Scheduled Out.

I’ve been thinking about schedules a lot this week. My last graduate school class starts this week, and thus I feel the pinch, again, of working full time while also being a part-time student. Luckily, this’ll be the last time we have to deal with it.

The problem, of course, comes in that work has given me a special dispensation about my schedule – I’m still working my hours, but it’s on a modified schedule, and I have a coworker helping me cover the times that I’m gone. And then the idea is that I would also be going for RE appointments. Or really, just the one. I really just need to schedule one and get it over with, but I think I have a raging fear of it being somehow the straw that breaks the camel’s back. And of course, the RE I’ve chosen, although close to both home and work, only has daytime hours. For some reason, the ones that are both reasonable and nearby in Manhattan only have daytime hours. I’m guessing there are enough patients that it doesn’t matter. Who knows.

But I have a ton of fear. That my boss will not give me the time, or give me a hard time about it, or any other twelve hundred things. That they would want some kind of explanation of the need for doctor’s visits. I mean, I can lie – the first, at least, could be a regular check up. But who wants to lie?

The process of dealing with needing help. I’m having a really hard time with the idea of needing to see a doctor, not even really about the procedures – I’ve read a lot online, I have a pretty reasonable idea about almost anything they might want to do.

That despite all the help, we’re going to end up back here, no baby, poorer, and still facing down something like adoption. Which isn’t bad, but that’s not the road we started on.

Just gotta suck it up and do. And let the scheduling stuff work itself out. Maybe.

This is also my social anxiety at its worst. Having to pick “the right” doctor, and then scheduling with them, and blah blah blah. UGH.

Today is also mikvah day – a ritual immersion that allows me to have sexual relations with my husband, and something I usually really enjoy. It’s just gotten harder and harder and harder as the time goes on. You don’t go when you’re pregnant (except sometimes women go in the last month of pregnancy) and so, each time I go, it feels just a little more like a failure. Ugh. I’ve cried the last several times I’ve been – in the preparation room. Sigh.

ETA: As I was writing this, my amazing husband was contacting my old RE that we can’t use because of insurance (although we wouldn’t have used him anymore anyway…) so we are underway for getting my records from them. That’s a huge relief too. I’m also really curious to see my chart as well!

For Real!?

Today is CD2.

I have had some stomach bug that has been going around our office since like, Monday.

Seriously, having a stomach complaint at the end of the 2WW and then having AF arrive, and then having the stomach thing continue?!? Yeah, so not cool.

Since I was home sick yesterday, I called the new RE. And got the run around because it’s new insurance – apparently, my card says one thing, but the plan is actually called something else. Long story short, the office closed before I figured that all out. UGH.

Otherwise, it’s been a crazy few weeks – we were on vacation, and got stranded at the airport trying to get home. I’m sick, my husband’s sick, work is crazy, and my grad school class starts in like, ten days. Yay.

We also lost my pseudo-grandmother.  She wasn’t really my grandmother (all my real grandparents have been dead since 2008) but she was the woman that my mom had sort of taken on as a mom, and had filled those roles for us as I was growing up, since there weren’t many grandparents and they were far away anyway. She’d been ill for ages, with one thing or another, but then she fell and broke her hip – and that was the end. Very sad. I really wanted to share my baby with her, rather than having her as someone to name after. Sigh.

Onto the next thing…

 

The Chatterbox

I had dinner at a friends place last night. Her fiance and my husband go to school together, and she and I have hung out a few times.

It was…interesting. It was the kind of meal that during the meal I kind of realized it wasn’t that great, and that, upon thought, I realized it was kind of not great at all.

There were a couple of things: They are both incredibly young. Like, really, really young. I mean, my bat mitzvah was 8 years before hers kind of makes-me-feel old. Two of the other people at the meal were around my age, and then the other four – my host, her fiance, and then two others, were in the “senior year of college/first year of graduate school right out of undergrad” club. It was strange. I’m not that old – 28 isn’t – but I felt out of place. There were other awkward aspects – clearly the meal was meat, despite the fact that two people at it were vegetarian – nothing like 2 of 7 people not partaking in a chunk of the meal.

The real kicker, though, was the story of Noah.

No, not the ark, and the flood, and animals going two-by-two.

Apparently, one of their friends has an 18 month old named Noah. I have totally forgotten how they know Noah, mostly because I never cared in the first place. Honestly, how much do I care about someone’s baby whom I have never met and will likely never meet? Really? Life situation aside, some random baby is not interesting. Even when said baby is a total prodigy. Like, really – did you know that Noah can tell the difference between the kind of prayer book that his daddy uses and the kind that his mommy uses? Or that he uses the Hebrew word for praying in context while daddy is praying? Well, I found out last night, and now so did you. Maybe he is a prodigy. I haven’t spent enough time around 18-month-olds to really know. What it sounds more like, to me, is that mommy and daddy either a) spend all their time praying or b) need to vary the kid’s activities a little.

Of course, it probably wouldn’t have been nearly as annoying if it weren’t for our “life situation.” If I had a baby or was pregnant instead of watching warily as our 2-year mark of trying comes up. But I don’t. So, instead, I listened to her gush not once but twice (once during our walk from Friday night services to their place, once at dinner to “thrill” the other guests – although some of them apparently knew Noah so maybe they cared more) – and felt impotent to say anything. There was nothing I could say without it being totally awkward – it wasn’t like my friend (another girl barely out of college, and the wife of a classmate of my husband’s) who joked around about people being pregnant and then was gently told not to do that anymore. This was both an example of general social awkwardness made more awkward by the personal history of the recipient.

It’s the kind of thing that makes me want to throw my hands up in the air. Nothing to do, just have to move past it – but what a meal!

A “New” Family Member

So, for the last two years or so, my husband’s brother hasn’t been talking to anyone in the family. Even before that, the relationship was pretty tenuous. He would call when he felt like it. He wouldn’t answer his phone. A couple of times, he got rid of his phone without telling anyone. Etc. Etc. Until contact stopped altogether.

Around Thanksgiving, he suddenly emerged into the land of the living. Or rather, he reached out. He emailed not just his parents but my husband, and it was a really strange experience.

He’s had a rough time – he was kind of an angry kid that played into being kind of a paranoid adult, and he put a lot of blame in weird places. His life got pretty out of control, and he fell into a depression. Now, he’s reaching out to try to find help – he needed immediate assistance, but he also wants to get his life back on track and, it seems, get in touch with family.

It’s so hard – my relationship with him is that he’s been causing people I love – namely my husband and my in-laws – pain, without much benefit to myself. DH and I have been married for 6.5 years and together almost 9. His brother’s been kind of not really an active member of the family for probably 6 of those years. I’m really conflicted. On the one hand, to have a functional relationship with him would be great – I remember liking him before things went bad. But it’s not clear to me how exactly that’s going to come about.

Until we figure it out (or he vanishes back into the woodwork – I don’t trust this reappearance yet), it’s another source of stress in a life that already feels kind of consumed with stress.

(And then selfishly I wonder – do I have to tell him about our struggles? My in-laws know, but do I have to tell this virtual stranger who happens to be my brother-in-law? We haven’t yet and aren’t planning on it…but I think about it.)

CD1. Again.

Well, it wasn’t Wednesday. 

But it is today. All week has been ups and downs. Tuesday I was super emotional, and I was sure yesterday would be it. Yesterday, I felt better on that account, but had brown spotting. My temp was still high, but I didn’t trust it.

Today, my temp is lower, I have cramping. And blood. 

So, onto the next. My acupuncuturist gave me different herbs to try. Hopefully over this cycle I’ll get to actually make my new appointment with my new RE. And then we’ll get this thing moving again. 

Cycle 21. We’re so close to two years I could cry just thinking about that, never mind that it’s CD1. 

Miles to go before I sleep.

Nine things.

Stuff I knew before TTC

1. No one is guaranteed a baby when they want it. And yet, some people are able to plan like that. This makes it ridiculously difficult for them to understand those who can’t plan.

2. I really, really wanted to be among those who could plan for a baby and have it work totally correctly.

3. If you can, waiting to start trying is not the wrong decision. Having a baby is a big deal.

Stuff I realized when we started

1. Sex ed in this country is 99.9% about how not to get pregnant. For a huge percentage of the population, that makes total sense. For the rest of us, it means that not only do we not get the info we need, but it leaves the majority population totally stumped about what’s going on with us.

2. There’s actually a lot that I can know about my body by paying attention. I can figure out if and when I’m ovulating, if my basal body temperature is high or low, if it’s erratic. I can find out what my luteal phase looks like, and predict which day I’m going to get my period.

3. However, pregnancy symptoms and PMS symptoms can be the same. Like seriously. Heartburn, fatigue, being emotional? Yeah, that can all be PMS OR pregnancy symptoms. Really? Who decided that. I mean, it makes sense – your body can’t really tell the difference either until it realizes that nothing burrowed into your uterus, and the luteal corpus dies and you get your period. But still. Totally useless for those of us TTCing. Especially since no chart can ever tell you if you’re really pregnant.

Stuff I know now, as we’re rounding 20 cycles out

1. How much harder it would get to watch other people be pregnant. And also, how hard it is being different depending on who it is. There’s always jealousy – doesn’t matter what the story is – because they have something that I desperately want. But there’s a difference. It’s easier for that jealousy to be mixed with happiness when it’s someone I know struggled. It’s impossible when I know the baby wasn’t so planned, or the person can’t shut up about it. It has a lot to do with how much I like the individual as well.

2. I keep hope each cycle, but I’ve started planning like it’s not going to work. Early on, I’d think sometimes about “Oh, what if I’m pregnant when X happens?” And sometimes, I’d set my heart on it. And it hurt more than it was worth. So I’ve stopped saying it. Sometimes, it pulls me back in, but I’m better about it. I don’t hang a star on it. It’s just there. Milestones hurt, but there’s nothing to do for that. Going on our annual family vacation, my birthday, our anniversary. Praying that by this time next year, things will be different.

3. The grief and the uncertainty, and that they feed into each other. I feel grief about our family that we wanted. I saw a note I wrote about our ideal family, years and years ago, and I just laughed. All the dates I wrote for starting our family have already passed. So, we sit in the uncertainty, and I grieve for that timeline, and feel that I’m missing something. Not to mention, the Big Fear. The one that says I will always feel like this – that there will never be a baby for me. I can feel the lie in it, but it’s really difficult in the moment to separate it from my daily truth. Still waiting, sad and uncertain.

 

ETA: Expecting AF tomorrow. Think of me if it does turn out to be CD1 again.

Infertility = Disability?

RESOLVE posted this article on their facebook: Is Infertility Fertile Ground for Disability Discrimination Claims? 

Given that I can’t comment on facebook (hi, totally not private at all!), I wanted to talk about it here where it is private.

First, I appreciate the sentiment. As I mentioned previously, I haven’t needed to deal with employers and infertility yet, but I’m worried we’re going to get there soon. In a way, it’s nice to have something in my pocket – if they aren’t accommodating, there’s actually precedent for getting help, if I need it. Not that I imagine that they wouldn’t be accommodating, but because understanding that I have backup is nice.

It definitely makes me feel that there are at least some parts of the establishment that take the ridiculous world of infertility seriously.

But, there is a part of me that is a little squicked out at the idea of being “disabled” – who really wants that as a thing? But at the same time, I keep feeling like I want to explain to everyone how hard this is, how life changing, and how permanently life changing it is. So I guess it makes sense – this is one kind of recognition. Still.

What do you guys think?