Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Okay...we can breathe now.

So with all this obsessing over baby stuff, I have completely neglected the other aspect to this blog, and that is our big move.

As mentioned, we found a place to live a few weeks ago in Worcester. Now, all we had to do was find someone to rent our condo. Since we can't sell right now, we have decided to rent out our place, and use that to help pay for the mortgage. Originally, a good friend of ours definitely wanted to rent our place, but couldn't commit until she got a firm job offer from Chicago Public Schools. CPS kept telling her, "we'll let you know." This started back in April, when they told her they'd let her know in May. May came around, and they told her they'd let her know in June. Today is June 30th, and they still haven't told her whether or not she has the job. And as frustrating as that has been for us, I can't even imagine how annoyed she must be. That's CPS for you. Although, that's a whole 'nother story.

So, as much as we'd prefer to rent to a friend, someone we knew and trusted, we just couldn't wait anymore. We needed to list the place. We told our friend and she completely understood. So last week we told our friends on Facebook, put a listing on craigslist, and put fliers up all over Andersonville.

Well, long story short, we got renters! They're this really sweet married couple that fell in love with the place when they came to see it yesterday, and really loved all the work we did on the place (thank you very much!). We did a credit check this morning, which they passed with flying colors, so I just emailed a copy of the lease over to them. They will move in August 1st, 2 days after we move out.

I can't believe how smoothly this has worked out. We were really starting to get stressed out, which, you know, isn't very good for that other little project we're working on. So, now we can breathe at least one sigh of relief.

Friday, June 26, 2009

And now we wait.

Yesterday was IUI #2 of this cycle. I am happy to say it went much more smoothly than the day before. The doctor did it again, I guess they wanted to cut to the chase, anticipating another rough one. It took all of 30 seconds. Also happy to say we had excellent sperm counts this month. Wednesday's sample was 69%, 52 million post thaw motility. Thursday's was 63%, 50 million. Yea for super-swimmers!

So now, let the 2 week wait commence. We are trying our hardest not to think about it, which is a pretty unrealistic attempt. How do you put something out of your mind that you are shaping your whole life around? No drinking alcohol, no coffee, no coke because you may be pregnant. But don't think about it! Daily doses of estrogen, progesterone, prenatals, and folic acid because you may be pregnant. But don't think about it! No strenuous excercise, no heavy lifting, no stress or anxiety because you may be pregnant. But don't think about it! Summer celebrations and visits with friends, the Pride Parade, Taste of Chicago, 4th of July...where they will inevitably notice a lack of "celebrating"...but don't think about it, and certainly don't talk about it!! It's impossible to live your life normally during the 2ww, where your whole life revolves around a remote possibility, a question mark.

But we do it, again and again and again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

IUI Try #2: The Brick Wall

So the first of 2 IUIs was this morning, and it definitely did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. Apparently I have a very stubborn cervix, because the nurse could not get the catheter in. She tried for about 10 minutes, poking and prodding around my nether regions, but to no avail. So she excused herself and went to get another nurse, to see if she could have any success. Nurse #2 tried and tried...a bit too roughly I might add, but again, no luck. So she left to find the doctor, because surely he would be able to get through my brick wall. Mind you, this entire time I am lying on the table with my feet in the stirrups, positioned for all the world to see my business any time someone new wanted to come into the room.

The doctor finally came in and apparently was determined to get this bad boy in, because he kept murming and muttering under his breath the whole time, as if he were fighting some sort of battle he refused to lose.

FINALLY, he got in, let loose the swimmers, and all was right with the world again. He explained to me that my cervix is crooked, and that we should hope very much that we are successful with IUIs, because graduating (or is it being demoted?) to IVF would be a very complicated process for me. "I wouldn't want to damage those fragile embryos by trying to force them through your cervix" is how the doctor put it. So I would have to have my cervix dilated surgically each time, which would certainly NOT be fun.

So, here's to hoping we end our journey with IUI, because as much as I am not looking forward to repeating today's ordeal again tomorrow, it is a much less invasive option than IVF would have in store for me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And We're Off!

Back at the RE this morning for yet another ultrasound and more bloodwork. This time, however, there were only 3 mature follicles (much more sane than the seven from last month). They could tell from my LH levels that I am most likely about to ovulate, so they gave me a prescription for the hcg trigger shot, told me to administer it right away, and come back bright and early tomorrow for my IUI.

Stacey was at work, so this shot thing was going to have to be up to me. Giving myself the shot was weird. I did okay I guess, but I definitely took a minute or two psyching myself up for it. I really, really, really hope that this was the one and only time I had to do it. It's not the sort of thing I particularly want to become good at.

So tomorrow morning at 7:30 I have an IUI, then I come back 24 hours later for the second IUI. I am really excited of course, but sad that Stacey can't be there. She has to be at work by 9am, and it takes her an hour and a half to get there. It feels weird that she won't be there for the insemination. In spirit, though, she will definitely be there in spirit.

Monday, June 15, 2009

right back on that horse

Today is day two of this brand new cycle, so Stacey dropped me off at the doctor's once again on her way in to work. Once again, I had my plumbing checked with the oh-so-embarrassing dildo-cam. Once again, I had my blood drawn (my right elbow is starting to resemble a well-worn dartboard).

Now is the part where I wait for the phone call from the nurse to tell me we are all systems a-go, I go pick up my prescriptions for clomid and estrogen, and get told when I can go in for my follow up ultrasound, probably about a week from now.

I am becoming a pro at this game, which (believe me) is not something I am proud of.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Yesterday was a pretty hard day, I'm not going to lie. I was an emotional basket case all day. I think I cried (sobbed) about 8 times. The icing on the cake was when we went to see Up, in an effort to lift our spirits. Well there was a montage about 5 minutes in that was so very touching, and halfway through that there was a sequence that hit a bit too close to home. I lost my marbles, and starting sobbing once again. Fortunately, the sad part was over within the first ten minutes, and the rest of the movie did its job...we were laughing throughout and our spirits were definitely lifted. It felt nice to laugh after such a devastating day.

I feel much better about our life today than I did yesterday, but it's certainly not because a silly movie made me smile. I just had a hard, cold splash of reality knock me out of my pity party and get a bit of perspective.

Yesterday, a childhood friend of mine told me he and his family were going through a rough time right now. Turns out, his wife (who is my age) has cancer. They just found out, and she is prepping for chemo and radiation. They have 3 kids under the age of 6.

I immediately went from thinking "35 is way too old" to "35 is way too young".

I went from wondering what the hell is wrong with me to being grateful I am so healthy.

I went from being jealous of everyone who had kids to being worried sick about those three boys.

I went from thinking "why not?" for me to "why?" for somebody else.

Suddenly, I am thankful for everything Stacey and I have, not pining for something we don't. And I realized how much this BFN is not a tragedy, and our problems are not so catastrophic.

Nothing like a little perspective, huh?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thanks for playing.

The blood test resulted in a big fat negative. I'll write more tomorrow when I pull myself back together. Right now, I just need some... I don't know. I just need something and writing ain't it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

0 for 2

Tested again this morning. Still negative. I gotta admit, my confidence about this blood test tomorrow is starting to waiver.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Impatience and Insomnia

It's 4 in the morning, and I can't sleep a wink. I am dying to test today. It's 12 days since the IUI, and any trace of the hcg trigger shot should be gone. And I don't want to jinx anything, but I have a really good feeling about this month. Since last Thursday I've been feeling a very localized pinchy-pokey feeling in the left-center of my abdomen. Coupled with the fact that I had some light pink spotting yesterday and the night before, and I'm really hoping it is what I think it is.

We are scheduled to go in for our blood test on Friday morning, but there's no way in hell I can wait that long. Neither of us can. So I think this is it. In a few hours (we'll wait for the sun to come up at least), I will pee on a stick.

Fingers crossed!!

**5:48am. BFN...for now.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Welcome to Wustah!

We just got home from our apartment-hunting trip to Worcester, MA. After sifting through hundreds of craigslist ads, making dozens of phone calls, and seeing about 12 places, we finally made a decision and picked a place. Or should I say, the place picked us.

We were just about settled on a beautiful 2 bedroom flat up in Greendale, on the third floor of a triple-decker, on the top of an enormous hill overlooking all of Worcester. I am not exagerrating when I say the view was breath-taking. I literally gasped. However, the landlord was iffy about the dog. He agreed to take him after we promised he wouldn't be a problem (which in all honesty isn't entirely true. The dog can be a little shit sometimes). Anyway, he agreed to the dog. We were thrilled, drove back to the realty office with our agent, and gave him the deposit. He did tell us though, that we could still change our minds and get the deposit back.

After we left, we were tempted to cancel our next appointment which was to see a little 2-bedroom that was in walking distance to UMASS. But, what the hell, we thought, seeing one more won't hurt. So we reluctantly went to see this place.

We walked in, and immediately, Stacey and I looked at each other, and we knew. This was our home. Cozy, warm and charming, with 2 bedrooms, a huge kitchen, french doors, old-fashioned built-ins, an enclosed front porch and (best of all) a large semi-enclosed yard with a beautiful old oak tree in the middle. We can grill, sit at a picnic table, the dog can run around...it's perfect! Trust me, when you're used to a small cramped apartment with no yard or private deck, these things are huge! We were sold.

We told our agent for the place on the hill we weren't going to take it, and in all honesty it was a relief. Now we don't have to worry about our dog being a dog...the landlord for the cozy place loves dogs, she even said we could put up a dog run in the yard for him!

So now we are back in Chicago, anxiously awaiting our big move east to our new home! Seven weeks to go!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Beginnings

Yesterday was my 35th birthday. It was also our 4th attempt at TTC. However, it was the first one where we actually had some insight into what we were doing exactly. We had an ultrasound on Thursday and saw 7 follicles. We got an hcg trigger shot on Thursday night and progesterone suppositories to start taking today. We learned that our swimmers have rally good numbrs - 35 million count, 56% post-thaw motility. We had an IUI yesterday, administered by an RN, instead of the old fingers-crossed shot-in-the-dark method at home. We have an appointment to go back in 13 days for our pregnancy test. Everything we are doing this time is so much more cinical, monitored and enlightened. Both Stacey and I have a really good feeling about this, for many reasons.

I was in a wonderful mood all day yesterday, partly because it was a beautiful day, partly because it was my birthday, but mostly because this attempt feels really good. I hope I'm not jinxing anything, but I just know that whatever the outcome, we are headed in the right direction. Every month, we are a step closer to becoming mothers, I can feel it.

I know this is going to be a wonderful year. So far, 35 is a great age, and I know it will only get better.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Stacey and I woke up this morning at 5:30, all bouncy and excited for our Day 10 check-up at the RE. This was the day they were going to tell us whether or not I am producing any follicles, how mature they were, and when we can come back for the IUI. So I hopped up on the exam table, and Ultrasound Lady wielded her magical Dildo-Cam and Voila! Up on the screen popped my girl parts. I sat up as much as I comfortably could and tried to watch the show.

"Wow," Ultrasound Lady said. "That's a big follicle! 24.5 millimeters." Woohoo!! Great news!

"Oh, look at this one, too. This is a big guy here, too." Great! TWO big follicles.

"Here is another one." Three?

"And another one". What???

"Okay, now let's look at your right side. Whoa! Look at these guys!"

Turns out, I have SEVEN mature follicles. To say my body responded to clomid is an understatement. So, Stacey and I left and came home, elated. Seven mature follicles, that's great news, right?? We sat and waited for the RE to call us in the afternoon to tell us when we could come in for the IUI.

Around 2:30, the call came. Only it wasn't good news.

"I'm sorry Kelly," the nurse began, "but you produced too many follicles. The risk for multiples is too great. We cannot inseminate this month."

My heart got caught in my throat. I tried to maintain composure, but lost that battle quickly.

"What do you mean we can't inseminate?" I asked. My voice cracked, betraying my devastation. "This was the doctor's idea. He prescribed the clomid! If I don't use it, I don't produce follicles, and now that I did use it, I produced too many???"

"I'm sorry Kelly, but for women 34 and younger, we cannot inseminate if there are more than 4 follicles."

"But I'll be 35 tomorrow!!! What's the cutoff for 35??"

"5 or 6. But still, it's a big risk." I told her I was aware of the risks, but she said there wasn't much she could do, it was the doctor's decision. She did agree to try to get ahold of him again, to see his thoughts about the fact I will be 35 tomorrow. And she promised to call me back right away.

The next hour passed veeeery slowly. I dropped Stacey off to get a massage, went to the grocery store, came back home, pickeed up the dog, and went to wait for Stacey. I was trying not to be heartbroken, but I knew I couldn't fight it. I was sad we'd have to wait another whole month. I was pissed that the doctor prescribed us a drug that apparently backfired. I was annoyed that we just spent almost $1000 for this month's attempt, only to be told we couldn't attempt at all. And I was starting to get afraid it was never going to happen for us.

An hour later, the nurse called back.

"I talked to the doctor, and since you will bee 35 tomorrow, we can go ahead and do the IUI. But we want you to take the trigger shot tonight, and we will only be doing one IUI tomorrow."

Fine! Anything! Oh my god, this is wonderful news!!!!! Thank goodness for birthdays!!! I never thought I'd be so excited to turn 35!

Immediately we went to the pharmacy to pick up my trigger shot, along with progesterone suppositories to start tomorrow night. I can't believe we are really doing it. Yes, we have a slight chance for multiples, yes we have to sign a mountain of paperwork tomorrow, and yes there is a big chance none of this will work anyway. But we are trying. We are going in tomorrow - me, Stacey and our seven follicles - and we are going to give it our best shot.

Keep your fingers crossed for good things!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Little Hand

What a fantastic day.

Today was Memorial Day, so we slept until we were good and ready to get up, then shuffled into the kitchen to make tea, put on some music, and started our day. I cleaned the kitchen while Stacey packed up a bunch of boxes in the dining room next to me. In the afternoon, we decided to take a stroll through Andersonville, get some hot chocolate and do some window shopping. Stacey was itching to go look at some baby clothes, which I was reluctant to do. I have to admit, I was a bit relieved that because of the holiday, most of the little boutiques she wanted to go in were closed. It started raining, so we ducked into Alamo Shoes, for no reason other than we had nowhere else to go. Let me just say, I am really glad we did.

We were in there about 3 minutes, and had barely begun to peruse the shelves of overpriced shoes when my baby radar started going off. One row over was an adorable 18-month-old girl who was toddling towards me. She was so smiley and outgoing. I looked down at her and smiled, and immediately I saw her hand go up, as if to grab mine. Not wanting to seem like a creepy baby stalker, I took a step back. I didn't want her mom, who was keeping a watchful eye, to think I was a baby-snatcher or anything. But the little girl was on a mission...she continued to toddle towards me. I glanced at her mom, who was smiling, so I thought, "Hey, if she's cool with it, I'm cool with it." So I let her grab my hand, and that was that...I was hooked.

I let her lead me toward the kids shoes, then I crouched down and showed her the amazing and wondrous shoe mirror on the floor. I complimented her on her cool red raincoat and green boots. She smiled and babbled and laughed. I thanked her for playing with me and led her back to her mom, and I did so quickly to avoid falling even more in love with her than I already had.

Now, I know I can definitely be sappy at times, and more than a little melodramatic. I tend to find symbolism and omens in every little out-of-the-ordinary occurance, and am a firm believer in "signs". I don't think this was any of those. I just know that the feeling I got from this little stranger putting her hand in mine was wonderful. My heart felt full.

I'm not fool enough to think that this meant anything about our upcoming cycle. I just know that it reaffirmed what I already knew: I am so ready to be a parent. I want it so badly, it hurts. I am ready to give a child my love, whether it comes out of my body, or Stacey's, or a stranger's. If I can fall in love with a child in 30 seconds flat, God knows the limits of the love I can give my own child.

But the best part of today was the fact that it did not make me impatient or frustrated about having a baby. Rather, it just made me realized that when it does happen, I will be ready, and I know it will be more wonderful than anything I could ever have imagined.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Day in the Life (or lack thereof)

Today is exactly two weeks since I've been laid off. Week one was a fun, novel, refreshing reprieve from the crazy rat race I'd been stuck in for the past 13 years. Week two, not so much.

Here is a rough breakdown of my daily activities for the past two weeks:

7am: Wake up, spend some time with Stacey before she goes to work. Walk the dog.

8am-11am: Check my email, baby forums, various blogs, favorite websites, peruse apartment listings. Tell myself to get off the couch and be productive. Check email, baby forums, various blogs, favorite websites, apartment listings one last time, you know, in case anything new popped up.

11am: Get off the couch. Go to the kitchen for something to eat/drink. Make a list of everything I need to get done. Tell myself I will be productive. Start my chores, and then think of something I need to look up online. Get sucked back into checking email, baby forums, various blogs, favorite websites, and apartment listings, real quick, and then that's it for the day.

12pm: All My Children. (Yes, I know, I know. It's humiliating, and I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I tell you, that show is more addicting than crack. I have turned into the quintessential, sterotypical housewife, complete with favorite IQ-melting soap opera.)

1pm: Do chores (for real this time). Go for a walk. Wish I had someplace to actually walk to or someone to walk with. Get bored. Come home. Try to find something to do. Go back online.

2pm: Try to write a post in my blog. Realize my life is a complete bore right now, and I am only able to come up with an inane rundown of my incredibly boring day.

2:15pm: Miss my old job.

2:15:01pm: Snap back into reality and remember that my job sucked the life out of me.

2:17pm: Wish I had some other stay-at-home friends to play with. Or, friends that would let me hang out with them at their jobs while they work. Anything, just so I can be around people again.

2:30-4:30. Study for the GRE. Clean up a little. Maybe get around to taking a shower.

4:30. Start thinking of what to make for dinner. Hopefully come up with something that calls for a trip to the grocery store, just so I can have an excuse to go somewhere.

6pm: Wait for Stacey to get home. Study. Listen to music.

7pm: Wait for Stacey to get home. Hopefully there is a Cubs game to turn on.

8pm: Wait for Stacey to get home. Start dinner.

9pm: Stacey comes home, and I am a puppy delirious with excitement when she walks through the door. Exhaust her by demanding all her attention.

10pm: Realize that after only two weeks, I have turned into a completely bored, dependent, unchallenged, self-pitying, needy, uninteresting shell of my former self. I've got to find something to do with my time. This is ridiculous.

11pm: Right before bed, realize I need to check my email, baby forums, various blogs, favorite websites and apartment listings, one last time. Heaven forbid I miss something really important.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Never Was A Soloist

Just this morning, I was telling Stacey about a memory that had just come back to me, after about 26 years of suppression.

When I was in the 3rd grade, our school's music teacher had us put on a recital for the other students. For the recital, we could pick any song we had learned during the school year. We could do a solo, or a duet, or both if we were ambitious. The year was 1983, and my favorite movie was "Annie", so of course, I chose the dramatic, soaring, not-a-dry-eye-in-the-house classic, "Maybe". I was gonna bring the house down, no doubt about it.

During the week before the recital, my best friend Mervet asked me if I would do a duet with her, as she was too scared to sing a solo. Amused at her childish stage fright, I humored her. I assured her she had nothing to worry about, because with a partner like me our duet was going to kill. Especially after "Maybe" brought the crowd to their knees. They'd be demanding an encore from me. Mervet was smart to want to collaborate with me. I still remember the song we picked, "Together Wherever We Go."

"Wherever I go, I know she goes. Amigos. Together." You know, that one.

The day came for the recital. We all piled into the music room. I can't remember if parents were there or not. Looking back, I certainly hope not. One by one, and some two by twos, the 3rd graders performed their songs. As I watched them, something changed in me, and my smug confidence somehow abandoned me. My heart started to pound. My throat closed up. I thought there was a very real chance I might wet myself. I wanted desperately to tell our teacher I changed my mind.

Suddenly I heard my name called. "And next we have Kelly, performing 'Maybe'."

Applause, applause.

I made my way up to the front of the room, successfully avoiding eye contact with everyone present. My teacher began the first few notes of the piano accompaniment, then it was my cue. I looked at the crowd of faces, and froze. Nothing came out. Not one note.

She played the intro again.

I stayed frozen.

Kindly, she began a third time, and started singing the words to help me along. I tried to squeak out a few words, but could only manage a whisper. I thought my teacher was doing a fine job singing the song on her own, so I just kind of gave up and let her do it. Mercifully, she ended the song after the first verse. There were a few giggles, a sympathetic smattering of applause, and I quickly sat down next to Mervet, covered my face with my hands, and cried.

Mervet was as comforting as she could be, considering the fact that in a few minutes she'd have to go back onstage with this sniveling mess next to her.

"C'mon," she whispered, "you were fine. You did great." But even as she held my hand, the look on her face was one of sheer terror.

After a few more songs, I was due up onstage again. Mervet somehow pulled it together enough to put a smile on her face and drag me up next to her. We stood there, looking at the crowd. The piano accompaniment started, and Mervet began to sing.

"Wherever we go, Whatever we do, We're gonna go through it together..." She looked at me and smiled. I smiled back and jumped in: "We may not go far, but sure as a star..."

And just like that, everything was okay.

Flash forward 26 years.

After sitting on the sofa this morning, enjoying a nice leisurely cup of coffee with the wife (after telling her the above story), I got a surprise visit from my dear old aunt. So I immediately called FCI to schedule my baselines tests and initial ultrasound. I like the fact that we are starting again right away, and the fact that this time we are getting help from the experts. I'd actually be really excited about it, except for the fact that Stacey can't go with me tomorrow.

She is going to drop me off for my appointment at 7:15 on her way to work, and in I go by myself. I'm not a huge baby or anything, I mean I can handle a doctor's appointment by myself, but this process, the whole "making a baby" journey has been one we've done together, every step of the way. It's been really important to us that we do this as a team as much as possible. I mean, this is OUR baby, not just mine, and we want to make sure everyone is clear on that. Going to the doctor to start try #4 without her feels weird and wrong.

I never was a soloist.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Next Step

After a particularly un-enjoyable weekend of mourning our latest failed attempt, dealing with raging hormones (thanks, prometrium!), long work hours (Stacey, obviously, not me), and general feelings of irritation and annoyance towards each other caused by all of the above, we each took a deep breath, sat down, and talked things over.

We realized that we may have exhausted our Do-It-Yourself opportunities, and have decided to put our fertility concerns in the hands of professionals. And while playing doctor, keeping it intimate, and conceiving a baby the old fashioned way (well, as old-fashioned as two women could possibly make it) has been fun, the fun is definitely over. It is now just uncomfortable, unpredictable and frustrating. For three attempts we have purchased swimmers, took a shot in the dark (pun intended), and kept our fingers crossed. We've basically been buying $2500 worth of lottery tickets, and expecting to get rich. Well as the daughter of a banker who's been on my case about my financial security for the past 35 years, I've learned that's not exactly a sound plan for success.

So, we are taking the next step, and moving onto in-office IUIs. We called FCI, got a breakdown of costs (for us, fertility treatments are 100% out-of-pocket. Another reason I can't wait to move to MA), and decided that the benefits outweigh the costs. We will wait for my cycle to begin, then go into the office for an ultrasound, come back when we're ready to dance, and do the deed. I think we will do two tries, about 12 hours apart. Adding together the bloodwork, ultrasounds, prescriptions, IUIs, and trigger shots, we're looking at about $1600. Not that much more than we've been paying each month for the "shot-in-the-dark" method.

So now, we just wait for CD1. I stopped taking the prometrium last night, so hopefully my body won't take that long to bounce back to normal. We are just praying I start before the weekend. If it's this weekend or later, there's a good chance I'd be ovulating during our apartment-hunting trip to MA. That would be awful. Is there anything I can do to induce CD1? Coffee? Spicy food? Jumping on a trampoline??? Any and all suggestions welcome.

So, next step, here we come. I really hope this is as far as we have to climb on this wretched ladder of infertility.

Friday, May 15, 2009

This sucks.

So, it looks like this month was a bust.

My temp dropped significantly this morning. Never a good sign. Took a test. It was negative. An unequivocally, very specifically bad sign.

I can't really describe what I am feeling right now. It's more than disappointment. It's more than sadness.

It's frustration. Frustration at the fact that Stacey and I cannot create a family by ourselves. We need to purchase a complete stranger's ingredients in order to make a child. And after three attempts and a total of 9 vials, that is $1800 spent thus far on just the swimmers alone. Add in all the extras: clomid, estradiol, prometrium, opk's, preg tests, vitamins, raspberry tea, iron extract, primrose oil, etc, etc, etc, we are probably creeping closer to $2500. Frustration at the fact we are once again living our life in a series of two-week increments. I start my period, and we wait to weeks to ovulate. Once that happens, we wait two weeks to find out whether we are going to have a baby, or if we have to start the whole process all over again. And it's not like we can think of anything else during those 2-weeks. We are constantly looking for symptoms, signs, any sort of clue that I may be pregnant. Every pinch, twinge or ache suddenly becomes a sure sign that This is it! It is two full weeks of being myopic, obsessed baby-fiends.

It's envy. Envy for anyone and everyone who is lucky enough to create a child with their partner just by having a little roll in the sack. Envy for friends and family members who are either on their second or third pregnancy now, or who are done having kids. They had all they wanted, and now their families are complete. And this morning, I have a suffocating hatred for anyone who has recently posted a picture of their latest bundle of joy on Facebook or MySpace or one of the countless baby sites I have been lurking on lately. Yes, I know you are proud of your beautiful baby, and you have every right to be. But I REALLY don't want to see how happy you are right now.

It's humiliation. Humiliation for thinking so foolishly that it just might have worked this time. Thinking I was actually pregnant. Yesterday I ate a protein bar that tasted pretty funky. It was supposed to taste like chocolate, but it tasted more like the seaweed wrap on a sushi roll. I shrugged it off, thinking, "Wow...this pregnancy has really thrown my taste buds off! How funny!" Turns out, the protein bar really was funky, and I spent all morning with an upset stomach, burping up nasty seaweed stink. It would be pretty funny if I didn't feel like such a fool for actually thinking I might be pregnant.

And it's fear. Definitely fear, more than anything else. I feel like time is running out for me. I know I'm only 34, but in 2 weeks from now I will be 35. There is a good chance I may still be trying to conceive a year from now. And that means being a first time mom at 37. Maybe 38. Hell, I feel old now. My joints and muscles ache all the time. I creak, crack and moan any time I bend over to pick something up. I fall asleep at 9pm. My eyes are starting to go. Not to mention whatever kind of deterioration is going on in my reproductive organs. Who knows how often I ovulate, and even then, how many of my eggs are still viable. And without a steady supply of swimmers on tap, it's not only a matter of timing, but luck. Lots of luck. And that's definitely been running a little low lately.

I know I'm feeling sorry for myself. I admit it. I also know that this will pass, and in two weeks we will be so excited to start all over again. We will get hopeful and optimistic, and we will post on the baby sites, and peruse the infant wear department at Target and start feeling every twinge and pinch and think, This is it!! That's the way this cycle works. And that is why it sucks.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Stacey came home from her full-time job today at 1:30, had some lunch, and then I drove her to her part-time job at 3. (The woman is a workaholic, what can I say?) After I dropped her off, I decided to swing by Target to pick up a few household things. Big mistake. I'm still reeling from the experience.

I've been kind of getting on Stacey's case lately for going a little overboard in the "getting-excited-for-baby" department. I just think she's setting herself up for heartache with every cute cloth diaper she finds online, or adorable crib set she already has picked out. I have refused to let myself go there, and have been really strong about it.

Until I went to Target.

After I picked up the pillow I was looking for, I found my cart being mysteriously pulled towards the baby department. "Don't do it", I told myself. "Just one little peak won't hurt", my defiant self snapped back. I drifted over toward the cribs, the bassinets, the bouncy chairs, the car seats. By then, I was sucked in...I couldn't leave if I wanted to. I went up and down each aisle, looking at diaper bags, burping cloths, rattles and teething rings. That old familiar "baby ache" that I was so good about keeping at bay for the past 2 weeks was boiling up at full force, and it was driving me mad.

"Enough", I said, and decided to leave. But by that time, I had already put that energy out into the universe. And apparently the universe wasn't done with this fun ride quite yet. As soon as I made a made dash to get the hell away from the baby section, I stumbled into the Infant Wear section...row after row of adorable onesies, sleepers, monkey t-shirts, elephant shorts. I was in a freakin' jungle of infant paraphernalia and barely made it out of there alive.

I stumbled to the checkout line, and of course right in front of me was a mother with a baby in a carrier. I moved to the next line. Twins. Staring right at me, as if to say, "You asked for it, Sucker."

I put my head down, paid for this god-forsaken pillow that I now wished I had never stopped to purchase and got the hell out of there. Not before (of course) I practically collided at the front entrance with a woman who had to be in her 11th month of pregnancy.

I hurried to my car like I was being chased by zombies. I literally felt like I was being hunted by anything and everything baby-related. Target, indeed.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day One

Day One of my new job as "House Manager", and I've got to admit, it was a pretty good day. I felt really proud of myself. See, I'm what they call a "Type B" personality. I've gotten a lot better since my single days (I was a sit around in my underwear, eat cereal out of a mixing bowl kind of slob), but I still usually need a LOT of direction, friendly reminding and gentile prodding in order to get stuff done. Especially when it comes to cleaning. I fully admit it, I can be quite difficult to live with. When it comes to tv parents, I probably most closely resemble Homer Simpson. But I have been presented with a new challenge, and I intend to prove all the doubters wrong. (And by all the doubters, I mean Stacey.)

So today, I did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, including sweeping, mopping, disinfecting, scouring, scrubbing. Did some research for our upcoming move. Went to lunch with a friend. Walked the dog. Listened to some background music to help keep me focused. I was a woman on a mission. And I'm proud to say that overall, it was a productive day. I mean it wasn't record-breaking by any means, but hell, compared to every first day I had at real, paid-position types of jobs, this was the busier and more productive than all of them. Usually first days include a lot of paperwork, tours around the office, introductions to strange faces and feelings of unease, unfamiliarity and nerves. This was, I'm a little shocked to admit, kind of fun. I immediately transformed from Homer Simpson to June Cleaver as I beat the rugs on the back porch, disinfected the garbage can, and scoured the kitchen sink with Comet. Granted, this whole "housewife" thing is a novelty for me. Usually cleaning the kitchen means moving all the dirty plates from the sink to the dishwasher, so getting on my hands and knees to scrub out a dried food splatter on the floor felt a little foreign. But I actually kind of liked it.

So today the kitchen, tomorrow the bathroom. That's right, I'm on a roll, baby.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Guest Columnist...let me introduce myself

I should start by saying that I am not the primary contributer to this blog. This is probably evident based on the headline...which the wife insisted I use in some form or another every time I blog. Apparently, she wants everyone to know that this is not her writing. So I concede.

And now for introductions: "Hey."

I'm Stacey, Kelly's wife and the other hopefully-soon mother in this household. I'm not as funny as Kelly, and sometimes overly detailed...but there is only room for one comedian in our family and that role has been cast. I am the serious one...the academic...and the reason we are soon moving to MA to begin this crazy adventure.

I'll be poppin' by every once and a while...to grace you with my "not very funny" posts...see you soon!

Be Careful What You Wish For

A little history...

I have been in the advertising industry for almost 13 years, since I graduated from college. Not the fun, creative kind of advertising you see in movies, though. No, I've been on the business end of things, the buying and selling of airtime. Lots of schmoozing, lots of paperwork, lots of overtime, and very, very little use if the right-side of my brain. Come to think of it, very little use of ANY part of my brain. I kind of fell into this business after college, and without knowing what else I should be doing with my life, never bothered to try a different path. I always wanted to get out, but never knew where to go, or where to start.

Well, it looks like I just got the push I needed. Yesterday, I, along with 5 other of my colleagues, became the latest casualties of the Great Recession. I cannot lie, I saw the writing on the wall for quite sometime. The ad industry that has been particularly hard hit by the economy. Almost every tv station group, rep firm, and ad agency I know has had layoffs in the past 2 years. Not to mention, I was hired 3 years ago as a senior level account executive, yet my client list billed no more than anyone else's. Bottom line - I was really expensive, without a lot of payoff. I was the Milton Bradley of ad sales (sorry...I'm a Cubs fan, and that boneheaded acquisition still kinda burns me up.) But the kicker, the one thing that really put the final nail in my coffin was the fact that I told them I was going to be moving to MA. I told them because I was hoping to get a transfer to the Boston office. When they informed me that not only were there no openings in Boston, but that that office was likely closing, I knew then that things were going south for the company. And I knew that if layoffs came to Chicago, my name would be first on the list.

So yesterday morning, it happened. The six of us got called into a meeting with the Chicago Big Boss, who oh-so-sympathetically read from a script without ever looking up. Not once did he look us in the eye. He was accompanied by some unknown HR rep from NY who sat there silently, just watching, I'm guessing in case one of us flipped out and went ballistic or something. We all just sat there listening as we were told that our positions were eliminated, today was our last day, and our computers were being shut down as we spoke. We were each given our individual severance packages, and told to go clean out our offices immediately. While we were doing that the "survivors" were all called into a meeting to discuss what had just happened. I gotta tell ya, they took it a lot harder than we did. Half the people came out of the meeting bawling. Maybe they're really good actors, maybe they're emotionally unstable...hell, maybe they're jealous it was us and not them that got freed from that soul-sucking job. But whatever their reasoning, it was nice to get hugs from everyone as they said goodbye and wished us luck.

The other freshly-canned and I decided to walk over to Rock Bottom to commiserate. I had half of a beer, then a cranberry and tonic (had I not had anything to drink they would have known immediately something was up...I've been talking about babies incessantly for the past 3 years). The survivors soon joined us and bought us our drinks and lunch. And then Stacey came and picked me up and that was that. Goodbye, job. Goodbye coworkers. Goodbye corporate life that I never belonged in anyway.

Last night, Stacey and I crunched some numbers, and honestly, it looks like they might have done us a huge favor. I was leaving anyway, voluntarily. That would have meant no severance pay, no unemployment. We would be heading to MA with our savings, and that's it. This way, I am paid through June, and I qualify for unemployment for the next year. I'm not saying getting laid off was a good thing, but things could definitely be a lot worse. And, since we are leaving in less than 3 months, I can't exactly go out and get a new job. So I guess I'm on a 3 month vacation. And with the weather finally becoming nice again, things could be a lot, lot worse.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The MA Life

Come on in, welcome to my blog. Come in, sit down, make yourself comfortable. It's isn't much to look at now, humble beginnings and all that, but I hope to soon change all that. Soon, this blog will be filled with witty anecdotes, adventures, ups and downs, twists and turns. There will be heroes and villians, star-crossed lovers, hijinx and lowjinx. Maybe even a bank heist or two. It will be a real page turner, yes sirree.

Okay, so maybe no bank heists. What it will be is a daily (if I can keep up) account of our life, me and Stacey. See...this is a crazy time for us. In 2 months, 3 weeks and 5 days we are packing up and moving to Massachusetts. I'm quitting my job, we're renting out our condo, and we're headin' east! Stacey (my oh so brilliant wife) is going to be doing her PhD internship at UMass Worcester, and I (her trusty sidekick) will be tagging along, 'cause you know, I ain't got nothin' better to do. I am leaving behind a career in advertising that has kicked my butt for the past 13 years, and am beginning anew. I hope to go back to school to get my MLIS and become a librarian. I have no job yet... some potential leads, but nothing solid. We have no place to live, although we're confident we'll find something soon. And we know no one in Massachusetts. Not a soul. We are jumping off this cliff with no parachute and just keeping our fingers crossed that we'll figure out how to fly on the way down.

In the midst of all this chaos, we are trying to start a family. Great timing, huh? Well, we've been putting it off and putting it off, waiting for the right time to start. Well, guess what kids, there is no right time to start. Timing will never be perfect. And, being 3 weeks away from my 35th birthday, well I'm no spring chicken. It has always been our dream to have a child, and both of us want to carry. Since I'm seven years older, I'm up to bat first. And time's a-tickin'. It's now or never.

So, last weekend, the weekend of our first wedding anniversary, we did it. Four vials of a supposed Justin Timberlake/Wentworth Miller lookalike later, and now we just have to sit and wait with our fingers crossed. We've been doing all the right things, taking the right vitamins, exercising, eating right. I've been charting my temperature, checking my CM (if you don't know what that is... good. I'm not getting into that here), drinking raspberry leaf tea, iron extract, evening primrose oil, even some Robitussin. I took Clomid, Estradiol, and now Prometrium. Everything we could be doing, we're doing.

The funny thing is, I feel no stress. Not with moving, not with job hunting, and insanely enough, not with baby-making. I am just so excited to begin our new life in Massachusetts, as mothers. This is an incredible journey upon which we are about to embark, and I am cherishing every minute of it. The ups, the downs, the twists and turns. And maybe even a bank heist. That actually would be pretty cool.