85% of couples conceive in the first year, I am not one of them

Archive for March, 2012

To SA or not to SA

I’m 10 DPO today, and although I decided not to test last month, I DID want to test today. I know it’s going to be negative, there’s just no way it could ever be positive. Nope. Just can’t happen. Unfortunately half way into peeing this morning I realized I wasn’t testing! Turns out I’m out of tests anyway. I don’t have any out of the ordinary symptoms, like some of these women on the baby forums talk about. Boobs hurt the normal amount of hurt, my sense of smell is the same, I have the same symptoms as every other negative month. I’d like to think when it works that I’ll have some sort of “ah ha” moment where I get brown nipples or a super human sense of smell or insert other bizarre super early pregnancy symptom.

We figured if I got a negative today it would be all the more incentive to submit a sample for SA tonight. Makes sense right? The problem is I HATE testing. I can’t remember exactly which month my overwhelming, Christmas morning 10DPO excitement started to fade. Probably somewhere around the 7th negative. I want to test, but I also want to just say fuck it and submit the SA anyway because….there’s just no way I could have a positive and I need to stop thinking in those terms and just realize this is not going to happen on it’s own. My mind probably wouldn’t believe it anyway if I did see 2 lines.

My Mental Paradigm Shift

Lately it seems like everything I used to snark about or feel hoity toity and judgmental over is creeping up on me. It’s like some sort of karma thunderstorm raining down and soaking me to the bone. I can hear the clouds now….”how do YOU like it, you bitch”. Not a lot scary talking cloud, not a lot. I will openly admit I’m a very shrewd, judgmental person with a certain air of “I’m better then you” about me. No, it’s not always visible, I do a good job hiding it. A lot of the things I judge over I’ll never voice to another person. That doesn’t make it ok though, some of the things I felt like I believed in are seriously terrible, and of course I never thought I would be caught in my own cross fire. I’m amazed I haven’t lacerated my mouth with my tongue….

First admission:

This is one is probably the hardest to admit because it’s the equivalent of firing a gun in the air out of anger, then the bullet arcs down and hits me square in the head. You don’t think it’s going to happen, but sure enough, it does. My life philosophy has always favored a Darwinistic approach to human behavior. Survival of the fittest, the best should breed with the best, etc. Of course, we now know that as eugenics. I remember in high school I formed some pretty serious opinions about fertility treatments. People who can’t breed on their own shouldn’t breed, I remember thinking. There’s obviously something wrong with them, something that evolution does not want this person to pass on.  If 2 animals in nature are infertile, their genes don’t get passed on. Seems like evolution, no? If this animal was so fit and perfect, why would nature not want them to breed? Someone perfectly healthy and genetically sound could never be infertile, it would be a crime against nature.

What the hell was I thinking? I obviously knew nothing about why people were infertile, I figured it was just the cosmos delivering justice onto the human race. I have learned it usually has nothing to do with having terrible genetics. It’s more like just being terribly unlucky. Injuries, contracted disease, drug side effects, human habits themselves, and plenty of other reasons can render a person infertile. They aren’t terrible people creating abominations against the human race, quite the contrary. They are showing their intelligence in seeking help, they have a strong desire to have children no matter what, and because of that, probably end up better parents. I feel completely guilty for ever having those opinions, and I do feel like karma is paying me back in full.

Second Admission:

I’ll start by saying I only know one stay at home mom. She has 2 kids by 2 different men and another on the way by daddy #3. To her credit, she did work on and off, and even went to school to work as a dental assistant. Then she just gave up and decided to stay home with her kids. If it sounds like I’m being bitter, you’d be right. You see, she lives in a government funded housing project where she basically doesn’t have to do anything productive to live there. She gets WIC… she gets paid to raise children.  Despite this, I still consider her a good friend, with no real ill will. This friend has distorted my view of the stay at home mom as a miserable failure at having a real career. Stay at home mom = lazy. I mean, the rest of my friends and my own mom worked part time to full time while raising kids. It’s not impossible to do both, why do YOU get to stay home? And what are you going to do with yourself when they’re old enough to be in school? Eat bon bons and watch Oprah?

But…I think I’d like to be a stay at home mom, at least part of me does. Hold the phone….what? Yes, the bachelor’s degree holding, director of marketing at age 24 would gleefully throw it all away to raise babies if my husband made enough to support us. In reality, he does. He doesn’t make a lot either, we just live in a cheap house and don’t live outside our means. I just like having my own money to save, spend, and contribute. It’s nice to have basically an entire income dedicated to saving and splurging on a dinner every once and a while without fretting. Also I make extra money on the side by thrifting. At this point in my life, money is not a problem.

So why would I want to throw it all away? Well, like I said before, there’s money needed to live, and there’s money needed to play. We have the first half down. Also having worked my current job for  8 months, I’ve learned a lot about what I want in a career. I could continue my trajectory and claw my way up the corporate ladder, but I’m not sure that’s for me. I like middle management. I like having someone above me to guide my progress, to take the fall when things come down. I’m not sure I want to progress higher in life. I’m not sure I’d be good at it. Director of marketing looks good on a resume, I could easily slide into a higher paying position at another company. I don’t really want to.

I work full time, if I had a child I would be back to work in 6 weeks, and paying out the nose for daycare. Being a director sounds like a lot of income, but trust me, it’s not. My mother, who has worked customer service at a union grocery store for 15 years, makes the exact same amount of money I do. Something about not seeing my child for 9 hours a day crushes me. Especially when you’re working this hard just to have one in the first place. My logic says “you’re paying someone else to raise your baby”.  I just can’t do it, not when I’ve worked this hard. I’m not knocking the decision at all, don’t get me wrong. Daycare is awesome and I’m not judging on women who choose it, seriously. I just don’t think it’s for me. I wish I worked for a company with on site daycare or made the same amount thrifting that I do at my desk job. Sadly, I don’t.

“So what are you going to do, bring your baby to work with you?” Maybe. I honestly haven’t given it much thought. I work for a very small business, and I’m sure the president wouldn’t care very much. Instead I think I’m going to try to swing a work from home situation, since everything I do I can do from any computer. “What if he says no dice, it’s daycare or bust.” I choose bust. I’ll thrift for my pocket change and enjoy every minute of it….with my baby in tow. I’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit, I’ll make it work. I don’t work because I enjoy working, there are people like that who will do what it takes to climb the career ladder. I’m not one of them. I don’t need a huge amount of money, I’m happy with what I have, I don’t want to fight it out for more. One last point….of all the women I mentioned who work while raising one of their kids…every single one said they wished they could afford to stay home. It makes me feel better, and less crazy over having these feelings. We work because we have to, not because we want to.

So many radical shifts in thinking. This journey has drastically changed my attitude towards everything. One year ago I would have never believed I would be willing to throw away a job I worked so hard to get, and that I fully support ANY and ALL attempts people try to have a child. Changing for the better? I certainly hope so. Please don’t judge….I learned that the hard way.

My first appointment…let the tears begin?

My very first appointment with the doctor was at 3 this afternoon. I had 2 moles cauterized at the dermatologist this morning and there’s no pain at all. I marveled at how strong of a person I am. I’ve had at least 9 needles stuck in me over the past month and a half and took it all in stride. Me strong woman, me can take anything! Or so I thought…

I met my doctor, a young looking, very perky Indian woman. I assumed this appointment would be pap smear + fertility talks, a basic toe dip into the pool of fertility treatments. I was quickly sat at a table with some assistant and my doctor, asking all the questions I had already answered on my 12 page new patient questionnaire. Time for a pap smear right? I was lead into a room and told to take off my pants and get up on the table. There was a strange machine with a huge dildo looking wand on it. Turns out I wasn’t in for a toe dip, someone was about to shove me into the pool whether I liked it or not.

Transvaginal ultrasound time! They used the wand to take a look at my uterus. The assistant handled the wand while the doctor watched the screen. Sometimes the assistant wouldn’t be positioned where the doctor wanted so she would grab the wand and thrust it to where she needed it. Felt like she was poking my ovaries or something, it was quite sensitive.

“Your lining is looking good….you also have a slight dip in your uterus”. Dip? What’s a dip? You mean like a tilted uterus? I asked. “Everyone’s uterus is tilted”…she then turns the screen so I can see it. “See where it sort of has bunny ears at the top? That’s a dip, it’s actually called bicornuate”. WHAT?! WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? WHY DOES MY UTERUS HAVE EARS?! “It doesn’t usually affect conception, but it could contribute to an increased risk of miscarriage.” That’s good to hear, but it still makes me sad to know that I have a BICORNUATE UTERUS. Apparently not that bad of one, but still noticeable. Maybe I should make pride ribbons, just turn the ribbon upside down…..looks about right!

I’m pretty sure I’m ovulating today, I say confidently. “MMMMM nope, no follicle here. You may have already ovulated.” WHAT? Again, my head races with questions. By that time the ordeal was over and I was told to come out of the room when I was ready. I never saw my doctor again. I really wanted to ask how long after ovulation does the follicle stop being visible. There’s a very good chance I ovulated last night, but would that give it enough time to become invisible?! DID I OVULATE AT ALL?! What a terrible situation to leave someone in! It only got worse.

I crept out of my room and looked around for what I was supposed to do next. I’m the kind of person that appreciates a little hand holding, especially in a new, unfamiliar place like this. The woman at the desk in front of my room motioned for me to come over. I looked for my doctor with my newly formed questions, but she was no where to be found.

The woman at the desk began to rattle off prescriptions and procedures I would need to schedule on this day by this time bla bla bla. I was so confused. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into by coming here. One test was a sperm analysis, which is what I wanted to start with all along. If we find out my husband has sperm issues, that’s case closed as far as I’m concerned, I don’t want to go digging for more problems if a big one is staring me in the face first. Imagine my horror when she didn’t stop at the sperm analysis. The doctor also wants me to get an HSG. Basically a x-ray+ dye injection in the uterus to check and see if tubes are open and all that good stuff. WHAT THE…? Is that really necessary on the second visit?! Shouldn’t we wait for SA results first?? I highly doubt my tubes are blocked and I don’t want to be more invasive then I need to be. Also ordered was routine blood work to be performed at any lab of my choice.

I payed my 30 dollar co-pay and left with my goodie bag of prescriptions, appointment sheets, and a sterile cup to collect the sperm for the SA. I made it all the way home before screaming my lungs out in a pillow and crying for 15 minutes. My ovaries HURT now and I have no idea why. If I can’t take a vaginal ultrasound how the HELL am I going to take the pain of an HSG? WHY DOES MY UTERUS HAVE TO BE SHAPED LIKE THE EASTER BUNNY?!

I just wish every woman out there pouting about being accidentally pregnant is happy. Before feeling sorry for themselves they should be mandated by karmatic law to come look me in the eye and tell me how angry they are for getting pregnant accidentally, how effortless and easy it was. Just so they can see the pain in my eyes and how that makes ME feel.

Delayed Ejaculation = delayed pregnancy?

My birthday was on Friday, I just turned 24. I really, really wanted to have a child before this birthday but I guess we don’t always get what we want. Hopefully 24 will by year in the sun!

This is as good a post as any to introduce my methods of conception. Methods of conception you say? There’s methods other than penis + thrusting + vagina = babies? I’m about to blow…your….mind. Yes. Yes there are. Chances are if you’re using the aforementioned method, you’d have no reason to believe there are other ways to make a baby between 2 healthy consenting adults. Spoiler alert…straight up penis + vagina sex just doesn’t work for everyone.

I am one of those people. We have an issue known as delayed ejaculation. It is exactly what it sounds like, ejaculation is delayed or non existent either through sex or by manual stimulation. My husband can get it up, keep it up, and up, and up….and up. There’s no down. SOUNDS AMAZING RIGHT?! Well yes and no. It’s great for me because I can get as much as I need to be happy, but because my husband does not experience a climax in sex, it’s no where near as enjoyable for him. When it comes to baby making, it down right sucks.

There seems to be 4 main external male issues; getting it up, keeping it up, keeping it in, and getting it out. Although some couples suffer with premature ejaculation, when it comes to baby making that sounds amazing. Especially dealing with the flip side.

We’ve gotten a pretty good system worked out to get around this. We will commence baby mambo for a little bit for my needs, my husband will end up stimulating himself until he’s about to pop, then a well timed thrust back in and voila! Almost like the real thing….almost. Sometimes the timing isn’t correct and we’ll get a small strike on an outlaying island, if you know what I mean. I’ll always end up with sperm in the right place when all is said and done. Because sex is exhausting and basically pointless for my husband, we’ve also adopted a second method. This involves some oral sexytimes wherein either I or he finishes and he goes into a plastic cup. I then take an oral medicine syringe, suck up all the sperm, and insert it myself.

Both methods have the same results as regular sex, sperm deposited all up in my business, so I’d have to assume that my methods have little to do with my lack of pregnancy thus far. The only issue these methods impart is frequency. Because we’re not one of those couples constantly fucking, we only try during my fertile window. Usually 1-2 tries in my 3 days of egg white cervical mucus. That’s all that matters right? Any sex outside of fertile sex isn’t going to get you pregnant. I’d LOVE to have sex twice a day for 5 days or whatever it takes so that I’m constantly stuffed with male DNA, but it’s never going to happen. It only takes one lucky sperm….that’s what I keep telling myself.

Had a dream last night…

I think it had to do with an inner fear of being judged that I’m sure every parent has. I was with a small boy child, that my mind placed at either 1-4 years old, but visually he appeared to be at least 4. I only saw him from the back, standing in front of me. We were at the pediatrician’s office and it was time for some shots. He was screaming and being generally loud, to the point that the entire clinic could hear. I felt extremely self conscious, that my child was causing a disruption and people would wonder why I couldn’t keep my kid quiet. Part of me wanted to resort to a spanking, no idea where that came from. I quickly realized it was stupid to feel self conscious. We’re at a doctors office, a young child is getting shots, and he’s scared. He has every right to be afraid and cry, it comes with the territory. I knelt down and asked him where my big brave boy had gone. I don’t see my big brave boy anywhere, doctor, do you see where my big brave boy went? Big brave boys get their shots, even though they hurt, because they make him strong and healthy. The boy stopped crying, and that’s when I woke up.

Hmm, the first of many parenting dreams? I have a huge fear of being a terrible parent. Lazy, inattentive, over critical, not being able to control bad behavior, everything you can think of. I have 3 dogs and I like to think they’re well behaved. I can get barking spells under control quite quickly, even when they’re in the back yard and the neighborhood dogs are out and making a fuss. The problem is, dogs don’t understand English, you can’t reason with them. I admit I’ve trained my dogs through well placed cracks on the behind from time to time. I don’t believe you have to do the same with children. Raising kids and raising dogs are 2 different things…..right? I’m afraid I’ll resort to the same “training” methods with children. How terrible would that be?

I was raised in a spanking household and I believe it contributes to my current situation of not being terribly close with my parents. Spankings were handed out for accidents like spilling milk or dropping a plate. I was verbally assaulted and backed into a corner for getting a speeding ticket when I was 16. You can’t train accidents out of people, everyone makes mistakes. I respond to logic and reason, not violence and yelling. I believe children are the same. I don’t want to live in a world of “because I said sos”. Did I turn out ok? Sure. I’m the only one of my close female friends to have any college degree (most never attempted to go or got pregnant and dropped out).  Not coincidentally, I’m the only one with a house. I think I have a pretty good life, all things considered. However, I’m sure I would have turned out the same sans the spanking.

Look at me, doling out parenting advice and I can’t even get pregnant. Silly me. I should shut up now.

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