Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is this a test?

I am officially bad at following directions! I’m not sure what this implies for my future mothering skills, but I’m pretty sure it declares my age. I used to be overly organized. But I have yet to get this fertility testing/insemination process correct. In my defense, I did actually follow the directions on the back of the ovulation monitoring kit, but those directions are for “direct deposit.” Since I’m taking a less traditional route, the timing is a bit different.

Basically, around the 13th day of my cycle (which just means 13 days after the start of my period), I begin testing for ovulation. You do this by peeing on a stick, which measures the level of LH (luteinizing hormone), triggering release of an egg. The digital monitor, purchased at the drug store, indicates this with a smiley face. The kit instructs you to test in the morning, so that you have a 24-36 hour timeframe in which to fertilize the egg. The nurse explained that this is b/c most people will test in the morning in order to plan their evening activities when trying to conceive. I, however, am supposed to test in the evening because I get inseminated during the day. I didn’t realize this flip flopped time schedule during the first 2 tries, although when I called in for to schedule the 2nd try, they got me in that day b/c she didn’t want me to wait until the next day.

So for this round, I was to begin testing last night. I worked late and then went to a program with a friend after work. As an aside, it was a really cool program. It’s called Science Café, and was about cryptography last night. It’s held at the Great Lakes Brewery and is sponsored by the Case (Case Western Reserve University) chapter of Sigma Xi. Since it was held at the brewery, I was almost required to have a beer, right? Well anyway, I did, which meant by the end of the program I really had to pee. I arrived home at about 8pm and remember that I was scheduled to pee on the stick, so I went upstairs to do this. Being the hyper vigilant direction follower that I thought I was, I once again read the package. Well, I need to have not peed for 4 hours before taking the “test.” So, I wait, not really expecting a smiley face anyway, so what’s the harm.

At about 11pm when I decide to head off to bed, I first pee on the stick, with sort of an obligatory feeling. It’s too early, but I’m supposed to start now, so I will. I do the bedtime routine stuff, brush my teeth, blah, blah, blah, and go back into the bathroom to glance at the stick. There is a smiley face staring back at me. My first thought is….I did it wrong! Then….it’s affected by beer! I did have that beer at the Science Café thing. I read the directions again, and then panic. I’ve screwed this up again. It’s too late to call the lab to let them know I’m coming in the morning. What if I’ve missed my window of opportunity? I knew I was in for a rough night! I decide to test again in the morning and then just call first thing (I have to be at work early anyway) to see if I can get in. It takes me about 2 hours to fall asleep!

I wake up in the morning with a preemptive feeling of disappointment. I have convinced myself in my sleep that I’ve missed my ovulation period. You know the morning routine, so I won’t go into that, but when I look at the stick, to my surprise there is a smiley face brightening my morning! I can’t begin to tell you the feeling of possibility that silly smiley face brings.

The actual insemination process is getting easier. Much like the feeling I got walking into my dad’s hospital room, the familiarity come easily. It’s an odd familiarity, though. One that you don’t want, yet it offers comfort and creates a calmness that I have trouble creating on the drive over. The procedure itself is very simple, which is such a bizarre juxtaposition to its monumental meaning, but the nurses are incredibly skilled at creating a caring environment. Today, she almost feels like a friend.

I’m trying to relax and go about my normal daily routine, but the possible disappointment looms heavy.

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