Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from Chicago

Where the lox will fuckin' jack you, dude.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Job Woes

Somehow, after doing well in college and grad school, I make less money than ever. I like what I do -- teaching writing to college students -- and I'm good at it, but it's messed up career. For the past few years I've been an adjunct professor at a state college. The good things about the job are that I love the work, I love the students, and I have good benefits (or we'd never be able to afford Dr. Baby Factory). The bad things are the 2+ hour commute (that's each way, via subway, train, and bus), the irregular hours, the excruciatingly low pay, and the semester-to-semester uncertainty of employment.

In the fall, I get up at the crack of dawn (usually before that) to teach Freshman Comp for the better-paying Humanities Department; in the spring I stay up late to teach evening classes for perpetually-broke Continuing Ed. I'm finishing a semester of 4-class days: 8:30, 10:30, 2:30, 4:30. This spring, I'm teaching long, late classes on Mondays and Thursdays. If we finish early, I might be home by 10 or 10:30, though we should really go late enough that I wouldn't be home before 11:30.

My fall boss just offered me an 8:30 section of Freshman Comp -- nice of her! Adjuncts don't often get the spring sections of that class. But, ye gods, the thought of leaving the house at 6:15 and getting home so very, very late...I just don't think I can swing it. We could use the money -- I don't see how we'll buy more sperm if what we have doesn't get the job done, let alone put money away towards motherhood -- but I think working those hours will leave my body too messed up to conceive.

I have to call her this afternoon with my decision. Ugh.

(Anybody in the NYC area need a great writing teacher? Or an editor, a writer of video scripts for social work interventions, a test-prep writer?)

Friday, December 4, 2009

This is your brain on holiday cheer

Thanks brain. Good morning to you too.

This morning I woke up out of a terrible baby-related anxiety dream. In my dream, I had a newborn, but for some reason I hadn't been able to find it for about a day. (!) Most of the dream was a fruitless search for the baby. I was convinced that the baby might be across the street at MIT in the astronomy building, but when I got there there was a big conference of therapists going on. One of these therapists wanted to know why I was so upset, and when I told her she shouted at me that my children were not her problem. Okay.

Then I spent way too long going up the down escalator in a Christmas store.

Finally back home, I found the baby, dead due to my neglect. At this point Baby Mama woke me up. Apparently I was making unhappy noises.

I don't have time for you problems! I'm a therapist

WTF head? That was uncool.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

She's Learning

From time to time, I chide Sugar for not having much in the way of the gift of the gab. It's unfair of me. After all, she's Polish. Our ancestors may have had in common their unrelenting diet of cabbage and potatoes, but while my Irish forbears were spending their winters thinking of something suave to say to the girl next door (and starving), hers were busy staying out of the way of commuting armies (and starving).

But let it not be said that I withhold credit where it is due.

Last night, while I was performing my evening ablutions in the bathroom, Sugar made a remark from the other room to the effect that the wedding had been a stressful experience. (Stressful? Why, all of our parents were here to help! And we got to organize every little thing they did!)

"Excuse me," I reminded her, "That was the HAPPIEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE."

A pause.

"No," she replied, and I waited to pounce. "Being married to you is so much better."

My wife: I think I'll keep her.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Last Night

I dreamed last night I was in my garden, in back of a house I don't own. I was quite covered in dirt when I noticed a long curve of something coming up from my left hip. I pulled it up and, as I was surprised to discover, out of my groin, which hurt but also felt satisfying. "Ah," I thought, "an old vein. Must have gone bad. Forgot I'm supposed to be pulling those out." But when I shook the dirt off and looked again, it was a tough runner of grass, which had evidently grown into me and rooted.

All of which is to say that I woke up with cramps.

I don't mean to complain about that. For one thing, I wasn't thinking I might be pregnant this time, since I ovulated on the weekend of our wedding, which was beautiful timing for poetry but lousy for a trip to the Baby Factory, with all the scheduling and defrosting and spiking of my cervix that entails. For another, the cramps aren't that bad. In fact, the five periods since my horrible HSG have been the five least painful I can remember. I used to spend three days or so every month nearly incapacitated, popping Aleve until my stomach hurt, often swearing, sometimes writhing, rarely passing out. Now the pain almost goes away with Advil. My theory is that much of my pain was because my cervices -- despite having, in principle, twice the potential to admit blood -- were so circuitous and given to clenching that the blood couldn't get out, leaving my uterus Very.Angry. Now one entrance has been, to quote the note on my chart that I read over a nurse's shoulder, "perforated," and it's not so dramatic. (Unfortunately, even that side is still tough for the catheter to negotiate, which is why the new note in my chart says I'm to have Valium the next time we try to knock me up*.)

At the HSG, Dr. Baby Factory told me that my tubes were open, though the cysts on my ovaries still left him calling my endometriosis "significant." I could have surgery for it, if it was bothering me, or just try to get knocked up and hope for the best, if it wasn't so bad. I am, as previously noted, generally opposed to knives wielded at my person, so I politely declined. And then my cramps all but stopped!

Except. Now that I'm keeping better track of my cycles, I'm wondering if this insane GI awfulness I've been having occasionally for the past few years isn't secretly some kind of endo. It doesn't happen every month or usually during my period, but it has happened the past two months, both times a few days before my period started. Remember when I thought I might have super-early morning sickness but them decided it was the stomach flu? That. It happened again this month, on Thanksgiving (so I couldn't eat anything)**. Basically, what seems to happen is that my colon stops advancing (uh, TMI, sorry, but you are reading this because of my hoo-has, so only kind of sorry), I fill up with gas, and I lie on the floor writhing and screaming for 12-24 hours until things move along again. I went to the GI doc some time ago, pooped in lots of cups, and got told that probably I had injured myself getting food poisoning, that things were out of whack, that I should take pro-biotics and hope it got better, which it sort of seemed to, but only sort of. Now I'm wondering if the real issue could be that I have endometrial nodules on or near my bowel that get inflamed and mess everything up. I have a call in to Dr. Baby Factory to see what he thinks of this theory, but I know that the answer is likely to be that there's no way to tell without surgery.

Did I mention how I don't like the cutting? Oh, and how I'd like to get one with this TTC business already and stop having to hurry up and wait?

Did I also mention that the weather has turned cold? How about that this is my last night of 30, and that when my mother was my age, she was about 3 days from going into labor with me, after two endo surgeries and several more years of TTC?

*Which -- and believe me, baby-watchers, I am as impatient about this as you -- won't be until mid-January, at the earliest. Not only am I most likely to ovulate on the day we set off on our annual Middle-Western Odyssey, making timing a clinic visit stressful, but I would also, on balance, like to be drinking at New Years and also not weeping over getting my period while snowed-in at Sugar's parents'.

**but still had a nice time, because my super-awesome cousin was visiting. She was the most compassionate 18-year-old EVER about how sick I was, sadly because she was been so very much sicker with endo herself for the past couple years.