Intuition: Confused

I’m currently in what might possibly be my last two-week-wait for several months. As I mentioned previously, if we don’t conceive this month, we’ll wait – eh maybe 5-6 months – before trying again. For reasons.

Anyway, since I seemed to be able to tell last time and the time before, I’ve been monitoring my body like a hawk watches prey. And honestly, it’s just left me confused more than anything.

For instance, this past weekend? I was sure – sure – I was pregnant. My boobs were painfully tender and full. Taking off my bra hurt, putting a shirt on hurt. Squishing them hurt. They felt heavy and full. They fit classic description of early pregnancy boobs to a T. Along with the sore boobs, came the twinges and tweaks from the uterus-area, just like last time. Plus, Luffy and I went to see a movie on Sunday morning and not one, but TWO trailers had me in tears. And I don’t mean a single graceful tear at a particularly music-swelling, emotional moment – I mean a hot, sobbing mess. (If you’re curious, the trailers were for Breakthrough and A Dog’s Journey. You may want to make sure your tissues are nearby.) So, two sore boobs + numerous uterine twinges + two tear ducts at the ready = one very positively pregnant Belle. I just had to be!

But today? Today I’m not so sure. The sore boobs have resided. Finding and re-watching those trailers did not bring on the waterworks. My womb doesn’t have that purposeful feeling I talked about last time. I took a pregnancy test this morning even though I swore to myself that this time I wouldn’t. It’s the same day, cycle-wise, that I had my positive pregnancy test with my January pregnancy. I told myself that I shouldn’t test again so early. It’s far too early. And hadn’t I been concerned last time that such a pronounced positive result that early on was a sign for the miscarriage? That my hCG numbers shouldn’t have been so high and thus was a sign that the pregnancy was ill-fated? Hadn’t I cursed myself for testing so early last time? And what did I do? I tested early again. It was starkly negative and now I’m, of course, worried about that even though IT’S WAY TOO EARLY TO WORRY BELLE.

[Could you do me a favor? Could you shout that line at your screen for me? Or even just mutter it? Recite it in your head a few times? I think I need the reinforcement, thanks.]

Luffy asked me for my intuition’s thoughts this morning, since we’d been pretty much operating under the assumption that I am pregnant all weekend. I told him that I just don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.

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Not Quite

Famous last words and all that… I did actually end up having to visit my allergist. Friday morning (my second-to-last day of antibiotics) I woke up with excruciating sinus pain and pressure. Not too much congestion, but my face hurt. I cried uncle (again!) and called up my allergist to beg and plead to be squeezed in for a sick visit. They cautioned me that I’d have to wait and I did indeed do that. A full hour after my appointment time, I finally saw her, but it was well worth the wait.

Basically, I (and the doctor on demand) did everything right, but my sinus infection turned into a chronic one. Essentially, think of the infection in my sinuses like an onion (ewe) that was so powerful and rapidly multiplying that the antibiotics were only able to clear the top layer while the underlying layers grew thicker. The antibiotics just couldn’t keep up. So, I got another round of antibiotics (a different type and a longer regimen) as well as 15 days worth of steroids to keep everything open and able to drain.

I think it’s going well! I’ve had a lot more drainage over the past 24 hours or so (ewe, again, I know). I’m just hoping to really kick this infection this time. One of my friends mentioned that this was the turning point for sinus surgery for her twenty years ago or so. She had a chronic sinus infection that two rounds of antibiotics couldn’t touch and voila! Bought herself a ticket for surgical correction. I… really don’t want that option. So cross your fingers for me!


In other news, we’ve had a fantastic weekend around here. The dumpling got a hair cut and behaved awesomely! I was super unsure of how it would go because he woke up from his nap in the WORST mood. An hour afterwards and he wasn’t any better but I had to just pack him up and take him. I spent the car ride listening to wails and formulating my apologies to the stylist. Then, miraculously, it went fine. He was even smiling by the end! And she used two types of clippers on him! Stupendous! Incredible!

We rode on that high all the way through Target while I picked up some supplies to make impromptu banana bread. I got so many compliments on him as he was an absolute charmer throughout the store: picking up items that had fallen off shelves, being so exuberantly excited that we were getting potatoes, chatting up the older couple in the checkout lane in front of us. Words other people used to describe my child while we were at Target: adorable, charming, the best personality. It was excursions like this that make parenting worthwhile. Then we came home and I made marbled banana bread (recipe courtesy of the genius Smitten Kitchen and yes it is delicious).

Today, we’ve had brunch and played at an indoor playground and watched Daniel and played with flashlights and firefighter hats and just generally had a really awesome time.


And now for a bit more personal news: I think I’m ovulating.

So here’s the thing. I was testing for ovulation regularly like two weeks ago, as you know. They got really close to positive and then just. Didn’t. LH levels dropped. Nada. I figured that I probably just didn’t ovulate. Not exactly suprrising to have an anovulatory cycle following a miscarriage, so I really didn’t think much of it. I saw my doctor on Friday for my Well Woman’s visit and we chatted about it. He said I could probably expect my period in 1-4 weeks, though I was secretly fairly confident I could expect it early next week.

Then, this morning, while we were at the indoor playground of all places I had to excuse myself to go check on things. I was sure my period had started, but instead I found… well… a lot of cervical fluid indicative of peak fertility. So I came home and took another test and it was overwhelmingly positive. I’m definitely ovulating.

So here’s the trouble. My OB/GYN advised that I should have a full menstrual cycle before trying to conceive. However, if we do that, we’ll only get one more chance to conceive before we have to wait (self-imposed because of our own reasons, but still). But, I also just finished talking about how I’m on an extended round of steroids (not advisable) and antibiotics (ok but not ideal) and then I’ll need decongestants (a definite no-go). All of these pros and cons and I’m totally undecided as to whether we should try for it this time.

If I could guarantee that we’d repeat our luck next time – that I would for-sure conceive – then I would wait. Might as well get my health back in order (though there’s obviously no guarantee that I wouldn’t get another sinus infection or need decongestants later in the season… I needed them for the entire month of May last year). But yeah, if I could guarantee we’d get pregnant next month, I’d hold off this month. I’d follow my OB/GYN’s directive, I’d finish up this round of medication. I’d wait. But, I can’t. I can’t guarantee that. And I don’t think I could stand it if we waited and then I didn’t get pregnant.

So… I guess I’m saying we’re trying again. Now. Cross your fingers for us!

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!!)