31 May 2006

Refresh, refresh, refresh

Killing time while waiting for news...

Your 80s Heartthrob Is

John Stamos
Who's Your 80's Heartthrob?

Cross my heart and hope to… whatever

I promised myself that I would write every day. Not necessarily blog, but write. Every day. Even if I had nothing to say. And today I don’t have anything to say, really. But I’m so proud of me: I’m writing! Be proud of me, dammit! It’s not often I promise to do something and then actually stick with it. I’ve been saying, “I’ll go back on my diet tomorrow” for months now. No, I’m not one of those people obsessed with weight. I am slightly overweight, and actually, I’m fine with that. Or rather, I used to be fine with it. Until we started down the Road of Infertility™. You can’t be overweight in the infertile world. Extra weight apparently decreases the success rate of embryo transfers, and increases the risk of miscarriage in the event of a successful transfer. I was told to lose weight before our first cycle. We weren’t even allowed to start until I had lost a certain amount of poundage.

Hey, look at that! I found something to say, after all.

So here we are, wondering about a second cycle. I’m foolishly allowing myself to get HOPEful that we’ll be able to come up with the money to afford another cycle. Stupid, stupid. Anyway, one of the beautiful side effects of a failed cycle is ugly weight gain in the belly-through-the-butt zone. Fortunately, I didn’t actually gain that much weight back, but I still have to lose it if we’re going to do another cycle. It was really hard the first time. I have all sorts of physical issues that make regular exercise difficult. And since my primary problem with weight is a metabolism whose ass needs to get kicked - hard - in order to wake up (I eat very healthfully, thank you very much), I must do more than walk briskly for 45 minutes a day if I am to actually lose anything other than patience.

So, since I’m pretty okay with myself the way I am, and since I remember how much I loved (not!) exercising, I think this time I’m going to adopt a new strategy: I’m waiting until I see the cold hard cash before I lift a single gluteous maximus.

Take two...

This is so exciting!

30 May 2006

What’s in a name

Okay, fess up – how many times have you re-read a blog entry before publishing it, only to find you’ve written in your husband’s real name?

I’ve never done it, actually, but I have woken up in the middle of the night, in a cold sweat, wondering if that last entry had Hubby’s RL name.

That would be soooo bad.

I’m gonna wash that dish right outta my hair

Oh, cripes. What is it with men?

That’s it. I’ve no more to say.

All right, my dearly beloved is a disaster to a kitchen. Really, we should get disaster compensation after he’s been in there. So I want a pot to make my lunch, and knowing the pots are pretty gross after one of his whirlwinds, he rushes in to wash one for me. But his idea of washing is not my idea of clean. He’s got about 8 thousand other things to do, but he insists on washing a whole bunch of pots and utensils, rather than doing the one pot I need and moving on.

Sweet, eh? But they’re not cleeeeeeeean. And now I feel like a giant turd because he’s gone and washed the pot that I need so I don’t have to face the tornado-struck kitchen, but rather than being all grateful (“thank you so much, sweetie”) I’m grumbling about the gunk that he missed. I want to be gracious, really, I do. I originally planned on keeping my mouth shut until he left and then re-washing them, but he insisted on re-doing them! Thing is, he re-does them just as badly as the first time around! So now he’s wasting water on top of getting on my last nerf.

He left to run an errand. I’m re-doing the dishes as quickly as I can while he’s out, so I can say, “thank you so much, sweetie” when he gets back. And no one will be the wiser. Don’t say anything, okay?

29 May 2006

It's just like going to the mechanic

Oh sure, I call all you guys up, make appointments, tell you in detail about my "getting jiggy with it" may-or-may-not-be-my-gallbladder problems, and wouldn't you know it, it stops making that fluttering noise.

How are you people supposed to figure out what my problem is if the problem stops every time I bring it to you?

Oh well. At least I slept better last night.

26 May 2006

She's just messin' with us

Okay, folks, nothing to see here.

Ground control has scrapped the mission until sometime next week. So my weekend is now free to obsess on my gall/not gall.

Shabbat shalom, indeed.

Put my galling behaviour on hold

...we're on Babywatch 2006. Aleph & Bet's anticipated arrival? Sometime tomorrow.

Pass the popcorn, I'll be hitting 'refresh' all weekend.*

*Well, duh, except for Shabbat, of course.

Your gallbladder and you

Thank you for all your responses to this post. Enough people suggested gallbladder that even though a scan of symptoms showed I didn't have any of the right ones, I decided to research further. According to About.com and other sites which all referenced the same symptoms, I don't qualify for this month's prize.

Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease
  • steady, severe pain in the upper abdomen that increases rapidly and lasts from 30 minutes to several hours - nope. I don't have pain, I have a twitching/twinging that flickers on and off all night. It's not painful, it's just damn annoying and exhausting.

  • pain in the back between the shoulder blades - let's see... ::wiggle:: nope, no pain.

  • pain under the right shoulder - yes, but that's been proven to be related to a chronic condition I have.

  • nausea or vomiting - nope. Except when State Senators try to take control of our fertility treatments.

  • abdominal bloating - well, yes, thank you, Gonal f. Unless you're a dedicated get-back-into-shape-er, make friends with your bloated belly.

  • recurring intolerance of fatty foods - INtolerance? I wish. I tolerate fatty foods all too well.

  • colicb - if someone can tell me what this is, I'll tell you if I have it.

  • belching - oh, like a trucker. But I always have.

  • gas - of course not. I'm a lady; I get the vapours.

  • indigestion - only when I eat too many hotdogs.

So there you have it. I'm thinking the gallbladder is out. Unless my gallbladder has decided to take up flamenco dancing. If that's the case, my gallbladder is so grounded.

25 May 2006

Paging Dr. Google

Hey, kids! I need help. I'm brilliant (if I do say so myself) at searching for something specific on the 'net ("what is IVF?"), but I stink at searching for vague things, like symptoms ("if you can't have a baby the old-fashioned way, what do you do?").

I have this weird muscle twinge going on, and when I ask Dr. Google, he keeps telling me I must have ALS or Muscular Dystrophy, both of which I know for a fact I do not have. So I am appealing to my friends in the 'net who know how to get Dr. Google to pony up some useful information.

Here are the facts:
On my right side, right around where my diaphragm is (the muscle, not the birth control device), under the last long rib (like 3 or 4 from the bottom), I get violent spasms. It twinges enough so that if I'm lying on my right side, it literally pulls me into a right-leaning fetal position. If I'm sitting, my upper body gets pulled down towards my right side. It usually happens when I'm lying down, at night (needless to say, I'm not sleeping very well), on my right side. During the day, when I'm sitting at the computer, it doesn't usually twinge, but I can feel almost an ache there, as if the muscle is really tired from all that damn twitching (aw, poor thing). It's one spot, feels like it might be like the area of a silver dollar.

It used to only happen occasionally at night, a few twinges in a row, while lying on my right side, with my right arm flung up pointing towards the headboard. Then it happened regardless of how my right arm was lying, lasting for a few minutes. Then it started twisting the night away.

This image, courtesy of National Library of Medicine (the 'x' is my touch) may give a better idea of where the twinge/twitch/spasm/whatever you want to call it is located:

Anybody want to take a stab at this research project? Have any thoughts? Don't make me have to go to a real doctor, because when I see doctors, I have an uncontrollable urge to lie down with my legs in the air, my hands clawing at the closest wand-like object...

23 May 2006

In me I trust

I’m always intrigued by the Modeh Ani prayer (Modah if you’re a girl). It’s the first thing an (Ashkenazi) observant Jew says in the morning. The instant you wake up (or in my case, the instant I remember):
Modah ani lifanechah melech chai vikayam shehechezarta bi nishmata b’chemla. Raba emunatecha.

I gratefully thank You, King of Life eternal, for restoring my soul to me with compassion. Abundant is Your faithfulness.
Initially, it seems like a simple thank you prayer. Thank You G-d for giving me another day. But read the last line: Abundant is Your faithfulness. Faithfulness? Your faithfulness? The implication is that G-d is faithful to me. He has faith in me. Enough so that He will restore my soul to me for another day. G-d wants me to live another day. G-d has things for me to do today. That always blows my mind when I actually stop and think about it. Aren’t we supposed to have faith in G-d? How much does it elevate me to know that G-d has faith in ME? He trusts me to live today accordingly. He knows I can accomplish what is expected of me.

I just wish He’d leave a little note on the pillow with the details.

Labels: , ,

Happy Victoria Day!

Thanks for the day off, your Highness.


19 May 2006

Make post get love

//scratching head//

I have a sitemeter on my blog because it's fun to see how people get to me - which sites send you to me (smooches towards my sidebar), what Google searches ("fish as Jewish sign of fertility") bring you to me, what countries (g'day, Australia) you come from, etc. I don't use the information, I don't keep the information; it's purely for my amusement (and a little bit of an ego stroke sometimes, I'll admit).

The number of visitors I get depends on if I have a new entry, but it's fairly steady. Early last week, there was a tremendous surge in visitors, but that was easily attributable to Tertia's list of Bloggity Goodness ("hi" to any of you who stuck around!). But two days ago, I experienced another huge surge in visitors, and I can't figure out why. I'm scratching my head (actually, I'm scratching my scarf, which is making it shimmy on my head, which is kind of annoying). Maybe it's not a big mystery at all, maybe it's just because I did two separate posts that day, so you all came to visit me twice!

Whatever the reason, it's nice to feel the love. Thank you.

*Update: Persephone to the rescue! I was pretty darn sure it had something to do with her, but I couldn't figure it out. She reminded me of my influence on her stylin' wardrobe. Thanks for following the lovelink.

Forget Portnoy, here’s my complaint

I’ve always wanted to read Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint. I read a lot, and I’ve always been in honors English classes, so my reading materials have typically been more advanced. As a result, I’ve seen many, many references to Portnoy’s Complaint. Recently, I read a book where the main character quoted Portnoy. I think the author of that book never actually read Portnoy’s Complaint, because – as I have discovered - the quote is so very much out of context.

Anyway, I finally decided to read it. Explain to me why, in all my 40-something years, NO ONE has ever described this book as pornography. Smut. If I were a normal person, I would have brought it back to the library after the first two chapters. But no, I have to – HAVE TO – know how it ends. What is the point of all this garbage? Why does Mr. Roth dedicate an entire book to a character’s session with his shrink? To this character discussing how his Oedipal urges play out? It’s disgusting reading, but I’ve never been able to give up on a book, no matter how much I hate it. It’s that “just in case” factor: “just in case” it turns out okay in the end, “just in case” the ending results in something really interesting.

To be fair, the book is brilliantly written. Roth throws in some ingenious lines and marvelous dialogue that are stunning. His use of the language (not the dirty stuff) had me frequently stopping and re-reading because I was so taken with his twist of words. And then I feel sad that he chose to use that brilliance for what really amounts to a trashy novel (and mind you, I am not a prude!). And I feel a bit dirty being exposed to this stuff every day in reading this book.

So “just stop!” I hear you all yelling. But I can’t. I need to keep reading. I must. Know. How. It. Ends. Please don’t take my Portnoy away.

18 May 2006


Meg over at journey to the centre of the egg has come up with the idea to host a central location where people could list when they are cycling. Then everyone in the infertile blogosphere could to direct the love appropriately.


It might work. Click on over and let Meg know when you're cycling. Go on. Spread the love.

17 May 2006

Friendship prayer

For all of you who have been so supportive these past few posts:

hat tip Wasted Days Wasted Nites

Shouldn't that be Hashem?

Huh. Who woulda thunk Gd drives a German car?

Please let me shoot the messenger

Holy CRAP! Could this week (weeks?) get any worse? I just received an email telling me that a cousin is pregnant. That's wonderful, I'm happy for her, really. It's how I was told that sent me reeling.

The subject line said, "fwd: wonderful news" and it was the original email from the cousin, forwarded to me from a relative - a very very close relative - who totally should have known better. There was no warning, no, "this might be hard for you, but I knew you'd want to know" or anything remotely hinting to the fact that it might be painful for me to receive an email like that. This relative and I just had a conversation about this not so long ago, about how difficult it is to hear other women's pregnancy announcements. Even though I might be incredibly happy for them, and wanting them to get pregnant, it's still hard to hear.

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that this very very close relative actually listens to what I say and takes it to heart.


B'sha'a tova to my cousin and her husband. I really am happy for them, and I hope she has a happy, healthy pregnancy.

11 May 2006

Help wanted

There is a newspaper in Iran , Parto Sokhan, that regularly runs an ad featuring an application form for suicide bombers.

The mind reels. Can you imagine the scenario:

“Hello. Here is my application for the suicide bomber job.”

“Thank you. Let me take a look. Ah, I am sorry, we cannot hire you. We are looking for someone with more experience.”

Elements of Life

I’m coming clean. The other day I commented about not being able to hurt anyone’s feelings – even if they might deserve it. When I was in high school, I went through a very difficult period. And I did something really stupid that could have killed me. A friend convinced me to see the school shrink. He was a nice enough guy. I told him about this really stupid thing I did that could have killed me. How did he react? He got very sad. I upset him. I made him feel bad. I will never forget feeling like I was so awful and horrible that I even made a high school shrink feel bad.

That definitely contributed to my being overly-concerned with other people’s feelings.

As a result, I normally don’t share my feelings with people. When I’m asked how I’m doing, I smile and say, “good” regardless of how sh*tty I feel. But lately, I’ve been more inclined to sort of shrug and say, “hanging in there.” Most people don’t want an explanation, they give an awkward little smile and try to move on. And I don’t even care that I might have just made someone feel bad. So I’m coming clean:

Today is a very bad day. Yesterday was a very bad day. I think I’ve hit my saturation point of everything going on in our lives. Everyone has five major elements in their life that, combined, make up their well-being and happiness. Of course, choosing to remain anonymous, I can’t tell you what they are. So let’s just call them A, B, C, D, E.

I couldn’t help thinking this morning (and for the past few days) that 4 of the 5 elements in my life suck.
  • A. All my good A are gone; gone to a place I’d like to be.

  • B. Thank Gd, I still have my B, although my B are everywhere and nowhere near where I live, so I guess B actually does kinda suck.

  • C. My beloved C is gone, forcing me to find a new C. I loved my C. I feel empty without it.

  • D. D is proving elusive. Due to E, D has to change for me. So currently, I am finding myself with the same D I had in high school. I never dreamed I’d be doing D when I was 40-something. The world is keeping D completely away from Hubby, for some reason. As a result, we have no, um, (oooh, that anonymity thing again. How do I say this without giving myself away?) grblesmack with which to, um, grundyhoppers. Which is contributing to E, and keeping me from A and B.

  • E. My E is not so great. Aside from forcing me to change D, it’s making life very restrictive for me. And because of D, I can’t do the things I need to do to make E better.
And because of one of these, I cannot have a go at another cycle (which is part of one of the 5 elements). So I have no A or B around to help, no C to turn to, no D for grundyhoppers and E is making me feel worse. Holy crap, what else IS there? Is there any wonder I am so miserable? I do believe that there is a message in everything – if you don’t get a particular job, maybe Gd didn’t mean for you to have that job. If you miss the bus, well, maybe you weren’t meant to get on that bus (I don’t apply this to anybody else’s infertility, however. I would never EVER tell anyone, “maybe you weren’t meant to have a baby.” But I do think it for myself). But I sure as hell can’t figure out what the heck Gd is trying to tell me and Hubby.

10 May 2006

Thankfully, I'm already married

Yeah, this did wonders for my flagging morale:

NerdTests.com User Test: The Shidduch Score Test.

24. I scored 24. ::sigh::


I’m finding that we in the infertility world are hypersensitive*. And we expect everyone around us to be hypersensitive to our hypersensitivity. We love to rant and rave about the very pregnant co-worker who kept rubbing her belly in front of us. About the lady at the meeting who kept gushing about her kids. About the very casual acquaintance, who for some reason knows we are dealing with infertility, yet asks if we’re considering adoption, because you know, her sister’s husband’s cousin’s sister-in-law adopted and then bang got pregnant.

I think we have much higher expectations from the world at large than if we were dealing with a different issue from infertility, like allergies or diseases. If I were a diabetic (chas v’shalom [Gd forbid], ptooey, ptooey), and went to a friend’s for lunch, and said friend put out only diabetic cookies for dessert, I would be extremely touched and moved. If she put out regular sweets and diabetic cookies, I would be extremely touched at her thoughtfulness. But I would never expect her – or anyone - to do that.

Why then, do we expect the fertile world to treat infertiles like that? Why do we expect our friends, relatives, co-workers, very pregnant second cousin – with all the other things going on in their lives – to be super extremely considerate to our situations? Why do we get upset when someone in our social circle invites us to a baby party? Why do we expect that among all their friends, their own busy lives, their planning for this party, they should remember that it might be painful for us to get this invitation? Is it a release to be able to rant at something that is seemingly unreasonable? Does it give us some measure of control, since infertility is something over which we have absolutely no control? Why do we seem to have such higher expectations from the world at large than people in other, life-affecting situations?

Points to ponder.

*Yes, I know I’m generalizing. Deal with it.

**Note: I am not referring here to people “who should know better,” our best friends, other infertiles, or people with whom we’ve shared our pain. They’re a different story all together, when if they let us down.

***Timing is everything. This very discussion is addressed in the most recent issue of the ATIME magazine.

09 May 2006

The Five Books of No'ses

The progression of my responses to "do you have children" by Books of the Torah:

Genesis: No, we haven't been so blessed yet. We're trying, so, B"H soon.
Exodus: No, not yet. We're trying, Gd willing.
Leviticus: No, we're hoping, maybe soon.
Numbers: No, not yet.
Deuteronomy: Unfortunately, no.

Coming soon: The Prophets, or "NO! WHY DOES EVERYONE KEEP ASKING ME THAT???"

08 May 2006

Why, oh why, oh why-oh

Why on EARTH would a casual friend - who after a long, emotional struggle with infertilty has a lovely son - invite us - a couple with whom she has had many conversations regarding our struggle with infertility - to dinner AND also invite two other couples, both of whom have a whack of kids all under the age of 5? There were even twins there.

Why would she do that? She should know better. Shouldn't she?

05 May 2006

Ever closer

When Hubby and I first met, he stated that he did not believe in God. Eventually, that changed to him saying, "If you believe in God, which I don't..." That morphed into, "If God exists..." or, "if there is a God..." Then he started making jokes about "hedging his bets" and saying God could exist. Y'know, just in case.

Today we were discussing something in Torah which has been intriguing him, and he said, "God is all around, if you know where to look."

Very cool.

04 May 2006

We interrupt this blog (again)

...with some more really useless (but kinda cool) information, as pointed out by Miriam:

(I meant to post this yesterday, and forgot, so we missed it, but what the heck)

On Thursday (um, this) morning (and this afternoon, if you don't go by the 24-hour clock!), if you go by the European method of displaying dates (and the Canadian method, too), at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 am, the time and date will be was:

01:02:03 04/05/06

Okay, now this won't happen again until 2106. Those of you young enough, may you live to be 120 (may we ALL live to 120), so you can witness this kinda cool phenomena again.

03 May 2006

Different sounds of silence

We interrupt this blog to go a little political on y'all

In response to the deafening silence of the world in reaction to the horror that is Darfur, thousands of students screamed in solidarity on Sunday. Darfur rallies took place across the US and Canada, and instead of taking a moment of silence in honour of those who have been murdered, and are being murdered and tortured every day, the ralliers decided there's been enough silence and let out a unifying, one-minute long scream.

"Thou shall not stand idly by the shedding of blood of thy fellow man." Leviticus 19:16

I've added links to my sidebar, including links to petitions, postcards and emails to government officials. If your government is not represented anywhere, cut and paste the text from an existing postcard or email and send it to your government leaders. There are links to fact sheets, downloadable posters, sample letters, information on how to get your community involved, there's even faith-based suggestions on SaveDarfur.org that include a D'var Torah.

On the news Sunday night, I watched an interview with an elderly woman who attended the rally in Toronto. She is a Holocaust survivor. She said the world stood in silence while her family was murdered; she will not do the same while others are being killed.

"Never Again." Make it mean something.

sounds of silence

The other night, I went to the mikvah. The attendant that night was someone I had never met. There was the usual conversation:

Mikvah Attendant: I don't know you, are you new to town?

Me: no, I've been here a long time [you don't know me because a) I don't have kids, so we haven't met at school functions, b) I'm not a member of your shul's kids group, c) you don't come to shul anyway, because you stay home with your kids, d) fill in the blank and add, "because I don't have kids"].

MA: Are you a member of x shul?

Me: No, I'm a member of y shul.

MA: Do you have children?

Me: Unfortunately, no.

Cue awkward silence.