Archives For fertility

It was early winter 2012 when I walked into this sterile looking clinic and boy was I feeling like a reject.  I had a dysfunctional reproductive cycle.  How embarrassing.  None of my family members had this problem – they wished a baby and got a baby.  Or at least that’s the way it went for them in my head.  At least for this first appointment my husband was able to come with me for some moral support.

The moment we got in I was handed some papers, normal operating procedure for a new patient of course.  I kept flipping the pages over and over again.  Following my “new patient” forms was a TEN PAGE questionnaire delving into the deep recesses of my medical and sexual history that would assist my doctor to finding the reason for my inability to get knocked up.  It was called the “American Society for Reproductive Medicine – Infertility History Form”.  Appropriately long name for a long form.

For those of you who have been to a similar office of shame you may know this form and all it’s glory.

They start you off easy –  “What’s your name? What’s your date of birth? When was your last period?”.  I could handle that.

Page two began with a genius question:  “What are your expectations for this visit?”  I was tempted to answer this question with one word:  Seriously?!!!  What the hell do you think my expectations are?  To come here for shits and giggles?  For God’s sakes it doesn’t take a genius to know my expectations are for you people to get me a baby in my belly stat stat.

Soon came the next section that had me squirming around in my seat.  Several questions about our sex life came up and stared up at me waiting to be answered.

How many times a week do you have sex?  Do you use lubricant?  Does it hurt you to have sex?

Wasn’t this kind of personal?  I’m a pseudo-prude and questions on my sexual escapades made the sweat glands in my armpits flare up.

After several more questions regarding my health and the health of every family member who shares genes with me, came my consolation prize.   Two pages of the “male medical history”.  These questions were fun and it was my hubby’s turn to squirm.

Do you have retrograde ejaculation of sperm into the bladder?  I don’t know how the hell that would happen but apparently it’s a thing.  And it’s a thing that sounds incredibly gross.

Did you have mumps after puberty?  Mumps?  Who the hell gets mumps these days? That’s not in fashion anymore.

Are you exposed to prolonged heat in the workplace?  Do you use hot tubs regularly?  Who knew the hot tub myth was true!!!  No more hot tubs for the hubby.  And I decided we were going to turn on the air conditioner all year long.

After 30 minutes of filling out forms we still weren’t done. So the first thing my doctor could see from our form filling out all those forms – was that we were not good at filling out forms quickly.  Good thing that’s not an absolute requirement for being pregnant or raising a kid.

That’s it for now!  To the next update….

Love Author M

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Outside of having the “proper equipment” for babymaking, the other key ingredient to trying to conceive is the obvious…S.E.X. and it’s many synonyms:  Intercourse. Doing the deed. Bumping uglies. Putting some beef in the taco.

Whatever you choose to call it, unless you end up going down the medically-assisted route, this is your only other option to getting knocked up.

So, after months and months of trying to conceive, sometimes it takes a little motivation and inspiration to keep the love alive. No longer does playing footsy during a football game turn into a romp on the couch. Gone are the days when grinding on the dance floor of a club causes you both to rush home to get it on. Well…there might still be a little grinding on the dance floor. But spontaneous sex? Well in the days of babymaking – “spontaneous” requires work and preparation – Setting the mood. Cajoling with dinner. Enticing with some cute undies.

Why all this effort? Because the thing that we are all really trying to achieve is that elusive, plus sign on the pee stick.

Over the many months of trying, Authors S&M and their respective spouses have come up with interesting ways to “keep the love alive”.

1. Author M: Lingerie vs Jerseys (aka, How to convince your husband you’re sexier in sweats)

Because my bedroom attire is flannel pajamas, we negotiated that I buy a pair of sweatpants of my husband’s favorite football team with matching t-shirt.  They ran out of my size so yes – they were both TWO sizes TOO big for me. Whether or not he liked it, this is was the best he was gonna get.  The lingerie to this day continues to collect dust.

2. Author S: “Dance” lessons

Nope, not talking about the Waltz or Bhangra. Not even Salsa or the very sexy Bachata. Somehow I got roped into joining a group of my girlfriends for a striptease class at the local “gym”. It all seemed like good old fashioned clean fun with my friends until the statuesque and very stripper-looking instructor walked in. At one point, I was practically making out with the chair I was using as a prop. How did it go when I pulled out those moves for hubby one night? Picture me accidentally kicking him in the face as I tried to swing my legs around in a “sexy” move.
Clearly, I should leave dancing to the pros.

3. Author M: Booze.

A booze induced altered state of mind is the best aphrodiasic!  CAUTION:  This is a fine science and may backfire especially when you’re the only one drinking (excessively) and your husband comes home to a stinky uncoordinated mess.  Moderation alone and excessiveness together is the key.

4. Author S: Speeches

My husband has a special way of sending off his swimmers into the dark recesses of my uterus. He offers them a speech:

“Men! You will be launching the largest aerial battle in this history of mankind. Mankind — that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. And we will not go quietly into the night!”

Sound vaguely familiar? Think Will Smith and Bill Pullman movie from 1990s. Or, if you know this speech all too well because you ALSO have to hear it around the same time every month, my heart goes out to you.

5. Author M: The Forbidden Fruit

Pretend you’re sleeping, it works every time. 

6. Author S: Game of Thrones

Have you noticed how some of these HBO and Showtime shows are practically like watching porn?! Gone are the days when I have to agree to watch sports so we can cuddle up on the couch. Nothing like watching rampaging half naked men in loin cloths wreak havoc amongst poor village folk to get us in the mood!

So there you have it!!!  If you haven’t found something that works for you now you have some additional ideas to work on 🙂

Till next time!

Love Authors S&M

Yes I know… it’s been a while.  But we are finally back after a crazy few weeks.  Thought I’d kick it off by getting back to my timeline….

The only reality show I will indulge in is the Kardashians – this is my dirty little secret.   The show is like a train wreck you can’t look away from.  Last fall, I found myself catching up on an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians where I learned with America that Khloe Kardashian’s hormone levels were off and consequently she didn’t ovulate every month.  For a moment, I felt bad for Khloe.  Poor Khloe – she had to get poked and prodded and got stuck with needles.  But then during a commercial break I changed my mind.  Ok you don’t ovulate you rich bitch – so pay a doctor to fix you because if anyone in America can afford it you can.  In fact, Khloe could probably afford to buy a brand new uterus and ovaries if the stuff she’s got didn’t function the way she pleased.   I stopped feeling bad for her at that moment.

About a month after I watched that riveting episode, I got a call from the nurse at my OB’s office to “discuss my results”.  We had been trying for almost 6 months, my had drawn some blood work to check my hormone levels.  Apparently my progesterone levels were “on the low side”.  What that meant I didn’t know.  As an ER doctor I stopped caring about hormones the minute I finished medical school.  She proceeded to explain that generally during ovulation my progesterone levels should rise.  At the level they measured it was not at all clear whether I was ovulating every month.

She then proceeded to refer me to her partner who specialized in “reproductive medicine”.  You mean a lady doctor who helps the childless to become un-barren?  This I hadn’t expected.   When I had initially decided to get a check up, part of me had convinced myself everything would be normal and we would sit around and all throw our heads back and laugh that I had been dramatic as usual and had overreacted.  And then I would get pregnant shortly thereafter and feel silly that I had gotten the blood work done in the first place.

The episode came on as a rerun.  Suddenly I started feeling bad for Khloe again.  She and I were bound by a common thread – our dysfunctional ability to ovulate.  We were kindred spirits.  Watching this the second time, I cried as she got her ultrasounds, as she bared her soul for the camera talking about the tragedy of her broken ovaries.  The heartbreak when she told Lamar about her fucked up hormones.  I thought – I am with you Khloe.  I get you.  We should be friends and talk about this as we sip champagne and you buy me new Gucci shoes.  Me and Khloe – BFFs.

I had a Kardashian connection.

Love Author M

It’s been a while since I’ve gone back to my timeline.  Since Author S took the first brave step and told part of her story I thought it was time for me to buck up and do the same.   Can’t be the wuss in this duo of bloggers.  So it’s my turn to suck it up and open up.

So remember my grand plan?  To do the deed once or twice during days 10-20 using the trusty ovulation strips to have our planned oops??  Well if that worked this website would not exist.

We did our do diligence –

Day 1:  get period.

Day 2:  Drink through the disappointment.

Day 10:  Start peeing on ovulation sticks.

Day 10-20:  Do the deed whenever possible.

Day 28:  Pee on pregnancy test…. and cry.  Go back to the beginning.

Day 1:  Get Period.

Those damn Day 1’s kept on coming.  And by early November it had been 10 months since we pulled the goalie and our strategy for an empty net had failed to help us score.  I was 3 weeks away from that big scary age of 35.  And another month gone by that our oops never happened.

Sometimes you just know yourself and your body and I knew my oops wasn’t coming.  No other way to explain it – I just knew I needed an “evaluation”.  I’m no gynecologist but I’m a doctor with access to doctor type materials so I read the guidelines:  the fancy instructions tell you that if you’re less than 35 you should see a fertility specialist after a year of trying.  If you’re over 35 you get some help after 6 months of trying.  Well I was 34.9 years of age so I figured 10 months was ok to at least talk to my Gyne about seeing a specialist and asking some questions.

So one day, as we lay in bed last November I nervously started a conversation with my husband.  Maybe It was time to stop closing our eyes and crossing our fingers hoping and/or planning for that oops.  What if something was wrong?  Usually I’m a spaz and his job is to tell me I’m overreacting.  Except this time he agreed I was right.  I called my OB – time to get the netherlands checked.

Stay tuned – this story is just beginning.

Love Author M

A Nice “Light” Read on Your Baby Future

For those of you looking for some Mother’s Day laughs here is the scenario:  Author M working out in the building gym (while on exogenous hormones no less).  This gym is adjoined to the building’s party room… at which there is a party for a newborn baby and in attendance five million toddlers…  

Author M:  I’m on the elliptical and crying again.  It’s just cuz I feel crappy and there is a “welcome baby!” sign on the gym door and 5 toddlers running around the bike.  Not cool Universe.  Not cool. 

Author S:  I think u should trip one of those kids “accidentally”

Author M:  And now I’m laughing and crying on Elliptical at same time.  Once they notice the crazy lady don’t worry they will run away.  

Author S:  Omg I wasn’t joking.  Is that bad??!!

Author M:  LMAO no I love it.  I’m gonna post this about you telling me to trip toddlers

Author S:  DCFS gonna be on my ass in two seconds. 

 

 

Authors S&M Text Convo of This Week

Time to Think

Think of it this way:  infertility gives you tons of time to think about what an awesome pregnant woman you are going to be.  I have had many moons for my green eyed monster to observe and criticize and collect ideas.  I have banked away in my mind things I will not do as a pregnant lady.  Below are some my pregnancy campaign promises:
1.  I Will Be Cute:

I have observed one too many pregnant females dressed inappropriately for their condition.  Being able to view half your buttcrack and 3 inches worth of Muffin top are not appropriate prenatal wear.  Trying to fit into pre-pregnancy clothing well into your second trimester is not acceptable.  I will wear clothes that fit me, that accentuate my attributes (ie. my boobs) and continue to be a fashionista even in my largest stages.

2.  I will ask you about your life

When I have another human being growing inside me this doesn’t mean my brain gets to forget that the people around me have lives and dreams and dramas.  My heartburn, morning sickness or weight gain will not be the only topic of conversation for 9 months.  I also will not talk about how I can’t wait to have baby #2 to someone who hasn’t even been able to have baby #1 yet.

3. I will be sensitive

Even if I am the most miserable human being on Mother Earth, I will not refer to myself as disgusting, uncomfortable, unhappy or fat to someone who is having fertility issues.  I’ll pretend I’m feeling great and looking great so that they can look forward to the future.  Then once they are preggo I can retrospectively bitch and get it all out at that time.

4.  I will not use my growing kid as an excuse

I will not use my fetus as an excuse to be an enormous pain in the ass to the people around me… I hope.  Maybe I shouldn’t make this one a promise, it will be a broken campaign promise I just know it.

5.  I will give my husband one big hug for every needle he ever had to give me that I never thanked him for

That’s a lot of hugs so far.   Tough job but I’ll do it – he’s pretty cute.

6.  I will not use pregnancy brain as an excuse to stay stupid things to smart people

If I say such things as “relax” or “stay positive and it will happen” to a woman having difficulty getting pregnant  – you can slap me and make me sit in a corner without desert.  The only advice I’m allowed to offer to a woman who is infertile is my doctor’s phone number and where on your body you should give yourself shots so it doesn’t hurt so goddamn bad.

7.  I will definitely use my pregnancy as an excuse for horrible gas

Mainly because I have no excuse for that now, it will be nice to have a valid “reason” for this.

8.  I will never, EVER take my pregnancy for granted.

I will spend every day being extremely grateful and thankful for my increased girth, bloating, ferocious flatus, swollen cankles and engorged breasts.

Ok supporters, now vote for me to get pregnant and I’ll support you back 🙂

Love Author M 🙂

FEBRUARY 2012

Oh the things you think about while laying on your back… mainly I was thinking about how I ended up in this position.  It had been two weeks since my husband and I decided it was time to kick out the plastic T-shaped squatter occupying the space within my uterus.  We had been married one year but I was already 34 years old and my husband even older.  The number 35 was hurdling towards me like a shot put.  I mean after 35 means more risk to me and more risk to a kid.  We’re talking needles in the belly, genetic testing, preterm labor.  Not to mention the slowing of my metabolism which was already becoming a pain in the ass – I mean if it’s so hard to lose weight pre-pregnancy, how hard would it be if I was 38 and trying to lose baby fat?  Scary.  All of it was scary.  But this was the beginning to the journey.  One thing I did know was that it was going to involve more days and nights laying on my back and thinking about all sorts of things.  But making a baby is fun right?  
 
So here I was two weeks after our big decision and I had just had a conversation while laying on my back that involved the words “Pull it out!”  It’s what I yelled to my gynecologist as she yanked the IUD out of my barren uterus.  And POP! Out it came in a quick second.  
 
And just like that it was official:  no one was manning the fort any longer.  My ute was unarmed and unprotected.  Time to let the enemy through the gates. 

Love Author M

 
 

An Idea is Born…

April 25, 2013 — Leave a comment

One year ago the two of us acquaintances sat at an outdoor cafe slightly awkwardly together, thrown together by circumstance.  A “girls night out” with our colleagues turning into two girls hanging out on a pseudo-date having drinks and hors d’ouevres (to be fancy) together.  Out of the 6 girls who were to attend this event, we were the only two to show.  So we made the most of a nice day in Chicago, (since there are only like 60 of those in a year), and tried to make conversation and see if a second date would be in order at another time.

Luckily convo was easy – enough in common we lived in the same neighborhood, had the same careers, liked to eat and drink.  Somewhere between bitching about our jobs and bitching about our husbands came up the big topic of… BABIES.  Suddenly we both realized that we were in the same boat, paddling upstream trying to conceive am embryo with our respective husbands.  An embryo that might one day turn into a baby that would scream and cry and poop and pee.

Many more dates of eating and drinking and bitching later, with many subsequents confessionals to one another we realized that the art of babymaking is not easy and at times pretty comical.  A few months later, of course over food, drink, and our favorite fireplace at our favorite tavern was born the idea of documenting our adventures and misadventures.

So let’s start at the beginning shall we?

Love:  S&M