29 January 2006


I have been full on surrounded by babies for the past four days in a row. What fun.

And not one person said, "You look good," or "It's good practice for you."

:: skipping off to check Hell to see if it's frozen over ::

28 January 2006

Seesaws are fun

Argh. Just when I have myself convinced that there’s no way we’re ever going to be able to afford another cycle, and well, that’s okay, we can have happy, fulfilled lives without children and maybe we’ll be more attentive to our friends’ kids and we’ll become known as Auntie Projgen and Uncle Hubby and the kids in the community will all look forward to seeing us because we’ll be the “cool” grups, y’know, the kind who get down on the floor and play with the kids and treat the 12-year-olds like the very-nearly adults that they are and nod our heads knowingly when they grumpily say, “I hate my parents” but then we’ll point out that they may feel like that right now, but they still need to be respectful to their parents and we know they’re upset and angry and they have a right to be and let’s all stomp our feet to get our anger out and ….

Wait. Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah. Just when I have myself convinced of, well, all that, and I’m starting to feel (ugh) “closure,” something happens to get me all psyched again and start thinking about how we could do another cycle if Hubby gets the job he was called about the other day and it’s a full-time contract and good money, and if we get the one grant we know we can get, and if Hebrew Loan would add the 1K that they increased their loan amounts to after we received our loan, and then we could afford extended health care which covers fertility meds and we could be able to put aside enough for another cycle...

We. could. do. another. cycle.

If If If   If If If    If If If    If If If    If If If    If If If    If If If    If If If    If If If    If If If    

24 January 2006

Where else, pastrami?

So very, very sad: 2nd Avenue Deli closes.
The Second Avenue Deli, which symbolized to generations of New Yorkers the past glory of the avenue once known as the "Yiddish Broadway," closed its doors last week, following a dispute with its landlord over a rent hike. As workers this week unscrewed the signs that marked the cultural icon, passersby stopped to comment. "The myth of New York is closing down," one of them said. Another called it a crime.

I fondly remember the cranky wait staff there, so easily anticipating and accomodating all my elderly, equally cranky relatives' unreasonable requests while we tried to stuff those giant sandwiches into our mouths. I am completely convinced, btw, that one relative of mine used to wait until, after serving us, our waitress had reached the other side of the room before he'd "suddenly" realize he wanted a Dr. Brown's Cream Soda: "oh, miss. Miss! MISS!!!"

I know I'm a little late with this news, but I don't keep up so much with New York anymore.


In the beginning, G-d made Man. And He saw that it was good. Then came more Men. One Man married Woman. G-d saw that it wasn't His first choice, but what can You do? Woman didn't want children, so Man got a vasectomy. Man divorced Woman. Man meets another Woman, and marries her. Man and Woman want children.

G-d rolls on the floor, holding His Gut from laughing so hard.

Man and Woman spend many, many dollars on fruitless enterprise vasectomy reserval. Man and Woman spend many, many months taking temperatures and charting and plotting ovulation just in case. Man and Woman spend many, many months waiting until Doctor says, "take a test."

Test results say fruitless enterprise vasectomy reversal failed. Man and Woman see Urologist Number 2. Man and Woman spend many, many dollars on MESA.

"What now?" says Man.

Next: Man discovers Fire Fertility Specialist.

20 January 2006

Meet my dog

He's cute, cuddly and neurotic. He likes to swim, run, chase balls, and chew on sticks. He's sort of a lone wolf. And he won't eat treif (non-kosher food). Honest.

Image has been digitally enhanced to protect the individual's privacy

18 January 2006

Tay-Sachs paper trail

A History repeats entry

When I had my blood draw done (oh, who are we kidding - it wasn't so much a "draw" as it was an oil rig set up to suck out as much fluid as earthly possible from the limited supply my body carries), one of the tests the technician was drawing for was Tay-Sachs.

He didn't know what that was. So he looks it up, figures out where it needs to go, what size vial, what kind of label, etc., etc. I drag my pathetic, now-empty veins to the car and pretend I'm not too faint to drive. I'm not home an hour when we get a phone call from the lab. The Tay-Sachs sample needs a form filled out, could I come back that day and fill it out.

Sure. I've had orange juice. And mugged a vampire for his stash of blood. I'm good to go.

I pop in a little while later, tell the clerk about the phone call and she gets the tech. Who comes out from the back, leans across the reception desk and whispers, "You Jewish?"

I lean forward towards him and whisper, "Uh huh." And think, "Why? You got good kosher candy?"

He shows me this form, which in bold letters across the top states something to the effect of, "persons of the Jewish persuasion must complete this form." I think this poor guy felt that was discriminatory - why should I be singled out for a blood test because I'm Jewish? I explained that Tay-Sachs is a disease that is prevalent in Jews, and he seemed much happier then. I filled out the form (which mainly asked my Jewish ancestry (Ashkenazi or Sephardi), if my husband is Jewish, and his ancestry, and was there any history of Tay-Sachs in the family), handed it off to the receptionist and went on my merry way.

Ha - I should have brought a sleeping bag. I wasn't home very long when I got the call that I knew had to be coming. They didn't take enough of a sample for the Tay-Sachs test, could I come in for another draw. Fine. If you can find it, you can have it.

All was well and good until a few days later. Apparently, not only the testing lab needed the form filled out, but the test results were then sent to a local hospital which records all that information for some reason and they need the form, too. Why can't they just take a copy of the form I gave the lab, you ask? Yeah, I asked that too. Nobody knew why. So off I went to the lab to fill out another form, identical ot the first, for them to send ot the hospital.

On my next visit to the fertility clinic, the secretary called me over and said there was an additional form I needed to fill out, and could I do it while I was there. Of course, I'd already filled out 85 bajillion forms, what was one more?

Wouldn't you know, it was that damn Tay-Sachs form again.

I'll take Commandment #5 for 500, Alex

Here's a thought I had recently that was inspired by something I was reading about Kibud Av v'Em. (honour our father and mother). We are commanded to honour our parents for all sorts of reasons - they give us life, they (ideally) nurture us, they become a unit with G-d for the moment of conception, and of course, the ever-popular reason: G-d tells us to. Even if we have parents who were bad parents - emotionally or physically abusive, who have disowned us, refuse to accept our religious beliefs, etc., etc., we are told to at least honour them for having given us life.

We are meant to hold our parents in awe just as we hold G-d in awe. If you are a child of infertile parents, is there an awareness of how much pain, suffering, soul-searching, depression, hope and despair, and expense has gone into creating you? How much more gratitude and awe should should be afforded the infertile parents for all they've been through to bring a life into the world? Does this not bring infertile parents closer to G-d?

Kibud Av v'Em is a mitzvah I've long struggled with. I don't have the greatest relationship with my parents, although we try. Would I expect more from my child, if I were finally so blessed? Would I think my son or daughter should be much more honouring of me than I to my parents (even if I had the best relationship in the world with them)? If I did receive more, would I be comfortable with it? Would I want it? Would I deserve it? Isn't that oh-so-Jewish-motherly, to expect such honour because, "I suffered SO much for you, you'd better appreciate me!"?

Or is it simply, you have parents, find a way to honour them according to your relationship? Whatever that relationship might be.

12 January 2006

Yay it's a survey!

I haven't had time to blog this week, between being busy and being sick (something is making me sleep 12 hours a night!), so to make up for it, I'm copping a survey from Jenny. Enjoy reading all about ME :)

1. What did you do in 2005 that you hadn't done before?
Tried IVF

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, quite a few people actually.

3. Did anyone close to you die?
Thank G-d, no

4. Did you travel? Where did you go?
Just went away for a couple of weekends, locally. With IVF, we can't afford to go anywhere.

5. Best thing you bought?
Gee, I guess that would be an IVF cycle

6. Where did most of your money go?
That would also be an IVF cycle

7. What do you wish you had done more of?
Getting off my bum no matter how icky I was feeling and doing something to earn money

8. What do you wish you had done less of?
Being depressed after the IVF cycle

9. What kept you sane?
HA! Like I was sane to begin with.

10. What drove you mad?
Everytime I'd be seen holding a baby, someone would say, "that looks good on you" or "practicing?" That, and our familys' total and utter lack of interest in our fertility attempts.

11. What made you celebrate?
The birth of friends' babies, especially the ones who had been trying for awhile. And a visit from my brother's kid!

12. What made you sad?
Our failed IVF and the lack of funds to try again. And a good friend of mine moved away. And other stuff that I can't mention because of the anonymous thing.

13. How was your birthday this year?
Mixed. My cycle was right around my birthday, so I stuck myself with a needles that day. Plus I had to go to the mikvah that night (plus or minus, you decide!). I turned another year older and moved into a different (lower) percent group for successful IVF pregnancy. But I had lots of friends and family around, so it was a very fun day.

14. What political issue stirred you the most this year?
Oh, geez, name one - they all got my blood boiling.

15. Were you in love in 2005?

16. What would you like to have in 2006 that you didn't have this year?
Um, duh?

17. What date from 2005 will be etched in your memory and why?
That date in 2005 because that's the date we got our negative beta results

18. What song will remind you of 2005?
I don't know. I can't actually remember any songs from 2005

19. Compared to this time last year are you happier?
No. This time last year, I was really optimistic.

20. Biggest achievement this year?
I don't know what I would consider my biggest achievement. Getting through my cycle?

21. A valuable life lesson you learnt this year?
G-d doesn't always want the same things for you that you want for you.

22. How was your health in 2005?
Pretty good until my first cycle. The hormones just threw me for a loop.

23. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make resolutions - I save myself lots of grief that way!

24. What countries did you visit?

24. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
Stability and security (and that damn baby!)

25. Did you suffer hardship in 2005?
Very much so.

26. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I try really hard not to hate anyone. I'm not always successful, but rather than focusing on the hate, I try to focus on improving my attitude. Except with one really obnoxious neighbour...!

27. What was the best book you read?
Oh wow, I read so many last year. So many were so good, no one stands out at the moment!

28. What did you want and get?
A new pair of shoes. Oh, and an IVF cycle

29. What did you want and not get?

30. What was your favorite film that you watched this year?
I really liked the new Willy Wonka.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
heh. I have no fashion concept. Comfortable, looks decent, fits well and tznius (modest).

32. Who did you miss?
My grandparents, a"h and my nieces and nephew

33. Did anyone disappoint you?
Oh my gosh, yes. The family who was so excited and supportive when we announced the IVF stuff ("let us know what you need; we'll take out a loan for you; we'll refinance our house for you") have all just disappeared...

34. Did somebody really shine for you in 2005?
Oh my gosh, yes. Friends who stunned us by helping us raise funds for our IVF - gave us things to sell at tag sales, got members of their shuls to donate.

35. Do you have any pets?
Yes, the neurotic dog mentioned in my profile.

And I have green eyes, a funny nickname, I started this survey at 12:40, finished at 1:00, my favourite colour changes constantly and my best friend in grade school changed every year. ;)

05 January 2006

Picking the best rav off the vine

There's a great discussion going on over at Ovaries on Strike about the logistics of picking a rabbi to be your halachic fertility expert. Robber Barren gives a great explanation of what's involved in Orthodox Jewish fertility issues, and then there's terrific discussion about to what extent you can pick and choose your halachic expert and why.

Loss of blood makes me woozy

A History repeats entry

There's a minor recovery from the loss of blood. I'm still feeling - not quite there. Or, rather, not quite here. Fine distinction. I'm having trouble getting motivated to do anything. Clean the kitchen, rearrange the diningroom, do laundry. I'm supposed to be Suzie Homemaker, staying home while hero-hubby brings home the bacon (soy bacon for us kosher types) for me to fry up in the pan, but it just ain't happenin'. Where's my motivation?!


I guess my motivation should be to have a home that I'm proud to have guests in. But I don't care if they see the dust on my chatchkes (point of clarity: that's chatchkes, as in stuff, not gutkes, as in undies. It's easy to get the two confused, because with all the (in)fertility stuff that's going on, we haven't had nookie in so long, I'm sure my gutkes DO have dust on them.)

Well, at least I'm motivated to Jew-icise the ol' feminist perfume ad: I'm Sadie Homemakerberg, staying home while hubby-mensch brings home the brisket for me to roast up in the pan. Oh, who am I kidding? I don't even do the cooking. That's for gourmet hero-hubby. Tomorrow, he'll probably tell me that he's been darning his own socks.

Yeah? Well, he still can't balance the checkbook. So there.