The third circle of hell (aka CD 127)

Cycle Day 127 – also known as more than 4.5 times the length of the “average” cycle.

So today, I broke down and made an appointment with my GYN (re: CD 127!). I chuckled to myself when I made the appointment because the dialogue went a little something like this:

me: Hi, I’d like to make an appointment to see Dr E.

[pertinent identifying medical type info redacted to protect patient confidentiality]

nurse: …and what would you like to see him for?

me: Well, I’m trying to get pregnant and I haven’t had a period since March.

nurse: I see. Are you pregnant?

me: No, no, definitely not. That’s kind of the whole point.

nurse: I see. And you haven’t had a cycle since March?

me: That’s correct.

nurse: And you’ve taken a pregnancy test?

me: Yes. Several, in fact. Lots. Numerous.

nurse: I see. Any other symptoms?

me: You mean like the swollen belly and the puking and the food aversions and the weight gain? Nothing other than that. (I figured that’s what she was actually expecting to hear and was hugely disappointed when I had no other symptoms to report.)

nurse: I see. So no symptoms, and no cycle, and you’ve taken a pregnancy test?

me: (starts to mention that she’s already asked me that – closes mouth) Yes. Several, in fact. Numerous.

I was tempted to break down the math for her to confirm that yes, I had actually taken two pregnancy tests a week (Wednesday and Saturday – can you tell I like routine?) since …. oh about mid-May. So yes ma’am, I’ve taken approximately 22 pregnancy tests this “cycle” give or take. For funsies. And also so I’m not that person giving birth in a mall bathroom because I didn’t know that I was pregnant. That too.

My temperature dropped this morning, it had been elevated since July 9th. Expert charters are likely to say that this could mean my period is right around the corner (elevated progesterone levels post-ovulation keep the body’s temperature higher until your period arrives). Although, please keep in mind that by “dropped” and “elevated” I’m talking about less than half a degree of difference. It literally all comes down to the difference between my base line temp of 97.4 and my “elevated” temp of 97.8. This is ….. not that big of a difference, especially given the fact that lots of things can effect it like drinking alcohol the night before (which I’m prone to do) or when my cat sleeps on me at night or when I wake up in the middle of the night to pee but it’s too close to morning. I’m suspecting that it simply being so damn hot outside is also screwing with it.

Point is, my chart says my period’s around the corner.

My fancy app pinged me today all excited because, based on recent information, it would like to update my expected fertility window! To four days ago! Through this Wednesday! Yay! Aren’t you proud!! Make sure you have lots of sex!!! But not too much sex as that could affect your partner’s sperm count!!!! Wheeeeeeee!!!!!!

Point is, my app says my body’s near ovulation.

Point is the third, no one knows what the hell my body’s doing. In general, I try not to dwell on it. It upsets Luffy, when I get all mopey and sad. From my perspective, I try to explain to him that it’s upsetting on a fundamental level. I mean, I am a female. My body is supposed to do this. Women are supposed to get a period once-ish a month, just like men are supposed to get erections or, maybe more accurately, like humans are supposed to breathe and digest food. It just happens and this is something that my body should be doing. And it’s not simply the fact that we’re trying and haven’t conceived or that we conceived but miscarried – my body’s not doing a basic bodily function. End of story. There is no trying if my body won’t or can’t do this.

But, from his perspective, thinking like this doesn’t help anything. It’s not good for me, either mentally or physically, to be sad or envious. We saw a pregnant woman while we were out at dinner Saturday night. After a couple of glasses of wine, I lamented to Luffy how seeing her just reminded me of everything my body wasn’t doing and I proceeded to try to throw myself an epic pity party. I say try cause Luffy was having none of it. He reminded me that we didn’t know anything about that woman, or how hard she might have tried, or what she might have gone through. I had no right to be envious of her body. Beyond that, what good did it do me, to carry that negativity around? None – so snap out it. And this is why I love Luffy. As infuriating as it is when I’m basically trying to rustle up some sympathy points and he won’t give any to me, it is also so so good for me. Luffy doesn’t let me indulge in pointless pity parties unless they’re truly worth it (and he’s getting quite good at discerning between the two). I’m in a much better place, mentally, because he’s my partner.

Anyway, I sort of got derailed there, where were we?

Ahh yes, doctor’s appointment. It’s next week. I’ll keep y’all updated.

Family News

My brother moved to the DFW area this past weekend. He and his girlfriend packed up their three cats and most of their belongings and drove here Saturday. Luffy and I helped them unpack, which meant numerous trips up and down three flights of stairs in the blistering Texas heat. It was fun.

They have a nice place, albeit a tad shady. I witnessed one drug deal while unloading the U-Haul (oh no! getting into a car that just pulled up and getting out 30 seconds later is so sneaky! I have no idea what’s going on, especially since you just reek of a certain medicinal herb.) So shady that they opted to park the (now empty) U-Haul at our house overnight just to thwart any shenanigans.

Don’t tell our mother that though! It will only worry her. You’d think my brother was a kid or something, instead of a 25-year-old, dare I say it, man. I happened to call her right after they left (if you can’t tell, my brother used to live in our hometown, only a few minutes away from our parents). She was hysterical and I felt so terrible for her. She was worried about him and hoping that everything would work out for him and his girlfriend. I promised to not let anything happen to  him, so she’ll never forgive me if she finds out his new home is a tad unscrupulous.

I’m really happy to finally have some family nearby. I’ve lived far away from family for almost four years. Luffy’s parents live in the area and we eat lunch with them every other weekend. I’ve always envied the proximity and I miss my family, so I’m very excited to be able to see my brother on a regular basis. And his cats, cause they’re adorable. We’ll be planning kitty play dates in no time!

The Floors!! (cont)

So you saw the news yesterday, right? The floors are beautiful and I love them.

It was a chaotic couple of days as we lived in the limbo of a major renovation, which oddly caught me by … surprise. I’m not sure how or why, but for some reason I did not connect the fact that replacing approximately 35% of our flooring would be a major project. I was woefully unprepared for the amount of noise and dust generated. Things like I wish I would have put away our bath towels or covered our wedding photos. Or, as mentioned a couple of days ago, I wish I had made arrangements for Jas – away from the noise.

Speaking of Jas, she gave Luffy and I a heart attack yesterday:

Wednesday was Luffy’s day to babysit the floor guys. They had made serious headway Tuesday and wrapped up work around noon on Wednesday. When they came to tell Luffy they were done, he noticed that the office door (where we had placed a sign that said “Caution – Cat Inside – Do Not Open”) was open. The front door was open as well. Luffy ushered the floor guys out, closed the front door, and began a thorough yet swift search for Jasmine. He checked all of her usual hiding spots but couldn’t locate her. So he went outside to look there. The floor guys were still out front and told him that she hadn’t come outside – they’d been watching.

So he headed back inside for an even more thorough check. Any place she had ever hidden in her entire life at that house – Luffy checked. He tried to coax her out with treats. He shook her favorite toys. He scoured our house, looking for her. I can only imagine the feeling he must have had, at this point, when he still couldn’t find her.


I adopted Jasmine before I left home. She was ten weeks old; she and her brother had been abandoned. I already knew I wanted to adopt a cat when I moved to Dallas, and I had a Siamese in mind, so when I saw her on that afternoon in June, I couldn’t say no. I fell in love instantly. She was my first true pet (as opposed to a family pet) and I would have moved Heaven and Earth for her. She was so tiny and full of energy. At ten weeks old, she was a shockingly bright white (I like to describe it as neon white) and only the tips of her ears, nose, and toes were marked. She quickly gained enough weight to put on an adorable baby belly and liked to chase my parents’ cat’s tail around the house, much to his displeasure.

I got engaged the week after I adopted her. It was a toxic relationship, as I’ve discussed, and it came apart fairly quickly after that. I honestly feel like I owe a lot of that to Jas. She woke me up, in a way, and forced me to see how terribly I was being treated. Call it a cliche or whatever you want, but I realized that, even if it was just her and me, I would be and could be happy. Period. I didn’t need him. And if he could try to drive a wedge between Jas and I, what would he do to our kids? Enough of that.

So Jas and I moved to Dallas at the end of the summer. She and I made it on our own in the big city. She kept me company. She was, and still is, my baby. When Luffy and I began our relationship, he already knew how much she meant to me (we were co-workers before we started dating so we knew each other casually). He’s actually highly allergic to cats, but basically suffered through hell for a couple of weeks to “immunize” himself to her. Because he knew there was no way he could separate us, and he would never be so cruel to me as to force me to choose. I could no sooner have given up a flesh and blood child.


Now imagine you’re tasked with taking care of my darling girl, and she goes missing on your watch. That, my friends, is what Luffy was feeling. He IMed me first, to pull me out of the meeting, and I truly thought he was joking. As soon as I heard his voice though, I could hear the panic and the concern. He kept apologizing to me even though I assured him that it wasn’t his fault.

I abandoned the meeting and threw all of my stuff together to head home. Quick shout-out to the Waze app for saving me from no less than THREE speeding traps on the way home as I tried to make my 25-minute-with-no-traffic commute instantaneous. I was almost home though when I got another call from Luffy. He had just come back inside from another lap around the neighborhood and discovered her sitting daintily in the middle of the living room.

We still have no idea where she was hiding, but we’re very glad she stayed home.

The floors!

New floors! We have new floors!

image

Our bedroom looks huge now, kind of empty, to be honest. But! I love them! They’re so gorgeous.

It’s the first true home improvement project we’ve tackled and I’m so proud that we got it done. I’ll be back tomorrow with more details, just wanted to share a quick pic tonight.

A dispatch from home improvement central

What? What’s that?

WHAT?? I CAN’T HEAR YOU – SPEAK UP!

Oh – whew – the power tool has been turned off. Make that power tools, plural. I’m working from home today while our floors are being installed. So on the one hand – yay!!! – new floors. On the other, I can barely hear the thoughts that are running through my own head. Who knew that installing floors was such a noisy event?

Even worse, I had the bright idea to close Jas in the office, with her tower and favorite window (plus her newly relocated litter box), and now I feel terrible about that decision. Our office is right off the living room and the entryway (read: the drilling) and I’m sure she’s in there having a heart attack and maybe also a panic attack. And I can’t go in there, because they’re working right there. Poor little girl.

That’s all for now – gotta go see if I can find some ear plugs.

I Dreamed a Little Dream For Your Entertainment

So I’m one of those people who remembers my dreams on a fairly regular basis. This amuses Luffy to no end because I have some very weird dreams. The following were all from last night:

Dream 1 – Zombies from Target

This dream began with me at the vet with my parents’ oldest mini schnauzer. Oddly, our appointment was at 10PM and they were giving her shots and also drawing blood. And then rubbing her haunches like she was a horse. Very strange. It was a long appointment and we left at 1:30AM. I got into my car and then tried to lock the doors behind me (it was dark out!), but accidentally rolled down the window (which will become very important in a minute). I decided to leave it alone and off we went, driving through my hometown in the middle of the night when – all of a sudden – ZOMBIES! They were pouring out of the local Target, all creepy and trudge-y like. And of course my window was rolled down, so I frantically rolled it up as one tried to swipe my pup from my lap. I went on to casually mow down several zombies and gave zero fucks. I made it to my parents’ home, but was trapped outside because there was a zombie snoozing on the ground in front of the garage (don’t ask me why, maybe he was tired).

I woke myself up here because I started to get really freaked out about this very chill zombie standoff.

Dream 2 – Zombies from Target II – Escape from Zombieland

Unfortunately, when I went back to sleep I dived right back in where I left off. However, my subconscious had decided to go easy on me and skipped the showdown with the garage zombie – my apologies that we’ll never find out how it ended. Obviously I was victorious though as I was now inside my parents’ house, with Luffy and our friend KJ, who is our resident zombie expert. Luffy and KJ were trying to formulate an escape plan. They were talking about how much money, exactly, we’d need. Like $750k? $1M? I’m not sure where we were getting these funds, but the casual discussion made it seem like it was NBD. Jackpot. Anyway, I tried to curl up and get some rest, but Jasmine was hogging the bed (both in my dream and IRL – gah Jas, get off me!)

I woke myself up again as I was disturbed by the continued presence of zombies in my dream. That and Jas made me hot. So hot.

Dream 3 – Escape from Orwellian Airport

So my last dream for the night plopped me down in a recurring dream scenario. The set-up is basically an airport-esque building (multiple levels with escalators and strict funneling of people through hallways) and Luffy and I need to get out of it. The catch is that we’re fugitives in some weird future society. They have these people/robot things that scan faces as you walk past and track you (kind of like that movie Minority Report – anyone remember that movie?). Anyway, each time I find myself in this dream, Luffy and I come up with a different way to get out. This time around, it involved discovering a clothing shop that would apparently sell you some image-altering suit. It was right there, off the main hallway! We were guided there by a sympathetic scanner-lady-robot person. They measured me and snipped away at fishnets I was wearing (I have not worn fishnets in years, for the record). They assured me that the ripped fishnet body stocking I was now sporting was the trendiest and most unique outfit – move over Oscar de la Renta, airport fashion people are trending. While they measured Luffy, he randomly turned into a sort of mouse-like animal. The measuring ladies were freaked out and I was all like – oh yeah, he does that sometimes. And then I held him while they finished measuring. And then we escaped! Only to find ourselves in some weird forest where we were trying to bury gold and I think a tiara in this trunk with a turnstile key thing. I don’t really know. Dr Cox from Scrubs was there. He had it covered.

The 4th!

So, everyone back to business as usual?? How was your holiday weekend? Mine was lovely, thanks for asking (not that you did, but I’ll pretend you did because that’s how polite conversation goes).

Luffy and I visited friends in Austin. We saw Jurassic World Friday. It was good, although intense. I felt like my poor heart had run a marathon by the end and it was only partly due to the movie itself. You see, our group went to an Alamo Drafthouse. If you’re not familiar with that theater, they serve alcohol (and food! but you know, also alcohol) and they run an announcement before each movie warning viewers to be quiet, letting everyone know they can officially complain about noisy movie-goers. You can and will be kicked out, in fact, if you are disruptive. About twenty minutes into the movie, I heard the random guy sitting next to me mutter a stream of invective about us noisy kids. I quickly shushed Luffy and then sat on pins and needles the rest of the movie, worried about being kicked out by some guy who thought that my sharp-inhale-omg-IT’S-BEHIND-YOU-GASP was too loud. Oh and the dinosaurs were terrifying too.

Saturday found us hanging pool side with some margaritas, burgers, and music. It was wonderful, especially considering it was (1) my first opportunity to work on my tan all summer (ha! that was a joke – am pasty white – like ghost) and (2) I was the last person standing. The rest of my group damn near passed out around 5:30-ish because margaritas and beer and holiday! I was rather proud of myself, having achieved the perfect balance of tipsy but still functional. I passed the time by cleaning up our cook out mess and mother-henning everyone. It was fantastic! Of course it came back to bite me later around midnight when everyone else, having had their midday nap, was ready to party and I was begging to go to bed. Luffy dropped me off at our borrowed apartment and headed back out because I am lame, but also very persistent when tired.

And then! We came home Sunday and ordered the new flooring. It should be ready for pick-up this Friday and hopefully installed next week. All in all, a very good weekend.