Seriously, someone bring me someone something to stab.  It’s been a long week.

Now, of course, I’m trying to be kind to myself and remind myself that this foul as fuck mood may be, just maybe, the result of my hormones doing what they’re supposed to do for once.  I mean, CD1 should be right around the corner (tonight or tomorrow I ‘spect), and “normal” women do get a little, uh, affected prior to their monthly blood bath, no?  And, yes, I honestly need to ask.  I’ve spent most of the past 19 years either on birth control or having my period once every 6 months.  I have NO IDEA what “normal” is in terms of this hormonal woman stuff.

But, yea, I’m cranky.  Work sucks, infertility sucks, my mood sucks, the world sucks.  And, here are some reasons why…

I work at a college.  The semester has ended, graduation has happened, the kiddies are gone.  Friends, family, and even colleagues outside my department are congratulating me for job well done, asking about my vacation plans, and inviting me to endless barbecues, film screenings, birthday bashes, game nights.  But, you know what?  My job just got a whole lot harder.  You know what I do when the students aren’t around?  All that other stuff that is a HUGE part of my job that I can’t do when the students are around.  As the days get longer and the sun outside my window taunts, my workload just tripled.  It doesn’t help that this isn’t the case for many of those around me.  I’m starting to feel like the Rodney Dangerfield of my University and of my department.  No one understands what I do and, as a result, I get no respect.  As I sat through 3.5 straight hours of pointless meetings this morning I almost reached my limit.  Good thing I have a work dinner to look forward to, right?  And 12 straight days of work obligations starting next Monday, eh?

And this work stuff is really eating into my sanity-saving dives into this blog and Twitter.  That’s been made all the worse because infertility’s been getting me down majorly recently.  I’m tired of seeing good people get put through the ringer, and I’m tired of feeling broken.  I’m also tired of doctors, and appointments, and cryptic emails, and perky nurses, and clueless insurance call center employees, and all the rest.  I emailed both my reproductive immunologist and my reproductive endocrinologist to inform them of the rheumatologists’ “findings” and to confirm we’d start to cycle again as soon as I get my period.  The RI responded:

Ok so again this ANA may be a result of a loss not a cause , but now may be playing a role since no other autoimmune issue has come up.  Ok call me with your next menses. What did we discuss we were going to do with you.

Ok, fine, I’m a grammar Nazi, but I seriously don’t know how I feel about getting probed by someone that ends a question with a period.  And, all that aside, let’s take a look at that question.  What did we discuss we were going to do with you.  Wait, what?  Isn’t that what I’m paying you (a lot) for?  Don’t you have my chart?  Or, wait, even better yet.  Why don’t you look through this very email thread.  I’ve intentionally continued to reply to this single chain of emails to keep all my correspondence with you in one place.  I’ve included it all for you right in your inbox.  I’m feeling a little stabby.

The RE’s NP (because, seriously, I can count on one fist how many times I’ve spoken to the RE himself) was not even that verbose.  She replied:

Yes you can call with your period to schedule a baseline blood work and US to start the cycle.

Uh, ok.  Thanks for the permission.  May I have the hall pass to go to the ladies’ room now?

You know what’s going to be fun?  Having a period and starting injections without a bathroom.  It’s been 17 days since my last shower and I’m totally not handling it well.  Don’t get me wrong, coming home yesterday to, you know, a room with walls was pretty nifty (seeing as we had no walls before), but my patience, like my checkbook, is wearing thin.  And, the whole remodel thing is starting to eat away at my brain, I think.  You know why?  Same answer that’s at the root of so much else in my life – fucking infertility.  I only just realized this when replying to Mel’s appropriately timed Shower or Bath post.  Because I’m cranky and lazy I’m reposting my response to her shower or bath question here:

Currently? Please, I’d take either one!!!

We’re 2 weeks in to the total gutting and remodel of our only full bath (thankfully we’ve got the necessities – toilet and sink – in our downstairs bath). Save a few trips to friends’ houses and the gym, I’m totally sans-shower and bath. I’m not being nearly as zen about it as I’d hoped I’d be.

When the room finally has walls, floor, and plumbing again? We’ll have both a tub and a shower, but I suspect I’ll almost always use the shower.

The tub has remained for 2 reasons – one publicly discussed and the other silently fretted about. First, we live in an 1870s Victorian that has a turn-of-the-century clawfoot tub. Who in their right mind would toss a freaking clawfoot tub? Add in my degrees in history and history-related fields and the decision was kind of an obvious one. I may never use the thing, but the tub stays.

Second, though, was further evidence that, after 3.5 years of infertility, that diagnosis permeates every single aspect of your life. “Do you intend to have children?” the contractor politely asked as we noted our desire for a stand-alone shower. “If you intend to have kids, I’d encourage you to get a combo shower/tub for those early years,” he helpfully added. So, just as vacations have been cancelled for theoretical treatments, job moves have been delayed due to the potential pregnancies of the future, we have a tub. My only hope is that tub doesn’t become a daily cast iron reminder of what we don’t have…

And I’m serious about that last bit.  I’m gonna have a freaking 350-pound cast iron reminder of my childlessness staring me in the face each and every day.  No, that’s not terrifying at all. On the flip side, I have considered how convenient it will be to have a tub to miscarry in.  Next time I am NOT missing the chance to collect the “products of conception” and have them thoroughly tested.  Yay?

Oh, and our neighbors with the nicely remodeled house and adorable toddler?  Yea, wife’s definitely pregnant.  We chatted on the porch for a while last night and, God bless him, the first thing Mr. But IF said once they were out of earshot was, “Yea, bitch is definitely knocked up.”  So, a) Mr. But IF’s a terrible judgmental spiteful person, b) it feels so good to have company, and c) I can’t wait to see that baby bump grow from the comfort of the porch swing cushion I spent all of last weekend (and the final moment’s of my dead mother’s now-dead sewing machine) making.

But, it could be worse, I could be stuck at home instead of spending hour upon hour at my currently infuriating and overwhelming job.  I could, in fact, be Mr. But IF.  I could be forced to watch as my term-limited job I do very well at comes to an end on June 30; I could be forced to listen as my big boss tells me I’m amazing but that I don’t have the pedigree they are looking for so I won’t be considered for the vacant permanent position; I could have to console my heartbroken and pissed off immediate supervisor who is about one step away from putting strychnine in the guacamole after big boss’ decision to pass me up for an unproven, unknown external candidate; I could have an overwhelmed and stressed out wife who moved me to the middle of nowhere with no job prospects and who’s so emotionally shut down that she won’t let me vent about the unfairness of life; I could be stuck watching a belly grow from the isolation of my home/prison where I’ll spend every waking hour applying for jobs I’ve come to (erroneously) believe I’ll never get.  So, yea, it could be worse.  I could be Mr. But IF.

But, no, I’m just hormonal, overworked, under-appreciated, barren, tub-fearing, soon bleeding me.  Someone find me something to stab.

* P.S. – Many thanks to my infertile friends-in-the-computer who taught me the multitudes of uses for the word “stabby.”  Clearly a valuable add to my vocabulary.

6 thoughts on “Stabby

  1. I can relate to both the not knowing what the “normal” is for periods and the working in higher ed (although I don’t anymore). Everyone thought summer was a cakewalk but it was my busiest time of the year. Everyone had special projects they wanted done before classes started back up in August.
    Oh yeah. Also the STABBY. There are just not enough forks in the world…

  2. Oh, my goodness, you have every right to be stabby! I’m stabby on your behalf reading this. I’m sorry about your pregnant neighbor, but glad to hear that your hubby’s reaction is the same as mine would be. Misery really does love company.

    • Sometimes I feel like I’ve turned the hubs into a bitter infertile in his own right. Then I realize I like having a mirror image of myself to scream at, so it’s all good!

  3. You definitely deserve to do some therapeutic stabbing. And I think it sucks that you don’t get a “summer break” like the rest of the educators! BS. And pregnant neighbors are the worst.
    I would hate not having a tub. I LOVE baths. Although short-lived pregnancies, miscarriages, progesterone gels, and fear of overheating potential embryos have really gotten in the way of my bath-taking lately. I hope you get your shower back soon!

  4. Pingback: Commence the crazy | Not when, but IF

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