"Oh, and then there was the smack..."
I read a lot of message boards about infertility and it always cracks me up when I see some nice lady say, "I was so sure that my beta test would be negative that I had half a cup of coffee. Well, it was positive! Do you think I harmed the baby?"
I just keep waiting for someone to post, "Man, that three-day tequila bender was a big mistake." Or, "I was so depressed that I went out and blew a syphilitic Haitian. Do you think it's okay?"
With all the drugs I did in my indiscreet youth, I'll be lucky if my eventual child isn't born with gills.
It's the drugs, I swear
In four days I start Lupron. In my mind, though, the cycle is already well underway. I'm already wound more tightly than...than...some excessively tightly wound thing...and obviously already suffering from the breathtaking cognitive lapses that plagued me last time.
Last time around, nobody told me that the worst side effect from all my medication would be that I'd lose my fucking mind. The drugs really should come with a warning label: While using this drug, patients should not operate heavy machinery. Or shower.
A quick flip through my journal reminds me that not only did I take the car up two one-way streets, jumped the curb at least twice, burned myself on the iron, nicked my hands with a chef's knife, grated my thumb into a pile of Parmesan cheese, and set off the smoke alarm so often it sounded like we were at DEFCON 2, I also apparently forgot how to use toiletries.
The documentary evidence seems to show that one morning in the shower, I shampooed my hair as usual, rinsed it, and picked up the conditioner...which I then dispensed into my hand and proceeded to rub all over my body. I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't lather.
Five minutes later, I applied hair product to my face, for that bouncy, manageable look that turns heads on the street.
"And I can't be sure," I wrote on February 21, "but I have the strong
aroma suspicion that I applied deodorant only to one (1) armpit."
For the first time today the acupuncturist stuck needles in my face, a veritable bouquet of stainless steel sprouting up between my brows.
As the first one went in, I vanquished the temptation to yell, "Ow! My third eye!"
You can tell how committed I am.
What I thought but didn't say
Doctor: So how are you?
Julie: I can't even talk about it.
Doctor: You know, I can offer you better living through chemistry. Prozac?
Julie: No, thanks, but I am hearing a lot of good buzz about heroin...
I am only on day four of Lupron but I've been very productive. Here's what I've done so far:
- reduced my poor husband to tears
- caused several highway accidents
- cut myself shaving
- destabilized the yen on the world market
Tomorrow, if I can find the time between vandalizing the old folks' home and frightening the kids on the handicapped bus, I may very well annex the Sudetenland.
Because I try to be organized, I have been making a multitude of lists. I have committed today's to writing I can only keep mental track of so much.
Annoying things I do in the exam room while waiting for the doctor:
- obscure all drug manufacturers' names from the helpful posters that deck the walls
- turn the stirrup covers so that the comfy, fuzzy side faces out
- poke the top of the jelly-filled condom that sheathes the ultrasound probe so that cool and mysterious shadows appear on the screen
- sing a cheerful medley of Steely Dan songs loud enough to wake the dead
I only amuse myself
Things I have been saying expressly to annoy Paul:
- Do these embryos make me look fat?
- Will you please change the channel? Crappy sci-fi isn't good for babies during the first trimester.
- (Pause, intake of breath, wondering tone) I'm pretty sure I just felt stirrings of life.
I am full of good ideas
I had this great idea. Why don't the makers of the vaginal ultrasound transducer and the fine folks who brought us the Hitachi Magic Wand put their heads together? It could revolutionize pelvic imaging.
Think about it, won't you?
Math is hard
The longest wait in an IVF cycle is not the two weeks between embryo transfer and pregnancy test. And it's not the two weeks between a positive pregnancy test and the first ultrasound. No, the longest wait is between a negative pregnancy test and a post-cycle consultation.
I bet they've done extensive research on how long it takes a woman to stop being dangerous after a failed cycle. I bet there's a sophisticated algorithm they apply in every case.
"Let's see. This one's for Julie? Okay, we might need extra paper. Now, she's 32. Her estradiol level at trigger times her IQ divided by the number of disappointments she's suffered at our hands...multiplied by the square root of how much she paid us this time out...(scribbling sounds)...hmm, carry the 8...round up here...number of injections, cubed...average temperature of the ultrasound wand...(head-scratching noises)...check my math here, Bert...yes. Hmm. Interesting.
"Nurse? Nurse! Cancel all the appointments, close the office, lock the doors, and put on your riot gear. This one won't be safe for another month at least."
Love is in the air
I will be spending my first wedding anniversary in consultation with a doctor at Cornell. Nothing more romantic than talking about sperm counts and cervical mucus with a total stranger.
Nothing, that is, unless you consider that the visit will also include a pelvic exam performed by said total stranger brandishing an ultrasound wand.
I wonder if I can get him to use a fancy condom on it.