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.