Thank you to all my readers who commented on Newman’s passing and shared their own stories of grief over losing a pet. They give us such joy and they inevitably move on, it’s never easy, but what a gift.
Today I was on the phone with my friend on my way to see my fertility doctor. I looked over at the passenger seat and a brown paper bag harboring a sperm sample was safely placed inside my purse, and the words, “I’m driving Jason’s sperm to the Doctor's office” came out of my mouth and it struck me that I should start writing about this journey I am on. Today is the beginning of a series of blogs that I am calling the “Pursuit of Parenthood.”
It has been an 18-month process so far and I have often thought of writing about it and sharing with all you lovely people what I’ve been going through. I think I was in denial that it was going to take this long, and somewhat embarrassed about this predicament. I also thought it might not be the most uplifting subject matter, but that’s where things have changed. I have found some inspiration on this journey, even if it’s just a little bit, and I am hoping that by sharing what’s going on for me, other women and men might feel compelled to talk about it when they are feeling alone, lost and confused.
I have done acupuncture, with three different acupuncturists. I switched so many times because the first two were Chinese and I literally couldn’t understand them. I’ve taken Clomid (the devil’s drug), put my feet into the stirrups for countless ultrasounds, 8 IUI’s, given so much blood that we had to switch veins, needles in my stomach and ass and one failed attempt at IVF whereby my Dr. told me “I made perfect embryos and he was shocked that they didn’t take.” Not as shocked as I was.
In this blog, which I plan on making an entry every other day, I am going to write about the shame, the devastation, the acceptance, the hope, and maybe I might even write one day that I am pregnant, or that we are on our way to Africa to get our baby, either one would be a miracle.
I am going to start with an email I sent out the morning of my first IUI in April, 2008, just to give a little flavor of how things have changed in the last year and a half.
April 16, 2008
Hey friends and family,
I woke up this morning at 3:30 am and couldn't fall back to sleep. It seems that the blue light on the computer that likes to turn on and off in Jason's office (by itself) was in rare form like a blue light special at KMART. I had the thought, what if that blue light is a little spirit trying to "come on down you're the next contestant on the Price is right" instead of the adult man who used to live here and likes it so much he doesn't want to leave, that I've made it out to be? I started meditating on that energy for a while. I saw little spirits dancing around in the bedroom letting me know that the time is right for allowing them into our home and hearts.
Finally, I couldn't go back to sleep so I went into the guest room and meditated more and kept seeing little ones everywhere like baby fetuses (not sugar plums) dancing in my head. I logged a couple of more hours and awoke to Jason on a conference with some company in France and realized that we were late for our big Turkey Baster day otherwise known as IUI in Fertility Clinics. We had to be there in 30 minutes or it was a no-go. Rush hour was good to us and we made it.
It's amazing who is the waiting room at these clinics. This morning it was Julia Ormond, looking beautiful as ever and a Kristi Lee Cook look alike, she's a finalist on American Idol, and loads of hot lesbians, with long hair, long coats and not so long nails. I saw them thumbing through a sperm donor book, perusing the pages like a Restoration Hardware clearance catalogue. Then I thought if she can get pregnant with sperm from page 213, then this should be a piece of cake considering I have half the equation sitting next to me answering emails on his blackbery.
Jason did his business in the bathroom and about an hour later they pulled me into the room where Dr. Marrs, (not Dr. Venus) he's a big man from a big ranching town in Texas called Lubbock, looked inside my uterus and saw that I have two follicles not one, that are primed for some implantation this month, which means I could end up with twins this go around!!! HA!!! Wouldn't that be something? He basted my turkey and pushed the button on the bed to tilt my body and lower my head and raise my legs for gravity’s sake, and ten minutes later we were back in the car and moving on with our day. I can't believe how far I/we've come.
I feel nauseous.
I feel nervous.
Who knows what will happen.
I am perfectly happy with the outcome and trust that it is the right one for me.
Thank you all for your happy thoughts and prayers and saints,
And today, 18 months later, I walked into a different doctor’s office for another IUI. I am a little less likely to announce it to friends and family via email. I’ve lost a little hope along the way and the novelty has worn off, but I am reinvigorated with the possibility that this time it has worked.
Note to Self: Desire and preparation are only half of this fertility game – patience and faith is the other.