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.


half empty

This is my actual, current, real life water glass (well, technically it’s plastic, not glass, but we are not hear to discuss what a shitty environmentalist I am).*  As the trite expression goes, you will see that it is half-empty.  Perhaps more like two-thirds empty.  But not totally empty, because that would be too simple.

You see, floating around in the back of my head are all the stories.  You know the ones.  We totally gave up trying, because we thought it would never work for us/it was too late/it was too early/she got sick/Mercury was in retrograde/etc. and lo! and behold!  That was the time we got pregnant!

I really, really wish my glass was empty, but I can’t help holding out a liiiiiiiiiiittle hope that it actually maybe did work this month.  Even though I know it didn’t!  Still.  Which means the fog has crept back in just a little, as I try to remind myself not to be optimistic — not at all — because we actually know that this time we inseminated too early, and we therefore know that we aren’t pregnant.

This is why you actually take a month off. Hello, April, I am looking at you. Because even if you tell yourself it didn’t work, and even if you know, deep down, that it didn’t, someone keeps sneaking up and pouring just an inch or two of water in your glass when your head is turned. Which means it really sucks when the end of the month comes, and you knock that glass over, and it drenches a stack of mail that someone left on the counter.

Although we are also not here to discuss how neat and tidy I am, do you see how clean my desk at work is?  That is because I moved all my confidential lawyer-type documents out of the picture for internet posting purposes.  Note the eraser crumbs around the bottom of the glass. That is a bit more accurate when it comes to visualizing my workspace.  Yep, I’m a pencil writer.  At least they are not food crumbs.

the fog

This month, I am pretty sure we messed up the timing of our insemination (again). I was sure that my body had settled into a pattern, and that day 17 was the day. So on day 16, when the OPK line looked a little light, I assumed it was the OPK that was a little off, not my timing. I had decided we were going to step down to one insemination a month — mostly because of the money, honestly, but also because of the stress and missing work, and because I think inseminating the day after you ovulate is pointless. So when we only had one sperm vial left at our doctors’ office, I wasn’t worried. Do you see all of this ominous foreshadowing? We had our insemination on day 17, and they did the sonogram — my follicle was again on the left (apparently my ovaries don’t alternate) and it was at 21 mm. Not terrible, but not great. The next day, my temperature didn’t spike. I went up a little, but not a lot. Meh. Actually my temperature graph looks like a Picasso line drawing of the Rocky Mountains, so who know what it means anyway.

On day 18, my wife and I sat down to talk about the fact that I almost certainly wasn’t pregnant, again, and what this meant. If we try again next month, the baby would be due December 28. Not that that would be the worst thing that has ever happened, but we don’t really want a Christmas baby, if we get a say in the matter. Which, it turns out, we do. So, we decided to take April off. We are going to skip it, and relax, and not be pregnant, and then try again in May. And in May, it’s all-in. We’re going to ask for a trigger shot, to take some of the guesswork out of the timing, temp, pee on sticks, and do two inseminations. And if May doesn’t work with the trigger, it’s Clomid in June.

My wife is really disappointed, and for the first time, I think, realized how much of this is all. on. me. She didn’t agree with the decision not to bring more sperm over this month, but she didn’t even know about that decision because I just handle all of that.

It’s like a fog has been lifted, knowing I’m not pregnant, and not about to become pregnant. We decided to run a 10k at the end of April, so we’ll start training this weekend. I joined weight watchers, to try to shed some of the 15 or so pounds I’ve picked up over the past couple of years. We have spent more time being “intimate,” if you catch my drift, and less time bickering.

I knew that trying to get pregnant was stressing both of us out. But I guess I didn’t really realize the practical implications of a constant, low-level preoccupation on a marriage and a life. Deciding to take April off was the best choice we could make.

I didn’t realize how much I had been living my life in a holding pattern, circling in the air above all the things I wanted to do, waiting for that second pink line to tell me to land. It turns out, you can lose weight while trying to get pregnant, especially if its only 10-15 lbs and you do it slowly. You can run while trying to get pregnant. If you become too pregnant/exhausted to run the race, then you cancel, or you walk it, or whatever, but you can sign up. But knowing that I am not pregnant, and knowing that I have a break from pee sticks and thermometers and doctors appointments and cervical mucous is just such a relief, and it freed me to get back to living my life, rather than sitting around waiting for it to happen for me, or to me.


Friday, my temperature was still elevated, and I had been nauseated all day.  Saturday morning I woke up with the temperature a little lower than Friday, but still elevated.  I was still nauseated, and really, really thought I was pregnant.  But by late morning, spotting had started, and I knew I wasn’t pregnant, again.  Yesterday the real bleeding started.  It was heartbreaking.  It’s hard to explain, really, what it’s like to not be pregnant, month after month.  I wish I knew why.  I spent the better part of the weekend sobbing in the corner, yelling at my spouse over nothing, and painting my bedroom.

Maybe it’s the prolactin, I don’t know.  I didn’t get it checked last month, although now I wish I had.  Not that it would matter.  One thing that has been hard to accept is that no amount of information will get me pregnant.  Whether or not 28% of pregnancy charts show nausea at 11 days past ovulation, whether or not my prolactin levels are high or normal or slightly elevated, none of that information, alone, will get me pregnant.  None of it even matters.  Whenever I test, whatever symptoms I have, no matter what the correlation is with other people who are pregnant, none of it matters.  Because I’m not.  So this weekend I thought, I either want to take March off, or I want to do something more aggressive.  What I don’t want to do is the same damn thing I have been doing for the last seven months.

My wife really does not want to take a break, although she is willing to if it’s what I want.  So this morning I bit the bullet and called the doctor’s office for a consultation with my doctor.  I thought that if she could explain to me why she thought Clomid would help, and what the side effects (short and long term) really are, maybe I could get myself comfortable with taking it.  Except for how it turns out that my doctor is on vacation all week.  So I can’t ask her these things.

I decided to go the Manhattan office of our doctor’s practice to at least get the prolactin levels checked, and maybe get the prescription for Clomid from a different doctor.  If we have to make this decision on our own, I thought I would rather have the Rx in hand.  Long story short is that I got the run-around about if/how I could even get a prescription for the Clomid from some other doctor, and ended up loudly ugly-crying on a street corner on the upper east side while on the phone with my wife.  It seems that our chances of starting the Clomid this cycle are slim to none, so now we are down to the options of another natural cycle, or a month off.  While sobbing into the phone, my wife offered me the month off.  She held it out there for me, and I grabbed it.  Less than an hour later, I question that decision.  What if she’s right, and the right ovary is better?  Maybe I will do a natural cycle after all.  I have no idea what the right choice is.

What I do know is that I hate this.  I hate this so much.  Getting pregnant is not fun, like I thought it would be.  It is hard, and stressful.  It involves making uninformed decisions, and missing work, and having your blood taken for the fiftieth time, and talking about deeply personal things with loud-mouthed receptionists and crying in your office, in your bedroom, on street corners.  And extremely bitter disappointment.

Last night, our kids came home from their vacation with their father.  BC was telling some long, complicated story about what to do if you are being attacked by a German Shepherd, and I just thought, this could be it.  These three could be the only kids I will have.  And they are already so big.


It turns out that I have been stressed out lately.  This, I think, is a combination of seven (SEVEN) months of trying to get knocked up, currently being in the two-week wait, an annoying work trip that was hanging over my head, and also, out of the last eight months, having overnight guests for what adds up to five of them.  Yes, five out of eight, as in more than 50%.  We had my mother in law for two months, my sister for two months, a cousin for a week, various family members for 10 days at Christmas, and the odd weekend guests here and there. For a total of 5 months’ worth of houseguests.  Geeze.  And in all that time, I am stealthily sneaking off to the doctor to try to get myself pregnant.

Anyway, I had a meltdown yesterday on my way to work, during which I decided that I should do something nice for myself, to distract me from obsessively staring at my chart and also to reward myself for so patiently (ha!) enduring the people that I love, but that have been treating my house like a bed and breakfast for the last 5 months.  So!  I will Do Something For Myself and get some kind of hair treatment, I decide.  This left me with two options.  One, to dye my hair MSCL red, like I did in college.  In case you are not familiar:

my-so-called-life-claire-danes-dvdbash-wordpress3Appropriate, because that expression sums up how I have been feeling for about 3 weeks.  Also, my hair is that length.   I am not 14, though.  The other thing I could do is to get bangs.  Or maybe, MSCL red and bangs?

During a particularly boring but somehow also stressful day at work, I had a phone conversation with my wife.  I told her that (1) if not pregnant, I wanted to take next month off, and (2) I was dying my hair MSCL red, or else getting bangs.  Just like that, one after another.  Of course, she was all (1) don’t I get a say in whether you take a month off? (no) and (2) red?  Well.  I made a hair appointment anyway, for the next day (i.e., today) at lunchtime.

Later, we went out to dinner. The kids are all on vacation with He Who Must Not Be Named (their father), so we are relatively fancy-free this week.  At dinner, we revisited both topics.  I should say that, although my wife has not recently (like in the last year) expressed reservations about having another baby, a constant fear of mine is that she doesn’t really want the not-yet-existing baby.  So actually, her indignation at me deciding I was taking next month off was kind of nice, in a weird way.  And ultimately, after talking it through, I have reconsidered, and probably won’t take next month off after all.  It’s just that it’s been so hard, and actually kind of isolating, this trying to get pregnant business.  Also, am sick of peeing on things.  I would like a month where I just don’t have to think about it.  I don’t have to pee anywhere other than the toilet, I don’t have to count days past ovulation, I don’t have to go to the doctor, I don’t have to wonder if that feeling is implantation, because it’s just not.  However.  She promised to be very “checked-in” if we try during March, and also daily massages to help me relax.  You would be a fool to pass up daily massages, I think, so I am in.  Plus, it turns out that she is actually rather anxious for our little bundle, but has been avoiding saying this because she doesn’t want me to feel bad. Aww.

Then, we talked about the hair.  She expressed serious concern over me dying my hair a color that has not been in style since 1996 (even though I pointed out actually already dyed my hair this color after it had been out of style for several years, circa 2002).  On second thought, it was actually kind of a disaster the last time I dyed my hair red.  I had to paste-bleach it all platinum blonde before I could dye it brown again, because the red just would not come out any other way.  I decided maybe bangs were the best bet.

So this morning, I came into work, and cancelled the business trip that has been hanging over my head, which was actually for a training seminar that seemed really boring and hard and would require three overnights away from home.  I also trekked off to the salon to get my hair trimmed, and get those bangs.

After I sat down in the chair, my stylist came over to me and said, “Hi beautiful. So, when are you going to get pregnant?  Oh gosh, are you pregnant right now?  You’re not pregnant right now, are you?”


“No,” I told her, “I am not pregnant right now.  And what do you think about bangs?”

So much for the distraction.  My bangs are cute though.


Today is cycle day seventeen.  I spent the weekend agonizing over my pee sticks, as I always do when ovulation is imminent, and finally decided after lining up four nearly-identical pee sticks in front of my wife and sister on Sunday night, that it was too early.  Yesterday, I got a true “light line” in the morning, scheduled my IUI for today, and then confirmed with a “dark line” last night.  I was still fretting that I had missed my ovulation, since I usually don’t get the dark line until I am practically ovulating, but my temp this morning was nearly identical to what it was yesterday, so I took that as a good sign.

[An aside about temping.  As annoying as it has been, I find it really useful. My temperature barely fluctuates from 97 degrees, and it was a relief this morning to find it at 96.99, so that I was pretty confident I had not missed the boat. I am hoping to see a good solid shift after ovulation.  All-in-all, useful, and not nearly as annoying as I thought I would find it. Also I get up to go to the bathroom, and I drink, and whatever, and it hasn’t fluctuated too much, so if you are on the fence, give it a try.]

Allllllright. So I go in this morning for my IUI at 8am. The first bad news is that the one doctor in the practice that I really don’t like will be doing my IUI.  He ignores my wife, he doesn’t tell me when he’s about to stick shit in my vagina, etc.  We refer to him informally as “the mean guy.”  He’s also the doctor who habitually keeps us waiting — once it was over an hour, with our little squiggles just sitting there in a test tube, losing vitality.

We pick up our sperm at apparently a really high-traffic time, because there is a guy leaving the masterbatorium (what is that jack-off room called? I don’t know) awkwardly standing there with a paper bag and two other guys waiting for use of the masterbatorium while we wait to pick up our sperm.  Classy.  Our numbers are good – upwards of 60% motility. I am feeling happy as we head into the room.

HOWEVER.  The Mean Guy enters, and as per usual, talks to the countertop while ignoring my wife.  He does not adjust the stirrups, so my heels are somewhere up my ass and it’s really uncomfortable — even after I joke that the bed is set up for a person much shorter than me.  Without a word, he sticks the biggest metal speculum I have ever seen up my dainty lesbian vagina, and does the insemination.  I jump when he touches me, because every other doctor that has shoved things in my vagina ever has said something along the lines of “I am about to shove something in your vagina” before they go ahead and do it.  In fact, every person who has shoved something in my vagina has given me some kind of a heads-up, doctor or otherwise.

After the insemination, he does the sonogram with the screen tilted away from both me and my wife.  When my wife stands up and asks to see, he says impatiently “I’m going to show you.”  Okay fine.  Only he doesn’t, not really. The other doctors all show us the whole thing: Here’s your uterus — this is your lining, looking good.  This white stuff is the sperm we just put in there.  This is your right ovary, no follicle.  This is your left, let’s measure that follicle, do you see it, etc.   Not so for Mean Guy. He is keeping all the info for himself, and only after he finds the follicle does he turn the screen.  He says “This is your follicle.  You haven’t ovulated, so you need to come back tomorrow,” and then turns the screen back to himself.  I ask how big it is, and Mean Guy says he’s about to measure. “Seventeen millimeters,” he says.  Then snap-snap off come the gloves, and he’s gone.

SEVENTEEN?  It just can’t be right.  I have never, ever in the 8 months I’ve been monitoring, ovulated after day 18, and almost always on day 16 or 17 — only once on day 18, ever.  The follicles grow about 2 mm a day, which I know from a different doctor who actually stuck around for questions. And I usually ovulate with that sucker around 25mm.  That would have me four days away from ovulation, which can’t be right given all the other signs.  I have never ovulated as late as day 21, and I would be shocked if I was about to start doing that now.

We then find out that there are no doctors available to do another insemination in the morning tomorrow, only in the afternoon.  So we make an appointment at 2:15, which I will have to cancel if my temp is up in the morning, as it will be far too late in the day to catch an egg that is released sometime today or overnight.

So I am sitting here worrying.  More, again.  There is so much of that in this process. Did Mean Guy mess up the measurements?  Is my follicle really only 17mm?  Is it possible I have already ovulated and that the follicle he was measuring was already collapsing? Shouldn’t he have been able to tell that, if he’s any good?  I wish he hadn’t even done the sonogram.  I wish I didn’t have to have Mean Guy anymore. He always seems to be the Tuesday morning doctor, though, and I’d rather have the timing right with an asshole doctor than miss the timing and have a nice doctor.

Also. What if sonograms kill sperm?

one pink line, and the problem with maybe

This weekend, I got my period.  Again.

Friday, I was sure I was pregnant.  I planned to test on Saturday morning, because then we would have some time to revel in it before getting back into real life. How could I not be pregnant?  We used a different donor, the donor that we thought we were meant to have been using all along, but originally had not chosen because he was an open donor.  His numbers were much better!  I had the HSG test, and my tubes were clear.  My prolactin levels were down (still not in the normal range, but very close).  We timed it right, finally, for our two back-to-back inseminations.  I would surely be pregnant this time, lucky try number six.

There are lots of women who feel nothing, less than nothing, no pregnancy symptoms at all, before they are late.  So I could be one of them.

When I woke up Saturday, I knew I was not pregnant.  “Are you going to test?” my wife whispered.

“It’s going to say no. Give me just one more minute to hope.”  But I had to go to the bathroom, and eventually I couldn’t put it off any longer.  I set the test on the nightstand and put my head on my wife’s shoulder for three more minutes.  I was right.  It was negative.  I stared for a while at that blank, white space next to the one pink line before I got up and threw the test in the garbage. I crawled back into bed and cried, for kind of a long time.

This was the worst loss.  The other times, I knew it might not work.  I really, really thought this time would work.  I let myself read week 3 on Amalah’s zero-to-forty pregnancy calendar (and week 4, and 5).  I had a dream that I had a baby, and it was a boy, and BT was happy about it.  I avoided brie, and smoked salmon, and drank sparkling water, just in case.  I hoped.

On Sunday, I had the worst fucking cramps I have had in a decade, and got my period. I spent a good portion of the afternoon sitting on the couch with a heating pad, feeling sorry for myself.  I discussed Clomid with my wife and my sister, who is a consultant that works with pharm companies and knows things about drugs.  I talked with my wife about how long we would do this, and how hard it is on me emotionally.  We talked about Clomid, we talked about IVF.

The thing about not being pregnant, month after month, is that you start to think that it’s you.  I am starting to lose faith in my body’s ability to become pregnant without some further assistance.  I look at my lifestyle, and I think, maybe it’s because I refused to give up drinking.  Or even drinking coffee.  Maybe I should do more yoga.  Maybe I should not have skipped acupuncture. Maybe it’s all the late nights of work.  Maybe it was staying home to care for my son, and catching his cold.  And you know what? Maybe it is.  Or maybe it’s not.  I don’t really know.  I don’t know why I’m not pregnant yet.

In the end, we decided that we are going to try one more “natural cycle,” and I am going to really give it a go doing all the shit they tell you to do in books about fertility.  I am not going to eat crap that’s bad for me.  I am going to cut down to the four drinks a week they recommend when you are trying to conceive.  I am going to re-give up the second cup of coffee and the diet coke that has been sneaking back into my hands on the weekends.  I am going to do better with remembering both the prenatal vitamins and the B-6.  I am going to diligently try to get to bed earlier, even if that means no Downton Abbey for me.  If it works, so much the better.  If it doesn’t, then there are worse things than being super healthy for a month, and it will give baby a little head start on having a healthy mama, when I start the Clomid in March.

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.

feelings, and stuff

Obviously, I am not pregnant, or you would have already had 13 posts between the end of the two week wait and now, with me gleefully holding positive pregnancy tests and over analyzing all the goings-on in my body.  No news is bad news, I guess.

December was our fifth try.  I realize in the world of trying to conceive, that is not technically a long time.  But we aren’t in the ordinary trying to conceive world.  We are in the fertility clinic world.  And five months is a long time, in that world.  I know that statistics are thrown around, which say that a normal, healthy, heterosexual couple can take a year to conceive.  But I can’t help but feel like those normal, healthy, heterosexual couples aren’t really trying all that hard for the first few months.  Like, I am sure, for example, that they are not getting ultrasounds to make sure they are ovulating, they haven’t had their hormones checked, they aren’t even necessarily peeing on sticks.  They’re just sort of having sex on day 14 and hoping for the best. We’ve really stepped it up a notch from there since day one.  You know?  Which makes the five months a long time.

Then I think about the months leading up to our first try, and I realize that we were meeting with the RE nearly a year ago.  And suddenly, the heart-wrenching devastation each time it doesn’t work seems a little more normal.  It’s sort of agony.

Also, as one of my friends pointed out, what kind of cruel trick of nature makes you find out you are not pregnant and HAVE YOUR PERIOD AT THE SAME TIME?  I am already an irrational, weepy mess when I get my period.  Then nature was like, I know, this is the totally perfect time to let this person know she is not pregnant.  When she’s a fucking walking train wreck and has house guests.  Good idea, nature.  Although, technically, nature did not force me to have house guests when I got my period, but still.  Nature knew they were there, and let me not be pregnant anyway.  So I had like 15 minutes to silently weep in my room before getting dressed, blowing out my hair and going to Cafe Wha with what felt like 900 in-laws.

Which, I guess, is what led to the New Year’s Day Explosion, where I broke down the door of our bedroom.  I hate New Year’s in general, but everyone was finally gone, and the kids were at their father’s for the day.  So, I was all “YAY, we have a day to ourselves, let’s watch football on TV and order pizza and stay in pajamas all day.”  And the Wife was all, “We can’t, it’s our friend’s birthday and we said we would shower ourselves and go to her house for a party.”  Why, why, why do we have to have friends at times like these? Friends with birthdays even. Ugh.

So we decided that, since we were getting out of bed anyway, we might as well clean up some of the Christmas that was all over our house, and my wife let me know that she did not like the Christmas presents I got her.  Not any of them.  The sweaters were too casual, and also like one she already had, etc., etc. with all the other presents too.  She didn’t hate the presents, she just didn’t like them.  So could she exchange them, please?  Which is totally rational, but anyway caused me to flip the fuck out.  It was like some kind of angry animal was unleashed in our house.  I was a screaming, sobbing, mess of feelings.  All wild and negative feelings, like angry and sad and miserable.

Wife was kind of, shall we say, overwhelmed by the strength of my reaction to a request to exchange a sweater at the Gap, and went into our room.  In all honesty, she was pretty pissed at me.  You’re supposed to be gracious, I guess, when someone wants to exchange a present you got them, which I decidedly was not.  So she went into our room, and she locked the door.  Now, this is against the fighting rules.  Every couple has fighting rules, I think, and this is one of ours: We aren’t allowed to lock another person out of a shared space during a fight.  Partly because it’s so totally infuriating to be locked out of your own room, and tends to cause the fight to escalate.  Also, one of the loathed presents was in the room and I needed to get in there so I could examine it.  When I tried the knob and it was locked, I could have done any number of things; for example:  (a) asked her to let me in, (b) gone to sob on the couch some more instead, or (c) put my shoulder into the door as hard as I could and try to break it down.  I went with (c). I just football-style rammed my shoulder into the door, which, yes, got me into the room, but was also a totally insane thing to do.  I popped the trim off and split the doorjamb in half.  Shards of drywall went flying.  Without a word, I walked in and got the present, and just sat on the floor and stared at it.  “Um, you broke our house,” a small voice said from the other side of the room.

It was like the splitting doorjamb split open something inside of me, and all the real feelings came out.  Why couldn’t we have a baby?  And why did there always have to be so many people around that I didn’t even have one second to be sad about that, before I had to bop off to hear a cover band and make small talk?  And why, why, why on our one day at home, did we have to go to our friend’s house for her birthday, where there were going to be a bunch of other suburban women that totally intimidate me and make me feel weird for wearing a hooded sweatshirt that I have had since I was 16 instead of grownup people clothes?  It’s New Year’s Day!  I don’t want to wear grownup people clothes.  I am tired of being grownup people.  I am mostly, though, tired of putting on an act, and pretending I am fine when I am so totally not fine.

I don’t really know how to cope with the not being pregnant thing.  It’s not a concrete loss, that people understand.  I didn’t lose a baby, no one died.  It’s just a slow, slogging, low-grade kind of stress and misery.

So, then, I did what I had to do.  I cried for like 2 more minutes, then I pushed our non-baby out of my head, got in the shower, got dressed, and went off to my friend’s party and acted like a grownup.  Although I did wear the hooded sweatshirt from when I was 16 and drink Bud Light, so not a total grownup.  She is my friend, after all, and knew what she was getting into when she asked me to come.