Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Road To Hell

I love new beginnings. Maybe that's why I celebrate New Year's, Chinese New Year, and Rosh Hashanah -- that's three fresh starts per calendar year. I love the idea of renewal, of renewed focus and introspection. I also recognize how terribly fallible I am, how easily distracted from doing right.

So, for all the good it will do me, here are my resolutions for 2007:

  1. I resolve to meditate as often as possible, and will try to attend group meditation practice on Tuesdays.

  2. I will go to yoga at least once a week.

  3. I will not beat myself over the head about infertility, looming old age, extra pounds, or other body issues.

  4. I will look deep into my husband's eyes at least once a day.

  5. I will try to cook healthy food.

  6. I will practice loving kindness, starting with myself.

  7. I will exercise self-restraint and avoid smacking people who have children and obviously don't deserve them.

  8. I will blog my little heart out.

Anyone else got any good ones?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Lessons From a Teacher Who Wasn't There

My favorite yoga teacher was not there today. Strangely enough, it was in her absence that two of her important lessons really hit home with me.

The first is quality. She often reminds us to strive for the highest possible quality in our practice. That extends to everything -- not just the poses, but how neatly our blankets are folded, and how straight our mats are. At first I thought she was just anal, but I came to realize the truth in that lesson: we are entitled to the best from ourselves. Better to do one perfect downward dog and delight in the breath flowing through our bodies than to grunt, heave, and spaz our way through a thousand vinyasas.

The second is humility. She doesn't care if you've been practicing for 30 years and can balance your entire body on your pinkie finger. We're not there to get it done, or to look great, we're there to pay attention to our bodies and what they may be telling us at that particular moment. Sometimes the poses flow like water. Sometimes even child's pose is a struggle. The important thing is knowing which state you're in, and honoring it.

With humility comes playfulness. If you don't give a shit whether you can actually wrap your hands through your legs and around your back, and don't mind if you look like a complete moron trying, you can have a lot of fun with it, and you're more likely to actually benefit yourself because you're focused on the process, not the result.

It occurred to me today that these are great lessons for yoga and for life, especially in the context of our difficult path to parenthood.

The second lesson is the more easily applicable in my mind. This is a tough journey, and the results do not depend in any way on effort or merit. I have no control. My body may or may not perform the way I want it to. Emotionally, as well, some days are a struggle, while others flow by more easily. Approaching this journey with humility is my only honest option. And I hope that with that humility, I can find some joy, some little bits of playfulness.

Where does the first lesson, quality, fit in? That one's a bit more subtle. For me, it means that surrounding myself with quality -- good, nutritious food, exercise, enough sleep, time for myself, honesty with my family -- is not a chore, it's what I need and deserve. If I focus on quality, maybe I can simplify. If I focus on what's best and most true about this experience, perhaps I can set aside the more petty fears and preoccupations that make the journey more difficult.

Om shanti shanti shanti.

May all creatures know peace in the coming year and always.

Friday, December 29, 2006

2006 Can Kiss My Ass

As sort of a New Year's resolution for 2007, I've decided to start a blog.

I've thought about doing this before, but, well, I just didn't. So there. I want 2007 to be a fresh start. I want it to be nothing like 2006. As far as I can determine, there were only two good things about 2006:
  1. The Democrats retook control of Congress (I guess we'll see how good a thing that turns out to be); and
  2. Um, I'm sure there's a 2, I just can't think of it right now.

In contrast, many, many things sucked about 2006. Here's a brief chronology:

January 31: I learned that my 10.5 -week-old fetus was a goner. That was a shock. It somehow did not occur to me that I might have a miscarriage. Atomic and I cried for three days straight.

February 3: I had a D&C. It was awful. It took two tries, in two different medical facilities. Thank god I finally got some good drugs, and a to-go baggie of Vicodin besides. Off work for a week, and all I could do was go to the zoo and cry.

March - June: Despite rigorous charting and ambitious GOFing, I can't seem to get pregnant again. What's wrong?

July 6: I'll tell ya what's wrong, lady. Ya got scrambled eggs. Yup. You're not even 39, and you've got the ovaries of a 48 year old. They're a mess. A mess! Dr. Google says you'll never get pregnant. Never ever. Fuggedaboudit.

July 27: We consult two different fertility specialists (let's call them Dr. Cautiously Optimistic and Dr. Really Nice) and they both say, "Go directly to IVF. Do not pass go. But first, more tests!" We decide to give IUI one try before laying out the big $$$ for IVF.

August 1: I start acupuncture and herbs to bring my FSH levels down.

August 18: The suckage has just begun. Atomic's beloved uncle dies. We're devastated.

August 23: I have an HSG, and the startled radiologist asks if my mother took DES. Oh, criminy. Dr. Google lowers my chances of a successful pregnancy still further. Dr. Cautiously Optimistic cancels my IUI. I freak.

August 24: My doc calls and says that I don't have a T-shaped ute after all, but I may have a septum. I grudgingly start BCP until we can find out for sure.

September 8: MRI says no septum, everything's normal in there. Dr. Cautiously Optimistic wants to go in there with a camera to make sure.

September 22: The hysteroscopy shows a slight dip in my ute and some scar tissue from the D&C. Dr. Cautiously Optimistic says "Have the dip removed! We'll put a balloon in there and you'll have a nice, wide cavity!" Dr. Really Nice says, "You're fine! Don't do anything!" We opt for inaction.

October 13: I begin daily injections of hormones. My day 2 FSH is significantly lower. My ovaries respond like champs.

October 25: With two gorgeous, ripe follicles and one runner-up, we have the most romantic artificial insemination possible. I begin taking progesterone and wait.

November 9: Holy shit! It worked! I'm pregnant! Hooray! Of course, I'm spotting a bit and it may not work out. But my first HcG level is a very respectable 108, so -- maybe!

November 13: Game over. HcG levels plummet to 79.

November-December: Body gets back to normal.

So, here we are, in late December, hoping that 2007 brings better things. We're planning to start IVF on January 19.

Stay tuned.

Binky's New Blog - Welcome!

Hello, my internets friends, casual readers, lurkers, and whoever else stumbles upon this blog. This is my first post to my Infertility Blog.

Welcome. Make yourself at home. Kick off your shoes and pull up a beer. Share your own stories if you please.

Some of you may know me as Binky on ADL. Others may know me *gulp* IRL. Everyone's welcome here, especially women who are going through similar trials and tribulations.

A few disclosures about me:
  • I am quite liberal in my political leanings (but I don't require that of my readers or commenters);
  • I am ardently pro-choice;
  • I'm a cat person (but like dogs and ferrets and birds and what-have-you as well);
  • My husband and I are actively pursuing ART at this point as well as considering adoption
  • I'm going to be posting a lot of really personal information, including medical and sexual information, in this blog. If that icks you out, go play elsewhere.

I also have a few requests of those who may choose to post comments here:

  • Please be respectful of other posters.
  • Please try to avoid assvice.
  • Think twice about any comment that begins with "just," as in "just relax," "just adopt," etc.
  • If you're citing a scientific study, or making an assertion for which a reasonable person would want to see evidence, please post a link or tell us where you got the information.
  • Trolls will be taken out behind the woodshed and executed.

Okay? Let's ring in 2007!