File under love

So where was Paul while I was doing all this writhing and moaning?

Why, he was feverishly filling out extension forms for my income taxes so I wouldn't have to do my writhing and moaning in jail.

Love. That. Man.

02:07 AM in Notes from astride the stirrups, You can pick your friends... | Permalink | Comments (0)


Three's a crowd

Got word today that yet another friend — the third — is expecting a baby in mid-November.

No wonder none of my friends were available to commiserate as I went through IVF #1. They were all busy conceiving children of their own!

12:33 AM in Welcome to the bad place. Population: You, You can pick your friends... | Permalink | Comments (2)


You beta, you beta, you bet

I hate to admit it, because to do so would reveal that I am, y'know, human, but I'm worried about Wednesday's blood test. Last time around, the first indication we had that something was amiss was the failure of my second number to double.

I keep thinking that if we can just clear that hurdle, I'll be satisfied with whatever happens next. This is, of course, a big, big lie. But it's all I can focus on right now, so it'll have to do.

I asked A., who's visiting now, to go with me for moral support. Maybe I didn't make my needs clear; she doesn't think she'll go, as it would be difficult for her to get up that early. Hey, thanks for the help, A.! I sure hope I don't wake you as I'm leaving.

Update: I did.

01:13 AM in Notes from astride the stirrups, You can pick your friends... | Permalink | Comments (1)


Wanted: new best friend

Today I was talking on the phone to my best friend. (How second grade is it that I actually have a "best friend"?) I was telling her we were planning a trip to New York to talk to some other doctors. The following is a faithful transcription of the remainder of the conversation.

Friend: Well, at least while you're down there you can go get a good haircut and have a decent meal!

Julie: Nah, I think we're just going to zip in and out. The day's festivities will include a thorough vaginal reaming, so I'm pretty sure my hairdo will be the least of my concerns.

Friend: Are you kidding? Listen, it's like having sex during ovulation: If you're going to be doing it anyway, you might as well have fun while you're there!

Julie: [shocked pause] Uh, so, um, how many times have you had sex during ovulation for the express purpose of baby-making?

Friend: Well... [embarrassed pause] Twice.

[She has two children. You do the math.]

Julie: So let's assume it's fun twice. Hold on a second while I crunch the numbers... Okay. I have had sex during ovulation approximately...120 times. That's not counting the months I was too depressed to try at all. And I admit it: the first two times were fun. It's the last 118 that sucked.

My friend suddenly remembered something she had to go do and got off the phone with indecent haste and obvious relief.

It must be awful to be my best friend.

03:14 PM in You can pick your friends... | Permalink | Comments (22)


Happy birthday

Today C. had her baby.

C. and I got pregnant the same week in February. Mine was ectopic; hers was normal and, I presume, more enjoyably conceived.

I tried to be angry or jealous when my pregnancy went south and hers progressed, as I take my responsibility as an infertile crank very seriously, but it never felt right. All I could seem to summon was a vague melancholy, and I find that's still true now; my feeling about the malevolent little embryo that tried to kill me is, how you say, ambivalent.

Even if I had managed to summon up all those twisted, roiling emotions that are supposed to be the specialty of infertile cranks, her simple kindness to me when pregnancy #2 was failing would have bought her my good wishes — she sent me a card, the only one of my friends who took the time to put stamp to envelope.

C.'s pregnancy was uncomplicated up until the last few weeks, when it became clear that the baby was breech and hadn't the slightest interest in turning. She was annoyed to learn she'd need a c-section only because she was afraid it would delay her return to the dojo, where she'd enthusiastically and vigorously kicked people in the face up until she was about 32 weeks along.

I predict that she was demanding a cocktail and a raft of sushi only minutes after the birth. Cheers to C. and her new baby.

07:48 PM in You can pick your friends... | Permalink | Comments (0)


Go, grrl.

Today one of my favorite co-cranks goes under the knife in pursuit of future fertility.

I wish I were in the operating room right now giving helpful tips to the surgeons.

"Says here the uterus should be pink. What you have there is really more of a dusty rose. I'd keep looking if I were you."

"Hey, shouldn't you be using a salad fork rather than a dinner fork? Were you brought up in a barn?"

"Wait, don't cut that! She needs her aorta!"

Thinking of you today, cranky grrl.

09:33 AM in You can pick your friends... | Permalink | Comments (2)


Happy birthday, again

The other two babies were born yesterday — the remaining two out of the three my friends conceived while I was experiencing my excellent ectopic adventure. I should be grateful that they were organized enough to emerge on the same day, sparing me two separate freakouts.

I wonder if I you can get post-traumatic stress disorder from situations like this. At this point all you have to do is start going on about pounds, inches, and duration of labor — or showing those pictures of an exhausted, triumphant woman holding a tiny, crabbed wean — and I start having sweaty palms and flashbacks.

I hope no one's offended when I dive under the table for cover and start hurling dinner forks and butter pats at the imagined approaching enemy, yelling, "This one's for the tube, motherfucker!"

07:56 AM in You can pick your friends... | Permalink | Comments (3)


Eggs. Over. Easy.

egg.jpgToday getupgrrl goes for retrieval on her first IVF.

I believe she began the process with high hopes — we all do, or we wouldn't be able to do it at all. But it's been a turbulent, disappointing cycle for her, and while most of us breathe a sigh of relief upon making it to trigger, for her the sickening uncertainty persists.

It seems terribly wrong that someone so brilliant, big-hearted, and brave should have to endure still more sadness and anxiety. Grrl, I hope the decisions you have to make in the next few days are easy ones, felicitous ones, decisions made in excitement and joy instead of in despair.

And I hope they bring you exactly what you desire. Listen, I know the universe isn't any too interested in what I want — all right, already — but I want that for you, quite desperately.

That and a really good high during retrieval and afterward. I know that's not too much to ask.

05:28 AM in You can pick your friends... | Permalink | Comments (11)


My work here is done.

That's it. I'm retiring. I have accomplished something.

I want to post a couple of messages I got last night.

First, from someone on her third miscarriage:

Hi Julie — just wanted to thank you for your posts in April of last year regarding your experiences with ectopic pregnancy and Methotrexate.  It's 2:30 AM and I'm sitting at the computer trying to determine why the cramps/abdominal pain are absolutely killing me when my doctor told me I'd feel "some abdominal discomfort."  They haven't prescribed me any pain meds suggesting I take "extra strength Tylenol" (and I guess I can self-medicate by chewing on a leather belt).

Although I'm sorry you went through such agony it is comforting to me to know that SOMEONE else is having the same bad experience I am.  I was seriously beginning to think I was the biggest wimp in the world when it comes to pain.

Of course she's not a wimp; she's a brave woman going through an almost intolerable ordeal. Plus, her doctors are sadistic jackasses.

Next came this one, which rendered me uncharacteristically speechless:

My sister wishes me to extend her heartfelt gratitude for your journal. Reading your stories...and the ones found through links...finally pushed me into agreeing to donate my eggs for her. [My sister], after battling breast cancer as a teen, had two miscarriages and a stillborn baby girl. All three pregnancies were positive for cystic fibrosis. [She] and I aren't genetic sisters — just steps — and I'm clear for all testable conditions.

I've had some ethical objections to fertility treatments — you've probably heard all of them before. Mostly I felt that infertility treatments and issues were a huge crock invented by the medical establishment. (I have issues with doctors.) I've been surprised to see the diversity of women experiencing infertility, and heartbroken to read the stories of those who couldn't afford in the first place or ran out of money halfway through treatments. We talk about sacrificing for your kids...I can't think of anything more honorable than trying everything, with enormous financial and emotional cost, in order to bring those children into the world.


I'm just glad that you helped me decide to help my sister.


I hope all of you will keep on talking — those with blogs, those without, those who post on message boards, those who go to Resolve meetings. All of a sudden I believe it really matters.

01:08 PM in I've learned a lot...but I'm not sure it's worth it., You can pick your friends... | Permalink | Comments (32)


If I knew you were bumming, I'd have baked a cake


For getupgrrl, from my kitchen floor.

07:18 PM in You can pick your friends... | Permalink | Comments (21)