Panic in the Mother’s Room

It all started innocuously enough.

It was an ad.

As I was feeding Chick breakfast and listening to the news, I heard an ad announcing that a very large company will be moving to my city. It will take a few years– 2018– but they’re relocating their entire headquarters. My first thought was “Man, housing prices are going to skyrocket.” My second thought was “Man, I either need to buy now or get out before it happens.”

As you all know, I’ve been seriously thinking of leaving the East coast. I’ve been looking at a few cities. In typical fashion, I created a spreadsheet comparing said cities with an Ostrich Quality of Life Index (patent pending.) I like to make informed decisions, and this process helped me quickly eliminate some options and zero in on others. Using my proprietary formula (factoring potential income, average commute time, average cost of a 3 bedroom, and average cost of daycare) I quickly tossed out San Francisco. LA would be possible, but Seattle was looking like the very best alternative. I shared my findings with Mr. O and started to dip my toes in the Seattle waters.

Mr. O had been rather silent. Not entirely out of character, but in retrospect I should have known better. You see when Mr. O doesn’t want to do something, he ignores it. Pretends like it just isn’t happening. And because this Ostrich abhors a vacuum, I fill the silence with whatever I *think* he thinks. And I thought silence was complicity.

With the dawning realization that Very Large Company is coming, my urgency to leave kicked into high gear. I went to work and started looking at how to make this move West work. The trouble was, I couldn’t. Even with all my spreadsheets and research, the three places we were looking at weren’t working out. The logistics were wrong, the cost of living one I can’t support, or commutes I can’t bear. I have been working on this relocation puzzle for weeks, and no matter how much I tried I couldn’t make it fit.

I started to spiral. I couldn’t breathe. My chest felt tight. Cue panic attack! So I ran to my one refuge at work– the Mother’s Room.

While trying to get my shit together, I tearfully called Mr. O because I really needed to talk. More specifically, I needed someone to talk me down.

ME: I’ve tried and tried, and I can’t figure out how to make this work. I’ve looked at all the pieces, all the variables…

 

O: You’re putting too much pressure on this one decision. You need to slow down. Why don’t we just move and see what happens?

 

ME: I can’t do that. I want a home, Mr. O. I want to settle down with our family. I don’t want to move across the country, only to pick up and move again because we can’t afford it.

 

O: Maybe we need to compromise on somethings. You’re not going to find everything you want in one place. Maybe it will mean a longer commute…

 

ME: I know, but there are somethings I won’t compromise on. I want our own home, and I want to be with our family. Chick is growing up so fast, and I don’t want to miss that because I’m driving two hours in a car everyday. That matters to me.

 

O: …

 

ME: I’ve tried and tried, but I can’t make San Francisco work. I know that’s where you want to be, but I can’t figure it out-

 

O: Well, I don’t want to move to Seattle.

 

ME: … What?

 

O: I never wanted to move there.

 

ME: I can’t make California work, Mr. O. I don’t know if we can move at all.

This, it should be noted, triggered more crying and chest heaving. Because I realized that when Mr. O said he wanted to move West, he really meant he wanted to move to San Francisco. There is a part of me that feels this is totally irrational on his part. It’s like a kid who says they want to live in Disneyland. That’s charming, but completely unrealistic.

69025388This is where our partnership typically hits the skids. Mr. O is the dreamer, the kid who wants to live in Disneyland. I’m tethered to reality. It isn’t like we don’t know this about ourselves– we even have a joke about it. This dynamic first came to light when we went on vacation together for the first time. Mr. O doesn’t plan anything and just likes to let serendipity take over. I have to plan everything because… well if I don’t, who will? Thus Vacation Ostrich is the planner, while Vacation Mr. O is the free spirit.

(That makes me sound like a total kill joy, but if it weren’t for me we quite literally wouldn’t have places to stay. Mr. O doesn’t even want to pick a hotel because “Let’s just see what happens…” I’m not okay with just rolling into town without a bed booked because I did that in my 20’s with very poor results. This is not my default mode- you can tell because I looooathe the planning process. In fact, I’ll admit I even resent it. But I’d rather that than sleep on a park bench, literally or metaphorically. Yes, I am justifying my behavior. It’s my blog. Deal.)

Anyway… Where was I? Ah yes… panic attack in the Mother’s Room. I was crying while mumbling “I can’t make this work, I can’t fix it, I can’t fix it…” when Mr. O told me to stop and breathe. And made the radical suggestion that we swap roles. He will be Vacation Ostrich and I will be Vacation Mr. O, at least for a few weeks. We come at problems differently, but we’re not going to go anywhere unless we meet some kind of middle ground. For the next few weeks anyway, I have agreed.

Since then, I’ve been trying to define what being Vacation Mr. O really means. It isn’t so much that he isn’t realistic, but that he sees possibility. I’m trying to broaden my perspective a little bit, even opening myself up to staying where we are.

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What do me and Donna Reid have in common, besides a love for home appliances? No really…

I’m also trying to sit back and figure out what is important to me and why. It’s been a good clarifying exercise so far. In the midst of my sweaty panicky freak out, I blurted out the two most important things to me: Home Ownership and Family. Smack me with a wet noodle, I never thought I’d say those things. It’s just so damn Leave It to Beaver, but there you have it.

Family… okay, yes. It isn’t uncommon for a mother of a small child to want to spend more time with said small child. As much as it was a surprise, I wasn’t really shocked by that response. The specificity of home ownership? Yeah, that seemed weird. While I was driving home from dinner with friends last night, it dawned on me where that is coming from.

Since my mom died, my father’s mortality has become more real. No, he isn’t going anywhere any time soon. (Hopefully. Seriously, Universe, if you even think of screwing with me like that right now, you and I will officially have a smack down.) But I’m also keenly aware that he will die some day. When that happens, my family home will be gone. My siblings and I will have to sort through ~40 years worth of our collective identify, and decide what to keep. At that point, I will be without a mooring… Unless I moor my goddamn self.

There are other things here that need unpacking, like the realization that my income is what keeps my family afloat. I am the head of the household, which wasn’t really a role I was prepared for. With that comes responsibilities I haven’t even started to grapple with. You’d think Vacation Ostrich would relish that, but I don’t.

Mr. O and I have agree to regroup in a few weeks to see what this Freaky Friday swap yields. Until then, I will do my best to dwell in possibility.

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A day in the life

Like many new parents, I get emails from companies trying to sell me shit. Or get me to sign up for shit. Or whatever. I’ve mostly ignored them, but there are a few I find helpful on occasion. One is Lucie’s List, which I’m a big fan of. Useful information with a dash of humor. I also like the ones from BabyCenter, because they recommend different development games you can play with your baby based on their age. A lot of the other stuff on their site is mindnumbingly idiotic, but there are a few gems.

So I was poking around the site this morning and came across something called “Baby Schedules.” I think “Huh? Baby schedules? Isn’t the whole point of babies that they say ‘F*CK YOU!’ to any and all plans?”  Needless to say, I was intrigued.

The article goes on to link to 8 different schedules, based on a whole bunch of variables.

Are you a stay at home mom?  Or are you a formula feeding working mom? How about a stay at home mom who is breastfeeding twins? We’ve got you covered!

Then I read these schedules and laughed my ass off. Of course, I picked the one that most closely resembles my sitch, only to realize whoever wrote this is a plan old liar. Okay, maybe not a liar, but leaving out all the good parts.

So ladies… here for your entertainment is my “Schedule” (Really. This happened yesterday.)

6:15 am: Wake up, stumble into the shower. My child is awesome and has slept through the night again. Hear Chick thrashing around in his crib the moment water hits my face. Realize I have about 10 minutes before he gets all diva on my ass.

6:25 am: Hop out of the shower to Chick getting his bossy on. Ask Mr. O to delay leaving for work by 5 minutes so I can dry off and put some product in my hair while he attends to The Supreme Leader.

6:30 am: Take Chick from Mr. O. Sing him his “Good Morning” song as I change his diaper and take him out of his pjs.

6:45 am: Heat up Chick’s bottle with his daily dose of vitamins while performing our morning “chores” which include turning down the heat, turning off his humidifier, and setting up my pump equipment.

7:00 am: Feed Chick. First we breastfeed, then he takes an oz or so from the the vitamin bottle. Chick has decided he would rather yell into my boob than eat from it. He also decides that smacking me in the face while nursing is a great way to test out his new motor skills.

7:30 am: Chick is finished eating. I lay him down in the middle of my bed so that I can get dressed while he laughs and plays. Then it’s time to get Chick dressed, which proves a little challenging because he has recently discovered that he has feet. “Look, Mom! I have FEET! Feet that can go in my mouth! What do you mean you need to put my pants on?”

7:45 am: Chick and I migrate to the living room where he hangs out in his exersaucer while I pump, ideally for 20 minutes. I’ve got a lot of milk let in them boobies, since Chick decided food time was actually fun time.

7:55 am: Chick develops a deeply complicated relationship with the starfish on his exersaucer. He laughs one minute, cries the next. Then laughs again. I apply makeup because no one needs to know what my face really looks like.

8:00 am: Chick and Starfish are no longer on speaking terms. From across the room, hooked up to my breast pump, I try to distract him from this painful break up with a basket of shiny toys. (We’ve all done that once or twice, amiright?)

8:05 am: I unhook myself from the pump, and attempt to get Chick’s bottles ready for the day. This requires that I’m in the kitchen, and Chick must have an audience AT ALL TIMES or there will be yelling. So I run back into the living room, take Chick out of the exersaucer and prepare all the bottles and his bag for daycare with one hand.

8:15 am: Take Chick into his room to get his winter gear. As if sensing I might want to leave the house soon, Chick pukes all over himself. My catlike reflexes successfully keep most of the puke off me and his clothes, but not the floor. SPLAT. And so I find myself cleaning puke from the floor with a baby on my hip.

[I would like to point out that I have now been awake for over 2 hours.]

8:25 am: I wrestle Chick into his bunting and car seat. Little known fact: This is apparently an act of torture as outlined by the Geneva Convention.

8:35 am: I waddle out to the car with a baby, my laptop, pump equipment for the day, and Chick’s daycare bag. Get in the car, and get on the road.

8:45 am: Get to daycare, hoist Chick out of the car. Carry him and all his crap up the very steep driveway that leads to daycare. Drop him off.

8:55 am: Arrive at work and get an amazing parking spot. SCORE.

9:05 am: I’ve settled into my desk with a cup of coffee, only to realize something smells like… what is that smell? Is that…?  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I missed a puke spot.

9:15 am: Run to the bathroom to clean up said puke and readjust scarf to cover it up.

10:00 am: Skype meeting with colleague in London.

10:35 am: Said meeting runs over, so I am 5 minutes late to my pump session. Run over the Mothers Room and attach vacuum suction to my boobs. I’ve given up on the idea I can concentrate on anything while pumping and watch “Ms. Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” in 20 minute installments.

12:00 pm: Eat lunch at my desk to prepare slides for a meeting the next day. I wade through spreadsheets like a shipwrecked cast away.

1:30 pm: Pump session #2. Finally find out who is responsible for poisoning the old lady in “Mozzarella and MURDER.”

2:00 pm: Run to another meeting with someone who makes my brain itch. Try very hard not to think “I put my baby in daycare for this shit?!”

3:00 pm: Weekly status meeting. I say smart things. Mr. O texts me to say that he forgot he has a haircut appointment after work, so could I do pick up? Please?

4:25 pm: Last office pump session of the day. I get started a little early so I can maybe leave a little early since I now have to do daycare pick up.

4:55 pm: Just about to leave when my boss wants to catch up the presentation for tomorrow’s meeting. I walk through it a few times. We’re all set.

5:35 pm: Make it to daycare. Chick just fell asleep, and I’m the meanie who wakes him up for his most favorite thing: bunting and car seat time! Yelling!

5:55 pm: Home. Chick sits in his car seat peacefully for about 5 minutes before the grunting and whining begins.

6:05 pm: I realize Mr. O never told me when he was coming home. Realize I will have to make dinner and hold Chick at the same time. I put him in his Becco, and chop vegetables while dancing him around to Shakira. (Yes, my baby likes Shakira. His hips don’t lie…)

6:45 pm: Mr. O still isn’t home yet, and Chick and I are both getting hungry. I make dinner while bouncing Chick on my hip.

7:15 pm: Mr. O gets home just as I finish cooking. I would sass him at his inability to let me know when he would be home, but I’m too hungry to give a shit.

7:30 pm: Food is on the table. Mine, Chick’s, Mr. O’s. Because Chick is all about the solids, he gets excited by the avocado just inches from his face, so I put down my fork and feed him. After about 10 minutes, Mr. O offers to feed Chick so I can eat. I say “Thank you” out loud and things that aren’t so nice in my head.

7:45 pm: Mr. O (who normally does all the dishes and bottles) offers me one of two options. I can a) play with Chick while he does the dishes or b) I can do the dishes while he has some Chick time. I opt for dishes because though I love my kid, I need some alone time right about now.

8:00 pm: Finish the dishes and the bottles. Wonder how it takes Mr. O twice as long when he does them. (Ahem. SERIOUSLY.)

8:30 pm: Start socializing the idea of bedtime. Change Chick into his pjs, sing him his pajama song, and get his room ready for the night.

8:45 pm: Nurse Chick. He struggles for about 5 minutes, then gives in. I hand him over to Mr. O who gives him a bottle and then puts him to bed.

9:15 pm: Last pump session of the day. To make this less tedious, I reward myself with a bowl of ice cream. Not sure why I bother because I get an ounce at most. Put all my pump equipment in the wash. Brush my teeth. Get ready for bed.

9:45 pm: Finally in bed. Read for 10 minutes until I pass out.

Then we wake up and do it all over again.

 

Stuck Between My Head, My Heart, and a Hard Place

(Warning: There is a lot of rage and a ton of expletives below.)

I’m just going to get the sad part out of the way. It looks like my mom won’t make it through her latest round of illness. After 13 months in the hospital, her heart is starting to shut down. It isn’t imminent, but it will happen soon.

When this became clear to me, I had a huge internal debate. To tell her that I’m pregnant or not to tell her.

My head kept insisting that I wasn’t ready. We’re too early on to know if this is a viable pregnancy.  Telling her will mean we have to tell everyone else, and I don’t want that yet. Whether or not my mom knows, it doesn’t change anything. She is dying, and I am pregnant. Facts are facts.

My heart was a weepy mess. As with all the ups and downs over the past year, I have made a point of making sure my mom felt loved and cared for. I’ve let her know I think of her every single day. I tried to make sure she experienced joy and happiness, and this certainly qualifies.

As should come as no surprise, I had a plan for telling people that we are pregnant. I wanted to wait until the 8 week ultrasound to tell family and close friends. If all went well, we’d let the world at large know after the first trimester.

As should come as no surprise, the Universe is shitting all over my plan.

If there was some magical way I could just tell my mom… that’s what I wanted. I don’t give a shit about anyone else right now. No, really… I’ve become remarkably unfeeling about morons over the last few days. For example, Mr. O pointed out that his mother may be upset if she finds out we told other people first. To which I responded, “No problem. I’ll just tell her to go fuck herself.”  And I mean it. I will take on that burden for the rest of my natural born life and well into eternity.

I am willing to tell my mother-in-law to take a flying leap every day until one of us dies, if it means I can tell my mom. That’s when I realized how important this was to me.

Even though what’s happening to my mom is profoundly sad, I still wanted this to be happy. I hope that doesn’t sound heartless, but this is happy. IF is an asshole, but it has taught me some life skills– among them the importance of holding both the good and the incredibly hard. Your life is never, ever painted with just one brush.

So Mr. O and I made a video for my mom that my dad could play for her in the hospital. It was funny, and a little bit cheeky. We had so much fun making it together too- I haven’t laughed like that in a while.

After she saw it, my dad Facetimed us in so we could celebrate with my mom. It was amazing and painful. As much as I am so grateful we got to share this with her, I am also so fucking mad. Of all the ways I pictured telling my parents, it was never with my mom hooked up to a ventilator. I am grateful, but I am not a saint. This is fucked up. FUCKED UP.

As I knew it would, the cat is creeping out of the bag. My sister was in the room when my dad played the video. My brother found out because my dad blurted it out in the car. My mom was telling her nurse the other day. All of which is fine. I do not regret the decision to tell her for one minute.

Now comes the hard part… (oh, you thought that was it?)

My mom has asked me not to come see her. She wants me to focus on taking care of this new little life. My mom knows how hard this has been for me and Mr. O. She had a lot of difficulties with her pregnancies, and worries about this for us. And so she doesn’t want me to undergo the travel and the stress.

I’m checking with my doctor today but I worry that even if we were cleared to go, my being there would cause her anxiety (which is what sets off her heart, we’ve found.)

Merry fucking Christmas to me.

Lucky 13?

On Tuesday afternoon, I got “the call.” The one telling me my follicles were ripe for the plucking. After a thoroughly cryptic conversation with the nurse in my company cafeteria, I pieced together the triggering instructions. Then popped back into a meeting like it was NBD.

300 units of Gonal-F at 8:30. Novarel trigger at 9:30. At this point, I feel like one huge injection site. Ah, well… thems the breaks for the infertiles.

My retrieval was scheduled for Thursday morning. So nothing to do on Wednesday but wait. I’m used to waiting- that’s what the TTC game is all about, right? Mr. O, it seems, was late to that party. Because he had what is his equivalent to a freak out.  It happens infrequently, but when it does… Boyo, there is no talking him out of it.

It is worth noting that a “Mr. O Freak Out” looks a lot like my baseline for existence. He tends to latch on to something small then just perseverates on it for about 30 minutes. His obsession of choice today was how many embryos to implant. Like a dog with a bone, he would not let this go. “If we get one, obviously we’ll implant it and be done. But what if we get 3? Do we implant 2, then save the other one for later? What if we get 5?” And so on and so forth.

My feeling is that I will do whatever it takes to have a healthy pregnancy. If Dr. Petrel thinks that means implanting one, one it is. If she thinks that means two (and we have two viable ones), then we’ll go for two. Of all the things that have preoccupied my mind over our first IVF cycle, how many to implant has not been one of them.

Thursday morning, we show up for our retrieval. I don’t know how to explain this, but it was one of the saddest experiences I’ve had so far. Every couple that came in was “like me.” We’re all experiencing some kind of heartbreak. Perhaps I’m projecting, but everyone looked kind of sad and weathered.

When one couple walked in, the nurse said “I think I know you. Have you been here before?” They had been here in July. Like a dagger to my heart, friends.

Hooked up to my IVs, I sat and waited my turn. About 15 minutes before I was scheduled to go in, a nurse took Mr. O to the porn room. (Oh, come on… We’re all adults here, and THAT’S what it is!) I watched him walk out, and I just kept thinking “I didn’t want this for you.” I was just so deeply sad to be at this point. And so I sat there alone, trying not to weep openly.

When I woke up from the procedure, I had no idea where I was. I started crying, I babbled, I asked if it was Christmas*. It took about 5 minutes for Mr. O to calm me down, and for me to remember why I was there in the first place. Another 20 minutes later, we went home.

For the record, egg retrieval is fine. For me, it was a lot easier than the hysteroscopy. But don’t let anyone fool you- this isn’t like getting your teeth cleaned. I spent most of yesterday in bed, chugging Gatorade and eating a lot of meat because this is supposed to help my ovaries recover. (Who knew ovaries had so much in common with 15 year old boys?)

They were able to retrieve 13 in total. I’ll get a call today to let me know how they are progressing, then we could go in on Saturday to implant them. Does this seem early to anyone? I thought they’d need time to percolate or something…

Anyway, it feels like the hard part is over. Okay, the second hardest part… because this TWW will be one for the books.

Prepare yourself for more truly neurotic posts.

*This may seem random, but it isn’t. My mom went in for an endoscopy in November of last year, and experienced a whole mess of complications which have left her in the hospital for over a year. She went in November 1, and didn’t wake up until Christmas day.

All By Myself

Yesterday, I went in for ultrasounds and blood tests for day 4 of stims. On one hand, I’m extremely grateful that Dr. Petrel’s office has early morning appointments. On the other hand (the hand attached to this non-morning person,) I’m thoroughly displeased I had to be anywhere at 8:15 in the morning.

The appointment went smoothly. I got in, got my blood drawn, was unceremoniously probed. Just a typical Thursday morning of the IF crowd.

The ultrasound tech told me that I have 7 ripening follicles in one ovary, none in the other. I will admit now that I was slightly disappointed. I really wanted a bumper crop of those suckers. Specifically 30. I came upon this number through a very thorough process of picking it out of thin air.  Totally at random. I have no idea why, but my weirdo pea brain was fixated on the number 30.

Of course, I have no idea what is “normal” or “good.” Even if I did, I know better than to compare my body to any sort of standard. It does whatever the hell it wants. So I spent the morning reminding myself that ultimately, I just need one. Just one that works and sticks.

Regardless of my lingering disappointment, Dr. Petrel is pleased with my ovarian progress. The stimming cocktail continues, now with the addition of Menopur at night and Ganirelix in the morning.

I have been stimming now for 5 days. Outside of a persistent, low-grade headache, I’ve felt fine. No other side effects to report. The injections themselves are no fun. Not terrible, but not something I’ll be signing up for again under any circumstances. (There goes my long-held dream of becoming a heroin addict. Shucks.)

Gonal-f is a non-event. I hardly notice it.

Menopur stings a bit going in- kinda like a flu shot.

Ganirelix didn’t hurt going in, but the inject spot was sore and a little red for about 45 minutes afterwards.

I’m making Mr. Ostrich do the shots. Between you and me, I’m okay giving myself the shots, but I really want him to be involved. Up until now, I’ve been muscling through the appointments and infuriating phone calls with my insurance on my own. It isn’t because he won’t help– I’ve just never asked him. Which is why I think he is a bit removed from the whole process.

For example, Mr. O came with me to the baseline ultrasound and blood test. He sat in the room with the Tech while the ultrasound was performed. This wasn’t such a big deal to me– I’ve been poked in every way imaginable at this point. But Mr. O was completely floored. He just didn’t realize what all this meant until he saw me go through it first hand.

That’s when I decided to ask him to administer the injections. This isn’t because I want recognition for what I’m going through- I really want him to feel invested in this in a concrete way. It seems harder for men to grasp what IVF means because… they aren’t physically experiencing it? They are biologically programed to not notice? I have no idea.

I wonder if the same is true regardless of gender- If you’re part of a lady-lady duo, does the partner who isn’t undergoing treatment “get it?” Or is this just something you have to physically go through to understand?

To be clear, I don’t intend to downplay the role of anyone’s partner plays in this process. Even if they aren’t getting probed by ultrasound wands or pumped with hormones, they offer so much love and support. They are obviously just as invested in the outcome. I imagine it’s difficult to be in the role of witness too. For Mr. O at least, he has said several times that he wishes he could do some of this for me. But you know… pesky biology gets in the way.

Mr. O and I share so much. We’re disgustingly egalitarian in our relationship. It feels odd that he isn’t experiencing this in tandem, the way we do so many things. For the first time since we started this journey, I feel strangely separate.

Back in the Saddle

First of all, thanks to all for understanding my hiatus. And for welcoming me back to the fold. It’s truly astounding how warm and loving a set of perfect strangers can be. Way to go, humanity!

And now that I’m back, I will regale you with tales of my RE appointment.

On Monday, I had my first visit with Dr. Petrel since our initial consultation. All of our tests are in, and the results are decidedly weird.

  1. My FSH levels are elevated, but my AMH levels are awesome.
  2. Mr. O’s genetic results are in the clear, but because the practice shifted to a different lab, not all requested tests were actually performed. Basically, they tested 94% of them.
  3. I may or may not have polyps. I had the sonohysterogram done at a different office, and they didn’t let me see the pictures they took of my uterus. Reviewing them with Dr. Petrel, she thinks it could be polyps– or mucus. Yummy.

Therefore, here is our plan of attack for this cycle.

  1. More tests. Dr. Petrel suggested that I get my FSH tested again, since my levels were more consistent with a Day 4 or 5 result. Maybe we got the timing off? She also suggested getting the genetic tests that were left out of Mr. O’s labs, and Fragile X. There may be a connection between my elevated FSH and Fragile X. So let’s just know for sure.
  2. Hysteroscopy. In the next two weeks, she wants to take a peek at my uterus with a telescope. After she gets in there and determines my polyp-y status, she’ll either give me the all clear or remove those suckers. It should take one day, and I should be back at work the next.

Through some miracle, I have not freaked out about any of this. Okay, not through some miracle… Through the calm, rational care provided by Dr. Petrel, I am not freaked out about any of this. The truth is that if this were going to be an easy process for me, I wouldn’t be going to an RE in the first place. Her office exists to help couples like me and Mr. O. If I do test positive for Fragile X, we would just have a different set of choices to make. She walked us through what some of those choices might be. By the time I left, I practically wanted to hug her. #bestdoctorever

And as I wait for those genetic tests to come back, a whole new two week wait begins…

My Date with an RE

So I just got back from my first appointment with my RE. And I love her. LOVE.

Dr. Petrel* is exactly what I was hoping she would be. She answered almost every question before I could ask it. The few I did outright ask, she answered truthfully– if even to say that she wouldn’t know until more tests were done. Dr. Petrel also kind of reminds me of my mom. If my mom were a straight-talking reproductive endocrinologist. I feel soooo much better.

Here’s what we covered:

1) Dr. Petrel isn’t recommending that we re-do tests, but she does want to do a few more. Because of Mr. O’s Eastern European and French-Canadian heritage, she wants to do some genetic testing on him. She also wants to do a Sonohysterogram and some additional blood work on me. But that’s it.

2) She is recommending that we go directly to IVF. Do not try IUI, do not collect $200. Basically, Dr. Petrel thinks we’ve done enough with Clomid. IUI isn’t likely to yield better results. The frugal side of me wants to be spending the most of our insurance max on the most expensive treatments, so I feel good about this. But it is sorta like jumping into the deep end. I will freakout about this more at a later date.

When I spoke with my insurance, they require 6 rounds of something before they’ll approve IVF. I really hope the Great Clomid Experiment counts. My friend at the Infertility Hotline said it would, but I want to double check. Because, you know… my insurance company sucks.

3) As long as all the additional tests come back in good shape, we’ll likely get down to business in October. I’m actually totally down with this. I’d like to do one more cycle without any medication- start off with a clean slate. I also have a half marathon in October, so I can train for it without worrying what that’s doing to my chances.

At the end of the appointment, Mr. O and I went to get our blood drawn for the tests. He had to get back to work, so he went in first. I went in afterwards. Without knowing we were together, they sat us right across from each other. And we started laughing. It was kind of nice, in a weird way. I mean, I guess it’s nice that we can still find things funny.

Afterwards, I hopped in the car and started to drive home. Keep in mind, I just had a good visit with the doctor (or at least not a miserable one.) But I was also coming down off that high and settling deep into “I can’t believe this is my life.” I’m trying to take this in stride, but let’s face it… that is a doctor’s appointment I never thought I’d need.

As I’m driving down the highway, I signal to merge into the next lane. I see a car in my rear view, but he is far enough away to see me coming. In the 10 seconds from when I saw the car to when I merged, this asshole is up on my tail and honking like he is on fire. Then, he speeds up along side my car and makes an obscene gesture. Next, he cuts me off.

For real, buddy… Nothing you’re doing is that important. If it were, you’d have a siren on top of your vehicle.  At first I was all “You ass hat, did you just come from an infertility clinic because you’ve been trying for over 2 YEARS to have a baby? No? I didn’t think so!” Then I realized I have no idea what he is going through. Maybe he just learned that his mansion burned down. Or his yacht sunk to the bottom of the ocean. (Yes, he was driving an expensive car. And yes, I’m making some terrible generalizations about older white men who drive nice cars.)

Basically, it was a good reminder that we have no idea what other people are going through. So if I need to extend a little compassion to another person today, I can do that.

*Not her real name. You know the drill…