Tuesday, October 30, 2007

And now for something completely different

I'm so tired of seeing those sad posts on my blog every time I hit my blogroll, so let's talk about something else -- namely, strollers. I'm considering getting another tandem stroller, and I'm looking for some advice.

Currently, the only stroller I possess is the Graco DuoGlider I received as a shower gift. Back when I was registering for stuff, I figured the DuoGlider was inexpensive and would be good enough. Fourteen months later, I'm starting to chafe a little bit, and wondering if there's a better alternative out there.

As I quickly discovered once the babies were born, the stroller is perhaps the single most vital piece of equipment a twin mom has. If you have a singleton, you can cart around the infant carrier, or wear/carry her, or hold her hand as she walks. If you have two, though, they pretty much go in the stroller. I occasionally wear one baby and put the other in a shopping cart, but with the still-iffy knee, it's not something I do often.

My principal peeves with the DuoGlider are 1) it's so freakin' huge; 2) the back seat is angled funny, causing the baby in that spot to constantly slide downward; 3) the front seat canopy comes off pretty much every time I fold and load the thing. I don't mind the heaviness of it, but I do mind how much room it takes up, especially in crowded situations.

I originally thought a side-by-side would be even bulkier and clumsier, but some of the slimmer SBSs really aren't too much wider than the DuoGlider. I'm starting to think the extra width might be a pretty good tradeoff for the stroller not sticking out three-plus feet in front of me.

A frequently mentioned negative of the SBS is that most of them don't have trays, but I can live with that, I think -- I don't use the trays on the DuoGlider that much anyway. I almost never use the DuoGlider's basket at all, because my giant diaper bag blocks it off, so basket size and access is not really a consideration. Some other things I don't care about are all-terrain/jogging potential, because I don't jog and mainly use it in stores and on sidewalks, and a parent cupholder isn't high on my list either. I'm also not too concerned with infant seat usage -- obviously, the girls are long past this stage, and I'll probably just go back to the DuoGlider if we have a third baby.

My #1 consideration is that the designated stroller MUST be easy to steer with one hand, because that's mostly how I get through the grocery store -- I push the stroller with one hand and pull the cart behind me with the other. Secondary to that is that it should be relatively narrow, and that it be comfortable for the girls to sit in. I would love to have a BOB Revolution or a Mountain Buggy Urban Double, but I'm not sure I can really bring myself to spend upwards of $500 -- I'd like to keep it somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 or below.

Here are the strollers I'm considering:

Jeep Wrangler -- it's so inexpensive, but I wonder if it's a cheap piece o' crap
Combi Twin Savvy -- compact and seems easy to steer, but I've read it doesn't hold up well
Maclaren Twin Techno -- good reviews, but at the very top end of my price range
Chicco Citta -- cheap and cute, but on the wide side

What strollers do you have? What do you love and hate about them? What would you buy if you could go back and have anything you wanted?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

On loss

This has been such a sad, grim week.

I went to see my ex-in-laws on Tuesday with a casserole and a cake -- I am a Southerner, and there is no resisting the urge to bake when disaster strikes -- and had a really nice visit with them. They were, I think, genuinely glad to see me and to talk with me, and they asked me to come back and bring the girls. From my own experience with loss, the hardest time is after the funeral, when the family members are gone and there are no more arrangements to busy oneself with, so I'll bring the girls to visit during that time.

Several family members implied, and in one case stated outright, that the girls were the children Dylan wouldn't ever have. I wasn't at all offended by it -- I understand the emotion, and in fact, G said that's one of the things he pitied Dylan the most for, that he never had children. Still, it was hard to know how to respond. Dylan and I had talked about what might happen if we couldn't have children, which is a possibility I've always been aware of, and he was not at all keen on the idea of ART. Of course, it's always different when you're actually staring childlessness in the face, as we inevitably would have had we stayed married. However, I can't envision the girls in that alternate history, can't separate the fact of their existence from the context of the family of G and me, and the very idea is vaguely unsettling. Still, if it gives them some comfort, bringing the girls to meet them is the least I can do.

I didn't really start to have a hard time with it all until after that visit, but by the time of the actual services on Thursday and Friday, it really sank in, and hit me much harder than when I initially heard the news. There's a natural tendency to speak well of the dead, and as the week wore on, I found myself putting away all the unpleasant memories, and thinking mostly about our friendship in high school, and the period of our engagement and the start of our marriage.

In some ways, this feels dishonest to me, because the bad stuff really did happen, and it had a substantial impact on my life. To name just one story, there was the night that he was drunk and we were fighting when the pizza guy came and saw Dylan pushing me around some. Not hitting me -- he never slapped or punched me -- but there were times when he'd shake me, or squeeze my arm really hard, or shove me. I didn't really think of it as physical abuse, but some of those times left bruises, and on this particular occasion, the pizza guy actually called the house later to check if I was all right.

It was a real wake-up call for me, and it wasn't long after that that I decided the divorce needed to happen now. It also influenced my decision to pursue a relationship with G -- I didn't ever want to find myself in another quasi-abusive situation, and I thought a lot about what I knew of his character and about what would happen when we conflicted. If I were to whitewash that one miserable night, or all the others like it, out of Dylan's and my history, it would leave some noticeable blanks.

Dishonest or no, though, my tendency this week has been to let those incidents fade to some extent. I'd let them go well before now -- I'm not a grudge-carrier by nature, and I wasn't bitter or resentful about them before he died, so it was that much easier to just not think about them. And when I focused on the good times, that's when I really started to feel I'd lost someone, and to mourn.

Part of me felt as though I didn't really have the right to grieve. After all, we did divorce, mostly at my impetus, and I hadn't even seen him for nearly seven years. But when you get down to it, he was my husband once, and in some ways I knew him better than anyone else in the world. In fact, if you like irony, here's one for you: in the eyes of his Church, I'm his widow, not his ex-wife. I'm not Catholic myself, and if you'd asked me two weeks ago, I'd have said this was so much nonsense. Even his family, who are as devout as you'll find, would probably have laughed at the idea.

But then he died, and only then did I realize that the connection between us hadn't entirely disappeared. I thought I was done with him seven years ago, but I was wrong -- it's so very different from that person's being dead. I don't, of course, grieve him as I would if G were to die, but it's an echo of it. There's divorce, and then there is cold in the ground, and the two do not compare.

I went to the visitation, a typical Southern open-casket affair. I hugged his family, and I held his hand and cried, and I told him how sorry I was, that I never would have thought it would end like this for us. The funeral the next day was even worse, and I wept through most of the service. I don't think I'll ever forget the moment when they closed the casket, over the face of the man I once loved.

I hadn't expected to grieve like this, but I have. One of the only two people in the world who know me that intimately is now gone. I am now the only one in the world who knows how the moonlight shone on the emerald he put on my finger, that March night in the Grove at Ole Miss, and how he picked me up and swung me around after I said yes. I'm also the only one who knows how he'd snarl when we fought, how his shoulders slumped when I told him I wanted a divorce, how we wandered around the house in elaborate silence until he moved out. The one doesn't cancel out the other, and the whole equation adds up to a loss.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I just got a phone call from my ex-mother-in-law, telling me that my ex-husband died yesterday.

I don't think I've done more than mention once or twice on this blog that I even had an ex-husband, but I did, the classic "starter marriage". We married when I was 22, and the divorce was final exactly eighteen months later, seven years ago last Wednesday. I rarely think about him, and have only seen him once since the divorce, although I live less than five miles from his parents and see them every so often at the grocery store.

He and I were friends in high school, the sort of friends where you both know that one of you has a tremendous crush on the other. We dated, after a fashion, for a few weeks one summer in college, then drifted apart for a while. We reconnected the summer before our senior year, in the days when I was left reeling from the news of my dad's terminal cancer. We began to shop for a ring that Christmas, became engaged in March, and moved in together after graduation. We married the next April, and built the house where I live today.

The marriage was a mistake, a horrible judgment error that I sometimes think I might not have made if my dad's death hadn't left me adrift. Dylan had some good qualities, but plenty of bad ones too, if I'd been interested in seeing them. Things deteriorated between us into the territory of emotional abuse, and occasionally skirted the line of physical abuse. He could be devastatingly funny and charming, then instantly morph into a 6'2" toddler with a drinking problem.

Happily, I had the good sense to put an end to it before any permanent damage occurred, and before we thought of having children. We disentangled the finances, had a straightforward legal process, I kept the house and the dogs, and he was gone from my life as though he'd never been. I began dating G shortly after Dylan moved out; I wondered if I was rushing into a new relationship too fast, but the truth is that I'd done all the necessary moving-on in those last sad months of the marriage, and the actual divorce was just the coda.

When I've thought about our marriage in the subsequent years, which isn't often, I'm mostly relieved that it was so easily undone, and grateful for where it left me in life. If it hadn't been for him, I wouldn't have moved back to my hometown after college. I wouldn't live in this house, wouldn't have met and married G, wouldn't have the girls. Most of my life is as it is because of him, if somewhat indirectly. And I simply can't quite wrap my head around the fact that he's gone.

I'm not even really sure how sad I am, or how sad I ought to be. It's terrible for his family, and my heart is broken for his mother. As far as I know, he never really got his life together, never remarried or even had anyone really serious, never had a family. I'm sorry that he won't get the chance, that he's died before he got around to growing up and becoming a better person. He could have been -- the potential was there -- but to my knowledge, he didn't, and that's such a waste.

Too, I loved him once, well enough to marry him and to think it would be forever. He was gone from my life a long time ago, but that's a very different deal from being dead. I did think from time to time, during those last few weeks before we split, that it would be so much *easier* if he could just drop dead. Of course, I didn't really want that to happen, just wanted to skip all the divorce junk, and I knew living well would be the best revenge. In the end, I didn't really bear him any ill-will, and I would never have wanted this to happen to him.

There'll be a visitation and a funeral and a wake later in the week, and his mother has asked me to be there for those things. I always got on very well with his parents, and they were genuinely sad when we split; but I'm apprehensive about seeing the extended family and friends after all these years, and I'm not sure what the script is for the ex-wife of the deceased. I suppose I will manage to sort it all out, but I am a little nervous about it. Mostly, though, I'm just kind of sad and shocked about the whole thing.

Goodbye, Dylan Thomas Gordy. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual Light shine upon him; may his soul and all souls, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen, and Amen.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Is you is or is you ain't my VCD?

Wednesday morning was still very rough on me, but I was starting to perk up by the end of yesterday afternoon, and I'm generally better today. I managed to get some food in, which helped a lot; while I am not one to complain about losing five pounds, I don't recommend doing it in five days. I am still tiring very easily, but I definitely have more energy, and I'm starting to be hopeful that a few more days of rest will make a difference.

However, after spending literally all day at various doctors', we're still not sure what exactly is the problem. Clearly, there still is one, because I become distinctly squeaky after just a few hours without albuterol, and eventually lose the ability to push enough air out to talk above a whisper. A breathing treatment reverses this nearly instantly, which is a definitive sign of asthma... except that my lung function tests say otherwise.

My pulmonologist this morning was absolutely convinced that it could not be anything other than vocal cord dysfunction. The ENTs tested me for this before I left the hospital, and didn't find any evidence of it, but the symptoms I have, and the lung function symptoms I don't have, all fit in with that diagnosis. The pulmo kicked me back anyway to an allergenist/immunologist for another look at it, on the chance that the last one had been done too close to a breathing treatment.

So I got to have a second tube stuck up my nose and down my throat, which is just about as much fun as it sounds like, and the allergist found... nothing. My throat, larynx, and vocal cords are not irritated, inflamed, swollen, or sore in any way. It's absolutely clear that I do NOT have VCD. He thought he might have seen some swelling farther down my trachea, which might have been bronchitis except that I'm not coughing, and he decided to repeat the lung function tests again.

The lung function tests are the very weirdest part of this whole affair. The tests I had done in April showed mild obstructive lung disease, about 80% of the lung capacity a woman my age, height, and weight should have. The ones from Tuesday and today showed my lung capacity at about 150% of predicted. This isn't just unexpected, it is absolutely illogical, any way you look at it. If you assume the 150% value is inaccurate, why was it repeatable? I seriously wondered if it was a measurement error, until I duplicated it again today.

Alternately, if that is the accurate value, my lung function back in April was only half of what it should have been, and I should have been gasping for breath in the ER instead of running around after my babies. If your lung function is at 50% of your personal best, you are in *trouble* -- yet it's now that I can't walk down a hall without panting, with a lung capacity one-and-a-half times what I should have?

In the end, the allergenist called the pulmo back, and they even consulted the lung-function-test PhD again. Collectively, they threw their hands up and said to stay on the albuterol for now, because it "works". I think they're hoping it's just some really weird virus thing, and that the albuterol will see me through until it passes on its own. If that's the case, fine, great -- I certainly don't *want* there to be anything wrong with me. But if there is, I'd like to know what it is and how to fix it, instead of having the dubious satisfaction of stumping the doctors yet again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Released from hospital yesterday afternoon. Having what I think is a bad reaction to steroids, and am so weak I can barely move. Thought for a while last night I'd have to go back, but am doing a little better today.

Convalescing slowly -- I feel like I've been sick for a year -- but at least I'm home.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Today's update

Still here, and not likely to be released before tomorrow afternoon, or more likely Wednesday.

I had a terrible night last night, thanks to a nurse who took it upon herself to decide that I didn't need the breathing treatments the doctor had ordered and that I had asked for. I was due for a treatment and feeling short of breath, but when I paged her, she ignored me for a while. By the time she came in, I was getting a little panicky, but she announced that I was fine, that she didn't know what kind of emotional problems I had, but that I needed to stop being a baby and relax.

It deteriorated further, and it eventually wound up with them giving me Ativan and leaving me alone to "get over it", which caused me to de-saturate too much. It was a real nightmare -- they didn't so much as come in to check on me while I struggled to breathe, much less give me the appropriate amount of oxygen. It was incredibly negligent, not to mention cruel, and if anything had happened to me, would have been a huge liability issue for the hospital.

I've been given to understand that occurrence reports have been filed and disciplinary measures are being taken; while I don't want to get anyone fired, it was an awful situation, and I think the nurse involved needs to be reprimanded at the least. My doctors tore the nursing staff a few creative new orifices over it, and I've been getting regular treatments today and feeling better for them.

Now that it's no longer the weekend, my regular doctors are back, and things are moving forward with the diagnosis. I had some lung function tests done earlier this afternoon, which oddly enough looked really good. My pulmonologist now feels that perhaps the asthma is not the central problem, and he's shifting me over to ENT, thinking that it might be somewhat higher up the respiratory system, maybe vocal cord dysfunction. ENT has been in for a consult, and I'm supposed to have some unpleasant tests done tomorrow afternoon involving a tube down my nose. Oh, well, can't be too much worse than an HSG...

My biggest concern over the last day or so is that I've felt a few people have been trying to pin a panic disorder label on me, particularly after last night's incidence. Now, I've never had any kind of panic disorder, and while I freely admit I've been panicky, that's... just what happens, when you can't breathe. My pulmo was really reassuring on that point today, said it was 100% NOT IN MY HEAD, and that it was a physical problem he is sure they will eventually diagnose and fix. This is a huge, huge, huge relief to me. It's sad to say, but once you get stuck in the anxiety-neurosis box, it makes it much harder to get treatment for legitimate physical problems. I'm so thankful to have skilled doctors who don't just see a hysterical Prozac candidate.

I'm reasonably stable today, if really worn out. I'm in a better place emotionally, knowing that we're getting closer to figuring it all out, but it's all tiring and frustrating, and I'll be so glad to be home. I miss my babies so bad it hurts.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Revolving door

Apparently, the hospital has one. After Thursday night's smaller attack, they decided to keep me through Friday, as expected. I had no more major exacerbations on Friday, successfully took a few short walks, and thoroughly enjoyed a visit from my babies (who were happy to see me for about thirty seconds before becoming too interested in the hospital room). We decided to release me on Saturday morning, and by 11:30, I was on my way home.

I hadn't made it much farther than the front door before I became noticeably winded. I thought, well, it's just a lot more than I've been doing, and went into the bedroom and lay down on the bed to rest. When the breathlessness didn't abate, I hit the rescue inhaler and waited. When it grew worse, I tried to calm myself down and wait it out, but ultimately it became obvious that it was time to give up and go back.

Unfortunately, because it was Saturday afternoon, I couldn't just go back to my regular pulmonologist and let him decide to admit me. Instead, we had to go to the ER, which turned out to be a horrible experience. I'd been controlling the fear okay all the way to the hospital, but when I got to the ER, I was hyperventilating to some degree, and it had caused my hands to spasm and lock up. They put me in a room, shut the door, and left me alone while G went to go park the car, and at that point, it just got too much for me, and I got a little hysterical.

It took them hours to decide it wasn't just a panic attack -- for some reason, they kept insisting that I'd been released from the hospital two days previously, not two hours, and therefore it must not be a repeat attack, and I didn't have the breath to make them understand. Further adding to the confusion, I don't wheeze, haven't throughout this whole process, just simply don't take in as much air as I should. I wasn't doing terribly bad, once I got the panic under control -- I was moving enough air to have okay oxygen levels, but still not as much as I should have been.

Next, they decided I must have a pulmonary embolism, and that I needed a chest CT scan. Now, this is not an unrealistic thing to rule out, considering that I've been treated quite aggressively for asthma of late and still am far from well. The problem is that not only does this involve x-ray radiation, but also radioactive contrast dye. I kept trying to explain to them, again without much breath, that I might be pregnant, and that if I were it still wouldn't show on betas or HPTs. The ER resident tried to argue with me about it, asking why I didn't believe the HPT, until I asked *her* how many days past ovulation she would expect to see a detectable amount of HCG. She said 10 was about the minimum, and I said, well, there you are, and refused to have the CT scan done. The chances of this actually being a PE are not non-existent, but they're also not very high, and I can wait a couple more days to get this one done.

Eventually, they got me on enough albuterol to really start opening up my lungs again. I'm worried about how much albuterol this seems to take, at least two back-to-back treatments to start having a noticeable effect. There are some very confusing things happening here, and this is one of them. Anyway, two hours of continuous nebulizer had me able to breathe and speak normally again, and at 3 AM, just over 12 hours after arrival, they kicked me upstairs for an overnight stay.

I've had more breathing treatments this morning, including two back-to-back ones, which did seem to help me a good deal. I got up to have a much-needed shower, though, and I haven't really been able to catch my breath afterwards, so I think another one is in my near future. I'm back on the IV steroids, and the plan is to keep me on the steroids and nebulizer overnight, and then do pulmonary function testing tomorrow and let my own doctor make the call.

I am trying very hard not to think about how upsetting this all is. I've been in the hospital for all but a few of the last 96 hours, and we don't have much in the way of answers. The underlying inflammation of the asthma should have responded by now to the steroids, and I shouldn't be needing so much albuterol just to have breath enough to speak. Yet I'm not heavily de-satting, so objectively, I'm not in all that terrible a shape... as long as I stay very, very still. Getting up and moving around doesn't do me any favors.

Hopefully we will have some better answers by tomorrow.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bad joke

It sounds like the set-up for a bad joke: "Why did the blonde go to the ICU for a cold?" Unfortunately, the punchline is not very funny at all, as it seems the Perversity Goddess is determined to fuck with my life in a very serious way.

The knee is progressing along, although I'm still not completely off my crutches, but I caught a cold from the babies, and had two severe asthma attacks back-to-back -- one Wednesday night which sent me to the ER, and another one Thursday morning, which won me a scenic 12-hour tour of the ICU.

Thanks to high doses of IV steroids and enough albuterol to leave me climbing the walls, I'm out of immediate danger and have been stepped down to a regular room. I was supposed to be released in the morning, but I had another attack after getting up to take a shower. Thankfully, it was less severe and was stopped by my rescue inhaler, instead of needing an extended series of nebulizer albuterol treatments, so at least the drugs are having some effect.

However, I don't think that my doctors or I will be comfortable sending me home until we're all sure I won't be getting brought back in an ambulance. If I can't stand up for ten minutes without starting to get into trouble, I probably don't need to be that far away from help. At a guess, I'm thinking maybe tomorrow afternoon or Saturday morning is probably a more realistic option.

Right now, nobody is talking to me very much about what the future holds -- they've mostly been worried about helping me move enough air. From my talks with my doctors and my med-student brother (who has actually been a part of my care team -- he's on the ICU rotation), I can expect to go home with a pretty big dose of prednisone, and to repeat same at the first sign of upper-respiratory infections. Short-term, they all seem pretty confident that the steroids will eventually do the job and get me sorted out. There's also been some question about giving me a little bit of insulin; while I have never had the slightest sign of blood-sugar issues, even during a twin pregnancy, steroids can do bad things here. I tested high last night, although it wasn't really valid, coming half an hour after a large turkey sandwich and a sugar cookie.

However, reading between the lines, this probably isn't the last time I'll be in the hospital -- once you've had an asthma attack of this severity, you can expect to have another. I don't know what diagnostics I'll need in the days and weeks to come, but I know there will be some, and that my entire treatment plan will be revised. I'm worried about a lot of the long-term fallout: how will the steroids affect my bones (which may already be somewhat questionable, per my blood tests)? what will happen as my lung function naturally declines with age, in 10, 20, 30 years? what will happen if I get pregnant again, which can worsen asthma in some women, and how will the treatments affect an unborn baby?

There's a chance I could be in the very early days of a pregnancy right now, too early for betas or HPTs to show. If I am, there's a small possibility that the drugs could increase the baby's risk for some birth defects, although certainly less than if I keeled over. The asthma will also put me at higher risk for some complications like preterm labor, low birth weight, and pre-eclampsia. It's worrying, but then so is everything else.

Right now, I've got so many mixed emotions. Obviously, I've been terrified, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that I could have died from this if I hadn't gotten prompt treatment. I had a few moments when I really did fear for my life, and my pulmonologist must have too; as soon as he walked in his office door and saw me, he literally greeted me with "I'm sending you to the ICU right now." Asthma is serious stuff, and apparently mine is a lot worse than anybody expected. Before my trip to the ER, I didn't even have a rescue inhaler, because I've never had an attack bad enough to need one -- usually, I just get pretty sick and wheezy with colds. Now, I've been instructed to never be without one, ever.

And on a minor level, it is highly aggravating to have this happen before I've even healed from my knee surgery, to not be able to maneuver my crutches very well because of my IV, to know that I'll need yet more help caring for the babies for a few more days, to spend an endless few more days in the bedroom of which I am heartily sick.

In some ways, it's almost like being diagnosed with infertility all over again. Wednesday morning, I had mild asthma which required no attention beyond twice-a-day Advair and occasional checkups. Today, I have severe asthma, and it has just become a much larger part of my life. I'll need to do more daily maintenance, such as peak-flow monitoring, and see a doctor more frequently. I can expect to take more medications, including some with systemic side effects. I'm looking at some long-term alterations in how I manage my health, and some lifelong increased risks of adverse, even fatal, events, and I can't pretend I'm not upset about this.

However, I also have some things to be grateful for. I'm profoundly glad just to be alive, and to live in a time when asthma treatment is so advanced. It is a huge relief to know that I'm in the best hospital in the state, under the care of some truly excellent physicians. I have complete confidence in their ability to do whatever can be done to diagnose and treat me. I think I'll be back to normal in a few days, even if it is a new and more precarious normal.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Spin me right round

It seems that last month's ovulatory cycle was not, in fact, a fluke.

After having my first spontaneous period ever, I tried really hard not to get my hopes up that it would happen again. I think that, for once, I actually did a pretty decent job of it. When two weeks came and went without any sign of ovarian activity, I ignored it (helped, no doubt, by regular doses of painkillers). As the third passed, I figured it wasn't going to happen this month, but sighed and went on with my life.

Of course, you can all guess that this is the part where my old friend the Perversity Goddess comes round for a visit. No sooner had I written it off than lo, came the EWCM, and I had to reassess. I ran out of OPKs somewhere along the line, and didn't want to ask my mom to buy me more (she's been doing all our grocery shopping), so I haven't been really tracking hard.

(And why I minded asking my mom for OPKs, when she was professionally involved in every part of our IUI cycle, I don't know. She drew my blood for my beta, chaperoned ultrasounds, and is fully aware that we're TTC, yet I didn't want to ask her to buy pee-sticks. I am a logician for the ages, sometimes.)

However, if I had to guess, I'd say the ovulation thing probably worked. If I'm lucky, I'll get to pee on another stick in two weeks (oh, who are we kidding, ten days max, if I can hold out that long). If I'm unbelievably, insanely lucky, it might even tell me something good, at which point I will go straight to the casinos while fortune favors the bold. After that, I think I'd probably have to turn in my official Registered Infertile card, but y'know, I'm okay with that.

I get to be normal. I get to try, just like a normal girl, without a single 18-gauge needle in the house, with Schrodinger's ovaries ticking along sight-unseen. And because I am not naive about this, I know that maybe I get to try, and try a couple times more, and then a year has gone by and we're making that phone call again.

That's okay, though. I won't like it, but it won't hurt me like the failure to cycle at all did, not for a while, and not ever quite the same desperate way. This time I get to get on the merry-go-round, and I'll worry about spinning in circles later.