I am sitting here today feeling, at once, like I need to scream, but I don’t know what I’m angry about. Within the next few hours, I will probably start feeling like the kitchen isn’t clean enough, but when I clean it, no matter how hard I scrub, I won’t feel satisfaction, I’ll just decide the bathrooms need to be cleaned too. Then tonight I will go to sleep and at 3 a.m. I will wake up and feel that achy restlessness that usually just comes from drinking too much coffee — except I don’t drink coffee.
This is my life on Clomid, the fertility drug I’ve been on for the past two months.
After nearly a year of trying to get pregnant, I finally bit the bullet in June and went to see my doctor. After a brief chat, he decided fertility drugs were the way to go.
“You probably need some extra help, given your age,” he said. “This should give you a little boost.”
He started writing down the prescription.
“Are there any side effects?” I croaked, sounding as ancient and barren as I felt.
“Not really,” he said. “You just take one a day for five days. It’s not much work, and it’s a good idea. A woman’s fertility tends to spiral downward at age 35.”
So I took the prescription and spent the rest of the day imagining my eggs winding down one of those yellow wishing well coin funnels they have at zoos and aquariums, the kind where you place a quarter at the top and watch it go around and around, winding progressively downward until it drops into a hole, never to be seen again.
After consulting my amazing, thoughtful husband William, I got the prescription filled and, on day 5 of my cycle, started popping these little white pills.
I felt nothing at first, which was a happy bonus since I’ve rarely taken any pill that hasn’t made me nauseous. But on day 14, I started to feel … different.
It happened while William and I were walking around our subdivision in our endless effort to be fit. We were hiking up a steep hill when he suddenly went on the other side of me, putting me closer to the side of the road.
“Protecting me?” I said, smiling.
“No,” he said, putting his arm around my shoulder. “It’s just you do better when you walk on the inside.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean you don’t bump into me as much.”
It was right then, that very second, that I felt … different. It started with an increased heartbeat, progressed into a florid flush and then all of a sudden, in that split second, I was as furious as I can ever remember being.
“Umm, are you saying I can’t walk in a straight line?” I asked, clenching my jaw.
“Relax, relax,” he said. “I’m just saying it works better this way.”
Not wanting to ruin an otherwise lovely evening, I gritted my teeth and tried to swallow my fury, which I was somewhat successful in doing only because I imagined the huge cocktail I was going to drink when I got home. But then, while going up another hill, he switched sides again.
“I’m walking straight!” I insisted.
“Yes, but you’re walking too close to the poison ivy,” he said. “You’re going to get it on your ankles.”
Then I felt that feeling again, this incredible surge, this transformation, this inescapable wrath.
“WHY are you always CORRECTING me?” I screamed, stomping my foot for effect.
He just stopped, looked at me and kept walking, taking my hand.
That was the beginning and things have progressed from there. Over the past two months, I have found myself crying in the arms of my stepdaughter’s mother; cleaning obsessively and then, with a teenager’s angst, letting the dishes pile up; saying things to women I would otherwise filter; roaring at my computer when it hesitates; and sleeping in twitchy spurts.
The term “mood swing” has come to mean something very different to me than it did this spring. I now realize it’s one of those words like “skyscraper” or “rainbow,” so accurate and descriptive but so commonly used you don’t notice it. In essence, my mood truly does swing like a pendulum and sometimes I imagine it just sitting there, not sure what will get it rocking.
Oh well, all in the name of Baby, I suppose, which is something I can live with. Let’s just hope, for the sake of my poor husband and everyone else who surrounds me, it happens soon.