Friday, May 25, 2012

Human lab rat... also known as IVF

I have thrown my hands in the air! After a year of unsuccessful fertility treatments, we’ve moved to the big leagues… a fertility specialist and, drumroll please… IVF.

Here’s a sneak peek inside IVF and becoming a human labratory (I’ll give the in-depth, confidential, E! True Hollywood Story look at  my thrilling experience in later posts):


Step 1: Lots more blood tests, semen analysis, and other tests.
Step 2:  Get back on the pill (WTF?!- I’ll explain later)
Step 4: Many instruments are shoved up my lady bits to make sure there’s a safe womb for baby
Step 5: My belly becomes a pin cushion (up to three injections a day, which I give myself- where’s that jug of wine when I need it!)
Step 6: Go in for the egg retrieval procedure where they knock me out, take the eggs I’ve been making plump and juicy with the awesome injections (and hit on my anesthesiologist- it was the drugs!)
Step 7: Start shoving more things up my lady bits
Step 8: Doctor transfers one to two mini-me’s (embryos) back in my uterus.
Step 9: Pray… and wait. Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooots of waiting.

Here is the calendar my doctor gave me to keep track of everything (sorry, it's a bit blurry, but I can't be good at everything!):

What an infertile woman's life becomes
(all those words you don't recognize are injections, pills, and other medication). Yeehaw!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The slap

Watch out. The slap can come any place, any time.
I want to be happy when I find out a friend is having a baby but usually I'm just pissed off. Okay, it's not like I'm not happy for them, I'm just sad for me.

When a friend tells me their PREGNANT! (it's always in capitals with an exclamation point), I jump up and down and yelp "OMG! I'm so excited for you!" But what I'm really experiencing is a broken reflection of my own struggles. But hey, I am Meryl Streep when it comes to receiving this kind of news. After three plus years, I've had lots of practice.

But recently my performance faltered. My husband and I attended the annual party of our good friends but when we arrived I began hearing murmurings. Words like due date, ultrasound, and congratulations were being tossed at the hostess. I was happy when we'd arrived at the party but just like that, I got slapped.

I turned to my hubby and opened my mouth to say "I think so-and-so is pregnant" but when I reached the P word my voice cracked and tears poured down my cheeks. We were standing with party guests that I did not know and I was so shocked by the sudden rush of emotion that I turned and ran to the bathroom. (If you are going through this, be warned. You can get slapped at anyone moment. You'll be happy-go-lucky and then "Whack!", no more happy.)

After a quick cry, I sucked those tears back down, put on some lipstick, and came out with a smile plastered on my face and congratulated the mommie-to-be. I am a Southern girl at heart, and by golly, I would not allow my own grief to get in the way of the hostess or a good party! That just ain't proper.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The little death

In France they call a male orgasm, la petite mort, which means little death. Yes, those jolly French always know how to capture a moment.

During this fun experiement called infertility, my hubby has to la petite mort into a cup on occasion. When he does, the fertility clinic sets him up in a cushy room with a selection of X-rated movies and magazines he can choose from to "aid" in the process.
Why Mrs. Beckham, what have you
been up to?
Before he entered the room, his doctor told him he may be surprised what he discovers in the room.

My husband was a little worried until the doctor explained: recently one of his other patients had popped in one of the movies only to see a soccer mom from his child's team bumping and grinding back at him.

So far, my hubby has not recognized anyone on the tapes but this is LA, so he may have hope yet.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cry me a river

I'd never seen my husband cry. Not even a chin quiver. During our first years together this bugged me, not that I wanted to be with a softy, but I would have liked to have seen some sort of emotion.  After nine years, I’ve now accepted that, though my husband has buckets of love for me, his tear ducts are a desert.

But even he's not immune to the incredible force that is infertility.

When dealing with infertility, especially at the beginning, you’re undergoing lots and lots and lots of tests and trying to handle all the new terminology that is being thrown at you. Not to mention that you’re still in denial that any of this is even happening to you. I still find it hard to believe we’re one of those couples. But boohoo we are.

The hardest part was dealing with the dreaded insurance company. I hate to say anything is evil but they truly make it so hard to do anything!  And sometimes the nurses make it hard too. They just parrot to you what it says in their protocol book. (So here’s the part where I’m supposed to say, nurses are amazing people, who give so much and get so little in return, blah blah blah… except when they are bored and see patients like you hundreds of times a year.) At the beginning, getting a straight answer from one of them was near impossible, especially about insurance matters.

So there we were, drowning in this new world, frustrated and overwhelmed by it all, sitting in the parking lot of one of the reproductive clinics when I saw it for the first time, salty, clear liquid come out of my husband’s eyes. We were fighting- yes, that happened a lot at the beginning- about the insurance and I suddenly broke down because, hey, who cares about the insurance right now, I’m having my body poked and prodded and analyzed to tell me if I’m still a real woman and I am trying to come to terms with the fact that my main function as a woman may be broken and you’re yelling at me about insurance forms! I yelled all that at my husband and that’s when his tear ducts burst open (they’d been dormant for so long I’m shocked we didn’t drown). At first, my chin dropped to the floor and Inner B* burst forward, doing back-flips and double fist pumping, Husband can cry! Husband can cry! 

But that’s when I realized, this is hard, REALLY hard. For both of us. And as awful as it is for me, it’s awful for him too.

After that moment, his tear ducts went dormant again, but the memory of that day will always be bittersweet: bitter because it showed us how hard the road of infertility is, and sweet, because it was so sweet to see that my husband is a real man, tears and all. Woot!

*Inner B is my subconscious- she's not shy to say it how it is, good or bad, right or wrong.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Has anyone seen my libido?

Has anyone seen my libido? I seem to have misplaced it. I've looked under the covers, in the shower, and inside my lingerie drawer but its no where to be found. All the poking and prodding from my doctor has scared my libido away.

Oh wait! I found it! Silly libido. It was hiding inside Fifty Shades of Grey.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Waxing lyrical

My waxer was elbow deep into my waxing session, when she suddenly says, "you have not had kids." It was not a question, it was a statement. What the...??? You can tell?? You can tell if my lady bits have been stretched from here to kingdom come?! I'd been led to believe that after the kid is pushed out... zoink!... it snaps right back to its original form. But was I led astray? Is this one of those secrets no one talks about, for fear no woman will be led down that path if the truth comes out?
Okay, fine. FINE! I'll stretch my bits wider than the sky. That's how much I want a kid.

Although... I hear C-sections are all the rage these days.