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So last week (was it that long ago) we stuffed ourselves with raw fish, then took a stroll around beautiful botanical gardens. Walking through rows of new growth, budding flowers and sneezing through tree sex, one can’t help but think of the process of life creation.

Peg and Fran, bless this Sushi we are about to put into our unpregnant bellies

Peg and Fran, bless this Sushi we are about to put into our unpregnant bellies

The thing is, I don’t feel connected to it. I wholeheartedly wish that I did. I wish that I could see my body as yet another flower that will inevitably be pollanated, but I just don’t know. It’s so much more than the birds and the bees. It’s like, ok kids, let me tell you about the birds and the bees, but also about the bills and the fees and the doctor’s and the needles and the tubes….I understand that lots of people decide to have a baby and then get pregnant. And everything is beautiful. But I feel so far removed from that sort of thinking. I try so hard not be jealous. Really I do. But it’s difficult.

I’ve heard people say that if you get pregnant it all just washes away. Does it? Your last post gave me an idea. How wonderful to have that weekend as a conception weekend.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. I know that the V-list is about being able to (hopefully) tell our children they were born at a time of adventure and beauty. No matter what procedural option I choose, Danny and I are going to do something amazing, so we can tell our hypothetical kids, you were conceived the weekend we

a) entered ourselves into a Liberace look-a-like contest

b) scuba dived the great barrier reef

c) camped out underneath a meteor shower

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Fran in the big city

Some adVenturs must be done alone… like defrosting some snow babies for a second round of IVF. Fran missed Peggy and her sushi eating, skydiving ways, but had a nice short visit to Chicago. She went shopping on the Magnificent Mile, met a friend for dinner and had the most delicious calamari of her life, saw Second City for the second time, and watched five hours of Golden Girls. Could life get any better? Yes, yes it could. A positive pregnancy test would be the whipped cream and cherry of the weekend (as opposed to the bread and butter).

Not many people can say they had such a fun-filled weekend when they conceived. The most exciting story I ever heard is a friend who conceived after an Eagles victory. If one of the two embryos implant they will have a story, alright. One like no other and yet like thousands of others…

hookah

We got to scratch two things off the V-List in one sitting: #12 smoke something and #29 drink alcohol. We are such bad Vasses. We spent yesterday afternoon in the downtown Hookah Lounge. In a large sun room filled with hanging plants and wicker furniture we smoked plum flavored tobacco through a penis shaped pipe. According to the waitress plum is the underdog of all tobaccos on the menu, the forgotten gem. We identified with the plum. 

I never would have done this if it weren’t for the V-List. Trying something new makes me feel like I experienced the world a little more. Connecting with someone who is going through similar struggles makes me feel like I can handle what the world throws at me. I feel a bit more solid in each tobacco-infused, wine-happy, baby step.

Thank you for the secret note you left me at the inferility clinic! It was a bright spot to my otherwise grim visit to Magnolia Park. Dr. W said, “Well, your ultrasound was…um…quite dramatic.” The cysts on my ovaries are apparently tennis ball sized and have cousins that are happily hanging onto my fallopian tubes like nasty little monkeys. The entire family of them are filled with gooey poison which seeps into my gut. And the good news? He thinks taking the cysts out could actually COMPROMISE the fertility of my eggs. Seriously, can I not have ONE element that works correctly?

I left a quick note to you (under many watchful eyes). And at the checkout I saw a flyer for a new mom party. Braggarts! I can’t wait to put our V-list party flyer right next to it and assure women that at OUR party there will be no stinky diapers or swapping of ultrasound images. (unless they are ultrasounds of cysts or follicles.)

I keep trying to take a deep breath and see this all as a lesson in patience. I should know by now that in this world the game changes daily, so the Bad News Bears have to roll with the punches. One of these days I will learn how to do that. I’m pretty sure the key lies in riding a mechanical bull, drinking gin from a flask or eating one of the cupcakes you made. I’ll start with that one…

I do not control the universe (as previously thought in my teenage years). After our day of riding roller coasters I can’t stop thinking about what a perfect metephor roller coasters are for our predicament. And not only in the obvious way that doing assisted reproduction is definately a ride, but also, you just have to strap yourself in, bear down and hope for the best. The only thing you really have control of is whether you scream or hold your breath, open or close your eyes. You can’t force the end result, you just have to lean into the turns when they come and try not to fall out. Okay, I think my metaphor may have fallen apart (like my reproductive organs! HA!). When we first started trying to get pregnant two years ago? three? (I’ve lost count now). I thought that if I just read about the right time to get it on I’d be able to make everything go according to my plan. But that’s not how things turned out and why I’m now seeking adventure in the form of giant metal thrill rides.

I like how Alisa put it in her last post. We are not freaks. (Pictures of us dressed up in costumes at the library notwithstanding) We’re just a couple of women who want to have a baby or two. Is that so much to ask? Can I PLEASE see an article in the paper that just says, Hi I’m Jane Doe and without modern science I would not have been able to have a baby? Instead I read articles, like the one in USA Today, shaking their fingers at the women and doctors who transfer bushels of embryos. Making it seem like the women and docs are so greedy. The article seemed to be saying the responsible thing is to just implant one. I almost choked on my chocolate chip cookie! If that reporter had to pay upwards of 12K on each cycle I bet my bad fallopian tubes she’d change her mind.

P.S. Seriously, how funny was it that we were climbing onto roller coasters talking about cycles and hormones? And, I’m willing to bet that man had never heard someone say the word infertile, let alone say it in a theme park.

Roller Coaster Day

 

Steph and I often talk about how reproductive challenges are like riding a roller coaster… so what better way to embrace our situation than riding a bunch of thrilling, terrifying roller coasters?!

Dressed in v-neck t-shirts with large, silver, sparkly, spray painted V’s and visors with puffy silver and pink V’s painted on them, we spend a Monday afternoon jumping from roller coaster to roller coaster in Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventures. Surprisingly, yet unsurprisingly, we only received one comment on our attire from a 70-ish year old man who said, “I’ve heard of the A-list and the B-list but the V-list is way on the bottom. Why do you want to be there?”

We don’t actually. We would much rather have kids without the emotional, financial and physical strain Assisted Reproduction entails. However, these are the only ovaries, uterus, and sperm we have at the moment. While the media paints negative pictures of the reproductively challenged as selfish because we don’t adopt, haphazard because we are putting our bodies through ‘experimental’ procedures, and freaks who want octuplets, the V-List is here to shed some light on the biased, fear mongering way of thinking. V is a perfectly respectable letter, even if it isn’t at the top. We are here to invert the reproductive alphabet. We are here to put the fun in infertility.