Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm not as smart as I think I am

I know you've all been tossing and turning, unable to sleep until you knew what had happened with my terrible little plagiarist. WELL! I met with her yesterday and informed her she'd be getting an F on the assignment due to the fact that her new paper still contains plagiarism. She signed the report form admitting responsibility with no particular reluctance, or show of emotion, or really anything. But something she said made me go back and look over all the weekly papers she'd been writing over the course of the semester. I suppose most of you in the teaching profession would have done this long ago. For whatever reason, it didn't occur to me that she could possibly have plagiarized BEFORE! But BOY HAD SHE! Almost all her papers (these are little one-pagers) had cases where she'd pasted stuff from websites into her assignment. So no wonder she thought she could get away with it! She totally HAD. No wonder she thought she could fool me! She totally HAD. Uggh.

Anyway, I'm done with the little WHORE and am passing her off to other bodies. I have more important shit to do. Like worry about my fetus. Think of me on Monday morning, as I'll be having a major moment of truth.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

No promises broken here!

I promised Mr. Bunny I wouldn't write negative things about him here. It's our bargain--he's not allowed to read what I write, I assure him that there's nothing about him he'd be upset by. Which I hope is true. So just to be clear: this post is not about him. It's about someone else, Mr. Nunyb. Totally unrelated.

Mr. N. is about ten pounds overweight. He's got a bit of a gut. And he feels really bad about it. He's always saying things like I'm so fat, I'm disgusting, etc. He doesn't get any exercise. He travels a lot and it's exhausting. When he's home, he doesn't want to work out, he wants to relax. Unfortunately for him, he happens to be married to someone who is naturally thin, and who gets a lot more exercise as part of her daily routine (she walks a lot). She's pretty much in control of his diet when he's home, and she doesn't always make things that are low in fat, in part because she's been underweight before and needs to keep the pounds on. He wants to lose weight. She wants him to lose weight. But he can't seem to stick to a routine. The only times he's been good about it are times when she's worked out too, and she's not going to be working out any time soon. For various reasons. She's worried if he doesn't develop good habits now, he'll be overweight forever and then die of something sad. But she doesn't know how to encourage him. Nagging is not a good strategy, but is there any way of bringing up the subject that doesn't count as nagging? She could cook better food, which would probably be wise anyway, but cream is so goooood! And diet alone can't fix these things. He says that at some point he'll just decide to start exercising again. But that point hasn't come in the past three years. She feels bad for him and also just fucking selfishly wants him to be healthier. But it seems like there's nothing she can do.

Any suggestions for my unfortunate friends?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pardon me, miss...I think your uterus is showing.

I don't look pregnant. Or, if I do, it's only because I'm bloated. The bloat-to-gravid transition that will presumably occur (someday) reminds me a lot of going directly from acne to wrinkles. Where was the part where I got to have nice skin? There was no such part. Similarly, where is the part where I get to be pregnant and not have a beer belly? There may be no such part. Whatever, I don't care. But this morning in the shower while groping myself (as one does) I thought I might have felt...something. Something sorta firm where before there was not too much firmness. I think my uterus might be poking out a little.

(The thing is, there's a lot of confusing stuff in that area as a result of my surgery. First, there's the scar. Not coincidentally, it's right over my uterus, and it's rather firm too. Then there's the little flesh shelf of displaced fat that sits over the incision, which also interferes with being able to palpitate my guts. Finally, there's what I think of as my Novocaine Belly. The severed nerves are still regrowing (it takes a looooong time) so there's a large area of really OFF-feeling skin from navel to incision. The closest analogy I can think of is that really icky feeling your face has after Novocaine starts to wear off. It's not exactly numb, you just don't wanna touch it. It feels too...grody.)

Anyway, when I felt the possible-maybe-there firmness, I burst into tears of joyous amazement. I was like MAYBE MY BABY'S NOT DEAD! A minute later I was like, no...that's totally the same as it's always been. Sigh.

I'm twelve weeks today. I've got a secret page where I'm keeping offensive things like my floating fetus and belly shots, and any future ultrasound pictures, if I am so lucky. If such things don't disgust you, you can see a picture of me looking not pregnant.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Someday I might have to tell my mother I'm pregnant

And if I don't stay pregnant, I'll need to tell her I miscarried. The thing is, I haven't spoken to her in almost a year, except for one phone call in which I told her to stop calling me.

I know some of you have genuinely abusive or neglectful parents. It makes me a little ashamed to complain about my mother, whose only parenting flaw was a certain selfishness and lack of grasp on reality. But my childhood was filled with poverty, chaos, and anxiety because of her crazy-ass choices, many of which resulted from (or resulted in) unplanned pregnancies. I've always been angry with her about that. She also said some wonderfully selfish and insensitive things when I tried to confide in her about my infertility. After a couple such interactions, I just couldn't bear talking to her. I started dodging her calls, then eventually explained to her that if she wanted to support me, she needed to fuck off.

Part of me wishes I hadn't created this situation. But I kinda had to. As CGD recently wrote, "I do not think I am a selfish person, but this is a selfish experience." I totally AM a selfish person, but I agree wholeheartedly that this is a selfish experience. Sometimes (often) you have to protect yourself at the expense of other people's feelings, and that applied to my mother. But it can't go on indefinitely.

I know calling her up and telling her I'm pregnant won't fix anything. I'll still be pissed at her. And I think when you have a damaged relationship in your life that you want to change, you have to first figure out exactly what you want to be different. I don't want a close, loving relationship with her. I never have wanted that. But I need to have a civil relationship with her. For the sake of my brothers, and's uncomfortable. And I need to figure out how to let her be part of this experience I might just be having some time in May.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Due date superstition

Al recently asked me when my due date is. Thus far, I've managed to avoid having one. Sure, I know more or less when Bun Bun will be cut out of my ute, should we reach that point. It's not like I can avoid thinking about it. And even if I could resist, there's the fact that when we first started trying to get pregnant we did it in August so it would work out optimally with my teaching schedule. (HA!) So I know it's MAY. But my RE didn't give me a due date and I haven't calculated it. I don't want to know. Partly it's that I'm so scared of having it burned forever into my brain as the day my baby was supposed to begin its life and, you know, didn't. I've watched that day (in some cases, those days!) pass for so many of you and it's heartbreaking to see from a distance; I can't imagine experiencing it. Logically, I know that hiding from the date won't change a thing. And yet it's oddly comforting to not know exactly. I presume my OB will give me one if there's a thriving fetus in there. By then, I'll be almost to the Much Safer Zone, and I might be ready to hear it.

1. Votes on the doppler question were more or less split, so I'm going with no. There's no logical reason, and it's not like the Pro Doppler Contingent was not convincing, but I guess until I get a strong sense that it's the right choice for me, inaction is where it's at!
2. I met with my plagiarist today. She explained that she'd submitted the wrong version of the assignment. The version I got was a DRAFT, see, with some filler that she later replaced! But of course she'd never cut and paste material from the web into a REAL paper! So I was like send me the new version and I'll decide what to do next, given that I have no way of knowing whether you're telling the truth. So she did, and LO! Not only was it clear in the "new" version that she'd simply rephrased the plagiarized material, but some of the plagiarized material was still there. And, better still, there was NEW plagiarized material! I know this shit is not all that thrilling to most of you, but it totally boggles my mind, and is way more entertaining than the usual grading and whatnot that comprises the teaching part of my life. Stay tuned for the next chapter!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This is going to seem contradictory...

I spent the weekend as well as Monday and Tuesday (Mediocre Institution's fall break. YAY!) lying around being feeble. I've developed an Endless Headache, which mixes nicely with the Perpetual Nausea and Transitory Yet Reliable Heartburn. I actually didn't know headaches were a thing that went along with pregnancy. THEY ARE. And it sucks. I find that waking up with a headache makes the whole day really hard to face. So that was me whining about how hard it is to gestate a fetus. Wah.

You'd think all these symptoms would be nice and reassuring. They are not. The thing is, I know too many tragic stories where women felt just the same as they had been feeling, then showed up to an appointment to learn that their fetus was dead. I can't help but imagine that possibility. It makes me want to google things like "how to know if your fetus is dead" or "how long does a dead fetus stick around before your body notices", but, uh...I really don't want to see the results that such searches would turn up.

This is why people get a doppler. But I can't make up my mind. Pros: reassurance. Cons: terror, which may or may not turn out to be unnecessary. You'd think I could just come down on one side or the other, but I can't. I think part of me feels like buying one would be giving in to some level of anxiety and obsessiveness that I really don't want in my life. Like, shouldn't I be able to get through this on faith alone? And it feels like further medicalization of what has already been a very medical experience. (No offense intended to those of you who have gone for it--these are just my own personal crazy feelings.) Part of me feels like it's silly to live in the age of science and not take advantage of it. So it's up to you to decide for me. What should I do?

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Sigh. One of my students submitted a paper with massive chunks of text copied from the interweb. And not just the interweb, a really stupid website. I do a lot of plagiarism education and practice in that class, and I design assignments where you can't easily plagiarize. So that's disappointing. In addition to the hassle of meeting with her and filing an academic integrity violation report, I'm just so damn offended! Did she really think I wouldn't notice? PULEAZE! Even if the jarring difference in tone and content hadn't caught my attention, the idiot failed to notice the cut and pasted text was in a slightly different color! (We're talking dark grey here, not, like, red, but still.) It just pisses me off to have a student think Professor Bunny is that stupid! I am not. She's the stupid one. And I'm gonna FUCK HER UP!

Of course I'm not actually going to fuck her up. I'm going to have a meeting wherein I show her the documentation and gently inquire what happened. And do you know what she will most likely say, based on my previous experience? I don't KNOW how that plagiarized text got into my paper. I have no idea. It is a total mystery. And then I will FUCK HER UP! With my academic integrity violation report.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In the elevator

This morning I got on the elevator with two women who were in the middle of a conversation. (I've seen them both around, but don't know them.) It turned out they were talking about one's pregnancy and delivery. The deliverer was saying how hard it had been. The second woman got off one floor later. I smiled at the deliverer, because, you know, trapped on an elevator, and she repeated, It was haaaard! I found myself asking whether it had been hard all along, or just at the end or what. The moment I got off the elevator I was appalled at myself. Why on earth did I stick my nose into their private conversation!? I mean, okay, she kind of gave me an in, but that didn't mean she wanted some relative stranger quizzing her about her experience. And then I wondered, how would I have felt about finding myself privy to this conversation just a few weeks ago? It would have been another one of those interactions where I'd have mustered up a fake smile and felt bitter about the whole fucking thing until I complained about it to you and we all bitched about her. And now I'm like, TELL ME MORE, LET ME TAKE SOME NOTES! Ugh. Pregnancy after infertility doesn't change everything, but it sure changes some things: now I'm more obnoxious!

(I know, you guys are like, NO SHIT, Bunny.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Take that, students

It's midterm week, and I'm preparing the exam for my large lecture course. Now is the time when I get to retaliate against the students who have been irritating me with their insufficiently rapt attention and their stupid questions and remarks. (E.g., Me: What's your intuitive understanding of what consciousness is? Student: It's that voice in your head telling you what's wrong and right.) And yet, I find I'm not that inclined to make the questions super hard. Maybe it's some kind of newly awakened maternal instinct. Maybe I'm just too tired to deal with all the outraged e-mails that inevitably follow a nice, tough exam. Whatever. There's always the final exam.

Meanwhile, today I randomly picked an OB from the office where I want to be seen. (Receptionist: And what's the purpose of your visit? Me:..........Uh........I'm pregnant?) It's in the same suite as my clinic, and you might think I'd never want to see the place again. But it's so damn convenient. Plus, I started out with an OB in that office, long ago when I thought could just get pregnant, no problem. I like the sense of returning after a detour down the hall to the Land of Pain and Suffering. I set up an appointment for November first. It feels very odd to randomly choose someone, but I have no friends to advise me, and it turns out to be rather hard to find information sans personal referrals. It also feels very odd to not have an appointment for three weeks. How am I supposed to believe Bun Bun is okay until then? But I guess that's what I have to do.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Goodby, garden

It never ceases to amaze me how smart and thoughtful and...willing to be nice to me you guys are. Thank you. I slapped BFB around a little and she apologized. (Actually, she apologized before I even had to slap her around.) You're right that it will take a while to find our new equilibrium, but I think we will.

This weekend I put the garden to bed for the winter. When I did my first round of planting this season I posted a photo along with a request that it not be a totally barren year. It has instead been a pretty fucking fruitful year. I finally had enough tomatoes, and I even got a volunteer butternut squash plant (or pumpkin, for my Australian and New Zealander friends) that must have sprouted from a seed in the compost. I love butternut squash, and this plant produced two little beauties, one of which made a delicious soup for us last week (with fried sage leaves! Mmmm!). And then there's the little fruit presumably still ripening all up in my womb. I can't believe it. I would have bet a considerable sum on the reverse outcome, for reals.

Also this weekend: Mr. Bunny accused me of glowing. I was like, Whatever! You've just forgotten what it looks like when I'm HAPPY because it's been so fucking long.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Telling BFB

After my ultrasound on Tuesday, I shared the news with BFB. (That's Best Friend with Baby, my sometimes very sweet, sometimes totally insensitive best friend. For a good picture of our relationship, you could read my interview with her.) E-mail might seem a little cold for a best friend, but it's a totally normal medium of communication for us. Except...after she moved to California, I requested that we not speak for a while. Every e-mail from her just reminded me of what she had that I didn't, and I thought maybe if she just left me alone, I'd actually get some benefit from her absence. She was totally cool about it. In fact, I didn't even get the impression that she particularly minded. As a result, this was the first she'd heard from me in about two months. She was very excited, and we planned to have a phone conversation last night. So we did. Most of the conversation was fine. I got to tell her about every last detail of my adventures and she was enthusiastic. But two things were not fine.

1. I still found it painful to hear about her baby's antics. Jane is seven months now, and doing all sorts of remarkable things. It still hurt my heart to hear about them. This should not have surprised me. First, although I might be looking at my golden ticket off IF island, I might not. There's a long way to go before I find out. So it's not like my journey is over. And I spent a long year being tormented by the sight of her all pregnant and then having a cooing, gurgling infant. There's no reason why the pain would evaporate without a trace. Everyone says that IF leaves scars; even if I had my baby in my arms right now, I'd still be a changed person as a result of my experience.

2. After a perfectly reasonable conversation, BFB revealed that my asking her for some space left her feeling like shit. I can totally see how this would be the case. I bet that's how I'd feel! And she's had to do a certain about of bending over backwards to accommodate my precious feelings during the past year, much of which has probably been painful for her (as bending over backwards tends to be). Still, I wish she hadn't hit me with that at the end. It blindsided me and made me feel like the whole conversation had been false. That she'd just been putting on a pretense of interest and happiness while actually seething with resentment.

I'm so tired of negotiating things in this friendship, of apologizing for not being able to put my own feelings aside, of feeling guilty for whatever dampening effect I have on her experience of motherhood, of not being a good enough friend. I found myself wondering whether a friendship that requires this much delicate handling is really worth it. The thought of just giving up on it felt wonderfully restful.

I expect that I'll cool off and feel ready to work this kink out soon enough. The anger is probably mainly a reaction to learning that I hurt someone without really knowing it. And maybe I should have renewed contact with her before telling her about this development, so that we could have had a conversation about the period of non-communication before we talked about babies. I don't know. I just feel like shit.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What happened to sex?

I'm too embarrassed to actually admit how infrequently I've had sex since the obligatory post IUI bout. (And even then, doctor's orders were to screw that day and for the following two days and we managed only that same day.) And since you know all about my uterus and orgasms and whatnot, you know the number is SMALL if I'm not willing to spit it out, 'cause I'm pretty frank with y'all. But it's even smaller than you think.

My sex drive is deader than it's even been, and that's saying something. It was dead leading up to this IUI. It was dead during it, and it has remained dead. And yeah, the never-ending cold and not sleeping well and being extra tired and feeling a little pukey and not wanting my breasts touched isn't helping, but I don't think those factors would stop me if I were actually hankering for some man meat.

What the fuck, y'all? Frankly, it's becoming a bit alarming. I've heard that the more sex you have the more you want, so maybe I just have to force it until I warm up again. (Gee, doesn't that sound both healthy and enjoyable?) I've also heard that the second trimester can revive the sex drive. But what if it doesn't? What if I never want to have sex again!? And I also know that most of us go through periods like this, but this feels extra severe, and, I dunno, weirdly continuous with the whole IF has killed my sex drive experience. It seems like things should be DIFFERENT, now that things are, you know, different. Any words of encouragement? Any tips for rekindling the flame?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Remember Viking Rune Candle Lady?

Long time readers may recall the woman who gave me the VIKING RUNE CANDLE. She's the wife of a friend of Mr. Bunny's, and while we are not at all close, she knew about my IF because she herself had been through six miscarriages and was very open about the whole thing, so I opened up to her a little. At the time the VIKING RUNE CANDLE (it has to be capitalized) was presented to me, she was early into her seventh pregnancy. Mr Bunny mentioned to me last night that she had a baby boy a few weeks ago. I was totally overjoyed. She is a really weird lady, but it makes me so happy to think that she MADE IT. I know success stories for RPL abound, and there's no reason why this one should mean anything to those of you suffering through the experience, but... After the VIKING RUNE CANDLE had been sitting around the house for a few weeks, I finally lit it and said a secular prayer for all of us. It worked for her. (Yes, I'm taking credit for her successful pregnancy.) It looks like it might work for me. Who knows how far-reaching the power of the VIKING RUNE CANDLE will turn out to be!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bun Bun lives

All was well at this morning's ultrasound. Bun Bun has grown the right amount, is sporting a head (Sweet! Definitely going to need that later in life!), some fine lookin' limb buds, and a heart beating away at an appropriate rate. I got to say goodbye to my RE. I told him how grateful we were and he was like, I'm a freaky little doctor man and don't know how to deal with human emotions, despite the fact that I do it all damn day! He gave me a hug, patted my knee, and then patted the top of my head. I don't know, man. But the end result is that I have to find a fucking OB. Holy shit.

There's a long way to go, and I'm not going to take a single day for granted. But I have to confess that while part of me is still so very scared, a much larger part of me believes this is going to work out. Foolhardy? Perhaps. But I'm sick and tired of protecting my heart. I'm ready to live a little!

That's how I feel today, anyway.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Oh order list, thou art a mirror of my soul

I buy all my drugstore-type-products online, partly so I can purchase embarrassing things without human contact, and partly because we're a one-car family, so it's often not convenient for me run out and get something. An interesting consequence is that I have a record of all my IF purchases. To wit:

The last order for birth control pills.
The fertility monitor.
The sad series of test sticks for the fertility monitor.
My first box of pregnancy tests.
A pathetic string of orders for fertility monitor test sticks and pregnancy tests.
Just pregnancy tests. No need for the test sticks once we started ART.
Magnesium citrate for the BOWEL PREP prior to my laparoscopy.
More pregnancy tests.
Vitamin E oil for my myomectomy scar.
The fateful box of pregnancy tests that contained one lucky test destined to be my first real positive.
Morning sickness drops.

I wonder what will come next? Will I get to order a series of alarming products from the heretofore detested "baby and mom" section? Or will my next order come from the "my baby turned out to be dead at my nine week ultrasound" section? I haven't thrown up since I wrote that complainy post, so I'm not at all sure it won't be the latter. I hope they sell liquor in the dead baby section.