Saturday, October 31, 2009


Tired and frustrated. And angry. And thwarted.

Just looked at the Halloween pics posted by one of my SILs. Of all the cousins at Nana and Grandad's house.

Nana reading to one of them. They're all so grown up. Even if we do have kids, they won't be friends with these cousins.

Trying to imagine Christmas this year at C's folks.

That's hard.

Maybe I just need some more candy. That must be it.

Well, I guess I asked for this

I opened the door.

Let me just say this, and let's not speak of it anymore, okay?

1. Money is an issue. As grad students, we used some loans to help pay for the fertility treatments we received. Even now that C is gainfully employed and we are paying back some of his loans (going back to undergrad) we are still not solvent enough to lay out cash for endless and/or expensive treatments. Even with insurance that theoretically pays 50% for treatments. Up to $10k. Lifetime. Since we were able to get pg doing IUI, getting good, personalized care from a highly respected physician in the field, in the area. IVF does sometimes improve conception odds, usually, but does not improve chances of sustained pregnancy.

Further, we are considering at least a $15k investment in one cycle of IVF. Considering my history and medical conditions, I hardly think we would be eligible for some sort of money-back plan. With 50% coverage, that is at least $7k that we have to pay out of pocket. And I am still a graduate student.

Also, when do we start saving for adoption? How do we pay for that once we've taken that leap?

2. Medical care is an issue. This doctor, though he no longer does IVF, is one of the few doctors in this area -- that I have found -- that has talked to my husband and me like we are intelligent people, individuals. Partners in care. When we lost the boys, every single doctor, in "excellent" medical facilities, in the city, "wished" they had a "crystal ball." None offered any explanation except fluke. None offered any insight or honest support in helping us make our decisions. While we were trying the first time, we met with another clinic, with which we had a very poor experience. Forgive me, I liked to be talked to as an equal, not as a silly, emotional woman, who just needs to listen to her doctor. Yes, I am a bit gun shy. However, spending an hour on the phone with a doctor (from out of town) who knows what he's talking about -- and knows how to talk to us like intelligent human beings -- gave me answers and peace of mind that a half a dozen local doctors (not my RE) could not.

Further, local IVF clinics have little experience (according to SART) with women my age with issues that we have (both male and female problems).

3. The IVF experience. Even more drugs. Even more money. Even more physical and emotional commitment, with daily ultrasounds, blood draws and assembly line experience. In case the whole thing isn't hard enough. Also, I got OHSS with clomid. And with conservative injectible cycles. Trying to get many more eggs just puts me at higher risk. Which, of course, can be prevented to some extent. Of course, FET cycles are generally less successful than fresh.

In light of the last two cycles, we are having a consult with the doctor. We will take into consideration what he has to say. Of course, we will.

If we begin to seriously consider IVF, which we are, in fact, open to, we will also consider clinics around the country, as other local places do not seem to fit for us. Better facilities means more cost, more travel expenses. More time and emotional costs.

My sister remarked recently that seeing as I stim so well, one cycle wouldn't necessarily be one transfer. I agree. And if we want to try to have more than one child, that would come in handy, in theory. If we had any embryos left. There are a lot of ifs.

As I think Luna mentioned, yes, many choices have been considered. And this is what we chose to go with, at least to begin our TTC process again: In a place where we feel supported, and respected. A place where we feel that we have at least a decent chance of achieving a healthy pregnancy. I could not go back to being just a number, a p.i.t.a., needy patient right off the bat.

Did I miss anything? I don't think so. These are the big issues for us. We are working through them, we are considering all of our options.

Feel free to comment. Get it out. Then, let us not talk of it again.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It was inevitable, I guess -- and a response

Here is the first comment I've ever gotten that's rankled:

Can you please explain why you have not tried IVF? Maybe I missed it in an old post. Thank you. October 30, 2009 10:16 AM

There are so many ways to respond. PLENTY of good reasons for our choices. And yet, why do I feel the need to explain?

And why do I expect the next sentence in this comment would be "why don't you just adopt?" ?



I actually don't mind this question itself so much; it's more the tone, the way it's phrased, I think. And yes, I do believe that I mention this somewhere in my blog.

In the original 9 cycles of IUI, we conceived 4 times -- that's a 45% conception rate, though only the last pregnancy got past the first few weeks. 45% is better than most IVF clinics, from what I've seen on SART.

We have discussed IVF, as a couple and with the doctor, but the consensus is that IVF will not necessarily help us get pregnant more than IUI, we could do PGD, but that extra $5K will not get us any closer to being or staying pregnant.

Of course, the WTF consult may lead us to a different conclusion, as it has been 2 years, and who knows what's changed. Of course, the conception rates (let alone the live birth rate) for women my age and with our issues doing IVF are still not anywhere near 45%.


For anyone looking for information on how people make these choices, may I suggest re-considering how you ask such questions?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Duh - with bonus


So glad I dragged my ass down there in the dark this morning.

WTF consult on Monday, 3pm. We have a credit of almost $1000. Insurance has been paying more than expected. Maybe I'll ask for a check. We could use that cash. Or maybe we should just leave it there, dedicated TTC money.

I really don't know.

Maybe. I should tell my sister not to push so hard to come to NY for Thanksgiving. C mentioned that it may be hard for me to see everyone ooh and ahh over her and the baby. he has a point.

And my optimism is waning.

Bonus: A (my sister) sent me an email today (responding to my negative email) mentioning that my dad apparently wants to have a "thing," a party of some type for some friends and family so they can meet my niece. Makes perfect sense.

I really don't see me making it.

What's nice is that A totally understands.

What sucks is no Thanksgiving. It's been pretty hard since my mom died. We always had a big dinner at the house. A special trip home from college. A good reason to visit. Chestnut Stuffing. She could never remember who liked white potatoes and who liked sweet ones, so she always made a ton of both.

So, yeah. I'll go to NY another time. I'll see everyone another time. Probably be cheaper, anyway.


No rest

Can't sleep. Can't seem to take my last pill, the metfor.min. In case, I'm, you know, pregna-hahahahahah... sorry, can't quite seem to get that out. Ahem.

Anyway, I was just checking out Mel's Lost & Found on Stirrup Queens and left a comment on someone's post. My word verification?


Any body read what I read?

It's almost too funny.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

15 dpiui, again

Raging, ugly UTI? Check.

Bad mood resulting from UTI and useless Dr. appointment? Check.

Headache? Check.

Beta tomorrow morning, bound to be a waste of time, money, energy and medical supplies? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check.

Whining all over the internet about poor me? Check.

Okay, here it is: Is it me?

(In which I rant and whine and bitch and moan.)

Can I bitch for a minute here?

So, I went in to my GP's office this morning with a (another) UTI/kidney infection. I was there at the end of the last cycle that went so splendidly. Unfortunately, they were so busy, that I couldn't get a quick appointment to see my regular GP, who, really, is the only doctor-type person I trust at all there.

So, I go in this morning, extremely uncomfortable, in a lot of pain. I used to get utis all the time, but it's been a while and they were never this bad. There's (low) fever, there's even some blood. OTC pain relievers made specifically for this (which I've used before with success) are not really helping at all.

This time, like last time, I settled for the NP, figuring she was better than no one. She's sort of frazzled and, forgive me, dumpy-looking. I know I am often not well put together, but she exudes this sort of, I don't know, ineffective vibe.

Last time I was there, she asked me if I know about microbid, an antibiotic. "Um, macr.obid?" Yeah (did I rant about this already? sorry). Since I'm allergic to sulfa and hasn't helped me in the past, and makes me sick, there's nothing else at this level to give me. She said this like I was purposely making problems for her: "Well, since you're going to be so difficult..." Of course she didn't say that, but it was in her tone. All. Over. the Tone.

So, I go in today, feeling worse than I did a month ago. Knowing what a charmer I was going to meet. On my way out of the bathroom, of the corner of my eye, I see a classmate/friend waiting in an exam room. Way to ensure privacy, keeping the door open like that, huh? I can hear them chat, and my classmate/friend is a great laugher, an all around great person, so the convo is (from what I can tell from the tone) pleasant and congenial.

She comes in and says, well, you have another infection. She opens up the computer (instead of paper charts -- very high tech this practice, ahem) and looks through, and says, sighing, annoyed, unpleasant, "Well, we can't give you, and you're allergic to sulfa, and you can't take au.gmenti.n and you just had macr.obid (mb), so let's try lev.aquin." Honestly, I was just expecting her to up the dose of the mb, and maybe give it to me for 10 or 14 days instead of trying something new. Silly me.

So, knowing that the mb was safe for pregnancy, and not knowing about any others, I said, "There is a very, very, very small chance that I'm pregnant." she looks at me, exasperated, and says, okay, we'll do a dip with your urine. I started to say something about how that wasn't going to show anything, as it didn't yesterday (yes, I took an old, expired digital before taking the otc stuff) and how I have a beta coming up tomorrow...and she looks at me. And I just stopped myself and said, never mind, go ahead, do the dip.

We sat there in silence while she waited for the result, doing stuff on her computer. No chit chat. I wound up texting a fb status. Seriously, I have never been so rude. I just didn't care anymore.

So, when the nurse calls from the hallway, saying "negative," NP continues to write the script and says she's giving me a referral to see a uro.logist. Looks up the guy to see when he'll be in our local hospital, and tells me his name. Umm, I thought he was just for men, I said. (C had one appointment with him way back when we were trying. Ass.hole. And the office was filled with old men. So, silly me, I thought he was just for men. Seeing as I was so clear in my thinking, you know, with all the fever and blood and PAIN.)

"He's a *urol.ogist*" she says, practically rolling her eyes and furrowing her brow, sighing. "If you have someone you'd rather go to..."

No, I don't know anyone, that's fine. Just give me the referral.

I have never had a conversation like this with a medical professional in my life. Well, except the OB saying that he would help me understand the placental pathology report because he "went to medical school and knows all those big words."

So, she must have been reacting to me. My scowl. Low voice. But she never even tried with me.

Am I off-putting? I consider myself to be a pleasant person, nice to strangers, good with the small talk. I like to put people at their ease. But maybe I don't. Maybe I"m just angry and intimidating and off-putting. Asking hard questions. Bringing a complicated case.

My RE has said recently that he didn't know how to read me at first. He thought I didn't like him the first several cycles. Really?? I was just being me, or so I thought. Or maybe me isn't as likable as I thought.

I rationalized that the NP was nice to my friend because she could feel superior to her. See, my friend is black and this is a small, generally racist town. Generally. But then I thought, how ungenerous is that? Of me? Maybe she just likes my friend. Maybe I rub her the wrong way.

At CVS I called the RE's office to make sure that the drugs were okay for where I am in my cycle. I told her that I didn't feel pregnant, my tests all came back negative so far and that I was assuming I wasn't pregnant. She said, "don't assume you aren't, dear. you never know." sigh. so, she kindly looked up the meds I was prescribed and said they'd be okay for now. Beta is tomorrow morning. I still have to call and make the appointment. Awesome.

I ranted at the nurse (who I love) about my interaction with the NP. I said that I had expected a higher dose of the mb for longer, and she said, "yes, that's what I would have thought you'd be prescribed, too." This is a nurse who once, when I apologized for something (when I was pregnant and puking and dehydrated), said to me, "honey, I wish all our patients were like you." This isn't even the nurse who got all teary and excited for us as we began this stuff all over again, saying that I was in such a great place, doing so much better, etc.

Am I off-putting? Do I ask questions in a way that is pushy or inappropriate?

Someone else in my doc program (a student a year or so ahead of me) once said to me that hearing the first words out of my mouth, he knew that I'd be successful in the program. That I was *smart.* Huh? Umm, we are all here because we have something to offer. Someone else told me that, too, in one of my master's program classes.

What the hell? I'm not a smarty-pants. I don't use big words. I try to smile and be considerate. Ask people how they are doing, ask them about themselves. I try. So?

Is it that I talk to medical professionals as if they are my equals instead of, I don't know, someone far above me with all the answers?

Must have been a pretty big scowl on my face this morning.

A mama who could use some love right now

Here is a DBM who could use a little extra love right now. Her words hit home for me. So. Clearly. I wish there was something I could do to ease her pain.

(Talk about a reality check. I will get over myself, will stop creating things to agonize over. There is plenty. Plenty.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Okay, okay.

Thank you.

But, there has to be some reason.

I'm really struggling with this whole randomness thing. No plan. No justice. No fair.

It's the only thing that makes any sense -- or at least... Well, it's the only thing that makes sense in relation to my sense of justice. Of how things *should* be. And it makes me really, really angry.

Like that first six months or so after we lost the boys. Like there was a black cloud over me. Everyone I touched seemed to get hurt.

C hates when I start talking about the "embryo motel" I've got for a uterus.

How can any of this be explained?

Fucking pisses me off. Tired of it.


It's my fault. It's my fault this cycle didn't work.

I took a al.eve on Friday. I was desperate. I knew it wasn't recommended. I knew I needed some relief. After I talked to the nurse on Saturday morning, of course I didn't take any more. Just the one.

Apparently, according to Dr., I also interrupted implantation.

Fuck. One fucking pill.

What the hell is wrong with me. Maybe I'm in denial. Of high risk. Of what it's really going to take. Of what I'm capable of.

Monday, October 26, 2009

His voice

My wonderful husband just wrote a post that both punched me in the stomach and made me love him all the more. Check it out.

Oh, well.

Yeah, I poas again. I don't know why.

I'm out of regular sticks. Only digitals, now. No point in those, though.

I have nothing to say.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sitting Here

Sitting here, on my bed. Dog quiet at my elbow.

And I have this growing sense of...



Tears. Those are actually here.

I was just looking at pictures on FB, of JK and her beautiful, beautiful family: the one she has created with her husband (with years of heartache and teams of doctors).

And her father, the one who died on Christmas Day -- that Christmas Day -- is all over them, these pictures.

I don't even see direct resemblance. But I can't shake that feeling. He's just there.

I'm crying.

Something hurts. Or feels familiar.

Or both.

I'm not even sad about this cycle, as doomed as it appears. I mean, I'm sad. I'm disappointed. It's just...I don't know.

I'm matter-of-fact about it, somehow. (I keep almost typing "somewho.")

Almost too much to hope for, maybe. That this round of trying again would actually result in a pregnancy. Or, dare I say it, a living baby. In the first cycle or two? Please.

What was I thinking?

That we could try this again? We could do this? We've come far enough that somehow our effort, our pain, our growth would be rewarded...somehow? Oh, my magical thinking skills are honed, aren't they?

I keep forgetting. The universe is not a just place. It is not about "earn" or "deserve." It is just the universe.

"Who said the world's supposed to work?" -- House, House, MD, Instant Karma, Epis.ode 119

And, yet again...


12 dpiui.

Ah well.

I am imagining that my ovaries ache because I am pregnant, but not enough to register on the hpt. That it is not because of all the -- ahem -- high fiber foods I had last night.

But really, I know it's gotta be just, um, digestion. (yes, I'm very dainty. ahem.)

My head is a bit better -- thanks to all of you for your suggestions. Couldn't find any lavender, but tea and tea and sleepy time tea and soup all helped. Long hot shower this morning? Not as helpful as I would have liked. More mu.cinex please. That definitely helps.

I can't wait to get the beta on this so I can laugh my aching head off about how I *would* have been fine taking real drugs. Ah, well. Of course, beta is not until Thursday.

Thanks, again, everyone. I'll let you know how tomorrow goes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I'd almost prefer an evap. At least it would justify me denying myself a.leve, the only thing that would help with this sinus attack/headache I've had since Thursday.

Just talked to the nurse at the RE. Definitely no a.leve. Decongestant, but nothing else. Except tylen.ol.

My ovaries were twingy last night. I feel kinda bloaty, a little achy, but I'm not ready to attribute that to anything yet. Plus, all the tyle.nol, who knows what my body is doing.

It's certainly not talking to me through pee sticks. Or maybe it is and I don't like the message.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Also, the ohss is all but gone.

And hours later, there is nothing.

I'm already tempted to call my RE for a WTF conversation. Or a "really, what are our chances of this ever being successful?"

I stim well, so I think he thinks it's just a matter of time. Would it be inappropriate to ask him about the adoptionk process? (He adopted his second child.)

Man, I've head the same sinus headache since 8:00 last night. Tyle.nol is just not doing it.

Sorry, Folks

The evap was on the c.vs early, not the frer. I've been tempted to buy more, but I'm trying to control myself. Hahahah...

This morning? Well, frer is teasing me. Sometimes I think I can see something where the line is *supposed* to be. But it might just be the indentation of the test line.

I've got hpt glasses on or something. I really want to believe this worked. Don't think this is a line. If anything, it's the remnants of the trigger. Or, I'm just so good/insane I can see something. I'm not even going to ask C to look -- there's not enough of anything for him to see. And he doesn't scrutinize the way I do.

I'm out of regular sticks, just have the digital (what was I thinking?) so I know that something like this would never test pos. I'll look again in a few hours and see if anything is darker or clearer.

10 dpiui

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let the Festival Begin

Yes, the Festival of Pee Sticks.

Actually, it started yesterday. I will admit it. I peed on an old CVS E.arly from last cycle. Nothing showed up in a few minutes, so I tossed it, but totally went and looked at it a few hours later. There was totally a line, but I know it was an evap, especially since it was a cv.s and so far after the time limit.

Took a FRER today (9 dpo). Nothing. Not stark white, as I imagine I can see a line of some sort (or where the line is *supposed* to be), but definitely negative. I know, it's still really early.

I was dealing with O.HSS in full force (tons of pain, ovaries like rocks) until yesterday, I woke up and felt a lot better. Not 100%, but not like I did the day before. Awesome! Spotting is gone, too. I'm imagining it hurts more today, than yesterday, but I'm not reliable.

My head also feels like it's in a fog, but I think that's because I missed a dose of the Pro.zac because I forgot to pick up my 'script two nights ago. When I'm adjusting to it, I generally get tired. I've been *really* tired lately, like drugged, which I assume is the c.ri.none (in addition to the P). I seem to react really strongly to that. I actually went back to sleep after getting coffee with C this morning, passed the hell out for an hour after getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep, and then hit my snooze alarm for TWO HOURS. Left the house about 40 minutes before I had to be teaching. Awesome. Luckily I only live a few minutes from school. And, can I just say? Have students responsible for presenting rocks. totally rocks.



Can you tell in what decade I came of age?

Oy vey. Wow, I'm feeling really punchy/dizzy, still. Woo.


I just wanted to say that I"m aware that this blog seems to be becoming an infertility/getting pregnant blog. Which is totally different from where it started. I understand that it's not for everyone, especially those dealing with other things. A year ago, I would have stopped reading this blog. Iwas not in that place. Just want to say, I definitely understand changes in needs, etc.

Also, I've noticed how incredibly myopic I've become, whining, perseverating on every detail, noting every moment of my cycles. It really feels like it's become a journal, as I know everyone is not as interested in reading about this stuff as I am about getting it out. I understand. But I know it's part of my process, and I might as well get it out. I'm certainly glad to have you here, sharing and commenting, and I hope you'll continue for however long I'm able to keep this up. Probably one more cycle, then we'll regroup. That scares the hell out of me. Even taking a break next cycle scares the hell out of me. So things are bound to be changing a lot -- back and forth -- in the coming weeks/months.

Thanks for hanging around and humoring me. You're really important. And please, keep sharing your thoughts with me. But also, please take care of your selves. Really. Okay?

I'll keep you posted. You know I will. ;-)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap



Still really uncomfortable. Ovaries like rocks. It hasn't let up yet.

Now my stomach is upset and I'm kinda queasy. Damn pr.ogesterone.

Nothing to do but wait. Try to get some school work done. And wait.


Tap Tap.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap Tap Tap Tap.

So, what's going on in your corner of the world? Heard any good jokes lately?

Monday, October 19, 2009


I am full of hate.

No particular reason, aside from my aching ovaries and bloated belly. And that stupid class I can't seem to get away from.

And the clock ticking.

And just stupid people in general. Stupid, careless, clueless people.

And, well, just in general.

Full. Of. Hate.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I like this picture, because it makes me think the candles continue on into the distance. The light goes on.

And then, kind of sad, because I really wish there weren't so many to remember.

Abiding with you. Remembering our little ones, with love.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And another thing...

I love my SILs (C's sisters), but one of them just posted a link (iamse.cond) on her FB status.

Religion? Fine. Want someone to serve as an example, or a guide? Great.

Tell me that my life is entirely God's plan? No fucking way.

I get to go through all this because it's part of some bigger plan? Some lesson for me or someone I love? Uh uh.

I'm sorry, but that angers me -- offends me -- more even more than the idea that this was all random, the luck of the draw.

Someone else innocuously implied that recently, too. Trying to understand god's plan for me, or something.

Are you KIDDING? How did I get so lucky? How did others?

Sorry. I don't fucking get it.

There is no fairness in the universe. There is only the universe.

So, Tell Me

How do you do it? How do you reconcile career and family/reproduction/IF/loss?

How's that for complicated?

I am so distracted by all this that I can not seem to care very much about what it is that I'm doing here, in the academy.

I don't have my degree yet. After this semester, I have one more class, then comps, then dissertation.

Is it that it's so hard to decide on something? Is it that I've been away from it, mentally, for too long? I know I still care. But the idea of nailing down my focus, my direction, my energy is daunting. It makes me anxious. I avoid it.

I enjoy teaching, when I can focus enough to prepare a good lesson. My topic is important to me.

Is it just that I feel powerless?

Certainly, I feel the pressure of time on my body, more than my degree. Not that there isn't time pressure for the degree, but my body is more finite.

Freaking paradigms.

In "check in" for my qualitative research class a couple of weeks ago, I talked about how I'm sort of in the process of paradigmatic shifts, both in terms of my professional and personal life. This was the day of the negative beta (the first one) and I was (and still am) getting my head around the idea of adoption, that I really do want to parent a child or two.

I am not researching the topic I was interested in two years ago, not exploring my options, I'm just sitting around saying, "I have no idea what I'm doing here." This makes it really hard to invest in and engage in all the work I need to do to get through this semester. Wah wah wah.

What do I care about?

Maybe the question is, what is most pressing? Or, What do I want more than anything?

Or maybe it's not. C is worried that I'm going to sabotage myself by obsessing over babies and closing out all other parts of my life. My reflex is to say, No! Of course, I'm not doing that!

But I wonder if I am, kind of. But then I think, *this* is what I want. It is not all I am, but... I don't know. Is it sexist to say that it's this primal thing? Is it accurate? I don't know.

I need to move forward, with my life, my career, my studies. But I don't want to let this go, either.

And I resent the hell out of that. Haven't we had to let go of enough?

C says that any pregnancy we happen to find ourselves with is a bonus. At this point, he seems to have given up on the expectation of biological children. That's fine, I guess.

I'm not ready to close that door. But I don't know how to integrate it into my life. Now, or in the future.


But better. Pushing through. Eating sugary, bad for me things. Trying to get some work done. Getting through each hour, each class, each page. Or trying.

Thanks for your support yesterday. Yesterday was NOT a good day.

Professional existential angst on top of reproductive angst on top of hormones = me.

I'm really tired of the angst. Tired of wanting to give up some things and give in to others. Tired of the frustration. Of working so hard just to have some freaking hope.

My work requires optimism. Walking against the tide with rocks in my pockets. IF requires hope. More rocks against a different tide.

On or off? Each requires effort. Each requires hope or letting go of hope. Resignation? Maybe.

It makes me tired.

Thanks for sticking around.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I suck

I'm sitting here in my car outside the RE's office, crying. Just had the IUI and feeling hopeless.

Didn't sleep well. I was late because C and I were both running late. I was cursing and angry the whole drive down.

Everyone was very nice. RE was positively cheery. I was almost surly. The numbers were okay. I think I may have just ovulated. Even got needled.

C had to teach this morning. I asked the RE about the article in the Times, but it came out all weird. He responded, briefly and "Well, good luck. Take care! Bye!"


"I'm just so tired of this," was, is, all I can think. C is tired of it too. I don't want to give up.

But I don't know how much more I can get through.

Day 12, Round 2

aka IUI #2, Round 2.

Heartburn? Check.

Bloating? Check.

Weird pain that might be unresolved UTI? Check.

Anxious? Check. Check. Check.

Appointments at 8 and 8:30. Looking forward to a little acu bonus during the 15 minute rest, after. Beta, if I haven't "started," is on October 29.

Gonna be a long day. A long 16 days.



Heard any good jokes lately? Please...share?

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Here is a post by Kate over at Sweet/Salty from last week. In it, she shares her experience at her local Walk to Remember, and the words she spoke there.

I'd love to write something wise and deep about it, but I can't. It touched me, because I felt like... "Yes, that. And that, too. And ooohh. (Sniff.) Yes."

If you haven't read it yet, go take a peek. It's worth it.

And, Thank you, Kate, for writing it, and sharing it.

(Academic) Angst

(Long rambling, pondering dreck to follow. Trying to work some of this out. Your thoughts are welcome.)

So, school is going better this semester. The class I'm teaching seems to be pretty good, and I'm pretty much enjoying teaching (of course, I'm handing out mid-semester evals -- their eval of me and the course -- so that may end on Tuesday). I'm taking three classes, two of which I actually have to show up for every week and produce work for, too.

I'm still struggling to care. I participate. I enjoy pulling apart some of these ideas and theories, just as something to do. I talk in class, I participate, I engage, mostly.

But I don't think I care. Or rather, I care, but... I don't know. My Monday class is called "Transfo.rmative Leade.rship." How to lead schools so that they create the kinds of humans we need to run our society in a just way. Sorta. I realized last week, that one of the pre-requisites for this kind of work, is Hope that schools *will* make a difference. I wonder if it's worth it. We're walking against the tide. With rocks in our pockets.

Students at my school are very privileged, and very bright. They can not understand school or education outside of the idea that its primary purpose is to help people get good jobs and "be successful." Liberal arts is great for making you well-rounded -- so you can be more marketable when you look for a job. My students readily volunteer and seem fine with the idea that public schools are there simply to make "workers." So everyone has a chance to be a worker. Why does the government (theoretically) fund public schools? because our economy needs workers. (Not thoughtful, engaged humans, but workers.)

So far, I've been able to challenge some of their ideas, try to think about the "common sense" of the world that they live in, to get them to actually ask questions like "why?" and "where did this come from?" rather than copying down every word I write on the board. Though most still do that. Planting seeds is what we aim to do. It's all we can hope to do.

These days, I mostly feel like the tide is too great. The tradition is too entrenched. Schools are not the place to create human beings, just workers. We need something else. And then I wonder if I would agonize over all this if I had a child or two. Would I have more hope? I guess I would need it.

I fear that I don't have the drive to do this anymore. I don't have the optimism, I don't have the focus. I'm so frustrated with aspects of my life, that I wonder what the hell I'm doing here. In school, I mean. I love to teach pre-service teachers to think about the way we do things and why, but I wonder if it's worth the effort. Our society will always be fucked up. There is no such thing as "fair" or "just."

And my dissertation? Um, yeah, uh... see...I am about done with classes this semester, except for the last big research class which is only offered in the summer. Comps next semester. Possibly other advanced research classes, as electives. But. I need to know what I want to study. For those classes. To focus my comps.

Yes, yes, it's probably still in here somewhere. But it's all over the place. And I don't know that it's going to be appropriate for the department I'm in. The program with which I'm almost done.

And I don't know how to get it out. Get it articulated.

I will probably do more rambling, whiny, angst written posts here. I need some place to get this all down, and -- whether or not you read and/or respond -- getting it down like this helps me articulate stuff, like I'm writing a letter or something.

Any advice or experiences from anyone who's been there/done that is greatly welcome and appreciated. Encouragement. Positive words. (No sunshine up my ass, tho.) Hope. I've talked with one DBM who said she had a similar experience, and she was way closer to done than I am.

Just feels like so much has shifted. It's not that I don't care about the theory, or that I can't work on that level. I just...I don't know. I want to feel more connected. Passionate. I want to do something relevant -- relevant to me, at least. Something that will do some good somewhere.

I don't know. Thanks for listening, though.


Day 10, round 2

So, yesterday's ultrasound showed three or four at 20mm, one or two a little smaller. Trigger tonight, IUI on Tuesday again. RE said he's trying to avoid multiples, but obviously can't promise. That's why he had me do 1 amp of the bra.velle instead of 2 on Friday night. He actually ran bloodwork and everything before giving me directions. Usually he just bases it on the follicles that show up.

So he seems to be making an effort to be careful. He seems almost confident that something good will come out of this one. Of course, I see parallels with cycle 9. I had 5 or 6 at good sizes, that time. He said we'd overshoot; with my history, I'd likely lose one anyway, so if I conceived 2, we'd be okay. Oh, those were the days.

Did you see the article in the NY Times today, about the "price" of fertility treatments? Here is the link. It basically argues that the availability of treatments, the drive to have children and the willingness of REs to make babies for money (risk or not) is resulting in greater multiple pregnancies, which is resulting in greater premature births. And losses. It talked about the huge costs involved in prematurity, both financial and physical.

I felt really defensive reading this article. Some of the underlying themes, seemed to me that women are so desperate to have babies, that doctors are ignoring their better judgment by transferring 2 embryos instead of 1 in IVF. Or even more embryos. That women (even if not desperate) still wanted to have twins -- despite the costs -- so they could complete their families in one pregnancy.

Callous. Desperate. Self-centered. Disregarding the safety of the procedure and the pregnancy.

About half way through the article, came this line: "Conceiving a child had become an obsession for the couple..."

An obsession? Is that where I am? To me, this sounds like the couple were ready to go out and steal a baby, "anything! I just need a baby!!"

Maybe I'm reading into things. Maybe I am defensive. Maybe I wish I had known about all the risks when I went into my own twin pregnancy.

Maybe I really want to have twins again.

Maybe I'm feeling like a freak, or like I'm being made out to be a freak because I can't do what 87% of the population can do on their own, without having to worry about all this shit.

Thoughts? Reactions? I'm tempted to look at the "room for debate" section on this subject, but I'm afraid of what I"ll read.

Mindfuck. Clusterfuck. Any others? Come on, people, help me out.

So, what else is going on in the world?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hope is the thing

This morning, C was asking me about the necklace I'm wearing. It's a small silver disk with a simple sketch of a bird on one side, and on the other, "Hope is the with f.eathers that perc.hes in the soul," attributed, of course, to Emily D.ickinson.

My dear friend JK gave it to me last year, late last spring or summer, when I was feeling a little better, right before I fell into the abyss. I took it off then. I put it back on this spring or summer and, with everything that's been going on, despite everything, somehow, I've managed to keep wearing it. Maybe it's stubbornness, I don't know. My magical thinking kicks in, I think of it as kind of a talisman. Maybe. I don't know.

Here's the rest of the verse:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

Anyway, we were talking about this and C said, "Hope is the thing with feath.ers, that perches in your soul and sometimes craps on your shoulder."

I LOVE this man.

Day 8, Round 2

Good stim this time. Looks like 3 on each side. Right has all 15mm, left has 14mm and 15mm. RE will call with instructions tonight. I go back tomorrow for another u/s. IUI on Monday or Tuesday.

My reflex is: Oh, good! I had 5 or 6 when we got pg with the boys! Maybe this one will work, too!

My next reflex is: Give me a break.

I asked the RE "when is this gonna happen, already" and he jokingly said, "ummm, yes!" But seriously, I can't do this another 8 or 9 times. And, seriously, it won't take that long this time. He says, "you're in a better place" and, of course, we know of many potential pitfalls.


A friend of mine at school came in with her 5-year old daughter yesterday. She was so cute. We (her daughter and I) chatted about school, and little brothers and... and it was all I could do not to pick her up and hug her.

God, I want this so badly.

One way or another, right?


Thursday, October 8, 2009


This is a song that has sort of followed me since I was pregnant two years ago. It was happy and thrilling when I was pregnant; heartbreaking after we lost the boys; and, finally, hopeful as we begin to try again.

I found it particularly salient when my niece was born, then seeing her, and her mother -- both radiant -- just confirming things for me. Makes me think of both of them.

Okay, so the lyrics don't totally fit, but enough do. Here they are:

Suddenly I See by KT Tuns.tall

Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It makes you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

I feel like walking the world
Like walking the world
You can hear she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
She fills up every corner like she's born in black and white
Makes you feel warmer when you're trying to remember
What you heard
She likes to leave you hanging on her word

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

And she's taller than most
And she's looking at me
I can see her eyes looking from a page in a magazine
Oh she makes me feel like I could be a tower
A big strong tower
She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

And here's one version of the video. wouldn't let me embed it, but here's the link:

Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 4

Yes, cycle day 4. On Thursday I got diagnosed with a kidney infection and Friday I got AF.

Couldn't get in to see the RE this weekend, so they had me start stims last night. Baseline ultrasound this morning. A little cyst on one ovary, no biggie. But the lining...Hmmm. Looks thick.

He asks me about my period. Hmm. Let's do a pregnancy test. Just to be sure. Okay, we'll call you!

Great. Four hours to do mental and emotional gymnastics. Therapy. Get the call. Take the dog to the vet (she's fine).

On the way home from therapy, I ran into ta.rget and bought some more hpts. Yes, goddammit, I did. I figured, instead of waiting and imagining, I could at least know which direction things were headed. Late implanter? Another chemical? A fool's errand? Yeah, that's it.

The CBE dig said "Not" and 10 minutes later, the nurse called and said the same thing. I asked what was going on, then, and she said that my P4 was slightly elevated, but nothing to be concerned about. I can continue stims.

Awesome. I love my body. No, wait, let me correct that. I love my body, freak of nature that it is.

I'm so tired of this. Up and down. Up and down. And I'm only 4 days into my 2nd cycle. Still thinking about and talking about and researching about adoption. It's still a tough paradigm shift for me. It feels huge. Hard to have a foot in both camps.

A friend of mine observed that she took 9 cycles to conceive her first child, after I noted that it was the 9th cycle in which we conceived the boys. And cycle 10 was a bust. Of course, she said, it didn't cost us what it cost you. It was an odd moment. Not sure what I think about it. But I think about it.


I think I need to be writing more. More about this stuff, more about school and life stuff. I feel like I have a lot to process, and I'm just not doing it. Kind of lost at school -- going to class and participating, but not...feeling it. Not engaging. Thinking about baby stuff. Hope. Loss. Pain. Possibility.

Now it's time to go to class and try to learn how to be a transformative leader. Wish me luck.

How was your Monday?