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11/30/2007
Sidetrip to Iceland
This is part of my continuing Baby Chase series. If you'd like to catch up, you can read Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4. A warning for those who know me and are male. This post contains lots of details about my lady bits, menstrual cycles, and mentions the term "cervical mucus" more than once. Proceed with caution. You've been warned.

While I was planning a trip to London with friends in Fall of 2003, several people told us we should fly through Iceland. Apparently if you stay for a night in Reykjavik, you can get really great airfare to Europe. But the last thing I wanted was a side trip to Iceland. I wanted to go to London, dammit. And I wanted to get there as quickly as possible.

That's the story of my life. When I want something, I want it now. Patience is not my strong point.

After the D&C, I was a woman on a mission.

I'm great at school. I'm great at planning. In my past experience, that's the best way to ensure that you get exactly what you want. So charts were employed, temperatures were taken daily, and I did far, far too much Googling. You see, the genetic testing results from the remains (their word, not mine) of the D&C were normal. So my OB told us what had happened was just bad luck and to try again.

Famous last words.

My daily temperature taking, fanatical charting, obsessive OPK (ovulation predictor kit) purchasing, and cervical mucus observing was quite successful. We conceived on the first try every. single. time. That's right. We were professionals at getting me knocked up. Pros, I tell you. But every single time resulted in the same thing. A questionable positive home pregnancy test, a positive beta with crappy progesterone levels, followed by a lower beta, and then a miscarriage. Luckily, I've only endured 2 D&C's. Luckily. Hah!

During all of this, we went through testing. Oh, and, ladies, if you are ever unlucky enough to have an HSG and your doctor tells you it will only be "a bit uncomfortable?" He's lying. Other than that advice, I'm going to ensure that this doesn't become a 72 part series staler than Oceans 23 and cut out most of the wallowing in depression and testing stuff. Suffice it to say that no one was quite sure what the heck was going on.

I sucked at staying pregnant, but I excelled at putting on a good face. Only a few people in my office had any idea what was going on with me. My secretary knew and she was discrete. I confided in 1 female partner who was a mentor and friend and a few of my associate friends knew. The years that all this crap was going on? I billed more hours than anyone else in my firm.

It was a hell of a lot easier to work myself to death than to go home and worry about whether or not I could ever have children. Or speculate about what might be wrong with me. Because it had to be me. I knew it was somehow my fault. This was some sort of karmic retribution for my list of 100 reasons not to have children.

Now that we knew that we were both basically normal and there was no real explanation for what the heck was causing my miscarriages, we started to weigh other options. Before even going there, T and I decided that we were probably willing to do IUI (intrauterine insemination) but probably not IVF. We would adopt if it came to that. But we would have children.

In the Fall of 2003, we decided to take a bit of a break from all this baby chasing stuff. You have no idea how hard this was for me. To stop. To watch that temperature dip on the chart, to see that great "egg white" cervical mucus and do nothing was, for me, pure torture. If I wanted to get what I wanted I just needed to keep trying, right? But we agreed to take some time off and go back to all this stuff in January. It would be a new year and a fresh start.

So, of course, T was scheduled to be in Germany for work when I would be ovulating in January.

Yep. Karmic retribution, I tell you.

So I sat back in D.C. while T cavorted in Germany (at least in my mind) and wallowed in self pity and chocolate chip cookie dough. I had my longest cycle ever. Seriously. And they were already pretty damn long.

I watched for that temperature dip that always foretold approaching ovulation. Nothing.

Holy crap! T would be back on January 6th. Maybe he would make it back in time! You wouldn't believe how incredibly excited I was to be trying that month. I didn't expect a different outcome, but we had to be doing something.

So, of course, my hopes had to be dashed again.

On the 6th, T called me at work. I was a little confused. He was supposed to be on a plane over the Atlantic. He wasn't. He was calling me from Iceland. Where his plane had made an emergency landing.

About half way over the Atlantic, they encountered a "shit load" of turbulence. (I think that's a technical aviation term.) T noticed that the plane's altitude was dropping and the plane seemed to be slowing down. A lot. Watching one of those nifty little tracking screens at every seat, he realized that the plane was now heading North. To Iceland.

Finally, the pilot let them know that they had lost an engine. On a 2 engine plane. And while they could certainly land on 1 engine, they really didn't want to continue to fly half way across the Atlantic on one engine. (Thank God!) So T got a 36 hour stay in Iceland while United flew in a new plane.

Sitting in the airport bar at Keflavik (apparently the 777 was too large for the Reykjavik airport, but everyone felt the need to have a drink), T discovered that many of the passengers sitting on the side of the plane near the engine witnessed the entire thing. And were freaking the fuck out. One passenger told them that when he grabbed a flight attendant and asked about the flames shooting past his window, she had the gall to say "Oh, that happens sometimes. It's nothing to worry about." Yeah. That's reassuring.

Anyway, T didn't make it back to D.C. until the evening of January 8, 2004. My temperature dip? Happened that day. The next morning my temperature was on the rise, indicating that I had ovulated the day before.

Hollis was born September 16, 2004.

We have a great photo of the jet with the charred engine that we found on the Internet shortly thereafter. Because I'm twisted, I also printed out a few articles for Hollis's baby book further pinpointing his date of conception. I'm sure he'll appreciate it when he's 14.

I don't know why I had the world's longest cycle that month. I don't know why we endured 4 miscarriages and several "chemical pregnancies." (Although I have some theories I'll save for my "pregnancy from hell" post.) But something in me can't help but think that this is how it was supposed to be for us. That Hollis was supposed to be.

Apparently, a little side trip to Iceland was just what we needed.


Photo by Celeste Masson.

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18 Comments:

Blogger Debra Kay said...

Maybe the near death experience sent the really ambitious sperm to the head of the pack.

Blogger Julie Pippert said...

Hey, you, wow, this? This was great...technically great and emotionally moving.

The IF geek in me is intrigued that the long cycle worked. I'm mentally calculating hormone levels and odds in my head, like a gambler I guess. Admit you did it too. ;)

I'm glad, though, for whatever reason.

Julie
Using My Words

Blogger Gwen said...

That plane story is CRAZY! As a non-infertile, a lot of the technical stuff just whee! sailed right over my head, but you got me in the gut with the emotion.

Blogger bubandpie said...

This one brought tears to my eyes. And it's a good example of the theory about fast swimmers - if you conceive the day of or even after ovulation, you're likely to have a boy. (Of course, by that logic, Pie should have been a boy too, but that's another story.)

Blogger Momish said...

Oh my God, that photo is just perfect and so awesome!! Who'd thunk Iceland?

If I didn't know how it all ended just right, I can't imagine how painful and heartbreaking it would have been to read what you went through.

It was meant to be and that story says it all. Hollis is going to love hearing it over and over throughout his life.

Blogger slouching mom said...

That is a FABULOUS story. I can't get over it.

Blogger Emily said...

That was a fantastic story. Someday, I'll tell you about the delayed flight that created Benjamin... No charred engines, though.

And, yes, that was one test that was not "uncomfortable," despite what the doctor said.

http://wheelsonthebus.wordpress.com

Blogger odd facts said...

What a great story. I love the "oh that sometimes happens." ???

Blogger Joker The Lurcher said...

this is wonderful. i remember when we were in this phase of life and my poor husband, usually the randiest man on the planet, was reduced to saing "sorry i can't now, i have to go to work..."

how much of this is about being a lawyer...

Blogger dawn224 said...

I hate flying I hate flying I hate flying ... this was all I was thinking as I read your post... then I read Debra Kay's comment and laughed myself silly (um. Sillier)

Blogger Angela said...

I am all about the organization and the structure. Charts and graphs are my thing too, yep. But I'm with you. I think that little boy was meant to be. And thank you for validating my fear of flying. I now have another story to use when justification is necessary.

Blogger blooming desertpea said...

Loved Debra's comment - it sometimes makes you wonder, doesn't it? To be or not to be ... I agree here, Hollis had to be! And the time wasn't right before the Iceland happening.

Blogger Melinda Zook said...

What a very moving story. Congratulations to you both!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iceland has more bridge player for population than any other country, so of course Trey's delay there was precipitous.

Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Ack! Mom, are you trying to tell me that Hollis is going to be a bridge player?

Blogger Michele said...

Hollis was DEFINITELY meant to be. What a great story for him.

Blogger PunditMom said...

This is a great story. I know you're pirnting this one out for the "baby book," right? And that HSG test? There is no appropriate retribution for the doctors, nurses and technicians who told me the same thing.

Blogger Christine said...

this is great! and SO SO SO similar to how we conceived my son--i was away in california and he was going to join us later. But by all accounts we assumed i'd ovulate way before he arrived to join us. but the ovulation tests kept saying i wasn't ovulating which was surprising because i was very regular. well i ovulated late and then he arrived the next day. 9 months later my son was born!

meant to be my son and hollis!

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