Know More Than You Ever Wanted To Know!

So there I was thinking:

A) I’m going to hurl
B) I’ve got to stop complaining about RR
C) There’s a relationship between those two things, I’m sure of it.

We can guess:

A) RR’s shenanigans, which to be fair, are more like direct acts of war, are causing me so much stress I’m going to be physically ill.
B) The nausea is a sign that my body is trying again to make things work and the idea of having another 3-yr-old is making me ill.
C) I have the flu. RR is the culprit despite showing no symptoms. Like a biological weapon.
D) Associating my daughter with weapons and war has karmically inflicted an ulcer on me.

But guess what, this means I’m distracting myself with fun facts and games and so I will tell you that I know at least two other terrific writers who have said, hey, I think you deserve a Nobel for being a paragon of peaceful inspiration! Okay, that’s not at all what they said (obviously) but they did nominate this site for a Liebster Award which, as far as I can tell, is a great way for small sites to drive traffic to each other while giving a hearty pat on the back. Who doesn’t like that? There are strings attached to this red-carpet extravaganza and so I stuck the whole thing over on another page, here.

Read away. And, if you were wondering, this is nine days after the first IUI. The exact same time the nausea showed up last time before disappearing with a poof on the 11th day. I imagine I’ve been queasy at this time of the month every month since I was 11 but I could also be pregnant and wouldn’t THAT be something. Three be damned.

Trying Again

Yesterday, we did the second of two IUIs for this month. I’m in awe of my body and its textbook timing. Ten years ago I gave up on the idea of having a biological child because I couldn’t line up any of my biology or, let’s face it, change my habits, in order to even get to the point of visiting a fertility clinic. Now I’m ovulating on the 15th day of a cycle and finishing out 15 days later. Amazing. Go old eggs.

Speaking of old eggs, we had the chance to do two IUIs back to back this month (for those playing along at home, this is to increase the chances of the sperm helping my egg and her walker across the street). I’m delighted to be trying again even though this week has been EXCEPTIONALLY difficult in three-year-old land. Seriously, how did any of us live past the age of three?

Probably Not Pregnant

I’ll go ahead and save you the finger exercise: It’s too early to know! Lots of people don’t feel anything til weeks after! Be patient! This has as good a chance of working as not working! And you guys, you are the best ever. Because you tell me this even though you and I both know there’s nothing to fix it but to actually know.

But let me tell you. Even in the absence of actual evidence, I’m pretty sure I know. God, that’s depressing.

Last month, the same thing happened. We cruised along until the ninth day after the IUI and I felt progressively more pregnant. Bits of actual symptoms here and there. Then all of a sudden, the tenth day arrives and bam. I don’t feel pregnant. I’m starting to feel my uterus in ways that I always do, every month since I was 11 except for that unfortunate set of years at the dawn of the century (that’s totally pretentious but also, you guys, totally true! We get to actually use that!) I’m telling you, if I had a personal list of “Oh hey, your period’s coming checkboxes!” – which I would I have if I’d actually ever paid attention – I’d be checking off every one.

So yes, it’s only 11 days. But if I’m right, which I think I am, we’ll be ordering more mountaineer and and taking another shot next month.

Sharks and Minnows

So this getting pregnant thing – turns out it’s fraught with feelings. I knew that academically but I don’t think I grasped what that might mean for me. And let me tell you, I wasn’t completely prepared for the emotional shenanigans I’m suddenly experiencing.


I’m disappointed that I’m not actually pregnant (and, I assure you, the two days late “gift” didn’t merit a thank you note on nice stationary) mainly because I actually thought I would be. It’s SCIENCE. How could it not happen? Here’s an egg. There are the sperm. How can you miss each other in a space that small? Also, once you get together, which, how could you not, how do you not make it to the wall in time? You know what game I hated when I was younger? Sharks and Minnows.

Hateful Game

I started swimming competitively at three. Yes, I’m that kid who says “I’ve been dancing/singing/drawing all my life” and you think, “Asshole.” The second I could dive down far enough to get a hateful black rubber ring from the bottom of the pool, I was listening for a gun (yes, actually) to go off so I could race some other unfortunate kid to the other side. The coach’s favorite practice tool was a game where one child, the shark, began treading water in the center and the other children, the minnows, attempted to swim from one side of the pool to the other without being tagged by the shark. Once tagged, they too became sharks and the game progressed until one minnow remained and was either crowned the winner or besieged in a terrifying way by ravenous sharks. Imagine being one of a couple wily kids staring down a pack of people trying to get you at all costs. I wasn’t ever dumb enough or slow enough to get caught early. Apparently, neither are my eggs.

scared egg

So, I vacillate between WTF SCIENCE and a host of other frustrations, some as ridiculous as, “Great, now I’ll have to WORK in February, one of the most depressing months of the year.” I told you they were ridiculous. I admit I also feel some relief. Fine, fine, look shocked and then say, “Well, that’s why you didn’t get pregnant. Your body knew you had hesitations!” to which I say, SCIENCE. As much as there was some draw to having both of our children be genetically related, the first donor we chose looked a lot like me. Having been the blondest, palest, bluest eyed baby, I’d kind of like my kid to have a shot at not looking like she fell into a bucket of bleach until she’s 12.


Now we’re able to go with someone who looks more like D. Also in the feelings category, it’s kind of cool to be able to pick what you want your kid to look like but not as cool as actually getting to have a kid. As much as I’m disappointed, I’m also deeply glad this isn’t our first. I feel much less sad when I look at RR and think, best baby ever. Still, now we have to wait, depressed and flummoxed by science, until we can try again this month, Because SCIENCE is so ACCURATE that you still have to wait for the perfect day to give it a chance to fail. You can’t be BOTH, science.

One More Week

Popped in for the progesterone test (link for the curious) yesterday and everything is just peachy. I’m not entirely sure that I wouldn’t rather have skipped it, but after some reflection, I decided I’d rather know if this cycle had a diminished chance of success. Which it didn’t (in fact, the results were good enough to make the normally taciturn nurse practically giggle). And that’s good news except that it’s not THE news.

Although I’m not an over-googler exactly, it doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally stray to the dark side. Fortunately for me, any search that turns up more than one wiki or yahoo answers query in the first five results sends me back to more respectable endeavors like wondering what my amusement park is*. For the lazy link clicker – dude, I am totally that person, so no judgement – when D didn’t get pregnant on the first go, we went to an amusement park and rode all of the roller coasters. Maybe I’ll go to some yummy cafe and have espresso. I know. I live on the edge.

Googling aside, I’m well aware that the liklihood of having actual symptoms at this point is slim. Even so, so many different-than-normal things have gone on that I’m sure I’m going through menopause, getting the flu, or dying. Probably dying. My poor wife has to endure countless rounds of symptom-dismissal-depression-symptom.

Ugh. My stomach just keeps grumbing and growling!
I’m sure I just ate something weird.
I am never going to be pregnant.

And then the excitement stopped. No more weird cramps. No more hot flashes. No more…anything. And then yesterday:

Oh god, I’m going to hurl. Yes. I’m totally going to…ugh. Why do I feel so awful?!
It was probably those two cookies I inadvisably ate after breakfast.
I am never going to be pregnant.

This weekend we have friends in town which means I’ll have to dial back my constant complaining. Let me tell you, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t complain at all if I knew that all my discomfort was caused by pregnancy. Cramps, pressure, bloating, hot flashes, intermittently sweaty palms, nausea. Dude. GIVE ME A REASON.

Alas, we wait. Of course. But it’s only one more week. At most!

Also, did you all SEE this? Clearly these guys have been coming to my house as RR’s favorite thing to say to D and I is “NO TALKING”

Conversations with My 2 Year Old

Come Back in a Week

Whoa now. Was this progesterone test a thing when D carried RR? There I was, like the Venus de Milo in repose and discussing the Hindenburg* with my wife when the nurse suggested we come back in a week for a progesterone test to see if we had a shot at a viable pregnancy. Or something like that. Essentially, it appears that while such a blood test won’t predict pregnancy, it can certainly tell us if the odds are against us.

vdmUnfortunately, for the Venus de Milo, she had to stand while waiting for something magnificent to be created. You and I are creative and can thus imagine what she really would have done once she got tired of holding up that damn sheet. 

Finding out that it “probably didn’t work”? Exactly what I wanted to do with my Thursday. But, might as well get the crushing disappointment out of the way, right? Given that we’ll have house guests throughout the second week of waiting, it’s probably a good thing to keep me from being too high strung.

Also – why did none of you tell me that my uterus would behave like an asshole after an IUI? Cramping and general discomfort ala HSG (only for an extended period of time). Apparently, my cervix doesn’t really dig being toyed with. Regardless, I forgive you in an attempt to send a subliminal message to my rouge egg and sperm that I am a nurturing mother earth who is a fertile field, complaining cervix aside. Shh. Don’t tell them any different.

* During my wife’s second IUI, we found ourselves discussing, at length, the Lockerbie bombing. I don’t know what sparked the conversation, only that I explained what little I knew of it while my wife (probably) sent out a little prayer. This time, remembering our oddly timed Lockerbie discussion, we invoked the Hindenburg. Not as a talisman, just something I happen to be doing at work right now. Go figure.

“He Likes Pizza and Plays the Guitar”

Sometimes I feel, just a little bit, like a novelty. I reassure myself that people like me, couples like ours, are a dime a dozen. Probably. Right? At least at a fertility clinic. But there’s still that sense.

D and I handle this by being happy, friendly, and funny. For the most part, it’s just who we are. Yesterday, we joked with the lab workers about our donor  He likes pizza, I said. He says he plays the guitar. I smiled into the silence and they burst into laughter. Those tiny anonymous vials don’t play guitar and like pizza. And they don’t look like RR, a picture of whom D was dangling over my shoulder. All three technicians grinned and laughed with us.

In the clinic, I popped my head up to remind the doctor that the less I saw of him the better. He paused and half chuckled. The nurse sputtered into a smile (being a surly sort) and we shot that sperm past my cervix with a smile on our faces. Our regular receptionist emphatically wished us well.

Let’s hope all that laughter and good karma results in something. Something good. Egg, ahoy.

Want to know about what exactly happens at an IUI appointment?

This Looked Easy From The Other Side

You guys. Pot’o’pee? Smuggling? It’s not Wednesday until I’ve seen some boob? I love you so much.

It DID look easy from the other side, as one of you so astutely pointed out. I even looked back three years to see what I’d had to say about D doing this very same thing. Although we used the kits through two months, I only really had one thing to say about it and that was angst over whether or not we’d get a smiley face on a weekend. I remember her diligently reporting each morning (and she never, not once, had an error) but I was significantly more detached from the actual results. Now, I’m wildly peeing everywhere wondering if I’m suddenly in menopause. I know. I am the most fun person ever. Imagine living with me.

The wondrous Cats and Cradles shared her Baby Jar Sneak technique which we have pondered and will undertake. There’s a certain elegance to using a baby-intended receptacle, isn’t there? The inventive Pepibebe is so smooth she nonchalantly takes her specimen jars everywhere (ok, well not everywhere, but she is far more bold than I) and Jill shared a welcome story about how this doesn’t stop with a pee stick in a pocket, oh no, humiliation has the potential to go so much further.

Thanks to you all, I’ve survived to moan about this another day. And aren’t you happy you’ve contributed to THAT?



There Just Aren’t That Many Hiding Places

I began the day by hiding a cup of pee in a public restroom.

If you haven’t tracked your ovulation lately, it’s fun. There are test strips and, if you’re willing to spring for it, a digital test that gives you a smily face if you’re ovulating. I get so. excited. to see that smiley face.

It’s far better than the alternative, a goose egg, which makes me worry that I’m never going to ovulate and that sometime in the last month my organs have decided to give me the finger and run off into the woods to hide. Go ahead and picture your ovaries snickering behind a tree.

Thank you, Google, for providing this picture when you search “ovaries behind a tree”

Adding to the delight are apps that track your cycle. The one I use sends messages before the egg-springing date. This time I saw “The flowers are about to bloom” followed by “It’s time to get out the candles and turn on the smooth jazz.” That’s right, my phone just suggested I slip into bed with Barry White. In addition, the calendar days are slowly turning green as my predicted ovulation date approaches (Wednesday) although that’s just old smooth jazz guessing. Nevertheless, the green days (since Friday) mean I get to pee on the sticks and that’s ten minutes of fun I get to have every morning. 10 minutes alone in the bathroom checking twitter? Practically nirvana.

I am not inexperienced with aiming. I did this last month for six days without flubbing it once. Sure, you could splash the stick too generously but come on, I can see what’s happening there, I have self control. After two errors on Friday, we bought a new kit. Another error on Saturday and I decided to try the cup-dip method as opposed to direct application management™. Sunday, I managed it successfully the second time after an unexplained error the first time. I SWEAR TO YOU I AM DOING IT RIGHT. I am so close to the predicted ovulation day, I can’t just waste time fooling around with Barry White.

Today, I brought three sticks and used all three. Since I’m now working the cup method, I had to smuggle the cup past my coworkers and down to the bathroom. I ensconced myself in a large end stall in order to check my twitter feed in peace. I hit the cup, dipped the stick and waited. Error. You’re kidding. So I am left with a predicament. Run upstairs for the second stick or dump the cup and the chance. I’m too close, as I said, so I tucked the cup into a small paper bag and perched it in the corner. And then I left it there and went to get the second stick.

That’s right. From 10:00 – 10:15 this morning there was an unsupervised cup of urine in the corner. I’m pretty sure that’s the definition of Monday. For everyone.

images (1)

I won’t even tell you about the shenanigans that ensued after that stick also had an error. IT’S NOT ME, YOU GUYS. Suffice to say, I had to let me wife do the dipping, apparently correctly, while I watched. Today is still not the day.


I don’t have much to brag about these days. If you like, I could tell you about all the things that aren’t going right starting with such gems as my two year old suddenly wakes up at 6:30 instead of 7:30 and even though I’m not usually the one that gets up with her, I wish she wouldn’t and boy it sure rained a lot this week, didn’t it? I expect that you wouldn’t feel much symapthy for me. Other things aren’t fit to share because I don’t want you to fall asleep, driven by sheer boredom to close your eyes and pretend I’m not here. I can take a hint. I see you yawning.

I’m an “At least…” sort (in this case I am using Jen’s blueberry muffin example to elevate the fact that I have no dark colored, summer shirts. Stop yawning). I may feel frustrated (we painted our room white but you’d think it was blue) and even occasionally hopeless (how can we have a baby when I can’t even keep the house clean) but it doesn’t last long. There’s usually an “at least” rolling around in my head.

At least I got those gorgeous bushes planted before it rained.
At least my parents have gone home.
At least it was sunny enough to ride my bike today.
At least my wife is kind and thoughtful.

Leaving that aside, let’s get back to the thing I can brag about. The doctor referred to my test results as enviable. Isn’t that the best? Can you imagine getting your English paper back and instead of a gorgeous red A+ it said ENVIABLE? Or, what if maple syrup just skipped Grade A and said ENVIABLE MAPLE SYRUP on the label? How about the car mechanic saying that your wipers need to be replaced but that your brakes are ENVIABLE? Your life would be 100% better.

The HSG* met expectations. The asterisk is there for those of you that don’t know what an HSG is, why you’d have one, or are simply curious as to what happens. It’s at the end so that you can skip it if you like because, seriously, unless your fallopian tubes are ENVIABLE, no one wants to hear about them. I enjoyed watching the xray screen because, again, science is awesome and also because it distracted me from the level 7 discomfort (where level 8 involves tears, level 9 involves dragging myself to safety and level 10 is death). The doctor was able to say in the moment that everything was working as expected.

Yesterday, we went in for a sum up of the results. I suppose at this point I’m a refreshing patient; there’s no lack of fertility, just a lack of sperm. We didn’t spend much time discussing options and by that I mean:

Doctor: So did we decide to do a medicated cycle, try clomid?
Me: God, no.
Doctor: Cool, daddy-o.

Well, something like that. I admit that I was a little surprised that my plumbing works better than the rest of my entire body but he reassured me by double checking the result of the blood tests and commenting that my levels were ENVIABLE** that he was OPTIMISTIC. At a fertility clinic, better words were never uttered.

And, because even if we have to have boring chicken for dinner, at least we live in an amazing world where my phone can alert me to pending ovulation. And so I get to start looking for that smiley face in the ovulation kit so I can introduce some sperm to my ENVIABLE eggs. While the odds are never in favor of being pregnant, at least there’s nothing lowering the chance that a love connection awaits.

* So how does an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) feel and what happens? I’m sending you to a new page to spare those of you who already know or who really don’t want to read about my internal organs.

** That’s right, I used both italics AND capitalization. My writing is ENVIABLE.