Week 5

My little sunshine,

I have known about you for just over two weeks now, and I’m still not sure if it feels real.  You aren’t physically much bigger than an appleseed, but you are the biggest, most exciting thing that has ever happened in my life.  And you pack a powerful punch–I’ve certainly already logged hours gripping toilet bowls for dear life, watching rooms spin as I nearly lose consciousness because I moved too quickly getting out of the shower, and sleeping as much as I can because if I don’t, my brain seems to switch from normal function to survival mode and the only things I can think about are peeing (every 30 minutes!), eating, and my bed.

At this point, anything could happen.  I tell myself constantly not to borrow trouble, but I’m used to being a pessimist, and when you’ve lived the amount of life that I already have, sometimes it’s hard to remember that good things can and do occur.  Every morning I wake up and I remind myself “Today I am pregnant” (and let’s be realistic–I pee on a stick to be sure, too.  I apologize in advance, because at the rate I am going, your entire wardrobe and blanket collection will be composed of cleverly weaved pregnancy test wrappers–since I’ve spent so much money on them that I probably won’t have enough left to clothe and swaddle you properly).

Anyway, you have survived nearly a month of early human development, with no complications.  All I can do is hope and pray that it continues daily and weekly and monthly until February.  I like to think that what is meant to be will be.  I’m a control freak, but sometimes it’s nice to let go and realize that I have no power–that no amount of early shopping, telling friends and family my good news, thinking and dreaming about and planning the future, etc. will change the outcome.  I’m not “jinxing” myself or you.  I am allowed to enjoy this and be excited (and I am allowed to be scared, too).

In about a week and a half, I’ll get to see you for the first time, and hopefully I’ll also get to see and hear your little heart beating.  I spend a lot of time thinking about what that’s going to be like.  I peruse the February 2019 due date clubs and see the ultrasound photos and imagine having one in my own hands…and it already brings tears to my eyes just envisioning how miraculous it will be.

I’m going to check out now–the Unisom is kicking in (here’s hoping this means more food and less nausea, dry heaving, and vomit tomorrow) but soon, I’m going to tell you about how you got here.  That’s a story for the books.


Your Incubator


[Serious] Surviving Metformin: You might shit your pants*.

Oh, the wonderful world of PCOS; I have plenty of eggs, but they all got held back in preschool, which, apparently, is not so great for fertility.  So my useless, tiny, immature ova are getting a kick in the pants by a miracle laxative drug called metformin.

I know a lot of things about this process and all the pharmaceuticals involved, but honestly, the most I know about metformin is that it is a drug used to treat diabetes and pre-diabetes that also seems to level out hormones in PCOS patients.  Unfortunately, that’s where the excitement ends.

Let me tell you about the side effects:

diarrhea: Do you ever reminisce the feeling you had after you overindulged at an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet in a landlocked state with one desert road in and one desert road out?  Metformin might be the drug for you!

nausea & vomiting: Have you ever been curious what it would be like to have the stomach flu for weeks straight?  Are your favorite foods pre-chewed and served in a vat of stomach acid?  Do you enjoy the sensation of sitting in a boat rocking on murky water, riding a precariously-installed carnival ride that spins a little more than it should, or being passenger in the backseat of a humid car reading a wordy novel while speeding through a windy mountain road?  Metformin will provide!

heartburn: Are you periodically tempted to swallow whole bottles of hot sauce and chase them with a bite of lye soap?  Would you like to know what the fire of actual hell feels like?  Metformin can show you!

I’d like to be a woman of my word and tell anyone who has come across this blog post seeking reprieve from the above that there is actually a survival plan–but I’d be lying.  I’ve spent the past week living off of a steady diet of steamed rice and spoonfuls of peanut butter.  I drink Pepto Bismol like it’s water.  I’ve tried Zantac (don’t do it unless you want to risk lactic acidosis, a lovely condition which turns your blood acidic and kills 25-50% of the people that it strikes), Nexium (didn’t touch it; also not pregnancy safe), Tums (great for about 15 minutes), and Phenergan (it sort of worked but is also not pregnancy safe).  The jury is out on Prevacid since I threw that up.

The bright side: my jeans fit better.  Involuntary bulimia probably has something to do with that.  We’ll see if it actually impacted my fertility when I go for my scan on Friday.

May the force be with everyone walking this long, painful, road with me.  It is paved in stomach acid, sweat, and tears, and littered with empty containers of antiemetics, but hopefully we all get what we want at the end.

*I have not shit my pants.  Yet.

Day 1: I’m scared and alone.

I had my consultation with the fertility clinic on Thursday afternoon.  From a medical standpoint, things went well.  Most of my labwork directly relating to fertility (so far) is normal.  My ultrasound was normal.  My Vitamin D is extremely low and I’m now on a mild prescription dose (jk it’s actually 50,000IU twice a week) of Vitamin D until my number, at the very least, doubles.  I don’t have results back from my AMH, LH, or FSH yet, I don’t know my CMV status (important when deciding on a donor), and I had a full genetic panel done which I should be able to see results from in the next 1-2 weeks.  Next up is the HSG, a super exciting and fun-sounding procedure in which dye is injected into my uterus through a catheter in my cervix to examine the shape of my uterus and whether or not my tubes are open.  Yay!

Anyway, the ball is rolling, and that’s the important part, even if a lot of this is highly unpleasant.

The thing is that I never leave an appointment totally happy.  Because honestly, if my husband were still here, all of this poking and prodding, all of these invasive procedures–they probably wouldn’t be happening; and if they did, at least I’d have him by my side.

I’ve never felt more lonely in my life than I do when I get home from an appointment regarding my fertility.  I spend hours, days even, crying for my husband, wishing he were here to hold me or hold my hand through all of this.

I just want to tell someone about my day.  I want to lie in bed with someone who loves me and can tell me it’s all worth it and wants to hold me and pet my head and rub my feet and promise to be by my side.

And at the same time, I don’t want that, because no one is Ron.

So then I think all I really need is my mom, but of course, she can’t be here at the drop of a hat.  And then I start questioning everything.  Can I do this on my own?  If I can’t even get through this “easy” part, am I ready for the harder stuff down the road?  Am I making a huge, life-altering mistake?  Can someone want something as badly as I want this and still be wrong in the decision they make to pursue it?

Nothing in my life is charted territory.  There are no quick Google searches, no forums online or in person, full of people who have “been there, done that.”  And there is nothing scarier than this isolation right now.

Short stories.

On our first date, Ron and I went to Carl’s Junior.  I drove and bought my own happy meal.  A few days later he decided he needed to take me on a “real date.”  I’m still not sure if Carl’s Junior was a test I needed to pass, or if he was just clueless.

Ron was the life of the party…for about 25 minutes.  This is how “turn up and pass out for Ron” became a thing.  He’d try to keep up with everyone, but instead he’d end up down for the count by 9 pm.  Then he’d wake up at the crack of dawn the next day and wonder where the mess came from–oh, I don’t know dear; could it possibly have accumulated over the remaining 4-6 hours of partying that you slept through?

The number of times I threatened to break up with or divorce him for refusing to turn the A/C on in the car (even driving through the desert in August): 49,764.  The number of times this actually phased him: 0.

Ron gave the best foot rubs, but at some point in the early stages of our relationship, he started remarking that I always had lint between my toes from my socks.  He started calling me “Sock Lint” and when I got a new laptop he set up for me, he even set my Windows username to “Sock Lint”.  In retaliation, I began to refer to him as “Bed Crumbs” because I don’t know how the hell he managed this, but that man never, ever had crumb-free sheets.

At one point, we were at a dive bar/strip club in Portland when I pointed out that one of the dancers looked like my girl crush, Krysten Ritter.  Ron proceeded to buy me a couple of AMFs in a row, and before I knew it, I was drunk and being grinded on by the nude Krysten Ritter look-alike.  My one and only private dance; thanks babe.

My mom tells me often that the couple of weeks she spent helping us move in to our Colorado apartment was the most she really got to see Ron and I interact as a couple, and she will never let me forget a moment when I was just sitting around, and Ron walked in the door, looked at me, and said “Man, you’re beautiful.”

I still remember what it felt like to run my fingers through his hair and pinch his squishy earlobes.  I remember what his big toenails looked like–they were perfectly round, and once he let me paint them neon green but then refused to let anyone, including me, see him without socks on for weeks. I can picture the exact position he’d be in while sitting at his desk drinking a beer.  I can still hear him laughing at the weirdest shit on Youtube and now my heart is racing because I just want it all back.

Day 0: Let me field some questions.

Disclosure: Nothing I write is meant to shame anyone who has experienced unplanned pregnancy, or any decisions that they’ve made leading to the pregnancy or thereafter.  This is simply my personal experience.

I’ve known I’ve wanted children for as long as I can remember.  I’ve also made the conscious and responsible decision not to rush the process.  I chose to do everything in my power to prevent unplanned pregnancy or pregnancy at a time when I didn’t feel as financially, emotionally, or physically secure as possible.

When Ron and I made the decision to try to start our family, we had been together for 6 years, and had been discussing the possibility and getting our ducks in a row for at least the latter half of those 6 years.  We waited until we were at one of the strongest, happiest points in our relationship; we waited until we were financially comfortable and secure in our living situation; we waited until we both felt that the joy of welcoming and raising a child would outweigh the sacrifices we’d make to do so.

In the several months we spent actively trying to conceive, it was one of the most exciting things we’d ever decided to do together, and we both wanted it more than anything else.  We would spend evenings talking about baby names and visions for our future and hopes and dreams for our future child–as well as things like which medical insurance would be best, how we’d manage childcare and work schedules, and what we could cut to add room in our budget to save for a down payment on a home.

The decision that I’ve recently made to move forward with starting a family was made with the same thinking, planning, and scrutiny now as it was when it was Ron and I were making the decision together.  It was not made in haste.  It was not uneducated–as a matter of fact, I think there are very few things I have researched more extensively.  It was not made to fill a void–and if anything, the reality of the situation and the gravity of now making these decisions and experiencing this process without Ron has deepened the sense of loss that I feel.

Continue reading Day 0: Let me field some questions.

488: Catching Up, Part II

Getting words from my brain to my fingertips has been daunting for quite some time now.  Last time I checked in I updated on the first part of my summer, with great intentions to be back every few weeks until I’d filled in the gaps between the months of July and October.  That didn’t happen, clearly.

Here’s a run-through in double-time (with photos!):

Continue reading 488: Catching Up, Part II