Charting your temperature is sort of like ripping off a band-aid really really slooooooooooowly.
For instance, in my case, I knew that my luteal phase was short, but I always thought that I ovulated. And I was basing this assumption on (1) the fact that I mostly always ovulated before and (2) the clear entrance and departure of the correct cervical mucous. And while it would hurt to find out from some blood work and sonograms that I wasn't actually ovulating, it is far worse to see the most dafook chart imaginable come together temperature by temperature. 97.3, 98.0, 97.6, 97.9, 98.0, 97.5. It sucks to see two high temperatures in a row so you start crying that you mistimed sex only to have your temperature fall on the third day so fertility friend snatches back the coverline they were aaaaaaaaaaaaalmost willing to give you. But on the outside, if I wasn't taking my temperature, I would say that all was fine.
I am still charting again simply to time the 21-day progesterone test properly with ovulation. Now I'm wondering how many times I've actually ovulated during the time we've been trying again. Are these cycles an anomaly or the norm? I know I won't know until I return to the RE and I should probably set down the thermometer and step away for the time being since there isn't anything else I can do. Except that I'm still trying to time the damn progesterone test.
So I will continue to pull off the band-aid extra slowly until I have that blood drawn. And then I will probably continue to take my temperature because I'm addicted to information. It just sucks to look backwards at optimistic Melissa who said, "maybe I'll conceive on my own this time and only need help carrying to term!" Sort of the same feeling you get when you see middle schoolers going in to take their class picture with their eyelids heavy smeared with ill-applied blue eyeshadow. You know they're going to have regrets down the road with their simple-minded vision. Not huge, life-altering regrets, but regrets nonetheless.
This weekend is also Father's Day. I've always wondered if Father's Day is as painful a holiday for infertile men (or any man who longs for a child but can't have one) as Mother's Day is for infertile women. Perhaps it is more indicative of the fact that there are many more female infertile bloggers than there are male infertile bloggers that I have drawn that assumption. I'd love men to weigh in with their thoughts. And wishing anyone who is hurting this weekend--and I am thinking specifically of a few people who have received a diagnosis of male factor infertility since the last Father's Day--moments of peace.
Some reminders because who doesn't appreciate a loving nudge from time to time? I cannot even explain how much everyone rocks who signed up for the Commentathon. It feels like I'm part of this tiny world made out of soft polartec while the outer world is made out of scratchy wool. And as much as I would love to live in that outer wool world which is this perfect colour, I'm thankful that this little polartec world exists and that I'm curled up inside of it now rather than free-floating over a sea of scratchiness, never able to touch down. This analogy isn't really working. But I think you know what I mean.
I'm posting the Commentathon list this Sunday. You can still sign up until Sunday night. Start keeping track of your comments starting on Monday (or Sunday at midnight if you're still awake at midnight. Why are you still awake at midnight on a Sunday night?). This upcoming Tuesday (the 19th), is the D.C. bloggers get-together. All are welcome. You can get more information on LJ's blog (and leave her a comment to let her know that you're coming so she knows how many people to expect).
Do you like this? I'm switching to red to really make this stand out in all of the nudging. But most of all, Secret Ode Day paragraphs are due by the 20th so the post can go up on the 21st (anything that comes in too late will be added later anyways, but it would be more fun to get up everything at once). I have a bunch that have already been sent to me and it's a pretty varied list, but think about how good it would feel to be sitting at work, having a normal day, and click over to read this little paragraph of love about your blog? So knowing how good it would feel to read something wonderful about your writing, go write one for someone else and make their day. Sort of like a secret santa. Only with words instead of tangible gifts. And you never get to find out who said these really nice things about you unless they tell you.
Okay, enough nudging--now the blogs...
On In and Out of Luck, there is a wonderful post called "Against Nature" that asks the question: "what is it about infertility that is so particularly and singularly painful?" And she describes it beautifully: that feeling that you've been forgotten. Forgotten by nature or whatever is moving life through the universe. It is a such a deep pain. And this is such a powerful post.
I was incredibly moved by a recent post on Julia's blog, I Won't Fear Love. It begins with the fact that she was not supposed to be able to go to camp this year, and yet, due to her loss, she found herself back at camp. And it is those moments--the moments that weren't supposed to be able to happen--that make the grief spill forward. She continues into a visit to her son, A's, grave. Close to his plot are two more freshly dug graves and the lines that broke my heart, "Two boys. Two different families. Three days apart at the end of May, while we were away. I wasn't keeping track of dates, remember? So I can't even tell you what I was doing as these families' worlds were falling apart. Why do I feel such sorrow not only at the idea of where these families are right now, but also at the thought that I missed it? I don't know them. There is nothing I could do for them. But I wish there was something." She ends with this thought: "But most of all, I miss my son. I can't tell you what is it about him that I miss, I just do." Her writing is so beautiful that it brought you right into the cemetery.
Alli at Secondary Infertility had a post (okay, it was technically last week, but I read it over the weekend) about her husband's deployment. She is finally pregnant, about to deliver her daughter, and her husband will miss the birth. It made my own problems seem pretty trivial. I don't know if technology that allows people to feel close even when they're distant is a good thing or makes the space between you ache even more. "Mr. Alli called me en route to the Middle East. He sounded so close, he could have been calling from work. Hearing his voice made me just want to collapse. It all just feels like too much right now. Last night, he kept holding my hands while we were laying in bed and telling me that it would all work out, not to worry, everything was going to be fine like it always is. I just miss my husband. I just want him home. Coming home to this house without him was the worst. I came upstairs to set my things down and looked at the bed and just cried. I feel like I am no good without him." Please go over and give Alli some support right now. We can't bring her husband home, but we can let her know that we're all thinking about her.
DD at TKO...More or Less... has a post about starting the donor egg program at a new clinic as well as all of the logistics of being matched with a donor at her particular clinic. Even though I cracked up at the line: "They only do fresh transfers so I can't go through the glamour shots of those post-teen beauties and pick the one who best resembles me. Which is good, because how do you possibly find another face as beautiful and as timeless as mine?" my heart broke with the last line of the post: "I didn't have a title for this post until I got done writing it. After I typed it in, I looked at it and started crying." Please go over and wish DD well with this next step.
Lastly, but not leastly, Rachel at Henry Street had a post last weekend about the misunderstandings that takes place when your emotions are so tightly wound around your word choice. She describes a discussion with her husband where they were misunderstanding each other. She wants to have a lot of hope, she wants this to work. And at the same time, she's ready to move on. She writes: "He has some hope that this cycle might work. See, there is that language that got us all tripped up last night. It's that horrible word. Hope. I have mentally moved on from these IVFs. I don't think they will work, so I am not emotionally invested in the process. I am going through the physical process, which you know is not easy, but I'm not invested in the idea that it will work...I tried to explain to T that just like I can't understand what it's like to carry the translocation, he can't understand what it is like to go through a cycle." I thought this post was so important because it brings together the two sides in this common middle point--they both simply want a child so badly. And you can feel all of the love pouring through this post--love for her husband, love for that not-yet baby. And the words simply ache.