Oh hi there, I’m high.

There are two kinds of doctors in the infertility world. Those who prescribe oral progesterone supplements. And those who want you to put progesterone up your hooha. Okay, so there are actually waaaay more kinds of doctors than that in the infertility world. But roll with me here for a moment.

I have previously seen the second kind of doctor. The pill-up-the-hooha kind. But lately, I’ve been instructed to take my progesterone supplements orally since it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, and my immune system is a blazing, sweltering fire that won’t go out.

Throw progesterone up your hooha, and the side effects are pretty minimal. Sure, there’s extreme constipation and a constant wet and nasty discharge in the underpants. But compared to all the other side effects of drugs us reproductively challenged ladies have to deal with (um, extreme hot flashes, stabbing ovaries, and a condition that’s actually called moon face) it’s a walk in the barren park.

Taking progesterone orally is a slightly different story. The bottle says “may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Do not operate heavy machinery.” However, what it should say is “this is going to make you higher than that one crazy night out on your college dorm balcony. Do not attempt conversation within four hours of taking.”

In short, oral progesterone makes me high. I mean bat shit crazy, elephants on the ceiling, wonderfully high. A high unlike any high I’ve ever had. Not that I’ve had very many, because I’m a good girl, people. For about 45 minutes, I feel like the prettiest, most intellectually stimulating person in the long, dark tunnel we’re all suddenly floating down. And it’s awesome.

I never know quite when it is going to hit me. Sometimes it’s 30 minutes after a dose. Sometimes it’s not until 3 hours after a dose. And every luteal phase, I take two doses a day. Which makes mornings at work interesting.

Especially one particular morning two weeks ago when I was getting ready to present to a room full of 60 people, right as the progesterone kicked in.

My colleagues and I were pitching a new and large account for our advertising agency, and I had a significant portion of the presentation to talk through creative strategy and branding. Typically, this is the sort of thing that I can pretty much wing once I think through a few talking points. But typically, I’m also not high.

Right as my colleague introduced me and handed me the clip-on microphone and clicker, I started to feel that oh so familiar feeling floating through my body. Okay, I thought, so…this is happening. Or did I say it? Was that how I just opened up my section of the presentation? I wasn’t 100% sure. But I kept going.

Next came the challenge of talking while clipping the microphone to the collar of my dress while also managing not to drop the clicker or a stray f-bomb. And…I nailed it. Again, I have no idea if I said that I nailed it. Or just thought it.

My voice boomed; in the microphone, through my head, it was crawling up the walls and enveloping the room in a giant shriek. Quick, I thought, I need to re-clip this microphone closer to my boob so I’m not all blare-y. Again, coulda thought it. Coulda said it. To this day, I just don’t know.

The rest was a sort of out-of-body experience. I said stuff, I clicked, I pointed to visuals on slides. I stood upright. I kept my clothes on. These are the things I know. Everything else, I couldn’t tell you.

But I do know that in the last two weeks, nobody at work has said a word to me about that presentation. Which is probably a good thing, as it was hopefully just like any other presentation I’ve given. Or, it’s a bad thing, because they’re all secretly whispering about that time I stood up and let out monotone humming sounds for 15 minutes straight.

And there is one other thing I know for sure. Along this crazy road of injections and infusions and inseminations and negative pregnancy tests and stabbing ovaries and things called moon face, I’ll take all the little highs I can get.

Minivans are for other people

I drove a minivan in high school. The kind with the fake wood paneling on the side. It was old and wreaked of stale McDonald’s cheesburgers, cigarettes and the bad strawberry air freshener that was working just a little too hard to try and cover up the cigarettes. It had a busted taillight from the time I let Nacho, the foreign exchange student from Mexico back it out of the driveway at a Halloween party. It was ugly as shit. But it was perfect. I could fit half the drill team in the back of that thing to cruise around town with our pom poms and Natty Lite. And I loved how at only 95 pounds, I felt like I ruled the road.

I always assumed there would come a stage in life when I’d drive a minivan again.

But minivans aren’t for people like me.

They’re for my sister-in-law who is about to have her (whoopsie) fourth baby, any hour now. That phone call is a-coming. They’re for those friends of mine who once rode in the back of my own minivan. Even the ones who swore back then they’d never drive one themselves. They’re for the woman in the elevator at my doctor’s office on the day I found out that this cycle, too, had failed. She had an adorable little girl and an equally-adorable 8-month bump and politely looked away as I struggled to hold back my tears.

Today will be my last appointment with the Dragon Lady. For a while at least. Not necessarily because she got my hopes up this time, only to be dashed again – though I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a small part of it. But because it’s starting to look like this ever-building mound of medical bills, prescription payments and IVIG infusion costs isn’t going away any time soon. And on top of that, it looks like we may need to throw on a round of self-funded IVF. And so something has to give.

So, no, minivans, they are not for me. At least not any time soon.

The Dragon Lady analyzes my belly

Tuesday, I visited the Dragon Lady for what should have been my pre-IUI #3 acupuncture session, where she would have hooked me up to an electronic contraption and sent power to my uterus like a car battery. Yes, that actually happened before IUI #2. And yes, I really need to write a post about that.

But back to this month. My body, wanting to perpetuate this whole hard-to-get game with pregnancy, decided to ovulate a week early. Luckily, I caught it in time to move the IUI up to last Friday. But that meant that this week’s session with the Dragon Lady was just a normal session in which she told me about all the problems of all the girls down the hall while placing needles in my legs only. “No belly today! Could be baby in there!”

Yes. Just a normal session. But then, at the end of the session she ordered,

“let me see belly!”

After 8 months of the Dragon Lady putting needles in the most random places and observing different parts of my body, this seemed pretty normal. So I lifted my shirt.

“Your belly huge!”

Um, okay. So maybe I ate a little more this weekend, I tried to explain. I guess I’m a little bloated. And yeah, I ate 4 oreos on Labor Day. Damn, nothing gets past this woman!

“It so huge!”

Getting a little defensive, I looked down and put my hands on my stomach. I just couldn’t see what it was she was talking about.

“Look how big belly is. I see it. There more than one baby in there!”

Whoa, slow down woman. I told her how the IUI was just four days before. It would be a while before I would even know if this one worked. Besides, it’s not like implantation could have even happened yet. Trust me, I’ve googled this shit about 9 thousand times.

To which, she gave me a look that said, “you silly white girl. Don’t question me.” To which I gave her a look that said, “Don’t you dare get my hopes up, Dragon Lady, unless you know what the hell you’re talking about.” To which, she said,

“This not crazy talk!!!! I know!!! I know all these girls!”

She pointed to a photo of newborn triplets on her wall.

“She come in. 43 year old. IUI with own eggs. I first one say “There more than one baby in there” she go to doctor. Three! Three baby in there!”

Then pointing to another picture, this time of twins,

“She IVF. I see belly, tell her first. More than one baby in there! I know!”

Holy shit, I’m thinking, this Dragon Lady could be right. She’s been right about other things. And my ultrasound this cycle did show four follicles. I could have four babies! All at once! A full house. 2 girls, 2 boys with names that all sound like they go together but that aren’t too cutesy because they’ll have to grown into adults someday. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Reproductive shop closed. We’re all good here.

Sensing my changing mood, she looked at my belly one more time and said,

“If you pregnant. There more than one baby in there. Next week, I know for sure.”

IF I’m pregnant. IF. So that gives me two options, and two options only. I’m either not pregnant. Or I need to start pricing out mini vans.

I’m either carrying multiple babies. Or hanging on to the remnants of four oreos.

Thank you, Dragon Lady, for the most hellish two week wait ever.