Thursday, October 28, 2010

this is the day...or, not.

On February 4, the day of my embryo transfer, I refused to look up the potential due date of this baby. I'd done that before, for one thing, and it just set me up for disappointment; it made everything more real, and when the ectopic diagnosis came, it felt as if those carefully built-up dreams came crashing down even further. I didn't even figure out a due date for this kid until our 7 week ultrasound at the RE's office. I remember looking at the piece of paper my RE gave me to take to the ObGyn, and reading, "Due date: October 28, 2010." Good God, I thought - that is a lifetime away.

October sounded like it was in another year, another world, another universe. Even in August, when people would ask when I was due and I responded, "October," they'd say, "oh, you have a ways to go," which was sort of true, until I realized that the end of August was only 8 weeks from the end of October. Maybe it's the change in season between the two which makes them feel so disconnected. While you're in your t-shirt and shorts, drinking lemonade outside, the last thing you want to think about is turning up the heat and getting out the umbrellas for October weather.

Once September rolled around, October felt a lot closer. It was almost fall. Life was busier again, which made the time go faster. Baby showers started to happen. The nursery was essentially ready. Every Sunday at church, someone would ask how much longer until the due date, and now, it seems like just yesterday that I was saying, "nine weeks....eight weeks..."

Today. There's no indication that the baby will actually show up today, of course. I was five days late. (I was also breech, and never turned, so I ended up as a c-section - thankfully we don't appear to be repeating the breech section of history here.) I had an acupuncture appointment yesterday, something my doctor had suggested when I asked about tips to get labor started, and although I had some stronger BH contractions that afternoon, they don't seem to be in any kind of pattern.

It's like waking up on Christmas morning, except your parents come in and tell you that Christmas has been moved to another day. "What day?" you ask, in great anticipation. "Well, we don't know," they say, "but you'll know it when it comes."

The bible is full of 40's. 40 days and 40 nights of rain while Noah and his family float around on the ark with all the animals. 40 years of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness before they finally reach the promised land. 40 days Jesus spends in the desert, being tempted by the devil.

What most of those 40's have in common is their location in-between the times: between rain and dry land; between wilderness and promised land; between Jesus' private and public life. You hang out someplace liminal for 40 days, or weeks, or years, and eventually, you get to where you're going.

40 weeks of in-between: good description of pregnancy. How good it is to be here, still waiting, but ready.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


3 days until the due date.

Today was my last day of work - and it brought the conversation I've been dreading for weeks. I had to fire somebody today. I've never done this before (and earnestly hope never to have to do it again). Firing people sucks. (Getting fired is worse, I realize, but if you have any heart at all, it's not easy to deliver the news either.)

It's an enormously complicated situation, and not something to be broadcast on the internets, but it's over. The person handled it better than I had anticipated. And it's over. I did it; not the way I wanted to leave for a few months, but it's done.

Now I get to stay home and stare at my belly, chanting anything from "come on, baby, we want to meet you!" to, "GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT," depending on how I feel at the time. Yesterday's doctor appointment was not as exciting as I'd hoped; still just over 1cm dilated, which means - well, nothing, really. I could go into labor today. Or tomorrow. Or a week from now. At any rate, they'd bring me in for induction if baby doesn't show up by Friday, November 5th. I really don't want to be induced, so I'm hoping that the threat of the 5th will be enough to motivate this kid.

In other good news, you know what else will be over soon? Election season! No more political ads! Hot damn and hallelujah, people. I can't take it anymore. Between my chanting, "GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT" to this baby and, "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP" to the politicos on television, I'm coming off a lot more cranky than I actually am.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Giuliana and Bill: waiting for the (very expensive) other shoe to drop

Today, I am "working." (Today's "work" consists of an actual morning at work, followed by an afternoon of crappy television. To be followed by some actual work in the evening. But still; not exactly an over-exertion kind of day.)

Which brings us to the next episode of Giuliana and Bill: In Which Bad Things Are Projected To Happen And I Feel For Them Even Though They're Still Pretty Irritating.

2:00pm: episode starts with happiness in RE's office about positive pregnancy test. Lots of laughing and joking. Remember the total high of getting the "it's positive" call from the nurse. Such a great day.

2:01pm: G and B say "they never thought it would happen," but they "knew it would happen." Remember the same disbelief.

2:02pm: debate about when to tell people. Ah, yes; remember that too. B doesn't want to jinx it. G just wants to tell parents. B thinks it's safe to tell after 8 weeks, because then it's totally safe. Slow down, there, buddy.

2:03pm: G and B debate where they are going to live. Seems as if this would have been a good discussion to have before baby, but maybe that's just me.

2:04pm: Suspenseful Music indicates Big Decision About To Come.

2:05pm: G and B decide to live in Chicago. Recall that decision to move from one side of state to the other side involved weeks of discussions between husband and self. Apparently should put selves on reality show for quicker resolution of problems. Good to know.

2:06pm: G checks out photos of self on soon-to-be-published magazine. Must choose between 3 options. Biggest decision of own morning: blueberry or multi-grain muffin? Different life.

2:07pm: last photo indicates G has spectacular boobs. Just saying. Suspect spectacular push-up bra may be involved.

2:08pm: The Great House Search begins. G and B identify priorities. G: move-in ready. B: house will need to be worked on. Ah: think we have identified This Episode's Big Dilemma Which Will Be Solved After Final Commercial Break. Realtor sets up 2 options: one move-in-ready house; one crackhouse that will need total rehab. What will happen?

2:10pm: G and B visit house #1: House Which Needs No Work. Yowza. G approves of closet which is size of own master bedroom.

2:11pm: G cannot stop talking about "baby on the way." Realize that producers are setting us up for G and B heartbreak later on. Makes me sad.

2:12pm: House #1 is pronounced acceptable. On to House #2: looks great from the outside. Except for missing front steps and front door. Naturally, B loves it. G hates it. Find self agreeing with G. Rare.

2:15pm: G finds potential bullet shell in sun room. Convinced that house is Hob of Hell. House definitely has potential, but that's a LOT of work.

2:16pm: G keeps insisting that B does not understand the fact that her pregnancy means massive bedroom closets must already be complete. (However, would probably feel similarly if husband found massive construction project at beginning of own pregnancy.)

2:18pm: B and G must now have Important Marital Conversation in Cute Local Bistro. B wants to choose house as a 'surprise.' Think self would punch husband in face if he suggested choosing house as 'surprise.' But G agrees to this plan. Does not feel like Plotline No One Would Do In Actual Life But Somehow Seems Like "Reality" on Television. Not at all.

2:20pm: B and G meet with lawyer for estate planning. Good job. Everybody should do this.

2:21pm: distracted during B's close-up by suspicion that B has had eyebrow waxing. Eyebrows are strangely bushy-yet-orderly. Evidence of manscaping, methinks.

2:23pm: B and G argue in front of lawyer about who will take care of kids if needed. G admits her sister is a big spender. (Shocker.) But G thinks this will be okay, because she could curse her sister from heaven if she spends money recklessly. G and B call his sister to see who is in charge of her kids - they think it might be them. Isn't this the sort of thing they should already know?

2:24pm: more close-up time. Definite eyebrow waxing. Lost track of conversation for a minute.

2:25pm: G and B must go home (or, to Cute Local Bistro) to discuss will.

2:26pm: G meets friend at Cute Local Pub. (Definitely different than Cute Local Bistro.) G is trying to make friends in new hometown of Chicago. G's New Friend has Boyfriend Dilemma. Discuss. New Friend invites G to hang out with girlfriend group. Seem to remember that moving to new town and finding new friends was harder in own life, but whatever.

2:27pm: B meets with contractor friend to evaluate Crazy Crackhouse Option. B tries to convince contractor that house is "almost completely finished." Think contractor will have different feeling when he sees said "almost completely finished" holes in wall and lack of stairs inside.

2:30pm: B's sister shows up with friends to evaluate house. Contractor: "which part of this did you say was almost done?" (Knew it.) B's friend thinks it's a year's worth of work. B says four months. Kind of a chasm, there.

2:31pm: G has bought expensive leather jacket and shows it to B. B is going to put her on a budget. Good luck, dude. G plays dumb. (Shocker.) Interesting how B wants to cut G's expenses but still maintains total control over house decision. Do not care for that.

2:32pm: G at party to reveal her magazine cover. Good photo. G gives rousing speech about How Much She Loves Chicago. Then immediately flies to L.A.

2:34pm: G must pick outfits for E news. G reminds us that "no one has ever been the main anchor of E! news and been pregnant." Way to break ground, G.

2:35pm: G is worried that she is gaining weight already. Shut. Up.

2:38pm: Assistant accidentally zips G's skin into dress because she is obviously SO fat. G blames mom's cooking.

2:39pm: B decides on house. B mentions his lawyer's name for the fifteenth time. Suspect said lawyer is donating services in exchange for frequent mention of name on television. B chooses Crackhouse Needing Assload of Work. Shocker.

2:41pm: B blindfolds G so she will not know which house he chose. The suspense is killing me!

2:42pm: G tries to guess house. You would think that walking on the dirt road which should be a driveway would give it away. Apparently not.

2:44pm: B reveals that he has chosen (drum roll...) Crackhouse! Can you believe it? So surprised! Decision made after last commercial break! Also surprising!

2:45pm: G says this is "exciting" the way I would say a dead rat in my kitchen was "interesting." However, G claims she will "help" with remodel. Will be curious to see how G defines said "help." Probably cute new outfit involved.

2:46pm: show over.

Hmmm...herein lies the dilemma of reality TV. Everyone watching this show knows that Giuliana is no longer pregnant. The trailer from last week gave that away. So now we're playing games: we're watching a woman who, we know, will lose this pregnancy. But they're going to play that out as long as possible for the sake of ratings.

And that's a problem for me. I feel very manipulated by knowing what's coming and yet having to pretend as if it's not. And it's hard to explain, but every woman I know who's made it to pregnancy through infertility already feels like doom is coming most of the time, so this seems particularly exploitative.

We'll see what happens on the next episode. Because G's ditziness is one thing, but being manipulated may put me off this thing for good.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Nothing left to do but wait.

I'm still "working," (quotes indicate that said "working" involves "showing up physically at work even though I hardly have anything to do at this point"). Mostly, I'm sticking around just enough so that I can hold off on starting my leave until either a.) the due date or b.) baby shows up.

Cervix check #2 yesterday indicated still about 1cm dilated, but now 65% effaced. From the brief googling I did when I got home, it sounds like most first-time births involve effacement first, so we're heading in the right direction.

The funny thing is, I've been SO eager for this show to get on the road, but when the doctor asked me yesterday if I wanted her to do anything to "speed things up," my first reaction was a quick, "NO!" Mostly because I'd rather let nature do its thing, but perhaps also indicating that I am slightly less ready than I would have myself believe. I can guarantee that I am ready to have this child exit my body. Am I ready to take that child home and parent it? Ummm.....

Yes. Am I scared? Yes. Am I worried? Yes. Am I beyond excited? Yes.

This last two-week wait is just as hard as the first one was.

Friday, October 15, 2010

infertility is the new black

Yes, I'm still watching Grey's Anatomy. I know, I know: it's not as great as it used to be. But it satisfies my "nearly end of the week, needing something I don't have to think about much" Thursday night dilemma. And I still love Dr. Bailey. So there.

Last night, Meredith and Derek went to a doctor to check out their baby-making potential. (My DVR description of the show says they visited an "obstetrician" - I'm hoping that, given their whole "being doctors" thing, it was an RE, but nobody mentioned any names so it probably doesn't matter.) Meredith had a miscarriage at the end of last season, in the midst of a shooting spree at the hospital, in case you didn't know.

The doctor came in with a somber face and said to them, "well, we have some things to talk about." And all we learned after that is that Meredith has a hostile uterus. Apparent diagnosis: infertility.

Meanwhile, as I was waiting for my hair cut yesterday, flipping through the pages of a recent Entertainment Weekly, I came across a description for this season of How I Met Your Mother, indicating that the married couple in that show are going to start trying to have a baby and experience fertility troubles.

And, as we know, there's always Giuliana and Bill. And the often dubiously-correct (or, flat-out, wildly incorrect) fertility storylines on Private Practice, although those have been in mercifully short supply lately.

I used to wish that infertility got more coverage in the mainstream media. You know, besides things like Octo-Mom and reality shows featuring high order multiple families. And the occasional patronizing article in the New York Times.

But now I'm not so sure. The big advantage of secrecy is that you can keep things accurate and manageable. Okay, nobody understands infertility: but at least they don't go around with half-assed information, trying to act as if they do. Full-on ignorance is sometimes preferable.

I remember reading reviews of Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, which - while acknowledging that they are both remarkable movies in many ways - also pointed out that seeing a movie about something as horrific as the Holocaust, or as traumatic as D-Day, is no substitute for the real thing. That having people come out of a theatre saying, "now I understand what that was like," is truly insulting to those who survived those events. No, you don't understand, said the reviewer (a WWII vet). No movie, visually stunning as it might be, can give you even a glimpse of the reality it portrays.

Believe me, I'm not suggesting that infertility is on par with D-Day and the Holocaust. But there's something similar at work here, in that publicity about something - anything - can lead people to believe that they really understand it, without ever having experienced it for themselves. That gets really aggravating when you've been through it. There are no shortcuts for pain.

But, then again, there's great value in bringing things into the light. Acknowledging that the pain is real. Beginning to educate people who have made all kinds of inaccurate assumptions.

So, is it good or bad if infertility is the new black? What do you think?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

giuliana and bill: the new season

I thought two things: one, that I would stop watching Giuliana and Bill (but I underestimated the power of really bad reality television); and two, that if I did watch it, I would not write running commentaries on it anymore. Because, frankly, it just seemed really mean for me, at 38 weeks pregnant, to make fun of someone who is trying to have a baby. What has infertility taught me if not compassion?

So I tried to watch the first episode of the new season without my usual blog entry, and I just couldn't do it. I absolutely have compassion for their desire to have children. But, mygodinheaven, that woman is stupid as a box of rocks. And the only way to get through the show is to type my way through it. (Which brings us back to solution #1: stop. watching. this. show.)

(By the way, I realize that Giuliana may not be as stupid as she is edited to be on the show. But, she allows herself to be portrayed as such. Which is not all that bright either, in my opinion.)

So, here we go. Giuliana and Bill: the new season.

1:19pm: we start with a review of last season. Am now remembering how irritated I got by this show. However, must have missed episode wherein Generic Gay Assistant quits. DRAMA.

1:20pm: review ends with B & G in matching fur-lined jackets discussing IVF. Very fashionable. But the matching thing is weird.

1:21pm: new episode starts with clips of B & G's super, super, super busy and super important and super busy life. Apparently, they are quite busy. B says they need to realize they "can't do it all and have a baby." True that.

1:22pm: G & B try out rollerblading whilst having important IVF discussion. G is worried that she will mess up her female parts. Or that B will crush his balls in freak rollerblading accident. Scene does not at all feel like "carefully rehearsed cute scene in which couple must come to important decision before first commercial break." Not at all.

1:24pm: G sucks at rollerblading. Shocker.

1:25pm: back to Chicago. B & G meet with "IVF specialist" Dr. Kaplan. (If this show could ever use any accurate language - how hard is Reproductive Endocrinologist? - I would be less irritated.)

1:26pm: G attempts to explain IVF. Basically correct. Doctor assures them that they can plan the exact timing of IVF. Think that doctor is overselling this point a bit. Suspect that we are being set up for "massive scheduling conflict before second commercial break."

1:27pm: Los Angeles. G complains that she can't eat breakfast because she doesn't have an assistant. That certainly makes it hard for me to have breakfast. Can totally relate. Every morning, I bemoan my lack of assistant. Sigh.

1:28pm: B & G decide not to tell anyone they are doing IVF. Agree. First good decision.

1:29pm: G complains to her makeup artist and hair stylist that she has no assistant. Ah, the problems of the rich. Tragic. She gets, like, lots of emails in a day! Who can deal with that? WHO?

1:30pm: G is apparently going to spend as much time agonizing over assistant problem as fertility problems. Seems odd.

1:31pm: Back to RE's office. B & G see bags of fertility meds. Remember box that arrived in mail full of own meds and also remember feeling bit overwhelmed. Sympathize with B & G. Nurse patiently tries to explain schedule when - surprise! - B realizes Massive Scheduling Problem Ahead. (Didn't see that coming at all.) B is concerned about making a living. Suspect that B's definition of "making a living" differs slightly from self's.

1:31pm: G tries to explain OHSS. Sigh.

1:32pm: B & G argue in front of nurse about scheduling problems. G thinks maybe B is not ready for a baby. Nurse looks like she wishes she was anyplace else at this point. Me too, lady.

1:33pm: Nurse suggests B & G should talk to each other. Suspect nurse does not know that B & G are only allowed to talk in front of cameras. Apparently.

1:34pm: Dramatic Pensive Music suggests Important Marital Conversation Ahead. Yep. G wants to make sure that B definitely wants baby. G tries to explain how she feels. Completely understand how overwhelming it all is, but have distinct sense that G is performing Important Conversation for the cameras. Awkward.

1:35pm: G says she could "deal with this if" she was "just sitting on the couch all day," but she is trying to do IVF while "trying to juggle a marriage, travel, and holding down a job." Yeah. That's pretty much what all freaking women do for IVF, G. Get a grip.

1:36pm: Happy Emotional Music suggests marital reconciliation. Yep. That was quick.

1:37pm: back to E! offices. G must now have assistant, especially because she is starting IVF. Could have used assistant during IVF too. Or, today.

1:38pm: G meets potential assistant Sara. Generic Blonde Girl will now replace Generic Gay Assistant. Generic Blonde Girl is very excited.

1:39pm: back to doctor's office for egg retrieval. (Retrieval: correct word! Yay!) G hints at "lots of shots," but am disappointed that none of the stimulation phase was shown. Don't blame B & G for privacy desires, but lack of detail gives pretty vague impression of IVF procedures.

1:40pm: G is freaked out by getting IV. Would make fun of her, except that self was also semi-freaked out by same thing. Glass house = no stones.

1:41pm: G goes in for egg retrieval. B is very confident. In front of cameras, anyway.

1:42pm: Doctor is happy with 8 eggs. Happy for them: self had similar numbers. Not high, but not terrible. G is really wiped out by anesthesia. How much did they give her, anyway?

1:44pm: G is still wiped out. Achy and crampy. Sorry, G: pretty normal. Bummer, though. Realize self is lucky, as never had any major side effects from retrieval. Also suspect G just might be playing up symptoms for Dramatic Reality Show Moment. Maybe.

1:45pm: G & B are waiting for update from doctor. Remember similar wait. Sucks. B & G discuss her bowel movements. Suddenly wish self was deaf for short moment.

1:46pm: Doctor calls. 5 eggs have fertilized. 80% chance of day 5 transfer. (Transfer! Right word! Hooray!)

1:47pm: B must deal with Yet More Massive Scheduling Problems. Think B & G believe no one else has Massive Scheduling Problems in their lives. DRAMA.

1:48pm: G "cannot believe" that B will not be here for her whole bed rest. (How long is she on bed rest, anyway?) B now thinks they should call G's mom so she can come out and stay with her. G is now Super Mad because she has to call her mom and explain IVF and, somehow, manage to stay in bed for several days without her husband. How on earth do people do this? HOW?

1:51pm: G explains IVF to her mom. In Italian. Her mom has never heard of IVF. G thinks Italians don't have IVF. Suspect Italian health system would not be happy to hear this. Also suspect Italian RE's have better things to do than watch this show.

1:53pm: G admits she was embarrassed to tell her parents about IVF because she has super fertile family. Can sympathize with that.

1:54pm: B & G in for 5-day transfer. B gets to wear scrubs. Husband did not wear scrubs for transfer. Staged for TV? Perhaps.

1:55pm: Must now decide how many to "implant" (AAAAARGH) into G. Suspect they should have had this conversation earlier. Doctor suggests putting back 2. Doctor emphasizes that anything more than twins is dangerous. Appreciate that show is demonstrating how IVF does not lead to high order multiple births.

1:56pm: Transfer complete. Flashing back to own transfer procedure. Such a cool day. Feel happy for G & B. (Also remember being splayed in stirrups with giant medical spotlight on hoo-ha. Less cool.)

1:58pm: G is now in bed. She has cramps. Nope: gas. B would rather have twins. G can't decide between boys and girls. B promises to love her even if she gets fat. Which, am guessing, G would define as gaining about 2 pounds from her current weight.

Love the lovely DVR. No commercial watching needed.

2:00pm: G is making Important Entertainment Industry phone calls while laying down. On counter. Okay.

2:01pm: B is at Important Speaking Engagement at Ball State University. (Side note: have you noticed that, in Jack in the Box commercial with dad Jack talking to kid Jack at baseball game, dad Jack is wearing sweatshirt from Ball State? Get it? Because he has the big ball head? I think it's cute.)

2:02pm: G makes her elderly Italian mother carry her to bed. Think G might be taking "bed rest" a little too seriously.

2:03pm: B speaks about power of positive thinking. Coincidence? Certainly not!

2:03pm: G says goodbye to her mom. Then she goes to bookstore to get baby name books. Feel a little protective of G: understand positive thinking (see? Like Bill's speech! Crazy!), but worry about counting chickens before they hatch. Or implant.

2:04pm: Baby name discussion. Suspect B & G will choose name which will horrify self. Oh well.

2:06pm: 2 weeks later. Doctor's office. B & G are there for test results. (Apparently phone call would not be dramatic enough for show.) G thinks she is "preggers." All sympathy for G has evaporated with use of stupid word.

2:07pm: Doctor says the two weeks of waiting are the hardest part. Dude, you are right on. But good news: G is pregnant! Yay!

(However, have read in People magazine that G had miscarriage. So am also sad.)

Clips from upcoming show confirm that bad things are coming for B & G.

Here's the thing: as irritating as this show is, as much as it may make people think that IVF is for spoiled rich people who can't manage to be in the same city for more than three days at a time - it's also the only show with a real(ish) couple dealing with infertility. Will probably keep watching. And, honestly, cheering them on.

Monday, October 11, 2010

by the numbers

I. am. tired. While I'm working up to my due date, this is my last week of appointments - and it's crammed full. And only Monday. Hmmm.

So, because I do not have the brain power for a post of full sentences with good grammar and spelling and...all that stuff, here are some of the significant numbers in my life lately:

  • Doctor's best guess today at baby's weight: 8 1/2 pounds (yikes)
  • My weight gain so far: 30 pounds
  • Baby shower thank you notes written: 100 (it's a long story. 3 showers. one given by 80+ people at church.)
  • Baby shower thank you notes yet to be written: about 30
  • Times I have walked into a room lately and forgotten what I'm doing there: 8
  • Number of pieces in the baby swing we tried to assemble tonight: 12
  • Number of swear words uttered during said assembly: 2 (pretty good, I thought)
  • Actual ankles left on my body: 0
  • Strangers who have asked me my due date lately: 5
  • Number of days left until due date: 16
  • Pieces of apple pie consumed in the last 3 days: numerous.
  • Number of baby feet currently stuck in my right rib: 1
  • Times I got up to pee last night: 2 (low! yay!)
  • Pieces of food I spill onto my belly on a daily basis: lost track.
Time for bed, I think. I will try to come up with something more scintillating tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

backseat driver

We did it last night: we put the carseat in the backseat of my car.

I almost rear-ended a woman this morning while I was driving to work, because I was so distracted by looking at the actual baby carseat in my actual car which will soon have an actual baby in it.

I'm guessing this is not why they tell you to put the carseat in early, but it is a handy side effect. Hopefully, by the time this baby arrives, I will have adjusted to the 'actual baby carseat' factor and will be, therefore, less likely to harm said baby by being so distracted that I get into an accident.

Also, in the realm of "wow, this is getting more real," I had my first cervix check yesterday. My sister-in-law had warned me that it was really, really uncomfortable, and that she had elected not even to bother with those checks until later because you can walk around several centimeters dilated for weeks without going into labor, but I went ahead with it. Mostly out of curiosity. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't the kind of thing I would want to do every day, but if you've been through years of fertility testing and treatments, this was a lot less invasive than many other things you've done with your hoo-ha.

Sometimes, like when I was laying on the exam table yesterday while the doctor was doing that check, I feel like infertility has prepared me for parenthood in some really good ways. Like knowing that you can't control everything. (Or, anything.) And knowing that you can survive physical (and emotional) pain. And dealing with disappointment along the way. And remembering that, in spite of the discomfort and inconvenience and ouch get your finger out of there, this whole journey is an immense and unbelievable privilege.

And sometimes, I think that infertility has left me permanently unable to believe that this child is real and that I am going to be a parent in a very short time. If I do rear-end somebody, I think my insurance should file it under 'infertility expense.'

It's almost like infertility has made me a backseat driver in my own life, waiting for things to happen, always one step behind because I don't want to make any assumptions, always imagining the worst - never being able to trust the driver fully - because you don't want to count your chickens before they're hatched, or dilated, or whatever. And now, right next to me in the backseat, after all these years, is a carseat. Takes a little getting used to.

Apologies in advance if I rear-end you while I'm working on it.