I told myself I was NOT going to talk about this. I promised myself. I swore it. But I can’t help it. I am a crazy woman. I should be following a truck with a huge sign on it declaring, “WARNING! WARNING! WOMAN WITH SPERM APPROACHING!!
I had my fourth insemination on Sunday morning. I completely freaked out on Friday because my Thursday evening OPK was darker than my Friday morning OPK and I was convinced I had missed my surge. Mind you, none of the other fertility signs were present, but I chewed on the possibility of another wasted cycle all afternoon, and then before bed I stuck it in my hair, because heaven forbid a problem remain manageable in my world. But on Saturday morning one of the other signs of impending ovulation miraculously (actually, it was not miraculous, as it happened just when it was supposed to, but it felt miraculous) appeared. Mucus is involved. I’ll spare you the details. Anyway, my Saturday morning OPK was vividly positive, and I called the clinic to schedule a Sunday appointment. Easy.
You wouldn’t know this about me just from reading my blog, but my cervix leans to the left. I was blissfully unaware of this six months ago, but now that I know, I say, why shouldn’t it lean to the left? The rest of me does! My reproductive system has to be liberal, right? Anyway, this anatomical truth is not a cause for concern unless a doctor is trying to reach my cervix and insert sperm into my uterus. Of my four inseminations, two were extremely painful because a prehistoric looking clawlike instrument had to be used to “coax” the cervix to center stage. I don’t know why the “instrument” (called a tenaculum, and doesn’t it sound like something The Robot would have warned Will Robinson about? “DANGER! DANGER!”) didn’t have to be used the other two times. Maybe my cervix is also shy?
I spent all of post-insemination Sunday lying on my couch or in my recliner trying to relax and get comfortable because having your cervix wrangled hurts. On Monday morning the pain was gone but I had some light spotting which I quickly dismissed; I’m sure it was due to the aforementioned pinscher of Torture that was used in the procedure. I went to work and went about my business Monday and Tuesday hardly thinking about the sperm swimming around inside my uterus, but on Tuesday evening I had a little twinge of pain in my left breast, and WHAM! Suddenly I am the Hester Prynne of obsession, surfing the net for early pregnancy signs, assessing my body hourly for changes, jerking to attention with each twinge. My red “O” hangs neatly on my flat chest, but I’m waiting for the moment when my breasts have a “Little Shop of Horrors” growth spurt (from the pregnancy hormones, of course) and push it out of their way.
And yet, I’m trying not to talk about it. I really am. Because the more I talk about it (or write about it or think about it), the more I obsess, and quite frankly, obsession is just a step away from psychosis. Obsession makes me think I’m having symptoms even when I’m not. Reading about other people’s symptoms is not healthy either–I suddenly have their symptoms on top of my own imagined ones. If I were making a film about my adventures in babymaking it would be called “Psycho[somatic].” The problem is, I’m thinking about it constantly, and it’s hard not to talk about it, but talking about it scares me. Talking about it gets my hopes up–also scary. I need to be hopeful without going off the deep end–enthusiastic and confident without having a Meg Ryan-in-“When Harry Met Sally” public outburst.
There is a Bruce Cockburn song that I love called “Open” in which Bruce laments, “I never lived with balance, but I always liked the notion.” Dude, I totally understand, but between my tingling breasts and those little twinges of pain I’m feeling in the uterus area, I’m going to have to find some balance or the next ten days are going to find me hoarding pregnancy tests and peeing on them on the sly a week early like I did last time, and I don’t think I can safely go there again.
There is hope for me, though. This is the weekend of the annual National Storytelling Festival, an event I attend every year. I always tell people it’s better than church, that it’s the most spiritual thing I do all year. Mostly people just nod and smile because they don’t get it–don’t get sitting around on folding chairs inside of circus-sized tents for three days listening to people tell stories through spoken word, song, dance, and sign language. It’s amazing, but you really need to go there to fully understand. It’s a good time for me to be going there, because I know once the first story begins I won’t notice my [real or imagined] symptoms anymore, and my brain will be left to do whatever it needs to do. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that what it needs to do is coordinate Geena and the boys and make a baby, but no more obsessing. After all, Geena is a kick-ass baseball player, a pirate, a secret agent, and the President. She doesn’t really need my help after all.