day 1

Yesterday was day 1, marking the end of my month off of trying to conceive.  The month was great.  I abandoned all thoughts of getting pregnant, so much more gloriously than intended.  I did not temp.  I did not pee on any sticks.  I did not even take my prenatal vitamins.  I rode rollercoasters, ran 6 miles at a time, and drank as much wine as I wanted.  I lost 7 pounds, I gained 2 back.

And most importantly, when my period came yesterday, it was a surprise.  Like it used to be!  Not the culmination of 3 days of frantic TP-checking every time I go to the bathroom, but a complete and utter “Oh shit!” in the bathroom of a client’s office in the middle of a meeting.  And it was then that I realized how much good this break had done me, and really, all of us.  To just be able to forget about my womanly rhythms and just live my life normally was such a gift to myself.  Fertility Friend might be my fertility’s friend, but it is certainly not my friend.  And that app stayed firmly closed for all 28 days of my cycle.

Today, when I called my RE’s office to order more sperm, and talk about a trigger shot for this month, I was excited and hopeful again.  Not depressed, not even sad, but excited.  Which means that the month off accomplished exactly what it was supposed to.

peesticks and dignity

Here is a picture of my peestick (not surging).  It is resting on top of the toilet seat protector thingy dispenser in a stall in my office restroom.


My dignity was apparently flushed down the toilet.  It’s hard for me to think of something as degrading as testing your ovulation in a public restroom at work, while other women come and go.  I have learned that there are a few times one should never, ever test one’s ovulation in the work ladies’ room.

1) 4:49 pm – 5:15 pm.  This is the time that hoards of secretaries come to brush their teeth and reapply makeup before leaving for the day.  Let me tell you, if they did a study of dental hygiene habits, I am willing to be that legal secretaries would be in the 99th percentile.

2) Immediately after lunch.  For the same reason.

3) 10:00 am.  This is when the attorneys roll in, and they are likely to go to the bathroom on their way to their desks.  Also, someone will be pooping, and if you stay in the stall for 3 minutes so as not to jiggle your precious peestick, people will almost certainly assume it’s you.  And, I, for one, have memorized most of the shoes on my floor, so you can bet I know who’s in what stall.

The emotional turmoil of trying to get pregnant should be enough.  It should not also be required that I remember not to pee for some four-hour stretch in the middle of my workday, the end of which will not coincide with one of the time periods described above.

the mermaid

I wrote the post below last Thursday, but have avoided publishing it. It seems so negative, so melodramatic. But honestly, trying to conceive is one of the most difficult experiences I’ve had, and quite frankly, I often feel pretty negative and melodramatic.  I will find out if I am pregnant over the weekend. I am sure, as this week draws to a close, I will have some hope, some optimism, and then, either some more disappointment or some elation. We shall see. But for now, I just feel overwhelmingly, decidedly not pregnant.  I don’t understand how I possibly could be pregnant, when I feel exactly the same as I always do.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sunday night, we got the “light line” on our OPK. While we had agreed just a few days before with our RE that it was time to start reading our OPKs differently so that we did not miss ovulation each time we inseminated, I was nervous. I thought we’d see the light line in the morning, so we’d have plenty of time to get to “dark line” by the time we did our insemination. But getting the light line at night meant that Monday morning, when it was time to make the call, I still had just a light line. So, we hesitated. Should we ask for a sonogram before they thawed the sperm?

We finally decided to just go for it. We had two specimens left from our hot smart donor, which meant that if Monday was too soon, we could try again on Tuesday. We got in the car to head to the doctor’s office. Then, while my wife drove, I looked at our calendars.

“Okay. So you have an 8:30 meeting, a 10am meeting, and a 3pm meeting. I have a 10:30 conference call, a 1pm call, and a 4pm call. So…. Can you skip anything?”

“No. Not really. Can you?”

“Nope. What the hell.” It was 7:45. Even if they thawed the sperm right then, my wife would be late for her 8:30 meeting. “The only window we have is between 11:30 and 1.”

“Well,” said my wife, “I guess we’re doing it between 11:30 and 1.”

Our doctor’s office is basically across the street from where my wife works, but it’s a good hour and a half on mass transit from where I work. The way my meetings were spaced, there was no getting into the office if we did the insemination between 11:30 and 1.

So, I had to figure out what to tell my boss about why I suddenly wasn’t coming in. I had been out sick for a week over Halloween, I had just taken half a day off to meet with the RE on Thursday. I was rapidly running out of good excuses for not showing up to work. How much easier would it be on everyone if you could just say, “Hey, we’re trying to get pregnant here, so I am going to be missing a shitload of work. Okay great.” I only had one excuse I hadn’t exhausted. “I guess I have to say its a childcare issue. ”

“It is,” my wife said. “It’s just the child we don’t have yet.”

My wife set me up to work in a cubicle at her office, and we went our separate ways. I called the doctor’s office at 8:30, when their desk opened, and told the receptionist I needed to schedule an IUI. “Oh, well, hm. We’re really booked today. Could you do 11:30?”

I wanted to kiss her. “Yes! 11:30 is perfect. Thank you!” I could barely contain my excitement.

I will spare you the details, but the insemination was the best yet. My 10:30 call ended early, and we were actually on time for once in our lives. We didn’t have to wait. A female doctor was working, instead of the cranky man doctor who ignores my wife that had done the last 3 inseminations. When the doctor did the post-insemination sonogram, my follicle was over 24mm and irregularly shaped, indicating that I was about to ovulate at any second. The timing, for once, was dead-on. I went and got a salad with my wife in the bright fall sunshine, and then we both went back to work. It was surreal. It was like an hour out of time, when everything went right for us.

Something about the way everything lined up this time made me feel like there was a bit of magic in it all, and I want to believe this is the time we made our baby. We were both so present this time.

Then, yesterday, came the fear.

I’m afraid I’m setting myself up for disappointment if this isn’t the time. It felt so right, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t it. But sometimes I can’t help but feel like the baby has become a myth, like a mermaid. I’ve wanted this for so long. I want so badly to believe that flash in the water was something magical, but deep down, I know that mermaids aren’t real, and magic does not happen for ordinary people like me.

prenatal vitamins

Eeep! I started taking prenatal vitamins yesterday. I ran out of my usual Flintstones, so decided it was time to make the leap to real prenatal vitamins. My wife claims they are a waste of money, but the brand I chose has twice the folic acid of the Flintstones, and about 4x more Vitamin D, which I am actually deficient in (according to my most recent bloodwork, which was in the middle of the summer last year).



Be forewarned. This will likely be the first of many posts tiptoeing into the realm of TMI. Ah, well, that’s the kind of writer I am. You’re here to read my thoughts, and today, my thoughts are on cervical mucus.

Since I’ve started reading books about conception, I have started to get worried about my cervical mucus. I realize this is a weird thing to worry about. I honestly had never given any thought at all to my cervical mucus before this. Okay, in reality, I didn’t really know what cervical mucus was. However, after reading chapter after chapter of ways to chart your fertility, I started to worry. Once I learned what cervical mucus was, I recognized it as the “snot” that periodically turned up in my underwear or on the toilet paper. But I definitely didn’t notice it every month. What if, the month we decided to start trying to conceive, I didn’t have any? What if I had STOPPED MAKING CERVICAL MUCUS, RIGHT WHEN IT WAS NO LONGER KIND OF GROSS AND UNNECESSARY, BUT I ACTUALLY NEEDED IT. I realized this was a little nutso, but that is my personality. Frankly, it makes me dread a bit the period where I am wondering whether or not I am pregnant, over and over again. If I am this obsessed now, before we are even trying, what is it going to be like when I could actually be pregnant, but it is impossible to tell if the symptoms are early pregnancy or PMS?

Anyhow, the mucus obsession. I have been charting my menstrual cycle for a little under a month, meticulously noting in the relevant iPhone app whether I am bleeding (sometimes), how much (a lot one day, then practically nothing, stretching on for a week in a very annoying manner that is tempting to just ignore at the end), whether I’ve taken my vitamin (usually yes, but I tend to forget on the weekends), and how much exercise I’ve been getting (not enough. never enough). I have been waiting, in vain, for some cervical mucus to chart, but it just doesn’t appear. The yellow dot representing my anticipated date of ovulation came and went, with no mucus. I decided that probably I had stopped making it, and was doomed to a year of basal body temperature charting to confirm my pee-stick readings. Or worse, that I did not make it, so we could not inseminate at home, as our thawed little swimmers would have nothing to swim through. Just an arid desert, complete with mirages and camels, where my cervix and its mucus used to be. Does my body not realize that sperm have little swimmer tails, not legs? They cannot walk through an arid desert. They need to SWIM.

Then, today, VIOLA. Spin. Spin, I have learned, is the egg-whitey kind of cervical mucus, and the kind that is perfect for excited little sperm to swim through and typically coincides with ovulation. So, even though we are yet months away from starting to inseminate, at least I can rest assured that when the time comes, there will not be a desert, but rather an ocean. Or really, probably more like a swamp or some other moderately damp type of climate.