Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fun with Fertility*

*not that kind of fun. RUDE.

a version of this was originally posted on 365 Attempts [at life]

It’s 9:40 - 20 minutes until blog deadline time - and I’m panicking .  I’ve been putting this blog together all week, but somehow it’s just not clicking for me.  I blame the Clomid.  This week, I blame everything on the Clomid.
I took my first pill last Friday night, because I’m doing IUI this month.  But the thing is, when it comes to health, I’m a crunch-fest.  I LOVE health food stores.  I read books about vitamins… for fun!  I haven’t taken so much as an antibiotic since 1995, and if you’ll let me, I’ll talk your ear off about all the pitfalls of Western medicine.  But I also want to get pregnant, and I’m 36 years old.
Obviously, I did my googling.  What I learned is that Clomid might help me get pregnant, yes, but it could also cause me give birth to a horribly deformed Elephant child, with no brain. I went back and forth for weeks, until I finally consulted two of my closest friends.  One took Clomid for 7 months, and is one of the most scientifically-minded people I know.
“It’ll make your boobs bigger,” she said.
The other friend pointed out that if something does go awry, I’ll never know if it was because of the Clomid, or just because of the risks of having a baby in my (gulp) “later years.” 
“You’re right,” I told her.  “Also, I’d love to no longer be able to fit into t-shirts from the girls' section at the Gap.”
And so it began.
The first few days were pretty okay.  My crack research skills also uncovered the fact that if you take Clomid at night, you supposedly miss out on most of the side effects.  I actually started sleeping better, which was a thrill.  Hello, a drug that can knock you up and knock you out?  What took me so long?
Yeah, there were a few hot flashes, but nothing I couldn’t handle.  In fact, hot flashes have their benefits.  On Saturday night, I left my brother’s show at 1:30 in the morning and strutted down Parc Avenue without a jacket, feeling pretty pleased with myself.
The nausea came, but even that wasn’t so bad.  I texted my friend, and told her that Clomid was like being pregnant without actually being pregnant. 
“What about the hormones?” she asked.  “Won’t this cycle be a little Keith Richards for you?”
“Nah,” I replied.  “It’s all physical for me.  I’m good.”
The next day, I was Keith Richards. Also, Sid Vicious, and Simon Cowell. 
I’d woken up 300 times the night before, either bathed in sweat or freezing cold. In the bathroom in the morning, I said something not very nice to Tony, and, because he hadn’t yet put two and two together, he said something not very nice back.  I retaliated.  He (wisely) retreated downstairs.  I followed.  
I could hear myself yelling, feel myself crying, see in the mirror that I had become that woman -  the one with the crazy hair and the mascara streaming down her face before 8am.  But there was nothing I could do.  Tony, who still couldn’t figure out why his wife had turned into Linda Blair, asked what was wrong.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.  ”WHAT’S WRONG?” I was too angry to answer.  How could he not know? Why did this have to be me and not him?  WHAT IF I WAS LIKE THIS FOREVER? 
Somehow, though, I calmed down, made it to work, and got through the day without killing or eating anyone.  
“The storm has passed,” I thought, that evening, and sat down to meditate.
Oh boy.
You know how you’re not supposed to sweat the small stuff?  Apparently, on Clomid, I sweat the incidental stuff.  I hated our house.  I hated how we have so many walls without pictures on them. I hated our bed, and our bed sheets, and my hair, and basically everyone.  I knew it didn’t make sense, but there was nothing I could do - I felt totally disconnected from common reasoning.  
“You better sleep downstairs tonight,” I snarled at Tony, when he came into the bedroom.  But he was now wise in the ways of Clomid, and hugged me, and let me cry about Ebert and my cousin-in-law’s cat and other sad things, and then told me a story about a guy in the metro station and a salami, which I will do you the favour of not sharing here.  It made me laugh hysterically, and then I passed out for 10 hours. 
And that was it. Well, yesterday I had the worst headache of my life, but I’ll take that over batshit crazy any day of the week.  I really don’t think I can handle another round of Clomid if this doesn’t work out, but I’m not going to think about that right now.  Some days, you just gotta be thankful for what you got.  And on that note, if you’ll please excuse me.  I’m going to put on my Gap girls t-shirt and watch some TV.

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