Weekend with the Elephant

15 Apr

This weekend it seemed like the Elephant in the room followed me from place to place.  I got that look yesterday at my friend’s birthday party for their 2-year old.  As couples would enter the party, we’d ask “how are you?”  and “look at little sarah…, etc.”.  They’d light up then look at us dumbstruck.  I’ve gotten so used to the face I feel like I can read their mind.  They see that we are not pregnant and remember we have no kids and draw a complete blank.  Since they can’t ask us how OUR kids are doing they just smile and move on like they saw a ghost.  It’s all very awkward.  I know some people are able to make jokes about it, or will even cough up to “we’re trying” or “we’re hoping soon” or something like that.  I haven’t been able to do that.    The best I can think of is, “we’ve been trying for over 4 years and have unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss”.  It sounds way too depressing, so instead I say “we’re doing great”.    When I was first married, the question would have been “are you planning to have kids?” or “when are you going to have kids?”  Now I just get the uncomfortable look of confusion & pity, like they don’t know what box to put us in.  Since we are not parents, what else is there to talk about,  oh, look, is that someone I know over there? let’s see…

After that I went off to acupuncture at this special fertility acupuncture clinic and the elephant followed me even there.  Only this time I was in a waiting room full of people with various fertility problems.  This time we are all avoiding the elephant with eyes averted and focused on our phones and magazines, almost pretending we aren’t there.  Meanwhile we can hear the receptionist talking on the phone with a patient about her upcoming IVF cycle and retrieval.  I find myself looking away.  I know that is why I am there, but somehow I found myself feeling embarrassed and awkward as people’s fertility issues were so casually and graphically explained within earshot as if they were commonplace.

We had our follow up ultrasound this morning with my IVF doctor.  Good news!  We have about 18 follicles growing, which is in line with what was expected based on my age and PCO diagnosis and everything seems to be going ok.  My stomach continues to be the pin cushion for “stabby time” (my lovely name for med time 2x day).   They still need to do some more growing as they are 10 mm and they need to get to 18.  If all continues on track we will be scheduled for retrieval this coming Friday.

Mr. Star got to have his big moment today giving his “sample”.  This was the first time he had to do it AT the clinic.  As if it is not awkward enough, the nurse came into the waiting room with other couples and announced “ok, we are ready for you to give your sample now”.   Dutifully no one looked up, even though we all knew what that meant.  I guess we are all used to this by now.  After it was all over he gave me the report.  Apparently the “sample” room has a sofa with animal print pillows and a TV with a VCR and DVD player.  It included a surprisingly exotic collection of porn videos that featured mostly Asian women and anal sex.  It made us wonder about the demographics they were going for and made for a good laugh on the drive home.    Points for Mr. Star for doing the deed.  I can’t imagine having to do that at the doctor’s office.  Instead I get to get my parts extracted next weekend ;  )

For fun on the drive home we stopped by the cat shelter.  Since our cat died in December we’ve been thinking about maybe getting kittens and I’ve lately been feeling SO ready to adopt.  Apparently we are a few months early though, kitten season is a few months out still.


3 Responses to “Weekend with the Elephant”

  1. mrs. brightside April 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    It’s hard NOT to think about this stuff all the time, when it affects so much of how we live and our interactions with others, that unrelenting dark shadow. But hurrah for 18 follicles! And I had to laugh at your husbands porn options. I would feel bad for hubs with having to do this, and then I’d be like, wait a minute, I’m essentially being probe-raped today in this same office so maybe jerking off isn’t going to score high on the sympathy scale. He always knew better than to complain, handled it like a champ 🙂

  2. jjiraffe April 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    That detail about the decor of the room and assortment of porn is fascinating!! Darcy always insisted on “donating his sample” at home, then we would rush across the city with it. It’s a wonder we never got a speeding ticket…

  3. Nicole April 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    So glad this cycle is going well! I agree that it does make for awkward conversations for people with kids. They really don’t want to hear about infertility so what can you say?

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