Infertility is Like That . . .

Infertility is Like That . . .

“Do you see that thing? Right there. . .the white thing with blue gel in it?” I pointed to the machine on my left, as my bare ass sat on, what appeared to be, a puppy pee-pad.

“Yes.” My husband said matter-of-fact, sitting on the office chair beside me. His face was between amusement and bewilderment.

“Well. It’s going in my vagina. You get to see inside of me.” My feet were now propped in the stirrups and I sighed with relief that my pedicure, specifically scheduled for this appointment, looked really good.

Here we were. Our first infertility appointment.

NOT IN THE PLANS

I’m a planner, albeit not the best. But, by very nature I like to have structure and a strategy for the milestones in my life.

Graduate college.

Complete grad school.

Start your career.

Meet a boy.

Marry said boy 🙂

Advance in your career.

Buy a house.

Make it a home.

Adopt alllll the puppies.

Have children.

I can’t seem to make the latter happen. . . Infertility wasn’t part of the plan. It has been a detour that has very few people helping you navigate and too few directions to get back on your route. The problem with plans and strategies in life is that they can be easily torn and broken, but the detours often make you grow the most. Oh man, have we grown.

JOURNEY to the STIRRUPS

I was never a woman who felt the strong desire to be a mother. It was not as if I didn’t want to become one, but it was a milestone in my life that I simply did not put at the top of my list. Some would say that the sacrifice of advancing quickly in my career and education is motherhood, which is such a dick thing to say. Let me be very clear: you can have a career and be a mother. You can want and achieve financial stability, career assurance and a child(ren). Infertility is not the punishment for wanting the life you want, it is not a consequence.

I digress.

Motherhood was not a sprint to me, nor was it a marathon, it was something that I wanted to happen, though. Up until recently, I never felt anxiety to check pregnancy and motherhood off the list. My plan included the possibility that it would not happen quickly. In my heart, I knew that I would not be as blessed as those that seemingly get pregnant when their husband just looks at them. Cheers to you girl . . . You get yours! Without giving too much detail or diving too far into years past, I had this strong sense that I would have some difficulty getting pregnant. But, I felt that would at least be possible.

I had no idea that it would take two years and counting to stay in the land of “Trying to Get Pregnant.”

In July 2018, Daniel and I had our first infertility appointment after waiting six months to be seen at an infertility clinic. This was after making two calls to get scheduled and having four previous infertility analysis with other specialists.

You see, infertility is a game of numbers. . .

How old are you? How long have you been trying? How long is your cycle? How many times a week do you have “relations”? What are you hormone levels? How many doctors have you seen? How many tests have you taken? How many ultrasounds? What is the sperm count? What is the sperm volume? How many eggs? How many cysts? How many pills? How many shots? How much is this ‘effin going to cost?

A lot. The answer to the last question is a lot. Like. Shit ton.

DON’T HATE- OVULATE!

Between the time my gynecologist referred us to the fertility clinic and our first appointment, a lot of researching has happened. By research, I mean looking at infertility blogs and posts on Instagram. There is both beauty and stupidity in doing this.

On the one hand, reading other’s stories provides hope and comfort for those that find success with their infertility treatments. Some have helpful questions to ask the fertility specialists and outline what to expect dependent upon the treatment suggestions from your MD. While I do not know many of the women who boldly post their struggles and fears, I find validation for many of the emotions that I’ve often found hard to dissect. I find excitement when someone’s story mirrors my own.

However, not all “research” has been so beautiful. Spending time reading about a very sensitive life experience can be mentally and emotionally draining. With each scroll through Instagram, I would find a woman that could just as easily be myself, accepting that another IVF had failed. Her fourth one. One who was told by her doctor the great chances of her conceiving, only to have to delay the procedures due to unforeseen circumstances concerning her ovaries. Others who had a successful transfer, only to lose the child months later. Very real stories. Very raw emotions. Very much could be me.

My heart and head hurt. It continues to do so today when I find myself mindless subjecting myself to wandering down the rabbit-hole of possibilities to where Daniel and I could end up. We didn’t plan this detour to parenthood and there isn’t a reverse to get back home.

MY UTERUS. MY STORY.

We have elected to share our “circumstances” openly and honestly with those that we love and feel that love us. It has been my belief since I was referred to a fertility specialist to be frank and honest about what is going on. Doing so has proven to be a bit more complicated that I had anticipated, but for the most part, we certainly feel loved and supported by our friends and family. Your kind words and blessing have made this adventure much easier and we thank you greatly.

The next steps for Dan and I have been carefully mapped out by another driver, our fertility doctor. As it stands currently, he is confident that we will conceive. The problem is, he didn’t say when or how long it would take, and he didn’t say how. Infertility is like that. . . A lot about numbers, a helluhvalot more about probability.

In the past few weeks I have faced my fear of shots by injecting myself with numerous hormones throughout the weeks. I believe that I am certified as a whatever-it-is that can read ultrasounds. I’ve found humor in the story that is ours and also found myself hysterically crying on the floor begging the doctor to tell me another route is necessary. Infertility is like that. . . It’s like the stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing and acceptance.

Perhaps I had more expectations for this blog post, in my mind I wanted it to be funnier and witty, you know . . . Pretty much me. But, it’s hard to summarize what I am experiencing without being somber and realistic about where we are. And . . . Where we are is a crossroads of multiple options and choices, none which Dan and I had desired.

Yet, here we are. A different journey than expected and certainly on a road that we would have otherwise avoided. In my heart, I know that we are two strong people that can handle the twists and turns ahead. We were made for this. We are made of strong stuff. And I know we can’t wait to have a child of our own and tell them how strong we had to be to hold them in our arms.

Until next time.

-B

Vegas Thirty

Vegas Thirty

Vegas is disgusting. The city smells like a trash can left in a heated garage and people treat the streets like a toilet bowl. It is a shameless place where seemingly, anything goes. Which is good news for the lady wearing a nuncostume half-nun costume and big-fat “X”s on her nips. Imagine the “Best Of” attendants from your recent state fair packing like sardines on the four-ish mile long strip, chugging beer and dressing up. By dressing up, I mean, not really having anything on. By chugging beer, I mean drinking an alcohol-infused slushy at 7 a.m. in the morning and throwing it up near in the Bellagio Conservatory by 10 a.m.

Is that flower arrangement glistening? Um, no, that’s Jimmy’s $12 washing-machine cocktail.

But. Man. I LOVE Vegas.

Seriously. I love the intoxicating lights highlighting the debauchery and strangeness along The Vegas Strip. There is almost like a natural high that hits you when you arrive in Vegas . . . will I win big on the slots? Will I meet “the one” here and get married within 24 hours? Will I meet a celebrity and become BFFs?! Will I be able to drink into oblivion for three straight days without a hangover?

The answer for the latter is always a solid, “no”.

Since my first Vegas trip, at the tender age of 25 (deep sigh for the longing days of youth!) my adventures along The Strip have certainly changed as I have grown older. Comparing my Las Vegas adventures and expectations as a mid-twenty-something to, ((UGHH)), early thirty-something is as interesting as it is hysterical.

Allow me to pull the curtains back and play the Vegas shit show in my 20s and then the less anticipated, straight-to-DVD adventure of Brittany’s Vegas Vaycay 3.0.

The 3.0 is for thirty.   Get it?  Do you get it?

Travel/Packing/Accomodations

Full disclosure: I have never been to Vegas for an event outside of purpose for a bachelorette party. This is both something I am proud about and also disappointed. On my Bucket List is to just go to Las Vegas to enjoy the city on my own terms. You should also know my Bucket List is relatively uneventful, and embarrassing realistic. Y’know… so I can actually cross wishes off….

20s

Pack everything. Do I need 10 pair of underwear? Maybe. Are these heels uncomfortable? Yes! Throw. Them. In. The. Bag. The ease of packing in your 20s is that your wardrobe has not quite transitioned to work-appropriate-only attire. You still have a few sexy, sultry cocktail/club dresses that expose your best features.

Even if you’re second guessing you’re #OOTN, never fear! You’ll be able to compare the eight dresses in your suitcase with the other seven girls…. Because you’re all in the

Same.

Damn.

Room.

That’s right. Vegas is expensive and your broke-ass is sharing the bed, the sofa or even the air mattress Becky packed with a hoard of other women you will probably never talk to again. You figure, why not? It’s not as if we are going to be in the room anyway. It’s Vegas, Baby! But, be sure to make at least one friend on this trip, because you’ll probably need to travel to the airport together at the crack of dawn Sunday morning. After all, you’re just going to go straight from the casino to the airplane. Still drunk. We can sleep when we are dead! VEGAS BITCHESSS!!

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Dirty Thirty in Vegassss

30s

Do I need 10 pair of underwear? Yes. You see… these are my Spanxx that will go well with this dress and if I pull the straps jusstttt taunt enough, goes at least above my knees. But, I have another pair of undies that really smooth out my ass and work better with this other dress….annddd….

Packing for Vegas now is the mid-life crisis that you didn’t anticipate in your 20s. Where the f*ck is that dress that you were a little anxious to be wearing at the last conference meeting because it was a little short? Dammit. . . it has sunflowers on it. Then you look at yourself in the mirror and wonder … why the f*ck do I have a dress with sunflowers on it? Where did you go, sexy, carefree 20-something? Oh yeah, I strangled her with my Yoga pants that I wear to every occasion besides yoga.

When I landed in Vegas and discovered that the waiting bachelorette party was at the casino with dresses and heels, my heart dropped. I sat on the plane thinking how ridiculous those girls must feel to be out of their athletic wear and uni-boob-making sports bra. (It’s comfortable, okay?!!) I thought there was an unspoken agreement that entering age 30 also meant that we were a force that could not waiver against comfort! Dammit! I thought we were a team! Again, I feel like I am missing a lot of these life memos.

(Side note. . . this was at least the thoughts in my mind. Truth be told, the ladies I met on my more recent Vegas trip were hot as hell! See evidence! Dressing as a 30-something is a post for another time…)

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My best friend Brooke at Encore Beach Club

Entertainment

20s

Your objective is to have as much fun as possible in the most inexpensive way, cramming every opportunity for questionable decisions in a very small window of time. Getting arrested is not necessarily on your agenda, but as long as it’s not you, then it makes for a good story.

Sitting at the penny slots and milking the free drinks is an absolute must. You have no money to gamble and only a small amount to spend on drinks, but you know what you do have? Focus. Focus to get as lit as possible.

Pool clubs equal daytime shenanigans that can play favorably into the night when you attend an actual Vegas Nightclub. Both events are elevated beyond expectations in comparison to your pool-bash held at your apartment complex (maybe these only happen in Arizona?) and the local dive bar that happens to play hip-hop or EDM after midnight. In Vegas, it is all about finding the sexiest, co-ed group to take selfies with. Making friends with a promoter is a must! No cover fee and a free cosmopolitan at entry… Done. Sign me up. Make that drink strong-as-hell!

Remember the heels that you packed? Yes, girl. You are going be wearing those and stomping the ground by 3 a.m., looking like a clydesdale horse trying to walk your drunk booty back to the Flamingo. SMH. You swear it was worth it though.

30s

Remember in Lethal Weapon, when Roger Murtaugh says, “I’m too old for this shit”? But at the end, Martin Riggs and Roger decide they are, in fact, not too old for said shit? That’s basically me in Vegas as a thirty-something.

On the first night, my best friend and I stayed out until 2 a.m. in the morning! My 20 year-old self is rolling her eyes right now, but unless you are a mother, 2 a.m. is a foreign time continuum that you speak about like a war story. Those you don’t know question your truthfulness, but you swear 2 a.m. bar hopping happened and you have the battle scars to prove it.

 

But, I paid for it the following morning. Thankfully, at this age, many of the fellow 30-somethings understand and value the importance of comfortable accommodations. Praise the Lord for that because I needed a nap each day that I was there. As I placed my head on a firm pillow, complete with allergen barrier cover..because..#health #comfort #bestrest… I thought. . . “I’m just too old for this shit.”

Rubbing sticky bodies against another in a casino pool, in 99 degree temperature suddenly did not appeal to me this go-around. Thank God we were able to splurge on a cabana at the Encore’s Beach Club. Seriously, get the cabana ladies. The cabana offered freedom to roam around in and out of the sun and dip in the pool as much as one so desired. As I stood on the balcony (judging everyone like I was Tyra Banks on ANTM) overseeing the chlorinated water pulsing from the young’ins dancing to the DJ…all I could think about was how much body fluid was floating around in that water.

Thankfully, my attitude is easy to wash away with a few drinks. One of the great things about being 30, is that your tolerance of alcohol is much less, so if you play your cards just right (see what I did there? It’s VEGAS!) you can get sloshed on a few drinks in half the time compared to you 20s. On the other hand, in your 30s, you have a low tolerance.

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Get the cabana. Worth it.

Clubbing is different. The lines are probably just as long as they were a few years back, but damn if these heels don’t make the wait seem much longer. I’m joking, I didn’t wear heels. I seized the night in flip-flops and would have busted out some Dr. Scholls if I had any. But, damn isn’t it fun to walk through the crowd, full of confidence and better fitting Spanxx and think, “Maybe, I’m not too old for this shit. I can still club! I can still dance the night away!”

P.S….Do people still say, “Going clubbing”? Please let me know. My desire to use relavent language is strong.

Alcohol and Food

20s and 30s

For me, despite my age, my affinity for good food at inexpensive prices has remained unchanged. Unfortunately, Las Vegas is last on the list when it comes to cheap dining and booze. Though I have to say the craftmanship of any cocktail that is set on fire in small, artesian glass is Instagram worthy. I lose much interest when you say it is $16. My frugalness cannot be broken, regardless of age or income.

Dependent upon the group you are with will ultimately determine the restaurant you venture to. Some of them are ridiculously priced and you will have to sell your ovaries when you return home, but for the most part, you will only have to donate plasma to come out even with dining out. Regardless of your age, there is no shame with shoving a few crackers and fruit snacks in your purse to curb the hunger without sacrificing the buzz.

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Living our best lives in Vegas!

The hangover in your 30s is something to be discussed, however. As you near the big 3-0, many notice the recovery time from a night of annihilation continues to increase. Whereas, “the hair of the dog” was well versed and implemented earlier in life, sometimes the idea of starting the morning with a mimosa after a night of Jack and Diet binging makes you gag a bit.

Here’s the thing. Now that I am in my thirties, I am terried to be hungover. It sucks. The headache is horrid and I am running out of first born children to give up so that my recovery is quicker. I stopped drinking much earlier than I would have ever considered in my 20s, because I know that pounding a few more beers or liquor-infused cocktails will just increase the liklihood that I’ll be blowing chunks by 9 p.m. or having to turn the lights off in my office on Monday morning.

Not to say that bottomless mimosas aren’t a blessing from Above! Whether your 20, 25, 30 or 55 . . . always. get. bottomless. mimosas. There is no wrong that can come from that, except when you drink two bottles of champagne by yourself and can’t find your bestie at the blackjack table. That was me. That was me at age 31.

Some things never change.

Departure

20s

Leaving Las Vegas can be a sad moment. Either your rushing to throw all your shit in the bag and get to the airport by 6 a.m., or you feel that you didn’t quite get to enjoy the city because you were too busy hugging the porceline throne. You swear you’ll return and venture beyond the slot machines and nightclubs. Maybe your next visit will be a bit more lowkey and you can actually enjoy the pool club and not the bathroom. But, lets be honest, if you come back under 30, it will be the same wild-crazy adventure….as it should be.

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Cheers, Vegas!!

30s

For me, I was a bit more eager to get to my bed this time. In fact, I ran up to the ticket counter like I was in the Olympics, praying that there was an empty seat on the next flight out. I like to think that it was my Oliver Twist hopelessnes… “Please! Sir! Get me out!” that landed me a seat. . . but it was probably because about eight flights leave a day from Vegas to Phoenix.

As with any vacation or getaway, there is some saddness. I still make promises to Vegas that I know in my heart I’ll never hold up… like… I promise I won’t hoard all the champagne at Drag Brunch next time… or… I promise I’ll lose weight and actually enjoy wearing a dress along the strip. But, I know it’s not true, and Vegas…well she could care less ….

Sin City has a unique way of growing old with you. There is no short of excitment or entertainement, regardless of your age. I hope to enjoy this amazing, filthy, intoxicating city as I get older and make memories that will be just as embarrassing as the first time I visited.

Thanks for reading about my adventures!

-b

Shit. Thirty.

Shit. Thirty.

You’re F***ing, THIRTY!

Thirty.

Thirty years old.

I remember sitting in my office listening to my co-worker exaggerate my newly embarked milestone and thinking, “Shit.”

But, the thought wasn’t the bad “shit” moment often associated with monumental self-awakening experiences. You know, like the moment when you realized that your parents lie or that you don’t have to sneak out of the house to go sleep with your boyfriend… you can just walk out of your apartment. It wasn’t even an “a-ha shit” feeling, like when you finally realize Susie didn’t drink at the latest baby shower because she’s pregnant. It certainly wasn’t the “SHIT!!” moment, much like those when you step on the scale after returning from vacation. Not even the excited “shiiitttt” moment like when you finally turn 21 and no longer have to use Sydney from middle-of-nowhere-Kentucky’s ID to get into a rather shady bar.

It was just a flat, uneventful, matter-of-fact “shit.”

I was thirty and expected to just feel something different. Even panic would have been a welcomed emotion because, in my mind, isn’t that what is supposed to happen? Isn’t this the exact moment where my mid-life crisis happens? Better yet, what about my sexual prime, Cosmopolitan, said would be knocking at my door? I bought new panties for this.

Here I sat, waiting for some sort of initiation into the Female 30-Something Sorority and apparently, I was either late for the party or not invited.

So, what was I supposed to feel? What was I supposed to expect? What was I supposed to be doing?

Shit.

Being a woman in your 30s is perplexing. It’s a sandwich between figuring out who you are and where you are (read: drunk) in your 20s and then an appearance of having your shit together in your 40s. Thirty is the gap between holding your hair and dry-heaving into your roommate’s toilet and stepping into womanhood with confidence.

Whereas the 20s mantra was freedom, exploring, making mistakes and making-out… age 30-ish takes a sharp left-turn and focuses on a more distinguished checklist of expectations. Rather than making you feel accomplished, the roadmap can actually make you feel quite left behind.

You can feel stuck. Inadequate. Frustrated. Lonely.

And truth be told, there should be no surprise that many of us, on this bridge swaying and disappearing in the fog- feel that way. The boxes on this checklist are life changing and delicate at the same time.

You should own a home by now.

You should have a sleeping and eating regime that supports a healthy lifestyle.

You should be in a committed relationship.

You should start looking at your ass more… gravity is taking over.

You should have kids by now.

Shit!

One list of “25 Things You Should Do Before You’re 25” suggested to “Hang Out with Kids More.” I shit you not. Why? Because it went on to suggest that, “you’re nearing your thirties now and it won’t be long that you’ll be having children of your own.”

Uhh…

I am finding so many of my generation… peers aren’t quite fitting into exact molds. A lot of us sure as hell have a lot of “shoulds” that are waiting to have a big, fat X on ’em. Then some of us have no intention to ever checking the “shoulds” off the list.

We’re in this complex situation of expectations and perception our parents have for our lives now and how culture/society has molded the reality.

My mother was raising three children when she was 30 . . . and I just reorganized my Pinterest board. Also, I am YouTubing The Tiny Kitchen where a person makes these teeny-tiny treats…andddd….

Times are different, man. The pressure is real.

Before writing and creating this blog, I did some searching on turning 30, expectations in your 30s, things to do in your 30s. While there are some decent suggestions, I still felt confused and empty.

How did these bloggers and writers have it all together and yet, I looked around in my age group and we are scattered all over the board of expectations?

And. Honestly. It is a more beautiful picture of life than any other advice column has painted.

None of us have a clue what we are doing or what we should be doing and it’s honestly…fantastic.

I want to change the perception and misunderstanding surrounding what it means to be 30… because if someone doesn’t, I think some of us are going to lose our damn minds.

Maybe this is my mid-life crisis. The DirtyThirty Pity Party. Some sort of mental breakdown. Or, maybe it’s the refreshing outlook on life that some of us are searching for.

So… Here I am.

Over the next year  undefined time range (I have commitment concerns) …. I want to introduce and interview amazing, female 30-something’s who have absolutely no idea what the hell they’re doing. But, each lady is doing really great things… each one crossing this bridge of their 30s without care or concern for the mold others believe they should fit.

And you know what?

We will make some checklists of our own.

This shit will be fun.

britt