Thursday, April 2, 2009

Question from a Two Year Old

After my pregnant sister finished reading a couple of books to my nephew preparing him for the new baby on his way, he looked over at me and asked, "do you have a baby in your tummy too?"

No. No I don't.

I haven't felt sad about not getting pregnant in a good long while, but tears did spring into my eyes over that. I don't exactly know why. Probably partly because he's one of the main reasons we wanted to try to have kids, so to see him looking so angelic and curious and hopeful and confused made that reminder of what we're missing out on suck a little bit. And just what is the difference between his mommy -- my sister -- and me?

*****

When I got back home after spending the night away from Delia, I saw that the movie she decided to watch while she was alone was Juno. That sort of doubled the twinge of sadness.

Even though there are a million great things about not having kids and it's worth celebrating NOT having them, I think there will always be a little sense of loss that sneaks up on us from time to time. Of course, we still might but the chances are very, very slim.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Failure Looks Like: Exhibit A

BFN pregnancy tests

My period officially started with great obviousness not long after I took more tests Saturday morning (the above pic is actually from negative results in December; it's still on my to-do list to take pics of the evaporation line I referred to recently).

Six months ago seeing blood in my panties felt like failure, at least it did at first glance. I even shot some pictures to exhibit What Failure Looks Like. But as mentioned in that post, I can't really cling to feeling that morose and broken over it since I *do* really like having my period and it feels really wrong to me to view its occurrence as a failure. Women's bodies are really dual-natured, I think, doing so much to prevent pregnancy and so much to encourage it. The balance is achieved by the opposing forces. For my body and maybe for part of the rest of me, not getting pregnant is perhaps a very significant triumph.

There has been no hostile takeover. I am still potently singular. My body has thus far *resisted* pregnancy. Resistance is not what I want right now nor is it what I've been trying to will, but in a way it does make me feel that I'm inhabiting a powerful body, one that disobeys orders and mutinies with blood.

My body is like a sister I fight and love dearly. Nobody is closer to me. Maybe she just doesn't want to share me with anyone else. It's unfair and dishonest for me to betray her with words like "failure" or "disappointment". I should celebrate her stubbornness and hug her for her loyalty in defending me against intruders.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Not So Bad

Our early morning trip to the fertility clinic for our intrauterine insemination wasn't so bad. In fact, it was kind of nice the way it worked out even if I did only get two hours of sleep. We left home at 5:30 which I know is normal for many people with regular jobs, but for me it's like entering an alternate reality. I had so little sleep I was punchy and delighted by the birds' activity and the clean smelling air. It seems like I've ovulated on a number of holidays this past year of trying to conceive: I know Thanksgiving and Christmas for sure off the top of my head, and I think a few more if I were to check back through my calendar. Every time this happens we think how nice it would be to say our baby was conceived on Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. Or Independence Day, with fireworks (even if it did happen in a doctor's office).

Because it's the 4th of July there were no workday commuters on the road so we breezed onto the 7:05 ferry and Delia shot her load for the lab early. While we were waiting for them to prep and analyze it, my brother-in-law brought our nephew Mr. Squishypants down to meet us for breakfast at McDonald's. Seeing his two year old self running with a huge grin down the sidewalk to meet us and listening to him giggle and pronounce all of his new words with so much babyish concentration and accomplishment was bliss, and of course a huge reminder of why we're going through all of this to try to get pregnant. Seeing my family on his face and in his expressions, seeing my sister and my grandpa and my grandma and my mom and even myself radiating from him is like being reborn into a world with more love.

The only medical office open in the entire many-floored building was the fertility clinic so we knew that everyone we saw coming in and going out was there for the same reason we were, and there were A LOT of people which was both reassuring and depressing. In my typical asshole fashion I couldn't help judging the people I saw and comparing myself to them. The first people I really took notice of were a somewhat unattractive couple with an overweight lady in high water track pants. I couldn't help feeling like "here we are: all of nature's duds who aren't supposed to breed." I prayed that our cup 'o cum wouldn't get mixed up with theirs.

We had a couple of hours to observe the other "duds". While I assessed them from a distance, trying to pinpoint their problems I promised Delia that I wouldn't allow myself to say shitty things like this once we have a kid, but look at her, the one in the designer camo sweatpants and glossy black bag: that dud is anorexic. No wonder she can't get pregnant! And listen to this other one with the smoker's cough sucking down the coffee; her man looks healthy enough but they don't stand a chance with what that girl's doing to her body. The duds by the window? She's clearly over forty.

I knew I should be ashamed of myself; do I want my child to be a judgmental ass the way I am, looking at total strangers and rejecting them them as "duds" in my head to make myself feel better about my own inadequacies?

Then we saw a beautiful couple, younger than we are, the picture of all-American vitality. I felt so much better after I saw them. They looked like the kind of people who never have anything go wrong for them. It made me feel better having them in our pool of duds, knowing that not all of us are so easy to point at and diagnose as being infertile because of natural selection. Maybe we're just impatient. Maybe we're "special". Maybe the things that are right with us are more important than whatever is wrong. Or maybe nothing was "wrong" with the perfect breeder couple. Maybe they're only in the big city for the holiday weekend before he heads off to war and is just banking some sperm for the love of his life to use in case he dies or gets his nuts blown off in Iraq. Who knows?

Last night after my nervous, bitchy anxiety mini-attack over stupid things (worrying about being late, worrying about driving, grinding my teeth with resentment over the shitty timing of things and the potential of missing one of the few things I love doing with a large group of strangers: watching fireworks) I had another attack, this one of self-loathing. Am I ready to be a parent when I deal so poorly with such tiny monkey wrenches being thrown into my plans? How would I feel if I had a kid who acted as ridiculously as I act? I'm going to screw my kid up by being a tense little asshole! No wonder I can't get pregnant!! BECAUSE I'M A FUCKING SHITHEAD!!! I should stop now before I create new life just to ruin it with my craziness!

But then it was morning and I didn't feel like an asshole anymore and good songs came on the radio while we were driving. Cowboy Junkies version of "Sweet Jane" off the Trinity Session at 5:53 am was surely a sign as was "Closer to Fine" on the way home. I can't believe there was a huge time in my life where I could sing along to that entire song without choking up and crying.

*****

The doctor stood there with the sealed envelope and told us it contained our report with Delia's sperm analysis. Even though we know her sperm is good, it was like fucking Oscar night or something waiting for him to rip it open and tell us if we were winners, especially since she shot a big load just day before yesterday: 36 million and some other numbers I didn't catch. They never tell you what is average or what would be considered superstud strength, they only tell you they're looking for a number over 10 million.

It was the same doctor who did my HSG (I thought I blogged about that, but I guess I didn't -- oops) so I felt comfortable that I was in good hands. He showed me the catheter and explained what he'd be doing. Of course I expected cramps, especially since I couldn't take any anti-inflammatory meds this time, but things started getting tense when he had to throw the catheter into the sink and get another one. More poking and cramping that felt like it HAD to be penetration and another catheter thrown in the sink as he explained that it had no bearing on my ability to get pregnant, but that my cervix is angled, ACUTELY angled (because of my tipped uterus), in such a way that it just makes his job a wee bit harder. Before he threw the third catheter in the sink he showed me how the soft tip simply bent over when being confronted with my cervix. Finally with the fourth catheter he got it threaded in all the way and shot me up with Delia's specially washed sperm. We stayed in the exam room with me lying on my back for the recommended fifteen minutes to allow the sperm to swim up my tubes and I wished we'd brought our cameras because we could have shot some gyn porn or at least behind the scenes footage all that time. I was tempted to steal one of the catheters and our syringe, but worried we'd get "caught" and be thought of as freaks even though it's all just garbage and we PAID for that garbage. Oh well.

I'm feeling mildly crampy and uncomfortable tonight, but I don't know if that's the after-effects of the IUI or general ovulation crampiness heightened by the Clomid which can get bad enough that it wakes me up at night. Anyway, it's not exactly painful right now, just vaguely sore, tender and tight-feeling.

Now we've got another two week wait.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Post-Orgasm Cramps

We're running into the end of another two week wait and a couple nights ago I experienced something new: I got cramps after having an orgasm during sex. Apparently a lot of women have this, but I haven't (though I *have* had severe nausea-inducing crampy pain a couple of times right after vigorous sex right before my period which I hypothesized was from my cervix getting banged when it was more open than usual because of my impending period).

The next morning I woke up way too early at six with cramps and a general feeling of restlessness. Since then I have been crampy off and on a lot and they don't come in waves, it's more like one prolonged cramp. It could just be my period being on its way, but of course I'm convinced it's something else. Something good. Of course I've been googling my head off and found all sorts of interesting discussions which I'm too lazy to post or summarize here right now. Okay, I found a lot of women saying they had post-orgasm cramps and/or general crampiness from around implantation through week ten of their pregnancies. Since I have had plenty of orgasms during my two week wait over the past year with none of them leading to cramps (that I can recall) I'm hoping that SIGNIFIES something about my uterus being in a special condition.

I *could* take an early pregnancy test tomorrow, but I'm nervous and would rather lessen the chance of a false negative. Of course, I would rather have a false negative than a REAL negative, but whatever. I'm also extremely weepy lately, but that's been going on for quite awhile now, especially when I have PMS so that's not unusual enough for me to imagine it's connected to early pregnancy (though a few months ago I did).

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Update on "Feelings"

I just made a post about how trying to conceive has been affecting me.

More to post here, but later. Haven't had the juice to blog coherently.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Not Pregnant

So. My period just started. I sat and cried on the toilet for a little while. I did take a test day before yesterday which was, of course, negative. But we hoped maybe it was just too early to get a positive. Now we know. The test was right.

I'm not pregnant, and feeling worse about it than ever before. Delia has been waiting almost a year to start on hormones now. The money we've spent on testing that has been applied to my giant insurance deductible will be for nothing since we won't be having a baby this year. I just turned thirty-five this month so when/if we do get pregnant, it will automatically be deemed a high risk pregnancy because of my age. I can't seem to separate the trivial consequences (like the deductible & arbitrary high risk designation) from the massive ones (my girlfriend's identity being on hold).

I have no idea what to do next and just want to quit everything else, shut out every other distraction, not have to do shows or shoots or try to balance that with procreational sex; I feel like we're demanding a lot of our bodies and don't even have time to figure out what's going on before someone is asking us for an update. I don't blame anyone for that (especially since I appreciate the interest and concern), it's just stressful because on top of the demands we have to orient ourselves to our situation and make decisions, people are clamoring for news before it's even created. By the time we've gone through things, I totally want a break from talking or thinking about the whole ordeal instead of rehashing it. It's hard to strike a balance and prioritize.

Tonight we're going to spend some time together planning the upcoming cycle and making some decisions about possible artificial steps to take along with deciding whether or not to / when to cut back on shows and shoots.

I also really need to get more exercise. That might sound random, but it's really important now for a whole host of reasons (healthier = more fertile, fitter = healthier pregnancy, exercise = less stress). I've been having a terrible time motivating myself to do anything. It feels like I'm just WAITING. Like all I can do is wait. It's a challenge. Sometimes it feels like the best I can do is to try to be calm. To sit on my widening ass, waiting patiently . . . meditatively. In order to maintain that sense of calm I don't want to do much of anything. I don't want to agitate myself or my body. I mostly just want to sit around like a big heavy rock.

But right now I want to cry.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

To Test or not to Test?

Today or tomorrow is about the earliest I can do an early pregnancy test (its directions say up to five days before your period is due), but I think I'm going to try to wait a couple more days. It's too hard seeing a negative and not knowing if it's because I'm really not pregnant or if I just tested too early.

In the beginning we videotaped my early morning pee tests to try to get the exciting moment saved for posterity. After about ten negative attempts (some within the same cycle, so not ten months) I just couldn't handle burning up more tape on the same sad results. Dragging out the camcorder over and over again to witness myself failing to accomplish the most basic human function added a layer of repetitive humiliation and depression to an already stressful task so I really had to stop. It was horrible waking Delia up for my early morning pee, both of us heading to the bathroom, cranking up the little motor on the Canon and having to both sit around waiting to preserve our disappointment forever on digital video. Even though the footage is still good for pee lovers, it got real old for me real fast.

Deciding whether or not to videotape and/or otherwise share our precious and pathetic moments on our sites is always a challenge for us, but even more so with trying to conceive and share (plus eroticize) a pregnancy. Documenting and sharing it seems even more valuable since it's a once-in-a-lifetime (or maybe twice-in-a-lifetime) experience, but for the same reason it's also important to preserve enough of our experiences AWAY from cameras so that we can just feel what's happening without being photographers/models/subjects/whores and without altering the experience by adding those elements to it.

If I am going to have negative results (which I've had a lot of in the past nine months) I can handle waking up by myself and doing the test, then telling Delia when she wakes up that it was negative. It becomes harder and I feel more like a loser when she gets up with me and watches/waits with me for the results. And it would be EVEN MORE DIFFICULT if I had promised members to tape it and had to keep sharing the bad news. Over and over again. And maybe never "deliver" (in more ways than one). Which is why I didn't promise that, and why I started just testing without even telling Delia.

I realize that being infertile wouldn't make me a "failure" or a "loser". I realize I "shouldn't feel that way". But the truth is that documenting things AMPLIFIES and ALTERS their emotional significance. That may not make rational sense to some people, but it's the reality. Events ARE impacted when they are observed.

Taping and testing. Not sure what to do about either of them this week. I'll decide tomorrow what I will do the next day. Or maybe tomorrow I will sneak into the bathroom by myself, pee in my glass, and dip the stick. And be the first person to know whatever it is or isn't or I'm not sure of -- the only one who knows what the test says for at least a few minutes.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Two Week Wait

We're now a couple of days into another "two week wait" hoping to find out at the end of the month that we're pregnant. Here's a little update from a post I just made in my main blog:
We’ve had sex four mornings in a row hoping to fertilize the egg that I popped on Friday. Sunday morning was just for good measure ;). It really relaxed me so I went back into a blissful sleep afterwards, then got up and spent many hours doing housework. I’m not an efficient cleaning person because I get easily distracted and roam from room to room, but when I just allow myself to enjoy the process it’s actually really soothing to me. It was nice to get away from the computers and pay attention to our surroundings. While we are waiting to find out whether or not our conception attempt was successful I want things to be as calm and relaxing as possible and also focus my energy on grounding myself in my body and home. Peace is a state of being I usually have to work towards to achieve; I would like to practice more to get to the point where it comes more naturally. This is especially important now that I want to become a parent.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Charting for the Fertility Experts

Still not pregnant, but we'll give it another shot sometime within the next week and a half.

I'm getting all my period-started and LH-surge dates written down to take to the fertility clinic tomorrow; it will be my first appointment there (though I've been there plenty with Delia for her sperm banking).

The last birth control pill I took was in June, and Delia decided to transition in May so it's time for us to get the show on the road or at least find out if that's even possible for us/me.

I have a lot of blog entries to write about this process we've been going through, but have been overwhelmed by the dailiness of life and other projects so haven't gotten around to it. I do intend to go back and detail some of what's been happening, how I've been feeling, and more of my thoughts regarding the intersection of fertility, infertility and pornography.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Latest, in a Nutshell

After four of my notoriously unpredictable cycles, whether or not I'm fertile is still up in the air; I haven't gotten pregnant yet.

I'm extremely sick of fucking in the missionary position every day and lying there trying retain spooge for blocks of time afterwards. It was sweet for awhile, but it's getting to be a boring obligation.

Delia is getting her sperm tested and frozen on Thursday. I never thought I'd be considering doing anything "artificial" to get pregnant, but I'm giving us a special dispensation to say "fuck it" to my old rules.

On the other hand, I'm of two minds: attached to being childless, and attached to wanting to have one. I'm up in the air about it and ready to just give it a bit of a rest for a few months.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Uh-Oh

One of my biggest concerns going into this has been losing the emotional stability of being on the pill. Yes, I know that I'll get those benefits back once I'm pregnant, but before that and during breastfeeding? I'm nervous.

In the past I've had some pretty serious issues with depression, violent mood swings, and all of that jazz from PMS. Those symptoms weren't really limited to just a week before my period started, either. Being on the pill with its consistent dose of regulatory hormones was like MAGIC. I loved it.

Now that I am off of it I am feeling the jagged claws of hormone shifts in these ways:

I AM SO HORNY I WANT TO RIP MY HAIR OUT.
I know you think that's cute and happy, but my entire pelvic bowl feels so cranky and demanding and on edge, it's fucking nerve wracking.

I AM UBER BITCHY & EASILY AGGRAVATED.
The slightest irritations make me want to throttle people.

I FEEL DEEPLY SAD.
When something makes me sad, something that would normally be no big deal, I feel it to my core, like a major heartbreak.

One of the things I loved about being on the pill is that my bitchiness and sentimentality seemed very superficial suddenly. I felt more prone to expressing these emotions through stereotypical chatterbox nagging or crying suddenly at stupid things, like commercials, but only for about four and a half weepy seconds and then it would be gone. I'll say it again, because it has been so striking to me: the emotions I felt were very superficial, and underneath them I felt very smooth and stable.

Not on the pill? Nothing feels superficial. One of the cool things about being on it, though, that I think I can take with me is that I feel more comfortable crying. So on Saturday when a book made me sad? I cried. HARD. And when it made me sad again a few pages later? I cried again. HARD. And when watching Northern Exposure made me feel sentimental? I cried. HARD. I cried hard on Saturday so many fucking times, my face got bloated. I also masturbated a lot (but not while I was crying).

And right now as I write this? I feel like a platoon of cunt-starved soldiers couldn't satisfy my pussy, it's feeling so demanding. It's not like I'm dripping wet with arousal, it's more of an incredible sexual tension in my pelvis. It's a feeling of being wound up and aching for release.

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