Get Clucky!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Wait! Ask me again!

Sometimes my dog says that, when we tell her to do something and she isn't paying attention, and then slowly realizes that she's missed out on some treat. "Ask me again! I was listening! Really! I can DO this!"

Okay, so this time--it's my uterine lining saying that.

Friends, I have big news. It is very startling. To me. To my ob/gyn. Also to my no-longer-quite-white underwears.

Yes, it's true--I got my period. A verrry verrry small tiny dot of a period, a one-panty-liner-all-day sort of period, maybe more of an ellipsis really. But a period.

I started having very light spotting tuesday night, and can now report that I am on day two of a menstrual cycle. Never in my life was I so glad to ruin a pair of underpants.

My ob/gyn said, "oh! well."

So I guess the deal is that this is a "weak positive" to the progesterone challenge I took way back when. Which is better than a negative, but still sort of weird. And the lightness of the period indicates that (yes, duh) my uterine lining is very thin, so still lots of recuperation to be done. Probably no bebe anytime soon, but maybe sooner rather than later.

And, since I'm having a "cycle," lets call it that even though it's weird and reticent, I get to start my clomid stuff tomorrow, at 4 pm, with another blood test and an ultrasound. So they can tell me exactly how small my uterine lining is.

So: YAY. Yay!!

I asked many questions about the clomid, and the nurse agreed that it might not be very helpful but that it also wouldn't hurt, and wouldn't I rather try the cheap low-risk thing before the expensive painful high risk things? Why, yes I would. Okay by me to put off injecting myself in the stomach! I'd touch my own cervix first any day. and I'm glad to do something I can start now.

other thoughts in passing:

I can hardly believe I am the person having these conversations. I mean: really.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

What the Medicales Told Me

"You're going to have a hard time getting pregnant!"

Ah!!! They are so wise.

I wanted to say: no shit, sherlock. I wanted to say: I've being telling you that for years, Medicales-of-the-world! I wanted to say: your irritating use of the future tense fails to mask the fact that this "insight" is not much of a discovery, given that I _AM_ having a hard time getting pregnant! There's no "going to" about it! Bitch!

I didn't say any of that, though I did mumble a less English-nerd version of the last point there.

And lets be real clear that my grumbling serves mostly so I can pretend that this is not actually real news. Which it's not--clearly, I'm going to have a hard time getting pregnant.

But, friends, I cannot tell a lie: it sucks to hear that from a doctor.

Anyway, here's the scoop: it seems that my estrogen is really really low (blood tests taken so that this can be confirmed). Also, probably my uterine lining is really really thin. None of this is a terrible terrible blow in the wide world of infertility--this should probably be pretty manageable with treatment, though the doctor kept saying ominous things like "well, usually this works...but in -your- [extra special freakish] case we can't be sure..."

I have a lingering suspicion that if I just was really patient and willing to have a lot of sex in the next year or so, things might work out on their own. But then, they might not--and even so, I am not very patient.

So: clomid. That's the plan; that's the plastic container in my medicine cabinet. I have to take five weeks worth of other hormones first to stimulate (one hopes) a menstrual cycle, then start the clomid around the end of July.

There's lots to say about this, but it's going to have to wait until tomorrow. Just wanted to start getting it down. And to thank Alice for asking about it. Thanks, Alice!!


PS: Here's some amusing news: I am happy to report that in addition to all my poking and prodding, B. is required to have a semen analysis. Ha ha! I LOVE it. The doctor wisely points out that just because there is something "wrong" with me doesn't mean that there isn't also something "wrong" with B, and there's no point in a lot of hormone therapy if at the end of the day the guys just can't swim or something. Brilliant! So, B. gets to share in the awkward embarrassment. I am, bitchily, thrilled beyond words.

PPS: Did I mention that my doctor is pregnant? And so is her nurse? Both of them? I am happy to say that--I was happy for them! I was! Which I take to be a good sign, because despite my depleted hormones and withered parts, I still seem to be a normally functioning human being. Whew. I was getting worried there.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Off to meet the medicales

In my mind, that's pronounced like "federales."

Anyway, this afternoon I have a "consultation" with my old ob/gyn. I'm excited and anxious, and rattling around my hot, empty, house. For various reasons I've decided to switch back to the standard doctors office for the duration--these reasons are mostly financial but also sort of strategic and personal, and I'm a little ambivalent about them. I hope the appointment goes well, and actually involes "consultation" rather than just "dictation," which is what I'm afraid I'm getting myself in for. Ah, the medicales. They are so damn...opinionated.

Doctor's visits often go a little poorly for me, because I'm always so busy trying to feel poised and calm--"yes, thanks, I'm fine. Fine. FINE!"-- that I don't do a good job of asking questions. I thought about asking my good friend, who's a journalist with pitch-perfect interrogatory powers, to go with me. But she's the one whose partner just had surgury for endometriosis, so she's a little busy at the moment.

I have been trying to read various websites about secondary amenorrhea, which is my self-diagnosis, and I am curious to see what the doctor will say. The next step could be some blood tests, it could be another, stronger, progesterone challenge. Or maybe she will want to move along to clomid--which, i think, would involve blood tests. Clomid seems a little sketchy to me, at this point, so I am thinking I would rather try more progesterone.

On the other hand, I am in a bit of a hurry. It has been six months since I had a period. If I were pregnant, I would be entering the third trimester now! Can you imagine?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Second Thoughts on Sorority

A couple of weeks ago, I said some things about the importance of having female friends. One thing I mentioned is that I felt like there were very few infrastructures for liberal, progressive, or alternative women to develop female friends. After all, if you're tattooed and agressive and suspicious of marriage you may not fit in real well at your local college sorority.

Well. I guess there are alternatives. And they come in an unexpected place: the rollar rink.

Today I went to get my hair cut at the very fabulous Big Hair Salon. The person who does my highlights (I know! When did I become a person who gets highlights? It's crazy!) is named Anna, and she is wonderful and serious Chicago and has tattooes of scissors all down her right arm. I am very enamored with her; I am always enamored with curvy punky girls who take no shit.

Anyway, today Anna said this sentence to me: "It's like being in a sorority--I love it!"*

Which I never expected to hear her say.

What was she talking about? A new group she participates in, the Windy City Rollers (and I strongly encourage you to check out the group photo at that link to ponder the ways it does and does not match a sorority group photo). Yes, it's Rollar Derby. They use phrases like "Derby Dolls." They also have "boot camp" several times a week, and lots of bruises, and a strong sense of sisterhood, I guess. Anna is super excited about it.

So, I mean, I am in general somewhat nervous about the fetishization of any kind of "girl on girl" action. But I am in favor of women making circles in which they can be both supportive and aggressive, cute and competetive. In some ways, I would rather have those things without the guise of fishnet antics. But hey--if I can have sorority at the same time as having zany fishnetted camp--maybe I should feel pretty pleased?

*She did make sure to add, spinning her scissors over her tattooed knuckles, "well, it's not exactly like a sorority. I mean, we don't wear pearls."

Sunday, June 26, 2005

How We're Doing

So this morning I went out for a short run (not that I would ever go for a long run; I'm not much of a runner). I was trotting along, sweatily, through one of the more residential and family-oriented areas of our neighborhood. Bungalows, sprinklers, etc. And then some flaccid middle-aged man, in a minivan with an american flag mounted on its roof, drove past, slowed down, and started yowelling "hey hey hey hey." He sounded like a honky fat albert. And I stopped mid stride and yelled, as loud as I could, "Fuck you, ASSHOLE!"

Actually, I didn't. What I yelled was, and I have no idea where this weird burst of rhetorical patriotism came from and I'm finding it a little embarrassing but never say I don't tell all: "You have a FLAG on your car! You should treat American women with some Fucking Respect!"

I swear I said that, isn't that weird?

Anyway, the point is (weird rhetorical patriotism aside): I live in a bit of a dicey neighborhood, and getting some cat calls is irritating but it's sort of par for the course and it very rarely provokes me to outburst. So I am thinking...despite the fact that I'm fine, I'm okay, that maybe I have a little bit of, you know, anger right now.

I've been a little cavalier about this (not just here, but in general), but I'm thinking that maybe I need to deal with some stuff a little more directly.

So: I'm upset.

Let's innumerate some reasons.

1: As always, my fucking ovaries. Or pituitary. Or whatever part of me it is that does not work. I am mad at it for not working.

2. My goldfish died this morning. I just can't really say anything about this, beyond mentioning that a dead fish in a hot kitchen is a bad thing to wake up to.

3. It's hot here. And B. is working like crazy this week and weekend, and I am too much alone.

4. My good friend's girlfriend just got diagnosed with endometriosis. However you spell that.

5. A casual acquaintance just had a miscarriage. I guess you'd call it that. But she went in for her eight month checkup, and the doctor told her the baby was dead. At eight months. And so she had to deliver it--and name it, and dress it, and bury it. It was a boy.

6. Compared to that, I think I don't have much to complain about But. I think I get to have a bunch of blood tests this weeek, to test for various hormonal problems. I'm not sure what happens then. It's worrisome, and I had a dream they had to cut some chunks out of my uterus because it was "dirty." I'm not kidding.

In general, I still feel basically optimistic about it all. I think this will be okay, and that I will eventually get pregnant, and that--while bad things will continue happening to good people--the world is a pretty lovely and summery place.

So I am working on trying to balance my general sense of okayness with my still-real sense of "THIS FUCKING SUCKS. ASS."

Okay. Back to it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Variously Hysterical

I am having a moment when I can't remember if the word "hysteria" relates to the ovaries or to the uterus. And thus: it is a perfect word for me to use here! Because, who knows if my "problem" is my ovaries or my uterus? Who knows? It also could be my pituitary gland, I think, but I don't know a word that means "feeling crazy" and subtly implicates both reproductive and endocrine organs in that craziness.

Anyway....Things are okay here. I have been pretty mopey, which seems only reasonable, but I took myself out for lunch today--wore a sundress and sat outside--and that was very soothing. Happiness=ordering an appetizer just to eat yourself.

I am distracting myself from my "hysteria" by:

1: trying to schedule an exam. This still a little up in the air.

2: Watching _Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle_.
This, you should see. I had the privilege of watching it with TJandon,* and I am sorry that you cannot watch it with them too because you will miss out on the CRAZY LAUGHTER that only TJandon can produce. But you should still see it. I have a friend who teaches it in her "Into to Asian American Lit" class.

*Only one person besides me knows who TJandon are, but hopefully she will understand what I'm talking about here.

3: Watching _Mr. and Mrs. Smith_

Okay , so I read some review of this movie that talked dismissively about how cliche it is to relate sex and violence. And I agree that that is a cliche. But I want to give this movie some props for relating sex and violence in what I found to be a pretty interesting way. To me, the movie raises the question: is wanting to hit your wife (after she shot you with a machine gun and a rifle and threw a knife at you and also got bad curtains) domestic violence? When is hitting your husband domestic violence?

In this movie, Brad and Angelina move in and out of relationships with each other: peers, spouses, competitors. There are different rules in those different roles. I think the movie makes some interesting observations about how those roles do and don't work together--and also about how getting in touch with your anger (and, okay, yes, your violence) might actually be good for your sex life. And, interestingly, how even when you get in touch with all that, you still have to act responsibly and deal with your argument about those damn bad curtains.

Also, the movie is forced to find a gender-neutral term for "hitman." Which is all for the greater good.

That's what I'm thinking about. I have the sense that this is a little fragmented, but I am going to stop now and hang out with my dog. She loves me even when my ovaries/uterus/pituitary gland is out of whack, and that is a good thing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Adventures with the medico-industrial complex

Okay, so unless something changes in the next 24 hours (and, really, here's hoping), I'm probably going to have to pronounce this little "progesterone challenge" of mine, failure? I hate that word.

Anyway, my body seems not to have responded to the hormonal stimulation, so I shall have to do the next thing.

Which begs the question: where shall I do it?

Now, I am a lucky lucky girl and am fortunate to have shacked up with a boy through whom I get pretty decent insurance. So I have no complaints. I know I'm lucky.

But still, I must complain because it doesn't seem that my insurance will cover my visits to the place I would prefer to go. Why? I don't know. Probably because they aren't effecient enough. Probably because they schedule hour-long appointments (!!) so that you can really talk through issues and options rather than the standard ten minutes I receive for an exam from my old ob/gyn. Who's nice and all. As much as I can tell during my brief encounters with her and her speculum.

I know I'm lucky that my ovaries shall receive adequate health care even if I go vist Dr. SpeedySpeculum. But I have to say that I would give a lot, at this nerve-frazzeling point in my reproductive health, for the support that a more careful exam and explanation could provide.

And I just want to say that it sucks that even though the Chicago Women's Health Center is clearly providing an invaluable service, and better care, and in a normal marketplace would win everytime over an average hospital, it will loose clients (I'm hoping not me) because my insurance won't let me go there.

I know it's not news that big business takes care of big business, and that our free market economy is not so very free. But my ovaries are encountering that economic reality in a particularly personal way right about now.


Monday, June 20, 2005


Anne Lamott said this about waiting for results from her amnio, when she was pregnant:

"During the first week of waiting, you actually believe your baby is okay, because you saw it scoot around during the ultrasound and because most babies are okay. By the middle of the second week, things are getting a bit dicey in your head, but most of the time you still think the baby is okay. But on the cusp of the second and third weeks, you come to know--not to believe, but to know--that you are carrying a baby inside you in only the broadest sense of the word "baby," because what is growing in there has a head the size of a mung bean, with almost no brain at all because all available tissue has gone into the building of a breathtaking collection of arms and knees--maybe not too many arms but knees absolutely -everywhere-."

--Operating Instructions, pg. 6

Anyway, we here are waiting around a lot this spring. Most lately, we are waiting for the "Progesterone Challenge" to show some results. It feels like we are running in place.

I do this little two-step with myself all the time: it's fine, everything is fine, it's stupid to think something wouldn't be fine, won't you feel silly if you make a big deal out of this and it's fine....and then back the other direction: your body doesn't work, you've always suspected it didn't work, you probably have an extra pair of knees where your ovaries should be, etc.

Exhausting! I am ready to be done with this now, please.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Parenting Techniques from the Hippies Among Us

From my little wee third-story porchlette, I have a lovely view. I can see not only what most of my co-residents are doing on their wee porchlettes, I can also see into the neighbor's back yard, and into the back yard beyond that (and beyond that into the very windows of another building, which is also entertaining but another story entirely).

Anyway, this last back yard belongs to a lovely six-flat, occupied entirely by couples with young children. All of the people who live in the building work as pilates instructors and massage therapists and (I"m not even kidding) all work in the neighborhood--they all seem to have idyllic existences that involve walking to work and an abundance of ready and willing childcare. Plus did I mention the backyard? It's fenced in, and no one not three-stories up could see in. They are out there all the time, calling peacably to their happy and well-actuallized children: "Olivia! Johann!"

(Again, I'm not even kidding.)

I love to spy on them, and am secretly hoping that when/if I acquire un bebe that they adopt me into their happy idyllic fold, and that if they do they won't hate me for being a curmudgeony meat-eater.


Today the spying was very good. Two of the moms were out with the usual passel of children. One of the moms had a sprinkler hose, and all of the kids were in various stages of swim-suited undress. They kids were running and joyfully squealing and the mom was spraying and laughing a low-toned earth mother laugh, and all was well. It was very pastoral. And I thought: that looks fun.

And really, I found it all the more pleasing when I discovered that the manichean will of childhood had entered even into that well-actualized environment. Because, kids will be kids, even hippy ones, and they (seem to) like to know who the bad guy is. This is why even the hippy ones play copys and robbers, cowboys and indians, etc.

So what do you play if you are a well-actuallized hippy parent, armed with a WATER HOSE?

Ah. "Cops and Protesters." Of course!!

Since I am aspiring, as I mentioned, to spend as much time in a bikini as possible these days, I was tempted to wander over myself. But I was worried they wouldn't be happy about my beer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Acceptable Risk

I don't wear a bike helmet. I bike almost everyday, sometimes several miles on my way here or there, and I almost never wear a helmet. Why? They are irritating. They make my head sweaty, and they interfere with my pony tail. I just don't like wearing them.

I often am chided for this, as though my helmetlessness was a sign of utter and immature recklessness.

To which I say: I have had a bike wreck almost every summer of my life. I have scraped my knees and my palms and bruised my elbow and once sort of fell, painfully on my face. But I have never once had a bike wreck-related injury that would have been prevented by a helmet. So I guess helmets do make you safer, and there are probably some bike accidents that you could avoid by helmet wearing...but I am willing to take that risk.

To which my chiders say: tsk, tsk, tsk.

Anyway, I'm thinking about this because hopefully sometime soon I will ovulate, and will "start trying" to get pregnant.

And I wonder: what risks am I willing to take with my potentially pregnant body? With my hopefully maturing eggs?

I'm not really talking here about whether the idea of getting pregnant will make me put on a helmet, though that's an interesting question. I'm talking about coffee. About beer. About giving blood. About exercising strenuously. About taking ferility suppliments. About a million things that I could either do or avoid in these last few pre-ovulatory weeks--things which may or may not have some large or small effect on the eggs I may or may not produce.

The other day I wrote about teaching, and when a teacher should say "good enough!" Today I'm thinking about a similar thing, a similar assymptotic curve. I am wondering: when should a potential parent say "safe enough"?

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

So, as I mention in my little side-bar over there...we haven't really told anyone about the whole getting pregnant thing. There are a couple of reasons for this. One of them is that in general I'm not big on revealing my plans and schemes: better to keep the cards close to the chest until you've got the hand you want. Because most plans and schemes don't come to fruition, you know--and I'd rather keep my losses to myself. I'm a bit proud that way.

But I feel my privacy/pride especially keenly around the topic of pregnancy. I have no interest in revealing the baby-quest to anyone until it's definitely a done deal.

B. finds this a bit ridiculous. He's like--look, you feel good about this, I feel good about this, why not be honest about this with the people in our lives?

And I'm all like: you have no idea how much judgement (in all sorts of ways) is going to happen once the baby is made known. You think your mama is going to like it when we want to take a pregnant belly to Burning Man? no no no.

And he's all: well, look, my mama doesn't really like it when we go to Burning Man -anyway-. So whatever.

And there's a certain wisdom to this "judge away!" attitude that I'm a little jealous of. But I also think it's a little naive. Doesn't he know how weird people--women especially--can be about babies? I just don't want to have to listen to all the "why are you drinking ice coffee, just because it's 98 degrees? Don't you know if you want to get pregnant you have to give up coffee NOW?" stuff. I just don't have the strength.

And I -really- don't want to deal with all the flack I will get at school. Because, and here's where it sucks to be me, when we get pregnant I am going to be getting rapid fire from both directions--from the "be a better mom!" family side, and from the "why would you want to do anything so freakish as to be a mom?" academic side.

What's more, it's not just a passivity/conflict-avoidance thing that makes me want to not talk about this with folks. To me it almost seems like a feminist act to decide that pregnancy is a private thing to think about--and to excuse myself from all the rhetoric of failure that surrounds it. By not giving myself and my experience up to the maternal mob, I'm giving myself the space and time to make decisions on my own.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Professing Perfection?

To what degree is it the responsibility of a teacher to model exemplarity—professional perfection? This is a question I continue to stew over, both as a teacher and student. In my student life I’ve had two close, mentoring relationships with teachers who were, Mary Poppins style, practically perfect in every way. They have consistently drawn from me some of my better work. And I wonder—as a teacher, should I aspire to be like them?

As a rigorous student, I have always preferred rigorous educators: people who take me and my work seriously, and who put their professional relationship towards me above their interest in me liking them as a person (not that anyone is so invested in me, in particular, but as a teacher I know how much I want my students to like me). I do my best work for this sort of teacher.

But, that said, what’s the endpoint of this logic? When I was student teaching back in the day, my cooperating teacher was by far the best teacher at her school. She was uncompromising in exacting immaculate work from me every day—and every day, she would sit taking notes on my teaching, noting what I could do better the next day (sometimes she would sit outside the classroom, eavesdropping, so that she could observe without students knowing she was there).

She did not expect more from me than she did from herself, and I continue to be proud of the teaching I did under her supervision. But I slept four hours a night for months, and had night sweats when I did sleep.

It was only in retrospect that I gave myself permission to realize that her zeal was perhaps a little…unhealthy. And I realized that I could still do work I could be proud of without making myself miserable.

But now, I have gone and chosen a committee member who has much the same relationship to work. Three books in, he’s currently working on three more. He’s fantastic, but he is not very happy. He makes the professional success he’s had seem profoundly not worth it.

I am zealot enough myself to appreciate that the goal of “being the best you can be” is accomplished or not everyday. As a student, it’s important to have role models who are not satisfied without meeting that goal; who show you that when you cut yourself slack, you cut yourself off from your best work.

But given that perfection can’t be achieved, and that “your best” is, at best, an asymptotic goal to shoot for—when is it a teachers job to say, “good enough!”

Thursday, June 09, 2005


I just read this entry about the preponderance of woman who say "All my best friends are guys.". I know I certainly said that. It's only been in the last five years or so that I have consciously thought about the lack of close female friends in my life, and done some work to try and fix that. Hugo's post made me think of a couple of things.

First, I remember being a young girl and really wanting to be on the guy side of things--play on the boy side of "boys chase girls," for example, which was particularly awkward. Partly this was because I thought the things girls did togethter (like go to the bathroom) were silly, but mostly for a bigger reason. I always said that I liked boys because I was very outspoken and competitive and that worked better with boys--and it was only much later that I realized that hanging out with boys was actually a way to protect myself from any real rivalry, because boys would only lightly spar with the arguments and emotions of girls. I chose the easy way out in a way that let me tell myself I was doing the more ambitious thing. I think this pattern happens a lot for precocioius women.

Second, (hugo's post mentions this) there is no good infrastructure to support the friendships of liberal women. I grew up with a deep disregard for the idea of sororities--mostly, I still think, because they kind of suck--and only realized later that my sister-in-law, who remains very invested in her sorority even as an alumna, has a terrific vocabulary for articulating and defending her female friendships that I absolutely lack. Sororities put too much emphasis on shopping and marriage--but they help women structure their time around their commitments to supporting other women. Doing this during the college years, when its so easy to get sucked in to immature relationships, is so important. And there is no place I can think of that I might have found that.

In the past few years I have made some very important friendships with women--but it's been hard. And, now in my nearing-thirties, the importance of women friends seems even more important to me. Men are great, but they can't help me find a respectful gynecologist. They can't share my thoughts about pregnancy and professionalism. They aren't aging in the way I am, and they have different fears, different futures.

It may not be a "requirement" of feminism to have good girlfriends. But, following Hugo, I do think it is a profoundly feminist act to acknowledge that your gender effects your life, and that in general other women will have more knowledge to share with you about those effects than men will.

Biology Happens

So, I had not known (before good ol' Toni Weschler told me so) that the progestin phase of the menstrual cycle is basically (it seems obvious, but I'd never realized it) the gestational phase--it's when your body gets all warm and tries to be a cuddly little egg incubator.

This scientific fact is now being realized in my "progestin challenge" body, because, friends, I am warm. I am very warm. And perhaps I would not be so keenly attuned to this except that it is now Totally Summer here, and I would be warm anyway, but every morning I wake up and I am just sizzling.

Poor timing on my part.

My dog is now sporting a new summer 'do (think teddy bear meets Ellis Island, and you'll have some idea) and I am thinking perhaps I shall join her.

Also, a story I can neither confirm nor deny:

B was talking to his sister the other day, and she claims that she was watching a live news broadcast of a hostage situation (perhaps in California? All the crazy stuff happens in California) that involved a man in a car with several hostages, hedged in by police. According to my sister-in-law, the man knew he was trapped and out of sheer frustration decided to pitch at the police a *dead baby.* Which, she says, was recorded live by a startled news camera man who had no idea of how to respond to the situation.

I have found no news recorded this farelly-brothers-esq horror story. At this point it's unclear to me if it's more disturbing that this happened, or that my sister-in-law made it up.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Quite Surprising

I have been all sorts of giddy since my appointment yesterday. I feel very good about having a new doctor and a new plan and, possibly, a new baby.

But I realized something today, while biking to school: this "progestin challenge" of mine will last ten days. Then, sometime in the week after that I might get my period. And then, sometime a couple of weeks after that I might, first, OVULATE and hypothetically even GET PREGNANT.

Which, I mean, is indeed the goal. But it is still sort of startling to realize that it might happen in hardly more than a month.

Now, it's unlikely, and it will probably take longer than that. But still, it's possible that a month and a half from now I would be knocked up, people.

This is making me feel very carpe diem or something. I am thinking I might spend the next month drunk, and in a bikini.

Monday, June 06, 2005

my visit to well-woman central

So, today I had my much anticipated appointment at the Chicago Women's Health Center. They rock there; you should all go. I had a lovely and long conversation about all my menstrual weirdness with Louise, the "health worker" who met with me. She was very sympathetic at all levels.

So the results:

1. I'm probably fine. She wasn't worried about anything and did not even do any poking or proding. Yay, absence of poking and proding!

2. She prescribed a ten-day "progestin challenge" which, no, is not a foot race, but rather a somewhat heavy dose of the hormone your body produces during the second half of the normal menstrual cycle. The idea is that you take the hormones, they drop off, you (hopefully) get your period, and then (again, hopefully) your body remembers how much fun menstruation and ovulation can be and starts doing both by itself.

Now, I am not exactly sure how your body reaches this decision; getting my period never made -me- really excited to get it again. But evidentally it is often pretty successful, and since progestin is a naturally-occuring hormone it doesn't have any weird side-effects and is just generally a safe way to get started.

I take the pills for ten days, and then see if I get my period in a week or so.

3. I am to call Louise to report the results of the progestin challenge, because she just wants to make sure everything is okay and to "get me back in there" if it seems like more extreme measures need to be taken.

4. One thing that was interesting to me is that she said that if I get a period and if my body wants to then start ovulating, she said she thought it was fine to dive right in there and start trying to get pregnant. I assumed I would probably need to wait a while, but she said that the only reason to wait would be to accomodate the doctors who would want a clear ovulation date, and fuck them. She didn't actually say fuck them, but she basically did, and it was pretty awesome and I totally love her.

5. I think that's all! I'm excited. It's nice to have something to -do-.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Ye Olde Poke and Prodde

Since it is now a comfortable four+ months since I went off the pill, I have made an appointment for a followup "well woman visit" (better known as a "poke/prod") during which I can discuss my ongoing lack of ovulation. (I almost said "failure to ovulate" but I'm trying not to get all down on my ovaries yet).

So, after Monday, I might know something.

Two things about this. First, now that I have made an appointment I actually feel more anxious than previously. I realize that as four months aproached I actually got less stressed out about it all because I had a Job, which was to make an appointment, and decide when and where I wanted to make it. Now that I have done my Job, I have nothing to do any more except twiddle my thumbs and keep an eye out for cervical fluid.

Second, it's likely that at this poke/prod (which is at a women's health center) they will say things like "be patient" and "after ten years of hormonal tinkering, four months really isn't such a long time for your for your body to normalize." Which would suck in its way. BUT! They might also say, "here is this drug that might fix things." And then I would have decide how I feel about that.

Because I do want my body to be all healthy and happy before it is pregnant. But I also want to be pregnant. So I'm feeling a little vexed around here.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Polite Conversation

So I’ve been feeling lately like I’ve been letting my web surfing get the best of me a little bit—a little too much time reading on-line debates, a little too little time cultivating my dissertation. But whatever. I also am finding that sometimes my surfing is helping me figure out some of the nuances of my own ideas.

Anyway, just briefly, the other day I was talking about how grateful I was for this post, in which madame Bitch phd describes how frustrating it is for people (especially liberal intellectuals) to talk about “choosing” to have a baby, as though “normally” no one would do such a silly thing as to reproduce. And I was saying how nice it is to hear that opinion voiced.

Then just today I found myself commenting obsessively on Feministein a little debate which started by being about “harmful” books and ended up being about second-wave feminism…and lo and behold, I’m find myself totally defending the second-wave feminist anti-maternity folks.

And my point is not that these two positions are contradictory—but just that it’s nice to have to fine-tune my own ideas this way. I don’t know why when they want you to write a dissertation they plunk you down in a room by yourself and expect you to still be able to talk to people at the end of it.