For those of you scratching your heads over the title of this post, a bit of backstory–while our cable was out we watched a bunch of Chappelle’s Show on DVD. Dave Chappelle is a comedic genius as far as I’m concerned. And so freaking smart. I’m incredibly sad that he stopped doing his show, although I think I understand his reasons. But American race relations (and comedy) need him! Carlos Mencia is not at all a good replacement. Please–come back, Dave!

In any case, the post title is actually a question from a hilarious skit called “I Know Black People,” a game show that asked real people crazy trivia questions about black folks. And if you know black people, you know that a badonkadonk is a slang term for an ample boo-tay, and a nice one at that.

What does this have to do with Cityprof, you might be asking yourself? Well, I think my own personal badonkadonk is looking pretty good these days, and the proof is that I just bought a pair of jeans in a SIZE TWELVE! Really, I haven’t worn a 12 since before I met G in 2002. Back then I had a pair of tight leather pants that I simply loved. Over the years they’ve been a mental symbol of when I was my “thinnest” as a fully-grown woman, although they went to the Goodwill long ago.

This weekend, though, I realized that due to the recent weight loss (25.5 lbs and counting), all of my size 14 jeans are way too big, even the ones that used to be a little tight. Wearing too-big size 14 work pants is one thing–not only do you not want your work clothes to be too form-fitting for professionalism’s sake, but also, it’s not like I want my students checking out my behind the entire class period. Hot for teacher indeed.

But jeans, jeans are for the weekends, for social events, and they are supposed to fit snugly. And show off the assets, if you know what I mean.

So although I do have more weight to lose, I decided to try on some new jeans at the mall on Saturday. On a whim, I picked up a size 12 DKNY pair that looked promising, and lo and behold–they fit like a glove. I present the visual evidence below:
badonkadonk2

Not bad, eh? I’m sure Sir Mixalot himself would be proud.

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First, many thanks for all of the encouraging comments after my last post–especially perchancetodream, who suggested a clinic that actually does take Aetna. I am still working up the nerve to call them, but I might do so as early as tomorrow! We’ll see.

On a related note, all of this RE drama/confusion inspired me to call Aetna about what exactly is covered for me under infertility–and it turns out, they cover IVF, a few cycles per year! From what I understand, this wasn’t true until fairly recently, so I was completely surprised to hear the customer service rep say those fateful words, “Yes, in vitro fertilization is covered.” Now, the big caveat to this is that injectable meds are not covered, and as Kim just pointed out, those things are not cheap! Still, I am relieved to know that if IVF becomes necessary for us, we can try it without having to pay out of pocket for the procedures themselves. BIG sigh of relief on that score. Believe me, I know how lucky this makes us.

Other random news: I got a flu shot on campus today. The consent questionnaire asked, “Are you, or could you be, pregnant?” I was surprised how sad it made me to check no. No, there is absolutely no chance in hell that I am pregnant right at this moment. Go ahead and shoot me full of mercury and influenza. If you have any sushi, soft cheese, deli meat, or hard liquor around that you’d like to inject me with, that’s probably perfectly safe too.

I was also surprised by how old the rest of the flu-shot crowd seemed to skew–I’m used to being a youngish faculty member, but not used to being the only person in a room on this side of 55. Maybe people in their 30s and 40s don’t typically get flu shots? Yeah, I know that’s too huge of a generalization. Maybe younger academics on our campus are too busy keeping their heads above water to bother with things like flu shots? This seems a bit more likely. But since G is a health care professional (not that he really deals with physically sick people, of course, but still, he is regularly in both a clinic and a hospital), and I commute to work on the New York City subway system, also known as Fast-Moving Chambers of Human Infection (TM), I figured it was a good idea–I haven’t had a flu shot in a while, but I don’t have any philosophical reasons not to get one.

On another note, I am bummed to report that our cable is out–not just ours, but everyone’s in our (small) building, and the connected building next door. There is some major construction happening behind us, and I think they may have knocked out one of our lines. We were clever stupid enough to do both phone and internet through the cable company too, so all three are out! “How is she writing this blog post without internet access?” some of you may be asking. Well, kind reader, this is why you should always password-protect your network, because otherwise one of your across-the-street neighbors might poach your internet access with her wireless-enabled laptop computer, and use it to blog, read message boards, and otherwise stay connected and sane while she is cruelly barred from watching new episodes of The Office and 30Rock.

I’m just sayin’.

Well, THAT didn’t work.

October 20, 2007

Yesterday, inspired by the arrival of my period, I decided to call an RE.

…BIG mistake.

Here is a transcript of the subsequent conversations:

Receptionist #1: Hello, BigFancyUpperEastSideInfertilityClinic*, how may I help you?

Me: Hi, I’m a new patient and I’d like to make an appointment with Dr. TakesMyInsurance*?

Receptionist #1: Okay, well, Dr. TakesMyInsurance has her own receptionist off-site, who takes her appointments for her. I can give you the number.

Me: Oh, okay. That would be great.

Receptionist #1: Also, I should let you know that Dr. TakesMyInsurance is on medical leave right now–

Me (with alarm): Oh no, is she okay?

Receptionist #1 (flatly): She’s fine. [what I didn’t ask: if she’s fine, why is she on medical leave?] But Dr. TotalNewbie* is handling her patients right now, so the receptionist over there is taking calls for both doctors. Here’s the number…

So ended conversation number one. Then I went ahead and called the second number.

Receptionist #2: Good morning, Dr.’s office, how may I help you?

Me: Hi, I was given this number to call about Dr. TakesMyInsurance?

Receptionist #2 (cautiously): Ye-e-ss?

Me: Um, yes, well, I understand she is on medical leave, and another doctor is handling her patients? I was hoping to make an appointment.

Receptionist #2: Who referred you?

Me (sheepishly): Well, I got the name of Dr. TakesMyInsurance from my insurance carrier.

Receptionist #2: What’s your insurance?

Me: Aetna**.

Receptionist #2: Okay. Well, Dr. TakesMyInsurance does accept Aetna, but Dr. TotalNewbie, who is covering her patients, has not yet been certified to accept Aetna. [Me, in my head: Whaa? Did she just graduate from medical school yesterday?] So if you were to see Dr. TotalNewbie you would not be covered.

Me: Um, when will Dr. TakesMyInsurance be back?

Receptionist #2: Early December.

Me: Can I make an appointment with her directly for December?

Receptionist #2: Sure!

Well, what a relief. I can bypass Dr. Newbie altogether. So we book an appointment for December 14th. Yay, I think, all settled. But not so fast–

Receptionist #2 (as an afterthought): So have you had any infertility treatment before, IVF, IUI, etc.?

Me: No, we’ve just been trying for over a year.

Receptionist #2: Okay, so let me just let you know how things will work. Dr. TakesMyInsurance does accept Aetna, but BigFancyUESInfertilityClinic does not.

Me (with foreboding): Okay…

Receptionist #2: So this means that–and I’m not saying it will get this far, you might not need any of this, but just so you know if it does progress to this stage–if you were to get any procedures done, like the HSG, IUI or IVF, those would not be covered.

Me: Okay, um–

Receptionist #2 (continuing): –Also, if you were to have any monitoring in the morning at BFUESI/FC, it would not be covered. Although sometimes Dr. TakesMyInsurance will make an exception, if she does your monitoring she will sometimes bill the insurance. But sometimes not. [Huh???]

Me (bewildered): Um. Okay.

Receptionist #2: Also, your three-day bloodwork, which includes FSH, TSH, progesterone, etc [probably some other stuff that I didn’t catch] would not be covered.

Me: Um–

Receptionist #2: So basically that is what is not covered.

Me (not even trying to be funny): So… uh, what IS covered?

Receptionist #2: Oh, the initial consultation, of course! And whatever bloodwork is done on that first visit.

Me: Of course. Okay, thank you.

At which point I got off the phone, though not without considering just canceling the appointment outright, right then. Basically I have an appointment with an RE that I can see for free only once? And then literally every step of the process following that first appointment will be out-of-pocket? What is the point of taking my insurance at all, Dr. TakesMyInsurance? Or should I call you Dr. WhatIsThePoint?

Then I got the bright idea to call back and find out what insurance BigFancyUESI/FClinic does take–turns out the only one they take that I’m eligible for is one that my beloved internist has stopped taking. Great. So I either give up my fantastic primary care physician–who happens to be the only one of my various medical professionals that I actually like–so that I can work with this clinic, or I give up the clinic, which is widely heralded as the best in the city.

Sigh.

It’s no wonder I had a huge meltdown on the phone with G a few minutes later. He was great, though. He knows me well enough to know that allowing me to vent and rant for a few minutes would make me feel better.

So anyway, after the RE confusion, I finally gave up and called my annoying ob-gyn, Dr. JustHaveSexAndYou’llGetPg, and made another appointment with her for a couple of weeks from now. Even if I have to do all of the tests over with an RE eventually at least I’ll have a starting point to work with, and some kind of idea of what the heck is going on inside me.

Don’t even get me started on the rules for submitting a semen sample that G is facing — the only reason we haven’t done that part yet is that at this local lab, the sample must be submitted M-F, 9:00 to 9:30am ONLY, no exceptions, and the sample must be brought from home–they won’t allow you to produce it on-premises. Um, not everyone is sitting at home at 9 in the morning on a weekday with a free twenty minutes to do some random wanking. Some people actually work for a living, LabRigid*.

*Not their actual names.

**My actual insurance carrier.

So. My period was late this month–by only a few days, but it was enough to get my hopes up. Lately I’d been having 23 and 24 day cycles, and by yesterday I was on CD 26 with no blood in sight. No cramps, no spotting, no nothing.

I know it’s ridiculous to start thinking you’re pregnant when you’re not only just on CD 26–which is to say, not even to the number of days of a “normal” 28-day cycle!–but when you’d also only had sex once during the relevant days of the cycle. Believe me, I know it. But you know how it is, dear reader. You start counting back and thinking hmmm…, then the day when your period was expected comes and goes without incident, and all of a sudden that big green light starts flashing in your brain. “MAYbe!–MAYbe!–MAYbe!” says the flashing light. Some other, more rational part of you says “Girl, don’t be ridiculous. Don’t you know how unlikely that is?” But you know, then the squealing “Wouldn’t that be GREAT?! And my due date would be early July, which would be PERFECT” sirens start to accompany the flashing light, and pretty soon rational voice is completely drowned out by the din.

But I finally got a tiny bit of spotting late last night, and it’s now become real bleeding. So today is CD1, meaning last cycle was a 26-day cycle, a longer cycle than I’ve had for a few months. I assume that’s a good thing, although it might also just mean that I ovulated a few days late–I’ve been traveling for work a lot this month, so that might explain my cycle being wonky (although 26 days used to be “normal” for me, so who knows?).

One small consolation for waking up to yet another cycle day 1 is weighing myself this morning and discovering that I’ve officially lost twenty-five pounds. Is that not simply crazy? If you’d asked me six months ago whether I thought I could lose that much weight I would have said no way. I had a real illustration of what that 25 lbs means yesterday, too, because I had been away overnight for a conference panel: coming back from school yesterday, I had an overnight bag with me that weighed around 14 lbs, plus my big black purse that on a regular day weighs around 5 lbs (this is bad, I know) but was probably a pound heavier than normal because I’d put a few extra toiletries in it. That’s a total of at least 19 lbs, maybe 20, that I was carrying over my shoulders.

When I came up the two flights of stairs at my subway station yesterday, I could feel these bags literally slowing me down, causing me to drag my feet and struggle against the weight to pull myself up the steps. And I realized–hey, until recently, I was carrying more than this much extra weight on my body! No wonder I was so often exhausted and felt so uncomfortable in my skin. I’m very glad that there’s so much less of me to love right now.

By the way, shout-outs to a couple of fellow black women dealing with infertility–Kim and Deathstar–who both left comments on my last post and whose blogs I’ve been checking out. Between them, Loren, and the other folks I’ve been reading regularly, I’m going to have to put together a blogroll soon.

Pregnancy — in my dreams

October 11, 2007

I am off to the airport (to go to a conference in Savannah, GA) in about two hours, so this post will have to be short, as I have a workout, a shower, and breakfast to fit in in that time. BUT, I had to share this weird dream I had last night!

In the dream, I was totally pregnant. The weird part was, I was also, inexplicably, a time-traveler, sort of like Dana in Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred–which I just taught recently, so that may explain why my subconscious mind went there. So, in the dream, I was my current “self,” as in, October 2007 me who as far as I know is not pregnant, but I had time-traveled into a not-very-distant future where I *was* pregnant. Twice, as it happens. The first time I was maybe 6 months along, and my memories of that part of the dream are fairly fuzzy, unfortunately. Although I think Queen Latifah was there. ???

The second time I “time-traveled” to become my future pregnant self, though, I was fully nine months pregnant and had a ginormous belly, which was carrying quite low. I remember looking down and thinking, “maybe the baby has finally dropped.” My mother was also there, and I was asking her whether I had been a late baby (I think the baby I was carrying was a few days beyond due date–and a girl, as I remember saying, “Typical little girl! Just like her mother, always late!”). My mom, in her usual fashion when I try to subtly quiz her about her pregnancy with me, was maddeningly inconclusive: “Well, I’m not sure. I think you were on time, but I don’t really remember… It was 30 years ago!” As I said, though, I concluded that my daughter was totally following in her mom’s footsteps with going past due date.

In the dream three of my students came by the apartment to bring a gift for the baby, but were disappointed to discover that she hadn’t been born yet. Then I recall doing a lot of cleaning–for some reason our apartment was really dusty! oh wait, that’s pretty much like our non-dream reality. One thing that wasn’t like reality was that R&B singer Chris Brown was my first cousin in the dream, and somehow I had just discovered this fact! He and I were having some kind of funny conversation about my pregnancy, which included me saying, “I can’t believe you’ve been my cousin all this time! Think of how much cachet I’d have with my students if they knew!” Yes, I am rolling my eyes at my subconscious right now too.

Anyway, right before I woke up I think was getting closer to going into labor. There was something about a mucous plug falling out, or something? (Wow, was this dream specific.) I’m not entirely sure, but in the dream I remember thinking, “hmm, well that’s progress–now when will my water break?”

Was that weird or was that weird? Kind of enjoyable too, though. I was surprised at how natural it felt to have a huge belly and an impending journey through labor. I think my dreams may be as close as I get to pregnancy this month, though, since G and I again only had sex once pre-O (as far as I know–I’m not really sure when I ovulated). That kind of hole-in-one thing has never worked for us in the past, so it certainly would be a surprise for it to start now!