. Don't feel bad, you all hung around much longer than most of my ex-girlfriends. I think my wife might be growing weary of me too.
2) I think you should have to surrender your drivers license at a certain age, like 75. Now, I know there are plenty of 77 and 80 year olds who are perfectly capable of driving. There are also plenty of 13 and 14 year olds who are capable, but they can't drive. Sorry Grandma. Hand it over.
3) I think it should be a law that the President of the United States should have to populate half of his cabinet-level positions with people from other political parties. Abraham Lincoln had his "Team of Rivals", literally his cabinet was made up of his former political opponents. After he won office, he basically said something along the lines of "I don't feel I have the right to deprive the American public of these people's intellect and leadership" And it was like the most effective cabinet ever. There are NO checks and balances in a room filled with yes men. Abe Lincoln had it right. Too bad about the Ford Theater thing.
4) I think ailments like infertility, as well as cancer and any other type of ailment, cause the sufferer to wake up to the idea that people are, for the most part, totally selfish, self-absorbed, and insensitive. What a horrible discovery that is. I'd much rather not know.
5) I think all humans are constantly one tiny step away from losing all semblance of civility, and running naked in the streets throwing poop at eachother. We're all just animals. Look at how Boston reacted when the Red Sox won the world series. It was mayhem. We can all wear suits and get fancy degrees but we're all just one winning baseball game away from being a bunch of crazy monkeys.
6) I think our society should be like Asia, where they revere the elderly. People don't value experience nearly enough. Old people here are treated like they're crazy. (some ARE crazy). But they were once young, and they have been there. In ancient China or Japan, these people would have been held up like gods. We should pay MUCH more respect to our elderly. (We just should not let them DRIVE)
7) I think prisoners should get a bill after they get out of jail. For room and board.
8) I think the Secretary of Defense should have a military background. Call me crazy.
9) I think it's odd that those Segway scooters never really caught on. I suspect it's because there is no cargo space. Where do you store all your crap? Also, no one wants to be that first guy who buys one, and then everyone stares at as he goes by.
10) I think diamonds are precious just because we have decided that they're precious. It's up to us. Let's decide DIRT is precious. There, look, now everyone is rich.
11) I think electricity will be wireless someday soon. And we'll regale our offspring with stories of how we used to have to "plug things in" and how we had giant wooden poles along the streets holding "wires" that actually had to carry electricity from place to place.
Those are some things I think. What are some things you think? I'd be interested.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Happy Shit Day, everyone.
So M and I have been going back and forth on this "2 week decision" thing. She had a bit of a breakthrough last night when she realized that what she was lacking, and what she desperately needed, was a word of encouragement or a pep talk from someone knowledgeable about her situation (i.e. the Doctor). No one has ever said to her "M, based on your numbers here, I think there is a strong likelihood that you'll get pregnant from IVF. Maybe not the first time, maybe not the second, but chances are pretty good for you overall". She has had a pep talk from NO ONE except me, and I give TERRIBLE pep talks. Here's my pep talk: "Hey, buck up little camper, we'll all be dead in 100 years anyway, so why does it really matter?" Pure sunshine.
Remember when I was so happy that the Dr gave us his e-mail address? Well I dug it up and used it. I sent him a long note telling him the M was paralyzed with fear over a negative IVF, that she felt as though she has no reason to hope, and that she needed a word of encouragement or she was going to bail on the whole thing. He wrote back! He said everyone in that practice was "very optimistic that she would not only respond well, but also be quite successful!". He then went on to say that her only cycle so far was an IUI-IVF conversion, which in his mind "Doesn't even count since IUI and IVF protocols are very different". That was what she needed to hear. If we erase that bad transfer, then actually M has had NO treatment since we started trying for baby #2. All other cycles have been cancelled by either insurance or over/understimulation. That negative IVF really screwed her up, and if we can say "it didn't count", well, then she's in a much better place, isn't she. So it looks like we're going to do the IVF cycle.
Things I realized when I thought we were going to stop treatments:
1) The extra room we were saving to make a bedroom for Buggins #2 would be an excellent walk-in closet and sitting area, and we could break down the wall and make a gigantic master bedroom
2) With one kid we could go on SICK vacations every year with the Buggins. Like "oh, where are the Smiths going on their vacation? Oh, their inlaws in North Carolina? Nice. The Smarshys are going to Venice, and then skiing in the Swiss Alps."
3) Poopy diapers really smell very, very bad
4) Pregnant women fart constantly
These four things were helping me get comfortable with no more kids. So, maybe I'll need to refocus on these 4 things again someday. Or maybe not.
Monday, October 23, 2006
These conversations, along with the differences in the way M and I process and conduct these kinds of conversations, make me very sleepy. So we had to take breaks to prevent me from falling into a narcoleptic coma on the kitchen floor. To be honest, I'm not sure if this topic itself is what causes this reaction in me, or if it's M's reactions to this topic that do it (smart money is on the latter). Either way, I become one hell of a sedentary, slothful, somnolent son a bitch at the outset of one of these discussions. Just the thought of it makes me want to curl up under my desk and have a little nap. But I have a meeting in 15 minutes, so I'll just nap then.
As I've mentioned before, M is having a very difficult time in the few weeks leading up to the official cycle kick off. CD1 is fast approaching, and then it's back on birth control for a couple weeks. She is literally in knots over whether or not she can ever be put back in the situation of getting a BFN. Just the thought of it sends her into hysterical tears. See, I'm starting to realize something: it's not the treatment that she can't handle. Its the risk. She would really rather give up trying than risk going through another BFN. Having seen her at her last BFN, I can understand why. It was a total and complete breakdown. There are many things I don' know, but I DO know one thing: she can NEVER be in that situation again. I honestly don't know if she would live through it. She is very strong in a number of ways, but not when it comes to this. Now, that doesn't mean necessarily that she can never have treatment again, but it does mean serious steps need to be taken to give her the coping tools necessary to deal with another BFN.
And since we are just a few short weeks away from shots and treatment, we don't know that there's time for her to gain these coping skills. It would literally take years. So we have agreed: 2 weeks. She is going to decide within 2 weeks whether to continue trying for baby #2, or pack it in and get busy living the life we have (which is, admittedly, a pretty good life). We are extremely blessed to be able to contemplate this decision knowing that we already have a baby.
So, 2 weeks. If she still feels like she can't go through with it in 2 weeks, and if she feels that way consistently during this period, then that's it.
I also have 2 weeks. 2 weeks to get myself accustomed to the idea that I may be the father of only 1 child. I was sad after these conversations, and M was afraid I was angry with her. I had to explain that I wasn't angry, but the decision is one in which I obviously have a stake and the possible outcome makes me very sad. I'll need to grieve too.
Honestly, there are moments when I think it would be very nice to put this chapter behind us. We could make plans again, go on nice vacations, we'd have more money, etc. But then Buggins will do something so sweet and innocent and it will occur to me that she's a declining asset. Every sweet phase she goes through will be IT. We won't see it again. There's no backup. When she outgrows her cute clothes, we can't save them for her sibling. And then I feel like we'd be making a big mistake by stopping.
Anyway, that's where we are. This post is kind of serious, but what do you want, it's Monday. I'm sure M and I will go through periods in the next 14 days when we are convinced we should stop, and also that we need to continue.
Wish us luck. I have 5 minutes before my meeting. Going to lie down.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
OK, so I thought I would tell a little story that will hopefully help all of us remember why we are going through all this bullshit in the first place. A cute Buggins story will follow, so if you can't deal with that, may I suggest you take this time to peruse some internet porn, which, according to CNN, America is addicted to. I know I was when I was in business school. Now, if we can just combine porn and your weather pixies...now THAT'S an addiction worth having.
How do I segue from porn into a story about my daughter? I can't. But I must.
I think little kids can be so perceptive and amazingly caring and sweet in the most subtle ways. As a bit of background, Buggins has a little pink stuffed elephant. His name is "NuhNight". She loves him more than life itself. Sleeps with him, carries him around, shares her juice and food with him. Loves him.
One of her favorite things to do, particularly around bedtime, is to take NuhNight's incredibly soft, velvety ear, and rub it up against her cheek (think Linus and his blanket). She just rubs her cheek with it, and all is right with the world. GOD HELP YOU if she catches YOU trying to rub YOUR cheek with it, though. Seriously. NuhNight's ears have a special magical quality that she alone is allowed to enjoy.
So yesterday, as some of you may recall, was a bad day for me. I was frustrated, I was pissed, I was tired. I do an excellent job of hiding that from the Buggins, though. We went through the evening routine, "brushyteeth", PJ's, I read her a story on "Bigbed" (AKA the brick) and then I plopped her into her crib. She sat there looking at me for a minute, and started rubbing her cheek with NuhNight's ear. I noticed she was really looking at me. Toddlers aren't known for making continuous eye contact. A moment of silence occurred as each of us looked at the other directly in the eyes. Then she took NuhNight, held his ear out to me, and said "Daddy try?"
I stood there in shock. I took NuhNight, and slowly rubbed his ear up against my cheek. Oh, it was sweet. That ear is magic. As soon as I started rubbing her eyes lit up and she smiled. Then I handed it back to her and said "Thank you." She said "uh huh" and just lay down and went to sleep.
M could not believe the story when I told her. She takes care of the Buggins all day long and SHE never gets to rub NuhNight's ear. I hope she gets a chance someday. I hope you all get a chance someday.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
You guys all seem to think I "get" it. That M is "lucky". M might be lucky for other reasons, but let me be brutally honest about something: I DON'T GET IT!
I DON'T understand why M has descended into the far reaches of hell before her cycle has even fucking STARTED yet!! And some of you are right, I didn't win any points for that post, alot about it pissed her off. But I'm not TRYING to win points here. This blog is not designed to be a "points gathering" vehicle. I'm trying to be honest and blog about the fact that I'm PISSED that my wife is such a total freaking basketcase, and that I DON'T understand why she reacts the way she does and that I think a positive attitude every now and then WOULDN'T kill her.
I'm convinced all your husbands feel alot like me. If there is anything I "get", it's how to recognize and articulate my own feelings. But just because your husbands may not be able to find the same tools to describe them, doesn't mean they don't have the same feelings! The husband who says "try to relax, it could still happen on its own" is trying to HELP! It may be clueless, but at least he's not saying "Screw you, go clean yourself up, put something frilly on, and go make my dinner"!!
If you guys are sensing some frustration here, you're right on track. I just had a fight with M over the phone. Not about the blog, or anything like that. It wasn't even a fight. It was M yelling about how she hates doctors and hates her friends and isn't sure she wants to even do this anymore and I'm holding the phone 2 feet away from my head and I can STILL make out every last word she's saying.
You ladies all treat eachother's blogs with such respect and non-judgment. How will you treat this? Maybe I'm hanging out in the wrong room. Maybe I need to find a community of clueless but well meaning guys who want to have conversations like this:
Clueless Guy #1: So what'd your wife do now?
Smarshy: I don't know. Threw some fucking fit about some awful shit she has to do in a couple weeks. It's bad.
Clueless Guy #1: Why'd she throw the fit today then?
Smarshy: I have no fucking idea.
Clueless Guy #1: Huh. Weird.
Clueless Guy #2: Why does she have to do all this bad stuff?
Smarshy: She wants another baby
Clueless guy #2: Oh, so she has elected to do all this stuff? She really wants to do it?
Smarshy: Oh yeah. She's just not sure she wants to do it.
Clueless guy#2: Huh? What? My head hurts
Clueless guy#1: If she's so bent out of shape, why don't you tell her to relax, and that everything will be ok?
Smarshy: I tried that
Clueless guy #1: And?
Smarshy: She punched me and started screaming and ran upstairs
Clueless guy #1: Huh? What? My head hurts
Smarshy: Is there a game on?
When I see you write comments to me about how much I get it and everything, I feel like a fraud. This makes no freaking sense to me. NONE.
You don't? Oh wait, I dreamed that.
But still, you were such a pleasure to be around. We danced in the kitchen, sang ridiculous Ses.same Street songs in the car at the top of our lungs (you have a terrible voice by the way), went for long walks, played in the yard, and just treated life like its a party. Remember? You were throwing down the M.ike's H.ard L.emonade like you were some kind of bar room floozie. Good times. I'll miss you.
I hope to see you again soon. I'm not sure when that might be, since if the next cycle doesn't work, then we're going to do another, and then probably another. AND, if any of these cycles DO work, then you'll be pregnant, and we both know how you love THAT. The puking, the bloating, the constipation. Remember last time, when your ankles disappeared? That was so funny. You looked like a weeble! Again, good times.
And THEN, after pregnancy? It's a brand new baby. Remember that last one? She only slept during the day, but never at night? And she kept crying. And barfing. Oh man, you were so tired, I think you were legally insane! Sorry I didn't help more. I was a little clueless. I promise to do MUCH better, if we are ever lucky enough to be back in that situation again.
So I'm putting the best case scenario at 18 months. I'll probably see you again in a year and a half. Sure, there may be times when you pop in for half an hour here, 15 minutes there. But I won't see you again for an extended period of time for at least 18 months. But don't worry, HFW, I'll still be here waiting for you whenever you decide to come back. I may have a few more grey hairs and a few welts and bruises, but I'll be here. Because I love you. (Could you swing by for a few minutes around the holidays? Buggins and I would really like to see you then.)
HER, on the other hand. The one who visits when your gone? She's bad. I wish I could send her to the "naughty chair" like I send the Buggins when she whips her grilled cheese at my head. I may be paranoid, but I don't think Unhappy Mean Wife likes me very much. One thing is for sure, she HATES doctors. She has to start going to see them again soon. Which is why you're leaving. I understand. I wouldn't want to stick around for that either. Soon I'll have to start sticking UMW with shots. Let me tell you, UMW does not dig on the shots.
In a few weeks, UMW will have to start driving, WITH the Buggins, into the city every day to see doctors. As you know, UMW HATES driving in the city. She's kind a chicken that way. Get's all freaked out. Man. You should see it. But again, I don't blame you for hightailing it out of here.
I get sleepy when you're gone. I nap alot, like sometimes 2 hours on a Saturday. Since you've been visiting, I haven't taken any naps, I've been full of energy. Painting room in the house, yardwork, doing fun family things. I've had boundless energy. But UMW takes it away. I guess I'll be getting used to that new brick bed we bought.
I guess that's all I have to say, HFW. I just wanted to say bye, and to let you know that I understand why you have to leave and I will work very hard to try to make UMW less , well, Unhappy and Mean while you're gone. I'll see you in a little over a year, hopefully sooner. If you could just send me a note before you show up, that would be great. It would give me a chance to neaten up a bit.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Anyway, that's not what I want to write about. I will start out by saying that in the past, I've always been kind of an "It is what it is" kind of person. I'm not usually the type that gets jealous when I see babies, or when I see dads with their pregnant wives. I just never really felt as though by being pregnant, they had taken anything from me. Well, let me tell you, last night, that all went out the window. Everything changed.
You see, last night, I couldn't sleep. That mattress I made a big stink out of buying is too damn firm. We refer to it as the "brick". As in "Honey, are you coming to the brick?" We're thinking about returning it. Anyway, I was lying there around midnight and I decided to fire up the laptop to see what was happening with that crazy bastard Kim Jong Il and that other crazy bastard, his US counterpart. I decided to check my e-mail, and lo and behold, there was an e-mail from my ex girlfriend. We'll call her "Pill". I haven't heard from her in about 2 years. You see, we met in Australia when I was just 22, and we dated for 4 years. Age 22 to 26; those are some pretty formative years. We feel like we grew up together. Anyway, we broke up in '97, and remained vaguely friendly for a few years in a "send a Christmas card" and "forward an e-mail joke" kind of way. She and M have even met. But like all ex-relationships, Pill and I drifted away, just like we're supposed to. No bad blood, remembering only good times, have a nice life, etc.
Anyway, this e-mail I got was one of those mass e-mails she sent to about 100 people. Reading the distribution list was like reading a who's who directory of my life in the early 1990's. I knew as soon as I saw the ridiculous title "Announcing...." what this e-mail was about.
Pill had a baby. Another baby. Baby #2.
My face got RED hot when I read the e-mail. She had told me when she had baby #1, because I got the same stupid-ass e-mail that time, too. But that time, I was actually happy for her, because M was pregnant with Buggins at the same time. Now, here we are in infertility hell, and Pill is having ANOTHER baby. It was probably easy for her. She probably doesn't even realize that it's actually hard for some people to have babies. I know she's had an easy time of it in the past...Get this: trying for baby #1, she was 35 and assumed she'd have some problems. So she and her husband tried to get pregnant for TWO months before they made an appointment at an IVF clinic. At their first appointment, they did some testing: She was ALREADY pregnant.
Plus, the very fact that she included me, who she hasn't seen or spoken to in years, in that e-mail shows her insensitivity. And she KNOWS we had alot of trouble making the Buggins. Why the F*$& did I need to know about her baby? What are we, friends?
Now I have to say, by many metrics, my situation in life is better than hers. During those years we were together, we did alot of talking and dreaming about the kind of life we wanted for ourselves. Well, I ACHIEVED that life. I live in the very waterfront town Pill and I dreamed about living in someday. She lives in some crapheap in a truly mediocre town. Her husband is average in every way. I married a beautiful women who I am totally, absolutely nuts about. She married a kind of dorky, weird guy who she didn't love that much, but who worships her. She settled for him because she thought she was running out of time (her drunken words one night when we bumped into eachother at a party, not mine). I make much more money than they could ever hope to make. In almost all superficial respects, and in quite a few meaningful respects, I was WINNING, dammit.
I am SO PISSED that Pill had another baby, that she gets to give her first baby a sibling. I am so FURIOUS that that dorky little dickweed gave Pill something I am unable to give my wife, despite the fact that I believe M deserves it 1000 times more than her. And, I am PISSED that she even sent me the stupid e-mail. Because now it was after midnight, I was upset, and I was NEVER going to be able to sleep now, brick or no brick. And I knew that in the morning I was going to be put in a situation of being pissed about something and wondering if bringing it up to my wife was going to upset her.
For you clever folks out there...yes, I must have told M, since I am writing this blog post. She was not nearly as upset as I was, which was a rather nice reversal of the norm.
Plus, Pill named the kid a stupid name. I won't say what. But it's stupid.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thanks for your interesting replies to my last post. I think I may have mistakenly given you all the impression that M was not giving me any say in the matter. That could not be further from the truth. I agree with Krista - she was letting me know how she was feeling, and soliciting my feedback. It was more a theoretical exercise than a practical concern of mine. It's just interesting to me that, in situation where the woman DOES say she's through, there's really nothing the husband can do. Each has veto power over the other. But M would never make a unilateral decision like that for a number of reasons, chief among them is that we just depend on eachother's opinions too much. That's such a huge decision, she would never feel comfortable making it on her own. Plus, even is she did feel comfortable making it, she feels like it wouldn't be the right thing to do to not include me in the decision.
Ok. On to the topic of the day: Lupron.
M used to work with a girl who was going through IVF. Let's call this girl "Beth". I never met Beth, but I heard about her every day (sometimes I listened, sometimes I didn't). At the time, M and I knew NOTHING about IVF, not a thing. We had not officially started fertility treatments for #2 yet. When I heard about her, I felt no connection or empathy, because I couldn't relate to her situation. But I did feel bad for her. She had gone through like 3 failed IVF cycles. She was getting in trouble from her boss for leaving work all the time to go to RE appointments, she was all bloated and totally cranky. She was so bloated, she had to wear maternity clothes! That's WHACK.
So anyway, M and Beth reconnected by phone yesterday. I'm happy to report that Beth is pregnant! But now that M is more knowledgeable about IVF and IF in general, they really got into a big discussion about it. It turns out that Beth's main problem from IF (the bloating, etc) was from Lupron. Her FIL is a doctor (not sure what kind) and he had an absolute fit about Lupron. He said it was a very dangerous drug and that no woman should go on it. He said he was sure that in a few decades, there was going to be a huge outbreak of uterine cancer, and they would realize that there was a direct link to Lupron taken during IVF. Apparently, Lupron is manufactured for the treatment of endo, and even the drug manufacturer recommends that it NOT be used for infertility treatments. This guy even called Beth's RE and told him all this, and the RE admitted that while it is a dangerous drug, and even though the manufacturer recommends it not be used with IF, the amounts being used per cycle are so low that they pose no danger to the woman. Dr. FIL replied that may be true, but for those people going through 3,4, 5 IVF cycles, the dosage was no so low anymore.
Anyway, the FIL eventually piped down, Beth went on the Lupron, and now she's pregnant.
I just add this story to the huge pile of evil stories I have heard about Lupron, and Mrs. Smarshy will be going on it soon., which has me quaking in my wingtips.
Has anyone NOT had a bad experience on this stuff, and has anyone else heard about this link to uterine cancer?