Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Birthday Present

December birthdays suck. Overshadowed by the holidays, December birthdays are tossed aside like unwanted presents and ignored like the extra tug it takes to button your favorite jeans.

Growing up, my December 30th birthday was the worst. Stuck like a speed-bump between Christmas and New Year's, my birthday could never be celebrated with a classroom of squealing children (we were all on Christmas break), and time after time my American Girl-themed birthday parties had to be canceled due to Nor'easters.

This year, however, someone is finally making up for all of my Christmas-wrapped birthday presents and snowed-in parties. Because somehow, somehow, during a month that wasn't supposed to count, during a month off before I started with the RE, I was just given the most unbelievable birthday present ....

Happy 29 to me. I think it's gonna be a good year.

Monday, December 14, 2009


In second grade, it was a blue rabbit's foot. I remember it was feathery soft, with a tarnished gold chain dangling from one end. It simply meant "luck," because back then, things were that simple.

In high school, it was a silver ring with a turquoise stone set in the middle of an eagle. My mom had bought it on an Indian reservation out West when she and my father drove across the country in a Volkswagen bus. I wore it on my pinky. It meant "boundless opportunities." It radiated heat.

In college, it was a dried rose. It was left in my dorm room by BumpMister on our first Valentine's Day. We were 19. It meant "promise." I have always kept it.

Today, it has multiplied to many. It is a tiny gold elephant that traveled from India in the pocket of a friend who hoped to bring us luck. It is a wooden string of Rosary beads purchased on a sweltering day at the Vatican by parents with a grandchild in their prayers. It is an unlabeled CD that buoyed a sister-in-law as she drifted through her own hard time.

Trinkets. Objects. Things. Items. Yet so much more.

Life. Friendship. Family.


What is your talisman?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Black Clouds

The holiday season: It's supposed to be a time of slender candy canes and heaps of granulated sugar and mountains of Godiva chocolate. Santa is coming, champagne is chilling and presents are ready for unwrapping.

But above all the bustle you hear ... a rumbling. A storm. Black clouds forming on the horizon. Lightning flickering over your work party's holiday buffet. Why?

Because between Christmas and New Year's, a pivotal precipice is being mounted. A spiny peak of pain is jutting forward and cannot be ignored.

I am turning 29 in 19 days.

When I was younger, I thought my mom was so young for having me at 27. I would at least wait until 28 - I mean, come on. Let's be sensible. Fast forward to today, when the decision is totally out of my hands. 29 seems ancient.

Maybe it's not old to you. If it's not, I apologize. But let me tell you what IS old: This process. This endless guessing and waiting and hoping. This exploring and yearning and watching as others get what you've wanted for so long. This unfair, unfair, unfairness.

Friends, you know me. I don't normally get so down. But I'm tired. And the cloud is looming. And it's NOT fair. And that's all I can say tonight.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh Shhhicle.

Shi•cle [shy-kuhl] noun, verb, -cled, -cling.

1. any shitty round or series of occurrences that repeats or is repeated.
2. a recurring period of time in which certain shitty events or phenomena repeat themselves in the same order and at the same intervals.

Use shicle in a sentence>

My period came on the 45th day of my shicle this month.
Last week, I shicled all the way to the fertility clinic.

They told me to come back at the end of this shicle.

I feel like I'm shicling in circles and not getting anywhere.

Middle English: shite
Latin: cyclus

BumpMister: CD 45: "wow, what a shitty cycle. it's a shicle. haha."

Yeah. Haha.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cold Hearted Snake

The best part about waking up to a 96.5 temperature for 28 days in a row? I get to sing "Cold Hearted Snake" to myself each morning as I brush my teeth (Hey Paula!). That, or "Cold As Ice." I alternate. You know, keep it exciting.

Because otherwise, I would be tempted to try to smash my cute little basal thermometer with my alarm clock. (Ok, I admit it. I did try this. It didn't work. It just beeped at me spitefully.) Or cry. Which I actually almost did on the spinning bike this morning.

How could my temperature be SO low? How could I have not ovulated this month when I DEFINITELY ovulated last month and FINALLY got a real period, on my own, without Provera?

I called the all-knowing Dr. Obigeewyan today to get to the bottom of the matter. "Oh. Hmm," she said wisely. "Well." Thank you, my sage. Finally: "Well, do you have really long cycles as well?"

Oh yes, as a matter of fact, I do! I must have forgotten to mention that to you the last 100 times I've spoken to you over the past 13 months.

But then Dr. Obigeewyan said the first thing I agreed with in a long time: "I think it's time for me to refer you to a specialist."

Right on, Obi. Bring it. Whaddaya say, Paula?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Who Chose THIS Adventure?

When I was 10, my favorite books were "Choose Your Own Adventure" (after Anne of Green Gables and Babysitters Club, duh). I could sit enthralled for hours helping Princess Peony navigate her way through the fiend-filled forest in order to be reunited with Prince Perfection.

At the end of each chapter, I would contemplate my next step thoughtfully, trying to make the story last as long as possible. "If Princess Peony follows the mysterious gypsy into the cave, turn to page 2. If she follows her heart and stays on the straight path, turn to page 7." Follow your heart, Princess! Follow your heart! Page 7 it was.

Sometimes, however, I would accidentally lead Princess Peony astray ... and would quickly backtrack when I turned to the next page only to see THE END printed neatly at the bottom of the paragraph. It can't just END like that!, I'd think. It didn't end with Perfection!

I recently had a nostalgic conversation about "Choose Your Own Adventure" books with Said Friend Stacie (you know, the one who got pregnant when her husband sneezed near her). After I gushed about making each book last until the pages were worn and the ink was rubbed away, Stacie laughed.

"Omigod," she said. "I'm so the opposite. I would always pick those books for book reports and then choose the shortest way to the end possible."

I was shocked. Who would want to just skip to the end? Who wouldn't want the journey to last?

Now, as I enter my 13th month of my Infertility Adventure, I've started wondering the same thing. Would the pathway to pregnancy be as life-altering and rewarding if I had simply skipped this story and gone straight to the end? Would I have been this completely ready to be a mother? Would I have recognized this much about myself?

Right now I'm still navigating my way through my own story ... but I have faith that when it's right, I will reach the end. And when I do, I'll be satisfied with how I got there. I'll be ready to begin the next chapter. It'll be Perfection.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Here We Clo Again

As I've shared, I went on birth control when I was 15 because of my horrendously horrendous cramps. When I think back to the dramatic scene I would cause once a month - rolling around on the floor, crying, throwing up - I cringe with embarrassment. Because they couldn't have been THAT bad.

Oh yes. They could.

Know why I know? Because they came back last night after a nearly 14-year hiatus.

When I last left you on Saturday, I was all goody-goody-gumdrops over my progesterone level of 24. I went to a wedding on Saturday night and didn't drink a drop (ok, maybe a drop, but not even half a glass). I began calculating my due date. I Googled baby boy names (because of course I already have my girl name picked out).

And then. The cramps.

They hit me like a punch in the gut. For one good hour last night, I screamed and cried in pain, dry-heaved and basically had a huge meltdown. At first BumpMister looked at me like my head was spinning. Then he panicked and wanted to take me to the ER.

Then he called my mom. Yes, my mom, who assured him that this was normal (well, normal for the 15-year-old version of me) and to simply wait it out.

BumpMommy was right, and after an hour I was snuggled on the couch eating pistachio ice cream and wiping mascara streams off my cheeks. But when the cramps stopped, something even more horrenously horrendous started. My period.

Which brings me to today...

...and my third round of Clomid.

...and the message from Dr. Obigeewyan that ominously said, "I'm going to give you one more prescription, and if you don't get pregnant this month, I'm referring you to a reproductive specialist."

So here we Clo again.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Torture & Tantrums

If our government could bottle the two week wait, it could be used to thwart terrorism across the globe. Because right now I feel like I'd rather have bamboo shoots stuck under my fingernails than wait one more minute to find out if I'm pregnant or not.

It's CD 29 for me, and on CD 24 I got my blood taken. After harassing Dr. Obigeewyan's curt secretary for a week, I found out yesterday afternoon that my progesterone level is at 24. "This is fantastic; I couldn't have asked for better," said Dr. Obigeewyan. "You definitely ovulated this month."

Instantly the black shell of detest that I had mentally formed around Dr. Obi's face melted away, and I wanted to hug her through the phone. Finally some good news! But now what?

"Take a pregnancy test in a week. Then call me," said Dr. Obi.

Yes, sounds good, I told myself. Wait one week. I am an adult; I am making the decision to wait; this is what I'm going to do.

So of course, I woke up this morning at 3:30 a.m. and peed-on-a-stick. And it was negative.

Now I'm doing math - and you all know how well that works out for me. I "think" I ovulated on CD 18, which means the two week wait shouldn't be over until Tuesday. But I used one of those "Test 5 days sooner than your missed period!"B.S. wands. BFN. Grrr.

What do you think, ladies? Give in to the torture or ride it out? Give up hope or keep it alive? Because right now I feel like waving the white flag of surrender.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cramp You

You know those people who are incessantly happy and positive? Who think things happen for a reason? Who always see the glass of champagne half full when others see a massive hangover on the horizon?

Yeah, I'm not one of those people. But for the past month I've been masquerading as one. I've decided to force myself to take a positive outlook on all aspects of my life - my highly stressful job, my vanishing motivation to work out, and of course my infertility. It's basically because I've come to the conclusion that my intense levels of stress must be contributing to my anovulation.

It has been a struggle. I need to keep reminding myself to banish the gloom and doom from my brain. I find myself smiling a strained smile almost all day in an effort to trick my mind into happiness.

And it's worked ... to some degree.

But now I'm on Day 22 of my cycle and I woke up with the worst cramps. I don't know why. My shortest cycle of late has been 40+ days ... and that's before they stopped coming at all. Maybe miraculously my cycle is evening out and I'm getting my period? But that would mean I'm not pregnant - of course - which means my second cycle of Clomid was a dud.

I'm trying to stay positive and not Google something insane like "cramps + cycle day 22 + death" but it's hard. And if I try to talk about with BumpMister, he automatically starts saying "I thought you were going to try to be positive this cycle..."

I think he and I have different definitions of "positive."

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Can't See You!

Where have I been, fun friends? I will tell you. I have been playing ostrich.

Instead of acknowledging all of the scary things around me, I have been hiding my head in the sand, pretending it hasn't been happening. I have been completely ignoring the fact that I've now officially had fertility struggles for one year - and in turn, I have been ignoring all of you.

I'm sure everyone reaches the point where they feel like they can't talk or think or read about fertility and infertility for one more second or they're just going to barf all over their keyboards. And I got there two weeks ago after my college roomie told me that she, too, was pregnant. I broke down. I emailed my mother the news, and then I avoided her calls for one week because I knew she wanted to talk and see if I was OK, and I wasn't. I had to stop myself from crying at work for no reason. And I had to fight the urge to call Dr. Obigeewyan and tell her to shove her second round of Clomid 50 mg up her hippy-dippy you-know-what.

It took me about a week to get out of it, and now I really am feeling a lot more positive. I've popped my head back up out of the sand and am now charting and trying all of those things to "take charge of my fertility." And I do feel more empowered. And best of all, happy.

We'll see if this is the month. If I were a betting lass, I might not be so positive. But then again, maybe it's time for my luck to hit.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm SOOOOOOO Happy For YOU! Like, Really. O.M.G.

As women, we're groomed to be two things: 1) people pleasers and 2) backstabbing bitches.

We're told that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. But we're also encouraged by our peers to save these "nothing nice to says" from our friends' faces only to hurriedly text them to other friends the moment we're out of Blackberry-click-hearing distance.

So it's no surprise that I find myself totally overcompensating with sugary niceness when girlfriend after girlfriend announces her pregnancy to me ... only to wallow in self-pity and bitchiness to you ladies and my few real-life confidants the moment I can escape her motherly glow.

Said Friend Stacy gets pregnant? I buy her some sparkling cider and sit and talk about the baby's nursery with her for hours - while in reality each sip of carbonated syrup feels like I'm swallowing daggers.

College Roomie Rachel sends me her ultrasound via email before work? I send her a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and balloons - while I secretly speed-dial BumpMister, crying in the communal work bathroom.

Why do we (ok, I) feel the need to completely go over the top to hide our true feelings? Is it nurture? Is it nature? Or is it just plain neuroticism? Who knows. All I know is that I'm am just. So. THRILLED for all of my fertile friends. Hugs! Kisses!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Don't Drink and Devulge

This weekend, I went to a friend's wedding and got totally annihilated. Vodka sodas, champagnes, Pinot Grigios ... topped off with a couple beers at the after party until 3 a.m.

So it's understandable that when I found myself sitting at a table in the hotel lobby with my girlfriends at 2 a.m. and one of them once again asked me when BumpMister and I were going to start having kids, I burst out in tears. Like, a faucet. Smearing my perfectly applied liquid black eyeliner all over my face. It was not pretty.

While I was spilling my guts, I remember telling myself, "Jeez BumpBlogger, you are so going to regret this in the morning. Stupid." And then I blacked out.

Fastforward eight hours to me stumbling into the hotel bathroom with a massive headache and a rumbling stomach. It took me one look in the mirror to remember the night before and my drunken breakdown. As I washed the black streams of eyeliner off my cheeks, I waited for the regret to sink in. And waited. And then I realized, I felt OK. I actually felt better than OK. I felt relieved.

I never thought it would feel so good to tell my friends about our troubles with infertility. It was like this huge weight had been lifted off our shoulders. I instantly realized that I had really underestimated the compassion of our friends.

It's the little things like this that keep making our struggles a tiny bit easier, and keep reminding me why I should be grateful for the life that BumpMister and I have right now, regardless of what may come. So this Labor Day, I'm thanking my friends for helping me cope with my hard labor in the hopes of having a real Labor Day of my own in the future.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Infertile 15

Aah college. A time of upheaval and uncertainty, when life is rapidly changing and every day is unexpected.

Eighteen-year-old undergrads cope with this happy yet unsettling process in a variety of ways, and I, like many, remedied my anxiety with a cornucopia of fatty, greasy, foods of convenience. Your hookup from last night won't return your call? Try a paint-can sized container of Cup O Noodles at 2 a.m. You want to calm an anxious stomach the night before final exams? Sooth those nerves with five Keystone Lights and a pint of Ben & Jerry's. Your mother is visiting after a night of complete debauchery? Eat a hearty breakfast of cold Domino's pizza and stale Doritos.

Somehow I was lucky enough to avoid the Freshman 15. Yet I was not prepared to face this foe again later in life disguised as another, more deadly coping mechanism: The Infertile 15.

Tell me you're with me: When you first start trying to conceive, you're so convinced that you're going to automatically become pregnant that you begin eating like a pregnant woman. Screw the fat-free frozen yogurt and hand me the ice cream! Give me a tall glass of chocolate milk in the morning - gotta feed that growing baby her vitamins! I deserve that Snickers - my body is under a lot of stress and burning extra calories already.

Before you know it, you look like you did the morning after doing two keg stands on spring break.

The Infertile 15 is especially awful because, in all honestly, you want to be fat - just not with a food baby. And you know that when you finally do get pregnant, you're just going to gain more weight on top of your infertile fluff.

It's true, I might be an extreme: After Dr. Obigeewyan told me that my lack of ovulation may stem from my obsessive working out, I went from going to the gym seven days a week - sometimes twice a day - to hauling my ass out of bed maybe once or twice a week to work out before work. I stopped counting calories and started counting cycle days.

Well you know what? I feel gross. And to top it all off, my Infertile 15 didn't make me ovulate this month. So I'm going to try to find a happy medium - hey, I'll accept an Infertile 7.5 if it results in a Fertile 30.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Hangover

I don't know about you, but for me, the two-week guessing period around ovulation is a time of complete indulgence. Constant sex and sundaes. Sleeping in and skipping the gym. Hopes and smiles and daydreams.

And then comes ... the Hangover. Or, as it's more commonly called, the two-week wait. You wake up with a massive headache and feel like complete garbage all day. You tell yourself you're never, ever going to go all out like that again because it's not worth it. All you want to do is sleep it off and wake up when it's over.

My Hangover has another layer; one that BumpMister is really not fond of -- the complete aversion to anything close to sex. "What? Sex? For what reason?" "You've got to be kidding me - didn't you get enough for the past two weeks?" "Is that your foot touching my leg? Stop. IT!"

I don't know what it is. But after two weeks of every-other-day-sex, I've had enough. I'm tired. I just want to go to bed.

Perhaps it's because the Hangover has not once ended Positively. So by the time it arrives, I'm already mentally gearing up for the next two-week indulgence. And too much of a good thing will just make me fat.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Down, Hopes, DOWN!

I need to start keeping my Hopes on a leash. They are very poorly trained and extremely unruly. They run away from me whenever I'm not watching them, and they jump up and down nonstop. They require constant attention. And every month when my friend Ovulation walks in the door, they get so excited they practically pee on the floor.

It's not healthy for my Hopes to have so much freedom because they just don't know when to stop. They need structure and discipline. Otherwise, they make a huge mess. And I'm left cleaning it up.

This month, I let my Hopes get the better of me. When they ran away, I gave them room. When they jumped, I boosted them higher. And now? They're gone.

I've certainly learned my lesson. My Hopes need to be told NO. They need to be restrained. They need to be fenced in. Because it's better to have controlled Hopes than to have no Hopes at all.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

P = M T womb

In 5th grade, my math teacher Mr. Al Gorithm had this punishment (he called it a "game") called "Think Fast." Mr. Gorithm made us cut out construction paper numbers and keep them in an envelope on our desks. Then, every once in a while, he would saunter around the room and slowly, casually, start stringing together a math problem.

"8 ... plus 5 ... minus 2 ... plus 50 ..."

The entire room of chubby 5th-grade hands would frantically scamper, dumping out paper numbers on our desks and following along with the problem in our heads. That's when mean, mean Mr. Gorithm would take things up a notch:

"Plus 5 minus 4 plus 15 plus 300 dividedby4timesthesquarerootof10 ..."

And that's when I would lose it.

Not because I couldn't figure out the answer if I just listened and thought hard enough, but because it was Just. Too. STRESSFUL. So I'd give up and draw little hearts and flowers on my numbers while my classmates would sweat it out. Silly chubbies.

Since the 5th grade, not much has changed. I still don't like math (hence my copywriting career), and I still don't like to "Think Fast." I like to think SLOW. I like to turn my thoughts over in my head once ... twice .. thirty times. I like to think and rethink my actions, and I like to obsess over "what ifs." It may not be right, but it's right for me.

So now for my embarrassing confession: This month, I actually counted the days of my cycle wrong. What I thought was Day 28 was actually only Day 26. Oh god, Mr. Gorithm would be so ashamed.

That leads me to my current SLOW thought, which I keep spinning around in my mind: When I tested on Day 29 (last Saturday) and got a BFN, there's still a chance that it could be wrong. Right? RIGHT?!

Anyhoo. Today is real day 33. I haven't tested since Saturday. I haven't gotten my period. But I DID use an OPK today (you know, because OPK + 33 = HPT and all) and ... it was POSITIVE. WTF?!

Body, please. Stop f-ing with me. I'm SORRY I don't like to "Think Fast". I'm SORRY I have 50 day cycles. I'm SORRY I can't ... count.

Just let me multiply and I promise I'll teach my child how to divide.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

OB - Gee, Why Not?

I started going to Dr. Obigeewyan when I was 15. I had horrible, debilitating cramps that would make me writhe in pain for about 8 hours straight - which my younger sister, who shared a room with me, just loved of course.

When I first met Dr. Obi, I thought she seemed pretty cool. Very passive, very hippy-dippy with her black and gray wiry curls, her long patchwork skirts and her bulky glass bead necklaces. She cut to the chase, got me in and out, and that was that.

In my eyes, Dr. Obi was an all-knowing expert - I mean, she was a doctor. So when I called her hours after the first time I had sex, panicked that I was instantly pregnant, and she told me to chill out ... I did. And she was right.

Then one day when I was 18 and working at the counter of a pizza place, Dr. Obigeewyan came in to pick up a pizza. For some reason, I got excited - like when you're little and you see your teacher in the super market with her kids. Teachers don't live at school? And they can have kids?

"Hi!" I smiled big, expectantly.

Dr. Obi glanced at me quickly and then opened her purse. "Yes, hi. Large cheese for Obigeewyan."

My stomach sank with disappointment. "Oh. Yes. OK." I ran to the back, picked up her pizza and rang her out.

"Thanks," she muttered. And left.

And I realized ... she didn't recognize me. She had no idea who I was. This woman, who had been staring into my vagina for more than three years, didn't really know me at all.

I never said anything to her about that time in the pizza place because, well, that would be a little creepy. I still don't know exactly what I expected from her. And in her defense, she could have been distracted or busy or just spaced out. Logically I know this ... but I've never thought of her the same way again.

Now that I'm trying to conceive, I keep thinking back to this incident. Because I feel like Dr. Obigeewyan is paying the same amount of attention to my infertility as she did to my face those 10 years ago.

BumpMister is a pharmacist, and he's the one who told me I should bring up Provera and Clomid to Dr. Obi. When I did, she went along with it. When the Provera worked, she asked me, "So do you want to try Clomid?"

"Um, yeah I guess."

What I wanted to say was, "Should I want to try Clomid? You tell me, all knowing Doc!" But I'm chicken shit so I didn't.

And so she gave me the prescription and told me to call her in a month if I was either pregnant or got my period. No mention of blood tests or ultra sounds or anything else I've since learned from you ladies on Twitter and your blogs. It's so frustrating.

Needless to say, I think it's time to pull the stirrups out of my 13 year doctor-vagina friendship with Dr. Obigeewyan.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Go team go!

BumpMister is obsessed with Fantasy Football. He buys all these magazines with stats and articles that, for all I can understand, are written in straight Calculus. He spends countless hours hypothesizing with his brofriends about who to draft and in what particular order the best players will be selected. And the worst: he monopolizes the MacBook he bought ME in the sad guise of supporting my writing career to check his score and do whatever else these silly boys do all weekend during football season.

Naturally, I scoff at his obsession. I call him a nerd and take a nap on the couch while he screams at the TV. It just seems crazy.

But then I got to thinking ... which is always dangerous ... Isn't what we're all doing a little like Fantasy Football? Buying magazines and reading articles about the best ways to conceive, tweeting and blogging with our girlfriends to get the best answers, monitoring every action, hypothesizing about what will happen before it does?

Ok, it's a little bit of stretch. I mean, if my husband wins his Fantasy Football league, he wins $500. If I win at Fantasy Pregnancy, I win a baby. That aside...

We're all playing, and we're all keeping score. So ... what does your scorecard look like?

Right now, here's mine:

10 months TTC: +100 points
3 months no period: -30 points
1 cycle Provera: +10 points
1 period: +10 points
1 cycle Clomid: +50 points
3 BFNs this month: -30 points
2 weeks no alcohol: +20 points
1 dinner party with pregnant friend: +1,000 points

That adds up to ... me being ahead of where I was 10 months ago. And that's all that counts.

Three cheers to all of us winning this year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Being Friggin Nonsensical

All day at work, in the back of my head, I was brainstorming new things that BFN could stand for.

Boisterous, Funny Narrative.
Be Flippin' Naughty.
Beautiful, Fertile Nature.
Big Fun, Naturally.
Bubbly, Fruity Nectar.

Baby Forming Now?

But at the end of the day, I realized that there's no way to spin it - BFN ends with a Negative.

And that's all I got.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Crazies R Us

This weekend, I walked into the belly of the beast. And I was defeated.

The formidable foe: Babies R Us. With it white lacquered interior, rows of pristine peach fuzz and cloud-colored clothing, and staged nurseries decorated with posies and polka dots, its weapons of destruction were too strong for me to defend against, and it slayed my self confidence in one fell swoop. I walked in ... and I walked out. Just. Like. That.

Let me back up. Once upon a time... (Saturday) ...

I was out shopping for the day, and I decided to pick up a pregnancy gift for Said Friend Stacie. While at my castle (T.J. Maxx), I figured it would be a great idea to pop next store to the Land O Babes and check out the goods.

"Lalalalala" I sang (in my head) as I skipped (walked slowly through the oppressive heat) down the sidewalk. I twirled my way through the front door, as a parade of mice and little birds danced around my feet (OK, now I'm completely out of control), having not a care in the world.

And then it hit me. I looked around the store, and I didn't know where to go. I saw big bellies everywhere, staring at me with their protruding belly buttons. I saw husbands testing the plushness of pink teddy bears. I saw grandmothers proudly holding up onsies for their daughters to gush over. And then I saw the parking lot as I ran for my car.

I don't know what happened. I suddenly felt like a fraud; like I didn't belong. I felt like everyone could instantly see that I wasn't one of them - that I wasn't pregnant or a mother. That I was alone.

Wednesday will be the 28th day of my cycle. Hoping that this story will end: "And they lived happily every after." But right now, the birds and mice are only singing the chorus.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bumps on Parade

Ladies, I did not have a fun night.

I just came from a bridal shower. I sat with a girl from my college who is eight months pregnant. She got to unabashedly shove cookies and cakes and candies into her mouth and feel good about herself, while I licked a smidge of frosting off the side of my fork and felt guilty.

Two of the bridesmaids were knocked up. They got to show off their growing bellies in pretty maxi dresses that made them looked like glowing goddesses, while I felt like a little girl at a birthday party in my short sundress.

About 10 guests had baby bumps. They fawned over each other and shared due dates and baby names, while I talked about boring old work.

But damn. I looked skinny. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Target Practice

It's been 10 days since I took my last Clomid. I've started each of those 10 days the exact same way - stumbling into the bathroom at 4:30 a.m. ... frantically pulling the too-teeny cup out of the "Answers" ovulation predictor kit box ... and peeing all over my left hand.

Keepin' it classy.

When BumpMister first saw my OPK paraphrenalia, he looked confused. "I didn't know girls could aim."

"They can't," I mumbled.

Because, let's be honest, these OPKs are ridiculous. A small plastic cup? First morning pee? Slivers of paper that are only good for 30 days?! It sounds like a sick black magic ritual.

And in a way, it kind of is. OPKs reduce us normally sane women into crazy Rorschach analysts, agonizing over the color and density of a whispy pink line that, and I quote, "should not be read before four minutes - or after five minutes." Because that would just make things way too easy.

Over the course of these past 10 days, I have been reduced to doing many things I am not proud of. I have woken up my husband out of a deep sleep, put his glasses on his face, and asked him to confirm my suspicions that Line B was at least 80% of the color density of Line A. I have run around my house examining test strips under every type of light available - overhead, natural, florescent, oh my! I have PEED on my HAND, for christ sake.

All of this, and I don't think I've yet had a positive test.

OPKs, piss off.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Oh CLO you didn't!

Heya friends, just a quick update: I finished the Clomid last Saturday and am now smack in the middle of the mysterious 5 day timeframe that will hopefully get me knocked up.

I had no side effects with the big CLO, which for some sick and twisted reason makes me pissed. I want to feel like it's working, dammit! Turn me into a bitch. Reduce me to tears. Give me freaky vision like the Predator (my sis-in-law swears this happened to her). Just do something, for pete's sake.

But no. I might as well have been popping a Flintstone vitamin for a week.

So far the ovulation strips have all been negative, those bastards. But I'm trying to be optimistic. So is BumpMister, who assures me - for purely unselfish reasons of course - that it doesn't matter what the strips say, we need to have sex every 48 hours. Almost to the second. And he'll remind me. It's like he has a stopwatch ticking down the time.

I, on the other hand, have an alternative stopwatch ticking down the time until the end of August when I'll know if all this was for something or nothing. In the meantime, I'll just try to enjoy the, ahem, process.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Family Vacation," or, "Perhaps I Should Trade Clomid for Xanax"

Bye Friends! I'm off to vacation with the in-laws, the brothers- and sisters-in-law and their big broods of kiddies, kiddies, kiddies. Nothing like a familial slap in the face to keep me in my place.

Normally I would have brought my laptop with me on this trip-o-horrors, but if you haven't heard, BumpMister managed to spill a Starbucks on its shiny white face earlier this week. So it's in the hospital for the week. Don't. Get. Me. Started.

But anyway... thanks for hanging out with me this week ladies. I'll be back on Monday to share my experiences with the big C (yes, the Clomid - I took my first little hope-in-a-pill today). Hopefully I don't experience the bitchtastic side effect that everyone keeps telling me about or I'm likely to punch an unsuspecting family member in the face the second they say, "Sooo when are yooooou twoooo going to start thinking about...."

Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Period. Beginning of Story.

I haven't felt this relieved to get my period since I was in high school. Back then, I'd have sex with my boyfriend with a condom while on birth control and yet I'd have a panic attack each and every month before my scheduled P date.

As with so many things - like, how big of a huge douchebag said boyfriend would become, or how the trunk of my parents' car would be the worst hiding spot for a 30 pack of Coors Light, or how many guys who are 'hot' at 18 would be bald and pot-bellied by 28 - it makes me sigh and think "If I had known then what I know now..."

But I didn't know then what I know now - thank God, or I'd have had no social life - and now I'm forced to come to the realization that getting pregnant isn't as easy as I may have believed back when I was 17 and drunk off Jagermeister. Oh well. My luck and I would have gotten knocked up in a Dave-Matthews-Band minute if I hadn't been so careful.

So last night I got my period - the first since April 22. And although it was with the help of Provera, I instantly felt a huge wave of happiness. Dr. Obigeewyan had told me that my estrogen was so low that she wasn't sure Provera would induce my period at all. STRESS! But it did, and so I feel it was the first positive step in this process.

I'll call Dr. Obi in the morning to let her know, but I believe the next step for me is a cycle of Clomid. Does anyone else have any experience with this? I think you start on Day 3 or Day 5 of your cycle, which will be tomorrow or Wednesday.

Have any insights? Share, friends, share! In six months from now, I don't want to be saying again, "If I had known then..."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing

I know this may come as a complete shock, friends, but sometimes - yes sometimes - your dear BumpBlogger has been known to, well, overdo it a little. So when I went to see my OBGYN after not having my period for more than three months and she asked "Has anything changed in your life? Are you exceedingly stressed? Are you working out excessively?", I smiled innocently and asked: "Can you please define exceedingly and excessively?"

Because if exceedingly stressed means that I run around all day at work like a madwoman and then come home and obsess about my empty womb, and if excessive exercise means that I work out seven days a week - sometimes (eek! I'm embarrassed!) twice a day, then yes, Dr. Obigeewyan, I am exceedingly stressed and I am working out excessively.

"Well, I have been working out a little bit more..."

"That might be it." Dr. Obigeewyan smiled and shut my file decisively, pleased that she so easily got to the root of my problem.

"But...but...working out is good for you!" I whined desperately, fidgeting in my white paper robe. I instantly felt like I was getting the brush off. "That can't be it!"

"Just try to cut it down to three days a week," she said, scribbling a prescription for Provera.

So when I left the office, of course I instantly started stressing over the fact that my excessive exercise was stopping me from getting pregnant. This was quickly following by me berating myself for getting even more exceedingly stressed, another root cause of my no-show period.

It's been a little more than two weeks since that appointment. And it's been hard to use my willpower to relax rather than to help drag my ass out of bed at 5 a.m. to go to the gym, but I'm adjusting. I have worked out three times a week - and no spinning or marathon runs, just the easy-peasy elliptical for me. I have also taken seven days worth of Provera - my last day was Tuesday. And I have yet to get my period.

So take your pick, o body o' mine. You can either be skinny and unpregnant or chubby and pregnant. Chubby and unpregnant is not an option. Stop stressin' me out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Best Worst Conceiver

Hi my name is BumpBlogger and I am an overachiever. Yes, for as long as I can remember, I've had a debilitating addiction to being "the best."

I blame this on my mother, who would fuel my addiction by picking me up early when I would hysterically break down after losing musical chairs at birthday parties, and on Mr. Rogers, who told me that I make each day special just by being me.

The first person who ever told me that my addiction to being the best was a problem was my sister, Fashionplate Fiona. "Umm... stop being Monica," she would snap when I would return home from college obsessing that my GPA was a 3.875 and not a 4.0 ... or years later, when I would throw my body on the floor in a heap of despair after my boss had the audacity to edit my copy ... or most recently, when I swore I had to - had to - give up step class because a woman in her 60s was better than me.

The Monica she was referring to was Monica Geller, of the Friends persuasion. An overachiever, Monica's desire to be the "winner" and the "best" completely defined her character. (See, for example, the above clip titled "The Best Bad Massage," my sister's favorite to tease me with. When Chandler tells Monica "You don't have to be the best at everything," and she exclaims "Oh my GOD! You don't know me AT ALL!", I tear up and think, "I hear ya, girlfriend.")

My sister, much more of a Rachel, never understood my motivation to live life like it was a perpetual contest. Calling me out on "being Monica" was her way of reminding me that being the best wasn't all that important if it made me look like a high-maintenance crybaby in the process.

When I recently confided in my sister about my so-far futile attempts to get pregnant - and my secret desire to have a baby before my best friend Said Friend Stacie - I braced myself for the inevitable "Monica" reference. I knew Fiona would chastise me for caring about something as petty as getting pregnant first, or for my constant obsessive thoughts about my barren future as an old, childless Auntie.

Instead, Fiona surprised me. She gave me a huge hug and whispered in my ear: "It's OK. You're the best worst conceiver I know."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Making an ASS out of U and ME

Making a wrong assumption about someone can swiftly and uncomfortably escalate into a shame spiral: You feel embarrassed when you recognize your misstep, the person you assumed to understand feels more embarrassed at your faulty belief, and in turn their embarrassment makes you feel even worse.

The thing about wrong assumptions, though, is that the shame spiral is a necessary antidote - a natural remedy that puts an end to the assumption before it can do more damage. It only works, however, if both the assumer and the assumee recognize that a wrong assumption had been made. If not, the spiral can turn into a one-sided nosedive of dispair.

Assuming I lost my mind, dear friends? Read on.

Yesterday I had the lucky double-whammy of being at a Christening for my friend Fertile Myrtle's second child when Said Friend Stacie announced her pregnancy. Immediately after the congratulations had subsided, Said Friend Stacie launched into the whole story about how surprising it all was and how she had assumed it would take a while to get pregnant but, look at that! It was soooo easy.

To which Fertile Myrtle replied: "I know! I've heard that sometimes it takes women like, months, to get pregnant. I would just die. Just. Die." She then turned to me and asked, "So when are you and BumpMister having a baby? You're still not ready for it?"

This same conversation has happened in one form or another over the past few months more times than I can count. From my mother-in-law pondering out loud if I care too much about my career to care about having kids, to my coworkers voting me most-likely-to-get-knocked-up-next in an informal office poll. It seems that everyone finds it perfectly acceptable to make overt assumptions about other people's wombs.

So what is the best response to these wrong assumptions gone awry? Snarkily reply, "I, for one, am not ready to ruin my figure."? Joke, "I'm vying for that recent opening in the Guiness Book of World Records for oldest woman to give birth."? Or scream, "I'm trying, dammit! I'm trying! I'm trying! I'm trying you stupid cow!"?

I don't know what the right answer is (OK, I do), but all I know is my answer has been working for me so far: Say nothing, sit back, smile pretty, and think to myself: "My kid is going to be cuter than yours."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Bitch Is Back

So here's the thing: Infertility is a bitch and should be treated like one. Meaning, she should be made fun of behind her back and laughed at in her face when she tries to act all holier-than-thou. When she's being too rude for words, she should be completely ignored and not invited to the party - at which party it is our duty to have the best time ever just to show Infertility that she is not the center of our universe. And when Infertility gets almost too hard to deal with, it's perfectly acceptable to resort to hair pulling.

I've dealt with more than a fair share of bitches in my 28 years, but Infertility is a formidable foe unlike any I've ever met before. She's ironic, cunning and downright abusive. She tricks us into thinking she's our best friend every month, only to turn around and betray our confidence. And although we deep-down-hate-her-guts, we still want to be her friend.

This blog is for all women who know Infertility and are sick of being nice to her face. It's a slam-book where we can vent about her latest snarkiness and make light of her most recent attempts to cut us down. And we can do it all without feel guilty - Infertility has it coming.

Watch your back, Infertility. You're going down.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Make Mine a Provera on the Rocks

If I were to make an assumption, I would assume that the most optimal time to premiere a blog would not be 1 a.m. after three glasses of wine on a Thursday night.

However, if I were to have made that initial assumption initially, it would most likely have been before I found out my best friend was -whoops! oh dear!- pregnant after tryingbutnottrying to get knocked up for a mere 30 days.

Add this new predicament to the fact that I was prescribed the period-inducing medication Provera a slight three hours before this revelation, but nine months after stopping the Pill, and all assumptions are fairly thrown out the window.

So that is where we find ourselves, my friend. Your dear BumpBlogger, whose stomach is as flat as her wedding day three years ago when she was in the midst of an anti-food campaign in order to fit into a handkerchief-sized wedding dress, is drunk. Not on love, but on a cheap Bella Sera Pinot Grigio that she bought pre-chilled from the package store attached to the local TJ Maxx. Where she was debating between buying said friend a congratulatory baby blanket or purchasing an extremely ugly three-season-old Coach bag just to waste money to spite her husband for not getting her knocked up.

In the end, the Bella Sera was clearly the only sane option. Cheers.

P.S: Welcome to my blog. I apologize for the ridiculous self-serving babble and blame it on the ah-ah-ahah-ahah-cohol. I will be back to my normal, sober self-serving babbling tomorrow. Stick around.