Hitting the year mark – what’s the definition?

It’s been a year since I started this blog. One very long, mostly frustrating year. My first post was an indicator of just how clueless I really was going into TTC, because I thought I actually knew things. I take that back, though: I did know things, but it was information for people who simply have sex, and boom, they’re pregnant. You know, most people. I naively thought that would be me, which now I find almost comical.

But the real reason for my post lies with the definition of trying to conceive. This goes hand in hand with the definition of being infertile.

There has been much debate in many people’s blogs lately over the definitions of these things. It does seem we can all agree that most doctors want you to be “trying for a year” before “infertility” can be your unofficial diagnosis and you are sent off to a fertility specialist. It also seems that most of us agree that’s insane.

The differences in opinion come when we get down to the little details, and I will use myself as an example. One year ago, my husband and I started trying. I had already been off birth control since April, and I was noticing irregular periods, but I was hoping it would settle on its own. We still tried. Then, soon after starting this blog, I was told by my old endocrinologist my TSH level was too high, an 8, and I must stop trying immediately, until further notice. That’s when my blog started to focus more on diet and thyroid health than anything else. After a month or so, we continued trying, and got the official “okay” from a doctor a few months later. And from there, I had long, irregular cycles, including an 82-day cycle that wrapped up in November, when I was finally given Provera and put out of my misery. I was fortunate enough to be able to see a fertility specialist earlier than most people, and started on Clomid in late December. The rest is history.

Since N and I started trying one year ago, I have ovulated exactly 3 times, to my knowledge. Maybe there might have been one more in there, soon after going off the pill, because I did get my period on my own the first time. But I won’t ever know for sure. These three times have been in January, March, and May of 2012. That’s three chances to get pregnant. Does that mean I’ve only been officially “trying” since the first Clomid pills did their job? I would have to say no.

I think it’s interesting that people who aren’t going through infertility question what “trying” means. I get it – for most people, you get a chance every single month, which I can’t even imagine. So when you’ve been trying for a year, you’ve “tried” 12 times. But is that what trying means – it only counts when you actually ovulate? I don’t think so. I think it’s more mental, with an addition of a physical act. We’ve been physically trying, when we are able, for one solid year. That might have meant many a night of praying to the gods that regular sex with no IUI, plus a miracle of releasing an egg would do the trick. Many nights of thinking, this cycle could be the one. Countless days (more than I care to think about) of checking my CM, charting, temping, analyzing, Googling….and I’ve released 3 eggs. Most people think “trying” means sex, and only when it counts (as in, when you ovulate). I refuse to think of it that way, because it would negate everything I’ve gone through in a year.

So as I see it, yes, we’ve been trying for a year. I know some of you have tried for way longer, multiple years, and I hope my time comes sooner than that. However, hitting the year mark is kind of a big deal, to me at least. I just can’t help thinking about the way my feelings about trying to conceive have changed, and my emotions as well. I went from over-the-top hopeful (I guess everyone starts out that way) to so upset, disappointed, devastated, to angry, to numb, and in the last few months, my current feelings are pushed right out of my head. I try not to even think about it. It’s not numb, necessarily, but it’s – wow, this is so frustrating that it’s not even worth coherent thoughts. I’ve tried to move on with the rest of my life, while a healthy dose of bitterness lingers.

As for the definition of infertile – it’s a debate I don’t fully want to jump into, because I honestly believe we shouldn’t all have to adhere to one specific dictionary definition. I agree with others who find it irritating if someone tries for a while, and then it works, no problem, and they called it infertility. I think once you find out what’s wrong, then it’s okay to place the label on yourself. If you weren’t able to see a specialist for a long time and then you found out something was wrong – I’m not saying your infertility started then. It started when you started trying. But you wouldn’t have known why until a doctor told you, most likely. I didn’t know what was wrong until I saw the specialist, but now I know: my eggs don’t grow and release on their own. Anovulation. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other auto-immune issues. I wouldn’t say that I’m “infertile”, because it sounds permanent. I will be fertile, but with the help of some major drugs. But it’s all how you define yourself. If you have a blog about trying to get pregnant, chances are, you’ve been through the ringer and you have enough to say about the topic to write about it on a regular basis. I’d say you have the right to claim infertility, for sure.

In the end, we write these posts because we’re looking for support, not judgement. I’ve had nothing but support since I started, but I know there are people out there who do judge. We all have different journeys, and I’m not sure putting “infertility” on a scale in severity from 1-10 will make anyone feel better. If anything, it’s a reminder that we’re all struggling, and it sucks.

The worst secret club ever.

I tend to want to blog for one of two reasons: I’m excited and want to share, or I’m down and out and want to vent. This post falls under the latter category.

Let me preface by saying this: I hate whining, I don’t like being weak, I don’t like admitting to weakness that lasts longer than one blog post. I allow myself one post at a time and that’s it for a while. So here’s my one post.

I think my follicle has frozen in time. It’s CD 23, and still, no positive OPK. First of all, the nurse on Friday swore I’d get my smiley face yesterday, as my follicle was 16 mm on Friday. Secondly, even if my follicle is just growing really, extremely slowly, I don’t want to ovulate this late! It’s too late! There’s a reason they say that ovulating really late isn’t the best thing. The latest I’ve ovulated (out of the 2 times, ha) is CD 24. But I got my smiley face for that cycle on CD 22 and 23. Now, with no smiley on CD 23, I wonder, is it ever going to come? Has my body played yet another cruel trick on me – forming and developing a follicle, giving me some signs of ovulation, getting my hopes up for this first IUI, and then deciding to freeze there? Apparently, that’s a thing.

What will come of this? Well, I’m calling tomorrow and demanding an ultrasound Wednesday. I’m sure I’ll go in, they’ll see my follicle is right where they left it Friday, and then I’ll need to stair-step again, getting more Clomid before this cycle is over. Then, I’ll have this super giant follicle, but I’ll have to wait another 20+ days to get it. Doesn’t it say something if you have to stair-step two cycles in a row? And on different dosages of Clomid, no less? That’s a sign. One round of Clomid in a cycle isn’t enough – of either 50 or 100. I need something else. I do know about those injectables – maybe that’s something they would give to me?

But either way – and here comes my rant – it’s not freaking fair! Not that I’m not ovulating, though that isn’t either. It’s not fair that I have to go through any of this. It’s not fair that any of you have to. It’s not fair that this rough little bump in my life has come during a time of pure bliss for seemingly everyone else I know, that they have gotten pregnant all at the very same time. You know, if everyone else was struggling to get pregnant, I’m sure it wouldn’t sting quite as much. And I don’t wish that on them. But every Facebook post, every corner I turn, even my relatives continue to hint – why?

Easter was – well, okay. Not one of my bests. Mostly because my favorite reason for Easter (I sound horrible saying this but it’s quite true) is the guiltless reason to eat copious amounts of candy. Peeps, jelly beans, Cadbury cream eggs, peanut butter cups, anything with dark chocolate or marshmellow – I love it. I love it all. After ice cream, candy was my next favorite food group. This was my first Easter sugar-free. That is, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy(ish)-free, grain-free, aka Paleo diet. Sure, I splurged on N’s sweet potatoes with splenda-infused brown sugar (Oh My!), and even indulged in a few sugar-free jelly beans (thanks, Mom, and Russell Stover), but it wasn’t the same.

Visiting my dad’s side of the family, whom I rarely see, I got a nice tummy-pat from my 80-something year old grandmother. Granted, she’s only about as tall as my stomach, but still – is she saying I’m fat? Or is she patting it to indicate that I should be pregnant right about now? Am I paranoid? Probably, but can you blame me?

At my in-law’s, a family friend of theirs commented as I held one of my dogs in my arms, “See? You don’t even need to have kids.” Now – this is a nice man. I’ve continued to say, regarding the 5,000 people who’ve made dumb comments like that to me in the last 6 months, all of these people mean well, and are nice. I even like some of them. But why the dumb comment at the Easter dinner table? Hmm?? I responded with, “Well….not exactly.” He must’ve been told by my MIL, or N’s aunt. They know, but I certainly haven’t personally told anyone else in his family about my struggles. Why else would he have said that if he didn’t know? So, what,  is my infertility the big Easter dinner table secret?

The truth is, I don’t want to hold these secrets anymore. As it is, I’ve told everyone I feel close to and the entire online world. And even that isn’t enough. I don’t want to keep this negative thing in my life around anymore – I want it out. If I’m going to keep any secrets at all, I only want ONE specific secret. And you all know what that is.

Daryl put it perfectly:  ” This community, in particular, feels more like a secret society, one to which having a set of unlucky circumstances is the only password.  One to which all the members wish they didn’t belong.”

I agree – and while everyone around me gets to head into the “we’re over the moon with excitement!” stage – I’m missing out on a rite of passage. It’s called motherhood. I’m stuck in a very weird place between an over-grown teenager and a young-looking, young-acting woman. Remember my Peeta celebrity crush? He’s 19 years old! The real issue going on there is that I either want to be back in college (with N, of course) living out my golden years without a care in the world, or with a baby in my arms. There is no happy medium. Some of you have described your possible ability to grow old without kids. For me, it’s not an option. We will exhaust absolutely everything to have a child, including adoption. Therefore – I know I’ll have kids. I’m not saying I won’t. Some way or another, it’ll happen. But this waiting-in-limbo thing, it’s horrible, painful, upsetting at times. It just flat out sucks.

And I have one other concern. Can you sense the bitterness, the poutiness, the unhappiness I display on a regular basis? The jealousy, the rage, the irritation? When I get pregnant, is that going to go away? Am I going to retreat back to my old self, happy-go-lucky with just a dash of being a bit high-strung? Am I going to find the positive in all the little things, stopping and smelling the flowers, if you will? Will I be a better listener to my friends, because I’ll be able to give them more of my brain space? Will I shower N with the attention and love he deserves, without ever having to fake happiness? Or have I done some irrevocable damage, and this will be the new me? I fear that this mutter-under-my-breath type of personality that has taken shape in the last year is becoming permanent, and I won’t even like to be around myself.

Okay, I’m done. As usual, I do feel a bit better. And after all this whining and ranting, maybe I’ll go and get a smiley face tomorrow. You never know. Sometimes you just need to get things off your chest! Thankfully, I know you guys have been there; you’ve been through it and then some. I only wish that none of us have had to.  No offense, but I want to belong to that other club, not this one.

Now, please, lil’ folly, please grow and turn into something hopeful.

Bitterness abounds, and it’s embarrassing.

A warning – this is a long, rant-filled post. I’m completely indulging in self-pity, and I hope to rid myself of that feeling by the time I’m done. Bear with me. Honestly, I almost don’t want to publish this post. I’m slightly embarrassed by my childlike emotions. Getting them out there, though, might take them right away.

Man, am I pissed off. I’m just – pissed. What was sadness has now channeled into a more thrilling emotion – anger. I’m angry.

Let me preface all of this by stating, again, that I know I don’t have it bad. I really don’t. And I don’t mean to imply that I do. It could be so much worse, and I’m grateful that it’s not. But I can only live in my own world, and experience my own situation. Thinking about how much worse I could have it doesn’t make this situation suck any less.

I’m mad for multiple reasons. I’ll attempt to sort them out.

Reason #1 – this one is a given. I’m pissed I’m not pregnant. Plain and simple. The timing was – impeccable. It couldn’t have been any better. My temps were beautiful. I had “symptoms”. There really should be no reason that this didn’t work. But it didn’t.

Reason #2 – I’m mad that the whole wide world has suddenly come down with a bad case of the pregnancy bug, and I haven’t caught it myself. Horrible thoughts like, “I doubt I’ll be pregnant by the summer” have come creeping into my brain. To be honest, I might have to leave Facebook. At least, I might stop checking it. Every time that I scroll through my news feed I am hit with someone’s baby something. Baby pictures, baby announcements, husbands swooning about their pregnant wives – seriously, I want to throw my phone out the window. I thought I’d be more mature about this, and handle this without excess drama but apparently at the moment I’m incapable of doing so.

Reason #3 (This is the biggest one) – I know I should be forgiven for this, but I am most angry at the fact that I allowed myself to believe, 100%, that I was pregnant. I’m so damn upset with myself for this. Ever since ovulation, I was so sure it happened. So sure, in fact, that I convinced my husband. We set out on our nightly walks, talking about how much vacation time N has, and if he could take off the month of December. Yes, my due date would’ve been Nov.25th. Stupid FF, for even telling me that. He would ask me, “You got a baby in that belly?” And I’d respond with, “I think so!” Stupid, stupid, stupid. It did dawn on me a few times during the TWW that I haven’t yet actually had a positive pregnancy test. Ha, I’d think. Oops. Well, once I started, I couldn’t stop. I was pregnant in my mind, and that’s it. And though I’m ridiculously disappointed, I’m more upset to read my husband’s disappointment on his face. He was so excited. I was so excited. And I convinced him it was happening. I thought my super-ovulation might have even released more than one egg, and we entertained the idea of multiples. We have names picked out (we have for a good year or so), and those names started to be spoken.

There’s a few other, secondary reasons I’m mad. (Gosh, I sound whiny. Oops.)

Last Thursday, in the midst of the end of the TWW craziness, I was asked by another person in my building if I was expecting. Since September, when I started at this school and met a whole bunch of new people, two have asked me if I’m pregnant, and one asked when I would be. Why, why, whyyyy do you have to ask me this?? And here’s the worst part of it – the woman who asked me last week asked because it looked like I was. You know what “you look like you’re pregnant” is code for? You guessed it – “You’re fat.”

Now, this woman is very nice, and I don’t know her from a hole in the wall. I was waiting to pick up my students from lunch and I had my arms crossed. I’m sure my nice little gut was sticking out, and my posture was probably bad. So she looked at my stomach, came over to me and said, “Oh, oh my, are you…are you expecting?” “No..”I replied. “Oh,” she said, “It just looked like you…” Then, realizing her mistake, she started apologizing, and I felt a little bit badly for her, because she has been nice throughout the time I’ve known her. So, I told her we were trying, but no, this is not a pregnancy belly. I’ve just…gained some weight.

Here’s the thing, and I know I’ve mentioned this before, too. I am self-conscious of my weight. I’m mad at myself, disgusted with the fact that I just binged-ate my way through this past weekend and today, and I’m aware that in the past year or so I have formed a nice little gut/butt….and I’m not happy about it. That said, I’m not very overweight. I could stand to lose 10-15 pounds. That’s it. I’m still in the “normal” range of my BMI. I think, though, that people notice that my gut and butt don’t fit the rest of my body. My frame screams that I should be smaller. And I’m not. It’s noticeable. The side view, in my opinion, isn’t pretty. I exercise though, and that’s not a problem. My problem is my food – I eat a LOT. A ton. As much as N, if not more sometimes. And he’s got 45 pounds on me. I emotionally eat. I stressfully eat. I eat when I’m bored. And lately, I’ve been eating when I’m upset and full of anxiety. That’s been, oh I don’t know, the last four weeks. Four months…a year. Two years. Which leads me to my next point.

I’m super-pissed at my body. Why do I have health problems? Why? I have healthy parents, I grew up healthy, what I actually eat is quite healthy, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I really barely even drink. I’ve been active all my life, I’ve made good choices. Why, then, in my 20’s, has my immune system decided to do a back flip? I should not have to have a reproductive endocrinologist, a rheumatologist, an endocrinologist, an allergist, etc. I should not have to be sugar-free in order to avoid my lips swelling up like a balloon. I should not have to be punished after eating a cupful of no-sugar added ice cream last night with a face full of lip hives this morning, as I hung my head in shame walking into the gym. For the love of God, just don’t look at my lips. I should not have to make sure my Synthroid goes down with enough water at 5 am every morning to keep my TSH levels at bay. I shouldn’t have to wonder if my positive ANA-titer is going to result in lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis someday. I shouldn’t have to wonder, when a cycle doesn’t work, whether it’s just bad luck this time, or if my endless autoimmune antibodies are at play.

Then again, none of us should have to go through what we go through. I know you’ve contemplated this yourself. I just wrote a giant post that can be summed up in three words – “It’s not fair!” And it’s not. Not at all.

Am I done yet? Yes, almost.

My gym is a brand-new YMCA. When I’m not taking a class, I’m hitting the treadmill. You know what window the treadmills face? The one out into the lobby, where on a Saturday morning there are more babies and toddlers there than adults. And they walk by, and wave, and smile, and parents coo. All while I’m attempting to run off my fat, as my sweat literally (no joke) drips down my arms. Yes, I’m nasty when I exercise.

I’m going to have to face Easter, seeing all my family and N’s family, with not a single good thing to say. I was really hoping to have a good secret. I almost want to hide from the world until I feel better. I haven’t been able to give myself to my family and friends. I’ve always been a good listener, and I like to give advice as well. I like being a part of my family and friends’ worlds. Lately, the only world I’ve been stuck in is my own. I don’t feel like I’ve been a good friend or family member the last few months or so. When I see anyone, honestly, what else is there to talk about? Is there anything else in my life as important and thought-consuming as TTC? No, there isn’t. Nothing else has mattered lately. And I’m not happy about that, either. I used to like my job, and I had other interests. I need to get those back. No one wants to hear me whine again and again, and I don’t feel comfortable doing so. Hence this blog. Sorry to those who get a double dose – on the blog and in real life!

I’m done. Phew.

That was a humungous dose of whiny, “I’m feeling sorry for myself” ranting. I do apologize. I never thought I’d become such a bitter person. I don’t like this new personality trait. I’m going to have to work on it.

And you know what? I do feel better, so thank you. Nothing’s more unpleasant than a whiny, overweight infertile. If I’m going to continue having issues conceiving a child, I might as well look good doing so.

I’m already wishing I didn’t write this post. I feel so much less anger and sadness right now that it’s almost worth deleting. I feel better. I’ve already started the new cycle, after all, and I just need to look ahead. Don’t look back.

Binge eating needs to stop, immediately. I need to count my calories. Work on looking my best, and try to forget about baby stuff. I need to put my bitterness away, at least until next cycle. I need to remind myself why I used to love my job. I need to invest in a hobby that has absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy.

I will learn to love life again, without a child in it. For now.

 

 

Good Little Blogger

Happy Leap Day and Hump Day, everyone. In CT, we’re celebrating it (the leap part, that is) with a snowstorm. While we’re not expecting much by way of accumulation, we did get an early release from school, which allows me to have the time today to write a blog post.

As usual, my thoughts are all over the place.

1) Our school system gave us a “half day” early release. I would just like to say that getting out 1 and a half hours earlier than normal is not a half day. I’m glad to get home earlier, but a real half day would be great. The kids were all excited about the snow and very hyper.

2) I have a big blogging question for you all to answer. Okay, so when I try to attract more people to my blog, I do the proper thing and go out and find other new blogs myself, comment on them, and sign up for their blogs. My hope is always that after signing up and commenting, the person’s blog I’m looking at will do the same by coming over to check my blog out, comment, and sign up. Here’s the problem: I have done this so many times (which has been a huge help to my blog) that I’m now reading over 30 blogs. I’m caught up in everyone’s IF stories, successes, and heartbreaks, and I look forward to reading new posts. However, on a daily basis I have at least 10 emails of people’s posts to read, plus, through the RSS feeder app on my phone, at least another 15 or so posts. A day. I usually try to read as much as I can, and comment on it all, but I’m never completely successful.

I want to be a good little blogger, and meet new people, follow their journeys, and write comments. However, with all the blogs I am signing up to read – I really don’t have time! I like the traffic on my blog. Though it really shouldn’t be about that, and I do write for myself, I like the audience, and I think having one makes me a better writer. So what do I do?

How do you all handle this with your large followings? Did you sign up for everyone’s blog that signed up for yours? I certainly don’t want to be insulting. But I can’t keep doing this, or I will never have time for anything!

3) CD 14 (or 35, if you’re keeping track). We need to keep practicing, and we’re a bit overdue. I know you’re supposed to keep the supply shelves stocked (ha) regularly anyways, but when ovulation seems so far away/never happening, it’s hard to keep up the regularity. That said, my CM has finally gone colorless (sorry for the TMI), and it never really did that last time when I didn’t ovulate, so I’d say I might be getting closer. I keep punching myself in the ovaries to see if it hurts a lot, like it did the only other time I’ve ovulated, and nope, they don’t hurt. Damn. I’m kidding, by the way. But I do lean up against the counter to see if it hurts…because last time I felt a super sharp pain when I leaned up against a counter. OPK’s still suck, and still that second line is lighter than the control line. My temps have been all over the place the last few days, confusing me and sending me into a mild panic, but no, I still don’t think I’ve ovulated yet.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again – I would take the TWW over this crap any day. Waiting to ovulate is torture, because it may just never happen! Waiting for a period – well, at least I can say I tried, I charted, I know what my body is doing, and it’s out of my hands. I don’t feel that way now.

4) I’m hot. No, not that kind, but thank you anyway! Knock on wood, I have had basically no side effects from Clomid. However, after doubling my dosage, I have noticed one actual side effect. Hot flashes. They are almost comical. All week, at school, I’ve gotten so extremely hot all of a sudden, and I open the window, and the kids are freezing! Sorry, kids. Today I was wearing a scarf during the day, and all of a sudden I was dying. Had to take the scarf off and open a window, in the middle of a snowstorm. The thing is – I have also had hot flashes when my thyroid is all out of whack, and my TSH jumps. Those hot flashes leave me literally soaking wet in the middle of the night, nightclothes clinging to me for dear life. Those hot flashes require showers, and then blankets, and force me to check my temperature to make sure I’m not dying of the plague or something. Those hot flashes suck.

These Clomid hot flashes do not suck. The only thing that sucks is that I get hot, often. Maybe 5-7 times a day. But I don’t actually sweat. I just get super flushed. An open window, or throwing back the sheets, does the job. Also, these Clomid hot flashes are short. They last maybe 5 minutes, and then I’m back to normal. It’s really not bad at all, and I don’t even mind it. But it’s funny, how often my students are hearing me say how hot I am during a single day. Is this what menopause is like?

5) Snooki. You know what, screw her. Well, someone actually decided to do just that (Gionni?). I hate Jersey Shore, for the record, and I hate Snooki. And you know what I really, really hate? I hate that she’s pregnant. Yep, knocked up. Because the one thing the world really needs is a mini-Snooki. Seriously, she can get pregnant, and I can’t? Seriously?!

Oh, and Jennifer Garner popped, giving birth to baby #3, Samuel. Uma Thurman is pregnant, as well. Jessica Simpson is due any day now. Anyone else?! Come on, I can take it. So I get home today, flip on the TV, and there’s this afternoon news show on, where a nutritionist is showing off foods that pregnant people should eat. REALLY? I took notes, just for when it’s finally my turn. Kidding.

6) That’s about all I’ve got for today. Talk about random thoughts. But I do have one more thing to say: I love blogging. I’ve said that since the beginning but over the course of time, my reasons for loving it have evolved. In the last 2 weeks or so, I’ve suddenly felt like I know you guys out there! I follow your stories and your ups and downs, and I feel like I really know you. I even share your stories with my husband. When you comment, I know who you are, I know your story. I guess what I’m saying is, in the last few weeks, I don’t feel like we’re strangers any more. We’re all on the same page. That, above all else, might be my favorite reason to blog.

Babies and pregnant teenagers – my favorite.

Okay, yesterday completely sucked. Like, really bad.

First, after my morning post, I wallowed in self-pity. I went to the gym, continued to sulk. Stopped at my mother’s, continued to sulk. Came home, cried in the shower. I mean, it was very unlike me. Other than yesterday and the day before, I do not remember the last time I had a cry like that. It’s been months, at least. Of course, the fact that my husband showered before me and used all the hot water, leaving me to ponder my infertile fate while freezing cold, didn’t help.

Then I ate lunch and felt a little better (hello, low blood sugar).

The afternoon was not horrible. We went grocery shopping, walked the dogs, nothing major. I felt better. Then, we went to my husband’s aunt’s house to celebrate the 21st and 18th birthdays of two of his cousins. Let me tell you a story about that.

I have read numerous posts by many of you, describing a situation that involved babies/pregnant people that you desperately wanted to get out of, and couldn’t. As in, you were trapped. While I always felt bad for you when I read your posts, I could never relate. Until last night. And now I totally understand.

There was a baby there. I knew she would be there, but I hadn’t given it too much thought. Leading up to this party, I was mostly thinking about how I couldn’t eat the pizza, cake, or ice cream, and was pondering how much my life really does suck when I’m forced to find some frozen gluten-free thing at the grocery store and show up with it at someone’s party. And to skip dessert – my old favorite thing.

Now, this baby. She’s the child of a 19-year old. The baby is a year old, so she had her when she was 18. The father is not around. This baby has been “raised” by this 19-year old and basically all of her friends, including my DH’s cousin. I haven’t particularly cared about this since watching teenagers with their own baby doesn’t make me jealous, just angry. Then I watched this baby melt the hearts of all my in-laws. It was seriously heartbreaking. I don’t know why, but watching my MIL hold and coo at this baby made me nauseous and upset. My DH’s aunt, whom I like a lot, was holding and singing to her. Even my DH was playing with her. She was the life of this party. As I sipped my water (I’m not drinking until there’s a baby in my arms, damnit) I thought about how the baby in my MIL’s arms should be mine. I don’t care if it goes another few months, but my DH is the oldest cousin (by a few years) and we need to have the first grandchild. I’m not concerned about my cousins yet, but you never know. So that sucked. This baby – I completely ignored her. At one point – causing utmost stress – she waddled over to me, arms outstretched. She wanted me to pick her up. Really?! I have always loved babies, loved picking them up, etc. Not last night – not with the baby everyone was cooing over. Not happening. Luckily, she turned away at the last minute, realizing she had no idea who I was, and turned toward someone nearby. Phew.

It gets better. A few hours into the party, and a couple shows up. I’ve seen them before, friends of another one of DH’s cousins. They are 21. “Mama!” my in-laws called her. “Congratulations!” Oh myyy goodness. Yes, she was pregnant. They aren’t engaged or anything, I know the father is still in college. She was four months along. As I listened to my in-laws ask how she was feeling and her describe her pregnant self, I seriously thought I was going to throw up right there on the table.

Of all days, the one day where I don’t ovulate and I’m supposed to, when Clomid doesn’t do it’s job and I’ve been waiting 24 days for this, a cute baby and a pregnant teenager are NOT what I need. I was trapped. Totally trapped. I kept thinking about how I couldn’t wait to tell you all this story! I know so many of you can relate.

To top it off, completely unrelated to babies, at the party I got a text from my father’s GF. My father had gallbladder surgery Friday. I had been told it went well. Then last night, this text says that it turns out his gallbladder was gangrenous, causing him to not wake up from the anesthesia right away. Well a whole entire day went by, and he had still not woken up. He is currently in the icu, and the GF is going to text me this morning and let me know what’s going on. I’m trying not to be overly concerned, but when toxins might have spread throughout your body and you’re not waking up from anesthesia two days later, that worries me.  I was pretty upset last night. Luckily, I didn’t hear from her overnight, so I’m taking no news as good news.

The DH and I are supposed to be having a date night, which I’m very much looking forward to. Hopefully, my father does okay and I don’t need to be making a hospital trip today. It’s a new day – no tears today. But I still don’t have a smiley face, on CD 25. And as a few of you said – we are going to keep trying. What the  heck. Until the nurse tells me it’s not happening and we’re starting over, I guess we’ll keep on keepin’ on.

 

I’m not in a funk.

I’m not in a funk. Don’t worry. However, this is the same time during my last cycle that I was in a funk, and I know why. It’s CD 17, and there are no signs of ovulation. I’m not overly concerned, not yet anyway, because I did not ovulate on Clomid Round 1 until CD 24. But that’s still a week away. Last cycle at this time, I was sure it wasn’t going to happen at all, and that it would be a waste of a cycle. This time, I’m telling myself I’ll apparently ovulate around the same time, so no panicking until after CD 24. So, like I said, I’m not in a funk. But geez, this waiting to ovulate thing. Why couldn’t I have taken Clomid days 3-7, and therefore ovulated earlier? Why has my nurse just shoved the pills at me and basically said, “Good luck”?

Plus, I’m using those cheaper, non-digital OPK’s now, and I want to know: Are they accurate? My second line in the morning is always very faint, but visible. In the afternoons it isn’t visible at all. Am I drinking too much water after lunch? I’ve been holding off going to the bathroom from noon to at least 4:00, sometimes later, but I do have some water in between. Is that okay?

My temperature was the exact same four days in a row, which is always concerning regarding the quality of the thermometer, but that same thermometer worked great last cycle. Just to check, I used  it last night, and got a different reading. Phew, it does work. Then this morning’s temp – the same temp as last night!

Here is what it comes down to. I just want to be sure I am doing absolutely everything in my power to make this baby. Even if it doesn’t happen, I want to know that I did everything I could. That  means I can’t mess up 1) my temps, 2) observing my CM, 3) my BD timing, and 4) reading my OPK’s.

Right now my temps are acting oddly, my CM is constant but not what I’m looking for, my BD timing is…well, okay so far. A few days-in-a-row and a few every-others, and my OPK’s…well the second line is barely there. That’s all fine and good as long as it’s correct. As long as I’m not making an error. I’ll go ahead and wait until next weekend, when it should be time, and then we will try with all our  mights.

This cycle, as I have said before, I’m not telling  my husband when I get the smiley face, or now, the second line. That was way too much pressure for him last time. He doesn’t want to know. That’s fine with me, actually. But it does make it quieter around here. In the past few years, and especially months, we have talked about everything regarding TTC. Everything. He hears it all, and we talk about it. Now that he doesn’t want to know, I don’t have much to share regarding that. Oh well. One more week and then after that, then I may start panicking. I’ll be calling up my nurse and cursing her out for not getting me that CD 21 blood test.

As I re-read this post, I think to myself, “Holy teacher!” Talk about controlling. I’ve always been that way – a total teacher by nature. Slightly Type-A, with both feet planted firmly on the ground, saying, “Okay, how can I fix this? How can I change this? How can I control this?” I guess I picked the right career, at least. And of course, after a certain point, I can’t control it, and that drives me absolutely insane.

I wasn’t going to post today, actually. I have spent the last few hours in the Saturday morning dawn doing some “blog business” – that is, scouting the internet for new blogs. I used the blogroll on Stirrup-Queens site, found a few areas that might match me, and clicked away. Can I just tell you how many times I clicked on a link to a blog where the person was pregnant? Not only that, but at least 5 I clicked on were pregnant with twins? Or had just given birth to twins? These blogs were in the wrong section, obviously. But seriously. I think in two hours of searching I found one, maybe two blogs, that were in a similar place I am now, that were not pregnant. Is everyone getting pregnant right now?? Needless to say, I didn’t have much luck this morning.

You guys would know better than I would, anyway. So if you know of a great blog that you’d like to share, I would love to check it out!

“Did I just hear you say you were pregnant?”

There’s something about Thursdays. I don’t know what it is, but when I wake up on Thursday mornings, I anticipate having a good day (or at least decent), and blogging about what I am thankful for in my life. I’d complete this ideal day with a smile on my face.

For whatever reason, my Thursdays are never like this, proving to be very difficult in writing a “thankful” post. That said, tonight I’ve decided to split my post up into two separate trains of thought, so that I won’t feel like so much of a hypocrite while I complain/vent in a post meant to be thankful.

Guess which post this is?

This week has not been the best, work-wise. While I’m not going to go into it, I’ll simply say that it’s been more stressful than normal, leaving me to come home late, get immediately into sweatpants and heave loud, long sighs into the air while stuffing my face with Tostitos chips. Here’s what has happened today, in addition to these work-woes:

1) At lunch, my teacher friends and I were discussing pregnancy cravings. One of my friends had a jar of pickles, and mentioned she craved them when she was pregnant with her son. Then a few others joined in the conversation, I mentioned my mother had a problem with orange juice, and it was all well and good. Well, there were a lot of people in that lunchroom. One person in particular, I have known a few years, but not personally. I know nothing about her, and she knows nothing about me. As the conversation dwindled and I got up to go to the bathroom, she stopped me on my way out the door, had me lean in close, and said, “Did I just hear you say you were pregnant?”

Yup, that’s me. I’m not showing or anything, but you know what? You found out my secret – congratulations! Oh yeah, and you were the very first person I was dying to tell. Thanks for asking.

Seriously?? I do not even KNOW this person! Little does she know how much I think about getting pregnant, and how badly I want to. How it literally hurts, physically, sometimes, when I see a baby or watch Up All Night. Here’s a thought – if I was lucky enough to be pregnant right now, why on earth would she think I would tell her, when I’d clearly be in the early stages, in a lunchroom full of people, being someone I do not even know??

I simply uttered a loud, resounding, “No…Nope!” and proceeded to walk out without another comment. When I got back from the bathroom, she was gone. There are some things you just don’t say. You know, like “How far along are you?” when you’re not sure if the person is pregnant or not. Or when you hear a conversation regarding something to do with pregnancy and you guess that the youngest one there is probably pregnant, and most likely will want to tell you so if you just ask.

I’m really not upset – I’m past that sort of emotion when I get that question, I think. More irritated and dumb-founded. So that was fun.

2) I called my nurse this morning and left a message. See, a few weeks ago, she left me a message saying, “We faxed in your Clomid prescription.” That was it – no instructions, nothing. I took it on CD 5-9, and from there I’m just…going with it. Anyway, last cycle, I had my blood taken on CD 21, to see if I ovulated. I hadn’t by that time, but I was gearing up to, and they were able to pick that up in the blood test. So I called this morning to set up my appointment to have my blood done. CD 21 will be Wednesday. I decided that even if I have to take a half-day to get down there and have it done, I would. I’m curious to see if my body will react the same.

Imagine my surprise when I checked my phone after school and the message left on my voicemail went something like this: “Well, see, you ovulated on 50 mcg of Clomid, so we already know that this dosage does work for you. We don’t do blood tests during future cycles, because we already know you ovulate. Let me know if you have any more questions.”

Wait, what? You don’t monitor your patients after the first round? What if I don’t ovulate this time? I mean, I assume I will, but just because I did once doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed! I have a very popular doctor. His joined practice, owned by my college, is one of the best in the state. I know many people who have used him and found success. But what’s up with this? Maybe this is standard procedure and I just never knew? I just assumed they’d want to keep tabs on me. She also gave me no future directions – when should I try? How often? What do I do if I get pregnant this cycle, or if I don’t? I got nothing.

It’s not a big deal, I guess. I think what’s scary is that my lifeline has just been taken away. My life jacket. I know how to tread water, but I feel so much safer doing it with a life jacket on. Without that, I have to tread water the normal way, like the way everyone else would do it. I have to use my OPK’s, chart my BBT, check my CM, all that good stuff, which I already do and have been doing for months. But it was nice to have a nurse watching me too, letting me know when it was coming. Now I’m in the same pool as everyone else TTC. Good luck mastering that timing.

This brings me to a thought I’ve been tossing around the last day or two. I’ve been Mrs. Optimism, for whatever reason, as you know. When I tell myself it’s happening soon, I don’t have to wait as much. The waiting is less torturous, because I can “see” the end in sight. Here’s the thing. I know plenty of people who have no medical conditions, who chart their BBT and use OPK’s, and who master their BD timing. Still it doesn’t work right away, and can take many months. Even if you do everything right, it’s only a 20% chance. For Clomid users, it goes up to 30%. But still. That’s nothing! Last cycle, my timing was..decent, but not great. I blamed my not getting pregnant on that. This cycle, I’ve been determined to try and try and try. Get that timing down perfect. But even if I do, there is only a slim chance it’ll happen. In other words – there is really nothing any of us, including those who have no medical conditions, can do. After a certain point, it’s completely out of our hands. So my optimistic attitude, stemming from my belief that I will get this timing down perfectly this cycle, has been slightly ruptured, because I remind myself that even if I do it all correctly, there’s really no guarantee. Not even close. I can feel optimistic when I feel in control. But when I don’t, keeping up that momentum is tricky. I’m still telling myself I will give it all I have, and it’s going to work…soon. But I have to tell myself that even if I do everything right, it still might not happen.

CD 15, and I have no idea how close I am to ovulation. My BBT is low, ready to make the jump whenever, my OPK’s (which have been switched from digital to the cheaper “read the line” stick and are way harder to interpret) are pointing to negative. My CM…well who knows. That’s always hard to read for me. Last cycle, it didn’t happen until CD 24. I am prepared for an early ovulation, so we will keep trying.

Okay, now on to a more pleasant attitude…that of thankfulness.