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Archive for May, 2009

Life returns to normal (sort of)

Following last week’s IVF excitement (retrieval, transfer, etc.), this week seems to have pretty much returned to a steady state. If I understand the biology correctly, the blastocyst should have “hatched” yesterday and begun attaching to the uterus today. Of course, this presumes that everything has gone well. And, that’s a huge (and, statistically speaking, most likely faulty) assumption.

So, we’re just trying to go on with life as normal. We returned to work after the long holiday weekend. Tonight, I cooked a mustard and peppercorn encrusted pork tenderloin and roasted red potatoes. We ate and watched episode #10 of HBO’s True Blood.

After dinner, I gave L her nightly PIO shot, did the dishes (having taken over all domestic duties in an effort to “be helpful”), and wrote some posts/replies on the blog.

Thus far, the waiting for next Friday’s results hasn’t been too bad. Yet.

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Are all (other) men fucking crazy?

After her afternoon nap (and my afternoon of ongoing home improvement projects), I found L engaged in one of her favorite pastimes of late: reading IVF blogs. She was especially in a twitter over Murgdan’s recent post regarding her husband’s desire to not have children (update: this has subsequently been removed from her blog after touching off a number of unwelcome comments from “assholes”—including presumably yours truly—with opinions on fatherhood).

This is my summary of the story as initially related by Murgdan:

It seems that Mr. Murgdan, having never wanted children, relented and agreed to having kids. No success. Infertility diagnosis (male factor). Off to the IVF races, of which fresh cycle #1 failed. After this let down (and on the very night of the failure), Mr. Murgdan saw fit to remind Murgdan that he never wanted to have kids in the first place.

What the fuck?

In a comment responding to Murgdan’s post, Sarah—the blogger at Bottoms Off and On the Table—shared her fears about what the failure infertility treatments might portend for her marriage. I can only hope this is an overreaction. Remember: for better or worse.

I really don’t get either of these mens’ actions or reactions.

For my part, I’m totally committed to our infertility treatments. If those fail, we’ll pursue other options (unless we both conclude otherwise). If things go well, I’ll be the best father that I can figure out how to be. If things don’t work out and we end up childless, I won’t be crushed or devastated.

No, we’ll just pick up the pieces and continue building a meaningful life together.

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Another day, another shot

I just completed administering today’s progesterone in oil (PIO) shot. Unlike the HCG trigger shot—the first intramuscular injection—of a few days ago which seemed daunting (more on this to come, as I’ve written a piece on that topic for the next issue of Exhale Magazine), I’ve become accustomed to “sticking it in my wife’s ass” each evening. L numbs up the target area with an ice pack, while I prepare the syringe and ice pick (might I add, BIG FUCKING) needle.  A quick alcohol rubdown, wait for it to dry a second, and then I plunge it in. No fuss. Little muss (thankfully no bleeders… yet).

We’re pretty nonchalant about the whole thing.

L’s noticed that her ass seems to get sorer, day by day. She takes that without complaint.

I’ve noticed that L’s tits seem to get bigger, day by day, too. I have no complaints, either.

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I’ll get it, dear…

We’re now 30 hours post embryo transfer. L’s spent the day relaxing, and I’ve been (perhaps obsessively) making sure that she pretty much does nothing on her own behalf. Medically, I’m pretty certain there’s no basis in my actions. But, at least I feel like I’m doing something to help ensure that things go smoothly.

While not waiting on L, I’ve spent the rest of the day organizing and cleaning at home.

I wonder if this is some sort of nascent paternal nesting instinct? Or, maybe I’m just tired of the fact that we moved into this house over two years ago and still haven’t finished unpacking yet?!?

In any case, progress has been made.

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The blessings of infertility

Today, I witnessed something sublime: the transfer of two perfectly-formed, microscope embryos from a Petri dish into my wife’s uterus.

I don’t say this lightly, carelessly throwing the word around as a mere adjective.

I literally mean sublime: something that is supreme, without equal, and awe inspiring.

Intellectually, I easily comprehend the process of IVF in terms of science and technology: the union of a human egg and sperm, brought together outside of the human body to divide and grow, and then returned to its natural home. Right, I get it.

Yet, I sat in the embryo transfer room today transfixed by the experience.

The entire process—from L getting in and out of the stirrups—lasted maybe 10 minutes. The actual embryo transfer was completed in just seconds. But, in these brief moments, I had a rush of thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Most of all, I was struck with a sense of awe.

I was witness to the creation of a human life in its earliest stages. And, if successful, that life would be the one of my child. Talk about a moment of clarity. For perhaps the first time, I fully and deeply understood not just the process, but also the possibilities, of IVF.

This must be what Kant described as the “noble sublime.”

I was left speechless, holding back tears, and sitting in quite wonder.

Today was an amazing gift. I realize some people are fortunate in conceiving children easily. For us, it has been a struggle. But, now we’ve had a rare and wondrous experience too. For that, I’m grateful.

No matter what the future holds, I hope that I’m able to hold onto this day.

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