Telling the Parents

I told my parents the big news last night. I was trying to wait until Sunday, when I envisioned video calling them via the power of iPads and joyously telling them the news. But, as I kept building the moment up, I kept feeling like it was going to be a bust. I do this often, where I’ll build up a hope or wish or moment and romanticize it to pieces and then I have to take the sledgehammer of reality to it to make sure my dreams aren’t crushed. Anyway, while I thought of excited pronouncements and whoops of joy, I also thought of missed connections and my parents not being together when I called (which would lead to the awkward and highly suspicious nevermind, I’ll call you back). Plus, you know, I was really, really excited since, so far, Luffy had been the only person to get to tell anyone that I was pregnant. Not fair.

So! Back to last night…. I called my mom first, right after exercise like I normally do. I had a set up already in my head. You see, I received my first shipment of champagne from Chandon on Wednesday and knew she’d be excited about it (what can I say? we both love champagne). I was hoping she’d fall right into my plan and she did.

“Oh!” she said when I told her I’d gotten the shipment, “have you gotten to have any yet?”

“Well,” I told her, “that’s the thing – I can’t have any for a while because I’m pregnant.”

……… then there was surprised silence on the other end of the line while I giggled like a four-year-old. But then! She wanted to know all the details. How long we had known and how we found out and the due date and oh how funny that the baby’s due so close to our birthdays and how she’ll have to get all of her tax returns done early just in case the baby comes early (she prepares tax returns for a living and October 15th is the corporate return due date). She was so excited and so happy. Over the moon. She’s known about the troubles that we’ve had getting pregnant and she, like us, sort of assumed we’d be headed to a fertility specialist soon. I promised to keep her updated and then told her I needed to call dad because I didn’t want him to feel left out.

Let’s pause for a second to talk about expectations. My mom reacted pretty much exactly as I thought she would. Happy and excited and in shock. I figured my dad would be happy, but you know, not HAPPY. After all, it’s his daughter giving him news on the state of her uterus. (Plus, he pretty much has to know now that I’m no longer a virgin, which squick.)

So then I called my dad. He didn’t answer his phone, but I left him a voicemail telling him to call me back because I had news. He did, about five minutes later, and I could tell by his voice that he was stressed and tired and frustrated. He travels for business and he had just been dropped off by a shuttle at the hotel so he could take a red-eye home the next morning. He sounded exhausted but told me he called me back hoping I had news that would cheer him up a bit.

“Well,” I told him, “I do have good news – I’m pregnant.”

Please refer to the paragraph above on my expectations of how my dad was going to react. Pardon the ineffectiveness of the English language here: I thought my dad was going to react like this – Happy! – and this is how my dad actually reacted – HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (breath) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He was ecstatic. He couldn’t contain his excitement. He went from literally zero (and feeling crappy to boot) all the up to a 15 (on a scale from 0 to 10, mind you). He adorably wanted to know if it was too early to know if it was a boy or girl (I told him we haven’t even heard the heartbeat yet) and then delighted to know the baby is due on Halloween (he suggested we name the baby Boo or Casper …. noted) and he promised he would do anything necessary, move heaven and earth, to ensure that he would be available when the baby was born and then he told me that he, and mom he was sure, are happily awaiting their grand-baby.

So sweet. And again, I had no idea he’d be so excited, so positively thrilled.

To keep the ball rolling, I called my brother (also because I didn’t want him to find out secondhand and think WTH man!). He was at home, alone as his girlfriend was still at work, eating dinner. Just like with dad, I told him I had news and told him I’m pregnant. He too was flabbergasted and muttered sputterings of “bwuh??” and “whuh??” before finally proclaiming excitement. He, also adorably, wanted to know how I’d found out – did I like pee on something? (Lololol – yes I peed on something – I have been peeing on something for damn near every day for the past year and a half this time it was just extra special pee) He too was so happy and excited. He couldn’t wait to tell his girlfriend.

The whole evening left me feeling high and energetic. It was so much fun telling everyone – even over “just” the phone. I caught everyone by total surprise and it was glorious. Of course, I immediately panicked a bit with the ohnoes!!! when I remembered that I still have a long way to go before we can breathe the sigh of lowered-chance-of-miscarriage relief. (You know I used one of those leftover pregnancy tests this morning too, just to make sure, again.) But still, I made everyone’s day and it was so wonderful to finally tell my family: I’m pregnant.

5w and mounting excitement

So the rug has not been pulled out from underneath us yet. We still have a long way to go, but we’re starting to get more excited. We told our closest friends – the ones that have been rooting for us since the beginning of our journey – over the weekend. My plan was to wait to tell our parents until we hear the heartbeat, but Luffy was just too excited to hold it in when we saw his parents for lunch on Sunday. This has made me incredibly excited to tell my own parents, but I’m also still a little nervous about letting everyone down.

Even though my chances of miscarriage are still fairly high (relative to my odds during the later half of the pregnancy), we’re still choosing to tell our closest friends and family. Our decision is partly out of sheer excitement, but also because these people would be our support if something should happen. I would definitely turn to my mother, who’s been there before, and I don’t think it would hurt her any more or less to celebrate our pregnancy and then find out I’ve lost the baby later as opposed to just learning I’m pregnant with news of a miscarriage.

Also, despite my most Pinterest-worthy aspirations of cute ways to tell people, our excitement is getting the better of us. We’re just blurting out the news left and right. I had planned to travel to my hometown to tell my parents in person, but timing difficulties means I either have to do it now, like this weekend, or I have to put it off until late April, which boo. So I’ve downgraded to telling my parents via video chat, probably this weekend. BUT I’ve had several moments today where I envision, again, just blurting out the news to my mom tonight when I call her after exercise. All casual like. Weather’s good here and oh by the way I’m pregnant – NBD. Pros to that are that she knows now!! Cons are that I miss seeing her reaction, but I’m already not going to get to see her in person to receive a much needed hug, so I may not be as concerned with this.

Fatigue has hit me like a ton of bricks. Yesterday, Luffy and I went to lunch at his parents’ house and then went to see a movie (Deadpool – hilarious, I highly recommend for those of you who are cool with foul language and over-the-top fight scene carnage) with friends. I was absolutely exhausted by the time we made it home around 5:30. I perked up a bit to help with dinner but then was basically asleep on the couch by 9pm. Luffy sent me to bed shortly thereafter, but I slept fitfully with lots of dreams and wakefulness.

On the positive side though, it’s only taken me a full week to go ahead and say it: I’m pregnant.

(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! times infinity)

Your brain on infertility

I can’t quite wrap my head around it yet. I mean, it happened. The test was darker, “more” positive this morning (hey – I bought a pack of 50 from Amazon and I’m damn well testing every morning that I please). And, as my Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy reminded me, any positive, no matter how faint, means that my body is producing HCG.

So yeah, I understand that this is happening, at least right now, at this moment.

But I still can’t quite bring myself to say the words aloud. Because I’m not sure about tomorrow or next week. Even my thoughts don’t quite go there. I added salmon to my salad at lunch for the omega-3’s for the — …. and that’s where my brain pauses like, not gonna go any further.

I suppose part of this could be a way to insulate myself, so to speak. As I mentioned yesterday, I tested positive very early and while, according to LMP math, I am precisely 4w1d along, there’s also the fact that I ovulated on the later side of things. Which means, technically speaking, I’m really not even four weeks along. I know this time is a very tenuous time for pregnancies and their little embryos. If something is going to happen (argh, let’s be blunt about this) I have a miscarriage, it’s like to happen in the first trimester. However, it’s even more likely to happen very early in the pregnancy….. like in the next couple of weeks. My mom had a history of miscarriages, something like five before she successfully conceived me. All of this stews around in my brain and makes me hesitant to acknowledge my status. At what point do you stop worrying about making it to the next milestone? When you make it past six weeks? Or hear the heartbeat? Or see your fetus for the first time? Or make it through the first trimester?

Another large part of this hesitation to label myself stems from infertility. As we navigated through drugs and doctor’s appointments and temperature tracking and never-ending cycles, I researched more and more and more. I’m intimately familiar with all of the statistics and the worst-case scenarios. Plus, it took us a year and a half to conceive, as opposed to the general wisdom of three months/cycles*. Because of that, I’m more used to things going wrong. It’s that status quo thing again, except this time it’s in the form of bad luck. Even though there’s no indication, right now, that I’ll have any issues – my infertility stemmed from plain-old unexplained anovulation as opposed to a recognizable issue or defect with my reproductive system – that doesn’t mean my body will be able to successfully carry/support a baby.

And what bums me out a little is that all of these thoughts are clouding together so that I’m not jumping for joy or singing from the rooftops like I thought I would be. In actuality, I don’t quite believe it’s real.

Anyway – thoughts for the day! As I try to wrap my brain around ……. er, my status. Still not ready to commit.

*It always annoyed me, the conventional wisdom of three months because what they actually meant was three cycles. Seriously, if I hunt through my archives, I’m sure I ranted about it at some point because it was a legit pet peeve of mine. Flash forward to now and I realized that, ironically, it actually did take us three cycles. Albeit, three really, really spaced out cycles with a lot of infertile time in between. Oh bodies, you’re so weird and yet so normal.

And suddenly there were two

GUYS – come over here. Shhh – gather round for I have a secret to tell you.

Yesterday morning there were two lines on my pregnancy test.

SHHHHHH – don’t get too excited yet. The test line was fairly faint (dark enough that I saw it right away but faint enough that Luffy needed explanation as to what he was looking at).

So there’s a distinct possibility that I am …. that we are …. that I could be ….

I can’t even bring myself to say it. Out loud. I haven’t yet, even to myself. I’ve ordered prenatal vitamins and the Mayo Clinic’s guide to pregnancy (Amazon Prime FTW!), but I don’t yet feel confident enough to say it out loud.

Yesterday morning, when I saw those two lines, my first thought was OMG, but I didn’t weep with joy or clap or dance or anything like that. I honestly pondered whether I should tell Luffy or not. I felt like I would just be getting his hopes up. And that’s how I phrased it too, when I told him (who am I kidding, like I could keep that kind of thing to myself for the next four or five days). I said “I don’t want you to get too excited because it’s still super early and the test line is very faint, but there’s two lines on my pregnancy test.” We hugged that grasping, strangle-hold hug that you give your truly favorite people and I showed him the test and then we sort of didn’t mention it the rest of the day – like it was the pink elephant in the room.

I suppose that’s what a year and a half of infertility does to you. I’m not overjoyed right now, I’m suspicious. I am waiting for Wednesday to arrive (the day my period is technically due) and pull the rug out from under me. HA HA. JK. AS IF*. I told Luffy this morning that I’m not ready to say it out loud because I feel like my tests are jerking me around, playing some cruel joke. I mean, it can’t be that simple, can it? It can’t happen just like that, right?

So that’s where I am right now. Suspicious and highly dubious, but oh so hopeful. Today is CD 29 but also only day 13 after ovulation. In other words, it’s still really early. Super early. Perhaps not even four-weeks-along early. Maybe if I don’t get my period this week and I get a more pronounced positive** result, I’ll finally relax and breathe and admit that I’m preg-

Eep! I almost said it!

* I watched part of Clueless this weekend and AS IF never fails to crack me up. I need to bring that back in 2016.

** For clarification purposes, the tests I have are doctor’s-office-quality, highly sensitive tests. The instructions actually warn users not to test too early because the tests are so sensitive that they can catch a chemical pregnancy. Combine that with the fact that I’m just too used to ovulation tests where the test lines need to be the same color for a positive result. Let’s just say I’d be a lot happier if my test line was the same color as the control line.

 

Seven Days and Counting

So my tracking app tells me I have seven days until I can take a pregnancy test. Seven days until I have a chance of finding out if I’m pregnant – of finding out if this cycle was the one or if we’ll have to try again. A quick google search results in several resources that say the absolute earliest you could possibly find out is about 10 days after ovulation (aka Friday), but to not trust a negative result until a week after a missed period (aka 21 days after ovulation, aaka freaking March).

I’m telling you all of this because the countdown is becoming intrusive and I’m hoping to purge my brain, so to speak.

I told Luffy this morning that I can’t wait to take the test. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’m so ready for this to be our cycle. For the fertility drugs and the peeing on sticks every morning and the temperature tracking to finally, finally, yield a result. So I’m eagerly counting down the days until I can know. And yet. I’m also dreading it in a way. Right now, I can cling to the hope that this is it, this is the one. Once I take the test, I’ll know for sure and there will be no hope. I’ll either be ecstatic or despondent, but there will be no hope, at least not for this cycle.

We went to Napa a couple of weekends ago (I think I mentioned the champagne – at least once or twice). Our friend was turning thirty. His wife is six months pregnant. We had heard, through the grapevine, that they had been trying for a while. Or, at least, the information was that she’d been off birth control for close to three years. Finally! A friend I could talk to. Granted, she’s not really a friend of mine and I don’t like her all that much, but still! Someone I could talk to, in person, and share experiences. I was eager to hear any and all stories she had, to commiserate infertility and celebrate her pregnancy. Luffy and I were talking to her when we first arrived and Luffy asked her how long it took them to get pregnant. One month, she said, they got pregnant on their first try. She shrugged off our wonderment, saying she had been tracking her cycle for years and they knew exactly when to have sex.

But, I wanted to tell her, that doesn’t mean anything. I’ve been tracking my cycle for a while too and all of that means absolutely nothing if there’s nothing to track. I felt like she wasn’t grateful enough. I mean, their first try! If we had gotten pregnant on our first try, we would have a six-month-old. I imagined what his dimples or her chubby cheeks or his dark hair would look like and I wanted to shout at her – DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE?!?!?!

Of course I didn’t. I understood that my frustration with her was misplaced. I’m frustrated with me, with my body and its failed attempts. In 16 months, I’ve ovulated five times, only three confirmed (the first two I’m assuming happened because I did get a period on my own but I wasn’t taking ovulation tests at the time). Three times we’ve diligently tracked my cycle and had sex exactly when we’re supposed to. Hopefully, third time’s the charm. We’ll know soon enough.

 

 

Civic Duty

Well that was a bit of a letdown.

I had jury duty this morning. As I’m sitting here writing at half past twelve, rather than in a courtroom, you can imagine that it went well.

True to form, I put a lot of planning and thought into my outing this morning. I picked out a particular outfit (comfortable, professional, cool). I packed a bag so that I could take a book and my iPad (which I actually wasn’t going to bring but needed it later in the day and didn’t want to leave in  my car). I packed a small bottle of water and a snack. I planned on leaving the house at 7:30, knowing that I would actually get out the door several minutes after that (which I did).

I arrived at the parking garage at precisely 8:17 this morning and found a parking space rather quickly thanks to my previous knowledge of the garage. I made my way up to the main level and followed the signs for the courthouse. I went through security and checked in with jury services then made my way through the giant room to an empty row of chairs. I had the good fortune of picking a seat that happened to be in a breezeway from the exit (it was rather warm in the jury holding room). I sat down at precisely 8:28 and congratulated myself on my stupendous planning skills (yay for neurosis and super good worrying skillz!!!!)

The civic duty video started shortly after I sat down and absolutely cracked me up. All about how being on a jury was the highest honor and so interesting and so important. Blah de blah de blah. Once that ended, a judge got up and gave another rousing speech regarding civic duty (good) and lying (bad). He actually was rather funny and an excellent speaker. Once he got done, a guy from jury services got up and went through some more instructions and then called 20 specific participants for the first jury. Off they went. It was 10:00. The jury services guy then announced to the rest of the room that we would break until 10:35.

So I went to the restroom and read my book until 10:35. Luffy pinged me at 10:40 to tell me our current favorite show was just confirmed for a second season (yay!!) and we chatted about how everything was going.

At 11:00 the jury services guy came back into the room and announced that the courts had no need for juries that day; we were all dismissed. YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!

So yeah, that was it. Nothing too bad or too dramatic. Didn’t even see the inside of a courtroom. Not bad for my first jury summons.

It’s not even 1 in the afternoon today and I’m already calling it a marvelous day. I got dismissed from jury services at 11am. My favorite show is starting a second season in the summer. I basically got an extra hour to read this morning (I’m almost to the end of a library book). I didn’t need to swap or sub out my exercise class this evening.

And I got a positive ovulation reading this morning.

(Like how I just slipped that in there? Wish us luck!!)

Status quo

All it takes is one. One test. One positive. One cycle. I’m so ready for it to be our one.


Something that’s really been bothering me lately, that I’ve been trying to work through, is how to overcome the status quo while we’re trying to conceive. In general, things continue as they have in the past. If a student is doing well in school, you can assume that they will continue doing well if all else stays equal. If a car maker produces excellent cars or a director makes fantastic movies, you can bet that they’re going to continue doing so. Odds are in favor of the sports team with the best record because you can guess that it will continue, for whatever reason. Now I know that this is SUPER generalized, but you get what I’m saying right? Status quo is hard to change and it’s also hard to think past. You grab the same brand of beverage or the same type of candy without thinking about it because you have liked it in the past and, thus, will most likely enjoy it in the future.

The status quo, for me, is 16 months of no progress. I’m having a hard time believing in optimistic results because my status quo does not support them. My track record is not good (two ovulatory cycles in 16 months), so the odds are against me. And thus, how can I even begin to think that this time could be it? Hell, I can hardly even hope that I’ll ovulate, much less actually conceive. (And don’t even get me started down the path of miscarriages or problems during pregnancy because I quite literally can’t think about that right now.)

Of course, this type of thinking does no good, which is why I’m trying to work through it. I remind myself that it’s true, the status quo is a difficult thing to shake. But! All it takes is one. We only need one positive to have a child in our arms. I remind myself that at the end of this journey – wherever it leads us – this will not be a defining moment for me. If we don’t have children, it will be a decision between the two of us because there is more than one way to have a child. If we do have children, the months it took us to conceive will quickly be overshadowed by their lives. I might one day recount to my daughter my difficulties in getting pregnant, but only so that she might prepare herself for the same. These months will not be part of their life story and it will not end up part of mine.

And thus, I’m tired of the status quo. I’m ready to disrupt it. I’m so ready for this to be the one.