Monday, June 23, 2008

One Enchanted Evening

Timed intercourse. About as romantic as it sounds. But that's the reality of baby-making when it becomes a job. When the unwritten rule between the couple is that there are no comments to be made about performance, no snickers from the peanut gallery about lack of enthusiasm. Just get to business. Sort of takes all the fun out of it. By this time though, we were well past that.

After no luck with ancestral potions nor the first step in pharmacotherapy, and a couple months of conflicting schedules, we decided that we would move to the next stage. This being Clomid therapy, bloodwork, monitoring, ultrasounds and when the time was right, a booster injection of HCG just to crank up the torpedoes and release those eggs with a vengeance. And THEN see if those stars would align.

Monitoring again; oh how I was hating those daily visits to the labs. And even being more depressed when I sometimes saw mothers in there with a child accompanying them. Why couldn't they be happy with that child, at least they had that. I wanted just one baby; I didn't get it (although several years later I would certainly "get" it. If anything I was even more determined/ psychotically driven to have baby #2. That'll be another chapter).


Work was going well; I had been promoted at the beginning of the year and had a few more responsibilities. But I was enjoying it; and had a couple of trips planned later in the year to head office in Paris. And amazingly, for the first time since we were married, our schedules were such that Ian would be able to accompany me. Finally. Paris in the fall, complete with husband, sounded like paradise.

School was a lot of hard work, but the learning and collaboration with my fellow students was invigorating and at least a productive distraction from the lack of success on the fertility front.

With things slowing down a bit in the summer, we decided to try a cycle with the extra HCG boost. Which of course entailed another trip back to the clinic after the usual bloodwork, ultrasounds; and then we had to do our business after 24 hours, the ETA of the grand eggs (yes plural, remember I was on Clomid).

This first attempt failed.


August 1999, the month of our 6th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, I had to attend an important conference in Montreal on our anniversary weekend. It also happened to land on a very important couple of days in our cycle. So it was a given that the spouse would accompany me. He was also travelling and would meet me the Friday evening.

I was lucky to have the excuse to "go home and pack" - in other words, stop by my doctor's to get the HCG shot just before my flight. Hopped on the plane, attended a dinner meeting with my boss and some other colleagues. It came up in conversation that it was my anniversary weekend.

My boss felt badly that I was working on my anniversary. Being a more-than decent fellow, he insisted that I take Ian out for a nice dinner on the company, and even suggested a restaurant.

So that evening, I decided that we would celebrate, really celebrate our anniversary. It was a gorgeous evening, we were in Montreal, a very romantic city, and we deserved to have some fun. We went to Bice, had a couple of cocktails and a lovely bottle of wine, (which I actually drank), let loose and just enjoyed ourselves. As a couple. For the first time in the last four years of TTC, we pretty much put all of that out of our minds and just focused on being a couple again. It was really magical.


Two weeks later, I went in for a blood test, not expecting much. Ian was away again at a sales meeting. I called the clinic for the results, and instead of a soft-spoken "So sorry, my dear" at the other end, I was told it was a "Weak positive".

What?!!! I almost flipped. I was too scared to be too excited. They asked me to come back for another test. And the second result: POSITIVELY POSITIVE.

I was pregnant. Almost too much to bear. When I told Ian over the phone that night, he just hollered, didn't even bother containing himself.

You see, the stars had indeed aligned. Both Ian and I were born in, and presumably conceived in Montreal. And it had been our anniversary.

So the trips to Paris in the fall? I had to cancel. Paris would still be there.

I had to meet someone very important in the spring, a meeting that we could just not afford to jeopardize:

(Here's the happy dance for the day )


Ginaagain said...

Oh that was beautiful! And I love, love, love the picture!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Brilliant, once again.

Funny how many 'coincidences' come into play in these conception stories.

I don't know how you coped with those schedules conflicting, we are on top of each other (figuratively speaking) all the time and it's tough!

As for the timed intercourse, we make plenty of jokes about it, it's the only way for us to manage.

BEAUTIFUL picture.

Life As I Know It said...

yay! I can't imagine how stressful a time that must have been for you and your husband.
Beautiful picture and beautful story. Can't wait to hear baby #2's story...

BeachMama said...

Our stories are so similar, except that in the end we had to go with the full ivf, it was the only thing that worked for us. I know what it is like to do 'almost anything' to have a baby. I tried drugs, herbs, acupuncture, exercise, diet... you name it. In the end our destiny was to go through ivf, but the two beautiful kids we have are worth every needle, Doctor's appointment, ultrasound and blood test. Oh the joy they bring.

Karen MEG said...

@gina: thanks, it is one of my favourite photos too!

@xbox: I think the schedules didn't exactly help, it was quite frustrating. But we just did what we could, and honestly, we were very, very lucky with our boy. The nurse told us after that it is quite rare for that protocol to work so quickly (ie. 2nd time).

@life as I know it: thanks for your comments! Story #2 will come, perhaps after a little break. This took a lot out of me once I got on a roll!

@beachmama: looking back, it was of course worth everything...we do have a LOT in common. I didn't realize that about J and apple...we have an IVF baby too ;).

dkuroiwa said...

thanks for sharing was beautiful. and yeah, as Heidi once said, even though I know the outcome, I was still a little nervous...until the end!!!
It just goes to show, if it was meant to happen, it will!!! :-D
Great photo!!!

donna said...

Yea!!!! What a great story.

I had to laugh at the part about Ian accompanying you on your trip for stud purposes. The last month that we tried Clomid (our sixth month on it), the right time was supposed to be while my husband was away in Washington DC for work. So I spent a ridiculous amount of money to buy a last minute plane ticket to DC, left work on a Friday night, got to DC at midnight, he got up at 7 a.m. for work, Saturday was supposed to be THE DAY, then I left at 9 a.m. on Sunday. It felt so dirty and yet so clinical at the same time.

April said...


Kimmylyn said...

Beautiful Post K.. I loved it.. and that picture is too sweet for words.. your smile says it all.

Family Adventure said...

Such a beautiful post. Sometimes it just takes a bit of relaxation and 'I don't give a damn' attitude to make miracles.

I didn't know Liam was a Montreal conception, but I agree with you - it is one of the most romantic cities in eastern Canada. :)


LunaNik said...

Gosh I just loved this post. Really sweet and inspiring and I swear I felt my heart get bigger. And the look on your face in that pic...priceless!

Jeff said...

What a great story. Our first child was conceived during a trip to Canada as well. Must be something in the water there.

I think it's fairly common for couples who are trying really hard to have a baby to finally get pregnant when they're NOT trying. The same thing goes for couples who eventually adopt a child and then get pregnant soon after. I know 3 different couples that has happened to.

Rima said...

Oh yeah - that's fate! I love it!

Jillian said...

I'm back. I wanted to say thanks for the love. It meant so much to me.

Melissa said...

Okay, that? Was just fabulous! Thank you for sharing that with us. :)

Kami said...

Oh Karen I am SO happy for you! I have tears in my eyes.

Wonderful story and so well told. Also?

SO neat that he was conceived in Montreal.

Pssst... maybe the wine helped?


Dto3 said...

When we were trying to conceive after every doctor told us to give it up, we weren't ever going to make it happen, my wife called me one afternoon when I was in Mexico City. I was on a flight within the hour and half naked before I drove into the driveway. I had hours to think about the deed on that flight home and even though it was "timed," it was definitely hot! No luck from that one though, had a few years yet to wait, but makes for a good story.

Diesel said...


Kellan said...

Oh, what a simply beautiful story - brought tears to my eyes. Sweet, sweet picture too.

Take care - Kellan

C said...

Oh my gosh, Karen! What a beautiful story!!! Thank you so much for sharing! Can I tell you that you had me bawling my eyes out? Actually, it doesn't take much to make me cry these days, but this certainly had me in tears. Beautifully written and I love that photo of you and Liam. Look how tiny he was!! :)

If you think about everything that goes into baby making, babies are in fact little miracles!

Karen said...

How wonderful! Have you been back to Montreal? To celebrate, or show your daughter?

Curiosity Killer said...

that's so beautiful, Karen. You're making me go sappy now.

hugs, CK

Kimberly said...

This made me teary, especially the picture at the end.

Kori said...

I have seen you post elsewhere, and thought I should stop by...I think I have seen you over at Xbox's place, too; what a grat sotry, I am glad you are sharing it!

kailani said...

We had trouble conceiving the second time so when we got the good news, I couldn't believe I heard the nurse correctly.

Love that Mommy & Baby photo!

C said...

BTW, I just mailed something to you. It should arrive in a few days! :)

LaskiGal said...

"Timed intercourse." What a way to start a post. So, so honest!!!

And POSITIVE, POSITIVE . . . and a very important meeting-- what a way to close!!!

Gorgeous photo. Gorgeous.

Sandy C. said...

What a beautiful, beautiful story. Things really did seem to come full circle.

Your strength and courage to make it through FOUR years of TTC (especially the meds, pokes, etc) is amazing. What an incredible happy ending to such a long journey.

Don Mills Diva said...

Oh Karen I LOVE this story! It's almost identical to what happened with Graham - the one month we realxed and forgot about things - it happened. Funny how the world works...

Rach (Mommy Learns to Blog) said...

What a beautiful post with such a beautiful ending! Thanks for sharing! I look forward to learning more about you and your family through your blog (here by way of OHMommy).

McMommy said...

I love this post!!! I hope you don't mind if I share it with some friends who would love some encouragement like this!!

happy pow!!

Colleen said...

So happy that it all worked out for you!


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