Monthly Archives: April 2010

maybe i’ll be a chef

Join me in my latest escapist fantasy. In this magical rainbow fairy land, I run off to New York to learn all about yuzu and ramps. I develop mad knife skills.  I throw around words like sous vide and molecular gastronomy. I learn to make the perfect dashi.

I am a pretty-good home cook.  My repertoire is very limited and I don’t have a lot of technique–but my food makes people really, really happy, and I like to play with flavors and ingredients.  I love the farmer’s market in the summer because I can always count on coming home with something I’ve never seen before.  Sometimes the results are positive, sometimes not–last year I tried really, really hard to like bitter melon.  With no success.  In magical rainbow fairy land, of course, they are delightful and I find the perfect recipe to set off their bitterness…hey, maybe if they were sliced very thin and served with mango and sweet creamy coconut rice….mmm, mango.  I may have to give bitter melon another try.

But anyway, if I could pick up today and leave my whole life behind, I would learn to cook.  Really cook.


I want to know.  What’s your (non-fertility-related) escapist fantasy?  What would you do if you could do anything?


waiting, part 2

We waited six years after getting married before trying to get pregnant.  It was a long time, but I didn’t know what waiting was.  Once we started trying, three months went by, then six, then a year, and I learned about a whole different kind of waiting.

Waiting for my temperature to go up.

Waiting half an hour on my back with my knees hugged to my chest.

Waiting 2 minutes, then 3, then 10 for the HPT to change color.  Because the problem is just that I haven’t given it enough time, right?

Waiting to see a doctor because there’s not really anything wrong, is there?

Is there?

Waiting for the answer.

Well, I am tired of waiting.  I am too old and too cranky to sit around and wait any more.  My husband and I talked several months ago about waiting till he was finished with his degree before pursuing any kind of treatment for IF–but I am starting to think that life is too short for that.  I have given eight years to waiting and I just don’t have any more time to waste.

That seems like the kind of statement that I ought to be able to follow up with some kind of manifesto, or scheme, or napkin covered with scribbled plans.  I have nothing of the kind.  Nonetheless, it felt good to say it.

Waiting for my temperature to rise each month.

waiting, part 1

When we got married we knew it wasn’t time to have children yet.   I was still in graduate school and my husband was working in a job that he would have done anything to avoid getting stuck in for a lifetime.  Now, granted, having a child doesn’t mean he would have had to stay in the same job forever, but the job market where we were living being what it was, changing jobs would have necessitated moving, and we figured that just picking up and leaving when I finished my degree would be a lot easier sans baby.  So we waited.

I finished my degree and got a job teaching at a university overseas–and you couldn’t get us on the plane fast enough.  It was a Big Adventure, and we actually congratulated ourselves on our wisdom in not having tried to have a baby:  “Imagine how much harder this would have been with a baby!”  “Aren’t we lucky, that we can just pick up and move halfway around the world?”

While we were living there I got a worried phone call from my brother.  We were living in one of those can’t-drink-the-tap-water places, and he was terrified that we might think it would be a good place to raise a child.  He actually called to warn us against this!  I was appalled at what I perceived as his xenophobia (after all, millions of children are born in this place every year and turn out just fine, and in fact while living there we had government health insurance, which of course we don’t have here at home), but the fact remains that we didn’t try to have a baby then either.  I couldn’t really tell you why–maybe because we had moved there primarily for my career, or maybe we just weren’t really ready yet as a family.  So we waited.

And then when the opportunity arose, we moved back to the U.S., to our current city, where my husband is now in graduate school.  I struck out on academic jobs in the area, so I am working in my admin job and performing as much as I can.  Almost two years ago we finally stopped waiting and started trying.  I immediately went out and bought a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves:  Pregnancy and Birth. I warned my husband that it doesn’t always happen right away–and that it might be 3 to 6 months before we conceived.

I didn’t know what waiting was.

thanks, and welcome!

Welcome to everyone who stopped by from Lost and Found today.

And a big thank you for the comments on my last post.  I am becoming more and more convinced that the RE I saw a few months back was, to put it delicately, full of shit.

He was wholly uninterested in talking to me about endometriosis, which I’m pretty sure I have.

He had no suggestions on how to proceed towards a diagnosis after HSG and SA.  That was enough information for him, apparently!

He presented our options as two, and only two:  natural-cycle (unmedicated) IUI and then IVF if (when) that didn’t work.  Then he sent us on our way with a mildly offensive remark about doing it under the Christmas tree.

I am getting  excited about seeing New RE, since it sounds like the experience I had wasn’t really what it should have been.  Regardless of what else he is able to tell us, I am totally ready to know once and for all about the endo question.

fuzzy math

$20,000 is a lovely round number, the kind that is easy to imagine.  The kind of number that can change lives.

  • It is 2000 antimalarial bed nets.
  • It is four times the annual operating budget of the nonprofit that initiated the project I premiered last week.
  • It is more than the remaining balance on my student loans.
  • It is 9  months’ wages.
  • It is greater than the per-capita GDP* of all but the wealthiest nations.
  • It is the estimated cost of one cycle of IVF, according to the RE I saw last year.

To some degree any discussion of ART for me is academic.  My insurance won’t cover anything but testing–so while my  husband and I could likely swing a couple of natural-cycle IUIs, anything else is going to be beyond our reach.  Short some kind of sea change in our circumstances, I am never going to be able to come up with that $20,000.

I am not poor.  On a global scale I am almost unimaginably wealthy, and for that I am grateful.  I am humble–I didn’t do anything to deserve this privilege, and I give back what I can.  I am confident that if I were to have a child, my husband and I would raise him or her with love, care, and adequate means.  But I don’t have $20,000.

Does that mean I don’t want a child badly enough?  If I have to stop short of IVF, does that mean I didn’t really try?  And if I know going in that I can’t afford to use the RE’s best tools, why am I going to see him?

*Measured by purchasing power; I am aware that per-capita GDP is a difficult thing to pin down and that there are several ways of measuring it, giving sometimes very different results.  That’s why I didn’t give a specific number of countries.  Any statisticians or economists who can help me think through this?  It’s something I would like to understand better.  So far my understanding of economics comes mainly from reading Jeffrey Sachs and Paul Krugman with limited comprehension.

look at you go!

I just wanted to say–I’m so proud of those of you who are right in the thick of things over these last few days.

If you haven’t yet, stop over and see Reena, Bunny, and Leslie, all of whom have taken (or will take) major steps this week.

my cervix is the goalie

And after a long absence, I am back.  It’s 2ww time again.  More like 1ww at this point.  My husband is extremely optimistic this cycle.  He keeps using phrases like “sent in the infantry” and “slipped one past the goalie.”  I’m not sure where that is coming from after all these months, but it is awfully cute.

Unfortunately I’m already having my usual PMS symptoms (which are indistinguishable from early pregnancy symptoms–our first few months of trying there was a great deal of irrational exuberance just because my body was doing what it always does).

The appointment with New RE won’t be for another month, so there is that little part of me that is thinking maybe I will be able to cancel it and go see my CNM instead…but then there’s the other 99% of my brain that knows there is nothing that makes this cycle different from every other cycle.

Here’s hoping my husband is on to something with his silly sports image.  (I’m not even touching the military one, because even starting to deconstruct that is so very disturbing.)