when i didn’t turn up pregnant after taking clomid and gonal-f in the spring of 2005, dr h upped the ante: i went straight to gonal-f. do not pass go. (definitely do not collect $200.) i was on a fairly aggressive regimen (the logistics of which i have blocked) but it did what it was supposed to: it produced a nice lining with a few good-looking eggs, which opened the door for those timely “relations” to seal the deal.

the hardest thing about this sequence was that dr h, who had been in my city in 2004, had moved in december 2004. out of state. not super far out of state, and both his new practice and my home were each fairly close to our respective state borders. i could get to his office, barring bad traffic, in about 40 minutes.

but since i was being examined every 48 hours the drive was starting to feel like a little much. and because the drive was starting to feel like a burden, so was the whole protocol. so somehow i was not surprised when it didn’t work.

it seemed time to revisit the whole scenario. we had failed to conceive twice, even though the medical medicated odds were in our favor. this was pretty new for us. while we had certainly gone months before without conceiving, that usually only happened when s was in the hospital or otherwise recuperating from his nasty cycling accident that had punctured his lung and fractured his elbow. if we both were feeling good and bothering to have sex, we generally wound up pregnant, if only for a few weeks or months.

i was beginning to feel like a science experiment gone bad. how much crap was i supposed to fill my body with in order to make it do something it normally did quite well on its own? how long was i supposed to let my body refuse to cooperate before acknowledging failure? s and i had one answer to these questions: quit the meds and go back to “normal.” our new version of normal was hard enough; we didn’t need this extra stress and uncertainty and disappointment. but dr h had another answer: up the ante again. get serious. force the body to work.

yikes. i’m darwinian enough that this made me really nervous. s too. so we took a much-needed vacation (to alaska! alaska in july is the place to be, i tell you) and as we hiked ourselves into a blistery exhaustion we decided to let dr h proceed. we’d follow his lead for a little bit longer. but we knew that we didn’t have much more in us.

so we returned home to those nasty fertility meds, round 3.