Whatever else comes of yesterday’s endeavors, this means a whole 4 weeks without holding my pee for an OPK. Praise the Lord.
Or the stirrups, at any rate.
Greetings from the [state college where I teach] campus library, where I spend my non-teaching time this semester, since I don’t have an office. Today I’m at a large, shared table in the very open art history section, staring at the double-lined OPK I’m holding under the table, where I can pretend that the students can’t see it. (They can, of course, just as I can see them pass notes in class.) Lord knows what they think, but who cares?! I am FINALLY OVULATING! W00t!
A little background: after taking November and December off from TTC — November because I o’d the weekend we got married; December because of travel (and because I wanted to be drinking, not weeping over my period, while visiting my in-laws) — I expected to ovulate about two weeks ago. Which was right when I found out that I might lose my health insurance. And just like in October, when my revving-to-go body encountered a big wallop of stress, everything came to a screeching halt. (Except the soreness at my left ovary that I get every month around ovulation. That has obligingly kept on going.) Following some major hustle on my part and some help from others, I did NOT lose my health insurance, but even though I’ve been peeing on sticks like it’s going out of style, checking my TP like I’m expecting the Virgin Mary’s face to turn up there, and urging my pituitary on, nothin’. So, I say again, W00t!
I’m going in for a valium-assisted IUI tomorrow, so wish me luck, please. Sadly, Sugar can’t cancel her afternoon meetings, so I’ll be riding solo. I’m sad about that, but it’s evidently a difficult thing to schedule around, my ovulation. I’d be happy to think some of you were keeping me company, however virtually.
Heigh-ho, Spermies, Away!
Thanks for dropping by, despite the fact that I obviously missed the stay-classy memo in re: how to answer that “what do you usually blog about” question, such that while you all said things like “faith” and “hope” I said “peeing.”
Sugar is shaking her head right along with you.
Our story so far:
We’re just your typical lesbian couple trying to start a family. Totally ordinary. Only I have two vaginas. Vaginae, if you’re a big nerd like me. And also two cervices. See? Dull, almost.
After what feels a million ultrasounds, MRIs, specula, and nasty tenacula on my poor little cervices, the doctors, nurses, ultrasound techs, receptionists, and zebra fish embryologists I’ve dropped trou for since first googling “double vagina”* have come to the conclusion that I am a freak among freaks — despite the Doublemint twins that are my naughty bits, my good old ute is singular and otherwise normal. Plus, I found out I have a bonus ureter…
…and also endometriosis. So even though we’ve only tried one IUI, Dr. Baby Factory thinks we should be thinking seriously about IVF if I don’t have a bun in the ol’ oven after the next 2-5 tries. We’ve had our differences with Dr. Baby Factory, but he does strike me as a smart cookie.
We took a break in November (to get married! for real!) and December (to see our nutty families! for far too long!), but we’re back in the saddle this month, which means I’m bitching about pee sticks. OPK negative today, thanks for asking — but it’s only CD 1,000,000.
*make sure safe search is ON.
One of those dreadful bullet-blogs.
— Exciting things afoot (asnatch?) over at Two Hot Mamas! Go give ’em some labor-love!
— Tentatively good news on the job/insurance front. After some serious hustle on my part, enrollment in the my endangered class is one student shy of “off the radar” for cancellation. I’m hoping that means they’re likely to run it even if I don’t get another one by Thursday. I also have calls all over the place to see if I could get coverage by taking a Saturday kids’ class offered by the same department. I’d rather not have to, since my horrible commute becomes excruciating when it meets the reduced weekend bus service, but I’d also rather not lose my insurance.
— I’ve been peeing on sticks and so on, and we’ve decided we’ll climb back on the TTC horse this month, now that insurance looks less scary. Frankly, due date for a child conceived this time of year is still bad for us financially — fall is my higher-earning semester — but I’m not willing to insem only during the limited “good timing” months. Especially because…
— I’ve talked to Dr. Baby Factory about my endo questions. He says yes, the GI badness probably is endo, but that there’s not much to be done about it, as that location has particularly bad surgical outcomes. (Basically, the scar tissue from surgery between vag and rectum is likely to be much worse than any original adhesion. Cervix glued to rectum, that kind of thing.) He also said, “I hope I haven’t given you the impression that I think everything is fine with your chances of conception,” and brought up again the idea that going to IVF after 3-6 IUI attempts might be more cost-effective in our case. Sigh.
Okay, I know this is the part you really want updated:
— Pee Stick Follies Update….I chickened out. I already know what happens to silica gel when it’s allowed to absorb liquid for a few hours. And if Sugar came home to find quivering chunks of pee-jello on the bathroom sink, you can bet I’d lose all rights to talk about how icky her neti pot is.
If it’s any consolation, I did have a hell of a time getting the packet out of the pee-cup neatly. In fact, such a thing proved impossible. Don’t tell Sugar.
You know the silica desiccant pack they put in with cheapie OPKs?
Guess who’s about to find out what happens when it falls into the pee cup?
(Our story so far: weird crackling noises.)
Here’s something I learned during my month away from the blog: the Rite Aid at Grand Central does indeed sell OPKs, and cheaper than my local Duane Reade.
I learned this on Day Infinity of peeing-on-sticks (CD Infinity + 13). I had run out on the day before and assumed there would be none at the GCT store, a strange warren with much more in the way of Pringles than of anything drug-like. I catch the 7:12 train from GCT in the mornings, and even at that hour, a line of dazed people grasping Powerade and Funyuns clots in the hair-care aisle. The last thing I bought there was Scotch Tape in a donut-shaped dispenser.
So on CD (Infinity – 1)+13, when I realized it was time to traipse merrily along to the meeting of my Community Garden Governing Board (how I got suckered into that one is another story), I instead ran in the opposite direction, waited in line 4-EVAH at Duane Reade, and arrived late at the meeting, panting and with open wounds on my feet from flip-flops that aren’t made for speed. That night I opened the box and made sure to leave one test out on the table, so I wouldn’t forget to take it with me to school, where there are no drugstores for miles.
I’m sure you know where this is going. Yadda-yadda happy ending, although the message on the receipt still strikes me as slightly creepy.
RA OVULATION PREDICTOR!! RA! RA!
The test was negative, of course.
Lucky I left one in that post the other day — you’ll note I said I’d post something “for every day” not “on every day.” Probably I should have been a lawyer.
So now I owe you
three four things.
Here’s one thing you missed (unless you heard me kvetch about it on the IVP): I am having the World’s Longest Cycle. Or at least, it wins in the local competition that is my little charting notebook. When I started keeping track last spring*, it came as a shock to me that my cycles weren’t 28 days — I mean, that’s “normal,” right? I’m normal (hindsight sez: haaaaaaaaaaaaa!), ergo my cycle = 28 days.
*Note to my lovely man-borking lady readers: one of the (many, many!) perks of lesbianism is that, until now, I have never once bothered paying attention to when my period is due. Hell, it’s not like I could have been pregnant. When I noticed myself crying at pet food commercials and comparing my physique unfavorably to that of a manatee, I figured it was time to hit up the ladies-only aisle at the drug store.
Turns out my cycles are more like 34 days. Except when they’re 30 or 37. Still, it’s all regular enough, and I suppose I haven’t been complaining about getting 2.5 fewer sets of cramps per calendar year all this time, now have I?
My shortest cycle since I’ve been keeping track has been 30 days, so I started peeing on OPKs at day 13 (shortest cycle minus 16 except I forgot on day 12). You know how I love all that leg-crossing, so I’m sure you can imagine how thrilled I was to keep that up for TWENTY DAYS.
I am now officially a believer in that whole “stress can delay ovulation” business, which had previously seemed right on the edge of hippie-dippy. I spent the middle of the month VERY stressed about a number of things (certainly including “when the hey-diddle-diddle am I going to freakin’ ovulate?”); the worst of it was right about the time I should have ovulated in a typical cycle. Things started to line up — OPKs got a shade darker, ovary started to twinge — and then NOTHING. All systems powered down, except whatever system is in charge of my pulling my hair out.
Convinced this cycle was a bust, we packed up and headed to the beach for a weekend of friends and serious eating. Couple of days of relaxing, and BAM. Positive OPK on CD 32.
…I’ll tell you a little bit about yesterday.
In the morning, we were still at the beach. I’d planned to be in the TWW while we were there, but my body had other ideas. We’ll talk about just how damn many sticks I’ve peed on this month another time. At any rate, there seems to be something to this whole “stress can delay ovulation” theory.
The good news about all that was: no limits on hot tubbing or drinking red wine. And indeed, no limits were observed. It was beautiful and peaceful and — here’s the key, I think — relaxing. …The next thing I know, I’ve got EWCM out the yingyang, and a true, indisputable positive on my OPK. Since we were planning to leave the next day anyway, we took the early-squirrelly ferry and headed to the ol’ Baby Factory.
Once there, I took off my pants and signed a lot of paperwork (including saying I am an unmarried woman — but that’s another post for another day). I had already talked to one of the IUI nurses about the peculiarities of my anatomy, why I thought the left side was the way to go, etc., but the other nurse was on duty. She sat down between my legs, syringe aloft, and I thought to say, “by the way, I know you’ve probably read my chart, but just in case….”
Her eyebrows rose just slightly. Here is a woman who knows better than to alarm a patient.
“Oh, just a minute, then. I’m going to get someone who will be very interested.”
Great, I thought, another med student. Or that poor Zebra Fish guy again.
Instead, she brought the big guns: a doctor. And then the fun began. It was not on the order of the “fun” we all had at my HSG, but it was more like that than I had hoped. A tenaculum was involved. Ultimately, so was an abdominal ultrasound. (Given how pricey that pink (!) goo was — and this was two vials-worth, as the clinic thought the counts were low — I was glad enough that the doctor wanted to be sure she was in before pulling the trigger, as it were.) I tried to think relaxing thoughts, as Stephanie Brill has put the fear of God in me about the contraceptive properties of prostaglandins, but my cervix evidently has both ridges and bends, and that damn tenaculum did hurt.
But! The doctor says that if this one doesn’t take, I should come early next time and they’ll slip me some valium. So there’s that.
Neither the doctor nor the nurse were overly excitable, which I think is good for us in re: not getting too worked up about any particular cycle. We’re trying to think of this one as “getting started”, which didn’t stop me from waking up in the middle of the night a little freaked at what we just did. (Man juice. In my hoo-ha. Yowzers.)
Trick question. I’m never not thinking about peeing these days.
In the interest of getting my act together re: ovulation prior to introducing pricier ingredients, I’ve been dutifully sticking a thermometer up in my business despite my morning grogginess (invariably poking myself something fierce) and peeing in cups and on sticks like it’s going out of style. Hooray for peeing on things!
Is peeing not the definition of a simple pleasure? Maybe it’s conditioning left over from potty training that makes the the characteristic sounds of micturition flood my brain with “new train set” endorphins, or perhaps it’s more ancient than that. Even my memories of wetting my pants in public — shame spreading across the seat of my corduroys in front of everyone, the wetness turning cold as the door handle that was in my hand, the injustice of not having been allowed inside to the bathroom sooner, the ugliness of the strange pants I was told to change into — contain, if I am being honest, a sighing undercurrent of satisfaction.
I always enjoy home science projects, and peeing on sticks sounded so easy, until I read the part about holding for four hours first. Four hours may not seem like much to you, but I’m a two-hour girl. Just am. Rare is the night that I’m not up once or twice, which is a lot more fun now that I don’t live in a dorm. I have shamelessly irrigated the shoulders of our nation’s interstate highway system, and my college students get “some time to work independently” during almost every class. (Yes, I know pregnancy will be insanity.) The last several days have been a delight.
If only I could be more like the woman in the OPK instructions! Sure, she seems to be missing an arm and the finer points of her anatomy are troublingly Barbie-esque, but look at her confidence! She appears to be practiced at standing(?) with one leg cocked, like a dog with a chemistry project. If I tried that, the pee would run right down my leg, but hers droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the stick beneath.
I bet the pee-stick lady never forgets, three-and-a-half leg-crossed hours into the wait, and just hauls off and pees in the toilet like a normal person. I’ve done that twice this week. I bet she wouldn’t have to radically dehydrate herself to avoid Monday afternoon’s near-accident, in which I ran back to the house, the whites of my eyes turning yellow, an hour after foolishly taking in liquid. I bet her pee is still lightly yellow. (Mine looks like fancy beer.) I bet if she has to have blood drawn, as I did Wednesday, it doesn’t just d.r.i.p. into the vial, because she isn’t congealing from thirst.
After that blood draw, I wandered, dazed, back to Grand Central, where my lone functioning synapse demanded I find food and fluid before getting back on the subway. The food court was packed. Everyone was in a hurry. In the midst of it all, a miserable looking pit bull squatted on a ramp while a river proceeded from her and pooled on the concourse floor. From the look on her face, it was evident this was not territorial behavior. This was dire need. And I know just how she felt.