Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son


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ET Phone Home

Okay, I know that post title makes no sense; I just felt like it.

The fact that I am aware that it’s meaningless should indicate to you that I am off the percocet. After a fairly wretched Sunday and a somewhat rough Monday morning, my belly stopped aching and I didn’t need it anymore. Acupuncture probably helped, too. I’m still somewhat bloated — only up 2 lbs. from retrieval day but it’s all in my suddenly barrel-shaped tummy — and my back/hips/thighs hurt the way they have been ever since my ovaries got big, but nothing really excruciating. Walking sucks a bit because of the legs, but it’s also 90+ degrees, humid, and smelly out, so staying in isn’t such a problem. (Although I also think being sedentary is part of how my back got so bad….)

Saw Dr. BF today, who wanded and specul-ized both vaginae and declared me fit to fly without anesthesia. Yay! He thinks a tenaculum will be involved — UNyay — but it almost always is when my cervix needs crossing, so at least I’m pretty used to it. He didn’t come right out and say it had been silly (lazy?) to suggest I needed to be knocked out, but he did say, again, that they really only use that for patients who can’t stand a speculum at all. Here’s an idea: maybe they could have left that decision to someone who’s met me when conscious, not just gone by the word of Dr. Saturday. (And folks who can’t stand a speculum and do IVF anyway? HATS OFF to you. You are at least eleventy-million times braver than I.)

It turns out Sugar can’t be there anyway, because they just don’t allow that. Poo. She’ll come with me to the office, and I know the important part isn’t whether she’s physically with me for that particular 20 minutes but that she’s with me in the ways that count throughout all this. I’m gonna stop before I make y’all yack on your keyboards, but the point is: my wife pretty much rocks.

So! We’re on for a valium-inflected ET tomorrow. I asked how the ol’ emby gang is doing, and while I didn’t get numbers and letters (and frankly don’t really want them at this stage in the game), Dr. BF says they’re doing great, better than typical. Genuises, all, playing suzuki violin and writing plays, I’m sure. I really hope we’ll have some to freeze, so that it doesn’t feel like everything is hanging on this cycle.

Thanks for all your ET stories. I’ll think of you in my valium haze, while trying to ignore the spikes in my cervix.


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Your Questions…ANSWERED

Hey, internet. How’s it?

Things are chugging along, chez Bionique. I’m astonished (and a little frightened) to report that I am already feeling occasional soreness in my ovaries. This is getting worse before it’s getting better, I know. Oh, well. This is the perfect time in my year to be incapacitated. I’m in between teaching gigs — I’ll start summer school in July — so I am more or less able to just lie down and whine. Which I plan to.

I’ve been devouring blogs about IVF lately (surprise), and I keep finding myself reading really old entries and then being annoyed that the author hasn’t talked about something or other I’d like to hear. But I’m just as bad, I’m sure — I’m lousy at keeping track of what I’ve said here and what I’ve only obsessed about quietly to myself (read: “yapped Sugar’s ear off in re:”).

So. Anything you’d like to know? I’ll start off with a couple questions that have come up in comments lately and update this post to address questions in the comments.

Kristen asked at some point what we were up to in early August, i.e., are we going to BlogHer. Happily/sadly no, we are not…because we’re getting hitched again! Or at any rate, we’re having a big party. We are extremely behind in planning same, but the room has been rented, so we’re doing it. When we got married in November, we only had our parents and two friends with us, because we thought we’d have a party 1) in decent weather and 2) when we had more time to plan it properly. (We almost didn’t even have our parents there, but our two friends — who have each known one of us our whole lives or close to it — pointed out that our parents would kill us.) So no BlogHer. I am a bit jealous of all y’all who will be there getting to meet each other and all that, but, well, my wife is pretty damn awesome.

Pomegranate asked what manner of IVF cycle this is — lupron, antagonist, etc. It’s a basic, stripped-down, no fancy-stuff antagonist cycle. We’ll do Gonal-F for a bit, then Gonal-F plus Ganirelix, which will keep my eggs from busting out before their time. Then HCG trigger, egg retrieval, progesterone, and transfer, hopefully on day 5.

I don’t know all that much about what determines the cycle type they try first, except that I’m thinking it’s partly to do with my endometriosis. I gather we endo gals can be not-so-great responders, so maybe that’s why no lupron? In case it quiets things down too much?

So far, I’m glad it’s this kind of cycle, because I have limited stores of patience, and this one is quick.

So. What else you wanna know?


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Helping

So last night Baby had to do her first injection for IVF using a little needle attached to a pen that goes into the flesh around the navel. After a couple of hours of waiting for the on-call doc to call back and explain what to do when the pen dosages don’t match up with the dosage instructions (wtf Gonal-F?) it was time to do the deed. Baby swabbed her stomach with antiseptic and then stood there poised. And stood there.

“I can do that, if you want.” I said after a few moments.

“Maybe that would be a good idea.”

She handed me the pen, told me the procedure, and looked away. So I squeezed a pinch of her stomach and stuck in the needle and depressed the pen. This felt a little creepy. But it was also kind of awesome. This was the first time I felt like I was actually doing something to help this pregnancy thing along. Yay! I helped!

During previous cycles I mainly stood around like a third wheel while the doctor stuck his hand up Baby’s hoo-ha and shot in yet some other guy’s stuff. It’s disorienting to feel like an unnecessary body guard during the possible moment of conception of your own kid. So I’m surprised but pleased to find that moving on to what is a more difficult, physically taxing, and ‘medical’ attempt to knock Baby up has at least one positive result – involving me in the process. Hopefully it will also work. Fingers crossed . . . .


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Bullets

RIMG1017

  • I have to admit they look more bullet-like than I’d imagined.

Meds are here!
RIMG1015

  • …almost. Can you spot what’s missing?
  • How about if I name them? Pictured:

  1. Progesterone bullets
  2. Sharps container
  3. Alcohol swabs
  4. Syringes I hope I won’t need (for PIO)
  5. Gonal-F
  6. Ganirelex
  7. Prednisone

  • Not pictured?*
I had figured I would write one of those peppy, everything’s-moving-forward!, I-am-gonna-get-a-baby! posts when the meds arrived. Like ya do. Instead I spent the next several hours trying to decide whether to hide under the covers and cry, or drop everything and join the Russian circus. (I opted for just plain crying — too hot to get under the covers today.)
So! Peppier bullets!

  • The mind reels at her fashion choice, though. Satin tie-blouse? C’mon Jane. Go butch or go home — this shirt falls into the uncanny valley between butch and femme formal wear.
  • But then the heart warms at the thought of a big famous star wearing awkward wedding clothes. Clearly no stylist was involved. They’re just folks after all. Group hug!
  • (But seriously, Jane, at least ask a friend next time, ‘kay?)

*If you said HCG trigger shot and antibiotics, you win! Apparently HCG is a controlled substance in NY, so more hoops to jump through. At least if my cycle gets canceled I can sell it on the street.

OMG UPDATE: Kym says in the comments that HCG is used for body-building. So does this mean that if I do get pregnant, I can sell my pee? ‘Cause I could really use the money. And I have plenty of practice peeing in cups.


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Saturday

I woke intermittently this morning, beeped awake by my dying cellphone, but not awake enough to want to go put it out of its misery. (Confidential to Motorola: What is it with you and the insistent beepery? One death-beep would be enough of a courtesy announcement for my taste. And your insistence on beeping every minute for eternity after a missed call? Friend, it borders on the pathetically needy. This is the kind of behavior that pushes people away. I missed that call because I am busy, not because I don’t esteem you highly. I’ll check the message when I am next at liberty to pick up the phone, okay?) From this, you can tell that Sugar is not home, as she thinks clearly enough even in the morning to know the phone won’t stop on its own. She would have tracked it down, turned it off, and returned to bed after the first beep.

Alas, she rose even before the beeping began, graciously only half-waking me for a kiss, and rode off to a conference in a near-enough city that she’ll be home late tonight, her department sparing the cost of a hotel and sparing me the wakefulness of a night alone.

I would make a terrible single person. On Sugar’s longer trips (She is sent to Africa from time to time, which is very glamorous in principle and sometimes in fact.), I start out well enough. I decide that living alone is no reason not to live well. I keep the house clean. I assemble fresh food and make a first dinner worthy of serving to guests, just for me. This state lasts for one day, maybe two. After that, it’s Annie’s Mac and Cheese, late night cereal, books and computer strewn across the bed. I always sleep on her side to pretend she’s here and I’m gone.

A Saturday alone is not much better, it seems. Already I’ve burnt the toast and my fingers. I should be vigorously striding home from the farmers’ market or pottering about our community garden bed or at least beginning my Great American Novel, but instead I am in slippers, my braid still rough from sleep.

I love her, that’s all, and I’m not myself without her.

Under Cherry Trees


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That’s no ladle, that’s my knife

I have an old friend who is a real planner. She’s great at planning. She’s got at least a 2 year schedule for every possible job move, life decision, and each associated emotion. And that’s cool – it works for her.

I am also a planner, or I used to be, but since I’m also a morose depressive, attempts at long range planning often lead me down a dark road with the utter futility of life waiting at the end of it.

The other night my planning friend decided to take me to task over Baby’s lack of A PLAN (read lack of money) regarding possible parenthood. Although I started thinking in internet acronyms (OMG, WTF? That’s my wife you’re talking about! That’s just not done, IMHO!), I didn’t say anything much. Then after I hung up the phone I got progressively more and more steamed.

But I’m not going to call my friend back and try to explain that I’m angry because I don’t think she would understand. Instead, I am going to list here some reasons why Baby’s drive to follow her bliss, consequences be damned, makes me happy:

First off, Baby would not be my partner of twelve years if she hadn’t jumped on a train and moved across the country to be with me before we’d even had a first date. (Yes, we are really lesbians.) If that is not a positive result of a spontaneous action, I don’t know what is.

Baby loves dogs, I mean REALLY loves dogs. She will rush up to a stranger’s dog and talk directly to it, regardless of the owner in question. This has not only gotten me over my fear of dogs, but has made us some friends in the neighborhood.

Along the same lines, Baby is friendly to everybody and expects that they will be friendly back. And mostly they are. So I end up living in a friendlier place too.

Baby has patience to wait out unpleasant aspects of what she sees as a positive situation. For instance, she balances the irritating aspects of our food coop against the good food and occasional cool people. She balances my crying jags against the times I’m NOT being a nut job.

Basically Baby is just good at loving stuff. Which is very nice to be around.

There. Thanks for reading my sappy post. Now I don’t have to bite my friend’s head off.


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Tylenol — Let Me Be More Clear

It occurs to me that my last comment on Tylenol not actually doing anything could be read two ways.

1. “Tylenol won’t hurt the theoretical cell-bundle.”
That it not what I meant.

I meant:

2. “Tylenol is basically a placebo (that gives you liver damage).”

I’ve given up taking it, as it doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference one way or another. Whining seems just as effective at making me feel better.

In other news, Sugar has sweetly offered to make red beans and rice, which I had planned to make for a Superbowl party today. (I’m not particularly a football fan, but I am a huge New Orleans fan, which makes this the first year ever that I’ve cared who wins the game. Plus, I’d far rather cook and eat in honor of New Orleans than Indiana.)

My wife. She sure beats Tylenol.