Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Luxury of Not Fearing

It amazes me when I see or hear of people who apparently have no fear of anything bad happening to them, especially where babymaking is concerned.

Even now, when I am trying so hard to maintain a positive attitude and love my body despite all its perceived failings, it is hard for me to contain my fears about this next cycle. They lurk in the background, trying to whisper their way through my carefully constructed defenses. Since the baseline shenanigans, everything has been right on track--our lining check was this week and while I was "borderline" -- over 8 mm (which I thought was just lovely but apparently their bar is set higher) but only just, I passed. My estrogen was good enough, my lining was good enough. Not quite good enough that I don't have to split my evening dose of estrace between orally and shoving it where the sun don't shine, but that's a small price to pay for optimal landing pad conditions for our beautiful thawed-out babylings that hopefully will come to stay next week. I have new drugs in my protocol -- the Lovenox is on board, and an anti-spasmodic is getting added to the mix the day before, of, and after transfer -- and that makes me feel somewhat comforted. I feel like there are so many variables changing that when we do receive our positive results we won't know if it was the donor sperm, the Lovenox, the antispasmodic, the fact that it was a frozen... there's just too many elements up juggled in the air (or down in my uterus). But, we don't really have time to waste. And when we do receive those positive results (see? see how positive I'm being? please pat me on the back now...), we will be so happy...and so terrified. I don't want to even put into words all the fears we have, and given our history you likely know many of them. Or have lived them. It will be hard not to worry about making it past that 6 1/2 week mark I can't seem to pass, it will be hard to be in uncharted territory and get to heartbeat, then get to the anatomy scan, and all of those benchmarks. The lack of privacy by my own hand has us in a position where I will have to share with some people at least when I am in early stages of pregnancy, and it will be hard not to feel like I am jinxing myself.

Other people don't seem to have this fear.

This post originally started with an anecdote my husband came home with last week, that was really eating him up. A friendly acquaintance from work was imminently having a baby. The situation around their pregnancy was already maddening to us: he was 40, she was 42, they hadn't really thought about kids and then decided, hey! why not? AND THEY GOT PREGNANT IMMEDIATELY. I mean, all the power to them. I can't really hate them for their uber fertility and casual flippancy about the whole thing. Or maybe I can, just a little bit. gets worse. Bryce came home in a tizzy, the same day as my massage disaster, and took his phone out.

"I hate to make you madder, but THIS is what I've been getting all angry about today. Just look at THIS."

He showed me a video on his phone, of a man on a motorcycle, his wife riding behind him and videotaping the ride.

"Do you know what sucks about this?" He said, practically spitting the words.
"They have a motorcycle and you have a secret desire to go riding on the open road with me?"
"Ha, nope. HER WATER JUST BROKE. He is driving them to the hospital ON A MOTORCYCLE. His pregnant wife, who has now lost some of that lovely cushiony amniotic fluid, is now bouncing along, unprotected, ON A FUCKING MOTORCYCLE."


Yeah, that sucked. What the hell? What is WRONG with people? How could you take that risk, so many risks that I refuse to get on a motorcycle at any point in my life, much less pregnant and in labor, with your unborn baby? They were both smiling and thought this was the best thing ever, so cool -- "This baby is going to be born on wheels!" was the caption. SO NOT COOL. The blatant disregard of any forethought that anything could possibly go wrong in this scenario was all over that video. And, of course, it didn't. They got there safely (although I'm sure he had to go home and swap the motorcycle for a car for the carseat, not so thinking ahead on THAT one, were they?), the baby was born safely, everything was hunky-dory. It blows my mind. (You know what else blows my mind? How a 9-months- pregnant lady even fit on the back of the motorcycle...)

And then, the next day, I received THIS in my mailbox:
WTF. SO many things wrong with this.

I can't imagine ever doing this. I can't imagine, being solidly in the first trimester, and announcing a pregnancy to the world on a magazine. (I mean, there's a lot about their particular situation that I can't imagine doing, but this INCREDIBLY EARLY announcement to the world is the one that stands out right now...) 

Things wrong with this picture: 
- It's 8 weeks past their wedding. Even though I don't watch their show and don't have cable in part because of the explosion of reality TV, even I knew that they KISSED for the first time on their wedding day. This is no pre-wedding baby. This pregnancy is at most 8 weeks along. 
- In fact, it's 6 weeks along at the time of print. Because in the article, which I felt compelled to read first for some reason (maybe because I knew it would fuel my fury), she says that they got pregnant two weeks after their wedding. 
- Just let that sink in for a moment. They announced their pregnancy to the world AT SIX WEEKS. Anyone who has ever had a miscarriage, a chemical pregnancy, fought to get pregnant at all, will understand how crazy that is. 
- And then, she's SIX WEEKS pregnant and all the pictures have hands on the belly. She could have been skinny enough that a little bump is slightly evident at that early time, a time when your baby is THE SIZE OF A SESAME SEED. I know this because I have lost two little sesame seeds and have never gotten to know what comes next or graduated to fruit. But I'm pretty sure that at six weeks there's a bit of bloat but no need for all the handsiness. Every single picture in this shoot has her hands beatifically placed on her minutely curved belly (that I swear is either photoshopped, clever wardrobe choice, or a burrito at lunch), or both their hands cradling this wonderful, exciting, sesame seed
- They got pregnant two weeks after their wedding. BAM! Just like that, first time they had sex, first cycle where sperm was in the mix, and BOOM. Baby. Magic.

HOLY JEEZUM. So much, so much could go wrong. But they are totally unafraid. They don't even talk in the article about the possibility that things could go awry so early, because they are so confident that it will and they probably will not know it any other way. Why not when you're 24 and your mother is infamous for her fertility? It's like the people who announce their pregnancies on facebook via pee stick or ultrasound of a gestational sac. I have had both of those, too, and I don't seem to have that baby. Many things could go horribly, tragically wrong. But, somehow, for these people: the motorcycle-delivery-run-people, the announce-my-pregnancy-in-the-media-at-six-weeks, the announce-my-pregnancy-on-facebook-ridiculously-early-non-famous-people, somehow it all just works out great for them. 

Let me clarify--I do not wish ill on these people. In a way I admire their complete disregard for the horrid twists and turns fate can throw in your path. But mostly, I'm horribly jealous. Sometimes I feel like only people who have never known that particular brand of tragedy can be this cavalier with something so precious and possibly fleeting. It doesn't seem fair. It seems like the largest of live without the fear of something going wrong in the baby department. It's almost like mocking--"Look how EASY this is for us. What's wrong with YOU?" 

I feel a little like I'm living somewhat on the edge, what with this deciding to just believe that this is going to work this time. That to me, that seems as reckless as the motorcycle or magazine cover, because if it goes wrong, it could very well shatter me. But who are we kidding? If it goes wrong, with all the new things on the menu and the new ingredient in the mix, not much will stop me from being shattered. So I may as well infuse as much hope as possible into this cycle, because it won't change things if it works out or doesn't, and it will make the time leading up to it a whole lot more pleasant. Just don't expect me to ride to the hospital on a motorcycle. Or see me on the cover of People when my pee stick is still damp.


  1. I just rolled my eyes when I saw this announcement. Of course, of course she's pregnant. Of course it happened on the first try. I'm in a place where the pregnancies of people I know don't seem to bother me on a daily basis after I shake off the initial well of tears and punch to the gut, but honestly, the stranger babies are driving me insane.

    I'm a no motorcycles kind of gal--I think it's a reckless hobby especially when you have children. Let alone when you're about to give birth to said children. My god.

    1. It's an eye-roller for sure! The facebook pregnancy announcements have been rolling in in droves this week, too, and that's been not so great for the psyche. Great way to put it, "the initial well of tears and punch to the gut" -- that's exactly how I feel most of the time. Thanks for making me feel less crazy--I thought maybe I was being a whiner, but it really is NUTS to take your laboring wife to the hospital on a motorcycle. Argh.

  2. Ugh! I didn't tell anyone other than my blog and a few close friends about my pregnancy till I was 20 weeks and had already had the anatomy scan and all was well. But I had a good friend, just two weeks behind me, who told the whole world as soon as she POAS. Like, immediately. Made me want to puke. I started to hate her, then realized I hated infertility. But I was still annoyed by her. Heh, now she has a colicky baby who nurses every hour and has never smiled yet, at 5 months old. But she doesn't tell the world that.
    Anyway, I am still occasionally checking your blog, and hoping for good news this cycle. Come on, embryos!

    1. "I started to hate her, then realized I hated infertility." Wise words, lady! I have to steal that when I'm feeling uncharitable, and realize that I don't hate the players, I hate the stupid game. And being on the bench all the time. Ha ha to that little slice of karma... amazing what's shared and what's not! I'm hoping for good news this cycle too, so far so good with transfer so let's see how these babies grow! Thanks for checking in, it's good to see you. :)

  3. Oh, I so hear you. Everytime I see one of these, I have an urge to hit someone, or start furiously working on my three-year list of "when I have a baby...I will this, this this this". Deep breath. Just thinking about it makes me angry. And I know that this is not at them, but at how it is. It sucks. (And some people make it worse).

    I also wanted to say- they are on the cover of People with a sesame seed, because whether of puritan intention or not, these people crave the fame and publicity. Although looking at their cover, is of course infuriating, this is not you nor the kind of life you want and it Is better that way.

    Love your blog and I am sorry about how long and difficult your journey has been. I have been through much of the same and I can really empathize (not sympathize and def not IVF 3 day embie twins-patronize).


    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! It is so nice to hear that I am not the only one who gets so frustrated with that stuff. I appreciate the commiseration so much!