Monday, December 27, 2004

random acts of kindness

I went to get a cup of tea at a coffee/tea place at the mall, and a woman who works at one of the other food places (the hot dog place - but not the kind with the funny hats) insisted on buying me a cup of tea. This woman was a complete stranger (except for the free sample of hot dog she'd given me earlier) and someone who likely works hard for a modest income. But she wanted to buy my tea for me. I kept refusing, and offered to buy her tea for her, but she insisted. And then, when it came time to pay, the cashier comped both cups of tea (that is, she didn't charge us at all). So I put my two dollars in the tip jar, and promised that next time I was at the mall I'd get a hot dog.

And then I went outside and cried, because really, when was the last time a stranger offered to buy you a cup of tea out of the blue?

On a brighter note

We spent the day yesterday with friends who are on a family trip to our fair city. (Thankfully, we only spent time with our friends and one small segment of the HUGE family that's actually in town - all of them all together would have been overwhelming.) I spent most of our visit with them holding cuddling their 4 month old baby. They very generously let me take him for a good portion of the day (as I think most parents SHOULD - they got to look at the attractions and wander unencumbered, and play with their niece and nephew) and I just stood there rocking this little bundle for hours.

And no one spoiled it by saying, "You look so good with that baby. When are you going to have your own?"

Sunday, December 26, 2004

An unfunny post

The LA Times is reporting that abortion rights are an issue in the selection of a new DNC Chair. (LAT: Democratic Leadership Rethinking Abortion)

Party leaders say their support for preserving the landmark ruling will not change. But they are looking at ways to soften the hard line, such as promoting adoption and embracing parental notification requirements for minors and bans on late-term abortions.

Right. Because the Democrats of all people should be able to separate these issues - promoting adoption (okay, this isn't terrible on the surface) and banning medical procedures used to save lives. Arg. I think I'm in favor of Howard Dean, again. As an MD, perhaps he has a better grip on why it's inappropriate for the government to intercede in medical decisions best made by individuals and their doctors.

And another thing. Maybe two. Parental notification bugs the hell out of me. (As does spousal notification.) Here's why: if there's a decent relationship between a young woman and her parents, or between spouses, I think they'll be able to find a way to discuss this themselves. If they can't, then there are bigger problems with the relationship, and forcing this kind of "notification" could be dangerous.

I got into a debate with this anti-choice guy who came to one of the events sponsored by the undergrad feminist group I used to mentor. He went on and on about how he didn't think his wife should be able to get an abortion without his knowing about it and having some say in the matter, and all I could think of (and I told him) was that if his wife wouldn't discuss this of her own free will, then maybe they had some other issues they needed to work out. If I were in that position (which, at this point, would only be for medical concerns anyway, but still...) I would WANT my husband's support. Because we have that kind of relationship.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

ho ho humbug

I generally like the holidays - the break from classes, the chill in the air (at least back when we lived in Boston), the music. I don’t like the massive commercialization, the excess of cheesy covers of formerly decent music, or the traffic at the mall. Granted, we don’t celebrate Christmas, so sometimes I look at the chaos with a detached viewpoint - it’s not MY last-minute gift shopping, family-seeing, rush-rushing.

I’m less excited by it this year. Maybe the holiday doldrums are contagious - I know more people who dread the holidays (what with the uber-fertile relatives and “So, when are you going to have kids?”) than I have before. But really, I think it’s the inflatable lawn decorations that have ruined it for me this year.

These seem to be the decoration of choice around here this year - these air-pumped, lit-up Santas and snowmen (and even one Grinch). They’re pretty cheesy when they’re up - especially the snowmen in the 65 degree Southern California winter. I guess that’s why I see so many MELTED snowmen. That is, when the pump is off, the 8’ tall snowman collapses into a puddle of nylon on the carefully groomed lawns. They’re just so pathetic looking. It’s hard to get into the spirit with a lump of nylon snowman. But then, most decorations look rather lame during the day - those animated wire-form reindeer, for example. They’re okay when it’s dark, but during the day it’s all wires and plugs. J’s pet peeve is “icicle” lights - since we don’t come even close to ice - but these don’t bother me so much. Unless they’re rainbow icicles - what is that about?

[I have, on occasion, seen a nice holiday display using some of the aforementioned features, so you can appease yourself by thinking it’s yours if you want. It might be. Or maybe this is all just my way of saying “Bah, humbug.” I think I’ll curl up with the Christmas Weasel and some eggnog now.]

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


1. I had an appointment with the acupuncturist (unfortunately not the one with whom I had the phone consult). I think it'll be fine - I trust that she knows what she's doing, and she gave me an article about yoga for fertility when she heard that I had been doing yoga. (Okay, not so much lately, but I'm going to get back to it!) My only concern about her is that she has cats and said "oh, I'll have to be sure not to hold my cats on days when I'm seeing YOU". Plus she was wearing purfume. Clearly she doesn't specialize in allergies, or she'd know better. But so far I don't seem to be allergic to her. We'll see how that goes - second appointment is tomorrow.

2. No progress on the new doctor front, since I won't exist to the HMO for another couple of weeks. But I did choose a GP - at least in my head. J's been seeing this fairly young woman doctor, and once she called with some info and I spoke to her. Seemed nice enough, plus SHE CALLED WITH SOME INFO. HERSELF. So that bodes well. And she's already passed my initial test - she's a woman. I've gotten less picky about this since my REs have mostly been men, but when I have a choice, I'll choose to be poked and prodded by someone who has a clue what it feels like to be poked and prodded in sensitive places.

3. The old doctor didn't make me come in for a follow-up ultrasound. He said if we're not doing Clomid this cycle (like I want to go through THAT again right now) then it's not really an issue. Someone should check again before another medicated cycle, but then I figure (I hope) that the new RE will want to run all sorts of baseline tests. This is good news also because I just got a bill for one of the ultrasounds that wasn't covered by the insurance. Not catastrophic in the grand scheme of things, but better not to have bills like that.

4. We had a really good time at Disneyland last weekend. I was a little bit wistful everytime I got on a ride that said "pregnant women should not ride" - but now I've gotten that out of the way, so anytime now would be great. Plus, I got my picture taken with Mickey - the only character I'd bother to do that with.

So, no big hopes for this cycle, though I've been peeing on OPKs just in case. I got a really good deal on them at Costco, and it's cheaper than the Clomid, so I feel I'm entitled.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Having a plan

It's been such an eventful week in the blog-o-sphere what with Julie/Bat, Grrl's double lines, and all the rest. Plus I just found out our friends are pregnant with twins (via IVF). Lots of good - if bittersweet - news. And I'm getting my period. Not that this is unexpected - I've known this cycle was over for a few days now. But there's always that small glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe...

I am relieved, though. This period is all mine - my body made it without any provera intervention, and that's a step in the right direction. We're taking a couple of months off from major medical interventions, and I'm looking forward to being my own crazy self, and not the crazy that is drug induced and out of control.

Which is not to say that we don't have a plan:

1. I'm going to be starting acupuncture with a person who specializes in fertility issues. Since acu is holistic, she'll also work on my allergies and asthma. I haven't even met her in person and I'm looking forward to this - she spent 20 mnutes on the phone with me answering questions and explaining the process, and I wasn't even paying for the time. I don't know the last time I got 20 minutes with any of my doctors, and they charge an arm and a leg anyway.

2. Beginning January 1, or as close to it as I can manage, I'll start working my way through the new HMO. I'll need to start with a visit to my (as yet unchosen) primary care provider, and perhaps an OB/GYN, before getting a referral to the fertility folks. At least I know it's coming - if I thought I could just call and make an appointment with the RE I'd be in for a rude awakening. But this way I have a plan, with intermediate steps.

3. J. had an appointment with the urologist, and they're having him do a follow-up SA, and an ultrasound to check for a varicocele. I really truly hope they don't find anything, but I'm strangely pleased that he has to have an ultrasound. They don't hurt, but I'm usually the one with a dildocam. It's a nice change of pace.

4. I have to go in for one more ultrasound at my current clinic to check that the cyst from the last cycle has gone down. What fun - a CD 2 or 3 ultrasound. Because that sounds incredbly pleasant. Oh well. I guess it'll give me a chance to tell them I'm switching to the HMO's fertility clinic. We'll see how Drs. Y & W take that. (Any bets on whether the next doctor will actually be Dr. X or Z?)

5. We're gong to Disney next weekend, and I don't have to skip the roller coasters. This is definitely a good thing.

So, all in all I'm in a pretty good place. And the glass of red wine I had to celebrate my period probably didn't hurt, either.