A follicle named Chubs and a resolution.

In the past two days, I’ve read 2/3 of a book.  This is directly connected to a New Year’s resolution I made about 34 hours after the new year began, while staring at the large fishtank that features prominently in Clinic One’s waiting room design.

On January 2nd, as I sat staring at the fishtank, I was thinking about the liminal space of waiting rooms and of fertility treatments in general.  Of how much time we spend waiting and bored, in what is cumulatively a life altering process.  Not just the time spent in waiting rooms, sitting in light wood furniture looking at fishtanks or walls painted in neutral tones, but also the time we lose to TWWs, next tries, scans, or other anticipation.  I tried to think back to what I had done in those countless waiting hours in 2012-2013.  Stared at my phone, probably.  Watched the fish swim in circles. Googled.  Thinking back, I resolved to make the waiting that 2016 will inevitably hold more productive.  I’ll do things while I wait, I decided.  Not just crush endless candies on my phone.  I’ll knit, I’ll read, I’ll write: anything that makes it feel a little more like my waiting counts.  (My other fertility resolution is to not Google, which I’m half succeeding in.)

So, I’ve spent the last two days of cycle monitoring/waiting reading.  Half-listening for my name or number, but mostly absorbed in somebody else’s life.  (This Is Happy, if you’re wondering.  On theme, and probably deserving of its own post.)

I only managed to read a little bit yesterday, in a visit that was luckily short.  My ultrasound number was called before I could even choose a light pine chair to wait in, and my blood was drawn almost immediately after that. I did have to wait to see my doctor, whose face I couldn’t remember.  So I read and waited, listening to other people’s names being called by other doctors.  Then my doctor appeared.  Though I hadn’t remembered what he looked like from our first visit, now it occurred to me that he looked uncannily familiar: eerily like my brother.  We’ll call him Dr Paul from now on.

Dr Paul spoke to me for all of five minutes, as I tried to focus on what he was saying and not his resemblance to my sibling.  The Femara has worked like a charm, it seems: on CD11, my lead follicle was 22mm.  “A good follicle,” Dr Paul noted approvingly, “that will hopefully turn into a good embryo”.  With that cheerful announcement, he sent me on my way to return for cycle monitoring the next day. (Today.)

Today’s visit featured a similarly quick ultrasound and blood draw, but was followed by a wait that stretched almost two hours.  I diligently read, covering decades of Camilla Gibb’s life while I waited for Dr Paul to make his pronouncement.  Patients filtered out of the office until I was only accompanied by a singing toddler and her mother.  Dr Paul found me in the waiting room, not bothering to call me into the office.  My follicle is now 24.5mm, or giant.  (I’ve nicknamed it Chubs, though Sea doesn’t approve.)  Dr Paul explained that, one way or another, the IUI would be happening tomorrow.  I just needed to sit and wait until my bloodwork came back, so that they could decide whether to trigger or not.   That wait took another hour, or 1/3 of a book.  Finally he came back: my bloodwork shows that I’m surging, no trigger needed, IUI tomorrow.

So tomorrow Sea and I will head back to Clinic One, and I’ll finish a book while the sperm we’ve stored there since 2013 thaws.  Then the IUI will happen, and we’ll be on to another wait.

Wish us (and Chubs) luck!

 

2016: year of the baby.

In an auspicious start to the new year, my period began on January 1st.
We didn’t end up trying in December, because it would have cut dangerously close to our holiday travel plans. We might have been able to squeeze in the IUI before we left, but we might also have been doing it on the way to the airport. So December came and went. I consumed a lot of sugar and paid very little attention to my uterus. It was lovely.
And now, 2016 is here: a year that, for one reason or another, will likely involve paying a lot of attention to my uterus.

Continue reading

A visit to Clinic One.

I woke up to the sound of our alarm clock, early enough on a fall morning that our room was still completely in the dark.  I squinted as I rooted through the laundry basket of clean, unfolded clothes: hoping desperately that the clothes I grabbed would both fit and vaguely match.  Then I stepped out into the cold and headed downtown to Clinic One.

Yes, this was this morning.

Continue reading

For those of you TTC (or trying to avoid it)…

A more inclusive cycle tracking tool is now available!

From the little I can see, it still seems to assume the type of sex folks are having.  Regardless, if I still had a cycle to track, I would appreciate a tool that doesn’t involve various pastels and unfortunate euphemisms.  And I would really love to set an app, any app, to “sex mode”.

http://tumblr.sexmind.com/post/62617096834/mcalc-the-first-gender-neutral-menstruation

A conversation with two ten year olds.

Kid 1: Wait, you’re pregnant?

Me: Yes.

Kid 1: How?

Me:  I just am.

Kid 1: What did you get pregnant with?

Me: A baby, I hope.

Kid 1: No, with what man?  What man did you get pregnant with?

Me: I didn’t get pregnant with any man.

Kid 2:  (leaping up, in great excitement) I know!  I know!  She got pregnant with insemination!  That’s how my sister and I were made!  With insemination!

Weird.

Not long ago, I realized that there were 99 posts on this blog.  The enormity of a hundredth post overwhelmed me, and I refused to update again until Sea had written.  Now that she has taken care of posts 100 and 101, I can go back to posting without worrying whether the topic at hand is substantial enough for such a momentous occasion.   Topics that were deemed not worthy of the final position in the top one hundred:

– My strained relationship with the soft serve ice cream truck that meanders down our street every evening.  I had always heard its repetitive song as whimsical, but now—as the truck slows in front of our house— the tune seems melancholy.  I’ve nicknamed the truck “listeria truck”, and wave sadly as it goes by.

– How Bingo’s gentle twitches are transforming into more insistent kicks.  And how last week Bingo discovered the ability to deliver a precise kick to my bladder.

– The complexities of creating a baby shower guest list: the politics of who to invite and who to strike from the list.

– Connected to the above point, my mistaken idea that a baby shower is a good opportunity to reconnect with people from earlier in my life.  Such as my high school best friend.  Though we live in the same city, I haven’t seen her in over five years.  Her immediate response to my request for her address was “why?”  When I told her it was to send her a baby shower invite she replied: “baby shower…for a cat?”

But I can’t devote this post to any of those topics either, because this blog post commemorates another momentous occasion: a year of blogging.  In a year, Sea and I have blogged our way through five months of TTC, four IUIs, 34 ultrasounds and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

A year ago, my insides were deemed photogenic by a brusque technician.   I started this blog the same day.   Today, we’re one day away from what is officially considered “viability”.  This morning I sat on the couch and, for the first time, saw Bingo move from the outside.  This afternoon, Sea and I lay next to each other on a beach.  Bingo began to kick, and I told Sea to watch.  As she saw Bingo move for the first time, she smiled.  “Weird”, she said.

Weird, indeed.

Partner’s Post: Diet Coke and Herbal Tea – A Tale of Two Midwives

If Clinic One is the Costco of fertility clinics, then the midwife clinic to which we transferred after is the small town general store. A general store of the sort that sit, chipped red paint fading, at the fork of two dirt roads cut through a thick wall of evergreens 30 minutes from the nearest sign of modern civilization. The sort of place that offers everything from fishing bait and firewood to quarts of milk and Band Aids, with a rusted, mud-splattered pickup parked outside, and its interior wood paneled walls adorned with kitschy metal roosters and retired license plates. Continue reading

A dissection of the anatomy scan.

After watching other people’s pregnancy announcements appear on Facebook for the last several months—with due dates further and further after ours— Sea and I counted down from three and posted our own.  I changed my cover image to three pairs of shoes and updated my status.  Sea posted a picture from Friday’s ultrasound.

Friday was the big 20 week anatomy scan: the first ultrasound we had had in seven weeks, and possibly the last one of the pregnancy.  Sea and I had both booked the afternoon off, and it felt strangely like being on vacation.  It was sunny and warm.  We went to one of our favourite restaurants for lunch.  We visited the library.  I drank my body weight in water, as required by the ultrasound clinic.  And then wandered into a small, beige office to see Bingo.

Continue reading