I’m a quitter and a liar. Oh, and a complainer.

Warning: Lots of bitter complaining and venting ahead.

Hmm, let’s see. Should I bitch first about my fertility woes or my inner food fight? I’ll start with the fertility stuff, as that is what this blog was made for in the first place.

I’m pissed off, I guess you could say. I’m mad at my nurse/doctor. Never did a single person in that office care to inform me that when you are on Crinone (the progesterone cream) during your TWW, you will not get your period until you stop it. There will be no spotting, either. Progesterone keeps your AF signals at bay. Not only that, but it actually tricks you into thinking you are pregnant by providing you with (what I believe to be) pregnancy signs. Minor, occasional cramping, chest growth we’ll just say, and painful as well, and, oh yeah, sky-rocketing temperatures. Had I known all of this, I wouldn’t have made the errors I did.

I started temping at 10DPIUI, and over the next few days, my temp soared to 99.6 degrees. I kid you not, and I’m not sick. Felt fine, just hot. I thought I may have had a superbaby in there or something. Wow – and the spotting isn’t here yet either?! And the days continued with temps still high enough, no spotting, and I thought – hold on a second. Let’s do a quick Google search. Sure enough, Crinone and Prometrium (the other commonly prescribed progesterone treatment) cause high temps, pregnancy symptoms, and you will not get your period until it’s over. Gosh, it sure would have been nice to have known that. I did it again – I got my stupid hopes way too high up.

I just had no idea. Now I know. Now, next cycle, I will not temp, not once, because they aren’t actually reflecting the true temps I would have. I will not overly analyze soreness and other preggo symptoms. I will not smile with delight at the lack of spotting; the lack of AF signs. I will just know that I will be completely in the dark as to whether I am actually pregnant or not until it shows up on a test. I did test twice, by the way. So mad I wasted two of those tests.

This all sounds like I must have my period, right? Nope. Now, my nurse had me in for bloodwork next week, what would have been 17DPIUI – that seemed excessive to me, but I wasn’t too concerned two weeks ago. Now I’m thinking – you expect me to wait that long? Absolutely not. If I am not pregnant, I am not waiting until Day 17 to stop the stupid cream and hear that I’m not pregnant. It worked out for me today because I was hoping to go on vacation next week for a few days, so I called this morning and asked if I could do it today. They said fine. (Next cycle, remind me to lie around 13DPIUI and say I’m going on another vacation…) So I trekked in today, had the blood done, knew I wasn’t pregnant, now that Dr. Google has taught me a thing or two, and stuck it to the man by not taking the Crinone this morning before I even went in. The nurse, when she called hours later, assumed I had. No, I figured it all out. That cream is done.

The nurse, though, was not my nurse. A weekend nurse. “Oh, I’m so sorry to have to tell you this,” she starts, “But I’m afraid you’re not pregnant.” You know what? I already know that. I got that blood test done because I’m supposed to. And I don’t really even want to hear the words. That said, I appreciate her kindness. I do. That’s when I asked about the Crinone and she said, “Oh yeah, you won’t get your period while you’re on that.” Wow, thank you so much! Just in time!

I’ve never been in this position before, so this is a first: My cycle is over, but I don’t actually have my period yet. CD1 is not here. It’s like..CD 95 or something redonkulous like that. I should’ve gone for an even 100. So I’m waiting. Fine, whatever, I’m ready for the period (“Your lining was extra thick,” the nurse says, “So you might have an unusually heavy period.” I can’t wait.) and I’m ready for the shots to the gut. Let’s do this. But my vacation hangs in the stupid balance, because I have to come in on CD2 for the baseline ultrasound. I wanted to go on vacation Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully my period comes soon, because if it doesn’t, I might not be able to go anywhere this week, and sitting around waiting for my period is not how I wanted this week to go. I’m irritated, I’m sure you can tell. Another IUI down the drain and a possibly ruined vacation. On to the next one.

And on to my next round of complaining. This Paleo diet – I’m done with that, too. I feel bad, I have to say. I feel like a quitter and a liar. I’ve always known I was a quitter (I stop any job when it gets too hard, especially physical labor, I did quit the track team once, I quit piano lessons when I only had one more recital before I graduated high school…I quit things. Wanna fight about it?) but one thing I am not is a liar. I literally cannot lie without my face turning bright red and the guilt just oozes out of me. I have to own up to it right away. But this time, I feel like I lied to you, because I went on and on and on about how awesome Paleo is and how I can do anything for 30 days. But I can’t, because I’m a quitter.

Not that the Paleo diet can’t be awesome. It can be. Just not for me. I am fully aware that the first week or two of the Paleo diet (especially when you’re super strict about it) causes the Paleo flu. I had it for Days 2 and 3, for sure. But even after the initial major stomach aches and fever subsided, I still felt like crap all week long. It was different symptoms (headache, dizziness, extremely fatigued, sluggishness, and insomnia) but some of those could’ve been from the stupid Crinone as well, so it’s hard to know. What I do know is that the large amount of food I prepared last Sunday ended up in the garbage. Mostly the vegetables, because I didn’t pay attention to the fact that even a bite of a raw pepper would send me heading to the bathroom, so I really couldn’t eat vegetables all week long. That’s just money down the drain, in my eyes. Not to mention without the vegetables, my diet was consisting of endless amounts of meat and shrimp, bananas, and sweet potatoes. And to be honest, I’m not sure I can eat another sweet potato for a long time. The thought of the eggplant that was sitting in the fridge is currently making my stomach turn. Zucchini? Don’t even go there. And (shudder) I need a break from ground meat. It was in my breakfast, it was in my lunch, it was in every meal. No veggies, it was a meat diet for a week. And I felt like such crap.  But even all this, which is just a bunch of “suck it up and get over it”, isn’t what caused me to cancel the challenge.

It was my favorite Paleo blogger, ironically enough, who posted a link to this article. That article, if you don’t want to read, can be summed up in the following: If you have thyroid problems or PCOS (hello, yes, that’s me) you need to have carbs in your diet or you’re going to make your health problems worse. We’re not like normal women (thanks so much), and it’s actually detrimental to our health not to have 100-200 grams of carbs (I keep typing “crabs”, ha) daily. Not veggies as carbs. That’s not what she means. Now, it doesn’t mean I have to go and consume a pizza, though I wouldn’t complain. It means I need to add back into my diet the lovely rice and potatoes. Ahhh. So much better. Just those two things have saved my sorry ass from this damn challenge. And that was all the convincing I needed to bring back those staples into my diet. I know there’s more to the story, including a whole bunch of sciency gobbly-gook that totally does make sense, but it made me feel so much better.

And since the challenge rules have been broken, I no longer feel bad at all about bringing back these into my diet: Sugar-free gum (gasp!) and stevia. In addition, there are just some times where you just…cave. OMG I had ranch dressing today! Say it isn’t so! Yup, and white potatoes too, at a shower I went to. Oh yeah, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’m bad.

So now that I’ve totally caved and couldn’t commit to this one freaking thing, I realize – this is my happiness on the line here. You know, if I wasn’t a bitter mess, maybe I’d keep trying. But right now, that sounds like a giant no. The phrase “comfort food” exists for a reason.

But just so I don’t sound like a total unhealthy mess, I am going to keep a couple of things going, because the one compliment I can give to this first week of the Paleo diet is that my hives disappeared and my bloating completely went away. That’s the sign of my autoimmune issues smiling of delight inside. I really need to keep those hives away, while still getting sleep and not feeling like my stomach is going to twist into a pretzel. I also lost two pounds – my husband lost five. I am still 100% gluten-free, which is easy as pie. I am still 95% sugar-free, meaning day-to-day I am completely, like, dessert-free, but a few things that have a little sugar in them (like ketchup, yay!) I’m not going to have a heart attack over. That and when I’m on vacation, I’m having ice cream once. Full sugar and dairy, but a small. I’ll still pay later. It’s worth it. And I’m going to be about 95% dairy-free. Too much dairy does bother me, and totally bloats me. So I’m going to keep cheese away, mostly, and I don’t drink milk anyway. It’s only the vacation ice cream.

Grain-free? Well…I’m keeping rice. If I didn’t, I’d be…back on Paleo. There’s only so many ____-free’s I can do. Dairy, sugar, and gluten seems good enough right now.

Yes, I did totally just reason with myself. And provide myself with excuses that make me feel better for being a quitter. Especially since my husband is not a quitter – he feels great and joined a Crossfit gym to boot – so I have to watch him make smart choices. We are still having full Paleo meals, but I am adding in rice or a potato.

I do apologize for the epic amounts of whining and sarcasm here, but I must say, I always feel so much better when I’m done! And I know you guys won’t judge me (out loud, anyway) and are always a giant bunch of support systems. I also want to say that today, with the cycle over, I am trying to remind myself how good I really have it, and that so many of you have gone through, and are currently going through, so much more than I am. I do know that, and I keep it in mind. But sometimes, a good venting session is all I need.

 

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10DPIUI is the worst day of the TWW.

I know I’m crazy. Being 10dpiui does that to a person.

I must not be alone on this one, because one of my most viewed posts to this day, was 10DPO, and I’ve gone mad! There must be others out there who think this day just totally sucks. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that in my opinion, 10 days into the TWW is the worst day of the whole TWW. You see, at 10 days past, it’s likely too early to test. Yet, you’re getting so close to finding out one way or the other that you start Googling with excitement. Doing this for a few minutes helps you realize that there are some women out there who have, in fact, gotten a BFP on 10DPO. You wonder, could this happen to me, too? Is it worth trying? Then you keep Googling and find more and more people who have gotten their period and you get pissed you wasted that much time at the computer…

Maybe this is just my story. No, there’s no chance in hell I’d test today, for multiple reasons. #1 – BFN’s are sad, and they piss me off. I don’t want to see one unless I absolutely have to. #2 – I’m still taking progesterone, and who knows if the trigger shot is still in my system. The only thing worse than a BFN is a false BFP. That would be beyond devastating. And there’s really no way to know when it’s out of your system, unless you test from 1DPO, which I didn’t do. #3 – this has happened to me a few times now: I test, get a BFN, and then my period shows up within hours. “I should have waited” is what flows through my mind.

So I’m not testing. Yet, like I said before, I’ve hit double digits in the TWW. Game’s on, now. I know I’m nearing the end, and all of a sudden, I’m feeling a bit cray-cray. I was mentally steady up until this point, even thinking about next cycle with some optimism and focusing on my new Paleo 30-Day challenge. I was not thinking about the TWW, and when I did, I reminded myself we used frozen sperm, the count was low, there was nothing extra to “help out”…it’s so likely to be a “no”. Then, I woke up this morning with mild cramps and sore bb’s – a sure sign of my period. I know that feeling. It feels like AF. Except here’s the thing: it’s too early for that. The last few cycles, I have spotted around today or tomorrow (10 or 11 dpiui) but with no cramps. Then, the day AF shows up, that’s when I’m crampy. I would be extremely surprised if AF showed up today. Either way, the cramps were very mild and have now gone away, and nothing has happened. But it’s too early to test.

Like I said, the crappiest day of the TWW is day 10. That said, 11dpiui isn’t so wonderful either. Still too early to test. So, what, am I supposed to just ignore what my body is doing, either with pregnancy or my period, and pretend like it’s not happening? I guess so. It’s the final stretch but I have no control over anything. I just have to wait and see what happens.

This was my first injectable cycle, as well, and my first time using Ovidrel and Crinone. I don’t know what side effects I should be watching out for. I can say that my stomach has been a mess for weeks now, even a few days before the IUI. I don’t know what it was, but eventually it just went away. Then, since starting the Paleo diet challenge, back come the health issues. Not the autoimmune ones – those are nowhere in sight – but the chills, increased body temp (aka Paleo fever), stomach pains. Today, I can add slight headache (which I NEVER get) and occasional dizziness to the list. (Though – for those of you going Paleo or something like it – I feel better today, Day 4 of the challenge. Those stomach pains? Hunger. Just eat often and don’t worry about having an extra banana or sweet potato to settle the stomach!)

But it’s likely nothing to do with a pregnancy. Instead, I’m either fighting off a bug (that’s happened in my TWW before), or these are side effects of the Crinone (anyone know?), or most likely of all, it’s low blood sugar as my body adjusts to this crazy diet. Why did I pick the second week of the TWW to start a brand new diet? My body doesn’t know which way is up.

I’ve been so stable and calm for a while now, the whole month of July. All of a sudden I wake up this morning and I feel like I’m going to jump out a window. I. hate. waiting.

 

Watch out for the Paleo flu!

Just a word to the wise for those of you starting the Whole 30, or anything like it – be prepared for the Paleo flu.

Yesterday afternoon, after feeling so wonderful in the morning, I suddenly became exhausted, soon after a lunch of leftover beef tips and raw veggies. I couldn’t stop yawning – literally, every 10 seconds for an hour or two there. Later in the afternoon, I took a nap, and when I woke up, I had the worst stomach pains. Way up high. They continued all night long, coming in waves. I tried bananas, I tried Gas-Ex (does that count as caving..), but no matter what I did, stomach pains continued right up until bedtime. With that came an achy skin feeling and even being flushed, while cold, at the same time. I threw on a fleece and the thermometer said 99 degrees – though I had already taken Tylenol a half hour earlier. Also, I am in the TWW (9DPIUI…with hopefully many more) so maybe the temp is supposed to be that high? Or maybe I just simply have the flu.

I wasn’t sure if I was actually getting sick or not, and it was all I could do to keep myself from making a batch of white rice. If this was the normal Paleo diet, I would’ve done it without guilt. But I’m trying to complete a 30-day challenge, here. I can’t cave on Day 2. But those good people who invented the challenge never said anything about fighting the “flu” once you’ve gone cold-turkey.

This morning I feel…better..no major stomach pains, but still kind of blah overall. However, I’m going to try to limit my raw veggies today, because I think that’s what put me over the edge. For breakfast I mixed some leftover spaghetti squash (it’s plain, so you can add whatever you want to it) with some ground turkey on the stove, and added a dollup of homemade mayo. It was very good. If that didn’t make me nauseous, well, I guess I’m not actually sick. It’s the damn Paleo flu.

Thank you for the tea suggestions, by the way. I’ll be heading out to the store today and buying them. I’m also purchasing some fun spices that I didn’t even know existed, but that show up in a few recipes I’ll be making.

And now, a new question for you: If you’ve done any sort of diet like this one before, how long does the “flu” last..and what can I do about it without caving and making rice?

8DPIUI, and Paleo Challenge Day 2

I’m writing about food again. Perhaps it’s true that this Whole 30 challenge is taking over my brain, but what’s more – it’s pushing away the fact that I am in the second half of the TWW now…I’ll have some sort of answer to this cycle by the weekend, I would imagine. I am not feeling positive, so those feelings are being replaced by…the Paleo diet.

I am relatively new to the Paleo diet, and I’m very new to the Whole 30 challenge, so that’s why I’m still talking about it. I want to share a few of my observations, but I promise this won’t be my new blog topic. It seems like a lot of you out there have tried certain aspects of Paleo, like going gluten-free, or dairy-free, or even grain-free, and I also know some of you have sensitive stomachs. This is also me, so in documenting going Paleo for the first time, perhaps a few of you will be inspired!

Going back to the sensitive stomach thing – I have always had the weakest stomach. If I’m stressed, nervous, excited, worried, too hungry, too full, or plain-old sick, it always affects my stomach. Every time. And therefore it shouldn’t have been a big surprise to me, in college, to be diagnosed with IBS. It also wasn’t a huge deal in my mind when I learned I can’t eat an apple on an empty stomach, I can’t eat onions (especially raw), certain tomato sauces caused problems too. I couldn’t have too much dairy, such as a glass of milk and a piece of ice cream cake at the same time (I give that example because that was just BAD). I can’t have blue cheese – devastating consequences (A – you remember that time, in Florence, Italy, running through the streets trying to find a bathroom…of course you do!). Etc, etc, etc. You get the point. All of these limits on my diet were around for a very long time, many years, before my autoimmune issues showed up. The hives, that are only worse with certain foods at certain times of day. The thyroid, which, over time, has proven itself to be a hot mess, with a sky-rocketing TSH level, after I eat carbs and sweets.

For me, Paleo seems like a logical option. I believe it is. But I know thinking about it kind of overwhelms people, as it did me. It still does, once in a while. But if you have any of my stomach problems, it might just be the best thing you’ve ever done. If you aren’t ready to go cold-turkey, then take out one food group at a time. If you are ready to go the whole way, but you’re not sure how long you can do it for (that’s me), do the Whole 30 challenge! It’s only 30 days! That’s what I keep reminding myself…

The biggest obstacle holding me back, before I started the challenge, was that I was afraid I wouldn’t be eating anything but eggs, grilled chicken and salad. I’d be bored and craving my gluten-free bread. But it’s just not the case! I have only done 1 day of this challenge, plus breakfast this morning, and every meal so far has been tasty and filling. Here’s the proof:

This was yesterday’s breakfast. The eggs had red pepper and spinach in them. I also am showing my tea because I have a question for you all – this is Tazo’s passion tea. On this 30 day challenge, you can’t have any sweeteners. So I had that tea plain…and it was sour and gross. Any teas out there that you think are sweet enough that they might not have to have sugar? I’ll take recommendations.

This was lunch. I just discovered snap peas – they are amazing! Normally, you can’t have peas on the Paleo diet, which is fine by me because they are gross. But with the pod, you can have them, and the pod is sweet and crunchy. We cooked up some salmon and I thawed some shrimp, and this was totally filling.

This was dinner last night – beef kabobs on the grill, sweet potato “fries”, and a salad, complete with homemade creamy Italian dressing. Delish! In addition to those three meals, I did have a few snacks. An apple with almond butter and a little ground turkey lettuce wrap, with tiny lettuce leaves from our garden, as well as a banana, and watermelon and frozen grapes for dessert. I may have gone a little overboard on fruit yesterday, but..oh well.

Finally, this was this morning’s breakfast:

This was an omelet FAIL. I still suck at cooking. I think I put too much inside it, and it wouldn’t even fold over. Anyway, it’s got ground turkey, red peppers, a few little tomato chunks, and avocado, and it was also delicious. And filling. After one day, I have already noticed a dramatic decrease in bloating, and I have more energy and am full for many more hours, without a sugar crash.

As you can tell, I’m loving this so far. But I have to give credit where it is due, because I’ve previously browsed plenty of Paleo websites before without much inspiration. These two women have the best blogs with the best recipes. It doesn’t hurt that they are both very funny and great writers to boot.

Mel from theclothesmakethegirl has her own cookbook out, Well Fed. I got it in the mail; it is my new bible. The salad dressing and the seasonings for the meats have come from there, so far. I want to try every recipe in that book, and let’s remember – cooking is not something I do. Well, did.

Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo has the other best blog out there, in my opinion. Unfortunately, I don’t have an iPad, but if I did, I’d be getting her recipe app. I love the recipe ideas she gives, as well as the step-by-step picture instructions.

I feel like I’m trying to sell something, which is annoying, I’m sure. I guess I’m just super excited about eating healthy, as long as the food is tasty and filling. And it is. If you think I’m crazy, just pick one recipe from either of these women, try it tonight, and tell me it’s not delicious!

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing – it can be just one meal a day. But if you think you might want to try it for 30 days, I have two pieces of advice that I have already learned:

1) Make extra. Cook a LOT more than you think you’d want for one meal, because having leftovers is KEY to less cooking and less stress. Those beef tips we had last night? There was enough leftover for lunch today for my husband and I. The ground turkey I threw in my omelet will also cover multiple dinners this week. I cut up enough veggies yesterday to make it through most of the week. Can’t think of what to have for breakfast or lunch? Just have leftovers.

2) Sunday prep day. I didn’t have much to do yesterday, so I took a few hours out of my day (which, hopefully as I get better at cooking, decreases in time) and did as much prep for this week’s meals as I could. Like I said, I cut up a ton of veggies to be used in meals and also in snacks. I cooked up a ton of ground turkey, and my husband grilled chicken thighs. I made 10 hard-boiled eggs. I steamed multiple vegetables and put them in the fridge to be used later this week in dinners, such as green beans, broccoli, and eggplant. I cut up a watermelon, sliced tomatoes, etc. I couldn’t do everything yesterday, such as make tonight’s spaghetti squash “noodles”, but it definitely took away hours of cooking time. And since it was the middle of the afternoon, I wasn’t dying of hunger, I took my time, and it wasn’t stressful in the slightest. My issue now is that my fridge is filled to the brim, and I’ve run out of storage containers.

Well, if you’ve made it this far, you might be intrigued! I don’t know if I’ll still feel this pumped in 29 days, but here’s hoping. I highly recommend just trying a Paleo dinner from one of those blogs, or jumping in head-first into the Whole 30 challenge, starting worldwide by its creators on August 1st.

So far, this seems totally doable.

It’s time I learned to cook.

In the past two days my mind has been on all things Paleo. I realize that my next few posts might be food-related, so feel free to just press “delete”. For one thing, thinking about this 30-day challenge is getting me through the TWW, so I consider that a success, at least. I’ve pondered whether I should start a whole new blog, dedicated to health/food, rather than just pregnancy, but I’m not confident yet that I’m actually going to stick to this, so for now, my only blog gets all the topics! I do have a tab at the top of the blog, however, for Paleo foods, and I will add the recipes and posts to that category as I go.

I’m excited. Until then, I’m eating every “not approved” food possible, which I really should stop doing. But I’m excited. 2 days to go.

I went Paleo for a few weeks, a few months ago. It didn’t last because #1 – I didn’t follow it 100%. I kept my ketchup, salad dressings, butter….I drew the line at certain things. And #2 – I got really sick of the same.damn.foods. prepared the same way every day. I think most people who are looking at trying Paleo for the first time think along those same lines. Eggs for breakfast again? Grilled chicken, grilled chicken, grilled chicken. On a salad. Occasional nuts and fruit. That’s it.

I’m a horrible cook. And a lazy one, too. When I went Paleo, I didn’t even try. I wanted the simplest recipes possible, and that meant cooking those foods the same way every day. I couldn’t handle it!

This time, I’ve found resources. Wonderful resources. I don’t know how I missed them the first time around.

Theclothesmakethegirl has an awesome Paleo blog, and she came out with her own cookbook, which looks phenomenal, and I purchased it yesterday. Her recipes look doable and delicious, and she comes up with ideas that are way past my uncreative mind. Such as this post. Or this one. Anyway, Mel’s blog is where it’s at. Along with her cookbook.

Also on the list of amazing Paleo resources is the blog Nom Nom Paleo. She has equally amazing recipes, and she has done the Whole 30 challenge twice. Even better, she posted pictures and descriptions of everything she ate every day of the challenge. I’m inspired to try this recipe, for sure.

Lastly, there’s the website The Foodee Project. It has what appears to be really tasty recipes, along with grocery lists and things like that.

My current issue is that I still suck at cooking. Like, it’s probably painful to watch me in a kitchen. I can’t find which measuring cup I need, I spill things, I certainly can’t multitask…it’s a big mess. And I want to cook these recipes. I have a feeling it’ll take me triple the time it should to make a single thing. Luckily for me, this 30 day challenge is during the summer. I’m not working. Time to learn to cook.

The other issue I have is in regards to shopping, or money. So many recipes, I notice, have these spices and oils I’ve never even heard of. My husband loves to cook, we have a lot of specialty ingredients, but even these, we don’t have. We have to go to Whole Foods to get them, which, first of all, isn’t exactly close by, and also, they cost a lot. I’m kind of cheap, by the way. Okay, really cheap. I don’t want to buy an $8 bottle of some random oily-thing, because it’s probably good only for that one recipe, and the bloggers who do this are practically professional chefs. Of course they would have this on hand. I guess what I’m saying is, we will be planning out our meals on Saturdays (did I mention my husband is doing this with me?) and heading out to the store. But every Saturday, I don’t really want to spend a ton of money, buying every single ingredient needed. I don’t know. I’m just cheap.

I guess I’ll have to get over it, because this is happening. I’m doing it. I keep repeating – I can do anything for 30 days. That’s all. I’m not committed to a day more, and the night of the 29th, my reward is my birthday treat. I’ve already been pondering what I want….I’m thinking 24 flavors soft serve ice cream, blackberry, loaded up with rainbow sprinkles. Yum. But for 30 days prior, I can go cold-turkey. Right?

I know a couple of you showed interest in joining in. I think the coolest way to put us all together is if you were able to share any recipes or tips you have found that work for you, and I will do the same. Then there are others of you out there (ahem, SS) who aren’t going to do this challenge exactly, but you want to try incorporating aspects of it, like dinner meals. Go for it – and share with us what works and what doesn’t! I sometimes forget that this isn’t completely new to me, as I’ve been gluten-free for so long I don’t miss it in the slightest.

So anyway, for those of you with no interest in any of this, I apologize, I’m straying from the given topic of the blog here. But in the TWW, it’s so nice to take my mind off of what might be and replace it with something I can actually control!

Those of you who have done Paleo, or anything like it, are there any resources that you found really helped you stay committed, as well as provided you with good recipes? What worked for you, and what didn’t?

The 30-day Paleo Challenge

I’m interrupting my regular scheduled program of endless fertility chatter to bring you something new:

The whole9life diet. Specifically, the 30-day challenge it provides.

I guess this isn’t really that new. It’s the Paleo diet, packaged up tightly into a 30-day, go-get-em adventure.

How did I get to this point? Well, so many of you are currently participating in the healthy eating/exercise challenges making the rounds in blogworld. I wanted to join, I really did, but I just…couldn’t. I wasn’t motivated. Not to mention, for whatever reason, I need extremely specific guidelines that are given to me, as opposed to creating them myself. I’m not dedicated enough.

But over the past week my stomach has been a hot mess. Perhaps the follistim, trigger shot, or progesterone cream have had something to do with it, I don’t know, but it’s been bad. I’ll spare you the details, but I’ve either had extreme constipation, to the point that I look 6 months pregnant, my stomach is hard as a rock, and I can barely bend down, or the exact opposite, complete with major pains. I’m over-eating, for sure. In addition, I’ve continued to eat things that don’t agree with me, such as processed food, like gluten-free bread, or dairy, or corn. I don’t feel good, I don’t look good, and this can’t possibly be good for my body.

So then I got a post from a foodie blog I follow, ibreatheimhungry, and she has decided to take the Whole 30 challenge. From there I went to the Whole 9 website, and decided, enough is enough. It was like they were speaking directly to me. Digestive issues? Skin problems? Fertility issues? Yes, yes, and yes. Why would I not do this? How could I let this opportunity go by? Can I do this for 30 days?

It’s much easier to think about when you consider a 30 day challenge rather than the rest of your life. And even this is hard. I had to think, hmm, what’s coming up in the month of August that I could use as an excuse NOT to do this? A lot of little events – two baby showers and a family gathering, and two major things – a vacation at the Cape in a few weeks, and my birthday, on the 29th.  What month will ever come around where I don’t have any excuse to eat tasty food? But here I am, already making excuses before I’ve even started, so I made a compromise with myself. The vacation – it has to go. I was so looking forward to fresh ice cream. That, of all things, is what I am most upset about. It makes me realize that I’m not in it for the relaxation or the company. I’m in it for the food. I wonder how many events come up in my life on a regular basis that I’m excited for because of the food. Perhaps that alone is enough of a wake-up call that I’m really obsessed with food, especially tasty food that breaks all the rules, but since it’s a special occasion, it’s okay. Yikes. But as for my birthday, I’ll be damned if I’m enjoying a “sweet potato cupcake” that some Paleo person suggested on a forum. Not sticking a candle in a piece of steak, either. Instead, I will finish the program that day. That will be my 30th day. And that night, yeah, I’m having ice cream. No doubt in my mind it will result in painful stomach issues and probably hives, and the next day I’ll swear to another 30 days. But until then, that’s the plan.

Now, since starting this blog, I have committed to this sort of “change your life” diet plan at least 3 times, and besides going completely gluten-free and 90% sugar-free, I haven’t stuck with a damn thing.

So I guess I am joining your challenge, ladies, after all, just really late, with a focus on going completely Paleo for 30 days.

For those of you who have gone Paleo, or mostly-so, here are my concerns. Here’s what is holding me back from jumping in head-first:

This 30 day challenge says NO sweeteners at all. Not a single one. Which means NO STEVIA. How do I drink tea with nothing in it? And the other major issue I’m having trouble getting my head around is no chemicals, at all. I agree, they are bad, but….I love ketchup. I love mayo. I love honey mustard salad dressing. I loveeee my almond milk (7 grams of sugar…). I also enjoy butter and sour cream. All of those things – gone.

I suppose one could say, well why don’t you just do a partial challenge, like just go dairy-free, grain-free, and sugar-free? Well, I could, but then I wouldn’t be doing the challenge! And I’m going to bitch and moan the whole time, but then, at the end, I can say I did it. No doubt I will feel better. THEN, after the 30 days, then I bring things back, slowly. Starting with stevia. Followed by cheese, ketchup, etc. But I think the point is that after the 30 days, I might not want those foods ever again.

So that’s where I’m at today. I’m posting about it here as a written contract. I hate cooking – all the most delicious Paleo recipes involve lots of cooking – but if I want to eat something other than salads and eggs every day, I’m going to have to learn. You all are hearing this, and I will try to cave, I know it, but then I’ll have to post about it here, and I don’t want to do that.

If anyone is interested in joining, I am starting it this Sunday, the 29th, so that it finishes on my birthday, August 29th. I will post good recipes, tips, and whining rants once or twice a week. If anyone does Paleo or has any tasty recipes to share, I would love to hear those, too. I have no idea what I’m doing.

7 DPO, and 7 random facts

After a week-long hiatus, I’m back. I wonder if you guys go through the same type of cycles (no, not those cycles) that I go through – a few months ago, in obsession mode, I would blog multiple times a week. I just wanted to keep talking about getting pregnant, again and again. Now, after some disappointment, I find myself having little desire to post, not because of all of you, but because, honestly, what is there to say? However, I do enjoy blogging, and I enjoy keeping up with all of you as well, so an update once a week is the least I could do.

My update is rather boring. I am 7 DPO, “enjoying” life in the TWW. Everything’s going along as planned, as of now, but it’s so early. Here’s my chart:

Looking at the date at the top of that chart makes me laugh with frustration. I cannot stand how long my cycles are, because of the stair-stepping. I understand that in order for me to ovulate, I have to take Clomid twice in one cycle. But those first 30 days are just unfair. If this cycle is a bust, I am absolutely calling my RE and asking if there’s anything else that can be done with Clomid so my cycles aren’t this long.

But I try not to focus on that part right now, because I am in the TWW, and grateful to be so. I am temping again, everyday, because I am curious to see what my temp does. I’d love a huge drop in temp, like, tomorrow, only to have it rise again the next day. That would be pretty telling, I think.

This cycle has been the first time ever that I have gone all of these 49 days rarely thinking about all of this. I successfully have put my thoughts elsewhere, and only really consider TTC or ovulation a few times a day, rather than a few times an hour. It’s a big improvement. I’m not sure why this happened, exactly, but I think it has something to do with me not feeling like blogging. When I blog, it’s on my mind.

The interesting thing is, this TWW has been very mentally relaxing for me, like I said. I’m really not thinking about it. True to my word, there has been no Googling, and I’m just ignoring the few “symptoms” that I have, knowing they are simply from the progesterone. I’m really fine.

But then it dawned on me this morning – secretly, in the back of my mind, I have been telling myself that maybe, if I don’t think about the TWW and I chill out, maybe I’ll be rewarded with a BFP. Because that would play out like a fairytale. Don’t think about it, and then your wishes come true. We all know that no matter how you handle the TWW in your brain (and now I’ve been on both sides of that coin), it has absolutely no effect on what the turnout will be! My body already knows if I’m pregnant or not, and I just have to wait it out. So..really, not thinking about it isn’t putting me any closer to a BFP, but it might be saving my sanity just a little bit.

And so there are other things on my mind. This past week at school was very busy. We had two field trips, with yesterday’s being one of those good, long ones on the coach buses, and we left school very early and arrived back very late. It was a good time. I dragged N along (not really dragged; he enjoys it) as a chaperone and he took a little group of 4 of my boys. He’s great with them, which I already knew.

On the way home (a 2.5 hour bus ride), I sat with various students up and down the bus, just to check on things and talk about their day. In the back of the bus, my girls were hyped up on sugar (parents give them gift shop money…and they buy candy) and happy and bouncy. I stayed with them for a few minutes. The two chaperones back there each commented on my “way” with the kids, with a father asking me if I had my own and that the kids love me, and a mother commenting that I’m a natural with kids. Then, one of the girls spilled soda all over the bus floor – haha. Never a dull moment.

Making my way up the bus, I sat with a few more girls, and a few boys. Gimping (remember gimp?) is all the rage in my class right now for some reason, and I have to admit, it does help pass the time. So I was taught to gimp yesterday, and did so while talking with the kids. I commented to a few kids how I do tend to be sad at the end of a good school year, but proud all at the same time. It’s not every year I get students that I might wish to call my own children, that I wouldn’t mind watching grow up to be productive members of society. But this year, I do have those students. I hope to go to their high school graduation, someday. A boy asked me if I thought my students were my children, since I didn’t have any of my own. I realized he was exactly right. The whole reason I get attached to my students sometimes is because they are filling this huge void. A huge void. And it takes a couple of awesome kids, leaving my room and going on to another school next year, to remind me just how big the hole is. I want children. I want children who turn out to be like these children; kind, respectful, giving, funny – and all while going through the perils of being eleven years old. I bring N on field trips, and he enjoys himself too, because he also has this void. We love kids. We are good with them. We like to be around them. It’s frankly a bit sad, and in the pathetic way, that I do use my students like this, emotionally, to help me through my days without kids. They are my children, right now, and I treat them as such. Makes the end of June a lot harder for me, but it saves me from September up until then. It doesn’t mean they don’t drive me crazy, often, and we are still barreling through our lessons. But overall, it’s been a very good year with this class, and I will definitely miss them.

Moving on – the Paleo diet is waning. I realized that when I was doing full Paleo, and my snacks were consisting of full bell peppers and endless amounts of nuts, my stomach wasn’t happy with me, at all. Then, after being frustrated at the end of the week about how little I could eat, I’d splurge on something – say, Mexican food, and eat until I thought I might die. (Sidebar – both last time in the TWW and this time, I have noticed my appetite increase about a thousand-fold. Just me?) That’s not good either. So, a few days ago I went out and bought a couple of things, just to make my diet tolerable. I bought cheese, gluten-free pasta, rice cereal..that sort of thing. As long as my health is in order, I really don’t need to be on any particular diet. I just need to not eat what bothers me, and what bothers me is too much dairy, sugar, too much fruit, gluten, and corn (ish…this one is hard to let go because it replaces so many floury things). I still will eat a lot of veggies and meat, but the nuts are hurting my stomach and I simply need other options. I’m good with that. Now, I haven’t lost any weight because of all this garbage I’ve been eating the last few days…and I’m not exercising. For no good reason besides pure laziness.

Finally, thefamilyvan was kind enough to send me The Lovely Blog Award a week ago, which I’ve been very behind on answering. I appreciate the gesture! Here’s how it works:

1. Share who gave you this award to you with a link back to their blog
2. Write down 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Give this award to 15 other bloggers. It’s going to take me a little bit of time to find out which blogs I follow haven’t already done this, so when I find you, I will comment on your blog!
4. Let them know they’ve won
5. Pop the award on your blog (Did I miss this? Where is it?)

Hmm…7 random facts about myself:

1) I LOVE marshmallow (back when I was allowed to eat it). I could eat a whole jar of fluff with a spoon, and when I got ice cream sundaes, instead of hot fudge which would keep me up all night, I’d have marshmallow topping. Yum.

2) Whale-watching is my favorite thing to do on the Cape. I’ve been on 3 or 4 whale watches in my life,with the best one occurring when I was probably about 13 or so. This humpback whale stopped to play right under the boat, so the boat sat there for a good half hour, not moving, while this whale swam back and forth underneath us. At one point, I ran to the back of the boat, where no one else was, and looked over the edge, staring at the whale’s back. I was so close I could’ve reached out and touched it, and it was covered with scratches and bumps from a life in the ocean. After that experience I was hooked on whales. They are very cool, prehistoric animals.

3) I’ve known I wanted to be an elementary school teacher as far back as I can remember. I do recall having my own little chalkboard and playing teacher, and then relished every time my mother (a high school teacher) allowed me to help correct her papers with the red pen, or even better, put stickers on something. At the time, I thought the best part of being a teacher would be correcting papers, getting to use any color marker you wanted, putting on stickers every single time, and passing them back. Ha.

4) I was born a Yankees fan, because my father is a huge Yankees fan, and both of my parents grew up in Yankee territory. Our state is unique – it’s split about half and half, Red Sox and Yankees. One time, in junior high, there was a play-off Yankee game on, but I couldn’t stay up that late to watch it. My dad promised that if the Yankees won that night, he would leave me his good Yankee hat for me to wear to school, which he had never done before. The next morning, I came down the stairs and the hat was sitting there, with a sign taped to the door that said, “Theeeeee Yankees win! Wear the hat with pride!” And I did. Now, I’ve married a die-hard Red Sox fan, with his entire family behind him, and these days, the passion of liking the Yankees isn’t there like it used to be. I have a feeling our children will be Red Sox children. That said, I did wear my Yankees hat yesterday on the field trip, and N wore his Red Sox hat. It brought up a lot of baseball conversations with the kids.

5) (Back to sugar again – can you tell I miss it?) Prior to no longer eating sugar, I was known, quite famously in my family, as a sugar-aholic. My aunts still remind me (not like I’ve forgotten) how our gatherings would go when I was in elementary school: “Mom, is it dessert time yet? Mom? Mommy? Can I have this – and this and this? Mom, how much can I have? Mom, can I have more?” Seriously, this was what I did. I’d sneak to the dessert table and consume some before dessert even started and no one noticed. We had ice cream every night in my house after dinner – and not a while after dinner, as my husband would prefer. No, as soon as the last bite of the meal was down our throats (see, it wasn’t just me), we’d be up spooning ice cream into bowls. My mother had to inflict an “every other night” rule when I was little. Also, a “two-cookies-is-enough” Oreo rule after school.

6) I had my first boyfriend in the sixth grade. I had known him ever since first grade, and he was one of the smartest in my class. (I always said – I picked all the smartest kids to be my friends. Unfortunately, I was the dumbest one amongst us). We “dated” that year, quite publicly – I believe even the teachers knew, and no one tried to stop us. “Dating”, of course, consisted of us calling each other on the phone every other night (thanks, Mom), from 7:00-7:30. During those calls, we talked about the Yankees (also a big fan) and Jurassic Park. I broke up with him in 7th grade, as soon as I laid my eyes on N, but luckily, he and I, and N, continued to stay friends, and he was one of the groomsmen in our wedding. He is now a doctor and we see him whenever he’s in town.

7) I played the part of Maria in West Side Story (only in the final song, though) in our massive 180-strong chorus production my junior year of high school. It was my shining moment, along with, as a senior, singing the national anthem at my graduation with a few others. Chorus was my life in high school, and I got my 15 minutes of fame back then. Now, I desperately miss big productions like that, and really wish to find a chorus for 27-year olds who wish to be 20 again.

Phew! Long post. That’s what happens when I wait a whole week. Thanks for all of your supporting comments regarding my IUI, much appreciated! Next time I post – I’ll probably have news. Let’s hope it’s something good.