Cluck, cluck.

I am such an idiot. More on that in a few minutes.

Thank you for all of the comments and thoughts regarding my funky “maybe” ovulation stick. Unfortunately, I did not have any more digital tests to use, and I was not able to poas that afternoon to be sure.

Then, yesterday morning, this happened:

That is a beautiful sight, is it not? One of my closest friends uses these cheaper, non-digital sticks, and she once told me, “When it’s positive..you’ll know.” She was right. The test line, on the right, showed up before the control line. It literally popped out within 10 seconds. As you can see, the test line is darker than the control line. Hell’s yes.

Also, yesterday, my temp jumped, from 96.9 to 97.5. In addition, I had cramps like NO OTHER. Seriously, it was unreal. It was horribly painful. Let’s talk about this ovulation pain for a minute. No doubt about it – it’s the best pain I’ve felt in a long time. That’s a happy pain, right there. When the pains first started, on Saturday, it was some dull cramping on my right side. “Yes,” I thought, “I’m ovulating!”. Then, Sunday, the cramping continued, becoming slightly more intense. I realized it hadn’t happened yet, and I had that almost-positive stick, which I showed you in the last post. Then, yesterday, after that beautiful stick, a temp jump, and a trip to the doctor’s to get my blood done, I was excited to get this voicemail after work. “Today’s the day!” the nurse said, “You are surging right now.” And my cramping became unreal. It turned into a sharp, stabbing pain, mostly on my right side, but then later, on my left.

So, I was a hot mess yesterday. Anxious, excited, beside myself, basically. I couldn’t even write a post about it. I know I seriously need to chill when I lay an egg, but see, it’s only my second time dropping one, and it’s so exciting!! And I didn’t want to blow the opportunity.

I did not tell N. He did ask if the nurse called, and I said, “Yes, but I thought you didn’t want to know.” He was hemming and hawing and I decided I did not want him to know when exactly I am ovulating, because last time that caused some nerves that I would rather avoid this time around. I said, “What I’ll tell you is that I am going to ovulate this cycle, but I’m not telling you when. I hope you can hold out for the long haul.” I’m a horrible liar and I’m not sure if he saw right through it. But I made him believe I will be ovulating later in the week when, really, it was last night. That said, we’re going to follow the nurse’s orders and try tonight too, but then I’m going to tell him the truth.

So why am I an idiot? Okay, correct me if I’m wrong ladies, and I obviously must be, but I have read in about 5,000 places in the last year that once your temp jumps, you have already ovulated. It doesn’t hurt to try that day, but it’s most likely over. This is why they say charting your BBT is not the best way to pinpoint when you are going to ovulate, but it’s great at telling you after the fact. You know, because once your temp jumps, it’s after the fact. Has anyone else read this besides me? Boy, was I dead wrong. I mean, totally, completely wrong. Here’s the truth (which you all may already know):the day your temp jumps is the day you ovulate. How did I not know that? I thought it was the day before your temp jumps. But no, because I got my positive stick on temp jump day, and the nurse said I was surging on temp jump day, and that’s when I could literally feel my ovary(ies?) burst and release that sucker – that’s the day to do it, people! So, last time I ovulated, I completely missed the boat. I really did.

I have to thank my ovaries (and, no doubt, this double dosage of Clomid) for letting me know days in advance, through cramping, that I was going to ovulate. Without the pain indicators, I might have missed it. Therefore, we tried ever since I had my pain….and the night before that (coincidence). Because I thought I might be ovulating when I first felt the pain, we kept going straight through. So….Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and today. The timing seems exactly right, but I am a little concerned that by having it work out like that, the sperm count may have depleted a bit. He has a healthy count, so hopefully that is not a problem. We definitely covered our bases, I think. I keep over-analyzing it in my head, the timing, but I’m going to just say other than maybe having it too much, the timing looks just right.

My mind has occasionally wandered to that pain in my left ovary. Is it possible I laid two eggs? While all I really want is a healthy pregnancy, the thought of two eggs dropping, and meeting up with two sperms, makes my head spin. Holy crap. I got this idea in my head, besides from the pain, because of a blogger’s post I recently read. (I really want to give this person credit right now, but I clearly read too many blogs, and I can’t remember whose it was! Help?) This blogger was also on Clomid and was being monitored by ultrasound by her RE. Her RE found she had four dominant follicles forming on CD 10, and the RE told her she might want to consider skipping this cycle, because of a high risk of multiples. She was on the fence about it. This left me with a thought. My RE doesn’t do ultrasound check-ups for someone not having an IUI, and said the blood test is good enough. Who knows how many eggs I just dropped? Probably one, maybe two, but what if it was more than that? Double dose of Clomid, double the pain…who knows? I wasn’t monitored. And after that pain in the other ovary I started to wonder. Either way, it doesn’t matter to me, and I’ll find out eventually if I am actually pregnant.

After tonight, the waiting really begins. I’m already breaking all of the rules, by being so.freaking.excited. I think the timing was right, I definitely “super” ovulated…I did all I could. I will not google anything..yet. I’m good right now. I can wait. Meanwhile, I will go to bed crossing all of my fingers and toes that this will actually turn into something for me. Talk about getting your hopes up too soon. What am I doing?? But I can’t help it. I’m clearly still beside myself. Stupid body. I do not release eggs on my own. That really sucks. But Clomid helps (though apparently only every other cycle..) I am counting on Clomid to get me pregnant. Soon.

I’m too excited to even think much about the photo challenge. Tomorrow, when it’s all over, I’ll be back to it.  Besides, yesterday and today was “commute” and “challenge”. I don’t have much for a commute (10 minutes, suckas!) but I’ll give you a challenge. This picture, above, was a challenge. That stick was challenging me to attempt to make a baby. We faced the challenge head on. Here’s hoping for a miracle.

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March Photo Challenge!

Happy Friday! Here’s the truth – I couldn’t wait to come home today and blog. I think I want to make blogging my new full-time job. More on that later. My blog has a new look, and I can’t tell you how much I like it. It’s so much better than before! Glad I did it. Changing themes on WordPress is really quite simple, luckily. So that’s that.

I am doing something new with my blog for the month of March. I got this idea from Belle, the creator. Many other bloggers have jumped on the bandwagon, and I think I’m going to give it a try. Here’s what it entails.

Here are the rules:

  1. Challenge begins Thursday, March 1, 2012 and ends on March 31. (But you can join in whenever you want!)
  2. Take a daily photo inspired by that days prompt. You don’t need a fancy camera for this.
  3. Post your photos, either daily or every couple of days, to your blog with a note as to what the prompt was.

I do not know exactly how this will play out for me, but I’ll give it a try. What I love about the photo prompts is that they are open to interpretation, so all of the participants’ pictures will be so different. I can also say that I may not take a new picture every day. More likely, I will dig through my vault of pictures that I’ve collected the last few years and use something from there. I have a great, fancy, expensive camera that I rarely use (oops, iphones are so much quicker), and I’ve taken many pictures with it that are worth sharing.

So here we go. Yesterday’s picture prompt was “self-portrait”, and today’s is “feet”.

After a few minutes of hemming and hawing, I decided to go with this one for my self-portrait. The quality is crap, because it was a scanned picture. It was taken 10 years ago, when I was 17. That is my husband and I, at our senior prom. Someone else snapped the picture and was kind enough to print it and give it to me a few days later, and I absolutely loved it. It was my favorite picture of us up until that point. While I’ve got plenty of better quality, newer pictures of us, there will be plenty of time to post them. This one I’m proud of.

Go ahead and mentally add about 15-20 pounds to each of us, straighten my hair, and add a few years to my husband’s face, and that’s how we look now. I honestly do not look any different, facially, than in this picture. Hence why my ID is always being checked at restaurants. That’s another story for another post, though.

Okay, now “feet”. Let me first say this. I hate feet. Hate them. Other than baby feet, of course. While I won’t comment on the feet of other people, I do not show my feet, ever, unless it’s so hot during the summer that I just can’t handle socks anymore. My feet belong in socks, and slippers, or fake Uggs. Now, they aren’t that bad. They are pretty big, but they are soft from years of not going barefoot. I just don’t like feet. And I really don’t like toes. They’re so….weird. I don’t even like the word “toes”. My feet are properly secured at the moment in socks and black fake Uggs. They will soon make the switch to cozy slippers for the rest of the night. This is why I am not going to upload a picture of my feet. It would basically have to be over my dead body that I would show off my bare feet to the world. Yuck. Disgusting. Sorry, it’s just not happening. Instead, I’m going to show you a super cute picture of feet.

Sadie Feet! She always crosses her paws like a little lady, though that’s about the only thing she does that could be considered “ladylike”. Either way, cute little paws are way better than size 9 1/2 grown woman feet. GROSS.

So the March Photo Challenge is underway. Thanks, Belle!

Meanwhile, the world continues to turn. I’m CD 16, still nothing worth noting by way of ovulation, but I will be getting my blood taken on Monday, CD 19, to see how my eggs stand. I’m excited to find out if this cycle is actually going to happen or not, though I do not expect to ovulate before Monday.

My Fitness Pal can suck it, but man, does it work. I’ve lost about 2 pounds in the last week and half or so, using it. That said, I’m starting to slack on recording everything and that is not good, so I will try again tomorrow.

I’m so happy to have the weekend here, and I’m hoping to fill it (after cleaning, grocery shopping, gym, etc.) with blogging, reading Redbook Magazine, and catching up on my tv shows. Yum.

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.

(Manic) Monday Mind Dump

Happy Monday, everyone. I know how much you look forward to this day each week; I know I do. Ugh.

Today is a Manic Monday. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. My thoughts are just kind of all over the place.

My father was released from the hospital Saturday night. When I went to see him Saturday afternoon, he was 90% better, eating and moving around the room, being hyper. Apparently he went down to the lobby the night before and played the piano for the nurses. Typical. But his memory was still not perfect. He was remembering things that never happened. Either way, he was talking completely fine, unlike two days prior to that when he could barely say my name or purse his lips to give me a kiss. I am more than relieved he is home, and that this nightmare is hopefully behind us. I don’t think he realizes how scary this was, and how close to death he could have been.

He took so long to wake up properly from anesthesia due to 3 possible factors: He never went under anesthesia before, his medications were stopped cold turkey prior to surgery and he continued without them for a few days after, and one doctor thinks some of the septic toxic garbage from his gallbladder entered his bloodstream and traveled to his brain.

Either way, we will never know exactly what happened, but it took him a week and a half to fully emerge. I’m just grateful my stress levels can now return to normal.

I basically forgot about Clomid and this double-cycle. Now that the stress is over, my brain has gone back to its old ways, mostly. It’s CD 12 (I just started over, counting-wise), and I have no idea when I’m going to ovulate. And it’s kind of freaking me out.

Even though I have done all this before, this cycle I’m kind of worrying about it. What if I don’t have EWCM? What if my OPK’s never turn positive? What if I drink too much water before my evening pee and it shows negative when it’s really positive? These things happen to people, you know. And here’s a big one – what if I don’t ovulate at all, like last time, and this whole thing is for nothing?

I had read somewhere that Clomid needed to be taken every day at the same time. On the last day, I took it an hour later. Is this okay?

These questions seem silly, but they leave me feeling anxious. If I ovulated every month, like normal people, this wouldn’t be an issue (well, none of this would be an issue). I would have the same signs every month, and I’d know that the day was coming. But now, I don’t know my signs. Now that I’ve switched to the cheaper OPK’s, it’s even a little harder. This morning that second line was….pretty dark, close to the control line. But not exactly the same. Does the second line get darker as I get closer to ovulating? Am I getting close?

A few days ago, I was feeling pretty negative about this. My body is so messed up, with all the autoimmune crap. I might not ovulate on this dosage either, and then there’s only one more dosage left before Clomid is thrown out the window. Then what?! I really, really wanted Clomid to work. However, last night I did some googling (I know, I know) and it actually made me feel better! There are many people who did not ovulate on 50 mg, but did on 100. Granted, I did ovulate on 50 once, but then I didn’t, so I’m not sure which boat I fit into on that one. But you know what? I just might ovulate this cycle, on this third round of Clomid. I just might.

Yeah, I think I probably will. So you can understand, then, why I’m obsessed with making sure I don’t miss it! Not sure if I want to enter into trying every single day for two weeks straight though.

So that’s it. That’s my brain today. Oh, and My Fitness Pal, the app on my phone that tracks my calories, has also occupied some brain space. I know a lot of you love it out there. I.hate.it. I really do. You know why? Because I had a salad today, and do you know how long it takes to enter in every single vegetable in my salad, plus how much of it I ate? But I will continue using it, because it works. It really, really does. I better have some weight loss in the next few weeks, that’s all I have to say.

And now, I’m off to the gym. You know why? Because I ran out of calories on MFP, and the more I exercise, the more calories I get to eat. Off I go.

 

Stair-stepping.

It’s been a trying few days. Worse than I originally imagined. That said, let me first stop and say that everyone has a story, and there are people going through horrible, devastating things right now. While I did not know about her blog previously, I have found many bloggers mentioning her today and her baby, so I will keep her in my mind as well. Everyone has a situation, but the things that happen in our lives just occur at different times.

This past weekend, I was supposed to ovulate. Determined to make it happen this cycle, I had our timing down perfectly, without telling the husband when or if I was ovulating. I’ve consulted my chart like a champ for the past week and a half. I’ve used OPK’s – both the cheaper versions and the rest of my digitals – twice a day, every day, for the last week and a half. Remember my optimism? I was telling myself, just a few weeks ago, this will happen this time. I can feel it.

Ha. What I could feel was a whole lotta nothin’. I’ve already written that post, so I’ll skip over the details. I didn’t ovulate. Clomid didn’t work, even though it did work the first cycle.

So this morning I called the nurse. She called me back while I was on the treadmill at the gym. I made sure to call first thing, to allow time for them to do whatever they wanted, because I know most of these ultrasounds and blood tests need to be done in the morning. Well, she said I needed to get down there, now, for a blood test and ultrasound. I was excited – I hadn’t planned on an ultrasound. I told her I was at the gym, and would there be time to shower? No, because they were almost done doing their ultrasounds for the day. So I hurried into my car, sweating like a beast, and she called me again. They aren’t going to do the ultrasound today, after all, the guy who does them has already left, it’s too late. I could go for the blood test, though. Depending on the results, I could go in tomorrow morning (I have today and tomorrow off from school) for the ultrasound.

I got the blood taken. Late this afternoon, I got the call back. Not only did I not ovulate, there was no ovulation in sight. A failed Clomid cycle. However, the doctor would like to bump me up to the next dosage of Clomid, 100mcg.  I asked if I still needed the ultrasound tomorrow – no, the numbers show that there’s nothing happening in there. Then I asked how I would be monitored in my next cycle. She said I would have a CD 21 blood test done. I asked about an ultrasound, just for piece of mind. I told her, frankly, that we’ve been trying like crazy the last week and a half and I spent a lot of money on OPK’s. She literally laughed out loud and said, “Are you tired?” I chuckled with her – she wasn’t being mean, I think she thinks I’m crazy. She may be right. You know I don’t “go with the flow” – I don’t even know the meaning of that phrase. She told me not to bother with OPK’s, to just BD for fun, every other day-ish, and they would monitor it with the blood test. Well, I’m glad for the blood test, but let me tell you, I’m not about to throw my charting, OPK’s, and timed BD-ing out the window. It’s just not happening, it’s not in my nature, I can’t do it. But she doesn’t need to know that.

So then I said, “Okay, so are you going to fax in a prescription for Provera?” She goes, “What? No – you’re going to start it today.” Huh? What do you mean, today? She said it’s called “Stair-stepping”, a relatively new practice. I put two and two together and drew this conclusion – a period is meant to release the egg and all the crap that went with it. Given my numbers, I’m guessing I had no egg development whatsoever. So there’s no need to have a period. So all of a sudden, today went from CD26 to CD5. I take my first Clomid tonight. Is this Clomid cycle 2? 3? Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to have skipped an unnecessary 17 days of waiting. 10 on Provera, 2 to get my period, 5 until Clomid. I’m happy to have ditched that. But could this even work? Who gets pregnant on Clomid when they take it twice in one cycle?? Anyone out there heard of this before?

There’s something else consuming my mind 24/7, and sharing it with ovulation woes makes for some weird thoughts. My father is still in the ICU. As I mentioned the other day,  he had his gallbladder taken out on Friday. It turned out to be gangrenous, and the surgeon said it was one of the worst he’s ever seen. My father had been feeling unusually fine, with just some pain, when he could’ve been way sicker. He had no idea. That said, it was a successful surgery. But my father has not come out of the anesthesia, and today is Day 3 like this. Basically, he is being kept heavily sedated. When they lower the dosages a little to try to bring him out of it, he is “agitated and unresponsive”. I haven’t been to see him, but I am in contact through texts with his GF. I imagine he’s aggressive, trying to rip out the wires and whatnot. But this isn’t really him. In other words, the anesthesia has messed with his brain, and he’s not reacting right, or coming out of it properly. So they keep trying, he keeps reacting that way, and they put him back under. They have given him a battery of tests – blood tests, a CAT scan, an MRI, and an EEG. I haven’t heard about the EEG yet, but all the rest have been completely normal. I had feared the gangrene had spread into his blood, which would be an absolute nightmare. It didn’t, which is probably a miracle in itself, given how bad the gallbladder was. So this has nothing to do with it – it’s a strange reaction to anesthesia. But this is Day 3, like I said. And the more time goes by, the more I’m worried. I’m hoping there was no brain damage. So today I’ve been in basically a constant state of nausea, one of my signs of stress. I’m trying not to freak out. He might be transferring hospitals tomorrow to one way bigger with more tests and doctors, but we will see. Yes, I’ve had the awful thoughts that I’m not even going to type right now. Then I’ve had the thought that when he comes out of this I’m going to kick his ass for scaring the crap out of me. Definitely didn’t see all of this coming, and I wasn’t emotionally prepared. Luckily I’ve got a “no drama” husband, who tells me not to worry, nothing worse has happened, he’s being monitored, he’ll be fine. So tonight I’m going to go with that.

Like I said, it’s been a trying few days. CD5, here we come.

Where is my egg??

Ugh. This build-up to ovulation thing is exhausting. (So much for Thankful Thursday.)

I haven’t got much to say, because there’s only one thing on my mind: ovulation.

It’s CD 22. One day past three weeks from my last period. Last cycle, on CD 22, I got my first smiley face. On CD 23 the same happened, and on CD 24, I ovulated. This cycle, the last week or so has been exactly like last cycle. My temps have been exactly the same, to the day, that they were last cycle, including this morning. However, there are a few things that haven’t happened yet:

I did not get a smiley face today, and I was really hoping for one. I have not had cramps on one side of me, like I did last time, to let me know that it was my left side releasing the egg. Nothing. My CM is not quite egg-white (sorry, TMI), and I was expecting it to be.

What the heck??

I’m not worrying about it too much, as I’m still banking on it happening in two days. I’ve been planning as such, and DH and I are in the middle of a marathon, gearing up for the home stretch. I’m making sure to cover all my timing bases, so to speak, and leaving no days around O time unturned! But if O doesn’t happen when I thought it would (ie, Saturday), I don’t know how much longer we will be able to continue without a break!

I actually look forward to the TWW, when I can say I did all I could, and got my timing down wonderfully. If those two things happen, I will be content for the next two weeks. And of course, trying to keep up the optimism, I’m still attempting the thought: “This will happen for me this cycle. Clomid is going to work.” I sure hope so. But where is my egg???

Come on, egg, let’s get this thing started.

Monday Mind Dump, Valentine’s Day Edition

Anddd it’s Monday again. Bleh. I’m feeling more upbeat today though – it’s Ovulation Week! I have no idea if I will actually ovulate this week (or at all), but so far I’m following an exact pattern of last cycle, to the day, temp wise, CM wise, etc. So if it happens exactly the same again, Saturday will be the day. But not to worry – I’ll be preparing for it allll week. Happy Valentine’s Day to my husband! ♥

So it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Most people I know seems to fall into two categories when it comes to this holiday – celebrate, with dinner and flowers and whatever else, or not celebrate. Those in the latter category seem to want to forget the day exists, and it’s not brought up at all. When I was growing up, most of us angst-y teenagers said “Screw this day”..unless we were with a boyfriend we were proud of and wanted to show off. I’ve always felt it should be celebrated, though as the years have gone by, I care less and less!

Today’s Monday Mind Dump is dedicated to tomorrow, Valentine’s Day.

You’re not a fan of those cheesy Hallmark cards? You know, the ones that literally say everything and anything you’ve ever wanted to say, or more likely, wish your significant other would say to you? That’s okay. Not a fan of crowded restaurants full of teenagers in love (obnoxious)? No problem. Chocolate makes you fat and flowers wilt too quickly? You can still celebrate this day.

My blogging friends would probably agree – we are all spending way too much time thinking about infertility. I mean, it’s necessary, and I’m the first one to admit how many hours of my day are spent contemplating things that are absolutely out of my control. But once in a while it’s just nice to forget what you’re going through, and look at your significant other as something more than the other half of your baby-making episodes.

To do this on a regular basis, you don’t need to get all romantic or go on some crazy adventure dates. Just do something with your significant other that 1) takes both of your minds off infertility, and 2) keeps you busy. For us, this past weekend it was getting some “new” couches (okay, used, but new to us) and re-arranging the living room.

But if Valentine’s Day makes you want to go a little further, and feel something a little extra, start with this: What traits does your significant other have that you are just so glad he/she has, that keep you going, that you couldn’t live without?

One of my husband’s best qualities is that he keeps our relationship young and silly. It doesn’t matter what is going on in our lives, he makes me laugh – really laugh – on a daily basis. I always tell him, “You’re really not that funny, you know.” He’s not making weird jokes or trying too hard. He’s just being – himself. He’s 100% comfortable around me, doing whatever, and he doesn’t care at all how silly he looks. Whether it’s dancing around the house at 6:00 am because it’s Friday, or playing rock-paper-scissors whenever we have to do anything at all (like getting the laundry from downstairs), he has me laughing. I can be pretty serious, and he has helped me lighten up over the years. Since he got home from work an hour ago, we’ve already had a boxing match in the kitchen. I’m sure I’ll be hearing him bust out a random tune before the night is out. Someday, our kids are going to have a ball with him.

To show you what I mean, I’m uploading a video. I got his permission (he really couldn’t care less), and it fits with my story, so feel free to watch/listen. Yes, he is in the shower, and after a quick shot of Sadie, I put the phone on the counter and snuck out of the bathroom.

What is that one quality in your significant other that you couldn’t live without?

 

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.

 

Monday Mind Dump, the third.

It’s Monday again..you know what that means. Time to dump out my thoughts – random or otherwise.

1) I love how I can blog from my phone. I mean, it’s more of a pain, for sure, but I was just sitting here, being a slug on the couch, and decided to blog. All I had to do was pick up my phone. Of course, part of the problem is that I can’t get up, as Sadie is draped across my feet. This leads me to my second mind dump.

2) We’ve had a doggy injury! Yesterday, the husband was throwing a ball around the backyard with Riley, and as she was running, she obviously stepped on something sharp. My tough little rescue dog didn’t cry at all, but she picked up her front paw and hobbled to my husband, who scooped her up. He called out to me to grab paper towels, because she was dripping blood from her poor paw, all over our deck. It bled for a little while, and of course she kept licking it. We decided she probably cut her pad a little bit, and when the bleeding stopped, we waited it out. Plus, we would have to drive a while for a vet open on Sunday afternoons.

Anyway, to make a long story short, it wasn’t her pad, it was her outside nail. Something got between it and her pad, hence the blood. As Riley licked it all night, it started to come loose. We got her into the vet first thing this morning, and by then it was barely on – turned sideways, sticking out. Luckily, the vet did not have to put her under, which would’ve cost us hundreds. They did, however, take the nail off. She’s now licking it again, and it could be sore for 6 weeks, they said. She’s down a nail. Poor puppy. All I know is that she was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning, and I had to get up and make sure she was okay! My babies before babies.

3) Happy thoughts, Day 3. It’s going to work, I’m telling you. Well, I’m telling myself. I got these cheap OPK’s, the old-fashioned kind, because the digital ones were getting too expensive. Sure hope they work just as good! The only problem is they require the test stick to lay flat, not moved, for 4 minutes. How can I do that at work? I can’t always hold it until I get home. Yikes.

4) We have started the “games” today. I’m going all out here, people! His count is good, let’s do this! (Talk to me again in 12 days.) Hey, maybe I’ll ovulate earlier than CD 24 this time, that would be nice.

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