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Does this pregnancy make me look phat??

Today I’m 10 weeks pregnant. I’m still holding my breath. A week from today is our next doctors appointment and we’ll get to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. There is a fear inside me that when we go, the doctor won’t hear anything and we’ll be told that the baby stopped growing. I will have momentary rushes of peace and a feeling that everything is going to be alright…. but then my neurotic side takes over and become the nay-sayer of “what if’s”. I wish I could bitch slap my neurotic side, I really do.

Meanwhile, my energy returned somewhere near the end of week 8. I had a very brief period where I flirted with nausea, but it really never turned into anything. At this 10 week mark, the most obvious “symptom” I have is extreme mood swings. Everything irritates me or makes me want to cry. For example:

HIM: Are you irritable today?

ME: Are you going to ask me that every day?!?

HIM: Well….are… you…??

ME: WELL, I am now!!

My clothes are beginning to scream at me. From an expanding bosom, to a waist that is pushing the limits of my jeans…. I am seeing CHANGES. My closet is now full of clothes that no longer look appropriate on me, unless I’m trying to pull off the stripper-tight look. I have dabbled in maternity clothes shopping, but I’m still too scared to commit. What if this pregnancy doesn’t take?? I can’t stand the thought of being stuck with a bunch of maternity clothes. So instead of full out shopping, I have bought a few items on the cheap off the internet, at a consignment shop and from ROSS.

Physically I feel great at the moment, which is really freaking me out…. which doesn’t help my irritability! I am counting down the minutes until next Thursday and hoping hoping HOPING that we hear a thump-thump-thump-thump thump. Until then, WATCH OUT…. don’t look at me wrong…. because I’m in a mood.

Crazy about eggs….

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained…”  ~Mark Twain

I’m a pretty in touch with my brain…. that is, until I become passionately not. The brainy and oh-so-intellect side of me talks the big talk and fully believes in what it’s saying, so perhaps that’s why me (and everyone else around me) become shocked to find out that despite the hard exterior, I’m really sort of emotionally fragile. Life is always easy during the game planning portion. But once you get out there, on the playing field, things become a bit more challenging…..

Brainy me: We’re going to have another test
Emotionally fragile me: We’re going to have a test and it’s going to tell me I’m o-o-old. *Sniff *
Brainy me: The likelihood of finding infertility issues are high, but we don’t know that’s what they’ll find.
Emotionally fragile me: The tests will say I’m old and HE will leave me for y-y-younger eggs-s-s. *sniff *
Brainy me: Even if I’m infertile, there are ways to have babies.
Emotionally fragile me: I’m never going to have a baby because I’m o-o-old *sniff * *hic *
Brainy me: His staying up the entire night before the big test and playing video games is unrelated to his desire to have kids…
Emotionally: He doesn’t l-l-ove me…. he doesn’t feel my u-u-rgency… doom….. doom…. DOOOOM!

And so on and so on.

Despite the fact that HE has not learned to “talk me down” yet, here we are a few days later and the following things miraculously happened: Our relationship survived another mini-melt down of mine. And after our newest fertility office visit, where we had an ultra sound and the doctor reviewed some recent test results with us, we were told that my getting pregnant is probably related more to my tubes potentially being blocked, then to my age.

I’m feeling sane again. And hopeful. Things are looking rather well for us being part of the IVF research program. But I don’t think that I’ll fully believe it until they’re sticking the needles into my belly.

We will go back to the fertility clinic in a couple of weeks. I’ll have another ultrasound and some blood work done…. if that goes well, we’ll sign a contract and some release forms… and booYA, we’re in and the shots will start in March!

Ms. Potential….

Potential… such an optimistic word. So hopeful. So encouraging….. yet, so not guaranteed.

That first date, that job interview, the artistic abilities displayed… such potential….. but really, what really counts is the view in retrospect: did the relationship pan out past the 2nd date, did the job interview land the job, did the artistic abilities reach their…. potential…..??

Potential, so optimistic a word…. but still, until the end, a gamble.

I’m so excited about tomorrow’s appointment. We’re going to a fertility clinic to discuss our potential participation in an IVF research study… IF we’re accepted into the study, we’ll receive FREE IVF treatments!!!

Translation: IVF normally costs anywhere from $15-20,000!!

IF we are accepted into this program, it will be like winning the fertility lottery. It’s just feeling too good to be true. Potentially a very interesting kick off to a new year!

New years always offer such potential, a clean slate….. a great starting point. And right about now I would be writing my list of New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I’m just not feeling it. Instead, I’m feeling a bit more introspective and have decided to write a list of questions that I want to answer by the end of 2011. So, with all the pomp and grandeur of an official New Year’s Resolutions list… I here by give you the list of things I want to answer in the coming year:

1.Where am I living?
2.What job do I have?
3.Did I get pregnant?
4.Did my pregnancy take?
5.Did I have twins?
6.How did Sonora like Florida?
7.Did Sonora extend her stay with the Florida program?
8.Did I lose anybody I love?
9.Did I meet any new friends?
10.Did I get in shape?
11.What books did I read?
12.Did I have an epiphany?
13.Hows my relationship?
14.Did I go on vacation?
15.Did I finally use my passport?
16.Did I learn a new skill?
17.Did I continue to bite back?
18.Did I train my dogs?
19.Am I happy?
20.Did I make a difference?

Not Pregnant

I do not consider myself infertile, which is ironic because I’m seemingly not able to get pregnant….

The Clomid did not work. I could feel the Clomid in my system, since I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling pretty damn nauseous. As for poppin’ the eggs out, I don’t know that it did . At first I was excited, because I didn’t experience any of my normal PMS-y type of stuff when I should have been. I was confused because the pregnancy tests were coming back negative, but the PMS was not kicking in. I was about to declare Clomid worth in, just because I thought I wasn’t having any PMS.

Me: I should be PMS-ing, but I don’t feel suicidal at all… isn’t it grand?!?
Him: Really, this is PMS week?? You’re not homicidal either! YAY!

Turns out Clomid didn’t do away with the PMS, nor knock me up, it just delayed my cycle. About a week later my suicidal/homicidal tendencies kicked in. All was back to norm and another month was shot down.

I’ve always been under the assumption that it was the fertility meds that wreaked havoc on a relationship, but now I think it’s the baby making business in general that does it. This month I was asked once again to give up the temping and charting…. and to just let things happen. He told me that he loves the thought of having children with me, but that this baby making is ruining our relationship. I’m too focused on it. I’m too driven. The sex is becoming too scheduled and then the mating frenzy tends to fade out at the end of the month when the big “O” is past and there is no chance of impregnation. (“o” is for ovulation)

And here is where the curse of being a cougar comes into play. He’s 30…. I am not. Two 30 somethings walk into a bar and fall in love… they have another good 5 or 6 years of playing it cool with the “lets see what happens and lets go with the flow-free-lovin-sex….” But for me, I’m 40… in another 5 or 6 years I’m not only 40, but I’m in my LATE 40’s. That baby makin magic will long be dead at that point.

Quite a quandary I find myself in. To make a baby without TRYING to make a baby, AND to get this done within the next couple of years.

So I agree, again, to just stop with the trying…. And then, just like that, an interesting development occurs. A friend spots an ad in the online SF Chronicle telling of FREE IVF. He forwards the ad link to me and I call the number. There is a new drug study going on across the United States and San Jose has one of the clinics participating in the study. It’s a drug that will cut down the daily shots involved with IFV to just one shot per week. It’s a drug that’s already in use in Europe…..

I’m game! So I call up and answer some preliminary questions and am ok’d to proceed. I was to set up an appointment and get some tests done, if all my levels are good… we’re in. Free IVF!!!

I’m not counting my chickens yet…. but I’m super hopeful. My appointment is in a couple of weeks… After that, I don’t know what the time frame will be. Perhaps in two months time I will be getting daily shots into my stomach… and in two months two weeks, I’ll be getting implanted with two embryos… and in three months time…. maybe, just maybe…. I’ll finally be seeing two lines on a pee stick.

Once in a Lifetime…

David Byrne once said, “You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?” and if I were to answer him…. I’d have to say, “I really don’t know…”

As it turns out, it was not the hectic schedule of baby making that had me crabby…. no, it’s just life in general. On paper every thing is easy: Emotion is easy. Relationships are easy. Jobs are easy. Parenting is easy. Raising dogs is easy. Keeping up on the house is easy. Waking up at 7 a.m is easy. Cooking is easy. Working out is easy. Taking your daily vitamins is easy. Decluttering is easy. Cleaning the garage is easy. Being social is easy. Drinking 8 oz of water is easy. Finding yourself…. it’s all easy. Put the figurative pencil down and actually IN REAL LIFE start on the list of things to-do, all of a sudden it’s not so easy.

Last week I made an appointment for this Wednesday at a fertility clinic, but today I called and canceled the appointment.

Life on paper I can handle…. but in real life, lately I’ve started cracking at the seam. I want to be this superwoman, this cougar-about-town… but instead, I started cracking from the weight of everything raining down. Everything started happening at once. My boyfriend lost his job, my 18 year old daughter flew out of the nest, my boyfriend moved in, we’re merging, my body is aging…. there has been job seeking, house hunting, baby making, empty nesting, visitors visiting, dog walking, weight gaining, no-coffee drinking, co-habituating…. and everything, EVERYTHING, is in flux. I could not tell you where I will be in three months and that is freaking me all the hell out.

On paper I am a saint. A SAINT. But in real life, I’m a porcupine. Cute from a distance, but a bit prickly to live with. And tired of getting poked (in a bad way) my boyfriend has decided to take a break for a bit and has hit the road….. I can’t say I blame him. At the moment I think that the only ones who really can tolerate me are my dogs. But only if I walk them….

ANYway… I wasn’t going to blog this…. but it’s part of the process. If we make it through this and end up pregnant…. this was part of the process. So here it is. I wish I could jump into the figurative piece of paper, like an Aha video, but this is reality…. though sometimes it feels unreal.

David Byrne also said, “And she was looking at herself/ And things were looking like a movie/ she had a pleasant elevation/ she’s moving out in all directions/ oh oh oh….”

I can not help but wonder how the movie ends…

Reverse and Rewind….

When I first met Scott, I was still riding the high off of my overdose on relationship self-help books. I was going through my “put it all on the table” phase. I was determined to show him all my cards and for him to show all of his too. The theory behind this is: if you let it all hang out, sure you might scare off a few, but you’re more likely to find THE someone who will love you for exactly who you are…. thus avoiding the awkwardness of being 2 year into a relationship and finally admitting that you never really liked football and you prefer to cook once every two weeks.

A real convert of the I’ll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours thinking, I took every opportunity to NOT hide who I was. Where some (sane) 38 year old women might try to hide their age from the hot 28 year old they find themselves lucky enough to be on a date with…. I compulsively dropped my age several times during those first few dates. I just didn’t want him to ever say, “You never told me you were THAT old!” Because I did….over and over again. Also, with no fear I broached the subject of children. I was able to get out of him his expectations for children in his future and I remember telling him that because my tubes were tied and I was 38, it would take medical intervention or adoption for us to ever have kids together.

Yes, I know… nothing like a little playful-flirty, “You have beautiful eyes…. by the way my tubes are tied and my eggs are old, so we might need to see a fertility doctor….gawd, you’ve got a gorgeous smile too….”

Fast forward several months…..

I knew that having kids was very important to Scott. I enjoyed having my daughter and was not against doing it again. Hell, she was almost 18… so I knew I could get a kid to the finish line without screwing them up too bad. And that was on my first go at parenthood, imagine what I could do on my second try!

I decided to talk to my doctor about whether or not having kids was even an option for me. Blood tests were ordered, needles inserted, blood work sent off…. and then finally the results were in. My numbers were pretty damn impressive for a woman of 38. In fact, if my stats could go to bars, they might just get carded!

Fast forward several more months…..

He’s THE ONE. I’m THE ONE. We’re blissful. But time is not on my baby-making side. So instead of a few years of uninterrupted-by-poopie-diaper happiness…. we decide to jump into the baby making.

Fast forward a several weeks……

I researched my insurance options for getting my tubes reversed (none), I researched doctors who perform the surgery (several), and narrowed down my choices (few).

Fast forward several more weeks….

If you want to feel old at 39, sit in a fertility clinic, next to your younger paramour and listen to how old your woman bits are.

Fast forward a few more weeks….

I get wheeled in, I get wheeled out….. they could rebuild me, they had the technology!

Fast forward to present……

If something interests me, REALLY interests me, then I’m all over it. I will research that puppy to its death. Some might call this “obsessing”, but I prefer to call it “getting educated”. Fertility and pregnancy have become my new area of interest. True, I already have been pregnant before, so you’d think it’s like riding a bike…. but this is not the case since there was no planning with her. She was my serendipity baby and a happy surprise.

This time it’s going to be different….. this time it’s going to take some work!

To be continued…..

Crazy kind of love…

A recent conversation with a friend has me pondering the topic of “abusive relationships”….. What constitutes an abusive relationship? And how does a person, man or woman, get stuck in that abusive relationship cycle?? The kind of relationship where you recognize that something about it is far from the norm…. yet… you get stuck in this circle. The relationship becomes this skipping record… it becomes this process of doing the same thing, over and over and over…. Round and round and round….. Sticking to the script…. Never deviating…. Never changing….. Going round and round…. Hoping that things will get better…. Over and over and over…. Round and round in that familiar pattern. A person may want something different, but can never seem to veer off that track. It’s sad to think of the pain.

I can empathize with this kind of pain; I’ve been in that circle. There were days I wanted to scream to the sky…. There were times when I did scream. Sometimes in my car…. In the middle of nowhere. Just wanting it, life, to be ok, but feeling powerless in the ability to bring that about. I know what it is to cry until you can’t cry anymore… because you want things to change, but you KNOW that you can’t make it better. Of course a person on the outside might look in at your situation and say that you CAN make it better… by leaving. The thing is, sometimes, when in that situation, you forget that is an option.

I know what it’s like to be in the kind of relationship where a wrong look, a wrong word…. Can start a cycle in motion…. No, I was not in a physically abusive relationship. It was all verbal. It was all about giving and withholding affection, communication, and love. It was the kind that makes you think that it’s all in your head. Because there is no physical mark lingering to remind you that it happened.

There are relationships that don’t work. There are relationships that end. There are breakups. There are divorces….

But then, there are the relationships that are like alcohol to an alcoholic… bringing a woman to her knees…. Taking away reason.

Why is it that some relationships grab a hold of a person like that?? Where letting go, even when it’s the right thing to do… can feel like the world is ending.  It’s a complicated subject…. Not easily dissected in a mind spew, like this blog.  It’s just something that I was thinking about. I’ve been there…. I’ve left….  I’ve dabbled in other relationships that may have headed in a similar direction, but I jumped out of the loop before it took a firm grip.

When I see a person in that loop….. I want to grab their hands and pull them off course. Break the circle… but nobody can do that, except the person in that situation.

I have so much empathy for how hard it is to finally veer off course. To finally say “when”…. To have that doubt that maybe things would have gotten better…. But also, to have that inner voice that says, “probably not…”

A woman came into my work a few weeks ago. She got on the bus and got off in my town… on her way to the coast, where her family used to go when she was young. She had a story…. One that she shared with me… she started crying and said she was embarrassed and said she wished she was stronger. I told her that she had an enormous amount of strength… to take off, to not tell anyone where she was going… to get away…. To no longer say it was ok….. I gave her the number of a local agency where she could talk to women who knew what she was going through.

I wonder if it’s addiction ? A familiar pattern? Fear of change? Fear of the unknown? Fear that things will not be better elsewhere?

It makes me sad, to see friends stuck in this crazy kind of love…