Saturday, January 20, 2007

Who am I kidding?

Seriously, who? I've been trying to say that I'm not anxious this cycle, that we're not really trying, that the pressure is off because we're going to do an IUI next month.

But the truth? The one that just slapped me in the face late last night as I was exhausted and driving home from a fun night out with some friends? The truth is, I'm scared. I'm scared that we still won't get pregnant this cycle. Even though we're "not trying," we actually did try, and we timed intercourse and I started temping and I started Evening Primrose Oil pre-O. How is doing all of this considered "not trying?" I have no clue.

And I'm scared about the IUI. Not the actual process - I've had worse done to me. But I'm scared it won't work. And then we'll have one less option to try before the end of the road.

In my head, I know this is silly. Options are only good if you use them, right?

I'm a big analogy person, so bear with me on this one. I've only see Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? once, while I was getting my nails done one day. Bits and pieces of other shows, enough to gather the premise. The contestant has lifelines that they can call on when they need help answering a question. They can ask the audience for help, they can call a friend, they can reduce their multiple choices by half... Sometimes the contestant doesn't use them when he should. He tries to save them for later, and make it through for a while on his own. Sometimes the contestant uses them all up right away, to help him get as far as he can before he loses.

So what's better? Do I use my option, knowing that it's one less thing to try later down the road? Or do I do everything I can now, and come to that end sooner?

I don't know if the analogy holds, but that's the best I could come up with at this point. IUI is like a lifeline for me, and though I'm glad I have the option, and it might just help us, at the same time I know that I'm going to run out of options some day, and doing and IUI now means that I'm one step closer to that day.

But. If I don't try it, I'll never know. What good is saving all my options if I never use them?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

CBEFM peak!

This month is doing me some good. Since we have an IUI planned for our next cycle, we're kind of relaxing this cycle. Not taking a break - I don't know if I could handle that. But not being all gung-ho and intense about it, you know? Actually having fun with TTC.

Last night DH pounced on me. ;-) It's been a lot of me telling him when I need him lately, since he's in grad school and said it would be easier for him if he knew ahead of time when we needed to BD. But last night was just for fun, and he started it, and man oh man is it nice to know your man still wants you! The timing just happened to be right, but that wasn't the main focus and I didn't even tell him until long after we were done. And the only reason I told him is because I want to go again today, and tomorrow, and possibly Tuesday, depending on how the OPKs go.

Today I got my very first PEAK on my CBEFM! Okay, so it's only the second cycle I've ever used it, and I completely reset it after last cycle because it thought I was the friend of mine who gave it to me. But still, exciting! And I got a line on my OPK that was about half as dark as the control line. I tested again this afternoon, but I'd had some to drink and it may have been diluted. The line was a bit lighter. I could have missed my surge, tested right at the end of it, if O is coming much earlier than usualy this cycle. Or it was just diluted and a more pure test will tell me more.

In any case, my temp dropped this morning, so time will tell. I should O on the 16th, but it looks like it may be a day sooner.

But I'm having fun with it, finally, and not stressing about it. I'm still on the message boards a lot, but I've come to think of it as a hangout where some of my friends are. And since I'm in a good mood, it's nice to share the support and encouragement of those who were there for me when I was down, and now need a lift themselves.

O'ing and Waiting. I spend a lot of my life waiting. I really need to learn how to be content in the Now.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

soul healing

Tonight was good. Very good. We spent the evening with our friends and their little ones. The four year old, "Boo," was just so happy to see us, it made my heart smile. The little one, "Baby J," is two, and she's all sunshine and smiles. You can't spend five minutes in a room with her without smiling back. She's a free spirit, running around the house with her sunglasses and a Christmas bow on her head. And Boo got DH to help him build a Very Tall Building out of Legos with him.

They are expecting their third. But unlike the time I've spent with other pregnant women, I enjoy the time I spend with her. And I love her two kids so very much, I can't wait for another one to love just as much. I know her journey to get here, much of it, anyway, and she has earned every one of those kids with hard work and heartache. It was a great evening that was good for my soul. I feel ready for a new week now.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


If anyone actually reads this thing, let me start off by apologizing for the following. It's not meant to offend or discourage anyone. But sometimes on a journey so fraught with disappointment, one has moments of weakness and humanity, and this is where I let stuff like that out.

I have a confession to make - I am bitter. This in no way comes as a surprise to me. I've been TTC for a year and a half, and it's hard for anyone to stay optimistic for that long. It's a difficult thing, trying to balance the hope that it's going to work this time, with the reality that it might not. I have to believe, but not set myself up for too much disappointment.

I was a newbie once. I posted my "Hey, I'm new here" message and let everyone know I was trying. I asked what all the abbreviations meant, because I was lost. Acronyms like DH, AF, and TTC I could figure out. But what the hell is BFP and BFN? In my own head, I still call them "Big Effin' Plus" and "Big Effin' No." I was young to this process, couldn't tell my EWCM from a runny nose, and had no idea when it was time to test. Now I know, but I still test early, because that's just who I am.

Now, every time a newbie comes to the board, I feel a little sad for her. "Hi! I'm new here, I love my husband, and I'm just so excited because we just decided to have a baby! A fall baby would just be so great! I can't wait to be a mommy!" There are many variations on the theme, but it's always the same.

And I can not help but think to myself, "Oh, honey. You are SO not going to get pregnant the first time you try. You're going to worry about every little twinge your body makes, obsess about babies every time you have sex, and think that you're pregnant three days later, just because your boobs hurt. You're going to cry more than you ever have in your life, and feel more alone and crazy than you ever thought possible."

Of course, I don't say any of this to any of them. I've been there myself. The third month we were trying, I thought for sure I was pg because I couldn't eat anything but chicken salad without throwing up. Hell, last month I was convinced I was pg because I got dizzy on Space Mountain. I'm not so different from those new to TTC. We all started off there, and many of them will end up where I am now. It's a sad sad truth, but it's true.

Every once in a while a lady comes on the message board to say she's new and trying for the first time. And it works. Less than a month later she's posting in the BFP section. She pops in for just a brief stay, and what no one says out loud is that many of us who've been here for a while deeply resent her. She's a complete stranger who did nothing more than get lucky her first try out, and many of us sit at home seething because it was so damn easy for her and why not for me?!

So there's the ugly truth. I don't hate newbies - I'm often one of the first to help them out. I envy their enthusiasm. I don't really want to crush their spirits, nor do I wish that pain on any of them. But I also know that many of them will have their spirits crushed by this crazy ride we call TTC.

And they have to learn it for themselves. We all do. We have to go through the joy of starting, through the pain of months of negatives piling up behind us. And I pray that we come full circle, back to the joy of having a child.

Friday, January 05, 2007

long week - IUI

Wow, what a week. First I start off all in the dumps because of AF. Then, I start to feel better thinking "new year, new start." Then the person at my family doc's office tells me I have no IF coverage at all, my insurance won't pay for any referrals or treatment. I talk to my ob/gyn's office, and they find out that I'm completely covered, for up to 6 IUIs, and we can start right now, this month.

DH and I talked about it, and we decided to wait until next month. He's graduating this year, and I'd like to be there with him when he travels up north for the ceremony. I want to take a certification exam for my field later on this year as well. And it will take time to get the paperwork in order for the IUI, so having more time means having less stress. It's a good choice.

But it feels really good to know that we have the option. There's no guarantee it will work, but it's something. And the pressure is off this cycle, because I know we have this to try next time.

And talk about timing - if AF shows on time this cycle, and I O when I'm "supposed" to, then I'll O on Feb. 14 - Valentine's Day. We'll do the IUI the day before and the day after, and (hopefully) make a Valentine's Day Baby.

So I'm feeling much more calm and relaxed. And this is a month for Me. Not Me TTC, just Me. I'm still charting and I started temping this time, and we'll try for our last medicated-but-unassisted cycle (unless the IUI doesn't work, and then we'll be back here). But there's a fallback plan, and that helps. So I'm going to start SBD again (Monday), I'm going to look into meditation at my ob/gyn's suggestion (starting with, and I'm going to look for a yoga class I can join, also at my ob/gyn's suggestion. I may look into therapy, at my family doc's suggestion. I'm taking an antidepressant to prevent both migraines and anxiety attacks. The yoga and meditation are to help with the migraines, and the therapy is to help with the panic and accompanying depression.

It's a good plan for starting the new year. I'm feeling more hopeful about 2007 than I have yet.

Monday, January 01, 2007

A Fresh Start

Day One of the new year, Day One of a new cycle. That's suiting.

I guess I caused quite a stir when I posted how hard this is for me on the boards. I never wanted to make anyone worried about me. I'm not that manipulative, to post a "poor me" post in the hopes that someone will say something nice. I wrote from my heart, when my heart felt like it was breaking. But it does feel nice to know that they were concerned, and the outpouring of encouragement and love was just what I needed to take the edge off this sharp knife.

I've heard it when others have said that this is the hardest thing they've ever had to go through. I've read it in books, and it's made sense to me in a book-learning sort of way. But this time it hit me square between the eyes. It shattered me, and I hate that. I've been walking around all weekend like there's something broken inside of me. All day Saturday, it would hit me that we're still not parents yet, and I'd have to close my eyes and hold my breath to keep from bursting into tears. I lost count of how many times DH asked me how I'm doing this weekend. "Fine," I usually mumbled back at him. Or I just shrugged and looked away.

Why such a deep sense of loss? I haven't lost anything but one more month. Yet I feel like something has been taken from me. My hope, my will to keep going forward with this, my determination that this will happen for us.

But no one has taken that from me. Somehow, I have lost it.

I hope that my resolve, my belief that there is a joyful end to all of this, will return when AF leaves and we can begin to try again.

I feel that what we need to help us all in this process is some sort of ritual. Some formal way of marking time, so that it doesn't drive us crazy. I can handle AF - for me, it's usually only about four days long. Lately, it's been heavy and painful, crampy and bloaty and emotional. But it's only four days. Then I usually take a day to treat myself good, sort of like a cleansing. In Jewish tradition, a woman's period makes her "unclean." In my own faith, "there is neither clean nor unclean," but I do like to feel like I'm cleansing myself of the persistent feeling of "dirty" that comes with AF. I take a long shower, shave what needs shaving, use a special bath soap and poofy sponge. I get a pedicure, sometimes a flower on my big toe. I get my eyebrows waxed. I use a facial mask, I do my hair, and I wear undies that I don't wear when they could get ruined during that week. I make myself purty, so that I can feel purty again.

That's good for a day or two. Then the WTO begins. Is there some kind of ritual I can come up with for this time? I can occupy my time with reading my CM and CP, futzing with the monitor, analyzing my OPKs. This time, I'm going to be taking my temperature as well, see if there's a pattern there despite sleeping with an electric blanket. WTO is almost as hard as waiting to test, because I'm never sure if I'm going to or not.

Of course, the BD fest takes on a ritualistic air sometimes. Sex for fun is a bonus at that point, great if it happens, not really mattering if it doesn't, because all that matters is timing. If I actually Ovulate, that's enough of a turnon for me. "Okay, it's time, let's go" takes the place of foreplay, and cuddling after is more about staying in bed so "the boys" can sink in.

Don't get me wrong - I love my husband, and we enjoy each other. But when it's scheduled, and when you have a specific goal in mind, it does become a bit ritualistic.

Then the TWW. Then the OWW. I definitely need a ritual for this time. Last month, I POAS from 6DPO until AF came. I got excited when I saw a faint line, even though it didn't appear until after the time on the test had expired. I have mixed feelings about the digital HPTs. On the one hand, it's nice to get a clear reading. On the other, seeing "not pregnant" was worse than just not seeing a line. Not seeing a line, I can pretend that it's just too early, it's just not there yet. But having it literally spelled out for me, well... That's just kind of harsh.

I'll have to think about it. A ritual to pass the time. Some way to mark the significance of what's going on, without getting too wrapped up in it. A way to stay hopeful and eager without jumping the gun and testing too early, and then having my soul absolutely crushed when a new cycle begins again.

And of course, the start of a cycle, the onset of AF, has it's own ritual. Tears, a glass of wine, cookies or a slice of cheesecake, and going to bed early.

Perhaps my ritual is going to the boards. I find people who are discouraged that need a lift. I find that I actually know the answers to some of these questions, and that I still have questions of my own. I see others going through the same things I am, at the same time, and I feel so much less alone. I know that when I cry, another is crying too, for herself and for me, as I cry for myself and for her.

This is a horrible, horrible road. There's not much good can be said about IF. But at least I am not alone.