Monday, May 23, 2011

The Final Negative.

AF arrived on Saturday, that bitch (I'm not bitter). My whole adult life I have had a hate/hate relationship with my period. It's been the source of so much pain for me - both physical and emotional. I can’t wait till I never have to get it again.

Regarding the BFN from my first IUI, I am feeling ok about it. I was sad, I was disappointed, but not devastated. Maybe it was because it was only my first attempt. Also, it’s proving to be really difficult for me to wrap my brain around the idea of being pregnant. It seems very abstract to me right now, even though it is something I really want. Part of me is very scared that I don’t want this enough and that’s why it wasn’t successful.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m doing this on my own, or if it’s totally normal when women make this choice, but I feel like so much of the experience of becoming a single mother by choice takes place inside my head. There is SO much to think about, so much to worry about, so much to second-guess yourself about. Don’t you feel like a choice this momentous and natural should be accompanied by a zen-like acceptance of everything that will come? Like you would immediately become this earth mother with a completely centered heart? Just me? I guess it’s unrealistic to think your personality will undergo an amazing transformation, but man, in this situation? It would be awesome if that did happen.

But the reality is that in about 2 weeks, I will try it again, and if it doesn’t work (which it will, because I am all about being positive!!), I will try again a month after that. And if it STILL doesn’t work, then me and my bank account will have to have a heart-to-heart.

I saw my niece and nephew yesterday, and nothing clarifies intentions to be a mother like a 4 year old jumping off a low wall into your arms, or a 1 year old giving you a big loud kiss. Love.

Ahh, Much Better

I really needed a blog refresh. The old template was way too happy looking for my taste, and that is just not my design style. In the art group I belong to, I get a lot of jokes about how dark my art is. I never really mean it to be, in fact I make a very concerted effort to NOT be too dark in my art work (superstitions about self-fulfilling prophecies, mainly). But I think of it as a visual diary a lot of the time - and it's very therapeutic. It's like this: if it's out there (waving hands out in the world), it's NOT in here (pointing at head), so that's a good thing.

One bad thing that happened as a result of the blog redesign is I lost my whole blog roll, which I'm not too thrilled about. I am trying to add them all back as I remember them and see them on other blogs. Stupid Blogger.

Time to get back on the blog horse. I have been writing, but most of it I haven't wanted to really put on the blog because it's been mostly stream of consciousness babbling that I don't want to put out in the world. But some of it should be here on my public record of BMP, so here they are with the right dates...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The First Negative

This morning for the first time ever in my life, I took a pregnancy test. Might as well not keep you in suspense: it was negative. Technically, it looked like this: -NO. It’s a little early - the box says it can detect a pregnancy 4 days before you get your period, and since I am supposed to get mine on Sunday, today is the absolute earliest I could test. And even then, the accuracy of the test is only about 58% when you test this early.

I’m not sure how I feel about a BFN (big fat negative in Internet lingo). I was lying in bed after having peed on the stick at around 5:30 am this morning. I rolled over to see the read out and it said no (I am a BIG fan of the easy to read, digital sticks - in a situation like this I don’t want ANY ambiguity) - and I didn’t really feel anything. I’m not sure how I expected to feel - even though yesterday I was leaning towards a YES, the truth is that was mostly just a guess. I know what I hoped, but I didn’t really have any specific expectations.

But I didn’t feel much of anything. It’s strange. Maybe it’s because I know how likely a false negative is that I am subconsciously not putting much stock in the answer. And although I’m still a little sad, I’m not devastated. However, I think when I get my period, it will really sink in. I’ve spent my entire adult life HATING my period, and I expect the experience of trying to get pregnant is going to bring that hate to new levels.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Big Day.

May 7, 2011 was actually the big day. I had my insemination. And I felt awful. I hadn’t gotten through the emotional fallout from the cymbalta fiasco, and I desperately DID NOT want to start my pregnancy that way. But in reality, this whole process is not how I would choose to start a pregnancy if I had my choice.

I tested for ovulation at around 5am that day. I got the smiley face, and I was not surprised. I had already rescheduled an appointment I had for 9am that morning to have a spiritual reading because I “had a feeling” it might happen Saturday, even though I wasn’t due till Sunday. And I was right (I’ve been having a lot of “feelings” that have been coming true lately, it’s strange).

I was scheduled for my insemination for 10:30 that morning. I went to the building and was sent up to the 5th floor to pick up my “specimen” from the lab. They had tested it for mobility (75-70%, which is very good, anything above 50% is considered good, they told me).

It’s amazing how little sperm there was in that tiny vial. It was maybe an inch and a half tall, quarter inch in diameter, and it was barely half full.

I was glad I ovulated on a Saturday. The place was pretty much empty with the exception of the people who worked there, and even those ladies were very informal. Somehow, it made the whole thing feel a little more casual and less like someone’s job (even though it is).

There was an RN who worked with me on the insemination. She was really nice. I sat up on the table with stirrups, she inserted a speculum, dug around in there for awhile, realized she couldn’t see my cervix that well, so she switched to a longer speculum (which was awesome. If I have to do this again, I will remember to tell them to use the long speculum FIRST), stuck that in and then put in the syringe with the sperm and a catheter instead of a needle and injected the sperm. That part was kind of painful, but it took all of about 1 minute. She set a timer for 10 minutes, and said when it goes off I can get dressed and leave. Pull this cord if you need help. The end. She didn’t even stay in the room with me, she just left. I even clarified - I can just leave when the time is up? Yup.

Talk about alone. There I was, possibly having just been impregnated by sperm of a stranger and a catheter, laying on a table, naked from the waist down, listening for the ding of an oven timer. There was NOTHING about that moment that was anything like how I wanted to become a mother.

And yet... the more time passes (a whole 4 days), the more removed I am from it, the more I am just concentrating on the end result, a beautiful baby. And truthfully, even though emotionally the whole insemination process was clinical, it wasn’t bad. It was just impersonal. I hate to say we’re “programmed to believe” something when its concerning something as natural and biological as having a child, but in a way we are programmed to have certain beliefs about how this whole things works, and very little of that lines up with artificial insemination.

Like, I know the exact moment of conception, down to the second (or I could if I had really been paying attention to the clock, which I wasn’t actually). Every single day I am paying insanely close attention to my body, trying to discern even the smallest, most minute sign that might mean I am pregnant.

There is NO transition period. Literally when I woke up on Saturday morning I wasn’t pregnant, and then by 11am, I was (or could be - it’s still to early to tell.) For god sakes, at 10:45 I wasn’t and at 10:46 I could be. It’s kind of mind blowing.

And also, in a way, it connects you to your possible future child in a way that might not happen if I didn’t know all this. From literally the second of it’s theoretical existence as a cell, I’ve known it. Also mind blowing.

So here I am at day 4, after the insemination, and as I said, I can’t stop mentally feeling out my body, trying to see if I am feeling differently than I was before Saturday. Because of the goddamn cymbalta, it’s hard for me to tell what is real and what is the residual withdrawals. But for the first time this morning I started thinking the procedure might have been successful.

It’s literally day 4, I don’t know if it’s even physically possible for me to actually feel anything. Maybe it could be wishful thinking?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pain.

Wow Cymbalta, you suck. And yet, I loved you while we were getting along. But man, quitting you is killing me.

I'm going to suck up the withdrawals though because now that it is out of my system (the drug, not the pain unfortunately), I am hopefully going for an insemination on Saturday or Sunday-ish (according to my calendar). Wish me luck! (I missed you blog (and parentheses).