This weekend I came up with a plan.
We were in Venice Beach for an old friend’s “fucking birthday party” when it started to come to me. The party theme alone should tell you how “fucking” cool this party was, but I’ll elaborate just in case. You know those movies you watched when you were in 7th grade that made you want to go to the thrift store right after so you could look exactly like the main character? Winona Rider in Reality Bites or any one of the actresses in Empire Records? Well this was THAT kind of party. With the exception of the girl with the amazing eyebrows and authentic tribal headdress (which you just had to appreciate even though it was kind of over the top), every single person there emanated an unpretentious surfer hipster vibe (yes I put unpretentious and hipster in the same sentence). The fashion was amazing (chain bedazzled ankle cowboy boots with a polka dotted romper was a fav for sure). The conversations were genuine (I got deep with a fellow but single Steph, a 37-year old psychiatrist who lives on a sail boat, about why she should consider freezing her eggs). And the ambiance of this spacious loft was enlivening (there were blown up photographs and street art everywhere, but perfectly placed so that it never felt crowded or forced).
I walked away from that party feeling like it was time not only to update my wardrobe, but time to update my outlook on life.
You see no one there was worrying about fertility, except maybe for poor 37-year old Steph I terrified with my tales of endometriosis and intrauterine insemination. No one there was worrying about how many drinks they should or shouldn’t have. No one there was worrying about having too many cupcakes. No one except for me and Merp. Regardless of how wild I was feeling, I had to worry. I couldn’t drink because “what if.” What if I was, am, pregnant despite the dilapidated odds of 10% that our RE gave us for this iui cycle. It’s like I am turning into a question mark. It’s no longer the great unknown, but the great, and very annoying, “what if.” We won’t even talk about the tortures of the two week wait. Ugh. But even if I could drink, however, I probably wouldn’t have. I’ve spent the last year holding back so hard I get a hangover now from one glass of wine. While this is probably the healthier choice, especially for my endo AND fertility prospects, I really truly miss getting lost in the night. I miss dancing those worries away with a plastic red cup full of red wine, my lips purple and my teeth deliciously blue. I miss connecting with new people in that way that makes partying until 2 AM totally worth it. You start out as strangers and end up as friends.
Infertility has been horrendous for our once thriving Los Angeles social life. We had to be the buzz kills twice in one week, at that party, and at the Alabama Shakes concert on Thursday. I won’t even get into that story because it’s just more of the same. Me and merp, now boring and sober and the first to leave.
The reality is that being the sober one at the party is only fun for so long. We stayed for almost two hours at the Venice one. In that time we talked to a very interesting film maker. He’s an African American writer/director who’s living the dream. In between telling us all about the plot of his recent movie, he noticed my tattered galaxy nexus phone cover. He excused himself and appeared moments later with a brand new one, turquoise! which is clearly far better than the boring and very gross white I’d had before. He gifted it to me, because he decided he didn’t like the cover flap. He could’ve easily taken it back to the store and gotten $30, but instead he gave it away. To random, water drinking me. Moral of the story, I need to get out more. I’m got far too excited about this movie maker and his unbridled generosity.
Merp and I slipped away just as the real shenanigans were starting, a group of six were toasting the “fucking” birthday boy with tequila shots, while someone may have been pulling “brownies” from the oven. Things were about to get crazy.
Over sushi a few blocks down the street, Merp said he wanted to go back. We agreed that he could loosen up on the sobriety now that his swimmers have improved so so much. He misses having let loose and having fun. So I encouraged him to go, but admitted that I was jealous. I wanted to have fun too! This was when, after two years this September of trying to conceive, and one hard core year of no drinking and an over all health kick, the new plan was born.
At 6 days past IUI I was already quite convinced it didn’t work (not much has changed today at 7 dpiui). I really truly don’t think I’m pregnant. Sure I started having sore nips the day after the IUI, but my doctor warned me about that. Extra follicles equal extra hormones equal extra PMS symptoms. Merp still has hope, but I didn’t want to talk about hope. I wanted to talk about the future, about IVF, about the thing that could REALLY work for us. Help us move on with our lives, move on with growing our family.
So here’s what I came up with.
This cycle comes and goes and we get clearance to start stims for egg retrieval. We keep being good, being healthy, avoiding hot tubs etc. Provided egg retrieval goes well, we wait to see what happens with our embryos. Provided embryos happen we freeze them. We skip a fresh transfer. We put those embryos on ice and proceed to take 3 to 6 months off to do the following:
1. Me: finish z novel and get settled in a new job where I actually make that amazing thing called money!
2. Us: Go wine tasting (I’ve never been), go bike riding (let those sperm suffer for awhile), go to music festivals, get crazy ourselves, and go on a fun wild adventure somewhere foreign. Merp’s never been oversees and I’ve only been to Malaysia and we’ve been talking about taking an exotic world trip since before we were married!
3. Us: Take a much needed break from talking about, reading about, and obsessing over infertility and babies and opks and charts and all of it. This is more for him than it is for me. Because I won’t constantly be on the IVF fence, because I will hopefully have a library of embryos just waiting to thrive inside me, I won’t constantly be reading aloud fertility stats and figures trying to convince him that it, IVF, is the right move. We will already be halfway to having a baby (hopefully). While I can’t promise I won’t continue blogging and googling and reading all your stories like it’s my job, at least I’ll be able to give him a real break because we’ll have a plan! I love plans, they make me feel safe and secure, even if they don’t always go as, well, planned.
4. Me: lighten up on the strict diet for a change. I’ve been the gluten-free low glycemic gestapo for far too long. In fact, I’ve already got a head start on this one. I went a little crazy when I discovered a new cupcake place called Crumb Bake Shop. On Friday, I came home with 6, yes 6, gluten filled cupcakes oozing with frosting. It’s now Sunday night and between the two of us, there’s only HALF of ONE cupcake left. We’re animals. I haven’t been this bad in I don’t know how long. And I’ll tell you what ladies and gentlemen, it feels good to be bad. Too good almost. Rawr.
So what do you think of my newest agenda? Am I insane? Am I missing something here? Please be real with me.
Because really I do know so much can go wrong along the way, and I know I’m prone to sudden mind changes, but I really truly feel a peace I haven’t felt in a long time. Make embryos now, grow babies later so we can enjoy our lives again! Does it sound too good to be true?
PS – Merp never did go back to that party. We were home by 9 and snuggled into bed watching Amy Schumer by 11 (LOVE her). Guess there’s a part of him that’s enjoying less hangovers too. This is 32 people.
PPS – I am fully aware that I’m probably the world’s worst photographer. Venice is far cooler than I make it seem.