Cool as a Cupcake

Worst picture ever of the Venice street sign.
Worst picture ever of the Venice street sign.

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). 

This picture doesn't come close to doing this loft justice.
This picture doesn’t come close to doing this loft justice.

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.

I love my new phone cover!
I love my new phone cover!

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.

I liked the peanut butter and lemon ones best.
I liked the peanut butter and lemon ones best.

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.



Add Yours
  1. jack joseph's mom

    I think it’s a great plan! You need a break, to have some fun, to relax. You both need that for you. Your body likely needs a break. And to me, happiness is what matters most in life. Now. Not spending all my days worrying about everything… What I need to do to be happy (having a child)… Just be happy now. We have to stop putting life on pause.


  2. Kasey

    I think its an awesome plan. Only you know what is best for you and I really think when we are the most relaxed is when its best for us to conceive. Its a lot easier said than done so I say enjoy your wine, gluten and bike riding! Take pictures and then have a baby 🙂


  3. theunexpectedtrip

    After nearly 2 and a half years in this world, I’ve learned that the right thing to do is what feels right to you, period. It’s a lot of pressure on us, but it’s also freeing. I had to get real with myself recently and realize that what I / we really needed and wanted to do, despite all my plans otherwise, was to stop everything and get married and go on a honeymoon. Best decision I’ve made yet! Have fun.


  4. lydiaseeks

    I’ve found that relaxing my standards for what I put in my body releases an intense amount of pressure I didn’t even know I was experiencing until it’s gone. I have to agree that infertility has killed our social life too. My friends with kids are always asking us what we’ve been up to, we used to be quite the party couple, and frankly we just don’t go out as much so there’s not much to share…and they still think we live this wild and crazy booze filled life, when in reality we spend a lot of time watching the Daily Show and drinking water.


    • Steph Mignon

      Don’t you love that it’s the friends with kids wondering what you’ve been up to? Like the envision you’re out there living this wild carefree adventure! Ha! Daily Show and Water, all day long over here. 😉


  5. barrenbetty

    That sounds like an amazing plan!!! Wine tasting, travelling and cake? Sounds excellent. One thing I would say is that I’d quiz your RE on the number of eggs/embryos you can expect. My endo stopped my body from responding well to stims, and physically got in the way at egg collection. I think if I needed to go to blast and FET I’d want to make sure I had more stims than I did. I think I’d ask them to give me more stims next time whatever actually. Having said that, lots of people with severe endo seem to get tons of eggs… Mine are obviously just too comfortable where they are!!! Hope you’re having fun planning all your adventures 🙂


    • Steph Mignon

      Thank you for that advice about stims. I seemed to respond well for my IUI this cycle, but I guess it’s hard to tell because the actual eggs weren’t harvested. I will be sure to mention this to my RE though. Hopefully, she approves this plan!!! I think she will because I’ve read that FET’s are typically more successful than fresh cycles. Either way, I sooo look forward to adventuring versus worrying!


  6. gardengirl29

    I love your plan!! I can totally understand why you want to give yourself permission to live again. Navigating infertility is like being a zombie for a while. It just drains you of all life force.

    I’m glad you saw beautiful things and met beautiful people that brought the color back to life. That sucks that you couldn’t drink, but I’m glad you got to enjoy some cupcake gluten lusciousness. =)

    I hope that if this cycle doesn’t work out, you and Merp do some amazing things together.


  7. lamentingthelentil

    This sounds like a GREAT plan. But don’t count yourself out yet, woman. Or do, because I guess hopelessness worked for me. Kidding. Please don’t hopelessness is a bad place to be.

    This party sounds beautiful and you sounds beautiful. I think you have a good plan because it sounds like it came from your gut and that it’s making you happy. Cheers to purple wine mouth and cupcakes. Bring it, sister.


  8. marwil

    If it feels right to you, then go for it! We put so much on hold, waiting and waiting so it’s important to listen to what we really need. Before this last treatment I took a much longer break than was needed physically, but I needed the space to feel ready again.

    Talk to your RE and see what they say about it. They might want to have you ready should a three-day transfer be needed. Personally for me, only two embryos have gone to blasts (out of five fresh IVFs). Everyone is different so you can only go by your own monitoring and Drs recommendation. Best of luck!


  9. Fertility Doll

    “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.” – That really resonates with me.

    The problem with reading on my mobile is that mobile apps eat my comments.

    I have totally killed the no sugar diet :/ Sunshine = Ice Cream. If your AF comes then I’m on the ‘live life’ approach with you.

    I know you’re prepping for what comes next but I’m still hopeful that this cycle works for you. Fingers crossed.


  10. Irony | Steph Mignon

    […] more on that later), and of course, finishing the book. All of which I ranted and raved about in my last post about the girl with the Indian headdress and the sickeningly cool people that accompanied her (I […]


  11. Lisa Droddy

    I just found your blog today. I began hopping around and browsing through it and saw you had visited Malaysia. I’m actually living there currently, but we are gearing up for our move back to the States in a little more than a month. Anyway, congratulations on your pregnancy!


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