Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Memory Lane

And so we started all over again.
I remembered how it's done. It's not like I had much to fear. The BIG SHOT and I had already faced off. Those little shots made their attacks more than once, so I knew what to expect there. And I'd already felt the affects of a negative result. The worst thing that can happen is the same thing. And if the same thing is the worst thing, then I'm in much better shape this time around.

We decided to try something called IUI for this cycle. It stands for (hold your ears if you're easily grossed out by lady-parts words) Intra-Uterine Insemination. Basically, they get those little swimmers a lot closer to the egg than we could have if we were trying to conceive naturally. Instead of road maps and stop signs, it's sort of like a bus that drops them off at the right stop, then shoves them out the door and drives away shouting, "NORTH!"
Some may have thought it was a little bit pre-mature to move up a level in the game of fertility. But David doesn't like games. He decided the second we learned we weren't pregnant the last time that this is what he wanted to do. And I love when he makes decisions, so I went along with it. (David and I can get stuck at the end of our driveway for 20 minutes waiting for one of us to make the decision about whether to start walking to the right or to the left.)

The day I was to start taking the fertility goodness pills I was in Vero (where I grew up) with one of my best friends. We had been invited to judge a drama competition. These were the same competitions we prepared for every year when we were in high school. We had such a great day, cracking up quietly about how much these kids reminded us of, well, us. Super dramatic, very serious about their art, complete nerds, and, of course, accompanied by overcompensating drama teachers who obviously never made it as actors.
When we got our lunch break, we were served by the students themselves. The lunch was fair but it was absolutely adorable watching the kids cook and serve. I felt like such a grown up that day.
I took out my fertility pills and counted them at the lunch table. I held them under the table cloth in my hand. I lifted the cloth and showed my friend.
"What is that?"
"That's the fertility goodness. Say a prayer they work!"
My friend held my hands in his, lowered his head, and was silent for several seconds. There we sat, at a 6-top in the middle of the high school culinary classroom with a bunch of other drama teachers and actors, and we were bowing our heads in prayer over fertility pills. And as soon as we said "Amen" and raised our heads, I leaned my head back, popped the pills and slugged some water. I was so appreciative of my friend's support and the fact that he didn't care how strange it looked to pray over pills at a drama competition.
I smiled while we walked back to the judging room after lunch, acting much the same as I did when I was in High School: full of joy, walking next to one of my best friends, and making fun of kids who weren't as cool as us. And trust me, there were PLENTY who weren't as cool as us.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Consumer Complaints

So let's be honest, trying to get pregnant every month and failing isn't always funny. Sometimes it's downright mean of Mother Nature to give me ovaries and a uterus if she knew they weren't going to work the way they should. But I have to get over it and realize that we've all got a path and everything is happening exactly as it should and blah, blah, blah.
Whatever cliche you choose to impart upon me, I'm taking this time to thoroughly, authentically, and quite plainly, bitch.
How sick am I of hearing about women who accidentally get pregnant? It's not their fault, and they certainly shouldn't keep it a secret, but it sure does twist the knife when they remark on how terrified they were when they found out they were with child. It's unbelievably annoying when they tell me they weren't even trying or didn't feel ready. Yeah, you've been inconvenienced, but you've been inconvenienced by a PERSON you MADE. That's about the best freakin' inconvenience I can think of. Ironically, I was a surprise. (I prefer "surprise" over "accident".) And so was David. Does this mean two accidents combining make a couple infertile? Is it like two North Poles of a magnet? Our egg and sperm look at each other like, "Oh, no. We will have NO MORE ACCIDENTS."

And how about that show, "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant." Really? You didn't? How adorable. You gained 20 pounds, puked, stopped your period ENTIRELY, became irretrievably moody, and started going into labor before you figured out that you were harboring life. You know what? Give me your baby. Just give it to me. If you didn't even know, what's the difference? You won't miss it and then I'll get to have the baby I always wanted. There should be a call-in number at the end of that show where infertile women can vote for which babies most deserve new mothers and why. Because if you don't give those babies to someone else, in 20 years they'll all be on Nightline talking about how they never felt like their mothers even knew they were there. Because they didn't.

But this...this is my favorite. Everyone and their sister is pregnant. At least one person from every period of my life is pregnant. And they're all afraid to TELL me. Sure, they eventually tell me, but they tip toe because they don't want to "hurt my feelings". Well, that pisses me off even more. It would hurt my feelings if you were secretly shooting Dave up with anabolic steroids or stealing my fertility goodness from the fridge. It doesn't hurt my feelings that you're pregnant. I think it's tap-dancing, booty-shaking, kiss-you-on-the-face fantastic that you're pregnant. Now, let's not talk about how expensive your labor and delivery bills are going to be. Your baby was free.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Little Holiday Wish

Here's my little holiday wish: If you read my blog, would you mind becoming a "follower" if you aren't one already?

It would make my knees sparkle and my fingers shout.

Thanks everyone.
Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dr. Kale vs. Bacon

When I decided to see a nutritionist, it was with the hopes that eating bacon and rib eye every night might have some healthier alternative out there.
Of course, as any good nutritionist would be, he was horrified at what I was eating. Without actually saying it, he basically guaranteed I'd be dead in a month if I kept up this "animal product" diet. This indicated to me that I needed to get pregnant within a month or David would be a childless widow. No pressure, or anything.
Dr. Kale told me that dark legumes, sprouted wheat, blueberries, and (of course) kale was all I should be eating to "cleanse" my body of the animals. This went against EVERYTHING my endocrinologist said (and frankly, I wondered where cheese fit in). I decided to keep eating meat and talk to the nurses at the endocrinologist's office.
I went in for a "pre-cycle" visit to make sure everything was fine before we started the whole process over again. I mentioned "nutritionist" (actually, I think I only got "nutrit" out) and my nurse dropped her pen. "Who? You went to a nutritionist?"
"Yes, Dr. Kale. He's really nice and very supporti..."
"I've had many words with many nutritionists in this town. I've even kicked some asses. They do NOT understand that our goal here is to..."
"No no, Winnie. It's fine. I'm not going to change anything about my diet." I mean, I'm not going to change anything about my diet now that I've watched your eyes turn red and your hands start to shake at the mere mention of the word "nutritionist".
"Ok, yes. No I know you wouldn't. You're not stupid, Erin. But some of my patients might have given into that crap."
Oh boy. Now my nurse is mad at me. I quickly lied through my teeth, denouncing everything Dr. Kale said in favor of eating all animal products all day every day for the rest of my life to please Winnie. These were the people I should be trusting anyway, right? They were the ones who got hundreds of women pregnant before me! I would just have to return to Dr. Kale and let him know I would be sticking with the pregnancy diet.
This is turn meant Dr. Kale was now mad at me, too. Being very zen-like (mainly because he doesn't eat anything), he reminded me of how important my own health was if I was going to have a child. He understood my choices, but couldn't hide the frustration in his left eyeball everytime I said bacon.
So at this point I've got two experts in two different fields totally up in arms about what I was eating and both guaranteed to get me pregnant if I just listened to THEIR ideas. I didn't think this hard about the last election.
Ultimately, I decided to write out the pros and cons while eating a cupcake -
Pros with the endocrinologist: This diet had worked many times and many women got pregnant this way. I've seen the pictures of the babies on the walls as proof.
Cons: All meat diet, could die next month.
Pros with the nutritionist: A larger variety of food, more fun 'cuz I'm not dead.
Cons: No real evidence that his method will get me pregnant.

I ultimately decided to stick with the endocrinologist's diet. My biological instincts are much stronger than my fear of mortality. And if this blog suddenly ends in the middle of January, you'll know to trust the nutritionist next time.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hurry Up and Freeze

The awesome nurses and staff at my fertility office decided to try and save us some money. This is greatly appreciated considering we now have the names and amounts of our credit cards posted on the refrigerator as a constant reminder there will be no Christmas this year.
Instead of all the shots and pills arriving at our doorstep in one box, my nurse ordered several less expensive types of medicine that would arrive in stages. The biggest difference was that these shots needed to be refrigerated.
While they were less expensive, they weren't something you would set on the counter and forget about like non-organic milk. I had to be very careful to schedule their delivery accordingly. So I ordered the first box's arrival time on the day we came home from LA after Thanksgiving and the second for several days later when I knew one of us could be home. I had it on my calendar, David's calendar, and even in my neighbor's calendar (in case our flight was late and she had to come get the goodness off our doorstep). NO WAY would these cute little vials of fertility goodness get lost or go without the loving embrace of my refrigerator for any longer than they had to.
When we landed in Dallas for our layover, we were late. I texted our neighbor to ensure "the duck had landed" and that "the duck was in their fridge". She didn't respond. David texted her husband. No answer. Finally, we both called them. Their phones were off. HAD THEY STOLEN THE FERTILITY GOODNESS TO SELL ON THE BLACK MARKET?! Clearly, this was the only answer. And the moment I realized our neighbors were attempting to thwart our plans for a child, the flight attendant told us to put our phones away. BUT OUR NEIGHBORS ARE STEALING OUR BABIES!!!
It was a long 3 hours while I sat and prayed that our neighbors hadn't killed "the duck" by leaving it out in the "sunshine". (Too many quotations? I'm just getting started.) Oh please, Lord, save the fertility goodness from our evil and untrustworthy neighbors who turned off our sprinklers for us after they got stuck in the "on" position while we were in Europe and saved us hundreds of dollars from the Jacksonville Electric Authority. They were obviously thieves.
When we landed I immediately turned my phone on. Text message. Crisis averted. The duck had landed and it was safe in their fridge. Trust restored. Do you love how I overreact? Dave does.
The second box was due at 4pm on a Friday. I was at my mom's house so I asked David to stay home. He did and waited patiently for the box to arrive. 4pm. 4:15pm. 4:30pm. No worries, I'm sure they're just running a little behind with all the other POTENTIALLY LIFE CHANGING DELIVERIES.
4:45pm. 5:00pm. 5:15pm. Finally, David had to leave the house to go to dinner. You can imagine the panic. What if the drugs arrived right after he left and sat outside for 6 hours and killed all the baby-making goodness? Then we would have to re-order them using the money we would make from selling our kidneys on the black market, because how else are we going to pay for more of these drugs?! I called the pharmacy in charge of shipping. A tiger of a representative went after an unnamed package delivery service (not UPS, or USPS, or DHL, but...). She told them I was diabetic and needed the insulin that was in the package delivered to me immediately. (Hehe!)
As it turns out, the package was delivered to the wrong house on the other side of town because the driver was "new" and didn't know the "route" or how to read "addresses" on "homes". Well, you should have heard the pharmacy rep really REP her a new one (let me have that ONE pun). Luckily, the people who received our package noticed that they didn't need any fertility drugs that day, and kindly returned the package! My pharmacy rep insisted the driver go back out there after hours, pick it up, and then re-deliver it to me with plenty of time to spare for injections. This seemed an impossible task, as the driver was back in her comfy home for the night, assuming she was able to find it what with all those pesky numbers on her mailbox and street signs getting in the way. The two argued until finally I suggested they just deliver the package the next day. This sort of negated the whole "diabetic" argument, but at that point I just wanted my baby-makers home safe. All parties agreed and, in fact, the "package" was delivered "safely" to my "porch" the next day.
Maybe they should be renamed Fed Ups. Oops, did I give it away?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Recovery...in One Step

While recovering from the week's big let down, I realized that seeing as how I wasn't pregnant, I could drink! I hadn't had anything to drink in months, so I figured a glass of wine would be a good place to start. My neighbor got home at about 4pm and came over to help me choose a bottle and enjoy a glass.
That same day, my husband had a tv company out at the house working on switching our cable service. There were men in and out all day long, much to Charlie's dismay. They were supposed to finish around 3, but of course, there was some kind of technical problem and it would take a few more hours. No matter. David was the one dealing with them and their shoe covers (because I'm not mopping again).
My neighbor helped me pop a bottle of red and oh my did it smell good! I got out two fancy glasses and sat on the couch, lamenting with her about our problems. I'm sure we looked like a couple of desperate housewives, or at the very least some snobby little winos, but it felt good to sit back and relax.
It seems that after not drinking for a few months, one forgets about the affects. You see, when you drink a glass of wine, you feel great! And because that glass makes you feel wonderful, it seems like 2 would make you feel TWICE as wonderful! Right?!
While I poured a second glass at 4:30 in the afternoon, David informed me he would be leaving to run errands. Leaving? Wait a minute, mister. You never mentioned leaving! What about all these cable guys?! David told me the guys would be finished in a minute and to just relax and enjoy the wine. After having just had a glass of wine, that sounded like a good idea, so I continued pouring. If I passed out, the cable guys would just have to step over me (wearing those shoe covers, of course).
It would be over an hour before the cable guys were finished, and by that point let's just say my neighbor and I had become fairly verbose. Marco, the main cable guy, came into the living room to do the "education." That's what he called it. Apparently, cable companies are now taking the time to instruct people on how to use their products to prevent technologically-green folks from clogging up their customer services lines so those poor service reps have time to be rude and dismissive to people who REALLY have problems. The trouble was, Marco entered into the "education" portion of the day at about 5:45pm, or as I was calling it at that point, Wine-Thirty. He showed me the remote control and started explaining how to change channels and scroll through the guide. Ordinarily, I would politely explain that I knew how to use a remote control, even a fancy one. But all wined-up, I held in the biggest case of the giggles ever and told him I'd gone to Cable University while my neighbor shoved her head in a pillow (very discretely), holding her wine glass straight up in the air. When he asked me if I knew my IP address, I recited my own address and laughed again. My neighbor asked, "Isn't that something that they give you, like, at the cable place?" This poor man.
After about 10 minutes, Marco decided to write down the rest of the information "for my husband" and give me a brochure. It really wasn't until later when David asked me how to find the sattelite music stations on our new cable box that I felt really badly about having not paid attention during my "education." It took me about 45 minutes the next day to figure out how to record a television series. And to this day, I can't tell him why we can only record HD channels in the living room and not in the bedroom. I'm pretty sure Marco told me, I just can't remember. Of course, I'm sure if I called, the service rep would condescendingly refer me to the brochure I received during my "education".
The moral of the story is, don't underestimate the power of the cable education. It's worth listening. Even taking notes. And if anyone can help me find the picture-in-picture button on my remote, I'd really appreciate it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

...we read the results.

"It says not pregnant," he said.
I'm not sure I responded. I don't even think I looked at him. I was leaning against a stool and I just sort of collapsed on top of it. I stared at the floor for a minute while we occupied the space together, silently.

"Are you sure?"

I started waiting for the episode of Friends to play out when Phoebe tells Rachel her pregnancy test is negative, and then when Rachel cries because she's so sad, Phoebe tells her the truth (she is pregnant) and now Rachel knows how she truly feels about being pregnant. I looked at David for a minute waiting for him to say, "I lied before! It's positive!" He never did. He just stared back at me.
The tears came and went about 20 times that night. There are no words to describe the pain I felt for losing something I never had. It just seemed like the path: We start trying, I get diagnosed, we make a plan, I write a blog, and boom. But no boom. No nothing.

The next morning, the entire doctor's office knew the second they saw me. I'm sure my eyes were bloodshot and instead of a perky little greeting of some sort, I just mumbled hello. I looked like a mess, and I ALWAYS looked cute for the doctor's office before. I finally said, "We took a test."
"You did? Oh no! Was it negative?"
Enter your own sarcastic comment here.
"Did you take one of those 5-days-early tests?"
"Yes. I did."
"Maybe you drank too much water beforehand? Diluted the test?"
"No. I didn't."
"Well, there's still a chance that it was just plain wrong."
"Not much, I don't think."
The nurse sat me down for the blood test. I had to sqeeze a squishy ball while she found a vein. And what was the squishy ball in the shape of, you ask? A big squishy sperm, of course.
David took the other two squishy balls, a bull and a ball respectively, and began a short circus show just for me so I wouldn't look at the needle. While the bull was trying to balance on the ball, I stared that sperm in the eyes (yeah, it had eyes) while I squeezed. For a moment, our gaze locked and I said in my head to that sperm, "Listen. I am doing everything I can here. Pills, shots, positions...the least you can do is swim. Do you need directions? A more clearly marked path? It's your only job, so I'd really appreciate it if you could figure out what you need to get the job done quickly and correctly. We're all counting on you." Now, maybe that was too much pressure for the little guy. But seriously, someone had to lay down the law. And who better than me?
She drew the blood before I could finish our "conversation" and sent me on my way. I stopped and chatted with one nurse about how to proceed and was sick at the thought of doing all this over again. And now that I knew this first round didn't work, there was NO telling how many times we would have to do it all again. The fear became infinite.
I spent about 3 days on the couch. I tried to work, and I tried to make dinner, but I couldn't do anything. I was paralyzed with sadness. When I finally woke up one morning feeling less that horrendous, I decided that this next round would be different. I wasn't going to set myself up again. My day would include more than doctor's visits and carefully written calendars. I would cook dinner and visit my friends on the weekends. And I was NOT going to blog everyday about "BabyGate" anymore. Sure, it could make it's way in to every other post or so, but my life is so much more than making babies. To tell you the truth, maybe it was MY stress that scared those poor little swimmers off. They probably took one look around and said, "Well, hell, it feels like a pressure cooker in here! This is too much. I don't want to swim. I just want to sit down and think about my short little life."
And so, we begin another round, another hopeful month. We are so grateful to everyone who has supported our choices thus far, and I am personally so grateful to everyone who follows the story. I have received many letters of encouragement and advice that have all given me faith that blogging is one thing that will get me through this crazy adventure. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

And so...

The day before we were due at the doctor's to get a blood test, we decided it was best to take a test at home. Our blood test would take 5 hours, and I couldn't imagine sitting and waiting 5 hours for the results. That way, even if the results were negative, we could be ready for the next day. David wouldn't be home from work until 6pm, so I had the entire day to net raccoon-sized butterflies in me stomach and put them in a jar for use wall art later.
I went to the drug store to pick up a test. I also needed a refill on the drug the doctor put me on to help control my sugar. I couldn't take it anymore if I was pregnant. At the end of the day, the test would determine whether or not I would need the drugs anymore. I went back and forth as to whether or not it was a good idea to refill the medicine.
If I did refill it, it could jinx the test, or scare away the positive result.
If I didn't refill it, it meant I was so sure I was pregnant that I didn't even need the medicine anymore.
If I did refill it, it might be like admitting I don't think I'm pregnant.
If I didn't refill it, and I wasn't pregnant, then not only do I have the pain of not being pregnant but I also had to make another trip to the drug store.
Finally, someone in the pharmacy department noticed I was just standing there staring at the yeast infection medications and asked me if I needed help. I refrained from asking what he thought I should do. I just grabbed a pregnancy test and headed back to refill the prescription. The lovely pharmacist got my meds and checked me out and looked me right in the eye. She smiled and said, "Congratulations, and good luck!"
Well, if "to refill or not to refill" wasn't enough, now I've got "Congratulations, and good luck." WHICH IS IT? CONGRATULATIONS OR GOOD LUCK? I'm looking for signs here, lady. I need a clue. I'm see omans everywhere. And the best you can come up with is Congrats and Good luck? You couldn't just say one or the other? BOTH? Because now you're making re-think the brand of pregnancy test I bought and if I bought the wrong one and it's results are inaccurate, I'm going to sue you.
I drove home thinking and re-thinking everything I was doing. "If I make it to the stop sign before the end of this commercial, I'll be pregnant." "If I don't have to press on the break until I get to the driveway, I'll be pregnant." Stupid, superstitious games that were making me nuts, but I couldn't stop playing them.
It took 794 hours for David to come home and when he finally did, a guy I work for called me with an urgent request. I probably seemed like a total flake, because I couldn't focus on anything he was asking me to do. I just kept saying, "Ok, alright, no problem, I'll do it..." when he was asking me yes or no questions. That never-ending conversation was nearly the death of me.

I decided I would pee on the stick and turn it upside down. I didn't want to see the results. And since David felt like he had so little to do with the entire process, I decided he should read the results. We sat in the kitchen together and stared at each other, waiting for 2 minutes...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

BabyGate 2009 - Part 11

After the Green M&M told me it was time to give this a “fair try”, I suddenly got very nervous. There were PLENTY of instructions on how to take the pills, administer the injections, and follow the “doctor speak” about my progress so far in the cycle. But no one had told me if there were certain things I needed to do to actually “try”?! By that point the Green M&M was gone, and I was too embarrassed to ask Elvira in billing if there was some trick to it all. So the second I got home, I went back to Google School. I know, I know what you’re thinking. Bad choice, Erin. But I had been able to so carefully control everything up until this point, and all of a sudden I was just supposed to wait and see? That seemed way too risky.
First I Googled, “The best sexual positions for conceiving.” Let me be the example for the class on this subject forever and ever: NEVER ENTER THE WORD "SEXUAL" INTO A SEARCH STRING. IT WILL NOT BE WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR. I clicked away from that screen so fast, I felt like I was trying to keep THE NEIGHBORS from knowing what those websites were called.

Next, I Googled, “How to get pregnant.” Well, that was the hot ticket to the baby train right there. Hundreds of woman had posted personal stories of how they got pregnant. Pillow under the back, legs straight up in the air, thinking positively, headstand, leaning to the side you ovulated on…it was all there. So I took every single one of them seriously and decided that if this was all I had control over, then this is what we would have to do. I mean, we’d spent good money to get this egg out and who knew the next time we’d get another one!? We had to make this time COUNT!

When David got home, I explained to him that this evening we would be “trying” while I laid on my side on a stack of seven pillows with my legs hung from the ceiling fan and directly afterward, his job was to stand me on my head and hold me there for 30 minutes. Oh, and then think positively. He assured me that millions of women became pregnant without doing any of these things. And even after I referenced the Yahoo chat room highlighting the importance aligning your Chi in the hours before trying to conceive, he still insisted everything would be fine.

After the trying had commenced, we made an appointment with a nutritionist. It seemed important to both of us that my insulin resistance be controlled if I were to get pregnant, but not by eating meat and fat. It didn’t seem healthy, and my body sure wasn’t happy about the change in diet. And when we met Dr. Kale, he seemed positive that we could come up with a solution that met both the needs of my fertility doctor and my falling-down butt. Both David and I were very excited about a new way of eating, and about getting through the next two weeks when we could finally take a test. The waiting game began.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

BabyGate 2009 - Part 10

It was around Halloween when I was finally ready for my last ultrasound. They had to get one last look before I got THE BIG SHOT. As long as everything had continued growing in the right direction, nature could take it’s course. You know, after all the pills and the injectable drugs and the ultrasounds, NATURE could finally take it’s course. There were plenty of moments along the road that I wondered if this was really the right decision. It sure didn’t seem like I was the one making the babies anymore.
When I checked in at the front desk, Amy greeted me dressed like a 1970’s rocker chic. I remind you, it was Halloween, and it appeared these folks took their holidays very seriously. I guess if you’re looking at women’s uteruses and ovaries all day, you long for a break from the norm.
The Wicked Witch of the West called my name and led me to Ponte Vedra for my ultrasound. I joked in my head while waiting on the table about what or who would be walking in to examine me. Harry Potter, maybe? Chucky? Kate Gosselin?
Would you believe it was none of those? No modern media news story character on crack could have topped what I saw walk in the door. It was sperm. A grown woman dressed as a giant, 5 foot tall sperm. A human-sized sperm had come to help me get pregnant. Now, if this isn’t an ancient Chinese proverb, or at least a sign of good luck, I don’t know what is.

She sat down and I couldn’t stop moving from giggling and laughing out loud. What made the whole situation even more hilarious is she kept having to reposition her head within the giant sperm’s head to see out. When she finally gave me the thumb’s up (do sperm have thumbs?), I watched her long sperm tail drag behind her as she left the room. I’m pretty sure that’s the most times I’ve ever typed the word “sperm”, so thanks to her for that.

Another one of my nurses, a demure Green M&M, came in all smiles. “You’re ready to release your egg!”
There aren’t a lot of responses to this that seem appropriate in the moment, so I just stuck with the smile and the thumbs up right next to the face. I warned her that I might get woozy, so she propped me up against the table so that if I fainted I would land square in the outline of my butt in the exam table sanitary paper. She got out THE BIG SHOT and I closed my eyes. I told her no counting. Just do it! I was pretty nervous, and rightfully so. She grabbed my thigh muscle and shoved that thing in deep! It felt like it went all the way down to my ankle, but within a few minutes the pain was gone. I had survived THE BIG SHOT, and I would finally have my chance.
“Great job!” the Green M&M shrieked. “Wait about 12 hours, and then you guys can give this a fair try!”
You got it, M&M. We're going to give this a fair try.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

BabyGate 2009 - Part 9

First of all, did anyone hear them say BabyGate on Glee last week? David and I both jumped off the couch. Clearly they've been reading my blog. Hi Mr. Shu!

The third shot was easy and quick. In fact, Dave administered the fertility goodness while I was laying on the bed watching TV and while he was drinking a beer.
After three days, it was as easy as and peeling a hard-boiled egg and pairing it with bacon every single morning for the rest of my life God I wish I could stop eating all this meat…
It was around that third shot that I began to feel tired and lumpy. I wasn’t getting much exercise because the doctor told me cardio would release the “wrong hormones”. I was eating more meat than I had in my entire life. My body was no longer lean and mean. It was kind of soft and apathetic instead. My butt, three months prior a taught and stand-up gal, just kind of laid down for a nap. My arms previously sported a hot little line that shouted “Check me out! I’m muscles!” The skin used to stretch tightly over my well-defined thighs and calves, but no more. And my stomach. Oh my stomach. I’m not sure I even want to say something witty about it. It’s that bad.
And because my body was taking the A-Train south, I was losing interest in my yoga and ball pilates. The alarm clock still went off every morning at 6:15. And I still hit the snooze button. The only difference was that I hit the “alarm off” button right after I hit the snooze button and slept until 7:30. I started to get the idea that my food might be making me depressed.
At about the same time, a couple David was working out with recommended we see a nutritionist to help me regulate my sugar when I eventually became pregnant. He came home and told me we HAD to go meet with this doctor because from everything he heard, this guy could really help us. Great idea, right? ANOTHER doctor. As if the bills we had piled up on our credit cards were getting lonely and needed a new doctor to play with. But he wouldn’t let it go. Everyday he left me a reminder to call them. Every night he asked me when I might want to go. Finally, one morning, he sent me an email from our house reading, “Put a star on this email. Tomorrow, when you start work, call and make an appointment and then you can remove the star.” Damnit. He appealed to the joy I carry in marking things off a checklist. He got me.
Before we could go meet this new doctor, I had to go into the fertility doctor’s office to see if my follicles had responded to the shots. We had to go in on a Sunday, much to the doctors’ and nurses’ delights I’m sure. The ultrasound was fast and the picture that flashed on the screen dazzled our eyes!
“17cm.” The doctor said.

“Woooooow.” David and I said. We’d never made one that big!

“You’ll be ready for the HCG shot tomorrow. You can do that one at home too…”

“NO.” Maybe I shouted it a little too quickly, as to somehow imply that I didn’t trust my husband with the longest needle in the world. “I mean, I would rather a nurse do that.” Both the nurse and the doctor set their pens down and looked at me. David put his head down. I started explaining. “No no, he did a great job with the other shots. I mean there was that little mishap with the wrong needle and almost puncturing my uterus, but we’re over that now and I totally trust him to….”
The nurse laughed. “It’s fine. Just come in tomorrow morning and we’ll fit you in.”
It was the last step before we could actually try and get pregnant. The last thing we needed to do in a doctor’s office. After this, it was just us and nature. Nature had let me down before, but I was willing to lay back and trust that it would happen when it was meant to happen. And everyone in the office knew it would be this time. And secretly, I thought they were right.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

BabyGate - Part 8

The morning of the Gator game, I packed my syringes and little glass jars in a lunch box that I used to take to work with me. The doctor told me David could administer a shot in a stadium bathroom if need be, which I desperately wanted to avoid.
I also packed cookies. You know, typical game day, syringes and cookies.
We arrived way too early and spent an afternoon baking in the sun. I kept checking to make sure my lunch box was safe in the car and that the ice hadn’t melted. I checked it so many times you’d think it WAS a baby. I thought about it the entire time I was inside the game. I wonder if the lunchbox feels lonely? I wonder if it’s too hot or too cold? I doner if it knows I’m coming back for it.
It’s normal for my family to leave a Gator game early if it’s clear our team will win. This happens more often than not. So at about 7pm, when our team was CLEARLY winning, I asked Dave if we could leave early. He looked at his mom and asked, “Can we leave early?” I gave her the Puss in Boots big eyes from Shrek. She said, “Ask your father.” We all turned our heads in a big, waving moving towards David’s father, who said, “Oh, I’d like to stay.” Now, David’s father rarely expresses an opinion. He is very happy to go with the flow of the family. So when he says he wants to stay, we stay. Damnit, we stay.

I stared at my watch until 7:30 when the game finally ended. I knew we could do the shots at home (where I WANTED to do them) if we could just make it there by 9. There was just one problem: the entire city of Jacksonville was parked in the stadium parking lot. By the time we got to the car it was already 8pm. And to top it off, David’s parents drove so our car was back at their house, 20 minutes away from home. I envisioned David and I in the back seat of his parent’s van with syringes and vials trying to hold steady over the potholes and sudden stops to avoid hitting drunk Gator fans. Then I ate an entire bag of chips.
We got to my in-laws house at 8:45. I rushed, lunchbox in my arms, to our car. If we booked it, we could do the shots at home. If we didn’t make it, we would have to pull over. Dave was driving fast but I still repeated, faster, faster! When my phone rang and I saw that it was my best friend, I picked up for a nice distraction.
“Where have you been?” was the first thing she asked.
“I was a the Gator game all day! Sorry!”
“I’ve been trying to call you!”
“Oh! I didn’t mean to worry you. Everything ok?”
She sighed. “Yes. Everything ok with you? Pregnant yet?”
“No, I’m not pregnant. Other than that I’m fine.”
“Sorry babe,” she said.
She always asks if I’m pregnant. She has been with me every step of the way through this process, which has been so wonderful. She’s always checking in to see what the latest doctor appointment revealed and how I’m feeling on the pills and the shots, etc.
“So what’s new with you?” I asked while we drove off the interstate. Almost home.
“Well, I was calling you all day to tell you…” I immediately started screaming. I knew exactly what she was about to say and I couldn’t get any words out except for the highest-pitched scream ever. I broke glass. Dogs came running from everywhere. David almost wrecked the car. My best friend was pregnant.
I completely lost track of how important the shots were and I wandered around the house talking to her about how she was feeling and how thrilled I was for her. We always said we would be pregnant together and I never expected it could actually happen. And here she was, pregnant and waiting for me to hurry up and meet her there.
I hung up and David was already ready to give me the shot. I had so much adrenaline rushing through my veins from the phone call that the shot didn’t even hurt. In fact, it felt good knowing I was one step closer and could actually be pregnant with my best friend this month.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

BabyGate - Part 7

The morning of the day David was to stab me in the stomach with our first injection of fertility goodness, I had to take a pregnancy test. This is standard procedure. Depressing. We knew we weren't pregnant, but just like everything else, the doctors wanted to make sure insult was thoroughly mixed with injury. Shaken, not stirred.

When it was time, I pretended like nothing was going to happen that evening. Maybe I would be cooking and bloop! David stabs me in the stomach and I serve dinner!
When David got home from work, he stood at our kitchen counter carefully mixing and combining the liquids with the powders while I stirred a lovely chicken sauce on the stove. I got an ice cube and held it on my belly in the spot he would stab me. I stood, stirring and icing, waiting for the panic attack to set in.
And then, David turned around with a syringe bearing the longest needle I’d ever seen. It was longer than my arm. I gasped and shouted, “THAT’S NOT THE RIGHT NEEDLE!”
David responded calmly. “Yes it is, sweetie. It’s the same need the nurse showed us in the office.” Mind you, the nurse clearly stated that the needle should be plunged IN ITS ENTIRETY into my stomach. If that needle went all the way into my stomach, he would have injected hormones directly into my uterus. It was THAT long.
I started hyperventilating. This can’t be right! You cannot give a man permission to stab his wife with a needle that long! I dropped the ice cube (which Charlie promptly ate), and I started rummaging through the boxes on my kitchen counter. I pulled out bags of extra syringes and all sized little glass jars. I frantically looked through every baggie and small box, praying that the needle in my husband’s hands was the wrong need.

And guess what?

David didn’t read the baggie he took the needle from, and the baggie happened to be for the BIG SHOT that I wasn’t supposed to get for another week! My husband was about to skewer me like so much teriyaki beef on the BIG SHOT! THIS IS WHY HUSBANDS SHOULD NEVER GIVE THEIR WIVES SHOTS IN THE KITCHEN!
I was very upset, not just about nearly becoming a human kabob, but because of what this little mistake might have cost us. There was currently $160 of liquid floating in a little syringe with the wrong needle on top. How the hell were we going to get the liquid into the right syringe with the right needle? Was it possible to transport the liquid out of the wrong needle, through the right needle, and down into a new syringe?! Can you siphon it out with a bendy straw? Do you run to the hospital with the syringe in your hand and scream, “My husband isn’t a doctor and tried to be one in my kitchen!”? WHAT DOES SOMEONE DO IN THIS SITUATION?
While I panicked, David stayed very calm. He held the syringe in one hand while sifting through the pile of needles on the counter. He picked up the right needle and looked at it carefully. He then looked back at the BIG SHOT, studying both of them. And in a moment of brilliance, he carefully unscrewed the BIG SHOT from the syringe and replaced it with a smaller needle, without losing a drop of fertility goodness. Syringes now come with screw top needles. Finally the medical world is taking cues from the wine world.

When the correct needle was in place, I leaned back against the counter and closed my eyes. “Are you ready?”
“Yes, just do it.”
David squeezed a little hunk of flesh on my belly.
“Deep breath.”
He took a short breath and started to count. Counting is the last thing I wanted him to be doing at this moment. But it was happening and before I could shout, “STOP COUNTING!”, my brain interrupted with the thought that David could drop the syringe if I screamed or he could accidentally stab me straight through the belly button and THEN where would we be?!
In all that thinking, it was over. I was red and sweaty and breathing really fast, but it was over. We had just successfully completed our first injectable. We both took a deep breath.
“You were so calm,” I told Dave.
“Well, of course, babe. You needed me to be calm. I’m here for you.”
I smiled and sat down in a chair, staring at the injection site on my belly. I quietly rejoiced in how lucky I am to have a man who has the foresight to know how to deal with stressful situations. Never once did he lose his cool or allow my stress levels to make him nervous. I am truly blessed.
Then David said, “Man. That was really scary, huh? I almost peed my pants!”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BabyGate - Part 6

After breaking the news that my husband would be stabbing me in the stomach in order to try and help us have a baby, Dr. New York The Man left the room so I could get dressed. I dressed in silence until David finally said, “It’ll be fine. They wouldn’t let me do the shots if it wasn’t routine. I’m sure plenty of people have done it themselves before.”

I tried to keep my composure, and instead of saying, “David, doctors give shots. In a DOCTOR’S office. With a sterile environment and years of medical practice. You have a theatre degree and work in commercial real estate. You aren’t qualified to give me shots in our kitchen next to the COFFEE POT,” what I really said was, “Yeah. I’m sure you’re right, dear.”
Winnie met us in the hall and told us to head over to Lake Como to meet Sally. She also told us we could play with the model of a diseased uterus sitting on the table there, which was awesome. David did a short puppet show before Sally came in with the bag of injectable show-and-tell things. That type of behavior, doing short puppet shows using a model of a diseased uterus, is mainly why I married him.

After the puppet show, I sat thinking about the boxes of needles on my kitchen counter.

Eeeeerin! We're gonna geeeet you!

Sally interrupted my little daydream and whipped out a needle and some little glass jars. She showed us how to mix the liquid and the powder, suck it up into the syringe, put the right needle on the top, and then PUNCTURE my stomach. She used a fake little tummy to demonstrate. When she was all finished, I asked her if she could do the entire demonstration again. She laughed, and I told her I wasn’t kidding. She left the room and came back with an informational DVD that she said “no one ever actually watches.” I said thank you.
At this point I’m sure a lot of people would consider my behavior “control freakish”. But let me tell you something: if your husband is being instructed to stab you in the stomach with 1cc of liquid that is worth more than all of your crystal wine glasses combined (which you can’t drink out of because you can’t have sugar), YOU’LL WANT TO MAKE SURE HE GETS IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME, TOO!
We got a calendar at the front desk highlighting the three days David would give me the injections. Each one should happen between 6pm and 9pm. There was only one problem: We had tickets to the Florida game on the 2nd night. I went back and asked the nurse what we should do!
“Oh, just go to the bathroom at the stadium and do it.”
Now, getting an injection in my kitchen was a terrible idea. It’s where we cut raw meat and spill sticky sauces on the counter. But I could live with it.
Getting an injection in the bathroom at a Gator game was unconscionable. It’s where 20-year-old college students spend the second quarter puking their brains out on the floor because they couldn’t make it to the toilet. Not to mention there was poo.

So I was left with a choice: Convince my husband to leave the Gator game early, or face certain death in a stadium bathroom. When I weighed out the risk/reward factors of both, I decided to adopt.

Monday, November 9, 2009

BabyGate - Part 5

It was at this point that I was writing in my journal everyday about “feelings” and “dreams”. I wrote so much that I started to lose the focus of my life. Everyday became a big pity party.
Waaah, we have no money.
Waaah, I can’t eat cookies.
Waaah, I’m infertile.
So I stopped writing in my journal. I dropped out of the Google School for Doctors (much to my mother’s dismay, but at least I’ve still got Google Law School). I quit reading books related to pregnancy and, I know you won’t believe this, but I stopped watching A Baby Story. Instead, I made a game out of cooking on the cheap and reusing old clothes to make new outfits. I planned fun and free things to do with my husband and dogs. I watched funny movies and went to football games. I got so wrapped up enjoying life without fertility-cycle-on-the-brain, I almost FORGOT to take my first million dollar fertility pill!

The injectables with all the needles made it to my house in a box on the porch. That seemed ridiculous to me. "Hey Erin, where are the needles we need to have a baby?"
"Oh, they're on the porch in a box."
The box sat out on my kitchen counter next to the receipts basket and the dog treats. I figured setting them out in the open gave them less power than hiding them in the cabinet. “The vegetables are just up the counter from you. And I’m not scared of vegetables. What, now, needles?”

The first ultrasound visit of the cycle came a week after the first million dollar pill. The nurses, who all knew me by name at this point, said hi and asked about my life. I was a person to them, not just a patient. I almost felt like we were all friends who met up once a week to look at each other’s ovaries. This made it a fairly weird friendship, but a friendship none-the-less.

I sat up on the table waiting for Winnie or Pam to come in and see me. Dave sat next to me reading a pregnancy magazine. I was taken aback when Dr. New York walked in. Dr. New York is A MAN. A MAN who wanted to give me an internal ultrasound. I started getting flushed and flustered. I automatically started talking about football, hoping we could relate and find common ground before he started “working.” Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to any of his responses. I just watched his hands as they stretched the gloves and reached towards the ultrasound machine. Thankfully, my husband continued the football-related fodder while I sat stunned. Winnie popped her head in and smiled. I looked at her, sending her telepathic messages hoping she could read them and understand this was an urgent situation! Code Blue! A man is in this room attempting to do my internal ultrasound. A MAN!

Winnie does not understand the fundamentals of telepathy. She just waved and walked back out. So I held my breath and hoped I could focus on his questions without crying and yelling, “YOU’RE A MAN!”
It all went away when I saw the screen. The pills worked this month! I grew 11cm follicles! This was twice the size they were at the same time during the previous month. And there was more than one! “Great,” Dr. New York The Man said. “We can go ahead and start the injectables! I just hope you don’t have too many follicles grow because you are responding so well!”
You hear that?! OVERACHIEVER!
“We don’t want you to be the next octo-mom, so we’ll keep a close eye on everything, but so far this is great.” Hahaha! We all laughed and slapped our knees. Oh Dr. New York The Man! Octo-Mom Jokes! Ohhh, what a hoot. What a gay old time this is! Progress and jokes. Could this day get better?!
“Sally will take you into the other room to teach you how to do the injections.”
I looked at Dave.
“Who does the injections?!”
“You do. Or your husband, if that makes you more comfortable.”
Husband sticking me with needles: COMFORTABLE FAIL.

Friday, November 6, 2009

BabyGate - Part 4

I spent the next three weeks ignoring the entire situation. I buried myself in work. I cooked a big (sugar-free) meal every night and kept the house looking like something out of Better Homes and Gardens. I spent a lot of time at Target, which most women will tell you can cure even the worst fertility depression. Until one night…
David and I sat down to do the finances. We realized that after all the medical bills piled up, we were starting to accumulate credit card debt, something we’d never had. Even if we began paying off next month’s medical bills in full, injectables included, we wouldn’t have any money leftover to pay the minimum on the credit cards! So THIS is how America got into the worst economic situation of our time. FERTILITY DRUGS!
We put a spending freeze on all credit cards and broke down to the BARE essentials every month. We ate out ONLY once a week (with a coupon from the Mint) and never bought breakfast or lunch. I stopped buying things for the dogs, I used coupons and followed the sales, and (dun, dun, dun) I stopped going to Target. Seeing as how I’d already cut out all sugar from my life, cutting everything else out was just insult to injury.

When it was time to go back to the doctor, I had very low expectations. I was over getting all excited or nervous.
Winnie walked in to do the ultrasound and whispered, “Today we want quiet ovaries. Let’s be quiet, too!” So we whispered for the entire ultrasound. Thank heavens my doctors and nurses get me.
And low in behold, my ovaries were quiet and ready for an onslaught of drugs. “This is great news!” she whispered. “Now you just need to order your new meds and we can get this party started!!”
“OK!” David and I whispered together.

I called the far-far-away pharmacy and asked if they had my prescription on file.
“Hi, Ms. Cohen! I have your prescription right here! And you also qualify for our medical assistance program.”
“Huh? I didn’t sign up for that.”
“Oh, you don’t have to. We automatically apply it to all accounts without fertility insurance.”
“Why?” I asked. “Is the total that high?”
“Well, you are ordering the injectables today. Those cost…”
“WAIT!” I interrupted. “I don’t want to know.”
“You don’t want to know the price?”
“Ok. Well, I can just give you the total of the order so you know what we’re charging you.”
“Nope. Don’t want to know that either.”
She paused. She was clearly surprised. This wasn’t one of the options in her script. “Ok, Ms. Cohen, well, we’ll be charging your debit card a total of…um, we’ll just be charging it. And if you have any questions about the cost, then you can…um…you can call us.”
“Sounds great!” And I hung up, called Dave, and told him not to look at the credit card this month.
It ain’t just a river in Egypt.

Monday, November 2, 2009

BabyGate 2009 - Part 3

I went in for my first ultrasound feeling very positive. It was in the New Orleans room, complete with pictures and beads. David and I fell in love in New Orleans 6 years ago, so I took it as a good sign.
Winnie was my nurse that day and she was very excited to see if my follicles grew. She turned on the machine, and I could quickly tell by the tone of her voice that we hadn't made progress. It's that faux, perky kind of "OoooKay! This is oookay!" voice that gave it away.
"Winnie," I said, "I ordered the BIG SHOT that I'm supposed to get when my follicles grow. If my follicles don't grow, what do I do with the BIG SHOT?!"
Winnie explained I should keep that big shot at home (that big needle chuckled when she said that) and just wait a few days; maybe my follicles were late bloomers?
I went home and panicked for 3 days until the next ultrasound, starting each morning by putting my hands over my tummy and singing, "Grow, follicles! Grow! Yooou can dooo it!" David occasionally sang back-up. "Grow, Grow!"
Winnie greeted me in Kauai for my next appointment and smiled. My friends honeymooned in Kauai. Was that a sign?
"You ready for some follicles, girl?!" I was, but I had a gut feeling that nothing else had happened. And my guts have a pretty high IQ.
Winnie told me that the next step was to add injectable fertility drugs into the cycle to try and get things rolling. I was in NO way ready to hear that and even FURTHER away from making a decision about it. Injectable fertility drugs were for people who really couldn't get pregnant. After I had a mild panic attack, she told me how much they cost. This took me straight from panic attack to delusional. I'm pretty sure the Carebears and the Smurfs walked in right after she told me and started fighting and sticking each other with needles, screaming, "AHHH! WE'RE GOING CRAZY!!! EVERYTHING'S GONE WRONG! AHHHH!"
David's immediate reaction was, "Alright, let's do it." Easy for him to say. My reaction was, "With every step we take to try and have kids, I become less and less a female and more and more a BattleShip Game Board. Do I hang out and let them continue sticking me until they sink the whole ship?!"
I couldn't do it. Instead, we waited 2 more days in case the follicles decided to grow, but I never had much hope. I knew this cycle was a complete wash and that we were going to have to wait weeks until we could start the process over again. I was very depressed.
Pam did the final ultrasound, and even her infectious joy couldn't bring me back up from the depths of fertility pergatory. And because we waited an extra 2 days, it was too late to try the injectables. Pam, trying to be helpful, told me, "It'll happen! I had 3 girls today, boom boom boom, all 3 pregnant with just the oral drugs. We'll get there!" Awesome. Three girls, all pregnant. So that makes me the barren 28-year-old with no hope of ever fulfilling my purpose here on Earth: to scream in unintelligable pain for 20 hours or so, raise a child and care for it's every need for the next 18 years, and send it away to a school that costs more than Trump Tower. Wait...why am I doing this?
I was sent back to Telluride to wait for a nurse to talk to me about our options. I've never been to Telluride, except for the day Pam told me I had PCOS. I hated Telluride.
I cried a few tears while Dave said, "It's fine. We'll be fine."
“It’s not fine!” I snapped. “It’s my only job! I’m the girl and I make the babies! And I can’t do my job if my follicles won’t grow.”
Pam came back in and saw tears in my eyes. She put her hand on my back and said, "No! Don't cry! We just have to find the recipe, sweetie. We will find it and I promise, we will get you pregnant."
"Promise?" I asked, like a crying 5-year-old.
"Promise." Pam smiled.
Isn’t Pam cute?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

BabyGate 2009 - Part 2

I had been suffering through my sugar-free diet (or, as I call it, my meat and fat diet) for 3 weeks. David drove me to the HCG test; a quick procedure at an outpatient surgery center. Our insurance company agreed to pay for part of this $800 day, and we were ever so grateful to them for finding it in their hearts to do THEIR JOBS.
I asked a few times if the test hurt, and everyone assured me it wasn't so bad. Just a little cramping, sometimes. So while I sat in the little waiting room area, wearing an open-back gown, I texted David out in the lobby and read trashy websites about addicted celebrities and their pets. Feeling no pressure. The curtain separating my room from the next room was camouflaged and had a picture of a deer. I love Florida.
They called me into the "surgery" room, the brightest room in the WORLD. I laid down on the table and the nurse came in to do the procedure.
"Hey girl!" she said. "She" is Winnie. I like her. She is very funny and makes many uncomfortable processes bearable and almost fun. Like the time she had to give me an internal ultrasound so she could confirm I had PCOS. She announced I had the cutest little uterus in town, and then remarked that my cervix looked like a smiley face. She then offered to let Dave see my smiling cervix. He looked at me like a child who stares at his mom after his best friend asks him if he can sleep over. "Can I mom? Can I?"
Winnie chatted and giggled with me as she set up her tools for the HCG. "...and they forgot the cheese! After all that, they forgot the cheese!" The other nurses were laughing at Winnie's story, too. Then, I got hot. I got hot, and started sweating. The procedure began and holy shit, EVERYONE LIED. No big deal my ASS. My entire stomach clamped down and my insides felt like they were going to explode. The whole thing lasted only 3 minutes, and in that 3 minutes I re-thought my entire life, including all forms of hair waxing as well as high heels. Nothing else ever has the right to cause me pain again.
As soon as it was over, I sat straight up to look at the X-Ray screen to see if everything was OK. Part of the pain was the panic that my tubes were broken. And before I could express my relief and joy to see that everything was fine, I decided to try and schedule an epidural in advance in case I ever actually experience labor.
Days later, my doctor was glad to see my XRays and scheduled my first fertility cycle. Fertility cycle. It was so weird to say that. It was so weird to live it. I was NOT a girl who drank excessively, smoked, or lived an unhealthy lifestyle. I wasn't sick or overweight. I was just a normal girl. And here, I'm dealing with a fertility cycle.
It included an oral drug and a big, fat, shot. I had to order all my own medicine from a crazy pharmacy far, far away and it came WITH THE NEEDLE!! AHH!!! I peeked at the needle and it was nearly 4 feet long. My first reaction was to go eat a candy bar, but damnit if I couldn't even do that. So I put it in the cabinet and ignored it, even though it whispered my name and taunted me everytime I walked by ("Errriiin! I'm goonnna stick yooou!"). I took the pills and went to the doctor about once a week after that to get ultasounds. During these ultrasounds, the nurses measured the size of my follicles.
What's a follicle, you ask? (Oh come on, you know you're curious.)
Follicles are the little bags of cells that keep the eggs all warm and comfy inside the ovary. When you have PCOS, cysts replace the follicles and they call the eggs names and spread rumors about them on Facebook. It's very hurtful to the eggs.
So as the day approached for my first ultrasound, I hoped and prayed that I would be one of the girls Pam the nurse told me about. The girls who responded to the first round of fertility drugs and got pregnant right away. I hoped...

Friday, October 30, 2009

BabyGate 2009 - Part I

It was after I was recommended to a reproductive endocrinologist by a perfectly pregnant doctor that I began to feel depressed. There was something wrong with me.
It was after I learned our insurance didn't cover any part of pregnancy that I began to feel panicked. There is something wrong with Florida.

It took David and I about 2 months to get an insurance plan that would help with ANY part of this journey we were about to embark upon. And when we finally learned our insurance would go into effect, I got an appointment with the new doctor 5 days later! I trotted in, all prepared with my calendars, my lists, and my research. We sat down in a beautiful little room called "Teluride". Pictures lines the walls of the doctor and his family vacationing in Colorado. Beautiful books sat on the table. David chose the "Basics to a Woman's Uterus" book and I chose "Good Calories, Bad Calories". We sat reading and nervously awaiting the doctor when a jolly, middle-aged woman flounced in.
I looked around, wondering if someone else in the room might have my name.
"Erin? You're Erin, right?!"
"Um, yes ma'am?"
"OH GREAT! HI! I'm Pam!"
It turns out Pam didn't know me. She was just really energetic and had discovered we live 2 blocks apart when she read my chart. We talked about that for fifteen minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES. HELLO, PAM?! CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?
"So, anyway, you probably want to know what's going on."
"Yeah, Pam, that'd be great."
"Ok, well, let's just get to it. You're pre-diabetic."

Yeah. Let's pause. Let's take that in. Let's just taaaake thaaaat in. A woman who was just giving me times and dates for the next German-American Club get-together announced I was pre-diabetic in the next breath. First of all, we're Jewish, and second of all, I'm what?!
"I'm what?"
I started crying. It wasn't a hysterical cry. It was the cry you cry when your dog starts pooping out string or stuffing and you start to panic, wondering if the dog is OK, and which stuffed animal has been destroyed in the house.
"Pre-diabetic. I know. Crazy right?"
"Yeah, Pam. That's pretty crazy."
"Well, it's get's crazier. You have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome."

No pause after that one. Just a scream. I was so relieved but so freaked out at the same time. Here's the answer to my question on a silver platter, and I kind of wanted to send it back and order the soup.
David and I spent 2 hours in that room with the doctor and Pam, learning about PCOS and the hormones related to sugar in the blood (glucose) that cause it. (Ironrically, Pam let me keep "Good Calories, Bad Calories", since it was all about sugar. David had to leave "Basics to a Woman's Uterus" behind.) In essence, we were told that potato chips and fruity drinks made me infertile and I would have to cut it ALL out if I wanted to have a family. I'm not going to lie: I considered sticking with adopting Boxers when given that ultimatum. But eventually, David convinced me that we should give the sugar-free thing a shot.
Alongside cutting out all sugar, I began taking a medicine that made me feel like puking for most of the day, which was awesome. That side effect subsided after about 3 weeks, but let me tell you how pleasant I was to be around...
I went on the suffocatingly restrictive diet and adjusted to my medicine for about a month before my next appointment. In that time, I earned my PhD in Google Doctor School and learned, ultimately, that there is very little information available about PCOS and insulin resistance (pre-diabetes).
At my next appointment, I came prepared with a lot of questions. How did I get this syndrome? How long have I had it? Do women ever have children with PCOS? My doctor knew more than Google, which was reassuring. He told me we could begin treatment very soon, but first I would need to have an hysterosalpingogram test (HSG). Basically, they look to see if your all your tubes are open and everything works properly. No sense spending a bunch of money to get the eggs crackin' if the plumbing's all blocked up (I think that's a line in one of Aesop's Fables). So, I made the next appointment at an outpatient surgery center. HSG, here I come. If only someone had warned me...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BabyGate - To Be Honest

I have been trying to decide how personal this blog should be. I really enjoy sharing in life's little sillies. And I truly love making those around me smile; it's my favorite thing to do.
But since a few people actually read this, it seems silly not to share some more personal stories, in the hopes that not only smiles ensue, but information is shared with those who need it.
So this will be a series.
Here goes:

When we moved to Florida, David and I decided to stop counting pills and buying protection. No, we didn't abandon vitamins and give up our gas masks. We decided to not not try to get pregnant. That's right. We were not not trying. Totally different from actively trying.
"Are you guys trying to get pregnant?"
"Nope." But we're not, not trying.
A few months after we didn't not try, I realized that something wasn't right. It didn't seem like my body was working properly, and before we continued not not trying, I decided to see a doctor.
Lady Doctor told me it was nothing to worry about. "Lots of girls don't start a regular cycle after they're on birth control pills for months and months." I appreciated her comparing me to "lots of girls", but I still felt like something wasn't right. I asked if we could investigate. She told me she didn't think it was necessary. And being that she was 6 months pregnant, she happily waddled her big round belly into the next waiting room. Bitch. I thought about leaving an anonymous threatening note using letters cut from the 5-year-old magazines in the exam room basket, but I decided it was probably time to start a phone call parade instead.
I began calling the office incessantly, reporting every symptom I had in hopes that they would take me seriously, or, like an episode of House, someone would suddenly stumble upon a diagnosis. (I've got it! She's got a carburetor in her uterus!)
I found one nurse in the office that consistently called me back. I inundated that poor woman with messages. I knew the automated voice system straight to her inbox better than my debit card code. My strategy was to be sickeningly nice. I was so nice, I had to curse at kittens when I hung up just to even out the universe. She pretended to care about my concerns, and finally decided to do something so that "Cohen" didn't pop up on her caller-id anymore. She ordered blood work and sent me off to Quest.
What she didn't mention was that I would be having 10 vials of blood taken in one morning. She also didn't mention that the glucose test I would take could cause me to feel like I had been the boy in that balloon after it landed in a corn field. It was like being beaten up. At about 2pm that afternoon, it became crystal clear that Nurse-Who-Returns-Phone-Calls was punishing me.

A few weeks later, I arrived back at the office to see the stupid, cute little pregnant doctor again. She told me my hair looked cute and that my levels were only one or two points off and that she really didn't see any major problems (in one breath). She recommended I see a reproductive endocrinologist and get a "professional opinion". (So, I'm not really sure what that makes Fertile Myrtle over here, but whatever.)

And so...BabyGate 2009 began.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Waiting Room of Life

I've found myself in waiting rooms a lot lately. I usually bring a book or just check mail on my phone while I wait. If David is with me, he is typically doing the same.
It's an odd atmosphere, the waiting room. We all know why we're there. But no one speaks. If we were in line at the supermarket or waiting for our food in a restaurant lobby, we would probably chat with each other and discuss our purchases or other pleasantries. But it's rude to talk to someone else about their diagnosis or the reason for their visit. So no one says anything, to ensure the conversation doesn't accidentally bring up something too personal.
The exception to this rule is when you overhear a conversation between two people in the waiting room, simply because it's such a quiet environment. Occasionally, other patients won't adjust their volume according to the silence in the room, which gives you two options: engross yourself in reading, or act like you're engrossed in reading and listen to what they're talking about. I typically choose the latter. As I did last week.
Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Shirley: I just think you should consider it.
Pam: I considered it plenty. I don't have a problem with it if the guy isn't BIASED.
Shirley: Well, he's not going to be biased.
Pam: They all are. They all tell me that I'M the one that has to do the changing and he doesn't have to change ANYTHING.
Shirley: Well, have you mentioned it to him?
Pam: No! I just walked out. I'm not going back there. I'm not the one who needs to change.
Shirley: Yeah, I know, it's both of you.
Pam: But it's mostly him and I'm not going to another one until we can be SURE that he's not BIASED.
Shirley: I don't think this one is.
Pam: In fact, I don't want to go if it's a man. I'd rather a woman at this point.
Shirley: Well, I only know the one and he's a man.
Pam: Then he's BIASED.
Shirley: I don't think he is. I think he points out things to both of you.
Pam: I'll go. I will go see him. If he's not BIASED.
Shirley: I think I already know what he's going to tell you, though.
Pam: What? That it's my problem?
Shirley: No, no. Not at all.
Pam: Oh, oh I know.
Shirley: Yeah?
Pam: Is it the medicine thing?
Shirley: You just need to take it regularly.
Pam: Mmmhm, I know.
Shirley: If you had diabetes, you would take your medication everyday.
Pam: Oh. Wait, you're talking about the bi-polar thing?
Shirley: Yes.
Pam: Oh. Yeah. I know.
Shirley: That is what he's going to tell you first.
Pam: Just as long as he's not BIASED.
Shirley: And the kids need to take the medicine, too.
Pam: They DO. Tyler's ADHD hasn't been so bad this year. Speaking of which I need to call to make sure they're up.
Shirley: Oh me too.
Pam: (on phone) Tyler? You up?
Shirley: (on phone) Lemme talk to Hunter.
Pam: Tyler get your butt out of bed.
Shirley: Hunter, don't make me come home and show you how to get ready like a baby.
Pam: You are gonna be LATE. Now MOVE.
Shirley: Put your dad on the phone. Where? Then get out of bed. NOW.
Pam: Bye.
Shirley: Bye.
Pam: Ridiculous.
Shirley: I can't wait for our vacation.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Flash

Lights go out in our house around 10pm. Sometimes we watch TV or read our books before actually going to sleep, but last night we were both exhausted. Lights out meant lights out.

I was moments from drifting off into a beautiful slumber when I thought I saw something from behind my heavy lids.
I peered open through a tiny crack to see if I could figure out what piece of electronic equipment I forgot to turn off. I didn't see anything so I shut my eyes.
Again? This time I opened my eyes for a few seconds and rolled over to see if my alarm clock was malfunctioning or if my computer was trying to communicate with me. Nothing. So tired, I closed my eyes again.
At this point I heard a siren in the distance. I opened my eyes and propped myself up on my arms. Obviously, I now assumed a murderer was positioned outside our bedroom window flashing a light at his partner hiding in the next yard. I waited and watched the window to see if he would be caught or if he would flash again. Maybe I could break his code.
That one was longer. He's probably getting ready to break in or run. That's the only thing a long flash could mean. I decided it was time to wake Dave.
"Babe?" I whispered.
"Yeah?" he moaned.
"Babe, do you see that flashing light?"
"Where?" he asked.
"Outside. Watch the window."
We sat in silence for several seconds. I started to get nervous that the murderer had already moved to the front of the house to gain entry and trap us inside. Finally...
"Yeah, babe. I saw it."
"What is it?!?!"
"You don't think it's a killer outside our window giving the high sign?"
Dave turned on the television, making my eyes scream and run back into my skull. As I peered at the screen, he pulled up the weather channel and showed me the lightening strikes all over the map. Then he muted the television.
"Listen. You hear that?"
I listened.
"Thunder babe. It's thunder and lightening, that's all," he said heavily.
He turned off the television and rolled over to go back to sleep. I still sat up, eyes wide open, watching the flashing. I guess he's right. Lightening. Still...
"I hope you don't get murdered tonight, babe. You would feel super bad if you did."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tying it All Together

Picture this: He's Italian, 35, a little gut, nice polo, and this look on his face ALL THE TIME:

And he's sitting at our table in Jew Class.

He's my favorite new character.

With every remark he makes, he either hits the table or moves his hands back and forth in front of him as if he's jiggling an imaginary Jello platter in typical Italian communication-style.

Now read this accordingly.

Rabbi: There are very specific rules regarding the first born male. This male is immediately given to God as a sacrifice. However, when it became less popular to sacrifice your first born, a redemption became an option. It is up to the family to offer 5 sheckles to the Temple. Now if you do not, you must dedicate your son to the Temple. Even if you have 7 girls and then have a boy, he is still considered the first born. Now when the boy is born and is sick...

Tony: Dis is easy ta reMEMbuh. It's like FOOTball rools. It's jus FOOTbaaaaaaall.

Rabbi: Prior to the groom getting married, he typically fasts. During the fast, he gathers his closest friends and family and gives his Jewish educational perspective on a portion of the Torah. During this time, his friends attempt to interrupt him and recount stories of his youth. If they are able to complete the story, the groom must drink, usually Chivas Regal....

Tony: Dis is easy ta reMEmbuh. It's like AAASShole. Dat game at my cuzin's apatment when we got wasted. Huhuhuhuhuh.

Rabbi: There are many ways in which a couple can be considered married in the Jewish religion. The ceremony including a ring is one of the ways. However, many centuries ago, three figs had to be given to the woman prior to the marriage. The three figs had to be given to the bride all at once. You could not deliver one fig, then two figs...

Tony: Dis is easy ta reMEmbuh. Layaway. The Jews don't like da layaway. Dats too baaad.

(It was difficult to contain myself, as you can imagine.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Unfortunate Traditions - Showers

Showers have always been a strange phenomenon to me. Wedding showers. Baby showers. Bridal showers (which I learned when I got married are irretrievably different from wedding showers). Someone volunteers to throw it for you, and if no one does then you get very upset until someone volunteers. They compose a list of people, supplied by you, and a list of food, supplied by you. They contact tons of people they don't know and invite them to your shower. They usually tell these people where you have "registered". (Don't get me started on registering. You go to a store and pick out everything you want within that store. You shoot everything you want with a laser gun. Then, people from around the country go to the nearest chain of that store and buy you presents from a list, which turns out to be comprised of all the things you shot with your laser gun. After they buy these things, they wrap them and add a "to, from" sticker. Then they bring it to your shower and you open it and you act SURPRISED that they got you the item you shot with a laser gun just a month prior. See? I told you not to get me started.)
After they tell the people you know where to buy you a present and which presents you want, they then start planning the activities. How do they plan the activities? They gather up as many ridiculous, humiliating, and uncomfortable situations as they can think of and rename them "games". They buy several gifts that only a few of the participants will win, though none of them will want. They buy copious amounts of finger food. And then, they wait for the RSVPs.
If it's your shower, you arrive early. You oo and ahh over all the decorations. When people begin arriving, they all look at you. They hand a gift to you, and someone else quickly takes it to the correct place to join all the other gifts. No one knows each other so they sit around trying to find something they have in common besides knowing you. You are led around from chair to chair, depending on the activity, never actually getting comfortable in any of them. You watch as the "games" begin. For example: People who you consider friends are given clothespins and are told to avoid saying a word like "cute" or "wedding" in order to win a "game". The competition usually gets fierce among two or three of the guests, who begin making announcements: "WEDDING! SHE SAID WEDDING! GIVE ME YOUR CLOTHESPIN! I HAVE 7!!" Meanwhile, the rest of the guests stop talking altogether to avoid saying any word that could result in public declaration of their failures.
My favorite part is next: the gifts. When I was a kid and had a birthday party, I would open my presents at the dinner table and immediately begin to play with the best ones. I was 9, so this was acceptable. However, at a shower, the guest of honor must open every last present in front of the entire party. This is strictly for the guests, not the guest of honor. He or she must announce each gift ("Ooh, diaper rash cream") as though it was a surprise to be receiving it. One person is in charge of writing down everything the guest of honor receives so he/she may accurately write thank you notes because saying "thank you" directly to the person at the shower is not thankful enough. This person is sometimes the shower's organizer. If the shower organizer doesn't volunteer, there is often a race to see who can nab this coveted position. It sometimes gets ugly and results in more than one person writing everything down, remarking, "Oh you're writing? I'll just do it too."
Then everyone is forced to watch everyone else's gifts being opened, often times creating animosity between guests who purchased the same gift (which is not at all uncommon when they all purchase from a LIST). Occasionally, gifts are not from the registry list. This is frowned upon, as it draws unequal attention to the guest who got "creative", and frustration from the guest of honor who sees no point in registering if people are just going to "buy whatever the hell they feel like."
Finally, the shower is over and everyone gets a "favor". This is a tradition in which one person spends an inordinate amount of money on a useless object (which the guests take home and throw away) as a "thank you for coming." At this point, there are 3 lingering guests who did not feel they got ample time to chat with the guest of honor during the shower. These guests often gossip about guests who have left, especially those who deviated from the list. They usually take home the leftover food and some of the extra leftover favors before leaving an hour after the end-time on the invitation.
Showers are a strange tradition always thrown with the best of intentions. However, it is my belief that these traditions should be updated. All guests should arrive whenever they feel like it with a friend or significant other. They should bring a gift card to an appropriate store and dish they would like to share. The guests should mingle and congratulate the guest of honor before leaving with the innate understanding that the guest of honor is thankful for them being there. Then everyone should move on with their lives.
Showers: an unfortunate tradition.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ooh La La

My husband is an interesting combination of a dreamer and a do-er. My head almost immediately hits whatever hard surface is around when he utters the words, "I have an idea."

Well, my head introduced itself to a door frame last week when David explained how we would solve the problem with our backyard gutters. Our back gutter can't keep up with major rain water and turns our porch into Lake Cohen. Initially we had planned to hire someone to build what's called a french drain. (For those of you who aren't up on your construction vocabulary, a french drain is basically a long tube with holes in it attached to the gutter on one end, buried underground for about 25 feet, and ending in a big pile of rocks which is also buried underground.) But last week we had a long conversation about money and decided we just didn't have enough for someone to build us one. So Dave decided he would build one himself.
And I ran to find a hard surface.
On a Saturday morning, David bought a truck load of rocks and a bunch of big black tubes. I never thought he would actually go through with it. I locked myself in the office and pretended I didn't hear the clanging or the cursing outside. You can imagine my surprise when I walked outside around lunchtime to find this:HARD SURFACE, HARD SURFACE, HARD SURFACE.

I looked at him with the "wife-look" I swore would never take over my face, to which David quickly repeated, "This is going to save us so much money. This is going to save us so much money." The yard appeared to have been blown up by terrorists, after which they placed my innocent, shirtless husband in the middle of the war zone with a target on his head.

So I did something I've never done before in my life: I picked up a shovel. That's right. I shoveled. I'm a shoveler. We worked all afternoon digging and moving rock and filling in the big holes. The dogs helped by burying themselves in dirt and barking at bushes. In case you weren't aware, I'm not exactly known for my heavy lifting. But suddenly, my husband and I became a construction team with two little furry helpers, and digging a 30 foot trench in the backyard felt perfectly normal.
We don't know if the french drain actually works yet as through some freak of nature it hasn't rained in 4 days. And the yard looks pretty terrible; it will probably take a while for the grass to grow back through the dirt and for the ground to level out. But by goodness, my husband built us a big french drain and I helped. And Charlie looked like this...

...which makes the whole thing totally adorable.

Good job, husband. You saved us so much money. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Good Alternative

(*Starbucks Lady is maybe 40, big southern hair, a really sweet smile, thick souther accent.)

Starbucks Lady: Hey ya'll, what kin ah make fer ya'll? You know ya'll are thiiirsty!!

David: Nothing for me, thanks.

Me: I'll have a cafe latte, decaf please.

Starbucks Lady: Ya'll, it is soo smart to get that decaf at night. Or you can get half-caff. Yoo know? Utherwise you'll be up all night!

Me: True enough.

Starbucks Lady: Ya'll want fat free milk?

Me: Full fat, please.

Starbucks Lady: Good fer YOO girl! Any snaaaacks fer ya'll? A muffin or some crumb cake?

Me: Oh, no thanks.

Friend: She can't eat any of the things in your case, unfortunately.

Starbucks Lady: (slams her hands on the counter and whispers) Now girl, don't tell me yer on a diet.

Me: No, no. I just can't have sugar.

Starbucks Lady: Oh nooo! No sugar? That is terrible. None?

Me: None, but it's ok.

Starbucks Lady: Oh my goodness. I wish I had sooome kind of snack fer yoo!

Friend: Do you have a salami roll?

Starbucks Lady: (doubles over laughing silently like she can't even breathe because it's so funny, then a HUGE inhale) OH MY GOSH, YA'LL!!! (another silent laugh and a HUGE inhale) OH MY GOSH, THAT IS TOOO FUNNY!!

Me: Or a meat muffin. I could eat that.

Starbucks Lady (cannot catch her breath, laughing so hard): YOU GUY- (inhale) YOU GUYS ARE SO- (inhale) OH MY GOSH, that is so funny ya'll!! You know I would just love to see you fill out one of them comment cards requesting some salami rolls or meat muffins!!!!

Me: That's not a bad idea.

And so I wrote to Starbucks corporate and asked for Salami Rolls and Meat Muffins. I'll let you know what they say. Crossing fingers...

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Uprising

Most people in my Ball Pilates class like to chat. They chat with each other, with the instructor, sometimes with themselves. Well, when a major catastrophe struck the 7am class at the JCA this past month, they did more than chat.

You see, Ball Pilates is our favorite class, and Giovana is our favorite instructor. (I say "our" because we all feel this way.) We come to her classes on M-W-F because she is calm, she is encouraging, she turns the lights down. She has a sweet little accent and a moderate grasp of the English language which occasionally results in her asking us to hold the ball between our "chins" or remember to hold our stomach in when we go to the "stores" later. And she makes us laugh when we're in gut-wrenching pain holding a single-leg squat by singing, "Smiiile!"

About a month ago, Giovana went to Italy to see family for 2 weeks. During this time, Alvin took over. Alvin is loud. He insists that we arrive on time and get down to "business." Alvin plays hip hop music and turns all the fluorescent lights on. Alvin requires us to answer him out loud if he asks the collective a question like, "Can you feel it?" If we don't answer, he'll keep asking. "Can you feel it?! I SAID CAN YOU FEEL IT?!" By the time he's shouting, we're shouting back in anger. "YES. YES. YES ALVIN, WE FEEL IT." He also makes us breathe so that he can hear it, otherwise he doesn't "believe" we're breathing. "I need to hear you BREATHING." Why? Why do you need to hear that?! Just trust us, if someone's not breathing, we'll let you know.
When Giovana came back we were all thrilled. The 5 or 6 people who dropped out while she was gone came back and we were all together again. The Ball Pilates family. And then, before we could celebrate, disaster struck again.

The fitness director decided to "change up" the schedule. I guess she was concerned that the JCA needed to add more variety in the morning. She didn't ask us for an opinion. US, the MORNING group. And she left it to Giovana to break the news. So one dark morning, Giovana announced that Ball Pilates would only be offered on Fridays, regular Pilates would replace the morning slot on Mondays, and Wednesday would become Yoga. The wost part? ALVIN would now be teaching the Wednesday morning class. We were all hysterical.

Flexible lady asked, "What if we don't like Alvin?"

Unitard guy shouted, "I don't like Yoga, that's why I come to Ball Pilates."

Uncoordinated woman smirked to the Fashionista, "I don't get nearly as good of a workout without the ball."

Beer Gut man added, "If it's not Giovana, I'm not coming."

Giovana was obviously trying to hide her upset. She encouraged us that it would be alright, but we didn't believe her. We don't like change. And none of us got a good workout that day. We rushed to the comment box and climbed over top of each other for a sharpened golf pencil and stuffed that box full. That'll show her.

Flash forward to today when the schedule was set to change. We all arrived at 6:45am and Giovana stopped us as we got out the Pilates balls: "No ball today, guys. Just the ring and some weights."

Uncoordinated woman: "No ball?!"

Fashionista: "Oh yeah. That's right. No more ball."

Beer Gut man: "This is unbelievable (tossing mat down on the ground)."

Unitard guy: "Yeah. After all those comments. They don't read them I guess?"

Flexible lady: "Incredible! We all want the ball. Why can't we use the ball?"

Uncoordinated woman: "We're the ones paying. And we want the ball!"

Flexible lady: "You know, Giovana, we all want the ball."

Giovana was clearly torn. And after listening to all of us complain for the first 5 minutes of class, she stood up and announced: "Ok. Let's just make it a ball class today. Does everyone agree?"

We were shocked. Giovana was going to put her job on the line to give us Ball Pilates. We raced for the balls before she changed her mind. Everyone in the room sat down and began to bounce, like little kids THRILLED to have their toys back.

Unitard guy: Now THIS gets my blood flowing.

Uncoordinated lady: It's a better workout, it's a better workout. I already feel it.

Beer Gut man: This is a cleanse for the lymphatic system, you know that?

Fashionista: It's the ball, it wakes you up and gets you ready to work.

Flexible lady: That's right. I sit up straighter and feel longer with the ball.

I think Giovanna made the class especially challenging today just so that we didn't take the ball for granted. And we rose to the challenge. Beer Gut guy actually fell off his ball at one point trying to balance on one leg and we all burst with laughter, including him! Oh Beer Gut, guy! You've got your ball back!

You've got your ball back.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Auditory Discrimination

I have been working on being a more sensitive wife. I've grown to become a very "get-over-it" type of person, which isn't always what my husband wants to hear, and very rarely what I want to hear. Total double standard.
So we're listening to the rabbi speak about Rosh Hashana and exchanging quick comments and questions under our breath to each other. He holds out his hands with a sad face and says, "My hands are looking cold."

My first reaction is: You're a grown man. Rub them together. Warm them up.
But my Sensitive Wife reaction is: Stop it, Erin. Take is his hands in yours and warm them up.

So I do. I take his hands, put them between mine, and rub them to warm them up.
He then looks at me with a face that says, "Well, that's not going to warm them up."

My first reaction is: Are you kidding me? I'm doing something nice for you. Warm them up yourself!
But my Sensitive Wife reaction is: He wants me to try harder. It speaks to him when I actually try to make him comfortable.

So I bring his hand to my mouth and blow hot air, like you would on a cold day on the mountain before your hot chocolate is ready.
He looks at me again and mouths, "Thank you?" Just like that; like he's asking if that's all I've got.

My first reaction is: Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME?! I'm trying to HELP YOU. This is bordering on EMBARRASSING.
But my Sensitive Wife reaction is: Alright, enough of this sweet warming up your hands crap. I'LL WARM THESE HANDS UP IF IT KILLS ME.

I take both of his hands, put them between my knees (which feels so inappropriate in a Temple), and rub them with my hands at the same time. I look at him with a "warm-enough-yet-you-cold-handed-freak?" face.
He just continues looking at me.
What else could I possibly do? Here I am doing everything in my power to be freaking sensitive and a damn loving wife and all you can do is look at me like I've failed your poor, fragile little man hands without so much as a "Thanks for trying." I am sure my face reflected this frustration. He cracked a smile. A smile. Why the hell are you smiling at me, you creep??

"I said, 'My hands are looking old.'"

I laughed so hard I snorted like Ernie. The table looked over at me like I was interrupting the most important moment of their lives. I didn't even acknowledge them in between snorts. Besides, it was too funny a moment to let pass without laughing so they can just get over it.