The Baby Bean Blog

Monday, November 29, 2004

3dpo: All Bets Are Off

I don't have any doubt about when I ovulated this time around, which is a good thing. Normally, that means I could sit back and wait 13 days until my luteal phase is over with confidence. But since I took Clomid this cycle, it could affect my luteal phase. It could make it longer. So I'll just plan on a standard two week wait of, well, 14 days.

Clomid affects other aspects of my 2ww as well. Naturally, I spend my 2ww obsessively looking for pregnancy signs. Since I know my cycle and the way my body behaves during the different phases of my cycle, I know if something is out of the ordinary. Again, I can't be sure this time because of the Clomid. For instance, being nauseous is one of the top pregnancy symptoms. But Clomid has already made me nauseous earlier in my cycle, so if I feel nauseous again, I couldn't be sure if it was Clomid side effects or pregnancy side effects.

This, combined with my belief that we finally timed the IUI correctly, will make for a rather grueling 2ww. My hopes are up, and they're up high. But there's always the devil on my shoulder who says that the chances still aren't good. With Clomid giving me possible pregnancy signs that might turn out to be nothing, I could be in for a big disappointment come Saturday, December 11.

Friday, November 26, 2004

IUI

I had an IUI today. There's so much to tell, and I wanted to get it down before the weekend is over, but with the Thanksgiving holiday, things are hectic here. Basically, here are the series of events and the bare details:

Yesterday, cd15, I tested positive with an opk at 11am. I called the doctor and made an appointment for 7:15am this morning (cd16) for an IUI. He also wanted an ultrasound and bloodwork done. I think he was suspicious of the timing because he thought I wouldn't have an LH surge until today. I said sure. I was actually quite happy to be getting an ultrasound in conjunction with the IUI. I'd like to know what's going on.

Myself, I wasn't surprised that the opk went positive yesterday or that I might be ovulating today. Looking back on my first cycle trying, on cd11 I had an ultrasound, and it showed follicles at 11mm. Since they grow about 2mm per day, one would expect the follicle to be 13mm on cd12. In that cycle, I inseminated on cd16. This cycle, on cd12, I had two follicles: one at 12mm and one at 13mm. If it followed the same pattern, I would insem today, cd16. However, with the clomid, I wasn't sure what would happen.

So the doctor wanted to do an IUI today, but I didn't think I would ovulate until tomorrow. I usually test positive with an opk 2 days before I ovulate (even though you're supposed to ovulate 24-36 hours after an opk+). But I'd already talked to the doctor about doing two IUIs, 24 hours apart, and he said that was fine. So if he wanted to do it today, I was okay with that, knowing that I could do another tomorrow.

Then I went in this morning and had the ultrasound. As I saw the follicle come up on the screen, I could tell that it wasn't that big. The nurse measured it and said it was 13mm. WHAT?! I immiedately started to panic. The follicle should have grown. It should have been 18, 20, 22mm, something like that. Was I not going to ovulate at all? Had the clomid fucked me up that bad?

The nurse said that the shape of the follicle indicated that I had already ovulated. I became scared again. Had I missed it? How was this possible? I just tested positive with the opk yesterday! As I waited for the doctor to talk to me, I was very apprehensive. I knew I would go ahead with the IUI anyway as they had already started thawing the sperm. Use 'em or lose 'em. Might as well use 'em.

When we talked with the doctor, he said that it looked like I had already ovulated, except that my uterine lining still looked pre-ovulatory and there was no fluid sac, which there sometimes is directly after ovulation. He recommended going ahead with the IUI, although we could wait for the bloodwork to come back that afternoon. Of course, by then we could have missed the egg. We said we wanted to go ahead.

A little later, I was on the table, assuming the position. He pointed a spotlight at my vagina, and I waited for what he would say. Would my cervix be closed or open? If I had ovulated hours ago, it would most likely be closed or closing. He said the words I wanted to hear: "It looks like the timing is going to be fine. Your cervix is wide open." Then he did the IUI. I felt nothing. In my previous IUIs, I've felt cramping. I mentioned this to the doctor, and he said that it was because my cervix was so open--more open than it had been before.

My partner and I started feeling cautiously optimistic. Just minutes before, we'd felt certain this cycle would be a bust.

As I sat in Independence Hall this afternoon with my in-laws, listening to the tour guide talk about the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I felt my phone vibrate, and I knew it was the doctor calling with my bloodwork results. He said that it looked like we had timed it perfectly. I haven't looked up these numbers yet, but he said my estrogen was 104, which indicated that it was falling, and my progesterone was at 2, which indicated that it had just started. Estrogen falls and progesterone starts, signifying ovulation and the turning point of a woman's cycle from pre-ovulatory to post-ovulatory.

So after all that, the timing looks like it was dead on. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I fear that will be impossible. Now I have to hope that the sperm found the egg and that the future blastocyst has what it takes to implant. There are still some hurdles to overcome, but it's starting out well.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

CD13: Gaining Weight

Last year when I was trying to conceive, I packed on about 20 pounds. I was already 10 pounds overweight, so that brought me up to plus 30 pounds. I wasn't happy with my body, but I felt unable to diet because you shouldn't diet when pregnant, and I could be pregnant every two weeks. Also, women who are pregnant are discouraged from intense exercise. To compound matters, I dealt with the stress of ttc by eating comfort foods, which for me are ice cream and cupcakes. As you can see, this was a recipe for weight gain, and that's what happened.

I lost all the weight last spring when I took a break from ttc. And now, I'm gaining it back. It's hard to deal with. I feel so overwhelmed by the intensity of what I am experiencing. I feel so out of control of what's happening. And in those times (which are often) I don't care about my weight--I just want the release that eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream will give me for an hour or so.

But overall, I do care, because I see my body, and I don't like it. I start to hate myself because of all the extra weight. I haven't been "dieting" since June or July, and I think I made it through September (my first attempt) relatively well, only gaining a few pounds. Now I'm afraid to get on the scale. I'm sure I've put on at least 10 pounds.

I'll just make it through Thanksgiving. Then I have to find a way to maintain good eating habits. I have to find another way to deal with stress besides eating. I just don't know what that is.

Monday, November 22, 2004

CD12: Ultrasound

I went in this morning for the delightful ultrasound and bloodwork. Instead of one follicle, I've got two. Whoop-dee-do. I'm not sure two is worth this past week of feeling like crap--that's still on-going by the way. Anyway, there's two follicles, one at 12mm and one at 13mm. They need to be about 20mm or so before they'll pop out the egg. At a growth rate of 2mm per day, I'm looking at having an IUI on either Friday or Saturday. Perfect timing, as my partner's mother and step-father are in town from Thursday to Sunday! And they don't know that I'm trying to get pregnant! Oh, and one more thing, we'll probably do back-to-back IUIs this time (with 24 hours between them), so that's two days where we'll have to come up with some excuse about why we won't be around for two or three hours. Sounds like great fun!

I'd been hoping that I would ovulate on cd14 or cd15, which would have been Wednesday or Thursday. As my in-laws aren't arriving until Thursday afternoon, it would have been perfect timing in two regards. For one, everything would have been done before they arrived, so no need to lie. The second reason is that there will be a lot going on Thursday through Sunday, which would have killed four days of the two week wait.

Ack. I'm not very happy right now. I don't know if it's the Clomid, regular depression, or something that I haven't identified yet, but I feel pretty crappy. I'm not going to ovulate until cd16, 17, or 18. At least my uterine lining looks fabulous at 9.9mm. The doctor wants me to start using ovulation predictor kits starting tomorrow. If I don't surge, I'm going in for another ultrasound and some more bloodwork on Friday morning, 8:45am. Luckily, my mother-in-law and her husband are staying at a hotel as opposed to with us (he's allergic to cats), and she is not a morning person. Hopefully we'll be back from the doctor's by 10:30am, and she might not even notice that we went anywhere.

The lying is hard for me. I talked to a friend of mine this morning on my drive to the doctor's. Since I was using my cell phone and she has caller ID, she asked me where I was going. I had to say that I was running errands in preparation for Thanksgiving. It's not a big lie, and if I manage to get pregnant one of these days, my friends and family will realize I've been lying to them for months, but they won't mind. They'll just be happy for me. But I still hate doing it. So I'm not looking forward to spending the entire visit with my partner's mother lying to her about what I'm doing. Ack.

Friday, November 19, 2004

CD9: Clomid Sucks

Hopefully I'm coming to the end of the side effects, but I've got a bad feeling that's not the case. The headaches are still on-going, although the hot flashes seem to be lessening. By the way, the term "hot flash" is a little misleading. It's more like "hot all the time" interspersed with periods of "holy shit I'm really hot right now, let me take off some clothes, and I don't care that I'm in the middle of Home Depot." Again, the being hot is annoying, but the headaches are what's really getting to me. On top of that, I just feel sick. I felt nauseous last night. In the evening, I feel like I have a head cold. It's just all around unpleasant. And if I feel this way all month long, I'll be less than pleased.

Maybe it's worth it. I don't know. Well, of course it will be worth it if I get pregnant this cycle. But what if I don't? Do I want to go through all of this again? Especially when I don't "need" Clomid? Right now, I'm leaning towards no. If I wasn't ovulating or something like that, I'd have no choice but to suffer through this if I wanted to get pregnant. But I do ovulate. My cycle is A-OK.

This is just how I'm feeling now...that's the point of this blog after all. Who knows? Maybe (hopefully) the side effects will lessen and go away. Maybe (hopefully) I'll see two or three good follicles at the ultrasound on Monday. All of that could make me want to do this again next cycle. Right now, I just don't think so.

It used to be that these two weeks were more or less fine. I do want them to pass because I want to get started again. But in comparison to the two week wait, they're relatively calm, stress free weeks. Now I feel like crap, and it's making these two weeks almost as difficult as the two weeks after an insemination.

I guess time will tell what the future holds for me and Clomid. If I don't get pregnant this time around--especially if I only produce one follicle, or god forbid I end up with a cyst and no follicle at all--I'll seriously reconsider if I want to put myself through this again.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

CD7: Menopause Preview

Okay, I'm sure I'm having hot flashes now. I never put the two together--why Clomid would cause hot flashes. Maybe I can take that as a sign that it's working. I'll know on Monday.

But back to putting it together. So in menopause, women tend to get hot flashes. Why? It has something to do with the changing hormone balance, yes? I think so. I know that sometimes women are prescribed estrogen. Ergo, this lack of estrogen wrecks a little havoc with the body.

Now, what does Clomid do? It doesn't actually change the hormonal balance, but it tricks your body into thinking that by...masking estrogen. As far as my body knows, right now, there is not enough estrogen. And I am feeling the consequences. I believe I am getting a little preview of what menopause will be like for me 15-20 years down the road. Not exactly fun.

The hot flashes are a bit annoying, but not too hard to deal with. What really sucks--and I don't know if this is estrogen related or not--is the headaches. They're pretty bad. Having a headache for 72 hours is not fun.

I haven't been going too crazy yet, though. I'm happy about that. Today is the last pill, but from what I understand, it's not necessarily the last day of symptoms. I imagine that my system will be somewhat overloaded with estrogen once I stop the pills (in my mind, more than one follicle should equal more than the regular amount of estrogen), so craziness might still be around the corner.

I'm not looking forward to that possibility, but right now, all I can think is that I just want the headaches to stop.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

CD6: Side Effects?

I think I might be having a side effect from the Clomid. I am getting headaches. Luckily, I can take a nap just about anytime I want, so it's not bad to deal with. I'm off to take a nap as soon as I finish this post.

I wonder how many follicles I'll have this cycle. It might be only one, despite the Clomid. Like I said, I should know on Monday when I go in for my ultrasound.

I have to admit the idea of having twins appeals to me. I know that it's not that likely, but I've always had a fantasy about having twins. Is that common? I always assumed so. The Bread Winner is a twin. I am an only child, so the idea of siblings is strange enough to me, let alone another person who was the same exact age as you and moving through life at the same pace. Even in the womb, the Bread Winner was not alone!

So here it goes, like every cycle. Odds are, I won't even get pregnant, but now I'm already making plans for that unlikely event PLUS the even more unlikely event that I'll have twins. Might as well carry this through....so the due date would be 8/18/05. Pregnant all hot summer long, and I would give birth to a Leo. I don't know much about Leos. I guess I'd have to look that up. My best friend in high school was a Leo. Which could be a good sign. On the other hand, she's turned into a flake, so that might not be such a good sign.

It's good to worry about all this now, before I'm even pregnant, right?

Monday, November 15, 2004

CD5: Taking Clomid

Clomid is not taken every day like a birth control pill. It is generally taken for five days--those five days during which time the follicle stimulating hormone fades and estrogen takes over. From what I've read, some doctors prescribe it for cycle days 3 through 7. Others for 5 through 9. I don't know why, but my doctor prescribed it for me for only four days, and he prescribed it for cycle days 4 through 7.

Clomid is distributed in 50mg tablets. Usually, you take one for each day it is prescribed to you. If that doesn't work, the dosages can be upped to 100mg per day. I've even heard of 150mg per day, but I personally haven't heard of a higher dosage. Again, for reasons I don't know, my doctor has prescribed it a little differently for me. I took two tablets (100mg) on cd4, and I took one tablet (50mg) today, cd5. I'll take one tomorrow and the next day, and that will be it.

So far, so good in regards to side effects. Hotflashes are a common one. I might have had a hot flash yesterday and today a couple of hours after I took the pill(s), but then again, maybe I was just sitting in the sun (yesterday) or under too many blankets (today). I also had a headache today, but that might have just been a headache. Plus, I feel a little sick--a typical cold, running nose, that bit, not Clomid related--which could also explain the hotness and the headache. But even if it is because of the Clomid--if this is as bad as the side effects go, then I guess this isn't so bad after all.

On a little side note, I bought a home pregnancy test today and took it. Not because I thought I was pregnant, but because I was afraid that I was and that now my child would have some sort of abnormailty from my taking Clomid while pregnant. I did it for peace of mind. The hpt was negative, of course. It's the first time I've taken an hpt and hoped that it would be negative.

The trick with that is there were two hpts in the box. That means I have one remaining. I'll just have to be strong during this two week wait, and not use it. I'm very impressed with myself so far for not taking an hpt yet (except today). I think that as long as I'm on Clomid, I'll go ahead and take one after my period arrives but before I take the first pill. As my mother told me, "Your aunt didn't know she was pregnant for three months because she kept getting her period." If I do manage to get pregnant, I certainly don't want to do my child any harm by continuing to take fertility meds.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Cycle Day 2: Let's Talk About Clomid

Ah, Clomid. I've avoided you for so long, but now it seems our time has come. I still don't think I "need" you, but you might help me out, so here goes nothing.

Clomid (full name: clomiphene citrate), much like marijuana, is a gateway drug. Ha ha. Not really. I mean, it could be. Heck, let's start over. Clomid is the first drug that a woman will take when fertility drugs come into the question. Here's the thing about Clomid and me. I don't want to take it because there isn't anything wrong with me. My cycle is practically textbook. I do everything right. I produce cervical fluid. I produce a healthy uterine lining. I produce a dominant follicle. I ovulate. I do all the things a girl should do. And I have a thing about taking meds. I don't like to do it. I don't even like to take aspirin when I have a headache.

Forgive me right now, because this post will be far from linear. I can't write about this in a cohesive fashion, because my feelings about Clomid are not cohesive.

Clomid is typically given to women who have a problem with their cycle. The Two Big Problems are 1) failure to ovulate, and 2) short luteal phase. I have neither of these problems. So why does my doctor want me to take Clomid?

Here's what happens in a normal, unmedicated cycle like mine. The follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) starts, well, stimulating the follicles in a woman's ovaries. Somewhere between 10-20 come to life and start growing. Somehow, and no one knows exactly how this happens, one of the follicles is "picked," and it become dominant. It grows bigger and bigger, and it starts to release estrogen. Now, as the estrogen circulates through a woman's body, the hypothalamus (which controls the FSH) says, "Hey, my work here is done. A good folli is out there, juicing up the place with estrogen. I'll stop with this FSH stuff now." The dominant follicle keeps on cooking. It no longer needs the FSH to grow. The other follicles, however, are too small and weak to keep going without the FSH, so they fade back, leaving one ripe and juicy follicle, which will later produce an egg to (hopefully) get fertilized. It is because of this process that humans almost always have one child at a time.

Now, here's what Clomid does. It masks the estrogen produced by the dominant follicle. "So what?" you say. Well, here's what. Since the hypothalamus never receives the news that there is a dominant follicle already, it keeps on sending out the follicle stimulating hormone. Those follicles that would normally wilt back and go bye-bye keep on chugging along until the point where they, too, no longer need the FSH to keep going.

"What does this mean?" It means two things. For one, it means that I will likely produce more than one viable egg this cycle. Secondly, all of the eggs (I'll tell you how many on cd12 after my ultrasound) will probably not be released simultaneously. This means that there is a wider margin for error with the IUI. Miss one egg? Well, another is coming along behind it. Or if two or more are around when the sperm is around, it gives the sperm "more targets" as my doctor put it. Here's another common phrase: "More eggs, more chances."

"More eggs? More babies?" Yes, there is a higher chance of having twins on a Clomid cycle--but not excessively high. About 10% on Clomid vs. under 2% au natural. As for triplets or more, the chances of that are not any higher than the general population (somewhere under 1%, I believe).

"Wow, all that sounds great! What's the problem?" Well, there are some side effects. Namely, some women can get a little crazy on Clomid. I don't really need any help in that department, thank you very much. Other common side effects include hot flashes, sleeplessness, headaches, and intense ovulatory pain. I don't look forward to any of those things. And let's not forget that my cycle is just fine the way it is.

"Right, I see your point. Your cycle is fine. So why take Clomid?" For the simple reason that it should increase my chances of conceiving. Although it's been fun not getting pregnant, I think I'm ready to actually be pregnant now. I'll give Clomid a few tries, and see what happens. But I'm not exactly happy about it.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Cycle Day 1: Here We Go Again

I woke up early this morning and what did I find? Yes, my period had arrived. Hardly a surprise, especially considering that I'd started spotting yesterday, but nonetheless, it was a disappointment.

However, life goes on. CD1 brings with it things to do, like calling the doctor to get the ball rolling for next time. For those of you who have gotten the gist of this whole thing, you already know that I am likely to ovulate somewhere around cd15. And for those of you who are American, a quick look at your calendar will reveal that cd15 is none other than Thanksgiving Day.

I called my doctor to confirm that they are open for IUI on Thanksgiving Day, and I was told that yes, they were. I have bloodwork and ultrasound scheduled for cd12. Oh, and one other thing--this "added ingredient" I spoke of in my last post. I am going on Clomid.

Clomid, clomid, clomid. The miracle drug? Well, clomid deserves a post all to itself. I'll save that for later.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

14dpIUI: The Last Day

I have to admit, yesterday, my hopes kept getting higher and higher. I had some symptoms. The sore breast thing was getting a little out of control. Like it almost hurt just to have a bra on. That's not par for the course. Then I felt a little--and I mean a little nauseous. Two days ago, I'd felt some very minor cramping. So I put all that together, and I thought, Maybe I'm pregnant after all.

Of course, I always realized that there was another option. Mainly, my mind was manifesting my desires into physical symptoms. Or, more likely, I did have those sensations to some extent or another (all of these pregnancy symptoms can also just be PMS symptoms) and my mind just exaggerated them. That's probably what happened.

So what has brought this change around? Well, I took my temp this morning, and it was not in the low range, but it was in the low part of the high range. And my breasts do not seem as sore this morning. This says to me that my progesterone levels are falling, and progesterone levels fall right before you get your period (this is actually the cause of getting your period). If I was pregnant, my progesterone levels would stay up nice and high to incubate that baby and also prevent my period from arriving (which would obviously terminate the pregnancy).

I just have to make it through today. The last day isn't nearly as bad as the last three or four days. Three or four days, even two days, seem like they go on forever. But the last day, I can see that passing by. Each hour that goes by brings me one significant step closer to the end of all this.

Next cycle is going to include an additional ingredient, but I'll write about that when it actually happens.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

13dpIUI: If Wishes Were Horses

Do I even have that saying right? Is it, "If wishes were horses?" I hate it when I can't remember how a saying goes. It's right there, just out of my reach. How aggravating.

Much like the two week wait. (Nice segue, eh?) For one, yes, I hate it. Also, the end is right there, just out of my reach. And thirdly, it's very aggravating.

I have made plans to go down to Delaware for tomorrow, which should take my mind off things for most of the day. As for today, I was thinking about going to see a movie, but I'm not really interested in seeing what's out right now. Who knows? Maybe I'll breakdown and see The Incredibles. It's the sort of movie that looks oh so mildly interesting. Mildly in a way that I would never actually go and see it except that I want to do something and it isn't necessarily off-putting, so why not? But I probably won't.

I have a list of home improvement stuff that I want to get done before Thanksgiving when the Bread Winner's mother will be visiting. I should get those things done. On the top of the list is tiling this little, tiny portion of countertop that I did not tile when I did the rest of the countertop for reasons that are too lengthy and uninteresting to go into here. That is what I should spend my time doing today. At least cut the tile. Then the tile cutter can go downstairs, and that will make the Bread Winner happy, because the tile cutter has been sitting on the little bit of un-tiled countertop for about six months now, and she'd like to see it vacate the kitchen for once and for all. Can't exactly blame her.

Home improvement today. Yes, that's what I should do to distract myself. But there's always the seductive alternative: obsess, bite my fingernails, and surf the net. Decisions, decisions....

Monday, November 08, 2004

12dpIUI: Ack!

Here I am at 12 days past intrauterine insemination. I am annoyed because I should only have to wait through today and tomorrow, but instead I must wait another day on top of it all because I think that while I am at 12dpIUI, am actually at 11 days past ovulation. Ack!

I don't have any good way to amuse myself today. I suppose I could paint. I've been meaning to paint a picture of my street for about a month now. I do have over 400 photos to go through for one of my clients as well. I should do that before I do anything else. And it'll take a few hours, so that's good.

Tomorrow, I don't have anything on the schedule either. For Wednesday, I should be able to go visit my friend Beth Marie in Delaware. Ack!

My period should arrive on Thursday or Friday, although I suppose that it's possible that it will arrive on Wednesday. That means two, three, four more days to wait.

Ack!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

11dpIUI: Making Myself Crazy for No Good Reason

Well, here I am, closing in on the end of this two week wait. I don't have any early pregnancy symptoms to speak of except that my breasts are tender. But my breasts are always tender before my period arrives (because of all that progesterone), so it doesn't really mean anything...although I would love it if it did.

So that's one way I'm making myself a little crazy--reading into the sore breast thing. The other way is that I did something that the Bread Winner has forbidden: I looked in on an online bulletin board I used to frequent last fall/winter when I was trying to conceive the first time around. Anyway, I have been forbidden to participate on this bulletin board--or even look at it--because it makes me even crazier than I already am. If you're a little crazy and obsessed about something, and then you read all the crazy and obsessive thoughts of people who are crazy and obsessed about the same exact thing, well, it's likely that you will become even more crazy and obsessed. (This paragraph was a courtesy for those who were wondering how many times I could include "crazy and obsessed" in one paragraph--and that's another!)

But I couldn't resist, and I looked in on the bb. It was a mistake, because now I feel even more anxious than I was before. Why don't I learn? It's like when I ask the Bread Winner to bring me a cupcake on her way home from work (I love cupcakes). She usually brings me two. Now, one cupcake is just fine. In fact, it's wonderful in every way. The problem occurs when I eat the second cupcake. I'd just had such a good experience eating the delicious first cupcake that I can't stop myself from eating the second cupcake. So I do. The result? Each and every fucking time I feel sick to my stomach because THAT IS WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR. Now, you'd think that I'd learn my lesson after, oh, 10-20 repeat performances of this phenomenum. But just two weeks ago, I did it again! I ate the second damn cupcake! And then I felt sick! Shit. Why do I do such things? I wish I knew.

"Hey, Oz," I hear you say. "Didn't you decide that there was almost no chance of your getting pregnant this time? Haven't you mentioned that time and time again during this 2ww? So what on earth are you so worked up about?"

"Good questions, grasshopper," I respond. "The answer to your intelligent and thoughful questions is contained in the title to this post. Pay attention next time."

Friday, November 05, 2004

9dpIUI: Grandpa Comes Through

We have been in a money crunch here, to say the least. Due to a series of unfortunately incidents starting last spring, we have watched ourselves fall pretty heavily into debt. Luckily, the Bread Winner is expecting to receive an inheritance somewhere around the end of December, and that money should put us back on track again. But in the meantime, there's an expensive ingredient that we need to purchase: semen.

Earlier this week, as we looked at the status of our finances, we decided that we would not be able to gather up the requisite $710 that we would need to buy more semen if/when we find out next week that this cycle is a bust. So we filled out one of those credit card offers that we (and everyone else in America) gets every day in the mail. Yes, we were going even further into debt. The inheritance is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the end of the tunnel is month(s) away, and we are here.

As you know from my previous post, I went to visit my grandfather on Wednesday, we got to talking about our cars. One of the unforseen expenses this past six months has brought the Bread Winner and I has been both our old car repeatedly breaking down and now the added expense of a new car payment (plus the exorbitant car insurance premiums that come along with living in Philadelphia). Then my grandfather asked if we needed a loan. I wasn't fishing for a loan, but when he offered, I wasn't going to turn him down either.

So he cut us a check for $2000, which will keep me supplied with semen for almost three months, should there be a problem in these final stages of settling the estate of the Bread Winner's grandmother. There shouldn't be, but it's nice to know that we have a cushion now.

My grandfather thinks that the money we are borrowing is going towards the car payment, etc. We haven't told him or anyone else. But thank you, Grandpa. You don't know what you've done. Hopefully one day soon, you will.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

7dpIUI: A Little Trip

I am going down to my grandfather's this afternoon, and I'll come back tomorrow. That means that two days are taken care of in this two week wait. By the time I come back and get situated, it will be Friday, 9dpIUI. On Saturday, I'm working a wedding. So really, I can see how I will pass the time until next week, and then it's only a wait until Wednesday when my period should arrive.

I was talking to the Bread Winner yesterday as we were walking home from voting. I said something along the lines of, "I wish the next 8 days were over already." She said, "Why?" I said, "You know why." And she answered, "But I thought we'd decided that the timing was wrong and there wasn't any hope."

Good point. Intellectually, I know that's true. But I can't stop myself from holding out hope. I say to myself, Self, this isn't really even a 2ww because you know that nothing is going on. These are just days like any other days. It's like you didn't even try to get pregnant this cycle. But then I hear the little voice inside my heart that says, But maybe there's a little chance....

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

6dpIUI: Time Keeps on Ticking Into the Future

As I was driving late on Saturday night, I thought to myself, This two week wait hasn't been that bad. It doesn't feel like it's been an eternity thus far. Then I realized that it had only been three days! Now wonder it didn't seem long!

Now I'm at 6dpIUI, and I still feel pretty calm and like time is passing at a good clip. Of course, the first week is always the easiest. The real torture isn't until the second week.

While the Bread Winner and I were in the examination room, waiting for the doctor to come in and perform the IUI last Wednesday, we were talking about how (at that time) October was almost over. It would be November soon. The Bread Winner reflected, "It's almost the end of the year. It just seems like time is moving so fast right now. I wish things would just slow down."

I said, "How about this? I'll make the next two weeks pass slower than molasses. You'll feel each and every second passing by, okay?"

She laughed, aware that it was only too true. For me (and I don't know if she feels the same), my life is broken into two speeds. There's the first half of my cycle where time moves normally. A few days can even run quickly together. Then there is the two week wait, where time stands still. At the end of the 2ww, I'll look back over the past two weeks, and I'll remember every day. I'll remember how I thought, Okay, today is Tuesday. That's 6dpIUI. Almost halfway there. In 8 more days, I might have my period, and I'll know for sure that the timing was fucked up and I'm not pregnant.

And I'll remember that thought process for each and every day. I'll remember how on 6dpIUI, I was watching Monday Night Football on Tuesday morning (as I usually do), and the New York Jets were killing the hapless Miami Dolphins late in the third quarter. And I'll have fourteen memories just like that. And each day will be unique. And I can't say that about the other two week periods of my life, where I might not remember anything at all about them or the days that made them up.

Monday, November 01, 2004

5dpIUI: Media Rant

If you read novels, watch television shows, or go to movies, you have seen--countless times--this scenario:

Man and woman have one night stand, or man and woman do not have a condom but have sex anyway, or man and woman do have birth control but it fails just once. What is the result? Why, the woman gets pregnant, of course! Because everyone knows that it only takes one time! Have unprotected sex, and you are guaranteed a pregnancy.

A quick list of these media occurences:
  • From ER last season: Carter and his girlfriend (I can't remember her name) realize that she is pregnant. But wait, they've always used protection! ...except, oh yeah, there was that one time.
  • From Friends a few seasons ago: Rachel gets pregnant. She and Ross had sex one time and they even used a condom.
  • From the book Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner: Her main character, Cannie, has sex with her ex-boyfriend one time and whoops! She's pregnant.
I could go on and on and on. This sort of crap is entirely misleading. When I was a young woman, I had sex with one of my high school boyfriends over a period of two or three months. I remember being absolutely terrified that I would somehow get pregnant even though I relentlessly insisted that he wear condoms. (Note: of course condoms protect both partners from more than just an unwanted pregnancy, and I am not suggesting that anyone not use them.)

There's all this pulicity out there about how easy it is to get pregnant. When you tell people that you've got about a 25% chance of getting pregnant in any given cycle, they're shocked. Go ahead. Do it. Say, "Hey, did you know that there's only a 25% chance of getting pregnant/getting your wife or girlfriend pregnant when you actively try to time it exactly right? Did you know that?" They'll all look at you wide-eyed. Really?

REALLY GODDAMNIT!

And we're not even talking about a 25% chance on any given day. No, we're talking about a 25% chance when the woman is fertile. A woman is fertile about 3 days of her cycle. Let's say that an average cycle is 30 days. So 10% of the time, a woman is fertile. And during that 10% of her cycle, she's got a 25% chance of conceiving. So the odds of hitting that time period and getting pregnant are--what? Like 2.5 fucking percent!!!!!!! Really?

REALLY GODDAMNIT!

Yes, pregnancy provides high drama to books and television shows. It's a good scenario to twist a plotline on. But I can't tell you how annoying and aggravating it is to see your dream portrayed on these shows...so easily and against so many odds while you sit at home, waiting, and knowing that all the odds are against you.