Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Life and Death

This world we live in, the way things happen, it's strange, right? Things like birth and death seem so mysterious...and yet, they just happen. Every day.

Yesterday, I saw something for the very first time. A small stick with two identical pink lines. Not a pregnancy test, of course. Things aren't that easy around here. But a positive ovulation predictor. The lines came up instantly. Within 30 seconds of being dipped in pee. The test line was maybe even a little darker than the control. I couldn't believe it. I was sure my eyes were making it all up--but no, there it was.

Yesterday was Cycle Day 24. Maybe that's why we've been so unsuccessful. We were guessing at a fertile window of days 14-19. Since I hadn't gotten a positive OPK yet, I just kept up with it. And there it was.

When Bobby came home from work, I showed him, and told him that meant we needed to have sex. He agreed, but not right then. That was fine. We had plenty of time. Plus, I sort of like the idea of our baby being conceived through passionate lovemaking, you know, instead of a quick, obligatory bang while we're both playing on our phones.

We made an early supper and watched a bit of tv. We had a double header softball game that night, and Bobby doesn't like to have sex before games.

"It messes with my swing. My legs always fatigue faster and there's something off with my throws." I think he's making it all up, but I'll concede that I prefer not to be leaking jizz while running the bases. It made me nervous to wait, however. This was our first confirmed ovulation in two years. I didn't want anything to jeopardize it.

Whenever Bobby's horny on Saturday mornings, he insists on morning sex. Of course, morning sex is sort of  special anyway, since it's reserved for Saturdays. But he also has other reasons.

"If we wait, I might do something stupid and you'll get mad at me. We need to do it before I can say anything wrong."

He has a point.

So waiting until after softball felt similar. We both might be tired, or if we lost we'd be crabby. One of us could get hurt and be unable to perform, or any number of other things that could go wrong in the next two and a half hours.

After the games, we were feeling good. We'd won, we weren't mad at each other, no injuries. We gathered our gear, ready to go home and get it on. I sat on the tailgate of the truck, clapping my cleats together while Bobby packed away the bat bags.

"Lil?"

"Yeah," I said, jumping down and and gathering my glove and shoes. Bobby was holding his phone, obviously just checking his messages.

"Grandma Susie...she's...gone."

It wasn't a shock really. A year and a half ago, Bobby's stepmom's mother--Grandma Susie--was diagnosed with pulmonary vascular disease and given six months to live. But in that moment, it was still a shock.

"What...? When...?" I stuttered all the wrong things.

Bobby called over to his younger brother Steve who was parked a few cars away and plays on our softball team.

"Did you see?....Grandma Susie..."

Steve was checking his phone too and just nodded. We made plans to go together to the memorial service this Saturday, and then drove away.

Bobby called his dad when we got home and seemed to sort some things out.

At 9:30 p.m., Bobby said, "Let's make a baby."

I would be lying if I said it hadn't crossed my mind that we might miss the ovulation window. I know, it's completely and utterly selfish to think about myself and how Grandma Susie's death was putting a damper on my babymaking plans. Believe me, I hate myself for even thinking it. I didn't want to be the girl that makes someone else's death about herself.

I ran through a lot of "do you really want to do this?" before Bobby finally stopped me and said: "Lilee, I want a baby."

Is this the story of how our child was conceived? I don't know yet. Probably not. This is just the story about how quickly life and priorities change. How people are born, live, and die. It's still a mystery and it's still strange. And yet it just happens. Every day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Fine Line

"Don't drink out of this!" I warn Bobby as I see him coming down the hall towards the bathroom. I hold up the little plastic medicine cup I swiped from the top of an old Robitussin bottle.

"Why not?" he asks skeptically. I can see all over his face that although he had no previous intentions of drinking from the cup, now it's all he can think about, for no other reason than because I told him not to.

"Because I peed in it."

"What?" Bobby says in his high pitched voice reserved for moments he thinks I'm being ridiculous. "Why are you collecting pee? What are you, Bear Grylls?"

"Come here." I figure I may as well explain this to him now, since it is going to be our life for awhile. Bobby tends to stay out of all this infertility nonsense, but recently he seems to be much more interested. He'll check my app (and look forward to "marathon sex days" when he sees them lit up yellow) and ask what my temperature was. He's even beginning to understand how ovulation works and how I get pregnant from that (our sex ed in high school was reeeeeeaaaalllly lacking).

I show him the ovulation predictor test strip lying on the bathroom counter. "We're waiting to see if this line on the left is as dark as the line on the right."

"And that means you're pregnant?"

I laugh. "No, that means I'm ovulating."

He raises his eyebrows, "So...sex?"

"Yes. It tells us when to have sex."

Bobby leaves the bathroom and heads back to the couch, pondering what this means. "Those tiny lines on that tiny piece of paper with pee on it tells us when we have sex?"

"Yup."

"And then we wait for more tiny pee lines to tell us when we get a baby?"

"Pretty much."

"Our whole life is being dictated to us by tiny lines!?"

I curl up next to him on the couch and lay my head on his shoulder. "Kinda sucks."

We sit in silence for a minute or so, and I assume his mind has drifted to sports, or Call of Duty, or pie.

"Lil?" he asks finally.

"Yeah?"

"Can I watch the pee lines get dark next time?"

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Nausea Dilemma

Do you want to know the absolute worst thing for an infertile to feel when her period is about to arrive (or even a day or two late)? Nausea. Why? Because nausea is real. It's a real-life pregnancy symptom. It's not bloating, cramping, sore boobs, acne, or anything else that is identical to menstrual symptoms. It's different. It's one of the first symptoms normal, fertile woman use to determine they're pregnant. It's not a "twinge" in the uterus/ovary area that could easily be ANYTHING ELSE. It's not stomach bubbles that are really just gas. It's not heartburn that was obviously caused by the deep dish pizza she devoured. It's nausea. It's "morning sickness." And it is the worst thing that could possibly happen to me.

Remember back here when I said I wasn't positive about this cycle? Nausea instantly erased that acceptance of a negative cycle. With its heightened gag reflex and queasiness, it instilled the absolutely worst possible feeling inside of me. Worse than the taste of pennies in my mouth. Worse than the serious panic attack I had when I was sure I was going to puke on my desk. Worse than the vertigo in the shower. No, the horrible, horrible feeling: hope. 

Of course, never mind the fact that the nausea arrived shortly after I returned from a run (okay, jog) and then promptly guzzled a liter of water. All less than an hour after shoveling a plate full of broccoli alfredo pasta into my face. But no, surely the 8 p.m. nausea was, in fact, morning sickness. And I must be pregnant.

Despite the fact that we had sex two full nights before ovulation. Despite the fact that my temperature took a huge nosedive this morning and AF is surely on her way right this minute (this may be flawed. I only got about four hours of restless sleep last night after staying up to watch the Wild clinch the series in overtime. (Suck it, Landeskog! (Apologies to any Avalanche fans, but that dude's a dick.)) (Also, my parentheses situation seems to have gotten out of hand.) And I was so wound up I couldn't sleep. Since I heard Bobby's alarm go off at 5:30, I figured I wouldn't fall back asleep anyway, so I may as well temp. Not exactly ideal conditions for an accurate read. I guess we'll find out tomorrow).

So I've been feeling nauseated on and off for a few days now. Mostly after I guzzle water. Sometimes when I'm hungry. Always when I'm trying to make myself feel pregnant. My period is, I suppose, on the late side. It's CD31, but that's not really unusual for me. My cycles have been averaging 30-35 days lately, so it could still be on schedule. Plus I'm nearly positive I ovulated on Day 22 or 23 (I forget which, my phone keeps track of this sort of information. I can't be bothered to store all that in my head!). So, if it's just a long cycle with a normal-length LP, then AF isn't due for another week.

This is the worst, right? This waiting, guessing, planning, wondering. I'm annoyed that I'm even typing these words out. I sound like a whiny child. Why am I not pregnant? When is my period coming? Why can't I eat cake for every meal and not get fat? 

Is anyone else waiting for their period to show up? Or waiting for anything more interesting (a promotion, a vacation, the mail? Seriously...literally ANYTHING ELSE would be more interesting than that)? Tell me about it, please. Because otherwise I'm just going to continue to wallow in my icky despair

Oh, and obnoxiously celebrate the Wild's win!!!!! Except not too much. Because I'm still nauseated.