Friday, February 27, 2009

sound off

I think we're through with all the "pre" visits at this point: IVF, here come.

Yesterday I had my 'uterine sounding' appointment, which sounded mostly like me yelling "OW!" when the catheter hit the back wall of my uterus. THERE IS A REASON YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO JAM STUFF IN THERE. ("Well, there it is," said the doctor calmly, "now I won't do that again.")

The checklist is done. The drugs are arriving Monday. Lupron shots start Tuesday. I'm ready.

Inflicting pain while in the process of potentially creating life seems like the perfect Lenten discipline. Plus, if the drugs do indeed make me an emotional nutcase, I can say that I am giving up my sanity for Lent.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

a presidential address to my ovaries

Last night, I watched the President address the joint session of Congress. (As a side note, this is the first presidential speech I have watched in, you know, about eight years. Give or take a month and four days. Approximately.) Public speaking is a big part of my life, so for one thing, I stand in awe of someone who has the speaking gifts of our president. He's damn good. I love that he uses grown-up words as if he expects us to know them (and as if he himself understands them as well), and beautiful phrases and elevated language. He makes me feel smarter. Or, better said, he makes me feel as if we, the people, could be smarter than I've thought for awhile. This is all good stuff.

Also, the conspicuous absence of Darth Vader was nice.

ANYWAY. Enough commentary. The point is, I heard advance reporting on the news all day long about what seemed to be the main theme of the speech: how would the President manage to balance the stark reality in front of us with a clear need for hopeful optimism among us? How could he come off optimistic, but not unrealistic? And how could he be realistic, but not depressing? (Was it Stewart or Colbert last night who cracked that the President's dour tone lately indicated that he was "trying to stimulate the economy through sales of Paxil"?)

Inspired by the erudition of the President, all I can say in response to the expectations for the speech is: Shit, man. Give the guy a break. How can anyone strike the right balance here? How hard would it be to balance hope and reality when you're facing the biggest crisis of your life?

Oh. Wait a second. I believe I might know something about this. About the struggle, anyway, if not the solution.

At my acupuncture appointment today, we talked about being open to the possibility of being pregnant. I admit freely that I am very torn about this. I am optimistic, more so than I've been for a long time. There's good reason for my optimism. Success rates in my age range are good. Our two main problems - poor morphology and endometriosis - are largely, if not entirely, bypassed by IVF. Things have been falling into place lately in some weird ways. I feel good. I do feel hopeful.

But 'feeling hopeful' is not quite the same thing as 'imagining that you actually could be pregnant.' I play this roller coaster game in my head, wherein I daydream about nursery colors and the smell of baby shampoo, and I start to think things like, "well, if we go to that wedding in July I would probably need a maternity dress," and, "I like these jeans, but what's the point of buying pants now?" And I go along like this for awhile, until another voice rudely interrupts and practically shouts at me: "YOU FOOL! Haven't you done this before? Don't you remember three and a half years ago, when you stopped buying pants and you bought that one bib, and you walked down the baby aisle at Target...and nothing ever happened? How stupid are you? Why would you do this to yourself again? Have you learned NOTHING these past years?"

And then the optimistic voice says calming things about how it's different now, and how there are actual statistics to back up this optimism, and about the value of hope itself. But the pessimistic voices are pretty loud. And rude. Half of my reproductive system is giving standing ovations to hope every thirty seconds, and the other half is sitting in its chairs, pouting and frowning and mumbling things about irresponsible spending in a time of crisis and about how this stupid stimulus package isn't going to work anyway and why are we even here, if these people would just stop clapping every minute we could go home and sulk in peace.

So I feel your pain, Mr. President. I'm stuck in the same place. (Although, thankfully, far fewer people are watching me on television.) I'm trying to vote for hope. I want to be open. YES WE CAN, right? That's right. Shut up, minority pessimists. Your time is over. It's time for hope. Audacious, ridiculous, beautiful, life-giving hope.

God bless you, and God bless the state of my ovaries. Thank you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

my dirty secret

This Saturday, my husband and I planted lettuce.  And spinach, and chives, and a few green onions.  

This is, of course, no big deal.  It's a bigger deal than usual to us, because this is our first year in a new house, and the two years we spent in our last house involved too many other home-improvement projects to allow time for a garden, so it's been awhile.  Planting these seeds felt like the last step in claiming this as our very own home.

But apart from that, it felt like the right thing to do for another reason.  The truth is, although I didn't hate high school biology class, it wasn't my favorite subject.  I've never been terribly well-versed in the intricacies of the process of life.  I know about as much about how my garden works as I do about how my car works: which is, I know that whether or not it works affects me.  And that's about it.

I was also not the world's biggest fan of 8th grade Health class, which I remember primarily had the effect of causing me not to eat hot dogs for about ten years.  And in which I also learned that, if you did not use a condom every single time, you were almost guaranteed to get pregnant.  Seriously.  Just looking at a boy the wrong way might get you knocked up.  So they said.

Life has disabused me of a few things I learned in junior high and high school.  And I have forgotten some of the details I ought to have remembered along the way.  So here I am, finding that my body's inability to do as it was decreed in 8th grade Health class has, among other things, given me a newfound wonder at the fact that anyone ever gets pregnant at all.  This does occasionally make me bitter.  But, more often these days, the better word would be, "incredulous."  (I did like 8th grade English class.)  

And so, my incredulous self decided that this is the absolute perfect time to try out the Miracle of Life and plant a garden.  All we had time and space for this weekend were the two wine barrels we had brought with us.  We reassembled them (these do not survive a move very well), visited the local nursery and found seeds for all kinds of tasty green salad items, and filled the barrels with dirt.

I put on my garden gloves and fingered a little trench around the edge of the barrel.  I thought about the ultrasound wand, covered in latex, waiting for me as I sit in the stirrups and wonder how much longer it will take before the nurse comes into the room.  I carefully placed seeds inside the trenches, trying to space them out just the way the little packet told me too.  I thought about the injectible drugs arriving soon, the ones I'll start a week from today.  I thought about the egg retrieval process on my calendar.  And the needle which will inject the sperm into each egg.  

They never tell you about that in 8th grade Health class.

I covered up the seeds with the warm, loamy dirt.  I went to get a hose to water the barrel, and I thought about the transfer day, and about how I will look, from the outside, just the same after that procedure as I did going into it, and yet how completely different I'm sure I will feel.

I watered the barrel.  I thought about the PIO shots.  

I stood back and looked at the barrels of dirt which looked just the same as they had ten minutes ago, before I planted anything in them.  "How does this stuff even grow?" I thought.  "What if this is the year nothing actually comes up?  I mean, there are a thousand things that could go wrong: the seeds could be too old, I could water them too much - or not enough - we could get a late frost, squirrels could dig them all up once they start sprouting, the dirt could be terrible...they're just barrels of dirt!  How is this ever going to be a garden?"

Maybe it won't.  But the truth is, there most likely will be a garden in the barrels.  Because life is powerful.  Vulnerable and powerful.  Almost-not, and yet unbelievably fecund, when you think about it.  And it always starts this way.  With the something-that-will-be looking like absolutely-nothing-at-all.  Remember that, I told myself.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

just a little infertility humor.

My husband I went to the local Gigantic Home Show yesterday.  Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of the Home Show Experience.  Better said, it gives me Serious Brain Overload.  I can only look at so many home-construction related displays before I just want to lay down in aisle 1600 and take a nap.

But, coming around one particular corner, we ran into the following booth.  Because of where we were standing, we could only see part of the vendor's name, and the fact that said vendor was offering 'do it yourself' kits.

The people would like to present exhibit A:

I took the photo with my phone, so it's not great quality.  But seriously: there's nothing like coming around a corner to see a giant booth with the words "SEMEN" and "DIY Kits Available" to make you say to yourself, "Wow.  I have spent way too much time contemplating the process of reproduction.  And also, what the hell kind of homeowners show is this?"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

to tell or not to tell

One of the biggest questions we're working through at the moment is 'who to tell' when it comes to IVF.

I find myself of two completely different minds about this. Yesterday, my husband and I were running errands and stopped at the local craft store. He, in a fit of testosterone, decided to stay in the car. We parked across from the handicapped spot and watched a perfectly able (to the naked eye) couple get into the car in that spot and drive away. "I always wonder about that," he said, "because they looked just fine, so why are they parking in a handicapped spot?"

One the one hand, I suspect there are people who abuse that system, who get permit for their cars under fraudulent circumstances. And that's irritating, no doubt.

But then again, I remember a few days when infertility punched me so hard in the heart I felt like I could hardly walk, and I could have used the handicapped spot myself. I think about a woman I know who will remember the first anniversary of her son's death this Saturday. He was 24 years old. He survived two tours of duty in Iraq, came home, contracted an infection from who-knows-where, and died. Shouldn't she get a handicapped spot? What about the woman whose keister is killing her from PIO shots, whose heart aches from a miscarriage, the husband who had to endure the first semen analysis appointment? Not to mention the guy who just lost his job, the kid who was picked on relentlessly...before you know it, the whole damn parking lot is handicapped.

That's the part of me that frankly wants to walk around with a t-shirt announcing, "I AM INFERTILE. I AM GOING THROUGH IVF. PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU TALK TO ME. MY HEART HURTS. AND DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, MENTION THE OCTUPLETS. THANK YOU." Part of me wants everyone to know this stuff. I want people to pray for us, and be kind to us and, for the love of God, stop asking when we're going to have kids.

But there is another part of me that doesn't want anyone to know about any of this. About the infertility, the failed treatment cycles, the upcoming IVF. Because I'm afraid that, the more people we tell, the more people will have to be told if it fails.

I just finished reading An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, which is the story of one woman's life after losing her first son at his birth. It is an amazing book. Every time I picked it up I thought, "why am I reading this? Why am I reading about a dead baby? What kind of masochist am I?" And I read about how a few people in her life, who had known of her pregnancy but not the baby's death, would ask via email or a card how she was enjoying motherhood, which must have been like a javelin through the heart, and I think, "well, that's it. I'm not telling anyone about this."

And then I read about some of the wonderful people who surrounded her with love and I think, "well, that's it. I'm telling everyone about this."

Perhaps this kind of total two-mindedness should qualify one for a handicapped parking spot.

We'll have to work our way through this one. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer - just what seems best for us. If you have thoughts on this one, feel free to share in the comments - I'd love some more wisdom on it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

two steps forward, one step back

I knew there would be setbacks in this process.

Today's was the first - and hopefully, if not last, at least the worst: turns out I can't participate in the progesterone drug study after all (damn endometriosis - again), so I will, in fact, be doing the glorious progesterone-in-oil shots I've heard so much about.  These things are legendary.  I'm not excited.

I thought about the big-ass needle, and then I thought about my poor ass, and I wanted to cry.  But then I thought, I'll only have to do these for eight weeks if I am, in fact, pregnant - and that's got to be some consolation, right?  

On the good news front, I have an appointment with a new acupuncturist who's both closer to home and a fertility specialist.  Very excited about that.

Onward and upward.

Friday, February 13, 2009

just shoot me

Yet another in the "how is this my life?" moments of late - today's Injection Instruction Class.

I watched the videos last night.  It all looks very civil and orderly and non-threatening online.  And then you get in the room with your little trial kit, and you take out the myriad of supplies, and you add up how many days you are going to be shooting yourself in the gut with these...and it's not so non-threatening anymore.  

It wasn't horrible.  We are really fortunate to be part of a study which means I will not (thank you Jesus) be using progesterone-in-oil shots.  Those are the ones that scare the living shit out of me.  My husband, who hates even having his blood taken, should only have to give one of the shots (the HcG) - much to his relief.  

There were two other couples with us; both equally freaked out, and yet we sort of bonded over the whole thing.  How surreal is this, anyway?  How is it that I'm spending two hours on a Friday afternoon twisting needles on and off syringes, learning about the 'sharps' container, shooting water into a little square sponge and - most twisted of all - getting excited about repeating these procedures on my very own self?  You have to bond with people doing this stuff.  Because no one else really gets it.

I've had such a variety of emotional responses to being at the RE's office over these years.  I remember the very first visit - to a different doctor's office - and how completely weirded out I was even to be there.  "How I am here?" I kept thinking.  "How is this happening to me?"

I remember the worst visit, at that same office, the one where the RE calmly and kindly said that my husband's morphology results indicated that IVF was our only real possibility for pregnancy.  I remember keeping myself together, eyes suspiciously bright, until the elevator door closed, and then losing it altogether.  I remember crying in the car, parked on the street, praying that no one I knew would walk by.

I remember my first visit to this RE's office, when the shock was over.  I remember my wonderful doctor saying that the semen analysis results didn't necessarily limit us to IVF, that there might be other possibilities, but that we should check me out first.  I remember his calm voice (they're always calm, aren't they?) taking note of the fairly large endometrioma on both ovaries.  "This changes the game," he said.  "Shit," I remember thinking.

I remember all the next visits, each time seeing a couple further along than we were, and seeing some other couple at the very beginning.  Each time I go, I see all these couples and I always think, as if this had never occurred to me before, "but we all look so normal!  Look at us!  Would you ever guess?"

And here we are.  Back in the first consultation room, this time practicing with needles and drugs and acting like this is no big deal, like your husband is not going to have to shoot you in the ass with a freaking enormous needle, making jokes.  Because I think you have to.  I think you have to laugh.  

Remember, a friend once wrote, everyone walking around is probably concealing whole oceans of pain.  Sometimes subcutaneous; sometimes intramuscular.  Either way, almost unbearable, except that you are not alone, and there is - if you are very fortunate - someone to laugh with in your injections class.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

will this be half off after January 1? probably not.

Last year, I found a super cool calendar with old maps from places like New York, Paris, Australia, and London.  But it was $19.95, which seemed like a bit much for a calendar, so I didn't buy it.  I thought about waiting until it was in the half-off bin after the new year.

Today, I got my IVF calendar from the clinic.  $19.95 is looking like a pretty sweet deal at this point.
  • February 7th - started period. (Check.)
  • February 10th - start birth control pills.  (Check.  Irony noted.)
  • Ridiculous, crazy number of doctor appointments ensue.
  • Start shooting yourself in the stomach and/or ass with a variety of highly expensive drugs, starting March 3rd.
  • (In big, bold letters: PAYMENT DUE BY SUPPRESSION CHECK.)  (Got it.)

It all comes down to the last day with a notation, which could change but, on this calendar, appears on April 8th: "blood pregnancy test."

Best.  Calendar.  Ever.

enough of the eight

I've never thought of myself as having a particularly addiction-prone personality (apart from my obsession with sweet, fruit-chewy candies like Dots and Swedish Fish).

And then this woman gave birth to eight babies at the same time I started my own in-vitro process. It's like the news stories about her are crack cocaine: I don't want to read them, they make me feel dirty and horrible, and yet I can't stop myself. I need a twelve-step program. Octuplet-Addicted Anonymous. Help me.

I get really angry, reading this stuff. How could any reputable doctor take advantage of a woman who is quite obviously, to me, unbalanced in her obsession with children? How could any doctor 'implant' eight embryos in a woman her age? (Why can't any reputable journalist do their research homework and understand the difference between 'transferring' and 'implanting'? WHY IS THAT SO HARD?)

What in this woman drove her need for so many children? Why is she spending a damn fair amount of her time giving interviews instead of, you know, being with the eight children she claims to want so much? What is going to happen to the first six she had when these eight come home? Who on earth could survive that first year, let alone all the rest to come?

Why do people write such hurtful, hateful comments - not only about her, but about infertility in general - on news sites and message boards? Do people really think that wanting a biological child is so selfish, so unusual? Why do people think that infertile men and women have an obligation to adopt the unwanted children of the world? Why can't they understand that the same desire they had for biological children is present in those whose bodies get in the way of fulfilling that desire?

Perhaps most importantly, why do I keep reading this stuff? Why, when all I find are comments like this one, written in response to a New York Times article:

"If nature deems that someone is infertile, they should accept it as reality."

Why would you ever, ever, consider making such a comment? Would you ever say to someone with cancer, "nature deems you to have cancer. Don't get treatment."

Why do I care about the fact that some anonymous asshole wrote that comment? Why does it feel like an arrow through my heart?

I used to bemoan the fact that infertility was such a secret affliction, that it got so little coverage - so little decent, educated coverage - in the media.

Now, I would give anything for a moratorium on any coverage about in-vitro. Please stop talking about it.

Note to self: step away from the New York Times. Walk away from Dr. Phil's "Octo-Controversy" episode. Turn off Ann Curry. JUST SAY NO.

Step one: acknowledge that you have a problem.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

pants stay on.

Yesterday I had my bloodwork and initial ultrasound appointment, also known as The Thousandth Time I Have Had To Drop My Pants And Wear A Giant Kleenex On My Lap appointment.

Seriously. Who knew you could have this many internal ultrasounds in your life? Who knew I would ever care so much about the grainy, black and white images of my ovaries?

Next time I go to the dentist I should be careful, because right now my Pavlovian response to being in a doctor's office is to shed my pants and get in the stirrups.

Dentist: Uh, ma'am?

Me: Yes?

Dentist: I really don't need access to that area.

Me: Oh! Sorry! Are you sure? Because I'm totally comfortable with this. Really.

Dentist: Hygenist? We're going to need to sterilize that x-ray machine again.

Things look fine, according to Super Cheerful Ultrasound Lady. Antral follicle count showed five follicles on one side, and 5 or 6 on the other. Birth control pills started today. Nurse is supposed to call with my calendar for all the other Pants Dropping Appointments in my near future.

One day, I will be chasing a half-naked toddler around my house, shouting, "no! Pants stay on!" and I will think of this day and laugh.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

oh. there you are.

I don't quite have a whole 'ode' in me this afternoon.  So, a haiku in honor of the found period:

Well, there you are.  Shit.
But instead of hating you,
I'll see a new start.

Start your engines, ladies and gentlemen: we're gearing up for IVF.  Next step: birth control pills.  Just what every trying-to-get-pregnant woman wants to take.  AGAIN.

This whole infertility thing is full of more ironies than I could possibly count.  

Friday, February 6, 2009

ode to a missing period

Period, o period, wherefore art thou?

Twenty-eight days come and go and I wait,
knowing you'll show up, perhaps one day late
and now and then maybe another day too
but this time, this month, when I'm waiting for you
with more worry and hope than is normal for me
(though 'normal' does not fit me accurately)
you choose, of all months, to make this when you're late
by three, maybe four days, and now what I hate
is the hope that you're slowly unwinding in me.
Why can't you get this thing over with? Free
me from sitting each day at my desk, thinking why
do I feel that twinge, could that be a sign?
I've heard of those women, who tried for long years,
whose anger and hope mixed with bitter, hot tears
then peed on a stick one day hoping to find
the two little lines they had seen in their minds
and like stars in the night there they were on that white,
clean, bare background. I think, Will that be me tonight?

Prob'ly not. You're quite cruel. You'll undoubtedly show
late today when I've finally bought just one test more,
'just one time,' I will say, like an addict who means
just this time, just this once, and I'll walk away clean.

So I sit, and I wait, and I blog, and I hope
that this day will bring you, or two lines, but nope
nothing yet, neither one. 'To the bathroom!' I say
as if underwear-watching could keep you at bay
as if I could, by force of will, stop you now
when nothing else has, no one seems to know how.

Just hurry up fool, this time I'm not dreading
your latest appearance. In fact, I'm quite ready.
I've got all the drugs, and the money, the plan
the shots and the pamphlets, the miracle man
we're going to beat you, we know how to win
but you have to show up for this all to begin.
For three years I've tried to scare you into fleeing,
and now that you're missing, you're all that I need.

Take pity on me. It's time to move on.
You've had all your fun. You've hurt me enough.
You've shown up at the most inopportune times,
you've teased me and hurt me. It should be a crime.
Can you sue your own body for malpractice? Well,
I would if I could, for my own private hell
but all I want now is that thing that I tried
to get rid of, to conquer, to leave well behind.

Let's just go, I say like an impatient child
like I used to when things didn't happen on time.
Hurry up, I would say, when others were slow.
I've never been especially serene. I know.

"Hope springs eternal!" is a line that I can
now know for sure was penned by a man.
Though beautiful, it's abused in ways myriad:
At least, don't say it to a woman awaiting her period.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

just call me Ann Landers

I tend to get irritated when people offer me unsolicited advice. This happens if people hear, or suspect, that you're trying to get pregnant. They tell you how you need to relax, or about their third cousin's neighbor's wife who got pregnant after they adopted, or they might even whisper something about 'doing it from the back' (I kid you not, this actually happened to my husband).

But lately I've noticed that being infertile causes me to want to offer equally unsolicited advice and (as I think of it) wisdom to other people.

A college friend of mine got married this weekend. We weren't terribly close, though we are in the same profession so we've kept track of each other. She lives on the other side of the country.

A few years ago, she decided to adopt a foster child. She wanted to be a mom, she was tired of waiting to get married, and this little girl needed a home. I truly admired her for that. She was a single mom for about three years, which is no small feat.

She met this guy on eharmony, I think. They dated for a very short time (slight red flag). His first wife died less than a year ago (slightly larger red flag). She has a very forceful personality; from what I can tell, he doesn't. When she emailed to tell me that she was getting married, she said something like, "he doesn't really like to make decisions, so I'll get to make all of them." RED FLAG.

So they got married this weekend, and she posted pictures on Facebook, and we were wall-posting back and forth a bit. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Congrats! Love the photos!"

Her: "Thanks! We had a couple of days to ourselves and are hoping to have a honeymoon later. We're hoping to have another child so everything is on hold."

Me: "Enjoy the newly married life - hope you do have some time for just the two of you."

Her: "We had yesterday between the hours of 8:00 and 3:15pm."

That wasn't really what I meant when I suggested the "time for just the two of you" thing. I was actually thinking along totally different lines. Here: I'll show you. This is how the conversation went in my head:

Me: "Congrats! Love the photos!"

Her: "Thanks! We had a couple of days to ourselves and are hoping to have a honeymoon later. We're hoping to have another child so everything is on hold."

Me: "Hold on a second. You met and married this guy in a matter of months, you've been desperate to get married for years and appear to have latched onto the first guy who agreed to marry you, and now you're talking about having a child - all within less than a year! Are you insane? And also, why does everyone think that having a child is an automatic thing? DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT CAN BE TO HAVE A BABY? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT WE'VE BEEN THROUGH? And then you just throw around the phrase "we're hoping to have another child" like it's nothing, like you can just HAVE SEX and then get pregnant without any problem? Do you have any idea how pissed off I will be if you get pregnant before I do? DO YOU?"

Her: (logs off Facebook and never speaks to me again).

I know that my vast over-reaction to her baby lust is just that: my over-reaction, and my problem. I am using every fiber of my being not to send anything back to her today. If she wants to have a baby, that's her decision (their decision, I hope), and it does not really have anything to do with me. The amazing truth is, most people can get pregnant by having sex. This is a fact I appear to have forgotten. My lashing out at her will do nobody any good.

I think it might be time for another yoga session.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

wait, wait, do yoga, wait, wait...

One of the side effects of infertility is how much damn attention you have to pay to when your period starts.   I joyfully anticipate the day when I will NO LONGER CARE when I get my period, when I will no longer feel a twinge and think, "is that it?  Is it now?  Or is that possibly a pregnancy symptom?  Is that what it feels like?"  

You would think that, this being my 39th cycle of trying to get pregnant with no success, I would stop doing the whole "'gasp!' is that a pregnancy symptom?!?" thing, but apparently not.  Hope springs eternal.  Even when it's also rather cruel.

I did start doing a yoga DVD designed for fertility enhancement.  I chose it because a.) it got pretty good reviews on Amazon, and 2.) it stars the woman who voices that dead neighbor on Desperate Housewives.  I realize this is a stupid reason for choosing a yoga teacher.  But seriously: there are few things more off-putting in an exercise video of any kind than a grating, obnoxious voice.  This why I can never do any video by Denise Austin.  Her voice makes me want to jump out the window (which might be good for the quads, but probably not so much for the impact).  

I'm really enjoying the DVD.  There's one part where you have to turn your hands perpendicular to the spot where your legs meet your torso and rub in a triangular motion, which is the part where I am really glad to be doing this in the privacy of my own home, because I wouldn't do that in a room of other people if you paid me - but other than that, it's good.  And her voice is, indeed, soothing.  (She actually is a yoga teacher.  Who knew?)

So, that's the pattern of my week:
1. Wake up.
2. Drink one cup of coffee.
3. Go to the bathroom and check underwear for anxiously awaited menstrual event.
4. Go to work.
5. Repeat step 3 at obnoxiously frequent levels during the day.
6. Do yoga.
7. Go to bed.
8. Do over next day.