Sick Day Sunday

January 27, 2013 § 8 Comments

Today is Sunday. For the last 5 years, since I started my doctoral program, Sundays have been work days. They are typically the day when I panic and start worrying about all of the things that I haven’t gotten done yet: the ongoing qualifying exam (which is only a couple of months from being done), several manuscripts that are in preparation, clinical reports that I haven’t finished, the dreaded DISSERTATION. By Sundays, I’m in the position where the anxiety of not getting enough done in the previous week is all but crippling and the knowledge (from hundreds of Sundays of experience) that I will not get enough done in the coming week is downright frightening. But.

But today I feel like I need a sick day. A mental health day. A trying-to-conceive-for-over-a-year-and-in-the-second-half-of-the-two-week-wait day. Today I am 9 dpo. I have a headache (don’t worry, this morning’s test came back negative). I woke up two hours before I wanted to. At 5 AM. On a weekend. Probably in anticipation of taking my temperature.

See, if I get pregnant on this cycle, I’ll be due in October. My birthday month. The month I lost my first pregnancy. And the month that I have to submit applications for my clinical internship. Friends, this internship process is a mess. I will very likely have to move to some other part of the country for it (there is only one of these positions in my whole state). It’s a year long appointment. And then I have to do a two year fellowship (which will likely be in a totally different location). But I’m getting ahead of myself.

For this internship, there is a matching process. You send out applications in October and go on interviews from mid-December to the end of January. There is really no way around it. You can’t not go to the interviews. You can’t reschedule them. There are specific “interview days,” so a site might give you 2-3 of these days to choose from. And you’ve gotta show up or else you’re not considered. People are basically out of town for as much as that 6 weeks as they are in town. Then you submit a ranking of your favorite sites, and the sites submit a ranking of their favorite applicants. And a fucking computer program decides where you’re going to have to move for the next year.

If I get pregnant this cycle, I’ll be due in October. I can manage getting my applications out early in preparation for an impending lentil. But I can’t imagine traveling for several days of every week for 7 weeks (if I get lucky and get a lot of interviews) within a month of giving birth to a baby, so November would a far from ideal due date. December-February would be even worse, though, because most airlines won’t let you fly when you’re in your last trimester. And, of course, being visibly pregnant at a job interview is never on the list of things you should do to increase your odds of landing a job.

We’re not going to stop trying. It’s taken us so long that I don’t want to miss any opportunities to create this child for us. But if it doesn’t happen this cycle, my immediate career plans might take a bit of a hit. I’ll have to see if sites will allow me to do phone interviews. And we all know that if everyone else is interviewing in person, and you’re interviewing on the phone, your odds are probably not as good. I’ve got a pretty warm smile, and I can’t let it do it’s magic through the telephone wires, y’all.

All of this is to say that I’m having a very bad day as far as two week wait days go. I usually don’t test so early, but I’ve tested every day for the last three days. They’re all glaringly white. Negative. Nada. Going into this cycle, I felt really good about it. Like weird intuitive good. Like this was IT. (I’m usually not so optimistic.) And now I just have my negative tests, an unproductive Sunday, a headache, significant irritability that is being directed at The Artsy Engineer (poor guy), and my empty womb.

I know, I know. It’s still too early to count myself out. But in my head and in my heart, it ain’t.


January 23, 2013 § 14 Comments

Well, my friends. I’m here.

I don’t like it. In fact, I’ve dragged myself here kicking a screaming. No offense, infertility world. Joining your ranks is not something I have been looking forward to doing. I’m sad. I’m hopeless. I’m angry. I’m angry at my body for betraying me by not performing (with ease and grace) one of it’s primary functions. That’s right. I’m infertile.

My husband and I have been trying to create a small being, using the usual method, for 12 full months. I’ve been reading blogs by other infertiles for the last 3 of those months, hoping that I would not feel the need to create this place. Ever. But, here I am. Here we are.

I’m doing this because I need a place to talk out my emotions. And because I need a community. And because I (selfishly) want a place to one day display a beautiful pregnant belly to people who know how difficult this road has been for us.

You can call me Lentil for now. I’m 29 years old. I currently live in the midwest. (But over the years I’ve lived in the deep south, on the east coast, and in New England, as well.) I’ve been a graduate student for four and a half years. (I think that I’m nearing the end, thank god, and that in the next two years, I will be compensated for my blood, sweat, and tears.) I have a husband, who we’ll call The Artsy Engineer. We have two very spoiled (not small at all) dogs who sleep in our bed. We’re vegetarians. The Artsy Engineer plays instruments and is an incredible cook. I like to take pictures and read fiction in my downtime (of which there is little). We also like to travel. A lot. But we don’t have much money right now. Or time (see above student status).

I will talk about all of these things in this space. And I will also talk about how my body has betrayed me. Despite well-timed sex and no identifiable problems with either of our reproductive parts, we have conceived only once in the last 12 months. And then, three months ago, I had a miscarriage on my 29th birthday. All that’s left to say is this: this shit sucks.

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