Unexpected

When I walked through the door to the clinic with Catch this afternoon, I thought I knew what to expect.

Mid-cycle ultrasound.  Either the clomid did what it was supposed to do, or it didn't.  Pants off, wand in, check out the innards, and head home.

It started out well enough.  My uterus is apparently gorgeous.  

My ovaries, however… not so much.

Preliminary diagnosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

There appears to be one follicle that's ready to do its thing this cycle, but we can't be absolutely certain that a) it's not a cyst, and b) there's actually an egg in there. At CD 12, it measured 14 mm.  It was explained to me today that follicles are considered mature at 20 mm and that they grow about 2 mm per day.  That puts me on track to ovulate on Friday, which is well within the clomid window of success.  

IF it happens.

My instructions are to continue testing like normal.  With any luck, I'll get a positive on Thursday and we'll inseminate on Friday morning.  Otherwise, she wants me back for a follow-up ultrasound on Friday.

I really didn't see this coming.  I have a few of the symptoms of PCOS, but nothing major.  My reading says it's caused by a hormonal imbalance, but we checked all of those last month and my doctor said everything looked perfectly normal.  Still, I saw my cyst-laden ovaries with my own two eyes, so there's no denying that it's an issue.

I will probably call my wonderful gynecologist tomorrow to see if this is something we can discuss.  The ulrasound was done at a fertility clinic by a nurse practitioner, so I think it warrants a conversation with my regular doctor.

In the meantime, we consulted doctor google on foods that help promote healthy eggs.  Our kitchen is now stocked with broccoli, kale, sesame seeds (?), berries, pumpkin seeds (in the form of pumpkins we intend to carve and roast the seeds from), and ginger. Fortunately, they're all things I love.  I've already cut out alcohol and I have my caffeine intake down to one cup of coffee a day (although some days I do without), so now I get to work on my issues with sugar.  The week of Halloween.  Fantastic.  

I won't lie–I'm pretty devastated. Trying to get pregnant without a male partner is hard enough all on its own without adding complications.  PCOS makes this about a hundred times more complicated than I ever imagined it would be. What I really want to do is put my head down somewhere and cry until I can't anymore, but I'm not letting myself go there.  I'm trying to stay busy and distracted.  I did okay tonight until we crawled into bed and turned out the lights.  I wish I had an off switch for my brain.

This is going to be a long week.  

Clomid – Day 3

Photo

I woke up early this morning courtesy of an enthusiastic  tail thumping against my head—someone in this house thinks 4 am is a
GREAT time for breakfast—and was promptly greeted by another unexpected surprise.  Pain. 
Like a thousand needles stabbing me in both ovaries.  Or maybe just a hundred needles.  But still.

I’m assuming I have clomid to thank for this.  Generally, I am not the least bit aware of my
ovaries.  Thank goodness it only lasted
for a few hours.  (Only… hah.)

Also, for anyone following along who is curious as to the
effects of clomid, I had a hot flash last night at bed time.   Coupled
with some additional shooting pain as my pajamas brushed ever-so-slightly
against my boobs, it turned me into the bitch from hell.  I stormed out of the bedroom convinced that
Catch was being “mean” and threw myself onto the couch.  I sheepishly returned to the bedroom after
cooling off (literally and figuratively) on the couch for thirty minutes or so.

I can tolerate all of it as long as this shit WORKS.  If it doesn’t work, I am likely to strangle
someone. Possibly the "innocent" someone whose tail thumping wakes me up at 4 am. 

It would be super cool if clomid could give me mysterious
female superpowers—like the ability to shoot needles FROM my ovaries.  Then I might be more tolerant.  You might find me standing on top of my
desk threatening to stab anyone pisses me off with a thousand ovarian needles.  I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME OVULATE.

Is it time for lunch? 
Can we toss the salad and have chocolate from the vending machine
instead?

PS – I just dropped one of my prenatal vitamins in my salad
and it gave me an idea that will make millions. 
They have “Fertili-EVERYTHING” for women these days—why not salad
dressing?  Balsamic Fertiligrette.  Fertalian. 

PPS – I started eating my salad, but my hands are shaking and lettuce is going everywhere.  Anyone
experienced that on clomid?  I am
generally a very steady person, so this is foreign—clomid is the only
explanation I can think of. 

Just Enough

I don’t feel right talking about how perfect our weekend in
Cambria was because poor Catch was so sick—but even so, it was pretty perfect.  I think Catch’s horrid cold
really forced us to lay low and not run ourselves ragged trying to SEE ALL THE THINGS.

We ate dinner at the same restaurant two nights in a row because a) it was fantastic, and b) it was a 3-minute walk from our hotel.  Not very adventurous, but totally indulgent.

Birds_sunset

There was wine.  We sat on a blanket and rested our backs against a giant piece of driftwood and drank wine out of plastic hotel cups as the sun set.

Sunset_wine

Catch_ocean

Sunset_haze

There were seals–everywhere.  Sunning themselves on rocks.  Playing on the beach. 

Seals

Elephant_seals

There were tidepools filled with starfish and neon colored anemones.

Starfish

Tidepools

Naps were taken while the fireplace flickered.  Cider was sipped as the fog rolled in and settled for the night.

Catch picked out yarn from a local shop and requested a new hat for winter dog walks.   

We even stopped and picked a few baskets of apples in an orchard on our way home. 

Apple_orchard

Weekends like this don't come along often, and I am trying my hardest to hold onto it.  I needed this.  We needed this. 

I popped that first clomid last night with a sip of water, a quick kiss from Catch, and a silent prayer.  I love these weekends away, but I would have been just as happy to be the couple across from us at lunch playing with a giggling baby girl as I was to be the sunset couple on the beach.

We Are Here

I’ve been planning this trip to Cambria since August. A long, romantic weekend away. A room with a fireplace and the sound of the ocean.

So, we are here.

We are here, and I started my period and Catch has a horrible cold.

It’s not ideal, but we’re making the most of it.

Clomid starts tomorrow. I feel like maybe it’s a good sign that I will pop that first pill in such an idyllic setting. Waves crashing, seals splashing–the front desk is even serving fresh hot apple cider. Life may not be perfect, but it’s pretty damn good.


We Are Here

Distraction

I am making an effort not to talk so much about TTC these
days.  It’s part of a bigger effort not
to THINK about TTC, and so far, I think it’s working.  Sort of.

For example, I can tell you that I was so exhausted last
week (possible virus? No good reason otherwise) that I actually had a whole
dream devoted to drinking Diet Coke. 
Everywhere I went in my dream, I had a huge fountain cup of diet coke to
down.  I kept feeling really guilty for
drinking all that Diet Coke and not enough water, but I sipped that
caramel-colored, aspartame-laced carbonation anyway.

All I can say is this… you know you’re tired when you’re
dreaming about caffeine.

I can also tell you that Catch is away with her students at
a retreat in the mountains this week, so I’ve decided to spend a few days with
my parents and turn my 45-minute commute into a 10-minute one.  That means that I actually have time after
work to stop and do things like a) buy a new pair of pajama bottoms from Old
Navy because I forgot to pack mine and I don’t think my parents will appreciate
me walking around in my underwear, and b) pick up a new Moleskine because… 

While plying me with (two) mai tais on Friday night until I
was beyond tipsy but not quite fall-down-drunk, Catch convinced me that I
should participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

I presented her with the following logical reasons why she
is bat shit crazy:

  1. I am too busy. Work, work, blah, blah…
  2. I have no creativity in my system right now. I
    haven’t even picked up my camera.  What the hell would I write about?

She responded by telling me that she will make sure I get
time in the evenings to write, and offering that we can even go sit at
Starbucks together like we used to so I can write and she can grade.  Then, she
gave me a great idea to write about
.

What could I say?  At
that point, I didn’t have the focus or the energy to stay upright on my
barstool and attempt to discredit my
wife.   

The more I really think about it, the more I think it might
be good for me.  I’ve missed
writing.  I used to write
constantly.  If you asked me what my
hobbies were when I was 23, I would have said writing, online dating, and
writing about online dating. And maybe increasing my tolerance for
alcohol.  Now, I would say knitting,
photography, and reading.  All worthwhile
pursuits, but how did I ditch all of
my old hobbies? 

Well, ok, I ditched online dating because I met Catch, and I
didn’t really ditch the alcohol bit until we decided to start doing that thing
I’m not supposed to be thinking, talking or writing about, but STILL.  (Yeah—I know there were mai tais in this
story already—it’s been a rough month and I made an exception.)

So, NaNoWriMo it is. 
30 days and 50,000 words starting November 1st.  I did it back in 2004 and 2005 and SO enjoyed
myself.  Maybe it will help take the edge
off of the thing that we’re not talking about right now. 

Out, but In

Today is National Coming Out Day, but I'm staying in.

I've been fighting some kind of bug all week, and it's finally caught up with me.  A sick day is in order.  

I hate sick days because I just sit at home feeling guilty for a) not being at work, or b) being home all day and not accomplishing anything. I'm not very good at doing nothing unless I've been given express permission to do so.

I really think this is just my body reacting to stress.  The past few weeks have been giant balls of stress, and I know something's gotta give.  

I know I won't be able to live with myself if I don't at least wash the dishes, but other than that, I am hoping to stay on the couch with this little cuddle bear…

IMG_4797

…or in bed with this little bed hog…

IMG_4796

Naming Names

I grew up with a last name that I loathed. Only six letters, but with French origin, and we know how the French can turn six letters into twenty. It was simple enough if you heard ME pronounce it, but reading it cold off of a slip of paper—best of luck. My name was butchered so frequently that on the occasion when someone got it right, I would actually be taken aback.

Catch, on the other hand, has the easiest last name in the world. Along the lines of Smith or Jones. I have never heard anyone mispronounce her last name.

After our wedding, I was chomping at the bit to change my name. I couldn’t get to the social security office fast enough. Catch was shocked. We hadn’t really discussed a name change, and I think she assumed that I would never change my name because I have such strong ties to my mom.

I did think about my mom for a moment before I skipped off to the DMV. She never changed her name back to her maiden name after she divorced my father so that the two of us would have the same last name when I was growing up, so I realized I should at least ASK if she had an issue with the switch. She didn’t, and I continued merrily on my way.

I really wish I could tell you my “new” last name because it is truly fitting of a redhead named Molly. I LOVE it. As far as ditching the old French jumble goes, non, je ne regrette rien.

It used to be that if I googled my name (first and last), I could find only one or two other people in the country who shared it with me. That would have been fine if I was the kind of person who liked to stand out, but I prefer a bit of (perceived) anonymity. Now, there are THOUSANDS of results for my name. I get to blend in. I get to be lost in a sea of search engine results.

It’s wonderful.

I often wonder how people who name their children Peaches or Sky Blue or Courderoy Jumper will feel about their names as they get older. Forget childhood teasing—let’s talk workplace. Resumes. Interviews. Interacting with clients.

Catch and I frequently joke that the name Molly conjures two things: 1) the little sister in every other Disney film, or 2) someone’s childhood dog. “I had a dog named Molly!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that. Even so, I like my name. I really do.

We’ve discussed baby names, of course. It’s hard not to go through this process and daydream a bit about names.

When I was about 22, my dad showed up at my door with a kitten. As my roommate and I swooned over the teeny wittle fuzzy kitten, my father demanded that we give him, “a good, strong, 1-syllable masculine name.”* (This from the man who wanted to name my half brother Connagher.)

I think about that conversation with my dad sometimes. It’s amazing the responsibility that comes with naming a child. I hope someday we have a chance to give our kid a solid name.

*The cat was named Sam. We called him Sammy. It suited him.

One in a Gazillion

I have a confession to make. 
My OB/Gyn?  She’s pretty hot.

I might find that vaguely intimidating if it wasn’t for the
fact that she is seriously nice.  Her
face should appear in the dictionary next to “bedside manner.”  She is so warm and friendly and helpful that
every conversation with her makes me feel like we’re old friends. 

The fact that I am saying any of these things is absolutely
astounding to me because I am TERRIFIED of doctors.  I have serious anxiety about calling to order
a freaking pizza, let alone baring skin and allowing a virtual stranger to put
her hands in places no man has gone before. 
(Hah.)

It took me MONTHS to pick a gynecologist.  I got a list of lesbian-friendly doctors from
the LA Gay & Lesbian Center when I first started looking, but no one on
their list matched the criteria of being both a) reasonably close, and b) on my
PPO provider list.    Eventually, two of my friends from work
recommended this doctor, and she has been a godsend.

All that being said, we had a conversation about clomid on
the phone this morning—specifically, a) that she was calling in the
prescription, and b) what to expect.  I
am so, so glad we weren’t chatting in person because when she got to the point
that our chance of getting pregnant with twins increases to 11%, I would have
very likely slapped her, and she’s much, much too nice for me to be slapping
her. 

A brief text message exchange with Catch ensued:

Me:  So—how do you
feel about twins?

Me:  Because our
chance of having them increases to eleven fucking percent with clomid.

Catch:  I want
twins.  Always have.

Me:  You have balls of
steel, woman.

Me:  Twins?! Scare the
shit out of me. 

Some things you should know:

  • I swear like a sailor, and yes, all of those
    curse words are presnt in my texts.
  • Catch’s father is an identical twin, and he
    spent her childhood trying to turn Catch and her sister (who are 14 months
    apart) into adorably matched little twinsies. 
    Gag.  (Side note:  At Catch’s sister’s wedding, we had only been
    dating for about a year and I had never met her father’s twin brother.  While waiting for Catch to finish up some
    maid of honor duties, I approached said twin and started up a conversation with
    him thinking he was Catch’s father.  They
    are that identical.  Catch and her sister?  Notsomuch.)

So, as I’m sitting here thinking, “forget this—we don’t need
clomid—we’ll just be patient and eventually, we’ll figure this out sans drugs,”
Catch is thinking, “Woo hoo! Twins!”

I guess I’m going to pick up that prescription.  Given the choice between no baby or two
babies, I’ll take ten babies.  11% is nothing,
right?  I suck at math, but that’s like
11 twins for every ten thousand singletons, isn’t it?  (Shut up. 
I know.  Just go with it.) 

Besides, clomid only ups the ante–it doesn't guarantee us a pregnancy.  No use getting all worked up about it when there's an even lower chance it will work at all than there is a chance of twins. 

Whoosh*

I had to post this brief exchange between me and Catch from this morning because I don’t want it to disappear amidst a sea of “headed home,” “leftovers for dinner,” or “we need a wambulance.” (The latter meaning, “We are on a walk and Rolo is refusing to move his legs. Can you come pick us up?”)
Every once in a while, she surprises me by saying the exact right thing at the exact right moment, and I want to hold onto it forever.
Onward, upward, forward, etc. TTC cycle #5 will kick off with a nice round of Clomid–hopefully sometime in mid-October, but really, I should just keep my predictions to myself and shut my damn mouth because there isn’t ANYTHING about TTC that has gone according to ANY plan–A, B, or otherwise.
I get so angry/sad/frustrated thinking about this total chaos that sometimes it’s hard for me to stick to my beliefs. I am one of those crazy people who really believes that everything happens for a reason. I know this difficulty is going to serve some purpose in my life. At some point. I can’t see it now, but someday it will click.
This thing–creating a life, starting a family, becoming a parent–is so much bigger than the ability of my ovaries to ovulate within a reasonable time frame. I need to drag my focus away from these two egg producing masses and toward the bigger picture.
*thats the sound of the towel being thrown in