Friday, September 29, 2006

BBQ Rib Eating Contest And Other Cultural Events

I have decided that today I will be throwing my brother under the bus.

Why? Because he BUGS me.

Any discussion of my relationship with my brother should start with the fact that I'm an insufferable Northeast Snob. BIG TIME. I can be a SERIOUS pain in the ass about it. I went to good boarding schools, a good college, have an MBA, lived in 2 major cities, I attend the theater, I have dated many women, all of whom were different and fascinating, blah blah blah, my wife is equally well educated and incredibly lovely. My daughter craps rose petals. I'm very fancy.

My brother went on a different track. Married the first girl he boinked at an ungodly young age, moved to the Midwest (NOT that there's anything wrong with that), and bought a house in a new subdivision in Ohio with no landscaping. I get very angry when I realize his house is literally twice the size of mine, and yet for the price I paid for my house, I could buy 3 of his houses. He has three great kids who I'm absolutely crazy about, and a basically loveless marriage with a woman I am not crazy about. He leaves the door open when he's in the bathroom. One time, I saw him mowing his lawn dressed in shitkicker boots, white tube socks pulled all the way up, jean shorts, and a white wife beater shirt. The image singed my retina. I literally went blind for like 20 minutes.

One time, when I was visiting him, he picked me up and the airport and as we were driving out in the middle of nowhere, I asked him what the hell there was to do there. His response: "Lots of things. For example, this weekend there is a BBQ Rib Eating contest, as well as other culture events".

Ok. Problem #1) There is such a thing as a BBQ Rib Eating contest
Problem #2) People are genuinely excited about it
Problem #3) It is considered a "cultural event".

That visit did not go well.

What I find the MOST frustrating about him is the the fact that he is such a nice guy. Seriously, he wishes harm on no one, with the possible exception of Osama bin Laden. He always just wants to help. There is not a mean, conniving bone in this kids body. For those of you familiar with the Garfield comic strip, my brother is Odie. EXACTLY. Just sits there, tongue out, waiting for me, the smart mean guy, to come kick him from behind. Why do I do it? Because he's just sitting there, grinning. Why not?

But that's all just mean-spirited background information. What pisses me off about him REALLY, I mean what REALLY PISSES ME OFF, is that he calls me, and calls me, to ask if M is FUCKING PREGNANT. Brother, if you are reading this, so help me God, if you call me again with that f'ing question, I'm going to stick a full rack of BBQ ribs up your ASS.

You called me the day after her transfer, and asked if she was pregnant. I patiently explained to you how the process works. I'm not entirely sure you listened to me. I think you may have been daydreaming about your tractor.

You called 2 days later and asked if she was pregnant. Again, I explained that it was a 2 week wait, not a 2 day wait. How the fuck did this guy get his wife pregnant 3 times?

You called this morning to ask if she was pregnant, even though I already told you her cycle was cancelled. Seriously dude, you should get yourself checked out. There is a wire in there that is just not connected. You made me get short with you as I explained the situation again. Then, you seemed HURT, and now I'm sitting here angry with MYSELF for being MEAN to you.

I tell you what: I PROMISE to tell you when and if my wife is every pregnant again. I PROMISE. I won't hide her pregnancy from ANYONE. It would be hard to hide at family gatherings. And eventually people would wonder who the extra kid was who was running around. I assure you, I will not FORGET to tell you.

Until then, let's talk about the key requirements needed to judge a world class BBQ rib eating contest.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Daddy Wuk

That's what The Buggins says to me every morning as I leave for work- "Daddy Wuk".

That's right, Buggins. Daddy Work. Except today, Daddy only wuk until noon. Then Daddy golf.

I was cleaning up my desktop this morning and I came across this picture I took in April 2004:

I was standing in Red Square in the middle of Moscow. This is St. Basil's Cathedral. The picture doesn't come close to doing it justice. The bright colors, the architecture, the contrast between this building and the gray dreariness of Russia. It's just amazing.

Red Square is called Red Square because the word for "red" in Russia also means beautiful. So it means Beautiful Square, not Communist Square. (Although, the communists chose red as their color for the same reason). A little trivia for you this morning.

So we got some good news yesterday, it looks like we'll be able to slip in a cycle before the new year. If we start in Oct, then the final transfer will be just before the week that the clinic closes. It actually works out great - we get to take a little time off now, then proceed with the 8 week cycle, transfer would happen around December 6th, and beta test around December 16. Just before Christmas. So, if it's a BFN, we have the holidays to distract us. And if it's a BFP, well, then it's a BFP.

And hopefully the dickwads over at Insurance-R-Us will wrangle their heads out of their asses in time and approve us.

M is sick today. Buggins gave her a nasty cold. We've been teaching her about sharing, so I guess it's working. M took N.yquil, which totally makes her nuts. Not moody, but literally nuts. Like seeing little green men, thinking she's Cleopatra, the whole thing. Kind of fun to watch, actually.

That's all I got for today.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I Hope We Get A Good IRR

INV = Time, Money, Fights, Insurance Headaches, Restless Nights, Tears, Panic Attacks

CF1, CF2....CF20 = BABIES

This is my attempt to connect my job with my homelife.

It's actually how IRR works, or Internal Rate of Return. The idea is fairly make an investment now, in the hopes that it will generate sufficient cash flows (CF) in the future.

Our investment might be a bit more than we had first guessed.

It turns out that by making the move to CityDoc and firing Buttmunch, our insurance approvals are revoked and have to be re-submitted. Even though were approved for IVF, it was approved for THAT doctor, not NEW doctor (who, by the way, can run circles around Buttmunch).

So with the new clinics help, we are re-submitting all our crap. The problem is, it may take some time to get an answer. We're on CD2, as you may recall. We'll probably lose this month.

Not that big an issue, perhaps you might think. WRONG.

The protocol is 8 weeks.

If we start next cycle, that will put transfer time right around Christmas. The clinic closes 1 week per year, so as to be able to upgrade all equipment, change filters, etc. I bet you can't guess what week that is. I bet you can't. Go ahead, try. Wrong! It's not Flag Day! It's Christmas!

Which MEANS....we are sitting on our fat asses until JANUARY 2007 before we can do anything to move the process forward. Our only chance is if the insurance company will agree to fast track us through what is ordinarily an already swift, logical, efficient, and friendly process. (ha). We have about a week for the data entry loving dipshits to cough up an approval, and our cycle is saved. Otherwise, it's 3 months off. Buggins will be, like, 50 years old by then. She won't even WANT a sibling anymore. She can have her OWN babies by then.

So, as I was saying, our investment (i.e. TIME) was increased as a result of switching to CityDoc. All I'm saying is, he better be good. He better give my wife a baby. And it better be cute.

Monday, September 25, 2006

It Takes All Types

Yes, I realize this is my third post in a day.

I just have to get this out. It's good.

Some person ended up at my blog after typing the following question into Netscape : "What does GOD say about IUI and IVF?"

So many things wrong with that. Not the least of which is, who the hell uses Netscape as their search engine?

Also, the question itself bugs me. What did this person expect to find? A passage in the bible? "Whilst though haseth thine IVF, thou shalt spite me".

Are there people who think they're infertile because God wants them that way? I don't want to go down the religion route's a volatile subject, to say the least, and people have VERY strong feelings about it. I, however, do not. So I'll leave all things religious to you good people. Do I believe in God? I'm not sure. But I get a pretty strong feeling that He exists every time I look The Buggins in the eye.

Ok, but here's the best part! Guess where this web surfer landed when he/she searched for God's answer on IUI's and IVF? (S)he landed on my post about dancing bi-sexual slutty virgins! HAHAHAHAHAH

Today is Day 1

What was I thinking? I knew that would have been too good to be true.

ANOTHER Post That Will Piss Off The Wife

Why do I do it? Why do I proceed on an action I know will get me in trouble? WHY? It's the same reason why The Buggins keeps sticking her hands in the toilet despite our repeated demands that she stop.

Because we're bad.

First off, thanks for your comments that you think the Buggins is cute. I must admit, I agree. As many of you already know, and as many others will know someday, one of the greatest things about being a parent is the feeling of being proud of your kids. Jesus. I sounded like my dad just then.

Anyway, back to being bad. As many of you may recall, when I posted about changing our care to CityDoc, I mentioned that M was due to get her period any second (I'm sorry, I just can't bring myself to call it Aunt Flo or AF. I'll let that be your thing). Well, now it's 3 days later, and it still hasn't come.

As you also may recall, we had a cancelled cycle last month. That didn't, however, prevent us from trying on our own (insert funky 70's porno music here).

Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions or gets excited, there are a couple of wrinkles.
1) You may remember that M was unsure when her day 1 was, and may have called it up to 3 days early
2) Word on the street is that if you take pregesterone, it can lengthen your cycle for up to 2 cycles after you stop taking it (I can actually find no evidence on Dr. Google that this is true, but my wife told me that, and I'm not stupid enough to question my wife about girlie things even if I suspect she made them up)

My wife gets very upset if I start to get a little excited when she's late. Around day 29 or 30, I start in with the "did you get it yet?" every hour or so. I know that must be incredibly annoying. I am powerless to stop it. She has begged me to stop asking her. She tells me I will be the FIRST to know if she gets it. So then I stop asking for a day or so. And then I start to wonder "Did she get it and just forget to tell me? If that's true, the only decent thing I can do is remind her..."

It drives her batshit.

You know what will drive her even MORE batshit? The fact that I am not only speculating that we could have gotten the brass ring this month, but I am speculating about it on the INTERNET.

Honey, if you're reading this, did you get your period yet?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

How Do You Like Them Apples

The Buggins and her apple.

Smarshy and his Apple.

(I had permission from Mrs. Smarshy to post this)

Friday, September 22, 2006

CityDoc Consult

So we had our consult with CityDoc.

As soon as we saw him, the first thing out of his mouth was "M, how is your throat?". He remembered that the last time we saw him, last February, M was about to undergo some pretty major throat surgery. Now, he may have remembered that on his own, or he may have had it written down, but either way, nice of him to ask. Dr. ButtMunch would NEVER have asked about it. Meeting was off to a good start.

So we start getting into it. I tell him that M had asked if I would do much of the talking, since she gets so upset and bursts into tears whenever she starts to speak about this. I liked that, because I think I do a good job of sticking to relevant facts and keeping our story concise. (I've talked before about my obsession with frugal speech). I wanted to make sure, at least at the beginning, that I gave him only facts - that I did not pass judgment on the care we were receiving by ButtMunch. I wanted HIM to pass the judgment on it.

I told him the reason we had not seen him all along was simply one of convenience, ButtMunch was 10 minutes from our house. It's the truth. Then I told him that we had a consultation with ButtMunch in April, and since that time, we had never even spoken with him, let alone seen him in person. Not once. (I like the fact that CityDoc's eyes grew a little wide and his jaw dropped a bit).

We then launched into a narrative about the IUI that became an IVF due to overstimulation, and some of the crappy things that were said to us during that process (fodder for another post) as well as the subsequent IUI that had to be cancelled due to understimulation. We gave him the whole story. M piped in occasionally, but every time she did, she burst into tears. Poor thing.

CityDoc listened attentively, asked good questions when appropriate, and let me finish. Then he told us how THEY do it.

First if all...The DOCTORS do the ultrasounds. That is just amazing to me. Being able to SEE the doctor! Have him actually BE there? Incredible.

At the ultrasound, the doctors talk with their patients about everything. This is what I'm seeing, this is what's good, this is what's bad, this is what I think we should do, etc.

At the end of every appointment (EVERY appointment), M will meet with the nurse briefly to see if she has any questions, concerns, drug issues, etc.

Get this - the doctor gave us his E-MAIL ADDRESS. He said that is the best way to get to him, he can usually answer any e-mail within an hour or two. Even on weekends. He accesses that e-mail at home. He reads that e-mail at his kids soccer games. M and I looked at eachother in shock. Is this guy for real?

We asked about 3 day vs. 5 day transfers. His practice tries to do 5 day blast transfers for everyone, unless there is some reason a 3 day is needed. That is HUGE.

He said their freezing and thawing rate is very high.

M wasted no time in telling him that we were transferring our care to him. He ushered us into a room with a nice little nurse who walked us through the insurance process, the medical records request, the schedules, etc. M is expecting her period literally any second, so we may miss this month due to the fact that we may not have everything done in time. But its worth it.

It's an 8 weeks IVF cycle, so that would put us at transfer around late Dec / early Jan. I was sad to hear it would take so long, but so happy to see my wife so happy.

So I immediately walked back to work (another benefit of CityDoc), got on the phone, called ButtMunch's office, got our nurse on the phone, and FIRED HER ASS. The conversation went like this:

"We are transferring our care to another facility"

"Ok. So you want to cancel the appt you have on Wednesday?"

"Um, Yeah."

"Ok. Bye"

Not quite the fight I had geared up for, but whatever.

So we're probably taking another month off, but it's ok, because we finally feel like we're in good hands. Thank you to all of you for your great advice, I read every single comment and they all helped a great deal.

Have a great weekend!

** I forgot to mention: The only semi-bad thing about the practice: In the Male Fantasy Room, the 10 dancing slutty virgins are NOT bi-sexual.

The Fertility Island

Did any of you ever see the 2005 movie The Island, with Ewan Mcgregor and Scarlett Johansson?

If not, here's the basic premise: (bear with me, I'm going somewhere with this)

A guy named Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor) is a resident of a seemingly utopian but contained facility in the mid 21st century. Like all of the inhabitants of this carefully controlled environment, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to the "The Island" - reportedly the last uncontaminated spot on the planet. These poeple were the only people saved from a nuclear war or something that had contaminated the whole world, except for this little island somewhere, where residents were sent to repopulate Earth. Periodically, new residents are brought into this facility who were just "rescued" from the outside. This contained facility is all the inhabitants know, (they lost their memory of any other life due to the apocolypse somehow). There's a lottery every couple days to see which one of the thousands of people get chosen - seemingly at random, to go to "The Island", which has become, in their minds, the ultimate goal, the only thing they want, the solution to all their problems. They are told about it by the staff constantly. Pictures of The Island are constantly being projected around the facility. It looks like an awesome place, filled with love.

When the lottery is drawn, and someone is chosen, that person is obviously elated beyond words. The others, as you might expect, are a mixed bag. Some people are genuinely thrilled for that person, others are secretly jealous and retreat into themselves, and others are totally bullshit, yelling "this is unfair! I've been in this place WAY longer than that dude! He basically just got here! This is Bullshit!", and are not happy for that person at all.

Ok, now this next part is not relevant to the point I will make, but it seems only right that I tell you what happens in this movie. It turns out it's all a lie, these people are not the last survivors of some kind of apocolypse. They are human clones, living in an enclosed facilty under the desert. Obviously, they don't know that. Wealthy people can, for $5 million, have themselves cloned and have that clone's ageing sped up to match the current age of the wealthy "customer". They are, in effect, an "insurance policy" for their customer, a spare parts recepticle. If a customer gets lung cancer from smoking, for example, then their "clone" wins the lottery to go to the "island", which is actually an operating room, where their lungs would be removed and implanted into the customer, with the same DNA. That clone is then dead. Get it? The reason people are getting chosen to go to the island is because something terrible has happened to their "owner" , and he/she needs spare parts, (a new kidney, a new heart, bone marrow, etc). If someone has been in the facility for a very long time, it's because their owner is perfectly healthy and has no need for them yet. It's a very cool idea. Ewan and Scarlett (the clones of a race car driver and a famous actress) escape from the center and try to find their "owners".

So that's cool. But forget all that. Let's get back to wishing for "The Island".

We are all wishing for "The Island" too. We see images of it every day. Smiling people and playing with their little kids or walking around with their big pregnant bellies, they're all at the Island. And all we want is to get out of here and get to The Island too. At random, someone seemingly undeserving gets taken from this infertile facility and send to the Island, despite the fact that others of us have been here WAY longer! It's totally unfair. And, there are those a-holes who are happy in this place, who didn't even want to GO the the Island, and THEY get chosen! There's no justice in it.

There are those of us who are genuinely elated at the news that others have gotten pregnant, and of course there are plenty of us who yell and scream because it's not fair. We all think we'd probably love the Island more than other people, some of whom, in our opinion, don't even BELONG on the Island.

Thankfully, unlike in the movie where the Island actually equals death, our Island actually equals life.

There's really no good way to end this post, I just wanted to relate that crazy-ass movie to our lives. Mission accomplished.

Meeting with CityDoc in an hour. Fingers crossed for a good consult!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


My wife subscribes to a veritable crapload of magazines. I'm talking about all the "majors", like People, US Weekly, Town & Country, InStyle, Lucky, and Vogue, as well as some of the lesser know "minors", like Shop, Parent, Child, and some fucked up little mag called "Cookie". Oh, and then throw in about 2,000 catalogs that always seem to get thrown out before I can buy anything stupid. "Battery operated meat thermometer, anyone? How about a complete outdoor weather station?" Not surprisingly, the catalogs that I would never buy from seem to linger around the house forever. As I write this, my beer is using the July 2006 Country Curtains catalog as a coaster.

Anyway, I snuck home from work a little early today, and found myself lying on the couch with the Buggins who was wandering off into various rooms and bringing me back assorted treasures. Picture frames, a book about sailing, a random lego piece, and a wad of toilet paper she had kindly ripped off the role and took the time to dunk in the toilet before presenting to me. Needless to say, I react to each gift like it was the Hope Diamond.

I point all this out because one of the things Buggins brought to me was this magazine called "Cookie". I thought it was some crazy cooking magazine, but it turned out it was some kind of "family" magazine. So I flipped it open, and came across an article called Second Shot, which was all about Secondary Infertility. So I read it. Really, really interesting, and it validated alot of the feelings my wife and I have had about this process. There was alot of talk about how primary infertile people tend not to be able to feel any compassion for secondary infertiles, despite the fact that the feelings of loss and sadness are, psychologically, pretty much identicle in either situation. (Are you reading this, Maggie?) .

The article goes on to say that in some cases, there is one element of secondary infertility that is much worse than primary: this inability to find compassion. The inability to find anyone to validate the feelings of sadness, and loss. Most people think "Well, you've got one already...what are you complaining about?". That's right up there with "Just'll happen." It's dismissive. And it's infuriating.

The reason for my post, though, is to say that through blogging, and through this community, I don't feel any lack of compassion at all. In fact, I feel an abundance of it. You all have shared your experiences, and your wisdom, and your pain, and your joy, and it has helped us tremendously in finding our way through our own journey. M and I are very lucky to have this support and compassion from you. Honestly, just since we made contact with this little club, we have become much happier and much more understanding with eachother. That has had a profound impact on our lives.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gearing Up For CityDoc

Ok, we're getting ready to go see CityDoc on Friday and basically tattle on Dr. ButtMunch. We are going to tell CityDoc how we've been treated like crap and how no one ever told us anything and how it took 7 weeks to get an appt with our doctor and how he was mean to us and how he wouldn't share any of his candy with us. Ok maybe not that last part.

I'm very interested in his reaction. Will he say "Dear God, you poor brave souls, how you have survived such torment? I'm calling the authorities immediately and having ButtMunch arrested. We will never ever treat you in such a way. I am going to be with you every inch of the way, and I am dropping all my other patients so that I can focus all my time on you. M, while you're here, I'd like you to step into our Chocolate and JellyBelly Relaxation Room, where your feet and hands will me rubbed by a team of 3 armed midgets. Smarshy, you step into our Male Fantasy Room, where you will find 10 dancing bi-sexual slutty virgins awaiting you."

Or will he say "So what's so bad about that? I'm not sure I would have done anything differently. Sounds like a decent practice to me...Do you know if they're hiring?"

My gut tells me the actual response will fall somewhere in the middle (but will hopefully still include the slutty virgins).

So I'm hoping to draw on all your 10,000 years of combined fertility experience to help us. Since we're still kind of new to IVF, we're not sure we know all the right questions to ask to determine if the clinic is right for us. We certainly have a long list already, but I'm afraid we're missing something. I'm sure there's a great deal of knowledge out there, so let me have some of it please!

** Edit: Just to clarify, with reference to the three armed midgets, I am talking about a team of midgets with THREE ARMS (you know, for better massage). I am NOT talking about midgets with GUNS. I mean, that's just disturbing and silly, quite frankly. Why would you possibly need guns in the Chocolate and JellyBelly Relaxation Room?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Minimizing Cross-Divisional Inefficiencies Across Multi-Functional Matrix Reporting Systems

That's how people talk at my work. Makes me want to leap out my 32nd floor window.

I thought I'd do a post about work today (mostly because we are still waiting for our next cycle to start, and my wife is in a good mood, which leaves me zilch to write about - and I love the sound of my own typing, just like every other blogger).

Anyway, I work in institutional investment management - private equity, specifically. I'm actually fairly senior (alot of you are thinking back on my 'passed out on the couch with scotch' post and wondering "how can that be?"). Well, it can be. And it is.

Like most businesses, this business is very complicated. Unlike many other businesses, it is populated by people who are not passionate about the work per se, but are rather passionate about making gobs of cash. Moolah. Jack. Do re mi. You dig? That does not apply to me, however. Don't get me wrong, I love money...but there are things I love about this business. Working with entrepreneurs, and helping to build's actually quite a bit of fun, and very interesting. However, the fact that I am driven less by financial gain than by intellectual gain has a negative impact on my w-2 at year end, I assure you. But I do get to associate myself with VERY smart people. I'm talking PhDs, former intelligence officers, investment gurus, etc.

But that's the just the thing. Some of these people are so smart, that they refuse to entertain the idea that there is something about this business that they do not understand. Everyone is desperately afraid of looking stupid. But the truth of the matter is, everyone really only gets about 10% of this business. Seriously. Thing is, if you have 10 people in a room, everyone understands a different 10% than everyone else. You might think "perfect, there is knowledge of 100% of the industry in that room". Not how it works. Everyone in the room is desperately trying to convince other people that they understand the 90% that the other person does not understand. And since that other person doesn't get that 90%, how can they refute the other guy, who claims to understand?

Also, people spend 99% of every meeting trying to steer the conversation back to that 10% portion of the business that they themselves understand, regardless of whether it is relevant to the agenda of the meeting.

Guess what get accomplished while all this tomfoolery goes on?

You guessed it....NOTHING.

And the sad reality is that the people who climb to the top, and who get to run the entire organization, are not the smartest people. They are simply the ones who did the best job of either 1) convincing the other 9 people in the room that they understood the 90% of the business that those others did not understand, or 2) convincing all 10 people that understanding NONE of the business is actually the way to go.

Have a nice Tuesday.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I Got Tagged Again

**Added note: In case you are wondering, yes, I did create another post the same day because I got a little sick of the negative attention from the previous one. I know, I asked for it, and I'm glad I was honest and I'm glad I leveled the playing field. But now I'm done and I'm turning the spigot off. I want to be wonderful again.***

Just Another Jenny From The Infertility Block just tagged me. (Jenny, did you every consider calling it 'Jenny from the Blog'? That's kind of funny.)

Anyway, she incorrectly called me a tag virgin. I was tagged once before. Although like most virgin experiences, that first time wasn't all that good and I think I didn't really do it right. Glad to have another chance; hopefully this time will be better for everyone involved.

My words:

Hope: This is a blog about infertility, and I get "hope" as a word? I'll spare you all the "we are desperately hoping for another child..." bit. I knew a girl in college named Hope, and she was ridiculously hot. Problem was, no one knew that quite as well as she did. But still, so hot.

In-laws: I don't have any. My wife's father died tragically of a heart attack 2 years before I met her. And her mother slipped into a bad place after that, and as a result cut off ties with her entire family. So as far as I know, she's alive, but we have never met, she doesn't know I exist, and most tragically (for her), she doesn't even know about The Buggins!

Sports: Oh, that was the title of the 1983 album by Huey Lewis and the News that changed my life. I was 12, and as far as I was concerned, this band was God. I saw them in concert in Hartford, CT when there were on tour promoting this album. My sister's boyfriend took me to the concert as a way to score points with my sister. He let me drink beer. Awesome.

Bush: Hmmnnnn. Please see response above re: Hope. Enough said. (Remember, wife reads this)

Ok, coming atcha, One Mother's Journey, Mrs. Negative, Krista, and not just The Oneliner, but TheOneLinersPookie. Oh yeah. That's her husband. (Hey Pookie, did you think I was going to let that one go?)

***Forgot to include words. See, I'm no good at this.


It's Not All Sweet

Thanks for all of your helpful answers to my questions. I'm so glad I asked them. Although I have to say, just based on how many of you use words like "protocol", I can safely say we are very far behind on the IF learning curve.

By the way, I meant to ask the question "Does it bother you when bloggers post pictures of their kids", not "Would it bother you if I posted pictures of my kid". I have no intentions of posting pictures of the Buggins. I mean I'd like to, but I think you all know by now that my wife would give that idea the double-handed smackdown. To quote The Rock, she would layeth the smacketh down. You smell what I'm cookin'?

As I've said before, she reads my blog every day. And lately I think she feels like I'm giving her a little bit of a raw deal. She says she comes across as kind of a mean, unhappy be-otch and I come across as a sensitive, saintly, handsome, charming, successful, funny, athletic, talented piece of beefcake. Whats that? You don't think I come across like that? You're just saying that to make my wife feel better. That's nice, thank you.

Anyway, to even the playing field, I told her I would post a story about something insensitive and/or just plain dumb that I did.

Long list to choose from. This took me a while. But I found one.

As usual, some background is in order. Our support system sucks. It's terrible. We have no family nearby at all, and the family that is within a days drive is either 1) too wrapped up in their own giant bag of serious issues to be of any help to us or 2) too selfish and insensitive to ever think about anyone or anything other than themselves.

This sad fact has caused us much trouble, and I think made things like IF and even pregnancy and giving birth so much harder and more stressful than it would otherwise be. Little things like making an appointment to see the RE. What about our 2 year old? There's no MIL to babysit, I have to go to work, there's no family to help, only price-gouging teengagers who charge $20 per hour and who require 2 weeks notice because of the crazy competition for babysitters in my town. Through this process we've learned who our REAL friends are (turns out there's none...), and we really can't think of anyone we would be comfortable asking to watch our kid, or who we think would even say yes. So what can my wife do? She brings The Buggins with her. Terrible.

Also, when Buggins was born, there was no help. Big C-section (which I think is good because the baby comes out looking all cute instead of all squished up, but then again I'm not the one getting sliced open). We could find no one to help us. My mom actually did show up to help, but before long I had to put her back on a plane because I could only take care of 1 baby, not 2. To top it all off, when Buggins was just three weeks old, I had to travel to Eastern Europe for business for a whole week. (Am I a spy, you ask? If saying yes makes me seem more interesting, then yes).

Leaving my wife alone (not just that week, but pretty much the first 3 months) with no help or support is one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. She was averaging about 2 hours of sleep each night. She was a ghost. It was awful. But that's not even the story I wanted to tell! That's just background.

OK, so Buggins was like 6 weeks old. Up all night pooping and crying and whatnot. I caught a glance of my wife, and noticed that I could fit all my dirty laundry into the bags under eyes. So I said "Honey, tonight, you got to bed and sleep well all night. I will take care of the baby. The Whole Night Long." (M had pumped so I had plenty of milk to feed the baby with). She was so thrilled, she darted upstairs and jumped into bed before I could change my mind. It was 8pm.

At 8:15pm, before she was even asleep, she heard the baby screaming. "Ahhh, she thought, I don't have to deal with that...he'll get it. I can just slip into sweet slumber." But the crying didn't stop. What the hell, she wondered. She gave it a few more minutes. Still, the baby screamed. Finally, M got out of bed (now she's sleepy AND angry, a swell combination). She peeked in on the buggins, who had dropped her pacifier out of reach. She popped it back in, and came hunting for me. She came down the stairs and saw me, in all my glory.

There I was, dead asleep on the couch, next to an empty scotch glass on the coffee table. The baby monitor was propped up against my ear like a headphone. The babymonitor was working, by the way. And it was only about 30 minutes since I told M to go to bed.

She woke me up and started crying in disbelief. I basically told her I was too tired and I REVOKED my offer. We took turns with the baby the rest of the night.

Anyone still out there reading this?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Everything I Ever Wanted To Know About Infertility (And Am No Longer Afraid To Ask)

As I read all the blogs out here in Blogland, I am constantly faced with the reality that I have more questions about these processes (both infertility and blogging itself) than I do answers. So I thought I would dedicate a post to just asking simple questions that I think many of you might know the answers to.

1) When most of you include a brand name of any kind in your posts, you bleep out the name, like "Coc*a Col*a" or "F&llistim". Why do you do that? I have a couple theories on why but I wanted to ask you directly.

2) What's this acupuncture business all about? Did your Dr tell you to get acupuncture? Did you have to ask for it yourself? Is it part of your treatment? What does it do? Does it work? Should my wife be doing that? Our RE once mentioned acupuncture many months ago, in our first (AND ONLY) conversation...are we missing something here?

3) When you do a FET, are you taking drugs? If so, what for? Do you want follicles in an FET cycle, or do you not? I am assuming not, but I want to be clear.

4) For IVF cycles, did you all have a "mock transfer" first? We had an IUI to IVF conversion and we didn't get a mock transfer. In fact, no one ever mentioned that to us. We learned about it on the internet.

5) How common are cancelled cycles? Does it happen often?

6) Does it upset you when I mention The Buggins on my blog? Would it upset you if I posted pictures of her?

7) When my wife had her IUI-IVF conversion, she was told that her chances with the IVF were the same as they would have been with a regular IVF cycle. But the time from the beginning of taking drugs to the pregnancy test was only 4 weeks (like a regular IUI cycle). If the IVF conversion had the same chances as a regular IVF, why does a regular IVF cycle take 6 or 8 weeks? What's going on in that extra time? What does Lupron (or Lu*pron) do? (Other than apparently make women miserable?)

8) Why do we have to seek answers from the Blogosphere instead of learning this from our quack doctor?

Thanks for any info you may have -

Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm Leaving My Wife

No I'm not. I just wanted a flashy title.

I have so much to say in this post, I really don't know how to get started. I'm very intimidated by the sheer volume of thoughts I have to put down.

I had a comment from anonymous yesterday, asking some pretty big questions, and they do touch on a couple points that I've been meaning to blog about.

Here's the question from Anonymous:

I am not a troll - but do you think that if this continues and you don't get a baby out of this it could end your marriage? How much and how long do you go through something like this? How long has your wife been unhappy? I know marriage is give and take and being there for the other person but it is not like she has cancer or a terminal illness - and you have a daughter! When do you all get happy again? I think you are happy (from what I read) and your daughter is happy but what about your wife. What if the second baby does not come, what happens then? Does your wife say if this works that would be wonderful but if not, I am lucky to have my hubby and daughter? How far do you go being unhappy?

Lots of good stuff in there. I originally wrote another post, complaining about her anonymity and how I wished this person left his/her name, how I wished I knew if she was infertile, and what her story was. But she has since left another comment, explaining that her name was Maggie and that she has been dealing with infertility for years and is now exploring adoption. Thanks for the follow-up Maggie, I'm glad to know more about you.

You say that your husband would never put up with all the moodiness / bitchiness / crying for so long. Honestly, what can he do about it? Yes, it bothers me ALOT sometimes when I just wish she would shake it off and feel happy. And there are times when I scream at her for ruining the present in favor of a possible future. But again, what are you going to do? I can not demand that my wife be happy. Doing THAT would probably end my marriage. And frankly, I've always been the type of person to admit that there is a ALOT I don't understand. I do not understand what infertility does to women. I do not understand the emotional damage it causes. How can I insist it go away? Feelings aren't wrong - they never are. So by "not putting up" with my wife's current swings, I would become the kind of person I hate most - the kind of person who acts and speaks with conviction about a topic he is basically ignorant of. My wife is not an unhappy person by nature - I would never have been attracted to or married a person like that. She is a very funny (funnier than me), incredibly silly, kind hearted woman who desperately wants to have another baby and is having a really hard time. If she's going to be upset about that, I have to let her. I can't control her emotions. I've tried. Does she cry every day? Yes, she does. For about 5 minutes. Does she laugh everyday? Yes. For about 5 hours.

So I'll write for a minute about secondary infertility vs. primary infertility (if that's what it's called). Again, I'm no expert here, I just know from my own experiences. My wife and I have been in both camps.

Is secondary infertility "less bad" (I won't say better) than primary infertility? Of course it is. For us, the fear that we would never have a child was overwhelming. I'll never forget that fear. I'll never forget the joy when that pee stick had 2 lines on it. I cried like a little girl. (I had had a couple drinks). So with that fear gone, this process is less painful. We are very, very lucky to have a child. We think that everyday. My wife says that every day.

But when you want to create a baby, whether it's your first or your second, or your 10th, and you can't, I think you feel broken. I think there are big natural forces at work there. And I think that does damage.

Let's do what you should never do: compare it to money.

Lets say a couple earns $50k a year. They can afford a roof, ok clothes, dinner out every now and then. They're not rich. They probably think if they could only have, say, $150k, they'd be happy. Think of all the crap they could buy...a house... a decent car...

Now look at the couple who earns $150k. They have a decent place, some nice vacations. She probably has a couple designer outfits. He might have a couple of $700 suits. Wouldn't it be nice if they could afford private school, though? And all the people around them when they were ALL earning $50k per year are now earning $1 million, by the way. They see them at the park every day, talking about their millions.

Should the second couple feel bad for wanting more? Everyone else seems to have more. And because people know that you are a $150k person, they just come to expect that you are interested in growing your income. If you weren't, you'd still be at $50k. And obviously you CAN grow your why are you still only at $150k? When are you coming to $1 million? What's taking you so long?

And of course there are those people at $5million who it all came so easy to. They think it comes that easy for everyone. They make money by just waking up in the morning.

Maggie, in all honesty, if I were you, I'd feel exactly the same way. What the F*ck is this lady bitching about, she HAS a child. I know I would feel that way, and so would my wife. What I'm suggesting to you is that secondary infertility comes with its own bag of ass. A different bag. But if you want a child, you want a child.

To illustrate my point further, I'll give you a real life example. When my wife was in the hospital getting her eggs harvested, there was a girl in the next room over who was screaming in pain from some IVF procedure. My wife felt bad for her. The nurse told my wife that the woman had 2 kids already, and was undergoing IVF for a third. My wife no longer felt bad for her. She HATED her. Thought she was hogging all the babies. What right did she have trying for THREE babies? We can't even get TWO!

A couple other points. (I told you this would be long). I am sweet to my wife, and I do spoil her a great deal (she TOLD me to point that out). But the truth is, she definitely spoils me too. I'm not going to list all the douchebaggy things I do and say on my own blog. I'm not going to go into detail about the times I was a jerk to my wife and said incredibly insensitive things to her, because this is my blog and I don't want people to hate me. I'm not mis-representing myself on this blog, but let's just say, my personality is a bit scrubbed. This is MY blog, after all.

Last point: Maggie, I am glad you posted on my blog and I hope you do it again and that you stick around. I'm so sorry for the trouble you've had and I truly can't imagine the pain you've dealt with. I hope adoption proves to be the right thing for you and your husband and I'm sure you'll make great parents.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tom Petty Knew What He Was Talking About

When he said "The waiting is the hardest part". He probably also knew what he was talking about when he sang "Don't do me like that", but that's another topic for another day.

My poor wife is so sad today. Nothing in particular happened today to make her so sad, but that's partly what's making her so sad. Nothing is happening. Since our cycle was cancelled, we have to sit around and wait to start the next cycle. So its a 2 week wait, without the potential prize at the end.

Even when she's in the middle of all the shots, scans, poking and prodding, and she's miserable from it, at least she feels as though she is doing something to move this whole babymaking thing along. But now, we're just sitting around, doin' nothing. It helps to know you're adding value somehow. I give my wife her shots in her belly. She hates it, obviously. But I kind of like giving her those shots. Am I sadistic, you ask?

Yes. But that's only part of the answer.

Giving her those shots is the only tangible thing I can do to help this process forward. I can be sweet to my wife, and help her manage her emotions and stress, but that does nothing to help us actually get pregnant. Those shots, now they help. Plus, it's kind of fun. It's like playing doctor, only with real doctorin' stuff like needles.

Anyway, just waiting. Waiting and reading blogs. And drinking.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

So I was "Tagged"

I take it this is the new electronic way to play the age old game, except that now we are in our 30's. While I am happy to be included, the truth is I actually dread these types of things, they're kind of like chain letters. What happens if I don't tag other people? Will I have bad luck?

OK, here were the words given to me, and the thoughts they elicited:

Limb: What I would have given one of not to be tagged
Sand: What I would have eaten in order not to be tagged
Satisfaction: Something this exercise is not giving me
Divine: Divine Brown. I'll never understand why Hugh Grant was out on the street paying for it when he had Elizabeth Hurley at home. Honestly. She's like the most beautiful woman on the planet (next to my wife, but you wouldn't know that because I'm not allowed to post a picture of her).

Sorry Serenity, this is coming to you. (I'll only tag one person, if that's alright...)



Isn't My Wife Beautiful?

** I had a picture of my wife in this space. She made me take it down. Apparantly this was not one of my smartest moves.

Ok, this photo was taken 4 years ago, just a few days before our wedding. But I assure you, she looks the same now. Actually, I think she looks more beautiful now.

That's all. I just wanted to post a picture of my beautiful wife.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Day Late

I don't know why this is affecting me so much today. It didn't really affect me much yesterday at all.

September 11th.

I realize most people took note of the anniversary yesterday. But yesterday I had nothing to say about it. But for some reason, for the first time, today I imagined having to call my wife from my office and tell her that my building had been hit by a plane, and that I was likely going to die. I can't comprehend it; it's too painful and the mere thought of it makes me sweat and want to cry. What would I say? Would I be brave and tell her I love her, and that I hope she would go on to live a happy life filled with laughter and love, and would I ask to speak to my 2 year old, and would I tell her that her daddy loves her? Or would I just cry and scream into the phone and pray that it was all a bad dream?

The fact that hundreds, THOUSANDS of men JUST LIKE ME faced that very situation is incomprehensible. My brain rejects it. It's too painful to think about.

I knew people who died that day. 2 people from my high school class, and an old friend's husband. I lost track of her before 9/11, and I last saw her at her wedding (to the guy who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald). I tried to get in touch with her after, but I couldn't find her. I know she was 6 months pregnant with their first child on 9/11. I also heard through friends that he had called her after the attack.

It's enough to literally make you insane with grief.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Happiest Infertile on the Block

You may need to bear with me here. I'm pretty sure I have something worthwhile to say, but I'm just not sure how long it may take for me to get there. This could be a long post.

For the purposes of an executive summary, I'll state my conclusion first. Based on my own personal experiences during fatherhood, as well as during infertility, feedback from my wife, and your insightful comments, I think I can confidently state the following:

Infertile women are exactly like toddlers.

Now, don't get all bunjed up. Let me explain.

Obviously, there are some differences. Infertile women don't poop themselves, for example. (For the most part). But I think, if I do a good job expressing my point here, you'll agree with me by the end of this post.

First, a little background is in order. 2 years ago (2 years ago Wednesday, actually), when the Buggins was born, we were given a DVD called The Happiest Baby on the Block. It's by some Dr. named Karp or something. Has a famous book that goes along with it; I'm sure some of you have heard of this guy. Anyway, we didn't watch it for a long time, because honestly, we're just not that type of couple. We don't go in for alot of the how-to videos. We don't read directions. Half the shit in my house doesn't work as a result, but still, that's just not how we roll.

Anyway, after Buggins was about 4 weeks old, my wife and I had aged about 10 years (my wife maybe 20). The kid was crying all the time, up all night, it was awful. One day, at our wits end and in a total fog, we popped in this DVD. This Karp guy is a freaking MAGICIAN. Seriously, he made babies stop crying like he was pulling some kind of crazy Jedi mind trick on them. I wondered if it was some kind of Industrial Light & Magic special effect. This couple would hand him a screaming kid, he would hold it a certain way, whisper something, and the kid was jello. Smiling. Even SLEEPING.

Fair to say, the good Dr. Karp changed our lives. He's kind of a swarmy, annoying, dirty looking man with one of those scraggly half beards, (the kind that makes you wonder why the guy bothers to grow one at all) so I elevate him to this status with great hesitation. But he earned it.

So fastforward about a year. We come upon the sequel DVD, entitled The Happiest Toddler on the Block. We buy it. We buy two copies, in case we lose one. He's that good.

So in this toddler video, he really gets inside the mind of the toddler. He knows how they think. He has an inside line there. He says that when they have a tantrum, usually about nothing in particular (i.e. wanting a cookie, wanting to watch Elmo, etc) the reason for the tantrum isn't actually because of the sadness that they are not allowed to do or have that thing in question. It's because they feel as though we (the parents) are not getting it. We're not validating their desire for that delicious cookie. Saying things like "Ohh, it's ok, don't worry, cookies aren't that good", or "Don't worry, you'll have a cookie someday" don't come close to addressing the issue. That's ignoring the issue, actually.

At first I was totally skeptical of this. I figured kids have tantrums because they're BAD. But again Karp was shown with a toddler who was literally busting a nut over the fact that he/she wanted a cookie. And Karp looked the kid right in the eye and yelled "WANT COOKIE!! WANT COOKIE!! WANT COOKIE!!!". The kid actually paused, looked at the guy for a second (probably wondering about his half-beard) and then wandered off, having totally forgotten about the cookie.

Amazing. So we tried it. When we figured out what Buggins was yelling about, we yelled about it too. And sure enough, she stopped yelling.

I'll give you a recent example, it actually happened yesterday. Buggins has 2 pairs of Crocs, those weird plastic shoes. She has a pink pair, and a green pair. She's obsessed with them. So yesterday, she was dressed in an outfit that begged for the green pair, but prohibited the pink pair. We were going to a nice dinner, and we didn't want her dressed in her typical crazy-ass fashions. So I said "Buggins, you have to wear the green shoes". She LOST it. Started screaming and crying. I said "Green shoes, Buggins", and she kept on screaming, only LOUDER. She lay down on the floor and screamed bloody murder. Finally, I started pounding my fist in the air yelling "WANT PINK SHOES!!! WANT PINK SHOES!! I WANT PINK SHOES!!!! I WANT PINK SHOES!!! " And sure enough, she stopped crying, walked over to me, crawled on my lap, and put those green shoes on HERSELF. Then walked away, happy as a clam.

So this is where I circle back to my main point, about infertile women. You're probably seeing where I'm headed with this. I've been spending all my time saying things like "Ohh, it's ok, there's always next month" and "Shhhh, just try to relax, I'm sure the doctors know what they are doing..." And I've been getting NOWHERE, as anyone who read this blog knows. What I SHOULD be doing is pumping my fist in the air, and, depending on the situation at hand, yelling "INFERTILITY SUCKS!! OUR DOCTOR SUCKS! SHOTS SUCK! THAT NURSE SUCKS!! IVF SUCKS! PREGNANT WOMEN SUCK!!!"

It seems so simple....yet brilliant. My wife wants me to empathize with her situation, not necessarily fix it. I hear her complain about a problem, and my first instinct is to a) solve the problem, or b) minimize the importance of the problem.

I clearly can't do A, and attempting B is a surefire way to get my ass kicked.

So I've started yelling right along with her, and it really seems to making a huge difference. It's like a Jedi-mind trick.

I'm thinking of growing a scraggly half-beard.

p.s. Took the buggins to the Dr. today. No sign of a UTI, so who knows what the story is with the "boo boo". Could be the effects of too much time spent watching "Elmo's Potty Time" video.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Reflections on the week from hell

Happy Friday bloggers. (Or for you Australians, happy Saturday morning...)

Sitting here with a martini reflecting on the crazy IF week. Cancelled cycles, traumatized wife, death threats against me, my job stressing me out big time, and to top it all off, my 2 year old is hunched over, holding her crotch and yelling "Boo Boo". (Not quite sure what to do about that one...wife is calling the appropriate people.)

Just to update you in the event you may be interested, we called Dr. Buttmunch's office and told them we want to sit down with the good doctor to discuss our care. Seems like a straightforward request - we are his patients, after all. And, it seems to me that many of you have just this kind of conversation with your RE every single day.

The nurse said she'd be happy to book a meeting with our doctor. Next available appointment: October 25th. That's 7 f'ing weeks away. Does that make sense to you?

So we called our old RE, CityDoc. Can he see us? Sure, come on in. September 22. That's TWO weeks. We can get into a doctor we are not USING in 2 weeks. The doctor responsible for our CURRENT CARE? 7 weeks.

So we are feeling pretty good about our decision to go to CityDoc.

Feeling less good about my daughter's "boo boo" in her netherregion. If that 3 year old in the leather jacket down the street gave her something, I swear to God...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Boy, That DID Get Me In Trouble

Ok, so I am beginning to recover from the brutal beating I got from wifey for that last post. She read it at home, called me up at work, and screamed "YOU A$$HOLE!!!" into the phone and then hung up. I'm just glad I didn't have her on speakerphone.

But after she read it a few more times, and read your comments, and called me numerous names I never read in the Bible, I think she started to understand that I wasn't simply complaining about my wife on the internet, or trolling the web looking for anonymous agreement that I have a crazy wife. She now understands that I was admitting some serious mistakes I was making to a knowledgeable group of individuals, and that I was seeking guidance and help from people who understand, but are just removed enough from our own particular day-to-day crap to be able to shed some light on it. And your comments have been incredibly helpful. Thank you all for your insights and feedback. I really want to respond to each and every one of your comments but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Your comments have made a profound difference in the way I think and act towards this process and towards my wife during this time.

So anyway, back to the shit.

The cycle was cancelled. The nurse said the follicles were not developed enough. Now, for those of you following along at home:

Cycle #1 - 150iu for 2 nights, then 225iu for the rest of the cycle...
first scan: 4 follicles, 2nd scan: 11, 3rd scan: 16 follicles, then - boom - conversion to IVF due to "overstimulation of the follicles". Needless to say, that IVF was a failure.

Cycle #2, 75iu for first 2 nights.
Oh, that makes sense. Starting us off slow. Overdid it last time. Seems prudent. Gee, these guys are smart.
First scan - no follicles.
Hmmn...well, I guess it's time to ramp up the dosage and get us some follicles. That's what they'll probably say when the nurse calls this afternoon.
They call: Stay on 75 for 2 more nights.
Huh? no increase? Seems odd. Well, I guess they know what they're doing.
Second scan: 3 follicles, all too small to measure. Technician is worried. Mentions that she wouldn't be surprised if they cancelled.
No worries, I tell wifey. I'm sure they'll crank up the dosage now and grow those little follicles into giants right at the last second. Just you wait. After all, you're only at 75. Last cycle, you were at 225.
Nurse calls. Stay at 75iu for 2 more nights.
WTF? That can't be good doctorin'. Are these guys asleep at the switch?
Next scan: Follicles too small. CANCELLED. Oh, but don't worry, the insurance company will still count this as one of the 6 ART treatments they will cover. Too bad you didn't get the opportunity to actually get IMPREGNATED.
And wifey descends into another black hole of despair, anger, confusion, panic, fear, depression, and frustration.
Thanks, Doc. Good lookin' out.

So, based on our gut instincts, your feedback, and, I think, common sense, we have decided we are getting really bad medical care. We have contacted our original RE doctor, who practices in the city. The only reason we didn't continue with him was because of the 2 hour round trip commute to his office from our home. But we have sacrificed care for convenience and found that quality care is more important.

I have to tell you, I am concerned about this commute. Its the same commute I have every day to work. My wife puts a HUGE premium on convenience. She may say she wants to go to the CityDoc now, but I envision MAJOR problems when she has to lug her ass (and our 2 year old) to the clinic 2 or 3 times a week). I'm just saying. CityDoc would have to be 200% better than Dr. ButtMunch just to balance out the affect of the convenience factor. So, CityDoc has to be 250% better than Dr. ButtMunch for this to be worthwhile. Maybe that will happen. Maybe not.

So we have a couple weeks off, no drugs, no appts. Just lots of booze and hopefully some SEX!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This is Going to Get Me in Trouble

I have to vent. I know my wife is going to read this and be super pissed at me, but this is really the best outlet I have.

I just don't get my wife's thought process. She is always BLAMING people for things. Follicles too small? The doctor screwed up and prescribed too low a dosage on the Follistim. Follicles too big? Or too many? The doctor screwed up by prescribing too much follistim. And she's always on the verge of quitting this doctor and going to another. "If my follicle is below 17mm today, I'm calling that other doctor..."

I know what she's doing. She's scrambling for some kind of control. And she's trying to find REASON where there seems to be a total absence of reason.

What the hell should I do? If I thought it would calm her down, I'd just agree with her. I've tried that. I still try that. Doesn't work. My agreeing with her is met with one of a few different responses: 1) "How can you agree, you can't begin to understand", or 2) "If you agree so much then DO something about it", or 3) continued ranting about the problem as before, just with added anger at me for no discernible reason.

So I say things that I think would be useful to ME, if I were in her shoes. Things like "Honey, let's just wait until the nurse calls this afternoon with more information before we go making big decisions. Let's try to relax". That ticks her off, apparently. And "Honey, we have to assume, not being doctors, that there are reasons why the doctors are making these decisions that we don't have the training to fully understand". Oh boy. That one really pisses her off.

So then she's pissed, and she's got this constant electrical charge of "pissed-ness" coursing though her body well after this particular conversation has reached its conclusion.

So we start talking about something else. Actually, she's talking about something else, like scheduling a dentist appointment for herself, and whether that might conflict with other appointments.

* Let me add something here. It's important to note that I would love nothing more than to never be included in conversations about things like scheduling her dentist appointment. My wife is one of those people who needs to talk things out, even the most mundane things, in order to clarify them in her own head. Whether the other person is listening, or helpful, or even alive is sometimes of little consequence. She just needs to talk it out. See, this is where I get into trouble. I can't just listen and let her talk. I don't have nearly enough patience for that. Never have. I want her to state her point, succinctly, and then shut the hell up. Same thing I want from every other person who speaks to me. I have a thing about efficient language skills. I can't handle conversations where people say the same thing over and over again. I almost always explode. Not only does this get me in trouble at home, by the way. It will probably be my undoing at work.

Anyway, here's how the conversation went.
Wife: Maybe I could get an appointment in the late afternoon, and you could leave work early to watch the baby.
Me: Yes, that's certainly an option.
Wife: Or maybe I could get an early morning appointment, say at 7 or 7:30, and you could go to work a bit later and watch the baby.
Me (*not sure why she bothered to say this; I just assumed in the first exchange we had agreed that I would arrange work schedule to watch baby). Anyway, I reply, "Yes, that's a solution too."
Wife: I'm just saying, for me to do this, I'm going to need some help from you.
Me: (*I lose it. Her response would be appropriate if I had been saying "NO" to the previous points, instead of "YES". AND, she is implying that I am not being helpful CURRENTLY). I reply "Didn't you just hear me say yes a couple of times? Why are you still going on and on???"


Now she's REALLY pissed.

**Clarifying edit: Please don't get the impression that I think that my wife is wrong and I am right. I certainly do not believe that, and the brief exchange above I think illustrates nicely what a total jerk I can, in fact, be.

Someone out there please help me. I know I am making mistakes. How can I calm this women down, and help her see this process for what it is: an imperfect, imprecise, ambiguous, chaotic, hellatious ride not for the faint of heart? And that that fact needs to be accepted?

How do I try to make her feel less alone without subjecting myself to a severe browbeating every day (deserved or otherwise)? I know she has crazy hormone drugs coursing through her body, and that may serve to explain some things (but don't you dare suggest THAT to her without protective eyewear), but beyond explaining, what do I DO about it?

** Another Edit **

The cycle has been cancelled. Follicles were not stimulated enough and she is beginning to ovulate. And I thought she was pissed BEFORE.....

More on this in the next post.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Life's a Beach

We had a good day. Decided to take a vacation from infertility.

We went for a long walk around the Crane Estate, which is this huge expanse of land in Ipswich, MA along the water. Beautiful beach, great walking trails, hardly any people.

Anyway, we spent the morning climbing dunes and having fun with The Buggins. M didn't want to go. I made her.

We have spent all our time complaining, bitching, crying, obsessing about IF, Dr. ButtMunch, bitch-nurses, and follistim pens. I really wanted us to have a day that we just enjoyed; just a moment in time where we didn't fret about the future or regret the past. It sounds simple and even corny. But I think we could all use a day like that, where we simply just enjoy TODAY. Fuck Infertility. (for those of you offended by my crassness, F*CK infertility)

It was a an unbridled success (except for a phone call on M's cell from bitch-nurse telling us to STAY on 75 megawatts - WTF?? I'm calling the Dr. tomorrow, and I have asskicking on my mind) .

As I've said before, I have worrried about the effect of all of this on The Buggins. I really wanted a day just for us. Not for some desired, unborn and unconceived baby to-be. So we walked, sniffed some crazy flowers, tried to eat a pinecone, built gigantic sand castles, and reminded ourselves why we are going through all this IF bullshit in the first place.

Because little kids F'ing ROCK.

Peace out -

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain

I realize when I started this thing that I was a bit bummed at how few men there were blogging about the crapheap that is fertility treatments. Now, I want them all to stay away, because I am truly loving the attention from all of you and I want no competition. So, guys, if you are reading this, there's nothing to see here. Move on. These blogs are lame anyway. Chick stuff. Plus, there's a game on.

Ok good. So I was wondering why our Doctor, Dr. ButtMunch, never tells us what's going on. As I mentioned before, my wife and I met with him during our initial consult, and we have NEVER seen or heard from him since, save a lame message on our machine telling us how "sorry" he was about our last BFN.

So in our last IUI cycle, they started M off with like 150 milligrams, or units, or whatever the fuck they are, in that follistim pen. On her FIRST ultrasound, they said they saw 4 decent follicles, and then cranked us up to 225. At the next ultrasound, she had eleven follicles. They kept her at 225. Next ultrasound, they saw 16 follicles. The ultrasound technician said "I'm sure they've already discussed with you the conversion to IVF". NO. What the hell are you talking about? The technician was like "well, they can't give you an IUI now, or we'll all end up on the cover of People Magazine". So, later that day, we were told we were moving straight to IVF because of M's "overstimulation", even though they cranked her UP after the first appt.

So that IVF was negative, and that's all background. We are now back to IUI, as mandated by our insurance coverage. We are in our next cycle, but they have started her off at 75 kilowatts or whatever on the follistim pen. So we go in after a few days for the the first ultrasound, and guess how many follicles they see? NONE. The trusty technical told her that was low, but not totally uncommon. But it makes us worry a bit.

So we get a call that day (Saturday). "Ok, keep going at 75, come in on Monday, gotta go see you then bye"

Why the F would they crank her ass up the first time, and not the second time, when she is producing below average follicles? I just want to believe that there is some guy in that office, hopefully Dr. ButtMunch, who is watching all of this, reading all the data, and has a brilliant master plan from behind his curtain. I guess we'll see. If any of you lovely ladies with your advanced degrees in fertilities have any clue, I'd sure appreciate hearing it.

By the way, some of you asked if my wife reads my blog. Yes, she does. Sometimes she gets pissed at how much I reveal. She's afraid some of you are our next door neighbors.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Post With No Title

Thank you everyone for reading my ramblings and for posting your insightful comments on my blog. I agree with you, it is a bit surprising to me how there aren't more blogs dealing with fertility from a male point of view. I know there are a couple out there - and I read them - but the female bloggers on this subject outnumber the male bloggers by at least 10 to 1.

Obviously, that is to be expected. You guys, are, after all, the ones getting shot up with all the drugs, and it is in your bellies that we are all hoping the little babies will show up. And I do know that some guys are just showing up when needed, whacking off in a cup, and then it's back to SportsCenter on HDTV. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But I really do think that this process is rough on us too, and there are a couple of things going on with that:
1) We are afraid to admit that out loud for fear that our overly medicated wives will break out the kitchen knives and yell "you motherfucker, you think this process is tough on YOU?!?!"
2) On average, we are naturally less likely to discuss our feelings
3) We are too busy trying to calm down our wives to actually focus for very long on how the process is affecting us.

I can tell you how this is affecting me. Yes, I want another child. Badly. Yes, I'll be sad if we can't. But that is creating about 5% of the stress I am feeling about infertility.

The remaining 95% of my stress is coming from trying to manage my wife. Trying to talk her off the ledge every day. Hugging her as she cries EVERY DAY. Listening to her call me at work screaming because the nurse left some fucked up message on our machine like "you're number is at 49, which is a bit low" without explaining what the fuck that MEANS and what number she's ever TALKING ABOUT. Having to flee the playground with our daughter because all the other mothers there, who all have kids younger than our daughter, are all pregnant again. Every single one of them. Or having to explain to our friends why my wife couldn't make it to their BBQ AGAIN, for the 5th time in a row (it's those damn allergies...) when the real reason is that so many of my friend's wives are pregnant and my wife just can not deal with that.

I understand that that all makes her very unhappy. It's just that sometimes I don't fully understand WHY it makes her so unhappy. I've never been much of a jealous person, and the truth is, I really, really love my life. Wouldn't trade it for anything. So when our neighbor gets pregnant, I'm actually happy for her. I don't feel as though anything has been taken away from me. My wife, on the other hand, wants to put a contract out on her.

And its rough for another reason: I tend to rely on humor to get me through stressful situations. That's just me. My wife does NOT care for jokes during a serious process. In her mind, by making jokes, I am trivialize the seriousness of our issues. So there goes my outlet: making jokes. (that's one of the things that led me to blogging.)

And to those of you who think your husbands would benefit from writing a blog, but they think that it's a weird thing to do, I was right there with them. It honestly never occurred to me. The only guy I knew who had a blog was Anderson Cooper on CNN. This whole thing started by me trying to get my wife to start a blog, and she was resisting. So I started reading them to learn more so that I could talk her into it, and I decided I wanted the outlet for myself. And honestly, I feel so much better. It has made a gigantic effect on the way I feel. I never would've seen THAT coming.

Have a good weekend -