Sunday, November 27, 2011

What a year

It was the day after Thanksgiving while driving back from a yarn store when Matt looked at me and said, "If I said I was ready, when would you want to start trying?" I looked at him, totally in shock (may have teared up a bit) and said, "Yesterday." We both laughed and continued our drive home. We talked about why the change in heart. You see, we had planned to wait until the summer of 2011. We were planning on giving my cycle time to settle down (we thought). We also were planning to buy a house soon, so hopefully we would have moved already. And we were going to take an exciting Baby Making 2011 vacation around my 30th birthday. That was the plan we'd developed when I went off the pill in March.

Well, we hit October and I still hadn't had a period. Since March. Almost seven months later. I was big time worried. And I'll admit, I started badgering. It become a sore spot that came up almost every time we had sex or talked about sex or looked at each other in a sexy way. We fought about it on the phone, in person, in the car, etc. It didn't help that I had turned 29 and was staring 30 straight in the face. I keep telling Matt: "this isn't going to be easy"; "I had unprotected sex for a long time between HS and college, and didn't get pregnant"; "the sooner we start trying, the sooner we can get help if it doesn't work"; "my mother started menopause in her thirties and I'm getting a lot closer to that". In hindsight now, as much as I knew these things and argued with them, I had hoped when we did start trying, we wouldn't have too much of a problem.

Apparently, around Thanksgiving, it all sank in. Matt told me that he realized that it made sense that I knew my body better than he did, and wouldn't lie or exaggerate things just to get my way. So he decided that he was willing to work on his issues and we could start trying. We went home, and since my entire family was gone (other than my dad who was watching football and wouldn't have heard a bomb drop in the kitchen), we decided to take a 'nap'. ;-) And then we took a nap.

It's been a year since then. No protection, charting temps, checking ovulation, watching signs, doctor's visits, blood work, tests........ truly trying.

I'm still here. And I'm still not pregnant.

My cycles, for the most part, have been rather irregular since going off the pill in March 2010; we're not sure why. I've read up on reproductive systems, pregnancy signs, potential problems. I've had an HSG which showed that my tubes were clear but my uterus was slightly misshapen. Matt's initial SA came back abnormal, according to the hospital, but a second SA and a second opinion on the first resulted in normal ratings with a count (on the 2nd one) high enough to have sex as much as we want. Following the HSG, I think I detected ovulation and got my period when predicted for the first time ever. This month, I'm not sure I ovulated, and am a few days away from expecting my period, so I'm not sure how this cycle has worked out. We didn't have sex when I would have liked so hopes for this cycle are low.

Even in a non-TTC sense, it's been one heck of a year. Multiple friends announced pregnancies which is getting harder and harder to deal with. I broke my arm resulting in bills and physical therapy and minimal sex. It also resulted in weight gain that I haven't been able to get taken care of. I've just been so stressed and working so hard during the day, I just have nothing left at the end of it. We almost bought a house but then had to back out when it looked like we might lose our jobs. A good friend's unborn child was diagnosed with a birth defect that could have serious life-altering consequences. Matt got laid off, only to get rehired a few weeks later. But his job is still in flux so he could be done any day. My mom then broke her arm about a month ago, so I've been making weekly trips back home to help with cooking, shopping, Thanksgiving, etc. and the next two weekends I'll be down there while my dad is out of town. My schedule at work changed dramatically leaving me with two full-time jobs and even less time to do them in.

I'm thankful to have a job. I'm thankful for my family and friends. I'm ever more thankful for Matt who is more supportive than anyone ever could be. I'm thankful that I'm not sick all the time and that we haven't found any serious barriers to conception. I'm thankful that we're even in a position to talk about getting pregnant. So as much as I have to complain about, there is plenty more to be grateful for.

Furthermore, we have a plan. With a go-ahead SA, I can start taking Clomid if necessary. If I get my period this week, I'm going to continue to wait on that. I don't want to deal with extra hormones any more than I have to. If I don't get it by next Monday, I'll be calling to get a script for progesterone to bring on my period and Clomid to make sure I ovulate. We're going to start saving now, but in case we're not pregnant by May, we're going to plan for and schedule an IUI in July while we're off of work. It's the only time that I can afford to take the time off for the ultrasounds and the tests and whatnot. A couple of rounds of IUI and that plan is to call it quits. We aren't going to let this rule our lives. So I feel more optimistic with a plan.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A defeatist attitude

This was posted today on a board that I'm on. It struck a chord with me.

This is the final step, this is the last test. Then it’s off to IUI. Then if that doesn’t work, it’s over. We’re selling our ranch home with the finished basement and two extra bedrooms (the kids’ rooms) We’re moving to an apartment and saving lots of money to go on lavish vacations. We can plan weeks to spend with our nieces and nephews. We will be the best aunt and uncle ever! Then maybe when we’re 40 we’ll have enough saved for adoption and we can start that adventure full of heartbreak and red tape. :-/

Matt and I have had similar conversations about what we do if this doesn't work. As much as we want kids, I refuse to allow the rest of my life to be ruled by peeing in cups and counting days. Some may disagree with that, but that's how we feel. We haven't set a timeline, but I would guess it would be a couple of Clomid cycles, a couple of IUI cycles (when we can afford them), and then deciding enough is enough. We'll never have the money for IVF so that's not even really a discussable option. Obviously, this will take awhile. Assuming we don't get pregnant prior to June, we're planning our first IUI cycle for the summer when I'm not working and can go to any needed ultrasounds and whatnot without causing tons of coverage issues at work.

I don't want to say that I believe some people are destined to have kids and some aren't. That's not what I mean at all. I'm just not sure I can let this take over my life. I'm not sure I want to. Maybe that means I don't want it enough. I don't know. It's already been an obsessive year (well, a year at Thanksgiving) of TTC, and I can just foresee it getting worse. I'm also watching us putting other things on hold, hoping that this will work. There were several houses we could have bought this summer that would have been perfect in great locations if we weren't talking about kids. We will often notice fun things or vacation spots, and remark "let's do that before we have kids," all the while knowing we won't have the money for it any time soon especially as the TTC process becomes more invasive. A trip that we wanted to take in April is probably going to be cancelled to help save for our first IUI cycle if we're not pregnant before then.

I love kids. I want to have kids. I want to watch my husband hold our baby for the first time and get emotional. I want all of it. I really really do. And without tooting my own horn too much, I think I'd be a pretty good mom.

But I need to be me more than I need to be a mom. I need to maintain my sanity and be a normal person who doesn't think that every twinge in her body is a sign.Or a non-sign. I need to be able to have sex with my husband . . . . . JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO, rather than thinking about what time of the month it is. I need to be able to pee at work rather than be uncomfortable, and not go, since I know that I need to do an OPK when I get home. I want to be able to drink and eat what I want to, rather than worry about what effect this cocktail may have on the baby that just might be starting to develop. I can't live my life like this.

Trying to conceive, in my mind, is like dieting. You can keep it up for the short term, but this is not a lifestyle. There will come a day when I will say, "No. This is it. I'm done." Matt will understand, I know. But for awhile I'll feel guilty and cry a lot, having given up something I'd always taken for granted. But eventually, we'll settle in and develop a routine. And I'll get over it. Or at least, I'll be as over it as I can be.

And then, just my luck, will be when we get pregnant.

Phew.... sorry bout the rant there.

I think I might have ovulated today. Last night's OPK was reasonably darkish, not positive, but darker than the other days. This morning, I've got the same symptoms from last cycle: sore boobs, sharp pinching pain followed by cramping for a few hours, fatigue. We'll BD tonight, tomorrow, and Friday for good measure, assuming we're at home. I'm going to keep testing for a few days and see what the strips do, if they get darker or lighter and we'll see what happens. If they start getting lighter, I would guess I was right. I never got a true positive last time, so I'm not horribly surprised about this month.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Someone on Ravelry posted that TTC is one big waiting game. It's true. You wait to ovulate, then you wait until you can test or until you get your period, then you wait for your period to be over so you can start testing and waiting for ovulation. I'm getting good at waiting.

Matt's SA came back well within normal limits. His actual count of sperm was very high so we have permission to have sex as much as we want without too much concern of it affecting anything. They also read the results of the first SA, and said that while the morphology was a little outside of the normal range, overall it was not bad enough to warrant the label of abnormal. So we're waiting again. Since I've missed the clomid window, I'm going to wait to see if I ovulate on my own before we call the doctor to get a script for that. It should happen any time now, but I'm anticipating early next week if it stays true to form based on last cycle. So far we've also been pretty good about having sex every other day or so.

NaKnitMo started last week. So far I'm on track to make 75,000 stitches and take over the group. Not bad for a November. I've gotten more done in the last 10 days than in months. Several coffee cozies, two pairs of mittens (one for me, one for a co-worker), and started a present for Matt. Now let's see if we can make a baby this month too.

Christmas wish list plug