31 October 2010

Michael, the Serious Comic Husband

There are many reasons a wife loves her husband.  His handsome smile entices her from the instant they meet.  His charm woos individuals beyond just her.  His drive and ambition bring her a sense of security.  His ability to change a tire and squash bugs reminds her that he is there to rescue his damsel from terrible distress.  Even his annoying habits make her smile because they are the essence of his identity.

The reasons I adore Michael are abundant.  I wouldn't have walked down the aisle and promised him the days when I'm wrinkly and grey-headed if his qualities didn't mean something to me.  Out of all the things that impress me about him,  there is one quality I have always admired about my better half: knowing exactly what to say with complete honesty.

Now with that said, honesty doesn't always mean "without comedic value".  Michael is the clown of the two of us, using his humor simply to get a rise out of me in just about any situation.

When talking about proposals: "Wouldn't it be funny if I bought your engagement ring at the flea market?"
When discussing why he should always wear his seat belt: "But Baby, you know I'm worth more dead than alive!"
When telling him I wanted a vacuum for my birthday: "I love how you can't help being square."

The humor tends to catch me off guard, Michael knowing full well that his responses (although genuine) are not what "normal" people would say.  Blinking, stunned, and lacking quick wit to match, I am without ammunition to strike back.

On rare occasion, Michael knows when to use words of a more serious nature.  He offers reassurance when I'm tense or feeling broken.  He is completely supportive of my goals and even the tiniest of successes.  With our current situation in trying to conceive, he has peppered our conversations with jokes and innuendos.  Yet, I know he's right there with me, enduring the stresses of the we-didn't-know-getting-pregnant-could-be-so-hard process.

From the years of occasionally hearing very serious words from Michael, there is one that thing he said just yesterday that has me wanting to catch his words and lock them in a pretty little wooden box so that I might open it on one of those rainy days for a little pick-me-up:

"You know, I've always said I wanted kids because it would be nice to have someone to teach and share what you know with, yadda yadda.  But now, it's more than that.  I feel like something's missing.  Kids are what we're missing."

This branched off from our dinner-date conversation about politics, bills, and stupid people repopulating the planet.  Not wanting to ruin the moment with overly sentimental or typical female emotion that would force Michael to shroud his serious side in comedy, I verbally agreed and let him continue to lead the conversation.  His words, albeit silly with his "yadda yaddas", were perfect morsels that, if they were actually dark chocolate candies, I would have devoured every one.

Yes, wives have many reasons to love their husbands.  Mine just gave me another reason to love him.

24 October 2010

Fertility Drugs: Round One

After feeling like an ovulation failure, I had to make a decision: to start hormones, or give nature a little more time. I discussed it with my NP, thinking (or more so "hoping") she would encourage me to give nature a couple more months before making my internal reproductive organs dependent upon drugs.  After all, I had explained to her my desire to take teeny, tiny steps in this process, not wanting to feel like I jumped from nature to needle just to guarantee the chance at pregnancy.  At the end of our last phone conversation, she said she wanted to start Clomid (click here for drug info) on the 5th day of my next menstrual cycle.  I wouldn't have to come in for another test beforehand, but I would have to have more blood drawn later to test my progesterone levels again.


Since I started openly blogging and discussing our fertility situation, I have come across several women--friends, co-workers, even my yoga instructor--who have been through the same series of TTC events, but they tried for far longer than we have.  Some have been through far more traumatic TTC experiences, such as months of expensive hormone shots or multiple miscarriages.  While it's comforting to know we are far from alone in our situation, we haven't even had so much as a "pregnancy scare".  Michael and I committed to attempting parenthood roughly 16 months ago.  To compare it to the women who struggled with fertility for 3 or more years, I feel like we threw in the towel too early.  Maybe it's absurd--well, probably altogether senseless--to feel this way, but it's one I'm having difficulty shaking.

With all that said, I made the phone call.  They phoned in the prescription.  I picked it up from Kroger.  I waited until the 5th day to pop the first one.  Now I'm on my last pill for this cycle.  Sure, it has caused a couple of minor side effects (upset stomach, small mood swings),  but all the pep talks and pats on the back still leave me feeling like I should have waited just a little while longer.

Why does she torture herself with these thoughts? you might ask.  Isn't the whole point of all this to get pregnant?  Yes, of course it is.  But is it so wrong to wish that your body could do it on its own?  Shoot, Michael and I take medications so rarely, they end up expiring before we can empty their bottles.  Especially Michael…he has been sick ONCE since we met nearly 9 years ago.  I take cough syrup when I have a cold or pack Tylenol PM in my purse to help me sleep on a long flight, but we are rarely dependent on meds unless we feel they are absolutely necessary.  Even with my proneness to my "pulling a Vikki" accidents that end with a hole in my foot or a cut in my finger, I can't even finish a tube of Neosporin before it's out of date.  Antibiotics for a chest infection?  That's needed.  Hyomax for unbearable intestinal spasms?  Sure, if I want to keep my food down!  Have I reached the "point of needing medicinal intervention" in this fertility journey?  I just can't decide.

In the words of one of my friends from one of our back-and-forth Facebook messages: "Who knew getting pregnant could be so difficult?"
I certainly didn't know.  It seems so easy for many women I encounter on a daily basis: women with 6 kids under the age of 5, women who aren't in committed relationships, women who weren't trying, women who never wanted babies to begin with.

What I need to remember, though, is this: if there is the worry, the agonizing decision-making, the multiple doctor visits, the bonding with others in the same boat, the side effects of drugs you didn't want to take in the first place now…it will certainly be worth all the efforts when there is a healthy baby for Michael and me to call our own.

End of Round 1.  Ding.

11 October 2010

Finally! An Answer--In Its Own Way

This one will be short, but bittersweet…

I got a call from the lab tech at the doc's office today with the results of my progesterone test.  The message left said my progesterone level is 7.8, which is low.  A 12-20 is considered "normal", 9-10 is "borderline", and where I am, my levels are definitely "below level".  This means that I was not ovulating, nor had I ovulated, when they took my sample last Friday.  So while this is a bummer hormone-wise, it's an answer to the "why the heck can't my ovaries pop out a damn egg?" question.

The NP wasn't in the office to discuss next steps with me, but I assume they'll finally wise up and want to do a testosterone test.  The fact that they failed to ask questions regarding signs and symptoms of potentially higher-than-normal testosterone levels leaves me a bit unsettled.  What else aren't they asking me?  What other health information do I need to have ready for them to crack this fertility code?  My voice isn't going to drop an octave, nor do I foresee a situation where I have to warn my peers, "You don't want to make me angry!" moments before plowing gigantic hairy fists through the side of a house.  But heck, when fertility, pregnancy, and babies are your business, isn't there a check-off list for newbies like myself?

Anyway, back to teacher/wife/pet parent/yoga student reality.  Thanks to everyone out there who takes the time to keep up with these updates.  Rock on.


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