Friday, January 29, 2010

Still Got It

Starbucks Guy: What can I get for you?

Me: Hi. I'll have a fruit juice and a bran muffin.

Starbucks Guy: Going anywhere special for the weekend?

Me: Me? No. Just passing through.

Starbucks Guy: Oh. Where's home?

Me: No, I mean, this is home. Just passing through Starbucks.

Starbucks Guy: Got it. Meeting your boyfriend here?

Me: No. No, I'm married.

Starbucks Guy: Oh, sorry, didn't see the ring. Everyone always tell me they're meeting their boyfriends here and I'm always like damn, so you're my first that's not meeting a boyfriend today.

Me: Wow!

Starbucks Guy: Yeah...and you're married. Have a good day.

Me: You too!

I'm not sure if that technically counts as getting hit on, but I'll take it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of our Union

(The President is delivering his State of the Union Address. We've been watching for 20 minutes or so.)

David: They clap but it doesn't even look like they're listening.

Erin: Like the way you're listening while playing "Bejeweled" on Facebook?

David: I'm listening! Listening and playing! Wait, are we missing Modern Family?

Erin: Yeah.

David: Switch it.

Erin: Deal.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Two-Week Notice

We did the whole routine again. Coming in, visiting the boys' side, visiting the girls' side, and hanging out with lots of little statues. If I get pregnant, it will be fun to say that was the order of operations.
I completely let go of any hopes, fears, wishes, etc. this time. I decided not to count days and close my calendar. I'm making plans to visit my mom and eat dinner with family. I (shh!) vowed to have a little wine. And David agreed. If we get pregnant this time, great. And if we don't then we will gear up and try again.
This post is short on purpose. No dwelling. I'm off to live life for 2 weeks and if anything funny happens in the in between time, I'll be sure to tell you.
Thanks, as always, for the support, prayers, and love.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

O Ye of Many Faiths

The Perkiest Nurse of them All popped her head into the lobby. I stood up and smiled.
"Ready, girl? This is it!"
David and I walked back to the "Girl Side" of the office. The Perkiest Nurse of them All led us to "New York." She giggled and said, "If you get pregnant, your baby will be a New Yorker!" I thought this was very funny.
I laid down on the bed. David waited with me while reading a Business Journal. Of all the different scenarios I had envisioned for the conception of our first child, this didn't even make the long list.
Winnie popped in while seeming to laugh at a joke she had just heard. She was so thrilled to be the one who got to inseminate us. She talked and joked and hopped around the room and I didn't really hear any of it. I felt sort of zen. Almost like I was in the zone. The Baby Zone. Similar to the Danger Zone. "Gonna take a riiiide intoooo the...BABY ZONE."
Winnie grabbed a long, floppy syringe in a package and held it up. "David, is this your name and social security number?"
"Yes it is."
"Erin, is this the guy you want?" She showed me the package. There they were. The swimmers. I read his name and since I've never been able to memorize his social security number, not even the last four numbers, I couldn't tell the difference between it and the formula they wrote beneath it indicating the amount of swimmers inside the syringe.
"That's him. What's that number?"
"Oh! That's his count! Twenty million!"
I looked at Dave and he looked at me. Our
mouths were both TOTALLY hanging open. "Twenty million, babe?! Wow, look at you!"
Dave smiled sheepishly and said, "Yeah. That's right."
"That's a great count!" Winnie chirped. "We are in GOOD shape!"
I laid back and she readied the tools. "Oh, Erin. You have such a beautiful cervix."
"Wow. Thank you?"
And before I could make a face at how silly that sounded, she was finished. It was just that quick.
"Alright! Now relax for a while. You don't have anywhere to go, do you?"
"Nope. I'm hanging out," I said. I got out my book and Winnie cleaned up her supplies. She stopped short and said, "Woah! What's this thing?"
"Oh. That is a fetish my friend gave me," I replied.
"What's a fetish?"
"I'm not really sure. Some kind of statue that represents health and you have to face it towards the East. So that's what I did. I figured it couldn't hurt."
"Oh!" Winnie shouted. Just then Sally popped in. "Sally! Erin's all hippy dippy! Look at her little thing to help her be healthy!"
"Oh wow!" Sally giggled. "I didn't know you liked this stuff! Hold on!"
Sally ran out of the room and seconds later emerged with a fertility god made out of wood. "Look! We had this in the other room! We'll put this one in here, too."
Then Winnie jumped. "Oh wait! That one...the um..."
Sally interrupted, "Oh right! With the thing! Hang on!"
They both ran out of the room. I looked over at the fertility god and then the fetish. One of them winked, for sure. The girls ran back in.
"This one is the Poof-You're-Pregnant-Fairy. I'm going to poof you with it and then set it by
your head."
"And this one is another one of those fertility gods. I don't know from which tribe, or whatever, but it looks like a penis so I'm sure it couldn't hurt."
"And this one..."
They went on to describe and explain each little fertility god, fairy, and statue. They carefully placed each one in different places around and about the room and my head. Sally kept poofing me with the Poof-You're-Pregnant-Fairy.

David had to leave shortly thereafter for a meeting and the girls had other patients so I was left with all my new little friends. I had a huge smile on my face. Not to say that this was better than the normal method of conception, but I sure was stress-free.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Free Sample

Again folks, it's a little bit graphic. Make sure your moms are in the other room watching Oprah so they can't catch you reading this.

Sample World was at the very end of the hall. Santa escorted us inside. There was a wine-colored leather chair, a TV, a urinal, toilet, sink, and a clip board. Very romantic.
Santa then gave us the run down. Santa's a matter-of-fact dude.
"I assume that you're staying in here?"
I realized he was referring to me, turned bright red, and said, "yes" as if I was being interviewed for a very high-paying job. I figured if I seemed very professional that this would seem less awkward.
"Ok. Well, if you're staying here then there are some things I need to tell you."
Oh God, please, no.
"First of all, you need to record the time the sample was taken. There's a clock on your clip board."
Ok. Fine. We can do that.
"Second, you need to record it on your sheet if any of the sample is spilled and where it is spilled."
I'm going to vomit RIGHT NOW if I can't figure out how to disappear first.
"And third, since you've never done this together before, you need to talk about who is going to hold the cup beforehand."
I'm pretty sure David grabbed my arm to keep me from fleeing the scene when Santa opened the door to leave.
Probably the worst part of the entire experience was walking out of Sample World and LEAVING THE SAMPLE. Listen, on any other day it wouldn't make a difference. But knowing that this was the only link between "we don't have a baby" and "we do have a baby", it felt horrible just leaving it there on a little table. I wanted to go tell someone to take very good care of it. I wanted to ask them if they could pay close attention to the way they treat it. I wanted to ask if I could be there when they spin it around so I could make sure they didn't mix it up with someone else's. But David assured me that they had done this a time or two before and that the sample would be well cared for. I walked back to the lobby and thought about all the things I should have said to that little cup.
"Listen, guys. You are strong. I know you might not have taken swimming lessons, but you were born naturals. I know it. And I believe in you. If I may, I'd like to give you some guidance. First, swim up and to the right. My left, your right. That's where the egg is. Second, the egg is about 1.8cm. There is a smaller one behind it. Either one is fine. Third, when you find the egg, do whatever it is you're supposed to do when you find the egg. I'm not really sure if you kiss it or hug it or offer a game of checkers. Just do the right thing. And we'll be cheering you on the entire time. I set you FREE! Now get out there and SWIM!"
While we waited in the lobby, another couple walked in. They signed in and sat down. Then, the nurse called the man's name and the couple walked back towards Santa. I chuckled to myself, knowing exactly what they were about to go do. I wanted to shout, "Don't forget to hold the cup!" When they came back, it was strange to sit in the room with them. We all knew why we were there. We could all just talk about how silly this feels, but instead we sat there silently trying not to make eye contact and exchanging low-toned conversations with our partners. Oh well. Maybe the lobby of the fertility clinic isn't the first place people want to find friends.
After 20 minutes of awkward silence, they finally called my name.
Let the insemination begin.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sample World

Ok folks, here's where it gets graphic. Avert your eyes if you're sensitive to the anything-but-making-babies-the-old-fashioned-way portion of our blog. Also avert your eyes if you're my mother, who still doesn't know I've actually had sex yet.

After getting THE BIG SHOT at my nurse's house, in her bathroom, next to her husband's toothpaste, I got a good night sleep and geared up for the next day's IUI treatment (read about IUI here if you haven't already). David's call-time was 9am. Mine was 10am. He had to make and leave a sample. The doctor would then take the sample and "spin it down". This is technical speak for "spin it around." Doc would pick the best, strongest, most Iron Man sperm of the bunch and put them into a really long, flimsy syringe. And that's when the magic would happen. Or, at least the magic would be injected into my uterus.
Seeing as how he was hardly involved in the process of making the baby, David really didn't want to march back to "Sample World" alone and leave the lonely little cup for only the nurses and docs to see. He wanted me to go in Sample World with him. I was completely embarrassed and appalled by this thought.
First of all, I was going to have to ASK someone if I could go into Sample World with my husband. I couldn't just sneak in. This felt like high school when you asked if you could go to the bathroom right after your boyfriend 3 rows over asked. The teacher TOTALLY knew you were going to go make out, but you did it anyway because if you didn't, you were the uncool girl who just let her boyfriend walk to the bathroom by himself. LAME.
Second, assuming I got the green light to enter Sample World, I would have to actually go IN there with him. This grossed me out because HOW MANY GUYS HAVE BEEN IN THERE DOING THAT IN SAMPLE WORLD? Assumedly, ALL of them! I guess that for guys it isn't as freaky, but it's all I could think about.
And third...well, third it's Sample World, damnit. That's third.
It was so important to David that I at least be there when the "sample is made" (you know, like normal couples), that I sucked it up and slipped the question into a conversation with Winnie.
"Ok, Erin, so David will go first and if you want to go home or wait around, you can read or surf the internet until we're ready for you."
"Great. I will probably just surf the internet in the lobby. I don't want to drive all the way back home. Can I go with David to leave the sample? I might run downstairs and get a snack before you call me in if that's ok."
Winnie almost whispered, "Sure. You can go with him."
Mortified, I went and found David in the waiting area and told him that I could go to Sample World with him. He was very pleased. I secretly hoped Winnie would say that it was forbidden for girls to enter Sample World. But alas, this was my destiny. When did samples go from being the best thing about Costco to the worst thing about baby-making?
They called our names and we marched back to the boy side of the fertility office. A large, Santa-like man stood wearing scrubs at the end of the hallway. He escorted us Sample World...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Doing Shots Late at Night

I called Winnie at the office to see what she would think about shooting me in my butt at 10pm the next night at her house. She didn't call me back until 4pm that day. As if she has other patients?! She started out by giggling that she was usually in bed by 9pm. This was obviously her way of politely telling me that she didn't want to do the shot. But she hadn't said "no" yet, so I kept pushing, in a disgustingly sweet way, until she finally invited me over.
I called David immediately to tell him the good news: We're making a baby and I don't need you for ANYTHING because I called Winnie! Note: If you ever have to tell your spouse this bit of news, make sure that you tell them in a complete opposite way from the way I told mine. They don't tend to take it well when they learn they aren't needed for the process of making a child.
Before we left to drive over to Winnie's house, I panicked. I had nothing to bring! You can't bring cookies or sweets to a woman's house who is helping you get pregnant by eliminating sugar. All I had was chicken and beef in the fridge. Can you bring beef as a "thank you for shooting me in the butt"?
I settled on wine, which felt a little strange to pack in the same bag with the syringes and HCG liquid, but so be it. I had to bring SOMETHING!
I knocked on Winnie's door at 9:45pm. Her husband answered holding 2 wine glasses. I asked if they drank wine and he just looked at me and held the glasses higher. Not much of a talker.
Winnie came bubbling over to the door and talked to me about everything under the sun before giving me the tour of her backyard remodel. ("You can bring the kids over to swim in the new pool someday!") She was so sweet and put me at such ease. She told me that she had very good success with girls getting pregnant after she gave them the HCG shot. She told me she'd done them in all kinds of places: parking lots, cars, even once at Winn Dixie. Clearly these women weren't concerned about cops the way I would have been. "Honestly, officer, it's a fertility shot!" Either way, I was glad she was getting girls pregnant. I put that little fact in my backpocket and then promptly pulled my pants down. The shot was over 1, 2, 3 and I was back home by 10:15. We would go in the next morning for the first round of IUI and boy was I ready.

Before we left, Winnie shouted, "I hope this works, you guys. You two will be such great parents!"
I hope so too, Winnie. I hope so too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's All in the Timing

Ultrasound after the three nights of shots = WOOHOOO!!!

Once again, follicles grew bigger. One was 18 (translation: ready to go!) and one was 14 (translation: ready to go in just a minute!). Turns out that my left ovary makes more eggs than my right one. This is sad, because I'm right handed. I'm sure my right ovary is sitting in there thinking, "All the OTHER right-sided limbs and organs get to do stuff..."

With all this action, Sally (my fave-o nurse) decided it was time for the BIG SHOT again. (Remember, that's the shot that opens the gates and starts the eggs on the race of their lives!) Things are different this time around because we're doing the IUI. We have to time the BIG SHOT perfectly, otherwise we'll be getting inseminated at 3am, and I'm pretty sure the nurse doing it at 3am isn't as accurate as the nurse doing it at 10am. And if there's one thing you want when you're getting inseminated, it's an accurate nurse.
Before Sally gave me the BIG SHOT schedule, she pulled out the BIG NEEDLE to show Dave how to inject it.
"Um, Sally. Remember? I come HERE to get the BIG SHOT. Dave doesn't do it."
"Not at 10 o'clock at night you don't."
"Wait, are you saying the only time I can take this shot is at 10 o'clock tomorrow night?!"
"Well, yeah if you want to attend your own IUI at 10am the next morning."
David took my hand and hushed me. "It's fine, honey. I can do it."
Have I mentioned that the shots can make you pretty hormonal and irrational? They can. So much so that you completely forget your husband's feelings or his existence as a person in general sometimes. This isn't right and it isn't fair, but let me tell you about how "right" and "fair" were the words going through my mind at this moment.

I rushed home and called my sister-in-law. She used to give flu shots back in the day. At least she had some kind of medical background. Mind you, she has a 4-month-old baby, but did that enter my mind when I asked her if I could come crash her house at 10pm and get her to shoot me in the butt?
Well, yes. It entered my mind about an hour later when I was sitting on my bed sobbing hysterically over what a selfish, infertile girl I was. My sister-in-law immediately told me she would do that shot for me, of course. But if I woke that baby up, it could screw up her entire night's sleep. And ruining that entire night's sleep meant possibly throwing off the rest of her WEEK'S sleep! That would have been on ME. My emotional state was about as stable as a pony on a pogo stick, so I didn't think I could handle being responsible for a family's entire week's sleep.

Then I suddenly remembered the day Winnie delivered my diagnosis to me right after inviting me to join the German American Club up the street from our house. Winnie lived within a mile of us! She was always telling us to stop by! I wonder if Winnie would mind if we stopped by at night? Say, 10 o'clock at night?!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Smile on my Tummy

Good news: big follicles already! And just with fertility pills!
I've written a cheer for them:
Who's got fertility?
We do, we do!
Who do?
We do!
Gooooooooooo fertility pills!
(Kick one leg, one hand on hip while other reaches to the sky)
I always wanted to be a cheerleader. Anyone who really knows me knows that.

Anyway, we learned how to load up the new shot. It looked like a pen that, if used for the wrong purpose, could be an extremely expensive and useless pen. Like the ones you get for graduation presents. It looks like the blue one:
You dial it up, smash it into the tummy, and plunge. I thought I would hate it, but as it turns out, it was much better than the other needles. It went in smoothly and finished soft. No stinging afterburn or puncture wounds. (Up until the end, that sounded like a beer commercial, no?) Once David tried the pen, he returned to old faithful and shot me up with the regular old needles for the second vial. I strongly disagree with the use of the regular old needles after the expensive pen. In fact, after a strong morning at Ball Pilates (click in case you never read about Ball Pilates), my abs were pretty tight. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and David poked me with the regular old needle. It burned and I squeaked and when David pulled back I asked, "Done?!"
"Nope." He held up the needle. It had literally BENT trying to go into my skin. That's right people. BENT. If you didn't believe in Ball Pilates before, you believe in it now. YOU BELIEVE IN IT NOOOW!!!

David did two shots in my tummy every night in the shape of a smiley face beneath my bellybutton for 3 nights. By the end it looked as if a leprochan had attacked me repeatedly with a Lilliputian sword. What a leprochan was doing with a Lilliputian's sword, I'll never know. I just hope the land of Lilliput isn't being threatened by leprochans again. It just seems like they should be on the same side.