Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's not a baby, but I'll take it

At this point, I always compare everything I do to having a baby. We bought a house because we couldn't have a baby. We got Jasper because I needed something small and cute to distract me from not having a baby. I changed careers and got a new job because I might as well do something worth doing while I'm busy not having a baby. The list goes on and on. These things make me happy, but they don't fill that hole in my heart caused by infertility.

All of this is a roundabout way of tying this post into Infertility Awareness Week by talking about how every single decision, every single purchase, and every single life choice we make at this point is informed by infertility. When you're infertile, it never leaves your mind. It's always there, lurking, waiting for something, ANYTHING to bring it to the forefront. It's there when you're trying to make moderate to large life decisions. Do we buy a house with three bedrooms on the assumption that eventually we will use one as a nursery? Survey says: Yes. Do we buy Disney movies in the belief that one day a small child will demand to watch The Little Mermaid for the millionth time? Survey says: Yes. Do we buy furniture that we'd be fine with a child potentially ruining with spilled juice or milk? Survey says: No.

Three guesses what J and I did over the weekend. Sometimes you just have to do something for yourself and damn the consequences.

Apologies for the tags still on the couch and J's armchair. We're a little paranoid about taking them off.

And finally, my new comfy chair in all its glory:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I hear it in my head

Oh dear. I may really be in trouble here. I think I want another tattoo.

I have one tattoo. It's a Celtic knot about two inches long, and it runs over my right shoulderblade. It was my 21st birthday present to myself, and it wasn't exactly a spur-of-the-moment thing. I actually hemmed and hawed about getting it for almost a year before deciding on a pattern (after a half dozen visits to the tattoo parlor) and an artist. I was very sure about this tattoo. I was also very, very sure it was going to be the last one I ever got. One tattoo seemed cool and hip, but any more than that seemed...well, not.

Fast forward four years, and I think I want another one. An acquaintance recently posted a picture of her new tattoo on a message board I read, and I loved it. Loved the design, loved the symbolism (fertility-related), and the idea of getting another one suddenly appealed. I haven't been able to get it out of my head ever since. Of course, if Idecide to do it, the timing would be perfect since J wants another tattoo in the near future too. Unlike me, he thinks they're all cool--this one coming up will be his fourth.

On a somewhat related note, today marks the beginning of Infertility Awareness Week. You can read more about it here. In keeping with the theme, I'll be blogging about infertility all week (just like most other weeks) and highlighting a few other infertility blogs I really love.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Good Lord, I'm beat! I had no idea that teaching was so physically demanding! When I'm not lecturing (on my feet) I'm wandering around the class making sure people are doing their work (also on my feet) or tutoring a student who needs extra help (usually sitting down, but still exhausting in its own way). And then there's the grading. The neverending grading. Right now I have over a hundred quizzes just sitting in my bookbag, waiting to be graded. Ick. Grading is my least favorite thing to do at the moment.

Overall, as I end the second week of my new job, I'm very happy. I know most of my students' names at this point, I know I've connected to many of them on a personal level, and the ones who've decided they don't like me can just suck it up and deal. My colleagues have been nothing but supportive and helpful, and my boss has told me that she thinks I'm doing a good job. The only thing I could really want now is more sleep. I'm fine while I have a class going, but during my conference periods it's all I can do to keep from laying my head down on my desk for a nice little nap. If there was space in my room for a couch, I might just consider bringing one in for a quick break every now and then.

The reason I'm telling you all of this is that I feel like I need to justify my desire to jump into bed before 9:00 every night. I can't, of course, because i have lessons to plan and the aforementioned papers to grade, but I really want to. This weekend can't come fast enough, and I'm already looking forward to the week I'll have off at Thanksgiving just because I want to catch up on my sleep deficit!

I know that at some point parts of this will get easier. I'll get more adept at planning my lessons, I'll actually have a free conference period now and then to catch up on my grading, and the being-on-my-feet thing won't be so hard anymore. Until then, though, I may have to resign myself to the fact that it's okay to hop into bed right after dinner if I really need the rest.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Huh, who knew?

Well, apparently I have more free time than I thought because I found this quiz on a friend's blog and decided to give it a whirl. Veeerrrry interesting...

What City Best Fits you??

TOKYOYou like to be in touch with the advanced and futuristic, you also like to be more advanced for your own good. you like to be in a mild place were it's quite crowded but then again secluded. You just like to explore the older culture mixed with the technology. you don't let things get in your way that why your determined and down to earth
Take this quiz!

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Too busy to blog

Many apologies for the lack of posts. I feel like I'm spending all my free time on work-related stuff (grading papers, planning lessons, etc...) and have zero time or mental energy to devote to my life outside of the school. Still no phone call to my OB/GYN. Still no decision on whether or not I'm going to do it. Limbo continues.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I am such a party animal

So, it's Friday night, I just finished my first week at a new job (I won't go into details, but things are going very well, and my department head has told me that she thinks I'm doing great), and what am I doing? Sitting on the couch doing homework and feeling annoyed that I didn't have time to run to the craft store before it closed tonight. I need more yarn for a scarf I'm knitting.

Yep, that's one exciting life I'm living.

I like routines, I like being an "adult", and I like having responsibilities, but sometimes I wonder if I'm not missing out on some key elements of being a young twentysomething. Other women my age are going to parties, staying out until all hours on weekends, and generally enjoying their youth. I like my life, but I've always been a conservative as far as experiences go. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into almost every mildly risky/risque thing I've done, and even then there have been times when I've really just wanted to stay home with a good book.

What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Search me. Will I have some kind of terrible midlife crisis in another 20 years and decide to make up for all of those years I spent doing "adult" things when I could have been partying? Will I just always regret not being more adventurous? Does any of it matter at all? I'm not sure, but it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. When I'm middle-aged, what will I look back on and regret not doing?

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I've come to a few decisions about the blog that I hope will serve to protect my privacy in the face of my new job and shouldn't be too disruptive for anyone who enjoys reading it. For starters, I'm going to go back through all of my old posts and delete mine and Husband's names. From here on out, we're C and J. That also means that I'll become C whenever I respond to a post made on another blog, so if you're used to seeing me in your comments section, just look for C and my trademark cherry blossoms photo.

Secondly, I'm going to delete any references I've made to the name of our city. I'm not, however, going to delete the posts I made about the flood in August, since I really do like them. We'll see how this works for now. If I start getting hits from local ISPs, I'll make more changes, but for now I think this should be sufficient.

Thankks for your understanding!

Insomnia, Part 984,596

It's 2:00 in the morning and I can't sleep. Why can't I sleep? Because I'm thinking about school. I'm thinking about things I should have said or done yesterday instead of the things I actually said or did. Not that I screwed up in any major way, but at 2:00 in the morning it's hard for me not to rehash the previous day and point out all my mistakes to myself ad nauseum.

It's always hard to start a new job. I think it takes at least 3 months in any new position before you really get settled in and learn the ropes procedures-wise. That means that by the start of the new semester, I should be feeling a whole lot more comfortable than I do now. Still, in my experience those first three months can really suck sometimes. So far I'm loving my new position (and really, I've only been teaching for three days, though it feels like MUCH longer) but I think I need to remind myself that I'm new, the transition has been really disruptive for the kids, and it's okay if I make some minor mistakes while I'm still getting oriented. And, more importantly, it's okay to GO BACK TO SLEEP when I start thinking about those mistakes.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hell, handbasket. Handbasket, hell.

This is where my motivation to call my OB/GYN for an RE referral has gone. I know it's related to how overwhelmed I am right now about the new job, new responsibilities, and (basically) entirely new identity. Teacher. I am a Teacher. It still weirds me out to type that. The bottom line, though, is that I'm torn about what to do. On the one hand, I know that I want to get the referral ball rolling so I can get in to see the city's one and only RE. On the other, could I even handle adding one more thing to my suddenly jam-packed schedule? My gut can't make up its mind about what it thinks I should do, so I'm stuck in limbo.

There's a big part of my brain that says having so much doubt and wishy-washiness about making a stupid phone call is, well, stupid. I mean, I have a phone in my classroom--it's not like I can't pick it up during my conference period and call my doctor. I think he'll argue with me about giving the referral (the RE won't even see me if I don't have one--I checked) but ultimately he's said all along that it's my money and my decision. So why haven't I done it yet? What am I so afraid of? I really don't know.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Does Not Play Well With Others

I think I'm going to have a nervous breakdown. Not only am I officially taking over my classroom tomorrow, but one of my team members in the online class I'm taking this semester has totally dropped the ball, leaving the rest of us SOL. We absolutely cannot finish our assignment without her, and it's due early tomorrow.

I hate group work. No, let me rephrase that, I DESPISE group work. I don't like trying to compromise with people when I know their ideas are wrong or dumb, I don't like having to postpone finishing an assignment because someone else is being lazy, and I really don't like having to pick up the slack when one of my team members flakes out on me.

Ugh. She's a sweet lady, but if we get a zero on this assignment, I may have to kill her.

UPDATED: Finally, at 9:00 at night, she checks in. Freaking 9:00 at night on a Sunday! I cannot wait for this class to be over.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Buried in Paper

I never want to see another official form again. Between the school and my certification program, I feel like I've spent the last two days doing nothing but paperwork. Sign here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. I still need to get fingerprinted and do some (guess!) paperwork at the district office, and hopefully after that I'll be done for awhile.

Jasper seems to be holding up very well to my new schedule. He's never spent this much time in his crate before, but he doesn't seem to be overly anxious when I let him out after I get home, and he goes in willingly every morning. Given how well he's doing with the cats, I'd like to leave him out of the crate during the day, but I'm anxious about Arcadia escaping through the doggy door. So until we solve that problem, he's crate-bound on weekdays.

And with that, I'm going to leave you with the most beautiful thing I've seen in weeks--tonight's sunset over New Mexico.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mrs. Who?

In short, my first day went great. I'm observing my classes until the end of the week, and will take over full-time on Monday. I spent the day torn between sheer terror and ecstatic joy, and overall I think I'll do okay at this teaching thing. The weirdest thing is that everyone calls me Mrs. M. It makes me feel 102, but I'll get used to it.

Not much else to report right now. With all the job hubub that's happened over the last 48 hours, I haven't had a chance to move forward with scheduling my RE appointment, and oddly enough I'm okay with that. There are only so many major changes/life events I can take at one time.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Breaking News of the HOLY SHIT Variety

Remember how I was so certain that I didn't get that teaching job? And how depressed I was about it? Well, I GOT THE JOB! The district called just before noon to tell me the news, and to tell me that A: I needed to hightail it down to their offices to fill out paperwork and sign my contract ASAP, and B: my first day is tomorrow. TOMORROW.

Somebody hold me.

I still don't know exactly what they're expecting me to do tomorrow. I can't imagine that they'd put me in front of a class since I don't even know what books the kids are reading yet, but suffice it to say, I'm freaking the hell out right now. In an ecstatic way, of course, since I want this job more than words can say, but still freaking the hell out.

Because of this, I know there are a few things I'm going to have to change about this blog. Obviously I can't blog about work, and I really can't have any of my students finding it. I don't know yet what exactly I'm going to do, but suffice it to say that there will be changes. Thank you all so much for your support, and rest assured that I will keep blogging.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


While Jasper and I were in Utah last week, Codi and Arcadia spent a ton of time downstairs with J. This was notable because after we adopted Jasper in July, neither of the cats has hung out with us downstairs much. Codi comes down occasionally to play with Jasper, but Arcadia never shows her face unless it's late at night and she wants to urge us towards bed (where she gets to be the center of attention). With the dog gone, though, both cats re-established the main floor as their territory.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when Arcadia kept coming downstairs after Jasper and I returned home. It was like having a whole new cat. Something clicked in her brain, and she finally seemed to realize that A: Jasper's not that scary and B: she can totally mess with his mind and bend him to her will. Even though it's a little evil (right now her favorite hobby is standing on the coffee table and swatting at his head) we're encouraging it because we know how much happier she'll be if she just gets over her fear of being anywhere near the dog.

Well, this afternoon we seem to have made another breakthrough. I was outside doing some yardwork, and when I came back in, I saw this:

Not only was Arcadia in the same room as Jasper, but she was trying to socialize with him! Success!

I imagine that we'll take a few more steps forward and back with these two over the next few weeks, but I really do think that we've turned a corner here.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thoughts on Anger

I think anyone who's been diagnosed with infertility has a good working relationship with anger. We're angry this happened to us. Angry that our bodies don't work the way they're supposed to. Angry that what comes so easily for completely horrible, abusive, and generally undeserving people is so hard for us. We get anger.

Back before our diagnosis, I thought I was managing my anger pretty well. Infertility made me sad, it made me frustrated, and it made me scared, but it rarely made me angry. Our assumption was that there was something chemically wrong with my body. That hormones (or a lack thereof) were causing my spotting, which was the root cause of our infertility. I was okay with that. I'd made a kind of peace with the knowledge that there was just something inherently wrong with my body. Then we found out that we were wrong. Yes, I do appear to have a luteal phase defect, but that wasn't why we weren't getting pregnant.

When I first heard what my doctor found during the lap, I wanted to cry tears of joy. If I hadn't still been coming out of anaesthesia, I probably would have. I was elated--it felt like the huge weight of "undiagnosed" had been lifted from my shoulders and that everything would be okay from here on out. What I didn't know then, and what I've been learning for the last three weeks, is that having a diagnosis comes with its own set of emotional baggage.

I found out that three years ago I had Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. I don't know if I've been that specific here before. I know that I've written "infection" but I don't think I've come out and said PID. There's a stigma associated with STDs that I wanted to avoid. I can't. It happened. Just a week after my wedding, I came down with an infection that permanantly impacted my ability to have children. Life is cruel that way.

Which brings me back to anger. Every day I struggle not to let anger take over. I'm angry that I got such a pointless, stupid disease. Angry that it happened to me of all people. Angry at the knowledge that this was preventable. That I didn't have to go through it. Angry that it was something I did.

I know that anger at this point is, well, pointless. Why waste energy being angry over something I can't change? Over something that I didn't intentionally cause? And yet, knowing and doing are very different things. The more I try to rationalize away the anger, the more it seems to bother me. It comes out in odd ways. A random comment by a (fertile) acquaintance about things she did before getting pregnant has me seething. Seeing article after article about pregnant celebrities (especially Anna Nicole Smith, who seems like the last person in the world who would be a good mother) makes my blood boil. Why me instead of them? Why did this happen to me?

So, I'm angry. I can only hope that it goes away as I come to terms with everything I've learned in the last month. We're heading to the RE. My OB/GYN wants us to wait, J would prefer to wait, but my gut is telling me that would be a mistake. Getting aggresive might not make the anger go away, but I think it's the right thing to do.

Cycle 19

Well, I'm done. It's official. For a few hours there this morning I hoped that I was pregnant (and sent a few panicked e-mails to friends about how I was worried that my monitor had miscalculated my ovulation date thereby causing me to totally screw up my cycle by starting the progesterone too early) but I'm definitely not.

I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't more crushed by seeing that one, lonely line on the test this morning than I have been in a long time. Even though I know the odds of a normal, fertile couple conceiving during any given month are just 15-20% (and we're not exactly a normal, fertile couple, in spite of the surgery) I had hope. Probably too much hope.

I know where I want to go from here. J doesn't agree. My doctor doesn't agree. I'm not sure what we're going to do.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Heh--Cheering Me Up

Dawn linked to this a couple of days ago, and now I've created my own. Piss me off, and I'll put you On Notice!

1) Scar Tissue--I don't really need to explain why scar tissue is number one on the list, do I? HAAAAAAATE scar tissue with the power of a thousand suns.

2) Centipedes--This one would have been lower except that they're starting to take over my yard and one came thisclose to biting Jasper yesterday. Very scary for both of us!

3) Unemployment--No phone call from the district today, and at this point I've accepted that I didn't get the job. I'm pretty sad about it.

4) Scorpions--They're back, and they brought babies. The baby thing alone shot them to the top 5--why can scoprions reproduce when I can't? We're only finding them in the garage right now, but I'm still terrified that the cats are going to find one and get stung.

5) Idiot Drivers--What is with drivers here? If they're not running red lights, they're completely ignoring right of way rules or driving WAY too fast in parking lots and school zones. I swear, they're even worse than the drivers in the DC area, and that's really saying something.

6) The CW --What the hell, people? You switched over three freaking weeks ago! Why aren't you showing Gilmore Girls or America's Next Top Model? I need my guilty pleasure TV! Shape up or I'll move you to the top of the list.

7) Dog Poop--Jasper still thinks that it's okay to poop in the house once or twice a week. I'm getting very sick of cleaning it up.

8) The Weeds in My Front Yard--Weeds are seriously taking over our yard, and nothing is helping. I spent hours weeding yesterday and today and there are still more to pull. There are ALWAYS more to pull.


I'm really struggling this morning. No news from the district (and at this point I'm assuming that I didn't get the job) and a negative HPT are combining to make this into one of the crappiest weeks in recent memory.

I honestly don't know exactly what to do now. I called my temp agency again to request work this morning, and they seemed optimistic that they would be able to find me a full-time admin position shortly. It's not teaching, though, and this late in the school year I'll be lucky if another position opens up. As for the pregnancy thing... well, it sucks. I'm sad and frustrated and very, very angry that this is happening to us.

Last week at my post-op appointment my doctor was very frank with me. He said that mine was one of the worst cases of scarring he's ever seen, and at least some of it will grow back. There's no way to tell where that would happen, though, or how long the regrowth process will take. One thing was clear, though, I cannot get pregnant if my tubes are blocked from my ovaries. If I'm not pregnant in six months he'll do another HSG and a lap to see what things look like. If it's grown back, though, he won't remove it again. Scarring that pernicious is just going to keep getting worse and worse. If we get to that point, IVF is our only option.

I know I shouldn't jump to the worst case scenario yet, but how can I avoid thinking about it when I know that we have a very small window in which to get pregnant, and with every month that passes, the window is closing? How do you just put something like that out of your mind?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

No news

My phone hasn't rung once since I got two wrong numbers this morning. I don't know what this means. I know that the school was going to make their decision yesterday, but that the district would actually make the call to the candidate they selected. Is there paperwork to process before making that call? Is HR just really busy right now? I don't know. What I do know is that I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that they didn't choose me. That the other candidate got a call today, and I have to start the job search all over again.

I've decided not to call the school until tomorrow or maybe Thursday if I haven't heard anything, but at this point I don't have a lot of hope left.

Monday, October 02, 2006


The second interview went well. I'm one of two candidates for the position, and they're making their decision today, so I should know one way or another in the next 24-48 hours. I should also find out if this first post-lap cycle worked in the next couple of days, so you can probably imagine that my anxiety is through the roof at the moment. With all that's happened lately, I just feel drained. Emotionally, psychologically, and physically.

I know I shouldn't be thinking this way, but what if I don't get the job and I'm not pregnant? I could handle getting just one, and the idea of getting both both excites and terrifies me, but what if neither happens? Where do I go from there?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I am so not cut out for travel with pets

Jasper and I flew home from Salt Lake this evening, and Oh.My.God was I ever a wreck. See, Jasper is just a little too big to fit in a carrier that I can bring in the cabin with me, so he had to fly in the baggage area. That meant that I had to fill out umpteen forms with my name, address, and phone number just in case they lost him (but don't worry Ma'am, that hardly ever happens!) and then had to leave him with the baggage screeners after they patted him down for...something. Drugs, maybe? In case I'd taped them to his body? I really don't know why they had to pat him down.

Regardless, I was a basket case from the second I put him back in his crate and handed him over to the airline in Salt Lake to the second before a baggage handler brought him out to me when we landed. I read one and a half pages of my book during the 90 minute flight, and spent the rest of the time staring into space and obsessing over whether or not he was scared or cold or feeling abandoned. It was horrible.

Naturally, Jasper is acting like he's already forgotten the whole ordeal. As soon as we got home, he waltzed out of his crate and hopped on the couch just like it had been a regular day. I'm glad that he's not too traumatized by the airplane experience, but I sure am. No more flying with pets. Not for a long, long time at least.

In other news, it's T-minus 12 hours until my next interview with the school, and I'm getting very excited. This could be the start of a very, very big week!