29 April 2008

Pogo anyone?

I knew that we had bought the right house when the first kid that I met in my townhouse complex was jumping on a pogo stick. I had just moved into the house and I was at the mailbox. Redheaded Michael came bouncing by and introduced himself. It was beautiful sunny day in April and I was so happy that I was a new homeowner.

I had my interview this afternoon. I have had many job interviews and I think that I'm a pretty good candidate. I spent a lot of the afternoon prepping for the interview (thank God that my students were working away on a project!) and I was almost shaking on my way to the school. I felt myself talking way too fast and I know that I came across as nervous, but I guess I had the right answers because:


The offer is contingent on enrollment. The primary French Immersion program is a pilot that the school board is running and the information meeting is tomorrow night and applications are due on May 21st. I won't know until then if my position is a sure thing, although I am certain that there is interest in the program.

It's been a long time since I've felt so incredibly happy and elated. I'm going to jump up and down now. Too bad that I don't have my own pogo stick...

28 April 2008

Looking for a silver lining

Last week's meltdown seems like it was a lifetime ago. It helps that it seems like spring is actually here to stay. My little tree in the backyard is budding and my lavender plants are happily growing in my front garden. I obliterated a huge population of ants with some strategically placed cloves, despite Mr. JB wanting to get some mean chemicals to get rid of them. And I also booked our hotels for the rest of our trip to France and Spain (two of them are on the water -- woohoo!!!).

I know that a big part of my meltdown was the daily reminder of my barrenness. My new doc needed to get a hormonal profile in order to figure out our next course of action. I had to get blood drawn daily for over a week coupled with internal ultrasounds until three days after ovulation. Then I had to go for blood tests every other day until I got my period. Mr. JB couldn't believe his ears when I told him that I was happy that Aunt Flo arrived yesterday morning.

I spend so much of my time filling up the minutes so I don't have to think of my baby-lessness. It was tough having to go to the ultrasound clinic every morning before work and having to pretend that I hadn't been violated by the dildo-cam.

The clincher was having to teach my class about reproduction and reading the page on how babies were made. The textbook makes it sound so simple: 1) A man and woman get married; 2) The husband and wife show their love for one another by having sexual intercourse; 3) The wife gets pregnant. The textbook doesn't mention anything about women with unexplained infertility and the possibility of low progesterone. The textbook also doesn't mention how the inability to make a baby could drive someone almost crazy. But like any other good teacher, I slogged through the readings and my students questions. Thank God they're only ten years old and that they were too embarrassed to ask any tough questions! Although one kid asked how the egg and sperm got together in the first place to make the baby (poor kid, he told me that he had the talk with his dad, but apparently he missed that part!).

So I'm back to focusing on the positives in my life.

I have a job interview tomorrow afternoon for a grade one French Immersion pilot program that my school board is starting in September 2008. I'm qualified to teach it and I've always wanted to teach younger kids. I've interviewed for two jobs in the past two years and I haven't gotten either one, but I actually want this job. I applied to the first two jobs I wanted out of my school.

I did my first Ashtanga Primary Series class yesterday. It was two hours of yoga with a lot of sweating and I'm quite sore today. But I did it. And although I felt like a lump of over-cooked spaghetti at the end of the class I felt so proud of myself. I know that I'm going back for more next Sunday!

I also decided that suffering was a choice. I'm not going to torture myself with what I don't have. I'm lucky that I've found a doctor that listens to me and a husband that tries to understand me, and despite the fact that it is taking a lot longer than I thought it would, everything is happening for a reason.

Just like my favourite yoga teacher has said time and time again, "Don't focus on the discomfort, but focus on how you are going to get yourself through it."

I wonder if he knows how wise he is.

22 April 2008

White flag

I think that I've hit rock bottom.

I know that today's all day crying fit wasn't the first, and I'm certain, not the last, but I feel absolutely horrible.

Mr. JB and I decided to take a mental health day together. In almost three years of marriage we have never taken a day off just to do nothing. He's taken me to many appointments, IF and otherwise. He's dutifully held my hand and supported me throughout all of my health issues. Unfortunately, in my already weakened state I totally went nutso on him.

One of the reasons why we decided that it would be a good idea to play hooky together was that he had to bring another semen sample to the lab. Since we're using the FertilityCare method we were given a Male Factor Pak to collect the sample. Basically, it's a condom that we have to poke holes into before we got down to business (yes, even for a cradle Catholic, the whole process just seemed a little ridiculous). Then after doing in the deed the sample is deposited into a specimen jar and then taken to the lab.

Mr. JB is not very good at doing new or unfamiliar things. He tried to convince me that our new doc didn't provide him with any instructions on how to use the new sperm collection condom. He kept on hemming and hawing about how difficult it was and that he couldn't believe that it was so complicated, even though I knew that we were given a detailled list of what to do.

And then I lost it on him.

I took his hesitation as a total slight to what has already been done to my body. Blood tests (which are very difficult for me since I am petrified of needles), internal ultrasounds (with heartless technicians), a saline sonohysterogram, an HSG, plus all of the crazy procedures I've had to go through for my colitis. At one point I was so angry that I was trying to find things to throw at him, but I was too worried that I would break something that I really liked so I hid in the walk-in closet.

I spent the rest of the day in bed in my pj's and alternating between crying and extreme anger. I'm very lucky that my husband is an even keeled guy, because I was an absolute demon.

I remember that when I had my breakdown in university that I felt so much better when I finally admitted that I was in trouble. I also remember that as a kid when I fessed up about doing a naughty thing I felt relief. So hopefully admitting that I am so absolutely sad and frustrated will make this better.

In the meantime I'm going to sit here and wave my white flag.

I surrender to you stupid infertility.

20 April 2008

Seeing the finish line

I honestly thought that the end of my course (which I think I got an A in, btw) would bring me some sort of relief. I also thought that finishing report cards and parent-teacher interviews, without throwing something at some of the stupid parents that I asked to see me, would make me feel victorious. I even booked our plane tickets for our vacation to France in Spain in July.

Alas, all of this goodness has just brought me more dread.

I don't know if it was the incredibly long and cold winter that most of Canada experienced. Or the fact that I'm just so sick of some of my students (one of which is going to be the fodder for a future post because he is driving me so crazy) and that I'm already counting down to the end of the year. Perhaps it's just sheer exhaustion from my perpetually long to-do list.

Or am I just sick being inexplicably infertile?

If I was a gambler I would definitely put my money on the last option.

I spent the last week getting daily blood tests and internal ultrasounds to give the new doc a baseline to work with. Although all of the technicians were very gentle and friendly, I couldn't help but feel sad at the injustice of not having a clear diagnosis. It also doesn't help that my nemesis on staff is getting larger by the minute and reminding anyone within earshot that she's going on maternity leave very soon.

I never thought that I would envy people with a clear IF diagnosis. Would I feel better if I had a doctor tell myself or Mr. JB that we had PCOS, endo, blocked tubes, or male factor? Would it be better for my sanity if I could just go to a regular infertility clinic instead of trying my eastern medicine combined with NaproTechnology approach to conventional IF treatment? Or would I be able to live with my infertile self if I could just give up my dream of being a mom?

I guess that it doesn't help that my immune system seems to have gone on strike and that I've been so ridiculously busy that I haven't had a moment of silence to get my head together. It also doesn't help that pregnant women and newborns seem to be circling me like vultures.

So I think that my best course of action is to lie low. I'm going to pretend now that the daily visits with the dildo cam are done for this month that I don't belong to the silent club of infertiles. Instead I'm going to admire the leaves that are budding on the tree in the backyard and go for long walks with Mr. JB and do a zillion sun salutations.

I hope that a mental break from IF is the cure for what ails me.

P.S. I called the evil clinic and gave them my Visa number and they sent my records to the new doc. Assholes.

3 April 2008

Some asses need some serious kicking

I admit it. I'm very high strung, thus the need for all the yoga. I can usually keep my emotions in check, but if one more person gets into my way today, I'm going to go postal.

I'm fighting my second cold in a month thanks to Mr. JB. Not only am I so ridiculously congested and tired, I haven't been able to go to yoga all week since I can't breathe through my nose! Last night when I got home from school I fell asleep for three hours! Then I had dinner and went to bed for another seven hours. Although I feel rested, I'm still not well. Argh.

Yesterday morning I spent a very frustrating forty minutes trying to find an ultrasound clinic that could do a follicular U/S. I spoke to four different clinics (to four very dumb people) before I found a place that even knew what a follicular ultrasound was!!! Lucky for me I got appointments before school so I don't have to book any time off (since I have to go for daily U/S for a week!). AND I went for bloodwork at a local lab and the technician is a family friend (and someone that has no idea about our TTC woes). To top it off I also had to speak to two moms about their sons' plagiarized Social Studies assignments.

So today was marginally better until I got home and checked our voicemail. Our new doctor wanted to see our records from the evil fertility clinic. I filled out a form at her office and just expected that the records would be forwarded to her office. Alas I was mistaken. I got home to a message saying that I have to drive to the evil clinic and pay them $25 for my records! WTF???? Last time I checked those were my records, right? Why do I have to pay someone to have my personal medical records released to me? Are they punishing me for going to a fertility clinic that has ethics and actually cares for their patients? Do they hate me because I didn't drop thousands of dollars to make a baby? Did I hurt my asshole doctor's feelings when I told him that I didn't want to undergo IVF even though he kept on insisting that it was the only way that I was going to have a baby?

So what to do? Do I call and yell at them? Or do I just suck it up and drive up to the clinic and put down my $25? Advice anyone?

1 April 2008

My hopefulness report card

My least favourite thing about being a teacher is writing report cards. Not only do they take a ridiculously long time, but just the thought of them makes me feel like a bad teacher. I hate that I have to stop wonderful teachable moments (i.e. when my class gets genuinely excited about a topic that we're learning, but I have to stop talking about it because I know that I have more curriculum to cover that day) that my students will actually have to remember.

I also hate having to justify marks to the crazy parents of my students.  I teach in the French immersion program and the community that I teach for seems to see it as a prestigious program and that all of their children are A+ students. Which is not the case at all. 

Last week I met with a mother who insisted (for half an hour!) that her daughter (who is still mispronouncing simple words that she learned two years ago when she started learning French!)  deserved higher marks in my class. Her biggest complaint was that she failed the pronunciation portion of her French speech. She also said that I didn't like her child and that was why I was giving her lower marks. In my most diplomatic teacher speak I tried to explain to her that her daughter isn't the brightest student in the class and that the fact that she makes the same mistakes over and over again and as the teacher it is really frustrating. What I really wanted to tell her was that her kid asked me how to say hello in French at the end of the school year -- I say "Bonjour!" to every student when they enter the classroom. It is also the first word on my word wall. My unilingual hubby, who hasn't taken a French class since the 80's even knows that bonjour means hello! I guess I should not take notice of her daughter's issues with the French language and that I should just give A's to every kid as soon as they walk into my classroom in September. 

Yeah right.

We met with our FertilyCare instructor for the second time last week and according to my chart it seems as though I have a problem with low progesterone levels. We're going to meet with the doctor that works with the MBFC this afternoon to see what the official word is. Part of me is relieved that this is the issue, another part of me is really frustrated that we've been TTC for almost three years and that I've mentioned my progesterone levels to THREE doctors that just brushed me off! I really hope that meeting with yet another doctor is going to bring some sort of answers. 

Mr. JB and I visited our acupuncturist yesterday and he said that my body is almost ready to get pregnant. He also mentioned that so many things grow in the spring time so it is the perfect time for us to get pregnant. 

So it seems like the universe is aligning, or at least is coming closer together. 

My hopefulness grade: B+.