The Baby Dance
Pass the Freakin Hormones

June 16, 1999

Let the games begin.

Chuck and I started our second round of heavy duty fertility treatments in the quest for a second little bundle of joy last Friday.

This whole process started over a year ago. And what a long, strange trip its been.

As background, Zoe was created with absolutely no effort on our parts. As a matter of fact, she was conceived, unbeknownst to us, about two weeks before our wedding. So, every time she sees a wedding picture and asks where she is (as she does with every single picture she looks at) we tell her she was in my tummy.

About a year or so later we wanted a second child. It would be perfect. Baby #2 would arrive shortly before Zoe turned two. Perfect age difference. Two months later I found out I was pregnant. Six weeks later I miscarried. Ever since then, nothing, nada, zip. Never even a day late to wonder if maybe I was.

About a year later we decided that we needed some professional help. We knew that piece A went into slot B, but for some reason it wasn't working. I'd talked to my OB about six months after the miscarriage and he informed me that it takes the average couple about a year to conceive. We'd just been extremely lucky two times.

He then went on to explain that when girl babies develop in the womb they get their lifetime allotment of eggs. Millions. By the time they're born it's down to a few thousand, and that the good ones go first, when women are in their teens and twenties. I was in my late thirties so I probably didn't have that many eggs left and what was left were the bad, old ones. I walked out of his office feeling like a million bucks, lemme tell you.

The specialist, not covered by my insurance, of course, seemed to think all we needed was a little jump start. Three months and we should see some results. We started with artificial insemination, affectionately referred to as the turkey baster method. No go.

They then suggested a test called a histosalpingogram. The injected radioactive dye into my uterus. It would leak out of my tubes and detect any blockages. We referred to this as the roto rooter. Even if there were no blockages, the specialist said, usually right after the roto rooter women get pregnant with the turkey baster method. Everything is all cleaned out and the little swimmers have a clear shot to home base. Still, no go.

A couple more rounds with the turkey baster and we decided to give it a rest. Perhaps we just needed to relax.

Never mind all our friends and family so sweetly asking if we were going to have any more children. None of your fucking business.

When we started this whole thing, thinking perhaps our timing was just off or something we said, "No extraordinary measures. No drugs." Those words actually came out of my mouth. Chuck and I agreed on this. We knew what happened when you took fertility drugs. Twins, triplets, quads, sextuplets. Nothankyewverymuch. We wanted a baby. One baby. Not a litter.

About three months ago I had a change of heart. Another trip to the specialist. What are my options, short of in vitro, $10,000 I didn't really want to spend. (Especially since there are no assurances that you'll end up with a baby on the first try, and you could end up with more than one.)

Well, we can use fertility drugs to boost the number of eggs you produce and then go ahead with the turkey baster (OK, turkey baster are my words, not hers).

Every night for ten long nights Chuck gave me a shot. In the butt. I told my dad about it. His comment was that the reason we were having problems conceiving is because the butt is the wrong place. Thanks. By this point I had no sense of humor about any of this. Off to the doctor at the prescribed second and sex with the turkey baster. Chuck has come to most all visits with me and all the turkey baster visits. At least he kisses me when the doctor is done turkey basting me. No go on a baby that time around.

To add insult to injury with this whole thing the doctor's office is way on the other side of town from my office. For you Angelinos, my doctor is in Tarzana, my office Downtown. It's about 25 miles. When you do this whole thing it requires near-daily trips to the doctor for checkups and bloodletting. Then, you have to go in for the turkey basting at a specific time on a specific day. Forget trying to have a life. Everything must go on hold.

In spite of all of this we decided to give it a second chance. For the last week Chuck has been giving me hormone shots in the butt for another round of massive production of eggs. I feel like shit. I have more hormones going through my system then a human can stand to have. I have perpetual PMS magnified like a million times. I vacillate between wanting to crawl in bed and cry and biting everyone's heads off. I have no sense of humor. I'm tired, irritable, cranky, and just all around unpleasant to be around.

I'm taking tomorrow off from work cuz I can't even bear to go into the office. Everyone there is just pissing me off. Chuck is pissing me off because he's breathing. Zoe is driving me up the wall. I'm all around a pleasure to be around these days.

We go in for turkey basting on Monday. I guess we'll know in a few weeks how this all turns out. I hope we end up pregnant because I don't think I can put my neighborhood through this again.

Aren't you glad you tuned in today?

Until next time. . .