The (wow that went) quickening

What a difference a week makes, eh?  Sorry I’ve left y’all hanging, but even when I’m totally zapped of time and energy and incapable of updating here, I still try to give the play-by-plays over on Twitter…

So, what we’ve learned in a week:

  • Baby But IF has a winkie.  The Mr. smiled from ear to ear as the ultrasound tech proclaimed proudly, “No doubting this one, that’s a big old boy right there!”  Momma hen came out a bit as I stifled the urge to reply, “Stop staring at my son’s penis!”
  • I’m half way through this pregnancy.  How in the HELL did that happen?  I mean, I know I’m probably saying this because I have yet to reach any sort “OMG I’m huge and miserable and uncomfortable” phase, but seriously can we slow this down a little bit?  It took us 4.5 years to achieve a sticky pregnancy, it seems kind of cruel to know I’ll only get to be pregnant for about 1/8th of the amount of time it took us to get and stay pregnant.  (On the flip side, I so desperately want to meet this little man that the prospect of our meeting on the horizon is probably enough to get me to stop the chorus of “That’s so unfair!”)
  • Stubborn boy doesn’t like kicking when daddy is within reach.  As I was settling into a good book in bed on Sunday night I felt a sudden something.  A passing moment, I buried my mind deeper into the book.  Then again.  And a split second later I thought, “Whoa, wait just a damn second!  You idiot!  You know what that was!  That was most decidedly a kick Mrs. Always-Late-to-the-Party!”  Of course, Mr. But IF was sound asleep so missed out on the tiny pitter patter I could feel both inside and outside of my tummy.  And, the following day, when baby boy decided to vent his Monday morning frustrations by attacking the front of my desk, daddy was a few buildings away at work in his own office.  The movements are still very minor and fleeting, but they’re there.  And, just thinking about that brings uncontrollable tears.  I was so very certain I would never see (and feel) this day; that it has come has melted me into a pool of topsy-turvy emotions.
  • My (now former) OB is amazeballs.  It’s not that I learned this this week, obviously, but more that I’m confirming it.  I had my last visit with him yesterday.  I peed in a cup, listened to little man’s heartbeat, had some blood drawn, and that was that.  Off to perinatology I go next week to face an entirely new unknown.  The departure was bittersweet.  Dr. T had a med student with him, so it prompted him to explain to her how 1. I was a complicated case, and 2. That I was a dream patient.  Though no one likes to be a medical students introduction to when to transfer a patient off to a higher level of care, it melted my heart to hear him say, “She’s a dream patient, this one.  She knows her stuff, and it’s important for all new doctors to learn when it is time to listen to a patient who knows what she is talking about.”  And, then he hugged me goodbye and threatened to hunt me down if I didn’t send updates.  It’s strange, for over a year I cringed as RE#2 and his ridiculous soul patch hugged me in his impish, condescending, zen-master manner; this single hug from an OB I met just a few months ago elicited a wholly different reaction.
  • The regional perinatology center may more closely resemble Alcatraz than medical nirvana.  As Dr. T said his goodbyes he warned me (and the med student) that “Things aren’t so cushy over there, but you’ll be in good hands.”  This really wouldn’t startle me, except he said it as I stared at the exam room’s peeling wallpaper, broken vertical blinds, and as Dr. T perched gingers on a stool meant for 4 wheels that, for whatever reason, now only had 3.  If my former office is “cush” I’m not quite sure what to expect from the new one.  That said, if 4.5 years spent running like a lab rat through a maze of medical offices has taught me anything, it’s that the dingier the office, the more amazing the doctor.  And I’ll keep repeating that philosophy as I try to avoid being shanked in the new doctor’s offices next Thursday.
  • Referrals move quicker when you’re pregnant.  A new rheumatologist will see me April 17.  That’s less than half as long as it took to get a referral last year after my third miscarriage.  I still don’t have much hope that we’ll get anything useful out of the appointment, but at least it’s something else to look forward to.
  • And, finally, I have amazing friends and family members that I totally don’t deserve.  The mother-in-law has been nudging me with shower planning questions since the New Year holiday and, while at first the thought struck fear straight into my heart, I’m now more and more on her side as it looks more and more unlikely that I’ll be allowed to make it to my due date thanks to all these new medical issues.  I finished my registry on Sunday, posted it on Facebook in response to a few questions I’d gotten earlier in the week, and, to date, I’m humbled by the response.  While things most certainly don’t equal love, all I gotta say is this little guy is so beyond loved it’s incredible.  He has no idea what’s about to hit him when he makes his grand appearance!

Is it tomorrow yet?

Another Wednesday quickie for you, in usual bullet fashion.

Things I’m looking forward to:

  • Our anatomy scan tomorrow
  • Seeing the heartbeat (please Lord!)
  • Our anatomy scan tomorrow
  • Seeing the wiggle… I guess shotgunning an energy drink before hand to make him/her hyper is probably bad parenting behavior?
  • Our anatomy scan tomorrow
  • Seeing if Baby But IF has an innie or an outtie
  • Our anatomy scan tomorrow

Things I’m able to concentrate on:

Things I’ve done to try and pass the time:

  • Created an entire Amazon registry in, oh, 2 days
  • Asked random strangers and long-time friends-in-the-computer to give me sex guesses based off our 13w2d NT scan (“Yes, I know there’s no nub in the picture, but seriously just freaking give me a guess people!”)
  • Bought new (used) maternity pants.  And a new comforter and sheets for our bed.  And a dining room chandelier, and wall art for the bathroom, and a rug for the living room, and new tables for the living room.  Hey, baby could her his/her head on our current square tables.  Baby needs light and clean sheets to mess upon.  And, might as well buy stuff while we have the illusion of having some money cause baby’s kill your savings account, right?  I mean, we’re totes rolling in it now because, you know, uninsured IVF is so totally affordable!
  • Dwelling on the fact that his/her will shortly no longer be a common part of my vocabulary.
  • Buying (seeing a trend here?) a sweet little journal to finally start my daily journal to baby.  My mom did one for me and, especially after her passing, it was one of the nearest and dearest items I have from her.  I always intended to do one for my child(ren), but IF and RPL made me constantly feel not ready.  Tonight I go home and write.  I want at least one pre-sex reveal entry in there!
  • Eating. All. The. Things. And, it’s corollary, fretting about the fact (don’t kill me!) that I’m now down to my pre-IVF weight at 18 weeks.  Shouldn’t the scale be moving the other direction?  Is this what having a working metabolism is like?  Crikey!
  • Filling out the pre-admission paperwork I’m supposed to send to my hospital at 20 weeks (isn’t that INSANELY early).  It was while filling out this paperwork that I realized, “Oh, yea, I have no idea who my doctor is!? Whee, guess I’m not getting this paperwork in on time.”
  • Biding my time waiting to hear from my former (kinda current?) OB’s office regarding my transfer to the perinatology center.  Seriously, this is still happening, right?
  • Setting up a new rheumatologist appointment.  April 17!  That happened a lot quicker than I thought it would!
  • Antiquing (how I loathe that word).  We’re looking for something special to use as a changing table in the nursery.  We found a contender in a marble-top Victorian dresser.  Mr. is sold; I have two conflicting opinions.  Mainly, 1. it would be awesome for a girl (quickly followed by a “OMG I’m already gendering this poor little one already.  Bad progressive mama!)  And, 2. if we did purchase it for a boy we totally have to get him this, a top hat, and a baby-sized monocle.  They make those, right?

Things I’m thinking right now:

  • How did it only take my 20 minutes to write this post?  WHHHYYYY IS THE WORLD MOVING SO SLOWLY!?!?!?!

Drive-by update

And, because I felt it was poor taste to fill the “drive-by update” with bullets, we’ll be using friendly, organized numbers this Wednesday.

1. I’m still alive.  (I am, right?  I haven’t had time to even think this through in the past couple days.  Yea, this pounding headache MUST mean I’m alive!)

2. Yea, entering day 3 of pounding headache.  Joy!

3. I think said pounding headache is from the daily shooting up I’ve been doing.  Started Gonal-F and Lupron on Monday night.  First time for both, though not first time with the needles.  I gotta say, I did things the hard way (isn’t that always the case?).  The Gonal pen and microdose Lupron needles are pathetically tiny!  I guess I should be thankful I started with PIO because compared to those suckers, Gonal and Lupron are nothing.

4. Though, my Lupron injection site itches and turns bright red after injecting.  Is this normal?  Only lasts a tiny while and I haven’t really had time to think about it or ask about it.

5. And I haven’t had time because life is kicking my ass right now.  That relaxing post-injection, I’m doing the hard core stuff now so I should get some pampering I’ve been dreaming of?  Yea, not so much.  After round one with the stimmies on Monday we had to paint our bathroom.  If we didn’t get the entire room primed and painted between noon on Monday when the drywaller left and 8am Tuesday when the contractor returned, then we would be delaying the project.  Happy three day weekend!

6. But at least round two of needles was relaxing, right?  Mr. But IF agreed to help a friend move from her second floor apartment into an above-a-garage loft last night.  I hefted boxes at the old place, hefted boxes at the new place, ran home to shoot up while waiting for the pizza to arrive, got a text from Mr. But IF to bring back some beer, and returned to the loft with the emergency beer I couldn’t drink in tow only to find our hungry hard-worked friends had scarfed down the pizza.  One cold, sad piece with onions remained.  Thanks, Mr. But IF for saving me some.

7. In other news, my gluten-free, low-carb, high protein diet is going absolutely swimmingly. <roll>

8. But, never fear, the obligatory picture of all my meds will appear as soon as I can find them all.  The un-refrigerated ones used to live in my upstairs bathroom.  We no longer have an upstairs bathroom.  I found the Lupron and the sharps container, but the Lovenox, PIO, HCG, and Crinone remain a mystery.

9. I’m doing a lot of fucking drugs right now.  And will be doing even more in the future.  Synthroid, Metformin, pre-natal, baby aspirin, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, l-methylfolate, Gonal-F, and Lupron, with HCG, PIO, Crinone, and Lovenox to come after I ovulate.

10. There’s one med I won’t be doing.  The Prednisone that was recommended by my RI.

11. I’ve parted ways with my RI.  It’s like a really painful breakup in a way, so oddly difficult to talk about.  Really, it’s not him, it’s me.  I still trust his knowledge and experience a million times more than I trust local Dr. Soulpatch, but I can’t afford him right now.  His office called to collect their $1,250 cycle management fee yesterday and I just couldn’t pull the trigger.  Fact is, we are already doing almost everything he has recommended to us with the local doctor we have insurance coverage for.  And, those things that we are doing are largely new to us.  And, as any infertile will tell you, many times when you start again with a totally different plan of attack, you find some hope again that you thought you’d lost long ago.  In 3.5 years, I’ve never done injects, I’ve never done Lovenox, and I’ve never done HCG and PIO support immediately after O, so those are all promising new avenues to try.  The only recommendation our RI made that our RE won’t consent to is Prednisone, and, at this stage of the game, I can’t justify $1,250 for Prednisone, some blood work, and a few rushed emails.  Still, it’s a terrible feeling to feel like you are nickle and diming at the very real risk of a fourth miscarriage.

12. On the flip side, I had just about the best ever appointment at Soulpatch’s office on Monday.  Despite the holiday, they took me back on time, treated me with respect and patience, and the NP (one I’ve never had before) actually sounded like she knew what I was talking about and didn’t try to aggressively push me into IUI like all her sisters in arms always do.  Sometimes I think they are always on their best behavior when Mr. But IF is with me.  I swear, other times they are truly clueless bitches, Mr. But IF!  You believe me, right?

13. Oh well, doesn’t really matter.  I can soothe away my stresses in my new shower.  Hey guys, I can take a SHOWER in my HOUSE!  The floors are still made of plywood, there is no lighting, no shower door (we’ve got a temporary curtain), no window coverings (thankfully, window faces our backyard), no toilet or sink, and nowhere to hang towels, set clothes, or store glasses, but I’ll be damned!  I took a shower in my house this morning for the first time in a month!

And, I think it’s high time we end a post on an up note.  To review, I have a shower, I have needles, I have a headache, I have one less doctor, and we have a plan.  I return to the RE on Friday for my first monitoring (CD8 after 4 days of stimming) and we move on from there!

Happy Advocacy Day!

So, it’s Wednesday again.  I’ve missed a few bullet-point Wednesdays recently, so I thought I’d return to form. Ready?  Today’s list: Things you can do to make Mrs. But IF a very happy gal:

  1. Write or call your elected representatives TODAY in support of the Family Act (S 881/HR 1851) and the Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvement Act (S 131/HR 958).
  2. See number 1.

You see, today was Advocacy Day.  I strongly believe we need advocates and Advocacy Day.  Today, 115 brave women and men traveled to Washington, D.C. on behalf of the infertility community to support our cause.  All day I found myself longing to be in the company of these amazing women and men!  Why don’t you review their stories on Twitter at #advocacyday2013?  Better yet, why don’t you stand alongside them and make your voice heard with your own letters, emails, phone calls, and tweets?

And, to put my money where my mouth is, here’s generally what I sent to my senators and representative.  (Though, I added detail to each to personalize it to the congressperson addressed.)

Dear XXX,

I am writing you today as a proud new resident, homeowner, and tax-payer in [City, State].  Last year at this time I was conducting a national job search hoping to advance in my profession.  I received competitive offers from three prestigious universities, but I chose to move to [your state].  One of the primary motivators of this choice was that, aside from being a wife, a professor, and an educated and politically-engaged member of my community, I am also an infertile 29-year-old woman who has struggled for 3.5 years to see her dreams of parenthood become a reality.  Unfortunately, these dreams have as of yet gone unfulfilled, but you can play a large role in helping me make my dreams – and the dreams of so many other [state] couples – become a reality by supporting the Family Act (S 881/HR 1851).

I am one of 7.3 million Americans that has a medical condition fully recognized by the CDC, but that is yet often totally ignored by the health insurance industry.  This time last year I was writing my elected officials in [old state] urging them to follow the lead of states such as [new state] in mandating some form of infertility coverage benefits.  Though your colleagues in the state government have taken a large step forward with the [state law], in-vitro fertilization – a procedure that may hold the key to my becoming a mother – is still excluded from the mandate.  Similarly, countless fellow state residents have found that they are not subject to even this weak state mandate due to the variety of loopholes that exist in the code.

The Family Act will help thousands of people seek medical treatment that otherwise would be out of reach for them.  These women and men are not denied treatment because it would be medically harmful or inappropriate for their situations, or because they are not interested in seeking it out, but solely because they do not have the financial means to secure diagnosis or treatment.  Finding out you have a life changing medical condition is heart-wrenching enough; realizing that your medical condition – in most instances in this country – will not be acknowledged by the insurance plan your employer has selected for you, is even more devastating.  Finding a way to financially assist couples seeking treatment with tax credits is of immense importance.

Last year I founded [old state’s] first and, currently, only RESOLVE-backed peer-led infertility support group.  I was initially unsure what level of attention or involvement this new group would engender, but have been truly humbled by the number of women and men the group reaches.  I can tell you first-hand that countless Americans are in need of your support to help them build their family’s through infertility treatment.  The stories I have heard have been nothing short of heartbreaking.  I have met women whose serious medical symptoms – red flags for endocrine disorders, autoimmune diseases, and anatomical abnormalities that all are and will continue to impact their overall health and well-being – have been ignored because they could not afford to seek out the appropriate medical specialist since visits to reproductive specialists are not covered under many insurance plans.  I, myself, was told last year that surgeries to correct my endometriosis – a lifelong medical condition that impacts my daily well-being and quality of life – would not be covered under my [old state] insurance since such surgeries could “potentially help me become pregnant,” and, as such, were “lifestyle choices” akin to breast augmentation surgery.  Having my bowel removed from my abdominal wall where it had been fused by endometriosis adhesions is NOT a lifestyle choice.  This issue goes beyond the question of whether or not one believes in the ethics or appropriateness of assisted reproductive technologies, and directly to the question of preserving the health and safety of the women and men you serve.

Please help me, my husband, and my countless sisters and brothers in the infertility community bring new [state residents] into the world.

With Regards,

<Insert My Super Secret Identity Here>

Mental gymnastics

Wednesday.  Bullet day.  Lazy blog day.  Happy Wednesday!

For this week’s list, I thought I’d “out” some of my stranger mental associations.  You know, all those random things that lead Mr. But IF to ask (silently if he’s smart about it!), “Wait, how’d we get there from here?”  Without further ado…

  • “I miss my pain in the ass.  F this door!”
    • During my last failed pregnancy, we tried to save it by switching from yummy vaginal Crinone suppositories, to a combo of Crinone and progesterone-in-oil (PIO) injections.  Think a needle the size of the one in my header picture straight to the ass check every day for 7 weeks, and you’ve pretty much got it covered.  I tolerated the injections just fine (I am super woman afterall), and I actually worry Mr. But IF kinda liked giving them to me (but that’ll have to wait for another post, preferably one I drunk type), but, even still, day after day of 22 gauge needle to the behind leads to some soreness.  Combine that ache with a job that finds me opening heavy, locked doors, hands-full, and needing to allow said doors to slam on my bottom lest be locked out, and I get, at very least, 4 or 5 physical reminders of my non-pregnant state every day.  There’s one particular door that does it to me every time.  I grimace as it starts to swing shut behind me, preparing for the inevitable jolt of pain I’ll receive as it makes contact with my bruised derriere, then get immensely sad when no pain results.  Two months since my last PIO injection, and that damn door catches me unaware every time.
  • “Yay, it’s regional conference time… again.”
    • I may be weird, but I actually tend to enjoy my profession’s conferences and annual meetings.  An opportunity to get out of my freezing cold office and into a freezing cold conference center?  Hells yeah!  Mainly, I enjoy networking with others in my field that “get it” and who I only get to see on rare occasions.  Renewed love for one’s calling and all that.  There’s one exception, though.  Due to a certain muscle memory, I despise one particular bi-annual conference.  It was at the spring 2010 meeting of said conference that Mr. But IF and I had our first session of “We’re gonna make a baby!” sex.  (In our hotel room, you pervs, not on stage mid-session.)  That damn conference is coming up yet again next week, and aside from the IF reminder it offers, I’m doubly cranktastic because it’s gonna put a huge damper on my National Infertility Awareness Week festivities.  The panel I’m chairing better not suck, I tell you!
  • “Why, hello herbal tea bag.  Screw you!”
    • During my last pregnancy, I was a good little girl and switched from my mega-cup of coffee to quaint little herbal teas.  (With an office typically in the low 60s, I need something warm in me in the mornings.  Oh, and get your mind out of the gutter Mr. But IF!)  The first thing I did after the heart beat stopped was ask Mr. But IF to stop in at the local coffee joint on the way home from our ultrasound appointment.  I had the largest, most amazing cup of java that day, and I haven’t looked back.  (I’ll go back on the wagon as soon as I know we’ll be cycling again.)  Still, one lonely little blueberry tea bag sits in the top drawer of my office desk.  Each and every time I see it I say a few choice words.  Yea, I could move the bag, but what am I if I’m not a masochist?
  • “Hooray, more lead paint chips!  So glad we’re too mentally messed up to adopt!”
    • When we moved this summer we bought a grand old lady of a house over twice the size of our former modest mid-century Cape Cod.  But, as with most old ladies, this house has some pretty rocking stories to tell and an age-old sense of style, but she’s a little worse for the wear.  Long story short, we live in a residence better defined as ruin than retro.  We know she needs work, and we’re anxious to do it.  Honestly, aside from the pristine location and bargain basement price tag, I think the neediness of this old house was part of the charm.  We may not leave children to this world, but we’ll be damned if we don’t serve as amazing stewards to this house!  As we enter our 9th month in the house we’ve yet to have the time, money, or opportunity to do much work.  The big projects need the long days, open windows, and contractors one can only obtain in the summer.  That doesn’t stop me, however, from linking our house’s current state of ill-repair to our reproductive challenges.  Each time I hop out of our claw-foot tub (sounds quaint, eh?  not really), I spy more peeling lead paint chips on the bathroom floor.  And, of course, they instantly remind me how horridly our house would do if we ever opened it up for a home study for either traditional or (in many cases) embryo adoption.  Commence the inevitable slippery slope of angry emotions that begin when I’m reminded of the great differences that separate the act of becoming pregnant (something any drug-addicted teenager can do) and opening your heart and home to the extraordinarily invasive adoption process.  But, peel away lead paint.  The kitties love how you taste!

I’m sure there’s more I’m missing, but this get’s the job done (unlike my busted uterus).

What hath IF wrought

It’s Wednesday and time for your weekly dose of bullet points.

Yesterday’s post was rough.  Not gonna lie, that one stung.  And maybe wasn’t the most appropriately timed seeing as Mr. But IF and I have been dealing with the heavy load of his uncertain employment situation.  Since I dragged us up here for my new position, he’s only been able to find a 6 month contract job, and that contract ends in June.  Nothing like adding even more uncertainty to an uncertainty-define IF life, right?

So, anyway, I thought I’d lighten it up some today.  Without further ado I bring you “Things I can’t believe I’ve done and will likely do again.”

  • Places we’ve had to have baby-making sex:
    • My childhood home (in my parents old bed — yes, the one in which I was likely conceived).
    • In our home with mother-in-law downstairs.
    • On vacation with in-laws.
    • While at professional conferences.
    • Oh, and one interesting discovery that has resulted from compiling this list — All three of my miscarriages were conceived away from home.  Wait, what?  So much for stressed, time-sensitive, we gotta do this now, sex not being conducive to getting knocked up, eh?
  • Place I’ve peed on sticks (home pregnancy tests (HPT) and ovulation predictor strips (OPK)):
    • Work… a whole lot of work.  Two different universities, various buildings, and at least two dozen different stalls.  Each time I threw a stick away (especially the hundreds of negative HPTs) I had to wonder what the cleaning lady would think when/if she found it.  It made me indescribably angry that she’d probably assume that the undergrad that left it there left enormously excited to see a single pink line.
    • Restaurant bathrooms.
    • Hotel bathrooms.
    • Friends’ bathrooms.
    • Family’s bathrooms.
    • I’ve also learned that if you set your iPhone to stopwatch instead of timer you can watch the clock tick up to 3 minutes (or 5 minutes) and avoid having your timer alarm start ringing behind the stall door in a crowded public restroom.
  • Things I’ve peed into in order to dip sticks:
    • Work coffee cup (eh, forgot my pee cup at home and needed to know!).
    • Giant red solo cup (hard to miss that one).
    • Dixie cup (preferred method).
    • The package the test comes in (if you can manage it, this one is brilliant!)
  • Embarrassing n00b things I’ve tried:
    • Grapefruit juice.
    • Pineapple core.
  • Less embarrassing, but still totally out of character things I’ve tried:
    • Acupuncture.
    • Visualization.
    • Umm, I founded a freaking support group?!
  • Places/times I’ve administered or received injections (sure to be a growing list as I’m still a relative injectable virgin):
    • At homes that are not my own.
    • From a drunk husband during our Super Bowl party (luckily my ass is huge so there was little chance the PIO needle would miss).
  • And, finally, few numbers for you
    • Times I’ve checked my cervical mucus: unfathomably large number.
    • Months I’ve tracked my basal body temperature: 33.
    • Progesterone suppositories administered: 74.
    • Clomid pills swallowed: 25.
    • Pills I swallow during maintenance/non-TTC times: 15 (currently, has been higher in past).
    • Daily injectable medications waiting at home for when we get the all clear: 5.
    • Sharps containers filled: 2.
    • Empty sharps containers in my bathroom cabinet: 2.
    • Times we’ve spent our entire FSA by mid-year in the past 3 years: 3.
    • Doctors seen throughout the journey: 9 (2 GPs, 2 OBs, 2 REs, 3 endos).
    • Surgeries: 2.
    • Blood draws (since I started tracking in 2012): 75.
    • Transvaginal ultrasounds: 43.
    • HSGs: 3.
    • Endometrial biopsies: 1.
    • Pregnancies: 3.
    • Children: 0.


Wednesday’s are long days for me, though I’m not complaining.  Moving to this quiet village from greater east coast stripmallia, I thought the hubs and I would be in for lots of long winter nights of trashy TV viewing while wearing both pajamas (preferably with feet!) and a cat (one per lap, please).  So, yea, I basically thought our social life would be a repeat of what it was in stripmallia, but minus a few digits on the ol’ mercury meter.  While the “holy shit it’s cold” has come (oh Lord the snow!), to my utter surprise the solitary nights have largely gone.  Cornerstone of my rockin’, child-free, social butterfly lifestyle?  Wednesday night trivia!  So what if I’m barely able to hold my head up at the following mornings’ faculty meetings?  This bitter infertile’s getting her geeky drink on!

Wednesday was also my “milestone” day for my most recent miscarriage.  The day the weeks changed.  The day I transitioned from 6w7d to 7 weeks, 7w6d to 8  weeks.  In other words, the day that, were I a clueless fertile, you’d be getting all my, “My embryo is the size of a kumquat” posts on your Facebook wall.  So, yea, I like to drink on Wednesday’s.  You wanna make an issue of it?

On this most social of my days, I thought I’d start* to recount some of my personal fave awkward IF conversations and miscellaneous happenings from the past 3 years.  Ready, set, awkward.

  • I belong to my profession’s primary listserv.  Multiple generations, various levels of computer proficiency, and a healthy dose of crotchety types, make it a laugh a minute on the best days.  Yesterday’s controversy?  In the mid-nineteenth century did the term “abortion” imply all that we associate with it today, or was it simply another term for a miscarriage?  Totally, f-ing awesome, by the way, to have my e-mail notifier keep popping up new messages with the headings “Miscarriage? Abortion?” all day long.  Bonus points for it being the same day I found out we won’t be able to try to become pregnant again until my ANA level is evaluated by a rheumatologist… in June.
  • Countless chipper nurses: “Your time will come!”
  • My lovely aunt: “You know, I blame that birth control!  It’s just not natural!”  (What, because my body is so clearly “in tune” with nature when left to its own devices?)
  • Supportive boss: “You can have my step-sons!”
  • Friend of a friend: “I’m infertile too!  We haven’t been trying long, but I know I’ll have trouble.” (Followed by seeing her baby shower photos on Facebook 6 months later.)
  • From the doc at the ER where I went to have my D&C last month: “You aren’t an emergency.  It’s a Saturday.  My team doesn’t work on Saturdays.  Here’s two sterile collection jars for when you pass the products of conception.”
  • From my former health insurer when I called to inquire about coverage for laparoscopic surgery to diagnose and treat suspected endometriosis: “Me: Why would this procedure not be covered? Her: Well, could it play any role in helping you become pregnant in the future? Me: In theory, yes, I suppose it could. Her: That’s why! This surgery is comparable to breast augmentation.  Under your policy both are considered cosmetic procedures.  It isn’t our responsibility to make it easier for you to make the ‘lifestyle choice’ to become pregnant.”
  • And, for our final round of the day, I bring you, every last comment overheard this past New Year’s Eve spent, as per usual, in a rousing game of Canasta with my husband’s family (you can listen in to my crazy by following the italics!):
    • “Did you hear Sally Smith’s having a fourth kid? Yea and she just left that new boyfriend of hers!”  (Ok, it’s a big family gathering Ms. But IF, these convo’s come with the territory.  Just enjoy your appetizers you mean-spirited little buzz kill…)
    • “That Jones girl is pregnant. They got married and starting trying this summer and I guess she only has half a uterus or something so it took them a while but she’s finally pregnant!” (From summer to January 1 is a “long while”?  Why, yes, I’ll take another tumbler of wine.)
    • (After hearing of a cousin’s engagement) “I’m not sure whether I’ll be getting more grand babies or not. She’s 31 or 32 and, you know, once they get that old it’s less likely to happen!” (I better pick out my plot in the graveyard.  Mmmm… champagne!)
    • (From cousin who works in the ER) We had this sad case on Saturday. A woman was brought in that had gotten in a fight with her family and went and hung herself. I took her blood to confirm that she was more or less gone and to get info for organ donation, and when the results came in I heard the doc start cussing. He called me over and had me call down to the lab to have one more test run. Turns out she was 5 weeks pregnant!  (Sad, angry, sad, angry…. Someone, pass me a bottle, NOW!)
    • Mr. But IF’s grandmother: “I think I’m going to get another great grand baby in 2013.”  Commence everyone’s favorite family gameshow — “Name. That. Fertile!”  First guess?  That’s right, the single, much younger, likely gay cousin!  WRONG.  Mr. But IF’s much younger engaged sister? (Oh, please God…) WRONG. (…exhale)  The older cousin who already has three kids under five?  Abso-frickin-lutely.  Ding, ding, ding… we have a winner!  Oh, and for those playing the at home game, never once did Mr. and Mrs. But IF come up as a remote possibility. (Where do they keep the hard stuff?)

(I feel I should add that I literally love my husband’s family and know no harm was meant.  But, sometimes, infertile’s gotta hate…)

Ah, what special joy can next Wednesday bring?  Think I’ve given you my good stuff already?  Not even close… unfortunately.

* I’m hoping to make this a regular Wednesday occurrence.  At least until I run out.  That will be a while…