You gotta believe
I have been thinking a lot about my friends inside the computer. Several of us are on the verge of something big.
Brenda's in retrieval right now (high as a goddamn kite, I hope). Later today I'm looking forward to an update from getupgrrl, if not on her follicle count, then on who got the last word in the impassioned, well-reasoned debate she had with her husband.
Tomorrow in South Africa, which is oh, hell, I don't know, yesterday? today? Christmas? in the US, Tertia gets the results of PGD on her 18 embryos. Also tomorrow, in a time zone I can relate to, Jo and I have a date in the stirrups (though not with each other, alas).
IVF success rates being what they are, it's extremely unlikely we'd all get pregnant if you limited your sample to the five of us. Instead I choose to believe that each of us will be in the lucky minority in our own highly specific group. For example, among 33-year-olds with endometriosis, slight male factor, two prior pregnancies, little to no sleep in the past 48 hours, and inner elbows that look like they've been worked over with a Garden Weasel, I'll be the lucky winner.
Magical thinking, I know, but please don't attempt to convince me otherwise at the moment I need to believe.
I love Tertia.
AIM IM with Tertia
Julie: morning, sunshine.
Tertia: how is bleeding?
Julie: hard to say. i think i saw some pink staining this morning. but who the hell knows?
Julie: there's not even enough of it to stain a pantiliner.
Tertia: wear white underpants so we can analyze it!!!
Julie: i don't OWN white underpants. what do you think i am, a granny?
Tertia: excuse me!!! i wear white underpants. what do you wear? thongs?
Julie: god, no. they are ass floss.
Tertia: comfort is key for me
Tertia: nice comfy panties
Tertia: am not v sexy when it comes to underwear
Julie: i wear plain old cotton in black or dark heather gray.
Julie: i just don't like white because i'm lazy about bleaching.
Tertia: my bra n panties never match
Julie: i used to like to match when i was, like, 20, and had the body to go with it.
Julie: now i feel particularly sporty if everything is just clean.
Tertia: how are you feeling? any symptoms yet?
Julie: yeah, i have some symptoms -- painful breasts the size of all outdoors, busy pelvis. OH, AND THE SPOTTING.
Tertia: my boobs do feel a little more sensitive, but could be my imagination.
Julie: mine genuinely hurt. how fucked up is that, when i'm glad they hurt?
Tertia: i am very very fat. oh god i'm jealous that your boobs hurt. cow.
Julie: i am even fatter.
Tertia: shit, v jealous now
Tertia: well hopefully i'll start puking before you
Julie: i'll trade the sore boobs for no spotting. how's that for a deal?
Tertia: no thanx
Julie: what kind of nbf are you?
Tertia: sorry. but thats a crap swap. think of something else
Julie: sorry, that's all i'm prepared to offer.
Julie: take it or leave it.
Tertia: um, leaving it.
Julie: the pisser of it is...
Julie: it's too early to get a heartbeat.
Julie: so i can't even have a scan to reassure me.
Julie: i'd feel better if we saw a tiny pixel flickering on and off...
Julie: but it's too early for that.
Julie: so i just spot a tiny bit, and i wait.
Tertia: thats crap. cos mind goes crazy with the spotting. and i dont care if they say its normal, it bloody scary (no pun intended)
Tertia: ok, so I'm 5w3d today. yes, too early. I am holding back until 6w3d to go see, cos want to see h/b
Julie: see, if i were you, i'd want to count the sacs.
Tertia: yeah but too scared wont see h/b and then will stress for another week convinced all is lost.
Julie: well, you're smart to know what you can handle, then.
Tertia: i am being so sensible i dont even recognize myself. who am I?
Julie: stepford tertia.
Tertia: thats me. tertia roberts
Tertia: announcing my pg to the world at 9w
Julie: jesus, can you imagine?
Julie: i'll feel reckless if i tell people before the third trimester.
Julie: 30 weeks seems like a good time to tell.
Julie: enough time for people to go buy presents.
Tertia: i know. i'll have to tell people soon cos i'm going to need to start wearing maternity clothes soon i am so fucking fat
Julie: you can just tell people you ate an entire ibex or something.
Tertia: wtf is a ibex?
Tertia: or rather should i say an ibex?
Julie: i'm not sure but i've heard the savannah is just lousy with them.
Julie: can't swing a dead impala without hitting an ibex.
Julie: here's what i was thinking:
Tertia: ok go ahead
Julie: i'm going to tell friends/family if/when i get a heartbeat. we didn't last time, and then i lost it...
Julie: and it's like it never fucking existed.
Julie: they don't even know i was pregnant.
Julie: and that kind of tears me up.
Tertia: yes, thats crap.
Tertia: me too. after i see h/b i will tell the other 700 people I have not already told
Julie: we'll take out a full-page add in the wall street journal.
Tertia: ok, fess up. have you calculated your due date?
Julie: of course. like, five minutes after retrieval.
Julie: feb. 6.
Tertia: me feb 4
Julie: doesn't that seem soon?
Tertia: no, its fucking ages away
Tertia: a fucking life time
Tertia: but i only did mine after 2nd beta. am much more restrained and grown up than you
Julie: yes, you are a paragon of maturity.
Julie: i would do well to emulate you.
Tertia: you would
Tertia: one day.
Julie: in all ways.
Tertia: no, not in all ways
Julie: except in the kitchen-torching department.
Tertia: not in the fertility front either
Julie: well, no. but you get pregnant an awful lot.
Julie: as do i.
Julie: so we're kind of twins on that.
Tertia: true. quite silly actually
Julie: me, 3 out of 4 cycles.
Tertia: spot the error
Julie: i violated myself with a q-tip to check on what was happening up in there.
Julie: i do know how to have a good time.
Tertia: you did not. azzhole. thats dangerous
Julie: i didn't go far, doofus.
Tertia: yes but introducing potentially germs!!
Julie: of all the things i've put up my vagina in my day, a q-tip is the least of my worries.
Julie: besides, i cleaned the q-tip real well with spit beforehand.
Tertia: good for you. spit works for every thing
Tertia: and what did the q-tip say?
Julie: q-tip says ANSWER UNCLEAR. ASK AGAIN LATER.
Tertia: what does unclear mean? pink? red? brown? could you take a photo and mail it? (ok not really)
Julie: q-tip actually said, "SLIGHTEST tinge of color. probably nothing to worry about."
Julie: last night it was brown. but not BROWN, really. the lightest beige you ever did see.
Julie: any ob/gyn would laugh me out of his office if i showed him.
Tertia: ok so you got to know brown is ok
Tertia: we hate any color but if it has to be a color then let it be brown'ish
Julie: but this morning on the paper there was a tiny hint of the palest pink in the universe.
Julie: so i don't know.
Tertia: what color is your tp?
Julie: white. IS there any other color?
Tertia: (just checking)
Julie: i'm going to get some black paper so that i can't consult it.
Tertia: and your soap?
Julie: soap? you use soap?
Tertia: when i run out of spit
Julie: jesus, you're finicky.
Julie: i wash myself all over like a cat.
Julie: my tongue gets tired.
Tertia: this one time (at band camp), i wiped my lipstick off with a piece of tp, threw it in the bowl and than had a pee. looked down and saw pink/red on tp and nearly had a fucking heart attack thinking it was blood
Julie: band camp.
Tertia: i know. even i laughed at myself
Tertia: am hilarious
Julie: you are a motherfucking star.
Tertia: i hate cycle buddies. like this one chick has just sent me an email entitled "good news", I'm pg too. i'm like FUCK OFF BITCH. she was pg at
the same time I was with pg #2.
Julie: "good news! you suck! i don't!"
Tertia: i dont want to be her cycle buddy, it worked out pretty crap the last time
Julie: you and i are stuck with each other, looks like.
Julie: where else could we find other buddies with a similarly shitty attitude?
Tertia: it would be so nice to go through the whole pg with someone
Julie: i will do my level best.
Tertia: good for you. god, i feel nervous even saying that out loud
Julie: how fucked up is that?
Tertia: i know
Tertia: sad. v sad
Julie: we are damaged and weird.
Julie: but very, very sexy.
Tertia: totally. but not our fault
Julie: and funny as all get out.
Tertia: and clever
Tertia: dont forget clever
Julie: how could i?
Tertia: so sexy, clever and funny - what more do you want???
Tertia: oh yes
Julie: is it too early for me to be feeling cravings...for codka?
Julie: vodka, damn it.
Tertia: drunk already
Julie: it calms the baby down.
Tertia: i'll have a double codda
Julie: shut up, bitchface.
Tertia: fuck, can't even get it right
Julie: you suck as much as i do.
Tertia: at least am not drunk bitch like you
Julie: i thought you were mocking my typo.
Tertia: no, am geniunely stupid
Julie: i am a drunk bitch crack whore.
Julie: no wonder i'm pregnant.
Tertia: exactly. however, you did not shag in back seat of car
Julie: how do you know?
Julie: how do you know we weren't getting it on five minutes after retrieval?
Tertia: cos you are infertile
Julie: i am SUB-fertile.
Julie: so surely there will be five or six "oops" pregnancies in my future.
Tertia: you are SUB-versive
Julie: i am SUB-moronic.
Tertia: nervous now. want scan now. want to see h/b. want live baby now
Julie: hey, i'm the nervous one today!
Julie: don't hog the spotlight!
Julie: you get to be nervous and fearful tomorrow.
Julie: today it's all me.
Julie: so calm the fuck down.
Tertia: ok, your turn. mine tom
Julie: good. it's a date.
Julie: i don't want to go give blood.
Tertia: why not? dont be a baby
Julie: i'm afraid they'll say my hcg hasn't risen enough.
Julie: and i'll be in beta hell.
Julie: aggggh kill me, please.
Tertia: shit, how scary. but if you go and its gone up nicely you'll feel so much better
Julie: true. so i will go. but i'll bitch about it all day.
Tertia: are you going to mark the form clearly this time?
Julie: shithead, that wasn't my fault!
Julie: it was totally THEIR fault.
Julie: the apes they have working in the lab.
Tertia: i know. tee hee
Julie: the phlebotomonkeys.
Tertia: i need a chocolate
Julie: i need a valium.
Tertia: chocolate coated valium
Julie: maybe you could wrap it in bacon, too.
Julie: and serve it in a martini, like an olive.
Julie: served with a two-month coma.
Julie: so i can wake up in week 13, bright and happy.
Tertia: 8 month coma
Tertia: no ok, 7 month coma
Tertia: see, you are going to be all happy from 13w and i am not. not sure if i can be your BF then
Julie: please. you know me well enough to know i will NEVER be happy.
Tertia: slight tingling feeling in boobs. good.
Julie: good! poke them repeatedly. and ostentatiously.
Julie: give your co-workers a thrill.
Tertia: shit, meeting chaps here, fuckers. can't they see i'm busy with personal stuff
Tertia: might speak later, good luck with blood draw
Julie: bye! thanks. eat chocolate.
Julie: poke boobs.
Tertia: not poke cooter?
Julie: that's my job.
Julie: and i take it seriously.
I love Tertia, part II
AIM IM with Tertia
Still loving Tertia, though she clearly hates me
AIM IM with Tertia
Tertia: so how are you feeling today? little less paranoid and insane?
Julie: MUCH less paranoid and insane. god, that was ROUGH.
Tertia: mini breakdown?
Julie: yeah, pretty much. the minute i saw the blood last week, i knew i was in for it with respect to insanity.
Julie: i couldn't wait one more fucking day for a scan.
Julie: how weak is that?
Tertia: you are pathetically weak and immature
Julie: i am weak like veal.
Tertia: and now? no more blood?
Julie: nope, not a scrap.
Tertia: how are boobs now?
Julie: acceptably sore, but not as bad as i'd like.
Tertia: no pukey feeling yet?
Tertia: you probably wont get ms you stupid slut
Tertia: will have to hate you
Tertia: my mother has this 'friend' who is very lordy (also v v odd)
Tertia: so this woman knocks on my door and asks if she can pray for me, never met her before
Tertia: so i feel too bad to say no, so she comes in my house and we sit down and she holds my hand and prays for me
Tertia: marko sniggering around the corner
Tertia: told him i was going to tell her to pray for him, he told me he would tell her to fuck off
Tertia: i feel too bad to say no to her, scared I am going to piss god off
Julie: i am laughing, laughing, laughing.
Tertia: told marko i was going to blame it on him, tell her that he says she may not come around
Tertia: he says no, what if she makes a voodoo doll out of him and stick pins in him
Tertia: so now we have a praying person praying on us
Tertia: can't get rid of her
Tertia: the other day we hid away and pretended not to be home
Julie: are you eating differently/better/crappier?
Tertia: more, and more often. have to eat and make sure tummy is never empty, cos empty tummy makes me v v sick, like retching sick.
Tertia: also try to eat protein more often, which i never normally do
Tertia: not a big meat eater
Julie: EAT MORE IBEX
Tertia: i did, i swallowed a whole one
Julie: i hope the horns and hooves didn't get stuck in your craw.
Tertia: no, but they hurt when coming out the other end
Tertia: my doctor's not that handsome but I have to think our relationship is meaningful or else I will just feel cheap
Julie: yes, i am sure my doctor and i have a deep and enduring relationship.
Julie: based on mutual respect, caring, and frequent visits to my cooter.
Tertia: lately you have been very unreliable about being online, might have to break up with you
Julie: like you could find another friend.
Julie: you're lucky i give you the time of day.
Julie: i made an ass out of myself in the waiting room the other day.
Julie: no surprise there, really.
Tertia: no suprise at all
Julie: there was this couple waiting. she went to the bathroom. when she came out, he had gone back to the exam rooms already.
Julie: i thought they were just there for an ultrasound or something...nice of him to come along...
Julie: so when she came back i told her, "your husband went back already," so she could go ahead and join him.
Julie: "i don't need to be there," she told me.
Julie: turns out he was wanking.
Tertia: OH NO
Julie: note to self: don't help. ever.
Julie: you are very superficial.
Tertia: i am
Tertia: its becuase i am so good looking
Julie: you are!
Julie: you're gorgeous.
Tertia: i can afford to have no personality
Tertia: dont need one
Julie: a personality only slows you down, really.
Tertia: am not gorgeous
Julie: well, you have a body that won't quit.
Tertia: well, maybe that. only cause i starve myself
Julie: i indulge myself and it shows. am curvy. small waist but huge rack and wide hips.
Julie: i am much woman.
Tertia: ah, but you have perfect woman shape
Julie: i do.
Julie: sexy earth mother type.
Tertia: just barren
Julie: a minor inconvenience, barrenness.
Julie: why, it's barely slowed me down at all.
Tertia: from the outside you look good
Tertia: actually false advertising
Tertia: paul should sue
Tertia: ask for his money back
Julie: i'm like one of those predatory insects.
Julie: you know, those bugs that LOOK like an innocent leaf...but then another bug lands on the branch, and then WHAMMO.
Tertia: i know, i'm scared of you
Julie: it is right that you be scared of me.
Julie: i am one scary muthafucka.
Tertia: in da hood
Julie: word to your lovely mother.
Julie: are you hoping for twins still, or on the fence?
Tertia: now not sure any more
Julie: a singleton would be a much easier pregnancy. no stupid-ass bedrest.
Julie: either way, you win.
Tertia: so kind of more at ease
Tertia: as long as there is one
Julie: aw, there will be. i am sure of it.
Julie: i mean, i can't guarantee it -- am not god, even though i feel like it sometimes...
Tertia: and you act like it
Julie: shut up or i'll smite you.
Julie: everyone kisses your ass.
Julie: i love it.
Julie: you are like the queen.
Tertia: i know. kiss my ring
Tertia: ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Tertia: not that ring
Tertia: ate a piece of bacon now, feel like vomiting, poor babe.
Julie: your baby hates bacon, you child abuser.
Tertia: wait, just remembered have liquorice in cupboard, yay
Julie: licorice and bacon. a fine snack.
Tertia: with avo and feta
Tertia: but first pasta salad
Tertia: and dried mango
Tertia: a lite snack
Tertia: am not pig, oh no
Julie: hairy sow.
Tertia: not hairy. have almost no body hair
Julie: lucky. i have pubic hair that extends from sea to shining sea.
Julie: cannot wear a bathing suit.
Julie: i was thinking if we went donor egg i'd ask to see the bikini line of every potential donor.
Tertia: just shave it asshole
Julie: no, if i shave it i get these horrible red bumps and an ugly rash.
Julie: very sensitive skin.
Julie: same with waxing.
Tertia: so you leave it hairy? v scary
Julie: i do. it's scary. but not as scary as STUBBLE.
Tertia: how does the dr find any thing in there?
Julie: sense of touch.
Tertia: good thing
Tertia: better than sense of smell
Tertia: do you know you can get toilet freshener in an 'ocean' fragrance? who would want their toilet to smell like fish?
Julie: i want my toilet to smell like precisely NOTHING.
Tertia: never have toilet freshner
Tertia: must tell you embarrasing story
Tertia: used to have one girl working for me who was a little slutty, ok very slutty, bright red lips, bleached hair etc. anyway, one day she came to work and i did n't see her behind me so i shouted out, 'who has sprayed that damn toilet freshener again?' it was her perfume
Tertia: hurry up monday
Tertia: is it monday yet?
Julie: i don't know. which side of the date line are you on?
Julie: is it christmas there?
Julie: motherfuck, i always get that wrong.
Julie: the other day the doctor had the wand lodged cooterward...
Julie: and we were talking about when we might see a heartbeat.
Julie: and he said something about "...hope and pray."
Julie: then he paused, and said, "...or whatever spiritual expression most closely conforms to your personal worldview."
Julie: i could NOT stop laughing.
Tertia: new age dude
Julie: big guffaws.
Julie: i practically shot the wand across the room.
Julie: i think he was embarrassed.
Julie: he said, "well, i don't know! you could be a buddhist."
Tertia: sweet of him
Julie: "or," i said, " a satanist."
Tertia: bad of you to laugh at him
Julie: so bad.
Tertia: bad girl
Julie: spank me.
Julie: i've been a very naughty pregnant lady.
Tertia: no thank, you have hairy bush
Tertia: scared of you
Julie: i am the wild woman of borneo.
Tertia: afro down there
Tertia: like lionel richie
Tertia: 80's music playing in the background
Tertia: dancing on the ceiling
Julie: SHUT UP.
Tertia: towelling sweatband in pubic area
Julie: shut up. now i am deeply ashamed of the way god made me.
Tertia: you should be. and dont blame god
Tertia: he gave you wax and razors
Julie: you are a very mean, small person.
Tertia: me still laughing and pointing
Tertia: not caring if you are weeping
I'm working on an excruciatingly exhaustive list of blogs by people enduring infertility. (I've chosen not to include links to password-protected blogs, as I'm assuming access to those is generally limited to people the writers already know.)
More selectively, and not arbitrarily, I've also included links to people pursuing adoption, facing pregnancy after infertility or loss, and raising a family.
Check it out if you'd like to be included, or removed, or would like your description changed, please let me know in the comments here.
If you'd like to be included, please make sure you tell me what your description should be, unless there's one prominently displayed on your blog already.
And if there are sites on this list that are unfamiliar to you, poke around they're worth reading.
A busload of very old nuns
I want to thank everyone who's commented or sent e-mail with encouraging words and good wishes. It helps immensely. Very special thanks to C., who advised the following:
"No orgasms, sis. When you get into bed at night and drift off to sleep, you may think only of busloads of very old nuns. No more eating sexy food like ripe cheese or plums or anything, stick to oatmeal. Make Paul stop losing weight because if he gets too buff you may have forbidden lustful thoughts."
Only think of nuns. Only think of nuns.
State of the union
The other day I was aroused by an unusual banging in my bedroom.
Wait, that's not right at all.
But it is accurate. As I sat in front of my computer in the next room, Paul was hammering noisily away. These days I spend enough time in my desk chair to have grown fine filamentous roots that snake into the mesh of the seat, so I was reluctant to get up and investigate. But my curiosity got the better of me. I yanked my taproot free and went in to see what he was up to.
He was dismantling the drawer units in our closet by whacking them forcefully with a rubber mallet. His plan was to reassemble the units so that mine would be the taller one, "so you don't have to bend when you're getting your clothes."
Yeah, it's like that.
Paul's competence is one of his most attractive traits. His kindness is another. I knew he was capable and I knew he was considerate, but each day I'm reminded again of everything I have to be grateful for.
This morning I had my three-hour glucose tolerance test. While I sat patiently in the waiting room in the long intervals between blood draws, I was unable to avoid overhearing the conversation of the women at the registration desk.
Familiarity breeds contempt, I suppose, or at least a breezy nonchalance. Their tone was perfectly matter-of-fact, brisk and businesslike, this-won't-hurt-a-bit, even when discussing the most heartbreaking matters. "Her beta's only 62, so she's not going to bother to come in." "Yes, but the baby died." "Oh, when they miscarry, I just throw away their purple sheet."
They were not especially callous, I think; they were just getting through their day. Yet it shocked me not their talk or their tone, but the fact that this is the stuff of their every workday. And how do you make sense of a world when such circumstances are commonplace enough to inspire anything but a shaken silence?
This is the silence I felt upon reading Sarah's posts on Cecily's blog yesterday and today. This is a world where such things happen every day, but never ever should.
How can this make any sense?
I have a lot to say.
I'll post as often as I can, but it's going to take me a few days to get the whole story out. I don't even want to start without thanking everyone, everyone for the support and love that have surrounded us since this all began, but particularly over the last week or so.
I am uncharacteristically tongue-tied when I try to find the words to tell you what it means to me. Although I don't have time just now to answer many e-mail messages or properly thank you personally, please know that I we feel deeply grateful for every good wish, every encouraging story, and every one of your congratulations.
I'd thank Tertia and Danae for sharing my news with all of you when I was unable to, and those two, getupgrrl, and my friends M. and T. for keeping me from feeling so alone as I sent out 164-character dispatches from my cell phone while stranded at the hospital, but I get a little choked up when I try, so instead I will simply say, "Assholes," and leave it at that.
For your enjoyment, I offer a view of the mountain of packages that awaited us upon arrival.
107 boxes. 25 bags. Paul counted. I cried.
I don't know where to start. I am so grateful, my friends, so touched and humbled by your generosity. Detailed and personal thanks will follow when we break out the box cutter. And that will be soon Charlie's talons need clipping, and somewhere in that beautiful slew is a pair of teeny nail clippers, I just know it.
Now, on the subject of showers, let's talk about Tertia. Today at exactly 36 weeks, Tertia gave birth to Adam and Kate. If you'd like to celebrate with her, please visit the brand-new blog of the excellent Boulder, who's put together some great ideas on how to join the party.
I personally can't wait to salute one of blogland's favorite
heroines icons assholes and her brand-new twins. Congratulations, T.