Everyone needs a mental break.

It’s so odd how sometimes, time plays tricks on you. I could’ve sworn it’s been at least a week since my last post, because mentally, that’s how it feels. Really, though, my last post was only last Friday. I suppose it really hasn’t been that long.

I have taken a mental break from TTC. Granted, not a complete mental break. That’s hard to do when you’re surrounded by people you know who are pregnant, or fellow bloggers who are pregnant, and you are either being a good listener or a good reader. Either way, for whatever reason, it has been just the slightest bit easier to hear about pregnancy. It still comes with pain that’s deep-down, but there’s also excitement. Especially for my friends who are expecting. It’s an exciting time, and I enjoy hearing about aspects of pregnancy that I think might affect me someday, like my own morning sickness, or how I’ll start showing. Of course, I’m jealous. That’s a given. But it’s not a quality that I want to parade around and show off. It’s not a quality that I’m proud of. So, for whatever reason, I’ve been able to feel more happiness and excitement for others, rather than jealousy. I just push that ugly emotion back down where it came from.

Actually, I’m sure there is a reason for my current mental calmness – my TTC break. I’m not actually on a break, but I’m currently in limbo, as I am most of my cycles. I finished my second stair-stepping round of Clomid, 150 mg, two days ago. Now, I’m waiting to ovulate. Hopefully I will, that’s issue #1. But since I did last time I stair-stepped, I expect I will. It happened on CD 18. Today is CD 11, so I’ve still got some time. I’ve come to find peace with the fact that Clomid is predictable for me. I ovulate only when I stair-step; that is, only when I get a double-dose of Clomid in one cycle. No matter what the dosage is, after my period, on that first cycle of Clomid, I don’t ovulate. The peace will be short-lived, though, because I’m not sure what the future holds.

Many of you mentioned how many other options I really do have after Clomid, and I appreciate your comments. I could try Femara. I could try injectables. And more. I do plan to mention all this to my dr. when I see him next, because, frankly, I don’t think I want to go up to 250 on Clomid. As you said, 150 is usually the max for a reason. And my hot flashes are getting old. If 150 doesn’t work, then maybe that’s a sign to do something else.

Or, what I truly think is, Clomid does work, but only after a double dose. I wish my dr.  had never even raised my dosage, because I don’t think it was necessary. I simply needed a double dose (or a trigger shot, but apparently he didn’t want that at this time.)

My chart this cycle looks like a complete mess. I have stopped temping. I believe I will start up when it gets closer, but for now, who cares? I know I didn’t ovulate yet; it’s too early and I haven’t had any pains. I don’t need my low temps to remind me of that fact. So no temping. I’m not checking OPK’s, either. Do you know how nice it is to pee when you want to, without having to count how many hours it has been to store enough up for POAS? My bladder appreciates it. We’ve also been BDing whenever we feel like it, rather than every other day, or with my mind on keeping things regular for conception. Whatever. It’s too early to matter right now. The IUI coming up helps out there, as well. No need to overly concern myself with timing, because of the IUI. The stress of TTC was taking a toll on me, as it does everyone at some point. This little mental break I’ve had is doing me a lot of good.

I couldn’t possibly do this, however, without other things on my mind. When you take TTC off your brain, you have to fill the void with something else. Luckily, these other things have naturally fallen into place in my mind.

It’s the end of the school year (well, starting to wind down). It’s my favorite time of year with my students. Remember how, a while ago, I posted about how I’m just not giving school my all? My brain was elsewhere. Now, it’s not. I have an awesome class. I’ve been teaching five years, and I’m lucky enough to say that 3 out of those 5 were excellent, with 2 in there that, eh, didn’t do much for me. But 3 out of 5 ain’t bad. And this current class is no exception. For the most part, they are sweet, kind, considerate, helpful, charming…and more. They vie for my attention and they want to hear all about the extras I teach them in spring, such as going off to middle school, and majors in college. We talk about jobs, and the news. When there’s time, I color with my girls, or in the past, I’ve taught anyone interested how to knit. When it’s nice out, I play basketball with my boys (and girls), and run races with them. It’s fun for me. And this happens every spring. Everyone is in a better mood, everyone is less stressed, including me. I don’t have children yet, but I do have 23 10 and 11-year old’s who do need me, from 8:30-3:00 Monday through Friday. I can’t let them down. So I’m in a nice zone there.

N and I are also busy with some house projects, including starting a vegetable garden. Rototillers are tricky little things, as we found out yesterday. But hopefully, with the amount of produce we are consuming, we’ll have lots of veggies grown right in our own backyard.

We are also on the Paleo diet..ish. It’s still not 100%. When there’s nothing else to eat, or I need something on the go, I have no choice but to make a sandwich. For that, I bust out my gluten-free bread. There’s also been the occasional sugar-free treat, like the homemade butter pecan ice cream we get down the street. It’s amazing. But for the most part, we stick to a diet of veggies and meat. It’s crazy how my hives have finally figured themselves out. I go a whole day eating no white carbs and no sugar, I have NO hives. I have that ice cream, or a little candy, or too much bread products in one day, I go to bed covered in them. It’s so obvious now what I have to do, and most times, it’s easy. Holidays or vacations, though, and it gets tricky.

I’m also considering topics for a book. Sounds stupid; I feel a bit stupid as well. But you know what? It passes the time. After flying through The Hunger Games and reading The Lucky One a few days ago in one day flat, I realized, I enjoy a good love story. Not a sappy one – no shirtless dude on a white horse to rescue the damsel in distress. Barf. But a good, old-fashioned love story. So, after brainstorming a million scenarios, I’ve started working on one. It’s funny – I’ll write for a little while, and then I’ll stop and say, what the hell am I doing? I’m not 13 here. This is dumb. And then other days roll around and I think, I like doing this. Who cares if it doesn’t turn into anything – I enjoy it. So, I’m in the middle of Chapter 1, with a Prologue done already.

Last but not least, we are going away tomorrow – just for two nights at a bed and breakfast, nothing crazy. But away from here, where we’ll see the sights, shop, relax, and of course, eat. I always enjoy that.

Hopefully, by the middle of next week, I’ll be in my TWW after my first IUI. Until then, it’s gone from my brain already.

My 100th post.

It’s kind of crazy to me, but yes, this is my 100th post. Sadly enough, I’m practically right where I was in July. There have been changes, sure. Since July (when I thought I knew everything there was to know about ovulation…except what to do when you don’t ovulate at all! Ha) I’ve gone a whole summer in limbo because my TSH was too high, I’ve met with an RE who acknowledged the fact that I don’t ovulate on my own, I’ve been on four rounds of Clomid (one in which I didn’t ovulate), and I’m about to start my first IUI. Still no baby – not even close. Through it all, virtually everyone around me has gotten pregnant, which has never happened in my life before. Apparently the baby boom hits all at once. One day, no one I knew was pregnant…now, literally everyone.

I’m marking my 100th post with a whole lotta nothin’ but some long-winded rambling. It’s been a quiet few days since my crazy appointment. Here’s what’s been on my brain.

1) I haven’t ovulated yet. For the record, I am doing an excellent job this cycle of not thinking much about this cycle. Like, an unheard-of good job. I never google, if I remember to check Fertility Friend it’s a miracle, and the majority of the day, the specifics of my cycle are not on my mind. This is a first, for me. The reason is because of all the other things on this list that are soaking up my brain cells right now. That said, it’s not as if I don’t think about my cycle at all. I do. Today is CD 17, and I have not ovulated yet. Apparently, not even close. And yes, I’m worried. I know it’s still early, but I have been working off a pattern of ovulating every other Clomid round. Right now, I’m on the “other”. It makes no sense, why I would ovulate every other time, but yet, so far, that’s what’s happened. I don’t have ovulation pains, either, like I think I did last time right about now. Last time, I ovulated on CD 18. The time before that, CD 24.

I am going in for the IUI, and that’s the other reason why I’m a bit nervous about this ovulation. Once I finally made the decision to go IUI – now I’m just excited for it. It can’t possibly hurt my chances, only help. We will still be timing our BDing around my OPK’s smiley face, so I’m anxious about that, too. I want N’s sperm count to be a high one when we go in for the IUI, which means to keep to the every-other-day type of thing. Problem is, I have no idea when ovulation is coming, and so…the timing is difficult, let’s put it that way. However, unlike last time, where we were at it on a daily basis for almost a week to cover our timing, this time I’m less stressed about it. We have the IUI. Any other times are just icing on the cake.

2) My hives and my thyroid are, as you know, out of control. But I’m making progress. Whenever my hives are really bad, my TSH goes up – that’s been a pattern the last few years. I don’t know which one causes which, but either way, it’s all autoimmune related. I went and got my blood done for my TSH last week. In retrospect, this probably wasn’t the best idea for my mental health. If it’s too high, I’m going to be told this cycle is cancelled, and subsequent cycles after that until it’s back down – and while I logically understand why that’s important, I’d be devastated. I want this IUI, now!!

Tied to my hives is my newfangled “diet”..which leads me to #3.

3) After much consideration, I’ve decided to attempt to alleviate my hives by going on a crazy diet. N is in with me, because he’s training for an Ironman and wants to lose weight. We are going to follow a sort of “Paleo Diet”, with a few exceptions. First of all, if you don’t know, the Paleo Diet basically allows you to eat anything that a caveman would’ve been able to. Some people go crazy with like, raw foods, but we’re not doing that. We can eat all vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and even an occasional sweet potato. One of the reasons I picked this diet is because I need to eliminate a lot of foods from what I eat on a regular basis; that much has already been established. Instead of telling myself I can’t eat this food or that food, I am coming at it from another angle. That is, these are the foods I can eat, and we’ll see how my hives fare.

I already went gluten-free and low-sugar (mostly sugar-free). However, in addition to all that, I’m going to take away all corn products and go light on fruit, because of the sugar.

Now, here’s the thing. I’m having commitment issues, already. For whatever reason, even though I’m a people-pleaser and a go-getter and whatnot, I do things half-assed. Frequently. When I was younger, and I had to clean or do some chore, my mother would have to check to see how thoroughly I did it when I was done, and many times, I half-assed it. This happens still today – N had to check to see how well I vacuumed the other day. This is comical to me – I hate vacuuming! The same principle applies to my food health. How many times since I started this blog have I “committed” to healthy eating, only to blow it within a week?? At least twice that I can think of.

It’s not like I gorge on donuts and Burger King, though I’d like to. I’ve never eaten that way. The issue is that I have to take more steps to be healthy than most people, and since I’m still pissed off about it, I can’t commit. I want to commit, but I can’t.

Since I started my food log last week, I have already noticed a major decrease in hives. Besides the daily body hives I wake up to, I got hives after eating:

-Tostitos chips

-Peanut butter and banana

-Low-sugar ice cream

-Too many GF and SF carb products in one day

-Too much fruit

Not since starting this food log have I gotten hives from veggies, meats, or non-sugared dairy products, like cheese. This led me to conclude that the Paleo Diet might be a good choice for me. N’s up for it, so all should be well.

But it’s not. First of all, I really don’t know that I want to give up dairy. I don’t drink milk anyway. The only dairy I consume (or used to, at least) is cheese, a daily yogurt, and ice cream, which was my favorite food hands down. Now, I only eat cheese and yogurt. And the yogurt will be no longer, because it’s full of sugar. Even plain Greek yogurt (eew, sour) with two truvia packets in it still has 8 grams of regular sugar. Not vanilla, plain. It’s insane. Yes, I’ve been sitting at my desk after school, pathetically pouring truvia into my yogurt. And no, I’m not making my own yogurt. But small amounts of cheese don’t seem to bother me. I have a daily cheese stick, cheese in my eggs, cheese in my salad….I don’t know. I know cavemen weren’t consuming cheese, but…I think it’s okay. The other food product I’m on the fence about is rice. As it is, I can no longer have pasta, potatoes, white rice, bread, etc. But quinoa and brown rice – I thought those foods would be okay! Well, not to a caveman. Plus, there are numerous studies that claim we humans really weren’t meant to eat processed carbs. Some people feel fine on them, but others don’t.  I seem to feel okay on a small amount of brown rice – and keeping that product around gives me more food choices and when I’m craving carbs, I can have that. I don’t feel too guilty about rice and cheese – those would be my only exceptions to the Paleo Diet.

Even after all of that promising talk, however, I can’t bring myself to fully do it. I do it, meal by meal, if it’s convenient for me. What a lazy ass! Seriously, it’s pathetic. Yesterday, it was convenient for me so I had lots of veggies and protein. Today, I went out to lunch, and had a chicken salad…and some chips. Corn chips. Corn. Why? I feel fine, though. Ask me again in four hours. It’s too hard!

Now there are a lot of you who came out of the woodwork, talking about your specialty diets. They are all a little different but they are all healthy, and they all require commitment. A few have even completed cleansed yourself of those bad foods. Here’s the thing….

…I’m going away, for two nights, in two weeks. Oh, and we also have a wedding to attend that same week. We’re going away to a place where I can relax, read a good book, drink wine water, and eat gluten-free, sugar-free foods. Not gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, corn-free, carb-free. I’m on vacation! Vacations are suppose to be relaxing and fun! Not pathetically depressing!

So I’ve already had the thought, well maybe I can wait until May to do this Paleo thing head-on. I mean I’ll do it now, conveniently. But for real, in May. No – I’m sure I’ll come up with an excuse then! I’m incapable of committing to this. What will I do when I visit my grandfather, who’s wife cooks deliciously rich foods? What about Easter? What about…weekly dinners with my father, who always brings dessert? How do I explain to people who eat “normally”, that I can’t eat virtually anything they make? People don’t understand, they judge, they..tempt me. You can see how much I suck at this. It’s a real problem. I’d love some advice from those of you who have managed this successfully.

4) I finished The Hunger Games series. They were all excellent, though I found myself more interested in the love story than the rest of the plot. I did see the first movie, and I want to see it again. I’ve formed a sort of virtual attachment to Peeta, both in the book and on the big screen, which is pathetic, because he  is only 19. God. When did I get old? I’m 27, so I know that’s not really old, but I feel 20. 20 and married, with a job and two dogs. But 20. I look 20, as well. If I’m going to have a celebrity crush, it should really be on someone my age or older, but I find myself drawn to people in their lower 20’s. I think, without children, I don’t feel any older than 20, and we don’t exactly act older than 20, either. Maybe that will all change when I am a mother. So what can I say? I like Peeta, played by 19-year old Josh Hutcherson. I’m a total creeper. For the record, my other celebrity crush is a few years older than me, Henry Cavill, Jonathan Rhys Meyer’s right hand man on The Tudors. But he also has a very young face. N has his own celebrity crushes, so maybe we both live in a dream world. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who celebrity crushes on someone younger than they are? Anyone?

5) And finally, I want to write a book. I have always wanted to write, and when I was in seventh grade, I spent a whole summer filling notebooks with a book I started and never finished. I think I told you about that once, where myself and N and all our friends all lived in the same neighborhood and all dated each other and then I got cancer, had a baby with N so he could remember me, and died. But seriously, one little dream of mine has always been to write and publish a book. I’m good at the realistic fiction thing, too. Problem is – I can’t wrap my mind around a good enough plot that would sell! Nowadays, books need to have some type of twist. I started with a little outline over the weekend, but it doesn’t have that twist. I’m back to square one.

All of these things I’ve mentioned are on my brain most hours of the day. I’m overloading myself, as usual. It would be nice if I could go a few days without actually thinking anything. But that’s impossible.

Pat yourself on the back for having made it to the end of this post without falling asleep or giving up. It sure was a ramble. Hopefully, 100 posts from now, I won’t have to ramble on and on because I’ll have something truly wonderful to talk about..the miracle of a pregnancy. Here’s hoping.