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A considerably less vague explanation of The Thing

I'm not planning to talk about this a whole lot, but I don't want to pretend it isn't happening, so here goes. If you don't care to hear about my personal biology and medical history and a long discussion of girly things you may want to skip this post.

I have always wanted to have children. It was always sort of a random, unfocused desire. When I was younger, I decided I wanted to be finished having children before I was 30. Later, I wanted to have started having children before I was 30. Later still, I just wanted to be pregnant before I was 30. I will be 30 in a little more than two weeks. I am not pregnant.

About two years ago, my random, unfocused desire became very un-random and very focused. I started wanting a baby. I started wanting a baby so much I could taste it. I started wanting to pick up every baby I saw and put it entirely into my mouth. I started thinking of names and figuring out how I could work part time and thinking of how I would decorate the nursery. Mainly, I thought about how good the top of a baby's head smells and about how much I wanted to make a person that was a piece of me and a piece of my husband. I also thought a lot about how badly we would screw a kid up and how much I should start putting away into the therapy fund. About a year ago, the planets aligned. We were doing well, had good jobs, a nice house, and we decided it was time. I went off the pill. I had reasonable expectations. I thought I would be pregnant within 6 months or so and have a baby early next year. A year later, I am not pregnant.

I'm not pregnant because my ovaries are a couple of lazy, slack ass bitches. I am really very pissed off at my ovaries. I have been nothing but nice to them. I have given them everything, really. I've kept them warm, I've taken them on numerous vacations with me, I've allowed them to experience the joys of copious amounts of alcohol and moderate amounts of other somewhat less legal drugs. In return, I have asked very little. They didn't have to do a damned thing for the first 12 years of my life; they were just along for the ride. Their only real responsibility is to get off their lazy butts once a month and generate a teeny tiny little egg. This cannot be very trying. As there are two of them, they don't even have to do it every month. They can alternate, or maybe have six months of one and then six months of the other or whatever other labor-sharing arrangement thrills their little ovarian hearts. And then, after this very easy life, they get to retire at 50. Basically (and yes, I have done the math) I am asking each of them to do only 228 things in their entire lifetimes. That is roughly one third of the number of times that I brush my teeth in any given year. Apparently, that is too much trouble for my slack-ass ovaries as they stubbornly refuse to cooperate. Bitches.

For the last few months, we have been subjecting ourselves to the joys of modern medical science. I have given gallons of blood. I have at times looked like a particularly dedicated heroin addict thanks to my professionally administered track marks. I had an HSG, which involves shooting radiographic dye through the uterus and fallopian tubes. At my house, this is affectionately referred to as the "hose up the cooter" test. I was expecting my uterus to look like that pink, rounded triangle always depicted in biology text books and was rather surprised to see that it looked more like my cat's head. I seriously considered getting a copy of the pictures to post in an "About Me" section on this site. My husband has participated in one of the few officially sanctioned medical tests which involve the liberal use of pornography. He was deeply unsatisfied with the selection. There is nothing wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with my husband. I don't ovulate and my collection of highly educated doctors is at a loss to tell me why. So now we are moving from infertility testing to infertility treatment. The first step is a round of Clomid, which theoretically will deliver a sharp kick to my useless ovaries, preferably while wearing steel toed boots. For some reason, the decision to start the Clomid is a lot harder than the decision to go off the pill. We decided to give it one more shot on our own, two months at the most. This is the right decision for a lot of reasons, so why does it make me feel so bad?

Meanwhile, I'm a wreck. I cry at commercials and cheesy tv shows and especially at the trailer for that damned Adam Sandler movie where they talk about how important kids are and how all you can do is the best you can. I was first diagnosed as infertile two days before I received another nasty bit of news. I think I could have handled one or the other. Both in two days pushed me under the bus and it has been a serious struggle to peel myself off the asphalt. While I know it intellectually, I can't help feeling in my heart of hearts that being infertile is a reflection on me. I am defective. I am less of a woman. I am not worth loving. None of these things are true. I have a fairly common medical problem for which I will receive treatment, but that logic is cold comfort.

I don't know how this will end. I can't stand that. I don't know why I am putting myself and us through this, except that I don't have a choice. I have never wanted anything this much. Nothing has ever been this important to me. I'm scared and thrilled and morose and elated and totally alone and surrounded by friends who understand. I am scared out of my mind by the thought of having a child. Somehow I think it will be more challenging than having a cat. I can think of a hundred reasons to never have a baby or to wait another month or another year or another decade. None of that seems to matter. I want a baby and my husband refuses to let me steal one at Starbucks and Jenny has steadfastly refused to be pregnant with twins and give one to me so I guess my only choice is to make one of my own.

So wish me luck at getting knocked up, people.

God. My ass is going to be huge.

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A considerably less vague explanation of The Thing:

» My Eggs are Not Over-Easy from All I'm Saying
Beth is Chris' wife. Turns out they're having some really similar fertility issues to Matt and me. [Read More]

Comments (47)

Been there. No fun. But yes, fairly common, usually treatable, blah blah blah. It will shape who you become as a mother, in mostly good ways. So wallow a little. Then keep going. You'll be okay. :)

"I have never wanted anything this much."

I can relate to this. I've wanted a child for so long I think I was born with the desire. (ooh, talk about weird!) It really is a physical thing, this need, this wish. Like you I stare at other people with their children and I envy them so much I feel bad about it. (I think that's mostly cuz I'm a Catholic though. Wanting is a very bad thing you know.) Hell, sometimes I worry that I'm staring so hard people will think I'm secretly making plans to steal their kid. Which of course I would never, ever do. (It should go without saying but just to be on the safe side.)

Sounds like your ovaries and my ovaries were separated at birth. Mine are a couple of slack ass bitches too! Just the other day I thought to myself, "Maybe it's time to acknowledge the fact that you aren't going to have children." Fuck. I was in the car on the way to work and I'm willing to bet a few people on the inner loop wondered why I was crying at 6:30am. Or maybe not. I mean, traffic around the DC Metro area is so bad, I'm sure people cry on the beltway every day.

Anyhoo.... I'm sending all sorts of very good thoughts your way AND there's just no way that your ass will look anything other than fine!

If I could I would give you mine. I don't need mine anymore (ovaries that is) and they still have at least 20 years in them.
Maybe you could look at egg donations. They do that here in Australia.
I have also heard that it takes a while for some people's bodies to return to pre-pill state, especially when they have been on it for a while.
Hope things look up for you soon.

I don't know the right response to this other than to say I'll be thinking good thoughts. The mother in me is yelling at your ovaries right now to get with the program and start doing what needs to be done! (I'm using my "mom" voice.) Hope it works.

I wish you and Chris all the best, and I'm gonna be praying for you. If ever I have to deal with the same thing, I'm definitely emailing you for moral support. But that's about ten years away.
I hope you guys can enjoy the trying, and I'm sure it'll all work out.

Hang in there, you will be great parents when the time comes, and it will.

I totally relate. I got off the pill in January of 2003 and we decided to just let it happen. It hasn't happened. I will start going through the tests in January if I don't get pregnant on my own before then. So I understand and sympathize.

I'll bet that Clomid kicks those lazy ovaries into action. Tell me how it goes, because my doctor has already said I will probably be put on Clomid myself.

I'm sending you a hug, and sending fertile thoughts your way.

It will happen when you least expect it. A coworker of mine was about to start fertility treatments when she got pregnant -- and she got pregnant at a time when she for once wasn't worrying about it and was doing things she would never normally do (like eat fast food and drink alcohol). She had her baby last week.

Reading your post is makes it very clear to me that I'm not ready (not that there's anyone trying to knock me up). I have never felt any of those things. Ok, maybe the smell of a baby's head thing. That's a sweet smell.

Not sure what to say, Beth, but I will say that it doesn't sound like you are "infertile". That's like telling someone with a stuffy nose that they have no sense of smell. Maybe today its offline but, as a unit, things sound very healthy. Maybe that ovarian decongestant is just the thing you need.

Good luck for the next couple of months. We'll keep our fingers crossed for ya.

Oh yeah, and I love this line:

"I started wanting to pick up every baby I saw and put it entirely into my mouth."

Its strange how that is like a recurring expression by women when talking about children. Not sure why.

HAPPY HUMPING!
(how crass is that?)
And you can feel free to borrow my two year old ANYTIME...but I doubt his head would fit in your mouth, plus I know where his hands have been...keep those out of your mouth as well. blech.

There are worse things than big asses, I've had one for years. I know.

I hope everything works out for you sweetie.

Don't loose hope. They told my cousin that she would never have children, and she's pregnant with her third child now...

I've joined the ranks of those who have their fingers crossed! You and Chris will be awesome parents.

Well, good luck. At least you can have some fun trying. I bet you two will make awesome parents, well at least you will, not so sure about that cactus guy. ;-)
I will cross whatever I can and add you to my prayer list!

If it is any help at all, know that there is a legion - and entire planet's worth - of people who are going through this, have been through this, who feel your pain.

Nope, probably didn't help.

OK, I suck at the rah rah thing. But here - I will pray for you, I will think good thoughts at you, that you and Mr Fish make a beautiful guppy very soon. And if you ever want, my email address is here and I am a pretty good listener.

I never went on drugs to get pregnant, because I can get pregnant just thinking about manly bits. I couldn't stay pregnant. Not at all. And like you, we never knew why. But we got our Bear, so I know miracles do happen. They DO.

Meanwhile - all parts crossable? Still crossed.

Wishing you luck, Beth.

To me the worst part (other than not having a baby of course) would be the "not knowing"...all the uncertainties about how long it will take and all the crap you'll have to go through. Hopefully one round of Clomid will do the trick. Wishing you peace and fertility! To Beth's Ovaries: Come on girls, pop those eggs out! You can do it!

Still crossed. Except for the legs-- just in case there is some weird voodoo going on. (That sounds horrible, doesn't it?)

Hope you get knocked up soon!

I can't think of any wise thoughts to give you, but I will pray for you and Rude that you get what you are hoping for. I too was born with the innate desire to have children and although we have not started trying, I have an irrational (I hope) fear that I will be unable to concieve. I am crossing my fingers for you guys!

Enjoy the practice!

Oof! Good luck! I'm worried also that since I desperately want kids like NOW (okay, only in the abstract sense because I can barely take care of myself, but isn't there a service where you can rent 3yos for a couple of hours a day?) I won't be able to have them when the time is actually right. Actually, my bigger fear is that I won't find anyone I want to marry and have children with. (And then another fear is that when I get pregnant, I am going to be so grossly fat and unattractive.)

But enough about me. Like I said, good luck and really, really, really, it will all work out for the best in the end.

Hey. I'm thinking of you. Can't wait to send you baby clothes.

You do NOT want to nab a starbucks baby. Trust me on this one, they are hyper little buggers.

Good luck! Our road took a different path, so to speak, I'm hoping yours works more to your liking. And have plenty of sex (long, hard, loud) cuz when you DO have kids? Well, that's out the window. At least 'round here.

Good Luck toyou and Chris, Beth!

I have some slack ass bitches too, docs say if I ever want to have kids, it should not be a problem, they just have to jump start the bitches a bit. I bet that turns out to be the case for you, too.

My best friend's ovaries never developed. She had to have her period induced and was told she would never be able to have children. She and her husband went thru egg donation and IVF. My gorgeous, amazing godson will be 3 in December and none of us can imagine life without him in it.

However it happens Beth, it will be beautiful and wonderful.

I wish you both luck. I know this is a tough time, but have faith. Everything will work out as it should. You are not defective, I promise. You still continue to be a great person with a wicked sense of humor. I appreciate that. As I'm sure the rest of your loyal readers do. Keep your chin up!

Ovaries can be so damn lazy sometimes. Mine did really well the first time but they have not been cooperative for the second. We've been trying for 2 1/2 years for a second kid.

Anyway, I really hope everything works out for y'all.

Sending you lucky baby vibes! Try to keep the joy in the act, eh?

good luck getting knocked up!

Fingers crossed. Am sure all will be well.

Oh jeez...I could have written about 3/4 of that post myself. My favorite line from a doctor is, "You're not 'infertile.' You're 'subfertile.'" Like that makes it any better.

Anyway, I just finished round 1 with Clomid and no eggs were forthcoming. If you want to chat fertility stuff, e-mail me any time you like. Hang in there!

i'm sure it's all been said already, but you and chris are in my thoughts! you will make the best parents :) it will happen.

I wish I knew the right thing to say. Everything I think of sounds trite or wrong. Never give up. I know people who have been in your situation and the Clomid has worked right off the bat and I know others who have gone to the ends of all means to get pregnant ... in all cases I know of- the women have gotten pregnant.

I'll stop there and just say I am wishing you both all the luck (and eggs) in the world.

sweet Beth! Your description of being totally pissed off with your ovaries brought The Funny to my day. I am sending up hope and prayers for you two, seriously. I will even put you on the prayer list, you just say the word! Old ladies love to pray for babies!

seriously, much luhve out to you, girl.

I am so sorry. I suffered 4 years of infertility and recurrent miscarriage. I adopted 2 children and eventually gave birth to 2 children.
It may be a long road or short skip for you to motherhood. But I do know that somehow, someway if you want to be a mom bad enough, you will find a way.
I am sorry for the pain and angst you have to walk through in the meantime.
Everything is crossed for you. Luck.

I'm 6 years down the infertility road and approaching 40. I think it's a great idea to get serious before turning 30. I remember being cautious about taking chlomid and it makes me laugh at this point. I say jump in with both feet and pursue treatment agressively. If you have an early success, great (and who wouldn't wish that for you), but if it takes longer and more, at least you know right off the bat. (Just my opinion - take what you like.) Best of luck!

I empathize with you. I know what it's like to want a baby so badly with the man that you love. I don't know what it's like to go through what you're going through, but I wish I could take it away, help out, anything. So, since I can't do much, I know that the one powerful thing I can do is say a prayer because I am dying to have a niece or nephew to spoil!
:)
Good luck getting knocked up girl!

Okay - I get it now...

You're in the right frame of mind -- Like Ben said -- have plenty of great sex and fun -- cuz when the little one comes around -- oh you'll be lucky to find time to for a quickie! --

Good luck to you two! I'll say include you in my 'now i lay me down to sleep' thingy each night :-)

Oh man...I was getting teary and sad and all for you and then I get to the end where you MAKE ME FEEL EVEN WORSE! I don't want the huge ass either.I wish I could do something for you, I do. I will be thinking of you and Chris and hoping so badly for you to get pregnant. You will...crossing my fingers and other assorted body parts. HUGS.

Good luck Beth, and don't worry about getting big ass, it will go..eventually.

I'm so very sorry you're going through this. I cannot imagine, because I already cry at all of that stuff you mentioned.

If you never ovulate, doesn't that mean you don't ever get your period? So, do you know how long this has been going on based on how long you've been without one?

Sorry to get so personal. Feel free not to answer.

Hang in there. I'm rooting for you guys. I cannot think of many people who deserve a kid to screw up more than you two!! And I mean that in the nicest, everyone-screws-up-their-kids kind of way.

Here's to a huge ass, and soon! ;)

Though Ive never gone through the actual process, my sister took chlomid. She went through the whole Basal thermometer usage, the "quick we need to have sex right now because my temperature is right on" period and everything else. Her and Her Husband are trying for their second and are giving it to the 1st of the year before they try a go at it with Chlomid. But I have to say, thats what it took to have my little niece in here with us. I have a friend that did the IVF thing and that worked for her; another friend just recently adopted a baby boy. So you see, whatever process you go through, its gonna be tough but it will happen, if you want it bad enough. As for now, I will keep all my fingers, toes, and any other possible extremities crossed, in hopes that those damn ovaries will cooperate a little! Good Luck to you and the Mr.

It's gonna happen Beth. I just know it. I was going through the tests myself when I got pregnant. Actually, I believe I sat in the doctors office having him tell me "Kim, you might not be able to have children" when I was in fact about 2 weeks pregnant. Maybe your bitchy tenants (read: ovaries) are just waiting until they're out of their gen x 20's before they gear up for babies!

I started wanting to pick up every baby I saw and put it entirely into my mouth.

All I see is Fat Bastard "Here baby baby. I'm gonna eat you. Get in my belly." ; )

I know a friend who went through something similar. All I can say is don't give up, she tried for 2 years before she finally got a beautiful baby boy.

Best of luck :)

I'm sorry to hear of your trouble. I wish you luck in your quest. It seems that you'll make a great mom!

You want I should send my ovaries over to kick your ovaries asses? They have been re-educated and can share the love.

I too was infertile, and no amount of planned sex was gonna get me pregnant. Once I started treatment, though, it was great. I got pregnant three times on Clomid, twice on the first shot. Once it took three cycles. It's the greatest, and so simple, and you can do it over and over.

Try the clomid. It's great on toast.

Good luck! Go forth and make little Baby Cacti! Because, really, that would be just about the cutest thing ever.

You're both in my prayers. I want to see baby cactus's ! *sending good baby karma your way*

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So the Fish Said...

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