Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Killing Me Softly

Seven weeks. Seven short little weeks. And I wanted to die.
Everyone had recommendations for the nausea. Saltines by the bed, small snacks all day, apricot juice, Sea Bands, the list went on and on. I did all of those things. Yep. All of them. And it made no difference. I was SICK.
And on top of being sick, I had to pee ALL. THE. TIME. It’s not like my uterus grew so large that it was already pressing on my bladder. It was something about hormones (isn’t it all about the hormones?). So just when I got comfortable and in a position where my nausea wasn’t keeping me awake, I’d have to get up and pee and start the process all over again. The exhaustion was overwhelming.
And the GAS. Oh, my friends, the gas. It came on like a nuclear bomb. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced. Even David didn’t attempt to have fart wars with me anymore because he knew he was going to lose.
With all of these hormones going full-speed ahead to create a giant, kill-all hormone, I didn’t have any idea from day to day how I was going to much more than sleep and breathe. It was a flu that never went away and there was no medicine for. I honestly looked at David a few times and said, “I think I changed my mind. I know we tried really hard for a baby, but I don’t think we really want it. This may have been a mistake. Cool?”

I did bleed for a while after my first ultrasound, but I was so sick and so tired that I decided to just listen to the doctors when they said I was ok. I was too tired to worry. People sent me books, cards, presents, and left lovely messages on my phone. I didn’t respond to ANY of it. So not only did I feel sick, but I felt like such a slacker. I couldn’t cook dinner. I couldn’t eat anything. I didn’t call my friends. These characteristics that make me ME were all fading away and I was just a lump. Even the dogs were sick of me.

It took just about all my effort to get to the ultrasound in my 7th week. But I made it. And it was pretty cool, because I saw and heard this. (And if you notice, I totally forgot about the nausea.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to Eat

A few days after our first ultrasound, we decided to go back to the nutritionist and share the good news. At about the same time, I was beginning to feel nauseous and completely turned off by food. I was looking forward to the information he had to share with me about pregnancy and nutrition and ways to help quell the wretching.
Dr. Kale was thrilled to hear we were pregnant, though I was secretly happy that the reproductive endocrinologist was the one who helped us get pregnant. Don’t get me wrong, if Dr. Kale’s creams and non-stop steamed vegetable diet works for some people that’s great, but without a residency at Johns Hopkins and a lifetime of research on the subject of women’s fertility, I kinda wanted to rub his creams in his face and smoosh his vegetables between my toes. Western medicine got me pregnant. Take that, vegan doctor.

Anyway, he asked me what I’d been eating and I told him that eating was tough. I mostly enjoyed fruit, a few starchy vegetables, and whole grains (namely spaghetti). To most this would sound totally hippy dippy. No oreos? No pickles? But to Dr. Kale, it was a recipe for disaster.
“How many leafy green vegetables are you eating everyday?”
“Um, none.”
“Ok. That’s a problem. You need to start getting some leafy green vegetables in everyday. And probably try to get more protein in beans and other legumes.”
Yeah. I almost puked, too, when I heard “legumes”.  I mean, I understood that I probably wasn’t getting the most balanced diet. But come on, I felt like puking or falling asleep 90% of the day.
“If I were you, Erin, I would try juicing leafy green vegetables in with some fruit. That will help mask the taste and at least you can get some vitamins from them.”
By this point I started feeling guilty. What was I doing to my baby? Maybe it wouldn’t grow arms or legs because I wasn’t getting enough spinach and legumes?! I went home and promptly started juicing and getting out cans of beans. I drank my juice and ate my beans and sat proudly on the couch nourishing my baby. About 2 hours later I was pretty sure if I didn’t throw up I simply wanted to die. Swiftly.
I spent many days after that trying to figure out how I could eat properly so as not to permanently squelch any chance of my baby having limbs. While thinking about it, I ate apples, potatoes, and bread non-stop. Finally, after a lunch at my sister-in-law’s house, she encouraged me to eat anything I could keep down. I realize she doesn’t have a medical degree or even a Google doctorate, but she’s a mother of three. And damnit if I didn’t trust her more than Dr. Kale at this point, because those French fries she made went down like buttah.
I began resenting Dr. Kale, hating him even, every time I saw a green vegetable. They would stare at me and say things like, “You know, I could help you take care of your baby, but I guess you don’t want to take care of your baby. I guess you just want to be selfish and eat potatoes.” It took many weeks to get comfortable telling those vegetables to stick a cork in it. But once I finally convinced myself that I wasn’t being selfish and I wasn’t taking advantage of being pregnant (I was just doing what I could to keep food down), I drove to Chick-Fil-A, bought a large waffle fry and came home to eat it with my apples and pasta. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Flicker of Hope

David started asking me to take a pregnancy test so he could take a picture of the “positive” since we missed out on our opportunity to do that before you STUPID FAULTY TEST. Even though I was tired and feeling changes in my body and didn't get a period 6 weeks, I was still TERRIFIED to take one of those tests. What if it was negative and this whole time I was just coming down with the flu? If we weren’t pregnant, this was not the way I wanted to find out. But it meant so much to David to have that picture, that I finally caved and bought another test.
Finally one morning, I did it. I got out of bed and begrudgingly took the test. I didn’t look at it. I went straight back to bed and buried my head. David walked in and asked if I took the test and I just pointed towards the bathroom from under the covers. “Iiiit’s positive!”
Is it?
I jumped up to see it. It was a very light positive, but it was positive. Of course, I chose to focus on the fact that it was a very light positive instead of the fact that it didn’t say “negative”. But whatever, there it was. A pregnancy test that said not negative.

 I was super nervous that evening, the night before our first ultrasound. I finally fell asleep and started having all kinds of What-If-Monster-Dreams. I woke up and tried journaling about it and reading good pregnancy books, but in the end I just sort of panicked for most of the night. Seeing as how I’d had very few symptoms and a super light line on the pregnancy test, I just didn’t see how there could really be a baby in there.
The morning of the ultrasound, the worst thing that could have happened did. I took my mandatory “get up and immediately pee” pee, and found that I was bleeding. I broke down for about 5 minutes on the bathroom floor. David had already left for work and I was all alone. My first instinct was to immediately start googling or flipping through pregnancy books, but I was entirely too terrified. It was the most awful feeling I’d ever felt. Here I was, 6 weeks pregnant after 9 months of trying, and I might be losing the baby. It was almost too much to breathe through.
My doctor is normally very prompt, but that day it seemed that everyone was busy and no one could take the time to reassure me that everything was OK before I went in. David met me in the ultrasound room and already knowing what was going on, he just tried to breathe with me and pray. It took an agonizing 20 minutes for Dr. New York. He walked in the door and didn’t even say hi before I started explaining the situation and asking if I was losing the pregnancy. He said not to panic; he said that all we could do is take a look. And here is what we saw.

(This may be hard to see because the movement is so slight, just a flicker!)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Help me Out

I'm moving this blog over to Wordpress and I've been trying to decide whether I should change the name or not. My ideas are below. Let me know if you have opinions. I would love feedback!

First ultrasound coming at you on Monday!!

1. Dec-O-Blog (which isn't very accurate anymore, but might still be a cute "Well, it all started when..." story.)
2. State of our Union
3. How to Make a Family

Thursday, February 18, 2010


At about 6 weeks, I started feeling a lot more tired and my normal love of food and cooking slowed down. I didn’t feel nauseous, but I did feel very angry with food and some of the smells it makes. If David cooked brocolli, I cursed him for hours. I could smell peanuts from the other room. However, if pineapple or peaches were within a 5 mile radius, I could smell it like a bloodhound, track it down, and eat all of it. Fruit tasted SO good. Better than it had ever tasted before. I don’t know what it was doing hiding among the produce because I thought it should be stored IN the grocery store shopping carts.

I also started experiencing mood swings. I didn’t often get angry, but I did experience most emotions fully. (That’s a nice way to say it, huh?) Like the day David and I decided we would begin repainting some of the walls in our house. We went to Home Depot, chose a color, and got me a handy-dandy little face mask so I couldn’t kill my baby with VOC’s. David did most of the painting while I did most of the taping. Once the entire front hallway was complete, we took a step back.
“I like it,” David said.
“Me too!” I said, and we went on about cleaning up supplies.
About an hour later, I walked into the kitchen to get a snack and David asked me if I wanted some pineapple. I responded, “I really love the paint color.”
“Me too, babe.”
I went on, “No, I mean I really love it. Like, I’m just so happy.”
Not finished, “It is just so pretty and exactly what we wanted it to be and we are so lucky.”
“Right. It’s great. Do you want…”
Interrupted, “I just, I want you to know how happy (the tears start flowing) I am that we chose this color.”
“Ok. Wait. Are you going to cry about the paint color?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I think I am. I just love it so much.”
I think David stared at me for a few minutes while I cried about loving the paint to make sure I wasn’t playing a trick on him or for Candid Camera to pop out of the living room. Finally, he gave me a hug and in a sort of “what the hell is going on?” tone, he said, “Ok. Well, really good babe. So glad you like it. I like it too.”
I wiped me tears away, puffed out a few last sniffles, and proceeded to eat an entire pineapple. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Living the Dream

I’ve had some weird dreams in my life. And they usually pop up when I’m experiencing some great change or shift in my life. Right before I left my hometown, I dreamt that I got lost at college and had to call the police to come find me. I dreamt that I wouldn’t fit into my wedding dress about 600 times before our wedding. I dreamt that we went to rescue Charlie and he turned out to be a Great Dane instead of  a Boxer, but we’d already signed the paperwork. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING could prepare me for the vivid and insane dreams I started having after I got pregnant.
The first truly disturbing dream began with me sitting in the hotel that I owned/lived in. It was beautiful and there were many carpeted staircases. When a certain woman checked into the hotel, I watched her from across the lobby. And I knew what I had to do. I had to stalk her throughout the entire hotel with the cunning use of a walkie-talkie (though no one was talking to me on the other end). I followed her all the way to her room and waited until she got in the shower. When I heard the water stop running, I immediately burst into the bathroom and cut off her head. I threw her body out the window and tossed her head in the bathtub to “clean it”. Once I wiped up all the blood, I shoved her head in the ceiling fan and went back down to the lobby. You know, all in a day's work.

Another one involved me giving birth to the baby (which only required that I pull my friend’s 8 month old out from under my shirt) in my bedroom while David watched TV. The baby had on a very cute jumper when it was born, and when I took off the jumper it had three bellybuttons. I was not happy about this. I’d already asked that the doctor be very careful not to mess up the baby’s bellybutton and here the thing had THREE. While I lamented by newborn 8-month-old baby’s second and third bellybuttons, I let the baby walk around for a while until it walked over and asked me for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I was really disappointed that my baby didn’t want to breast feed.

Over the next few weeks I dreamt that I laid concrete with Tony Romo in a very pretty dress, saved David from an earthquake in Paris by rocking him to sleep, and searched the city of Jacksonville for empty buildings where David and I could build a new room for the baby. It was maddening to wake up every morning and have to convince myself that I probably never met Tony Romo and that lady in the hotel is more than likely feeling just fine. All the books say that lots of vivid dreams are normal, so I’m just going along for the ride. I just hope David is able to get rid of his tail before the baby is born. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Awwww...FREAK OUT!

Do you know the signs of a miscarriage? Odds are if you’ve ever been pregnant, you know the signs. It’s a huge What-If monster that no one can prepare you for. I, myself, didn’t go all the way back to Google School for it, but the What-If-I-Lose-The-Pregnancy Monster did take pleasure in enrolling me in a Google Obstetrics class about 6 days after we found out we were pregnant.
“How common is miscarriage?”
“Miscarriage and PCOS.”
“What are the signs of a miscarriage?”
If I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Googling is a bad choice. BAD choice. I learned that my risk of miscarriage was almost 45% because of PCOS. I learned that normal women have about a 15-20% chance of miscarriage and it almost always happens in the first trimester. I learned most miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities, something moms have no control over. But women with PCOS have a higher incidence of chromosomal abnormalities because we just don’t make good eggs. Overwhelmed? Yeah. I became terrified of having a miscarriage. I’m sure you’re terrified of having one now too after reading that, even if you’re a guy.
So I called Sally, my nurse. I told her I’d just read on Google that I was going to have a miscarriage within the next 2 weeks and that I would likely never carry a baby to term without massive medical intervention. She gasped and immediately commanded, “Erin! NO MORE GOOGLE! EVER!”
Ok, ok, so I stopped Googling. I took deep breaths and I also ate a lot of chocolate, and this actually helps. I’m pretty sure it’s clinically proven.
Unfortunately, when I was at Barnes and Noble a few days later, I found a book about PCOS. The What-If-I-Lose-The-Pregnancy Monster came back. David encouraged me to close the book and read Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy instead (a must-read for any pregnant woman). I said, “Ok” but I really meant, “Ok, I’ll read the happy book as soon as I’m finished COMPLETELY FREAKING MYSELF OUT.” I proceeded to sit on the floor of Barnes and Noble in the pregnancy section and cry all by myself. Well, the What-If Monster was there too until David came over and sat on him. I guess the hormones are starting to set in.
It was on this trip to Barnes and Noble that I learned there are a BILLION pregnancy books to choose from. A BILLION. I had already read several and decided to purchase a few that were recommended. If I can make a suggestion, never ever read What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Please. Don’t do it. Put it down. The entire book was actually written BY a What-If Monster. It should be considered cruelty to women. Every possible thing that can go wrong is listed IN DETAIL, followed by, “Oh, but don’t worry. I’m sure that won’t happen to you.” I’ve had listeria and toxoplasmosis more times than I can count because of that book.
There are some good books out there, though. I already mentioned Belly Laughs. This is not exactly an academic book, but Jenny McCarthy recounting her trip to the hemorrhoid doctor and other ridiculous stories are so funny that I forgot it was all about to happen to me. The Sears’ Series of pregnancy books are excellent; both academic and calming. Also, Your Pregnancy, Week by Week is a great choice. Not overwhelming, but just enough information to answer some basic questions (Why am I completely constipated all of a sudden? More on that later…). David started reading The Lamaze Guide to Pregnancy. The day he read a few pages out loud about how pregnancy is not a sickness and you can give birth without any intervention at all, I informed him that he was welcome to continue reading that book while I was getting my epidural. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

What-If Monsters and The Reaction Continuum

A few days after finding out we were pregnant, we had to make one of the most difficult decision any newly pregnant couple is forced to make: WHO DO WE TELL?
Our first instinct was to tell EVERYONE. We wanted to share the news with everyone we loved, everyone we knew, heck even people we didn’t like. We were over-the-moon with joy and wanted to share it. But then, the reality of all the different possible outcomes made themselves known by becoming angry little monsters in our heads. This specific breed of monster is called the What-If Monster. There are hundreds of them so that’s not the last you’ll hear of them. They remind you that while this is exciting, it is also very uncertain. They’re kind of jerks.
We decided to tell our very closest friends and family. We kept a list of who we told in case we had to tell them that we’d lost the pregnancy. It was our biggest fear, but the What-If-We-Lose-The-Baby Monster made us face it.
A note: When you finally begin telling people you’re pregnant with your first child, you pretty much assume their reactions are going to be jump up and down, throw hats and parties and streamers, paint your face on a billboard excited. And they are always happy for you. But the way they choose to demonstrate that thrill lies on what I call The Reaction Continuum. Some people scream and jump up and down. Some people cry the ugly cry. Some people remark, “Wow! That’s excellent! After all that work!” And still, some people look at you blankly and say something like, “Oh. Wow. Great.” You can never predict what people’s reactions will be, and it can leave you feeling a little, “Eff you for not being as excited as I am about my baby!”

After we told all the people we wanted to tell, we had 2 weeks to wait until our first ultrasound. Two weeks to wait at home and see if this pregnancy actually “took”. Absolutely NOTHING to do to convince the pregnancy to stay put. You better believe if I was singing to eggs before, I was singing to this little baby. “Come on little baby, grow a heart! Make me fart! Come on little baby and hang on tight! With all your might!”
I was four weeks pregnant the day I found out. (For you girls/guys who don't know, you count pregnancy weeks from the first day of the last period. We conceived 2 weeks prior, and my period started 2 weeks before that, hence 4 weeks pregnant.) I had no symptoms, aside from being a little more tired than usual. No neat pregnancy cravings. Nothing funny or surprising. And of course everyone said, “Great! You might be one of the lucky ones!” Meanwhile, I was thinking, “I would give anything to vomit all day everyday, just to know I’m really pregnant.”
David suggested taking a pregnancy test now that we knew we were pregnant just to prove it. I almost threw up with anxiety at the thought of taking another one of those tests. The What-If-The-Blood-Test-Was-Wrong Monster started break dancing on my upper intestines. This vomit reaction, for a moment, quelled my fear that I wasn’t pregnant. Until the nausea went away when David said, “It’s ok. We don’t have to take a test.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Ok, time for sharesies.
When we started fertility treatments, I wasn’t sure I was going to blog about them. It seemed way too personal to share with the whole world. But when I started getting very depressed, David encouraged me to go ahead and write the story. He thought it might help me to get the feelings out everyday. And it has. It has helped so much to hear other women’s stories of success and triumph, and also despair and defeat. I have shared information and had information shared with me. I’ve received accolades for being honest about PCOS and infertility, and I’ve also received a few questions about how much of my life I want anyone on the Internet to be able to read. It’s been a real journey, and I can’t thank everyone enough who has supported me.
I started writing about infertility about a month after our first fertility treatment. I didn’t want to keep it perfectly current in case we got pregnant and had a miscarriage. I wouldn’t have any problem sharing a miscarriage with the blog-readers, but I did want to give myself time to mourn if that did indeed happen.

So as of today, I am 10 weeks pregnant. I’ve written blogs several times a week every week and I will share each of them with you (including ultrasound videos!). Eventually, I’ll be all caught up and you’ll be reading along real-time. I am prepared to share the good, the bad, the ugly, and the really weird. (There’s a lot of really weird.)
Thanks to all the blog-readers, blog-lurkers, and friends! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

No. Way.

“Because you’re pregnant,” Sally said.
“You are!”
Sally laughed. “Yes you are!”
“Whose file do you have in front of you?”
“Yours, Erin! Your file. You are pregnant.”
She just kept giggling.
“Wait. Are you saying that I’M pregnant?” I asked.
“Yes, you are. You are quite pregnant.”
“Ok, so I am pregnant.”
This went on for quite a while. It’s a wonder Sally didn’t just finally shout, “NO I LIED. YOU’RE STERILE. SHUT UP.” Finally, I agreed that she had my chart in front of her and that my chart said that I was pregnant. But then, the tears came. No, not tears of joy.
“Yes, dear?”
Sally laughed again. “It’s ok, hun. Just don’t drink anymore.”
“Do you think it hurt it?”
“No, it’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”
She gave me the run down of all the steps I should take. Go off the pills that regulate my sugar, keep taking pre-natals, don’t take any medicines that aren’t on the list, and try to limit sugar as much as possible. (You’ll learn soon that little rule went right out the window.) Oh, and one more thing. Pelvic rest. Do you know what pelvic rest is? Let’s just say, you can’t do anything fun that involves your pelvis. NOTHING. NO-THING. There are no things you can do that involve fun and your pelvis. Are you getting my hint? ARE YOU GETTING IT? NO SALSA DANCING. And if you know me well, then you know I’ve never been salsa dancing a day in my life. But it’s just AGONY knowing that I can’t start now.
Once I hung up with Sally, I had to call David. I had envisioned all these adorable ways I would tell him someday. Serve babyback ribs for dinner with baby corn and baby carrots. Maybe do like my cousin did and put buns in the oven. Buy “It’s a Girl” and “It’s a Boy” balloons and put them in the hallway for when he got home from work. But I couldn’t imagine keeping this secret to myself for the rest of the day. I couldn’t tell anyone before I told him. And I was practically BURSTING at the seams. I had to tell SOEMONE. So I called him.
“Hey babe. Where are you?” I asked.
“Hey, I’m in Home Depot with my dad.”
Oh shit. He’s with his dad. What do I do here?
“Oh ok. Well, Sally called.”
“Oh. You ok?”
“Yeah, I’m alright. She cancelled our consult appointment.”
Now at this point I wasn’t sure if he was listening because he should have questioned that, but he didn’t. Whatever. This was no time to start the, “Are you even listening to me?” nag session.
“Yeah, so, she cancelled it because I’m pregnant.”
There was a pause.
“Are you kidding me?”
“No.” I smiled through the phone.
“Oh my God. I’m going to cry in Home Depot!”
“Well, don’t cry in Home Depot! Is your dad right there?!”
“No, I ran to the next aisle. He doesn’t know where I am. Oh my God. Are you sure?”
“Yep. Our home pregnancy test was wrong. Very wrong.”
“Oh wow. Oh my gosh. I can’t tell them right now. I’m not ready to tell the family. I need to see you first.”
“That’s ok. You don’t have to tell them.”
“I know, but I have to finish installing a TV for them. It was their Christmas present. I have to get it done today.” He was totally beside himself.
“Ok, go do it. Just come home when you’re done.”
“I don’t know! But you have to! Just go do it. It’s ok. I’ll be here when you get home.”
So my poor husband spent the afternoon in his parents’ kitchen installing a TV knowing all the while that his wife was pregnant with their first child. He couldn’t focus. I kept getting text messages from him like, “I’m dying.”
When he finally got home, we just stared at each other. Stared and said things like, “Wow,” and “Holy crap.” We wandered from one room of the house to another staring at each other.
I don’t remember what we did that night. Probably just cooked dinner and watched TV like we do on most nights. But I do remember that when we went to bed, he put his hand on my tummy and said, “G’night mama.”
I giggled and closed my eyes. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

There's Always Hope

I barely got through my conference call without crying. I called David afterward and told him I took a test without him and I was sorry that I did that but the voice told me to and it was negative like we thought (all in one breath). He was sorry and sad. He tried to be encouraging, but it wasn’t really the time. “Well, we’ll try again next month. But it does suck.”
Since his parents were already with him, he went ahead and told them. That meant the entire family would know by the end of the hour, so I decided that meant I should tell my family too.
I sent a quick email to those I knew would be waiting to hear from me. Quick like a bandaid. It was short and to the point. I worked the rest of the day, and ate a lot of chips. And bread. And chocolate. And a beer. And I might have soaked a green olive in some vodka before eating it.
David and I talked for a while that night. He noted that this could be a much longer process than we anticipated and that we should just be ready for that. We talked about the possibility of adoption and whether or not we ever wanted to do in-vitro fertilization (where they take the egg out, fertilize it in a dish, and then put it back in). We agreed that eventually, we would somehow have a child. It’s hard thinking about adopting a baby and never being able to have your own, but the “baby” part was so much more important than the “own” part. Besides, every baby show on TV tells stories of women who tried for 3, 4, even 10 years before conceiving. There’s always hope.

The next morning, I begrudgingly went to my blood test. I tried to sing along to the radio on the drive while envisioning having to make this very drive hundreds more times than I wanted.
When they called my name, I walked towards to the “blood station” and the nurse asked, “Sooo…what do we think?” I told her I cheated and took a test. Negative. “Well, those tests are wrong all the time. You never know!” I told her it looked like my period was about to start and that last month we took a test on the same day and it was right. She sort of frowned. I hate it when nurses frown. It makes me feel very uneasy.
David wasn’t there with me this time to put on a puppet show with the squeezy sperm and bull, so the needle really hurt. The nurse told me to go talk to “Scheduling” and come in for a consult. She said sometimes it feels good to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan. I couldn’t imagine how many plans there could be. I mean, sperm, egg. How many combinations are there? Maybe they know something I don’t know.
I told the gal at the front desk I wanted to talk to Dr. New York about our next steps. She said that sounded like a great idea and offered me an appointment in 2 days. I got a cute little appointment card and waved a sad goodbye. 
I went back to work at home. Loads of emails and lots of I needs. I wanted to respond to many of them by saying, “Hello? I just found out that my third fertility cycle was a failure and I may never become a mom. YES, YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT. It’s the LEAST you can do.”

I forgot that I get a phone call in the afternoon to confirm the results, so when the phone rang and I saw “Jex Fert” on the caller ID, my heart got sad again. I picked up.
“Hey, sweetie, it’s Sally. How are ya?” She said it in a sad, your-dreams-just-died-so-I-already-know-how-you-are kinda way.
“Oh, I’m ok, Sally. It’s ok.”
“Yeah. I know. Well, I went ahead and cancelled your consult appointment.”
“Oh ok. Wait, why?”
“Because you don’t need it.”
“Because you’re pregnant.”

Monday, February 8, 2010


First of all, guys, I had a number of people in the past 2 weeks tell me I should include advertisements in my blog. I'm not writing this to make money, but a little extra cash never hurts when you're giving a reproductive endocrinologist your entire paycheck every month. :) Please let me know if the ads are annoying, distracting, or any other thoughts you have! Now on with the show...

The morning before our blood test, David kept delicately reminding me to take a pregnancy test. “You know, if you want to take one before the blood test, now would be the best time.” I knew he was right, but the anxiety I felt rivaled what Monk feels when faced with a communal pencil. I was absolutely paralyzed with fear. The pain I felt with the last negative was so great and lasted so long, I didn’t think I could do it again. Of course, this is silly because I would inevitably have to experience another test result. The truth was, I was pretty sure I wasn’t pregnant. Even with the last cycle, I felt all kinds of shifting and feelings and sparklies in my tummy. This time I felt NOTHING. No sparklies, no nausea, no exhaustion. Nothing.
By the time David left for work, he made one last ditch effort to get me to take a test. “We have one in there and we can just do it and get it over with and then get on with the day. Maybe it’s positive?”
I am so grateful to have a husband who knows that when I look at him and pull one side of my mouth in and to the side, it’s time to stop pushing and let me be. He gave me a kiss and went to work.
When I went to take a shower, the test was sitting on the bathroom counter. “Hey Erin. I know I might not give you the answer you want, but I promise I’ll give you a really nice delivery. Maybe just, ‘You guys tried really hard and it will definitely pay off eventually. This just wasn’t the right time.’ Or maybe, ‘You know, you slept until 7:30 this morning and you won’t be able to do that when you have a baby. Why don’t you get one more month of good rest before we try this again?’” I stood in the bathroom for about 15 minutes, trying to decide if I should take the test. Still couldn’t do it. It was better not knowing the truth.
At about 11:30 my best friend called me and asked me if I’d taken a test. “No, I haven’t. I’m not ready. I can’t deal with another negative.” We chatted about it for a while and the conclusion was, “Take the damn test, Erin.” I decided to eat lunch instead.
I was working diligently at about 1:30. I had 2 more phone calls and an inbox full of  “I need”s and “Can you?”s. I was plugging away at my to-do list like Erin Brokowich on crack. Saving the world, one email at a time. It felt good to be so needed and have so many people relying on me. For the first time that day, I felt like I was on a roll. I was in a good place. And 20 minutes before I was supposed to hop onto another call, something said, “Go take the test. Do it right now and get it over with.” I don’t know who said it, but I’m sure my husband would like to know. He would call that voice all the time and be like, “Can you PLEASE ask my wife to close the cabinets that are level with MY HEAD when she’s finished putting away the dishes?”
I literally ran into the bathroom. This was a fancy-pants test. I had to pee in a cup, use a dropper to get 4 drops, then drop them into the round space on the test stick. I peed (carefully) into the cup and set it on the counter. Remember that scene in the Fifth Element when Bruce Willis has to light the last match in his book to open up the Fire Element Stone, therefore activating LeeLou’s Love Element and saving the world from the meteor? That’s exactly how I dropped the pee onto the stick. So carefully, so slowly, my eyes closer to pee than they’ve ever been. It called for four drops, I will give it EXACTLY four drops in a perfect, 2-second-delay-between-each-drop kinda way. 
When I was done, I walked into the bedroom, sat on the bed, and breathed deeply. The dogs came in and sat down, staring at me breathing. Bella asked, “What is she doing?” 
Charlie said, “I don’t know, but sometimes she does weird stuff like this. She’ll come out of it.” 
Bella asked, “Should we lick her?” 
And Charlie said, “You can. I’m just going to smell her feet.”
I looked at the clock and it had been a minute. I think I was supposed to wait 2. Or shit, was it 3? Now I don’t remember and the box is in the bathroom and I can’t look at the box without looking at the test. I guess I’d better wait for at least 2. Or just go look now, I’ll just go look now, I’m going.
I ran into the bathroom and looked down at the test. There was nothing in the square indicator box. Maybe nothing means pregnant, I thought. I grabbed the box. I looked at the two examples on the front. Nope. Empty box clearly means not pregnant. And 2 minutes was the wait time, and it had definitely been two minutes by now. Not pregnant.
I walked into the kitchen and cried. It didn’t feel good so I tried the living room. No better. I cried in every room until I was back in the bathroom, just in case it was tricking me and now read positive. Nothing. Empty indicator box. Not pregnant.
And now I have a conference call in 15 minutes. Awesome.