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I’m Joyful and It’s Weird

It’s a weird thing.

Lately, I’ve been feeling…joyful. Light-hearted. Optimistic. I am hopeful for the future. In recent weeks (maybe since Thanksgiving?), I’ve been making up silly songs and dancing to Christmas music. I’ve been giggling over small things. I’ve been talking my husband’s ear off. When I’m happy, I chatter nonstop. When I’m not, I am more quiet. So this is very significant. And very strange.

I have felt this way before. For a minute. Typically, such hope and optimism is all too fleeting. But now, I have been feeling this way for days. Possibly weeks. I don’t know why this is. ‘Tis the season? Not likely. When dealing with loss and grief, this season usually only makes it harder. Maybe it is knowing this terrible year is nearly over and, with that, there is a chance for a new beginning. Maybe it’s the peace I have prayed for. I have no other explanation. Nothing else has changed. In fact, the longer we go without a BFP, the more it feels like it will never happen.

This does not mean I am worry-free. This week, I have been concerned for my husband’s job security, though I’m not certain I really have cause to (perhaps this will be a separate post, at some point). I’ve also been been fearing that my period will be coming any day. I’m not really afraid that it will come because I’m fairly certain it will. I’m just afraid it will come too soon and give me something new to worry over (again).

Nor does this happy-g0-luckiness mean that I don’t have moments of sheer sadness. My failed due date is approaching. I hung a small stocking for Teddy Graham on Friday. Three friends have recently given birth to their babies. All of this has been enough to make me have to stop and catch my breath. Just this morning, I started to weep while at church and I couldn’t stop. I continue to miss my baby desperately. The sting of my loss is still very fresh some days.

And yet…for the most part, I am feeling happy, celebratory, and excited for what is yet to come.  It is not that I necessarily believe we will have another child. I don’t. I also don’t not believe it. I just don’t know. Our future remains questionable. I just am beginning to feel (maybe) that whatever happens, we will be okay. I will be okay.  Somehow. I don’t really expect this perspective to last forever. I hope it will stay with me through the big holiday. But I guess all I can do right now is hold onto it for as long as I can. And be thankful that I get to enjoy it for however many days I do.

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Lo and Behold…

It’s CD29 and, much to my surprise, I ovulated this week. I say I’m surprised, but that’s only because my RE gave up on me when my follicles didn’t progress the way she expected. I don’t think anyone at the clinic believed it would be happening this cycle. But I did. All along, I did.

The big question is, when?  My temp has been elevated for four days now. That generally means I ovulated the day before the temp rise, which would be CD25. My BBT has been fairly predictable lately and, when taking my temp at the same time, it has always been 97.5 or below this cycle. On CD25, it went up to 97.9 and has been that or above ever since. But here’s the tricky part:  the last four days (CD25-28), the OPKs have been positive. They were just barely positive (with the test line only slightly darker than the control line) days 25 and 26, and a much stronger positive on days 27 and 28. CD27 was the darkest OPK, two days after my BBT went up. I’ve never gotten an OPK that dark post-ovulation. Do you see why I’m confused? And on top of that, my CM was ultra-fertile on CD24 and 25, less so on CD26 and 27, and back to sticky by CD28 (yesterday). Based on this, I am guessing I must have ovulated on CD25 and perhaps my LH levels were just a little wonky thereafter, which is what gave me the positive OPKs. But I can’t be 1000% sure of that. Anyone want to put in their two cents on this?

Either way, what I do know is that I have ovulated the latest I ever have while taking Clomid. Not in love with that idea, but there’s not much I can do about it now. And if you think about it, it’s kind of amazing that I ovulated at all, considering that my follicles were shrinking on CD16, just nine days before. I didn’t have any of the normal ovarian tenderness that usually indicates my follicles are getting big and ready, so I wasn’t fully expecting it to happen when it did. Of course, that makes me wonder if perhaps I released an egg before it was fully mature, but whatever. I can worry about every little thing, or I can choose not to. For now, I choose the latter. And it’s not like it matters anyways. With my husband’s possible low sperm morphology and knowing that we’ve been here three other times since August without any BFP in sight, any hope at this point seems futile.

For now, I will just be happy I ovulated. It’s a small victory, but in our world, I think every victory is one worth celebrating. And I’ll do just that, with a TTC-friendly drink. Perhaps the sparkling cider that my father-in-law gave to my daughter for her birthday gift (yes, you read that right). Cheers!

Footloose and Fancy-Free

Two nights ago, my Honey asked me while helping me pick up and clean the house (yes, he’s one of THOSE kind of husbands), “So are you, like, ovulating soon?”

I smiled and said, “I already did. About two days ago.” Which I had already told him (yes, he’s also one of THOSE husbands), but that’s beside the point.

He stopped in his tracks. “You did???” he asked. “Don’t we usually have lots of sex when that’s happening?”

Which made me laugh and also goes to show, ladies and gents (or really, just ladies), how laid-back I have let this cycle be. We did have sex, every other day, but none of the daily baby-dancing that I usually force us to do when the OPKs start to turn positive. That’s partly because I was never sure of my exact ovulation day, partly because we’ve been so tired and busy since our return from London, and partly because I just really didn’t care that much.

And last night, when Honey asked me while I was plucking my eyebrows, “So do you think you’re pregnant?,” I was able to tell him an unequivocal no, I did not.  That’s the first time I’ve ever said that to this same question. I usually shrug and say “Maybe.” or “I’m not sure. I hope so!” I do hope, of course. I will always hope. But do I believe? Do I think there’s a chance? Not really.

But here’s a teensy tiny little secret, my bloggy friends: There is a smallish part of me that hopes this carefree sort of attitude will do what no amount of optimism and hope has…it will get me pregnant. Not in the “oops! I’m accidentally pregnant!” sort of way because, let’s face it, we have been trying and we’ve been trying hard. And I’m starting to feel like we will always be trying until my ovaries become shriveled up and old and Out of Service. What I’m talking about is pregnant in the “I just relaxed and wah-lah!” sort of way. Which is a very circular way of hoping. Hoping by not hoping.

And I know, I know. I’m crazy. And I’ve probably just jinxed it all by typing this. But oh well. I don’t care, remember? And let’s get real. We all know that sort of thing only happens to other people. Not me. Except that one time, two and a half years ago, when believing I was not pregnant did, indeed, get me pregnant and gave me a healthy baby nine months later. But not me again. I’m not so naive to think that that kind of luck strikes someone twice.

Instead, while I wait for this two-week wait to pass, I will just enjoy this feeling of peace and patience that has gripped me for the time being. And I will look forward to my RE appointment and to the new hope that it may give me.

Another Lame 2WW

I feel these sort of updates are getting pretty old. It’s October 24th. It’s CD24. I’m in the 2WW. I think. I’m not holding my breath for this cycle. Blah blah blah. Are you bored out of your mind yet? ‘Cause I am.

But anyways

I do think I ovulated, on CD20 but probably 21 or 22, but I’m not as sure as I am some months. For one, I never got a strong positive on the OPK. The test line was only ever comparable to the control line, never obviously darker than it as it is some months. This isn’t a huge deal because I never got a positive the cycle I conceived my daughter either, but it makes me feel less confident in knowing whether or not an egg was actually released. And for another, my temperature is up which is usually a reliable indication of ovulation for me, but my BBT has been all sorts of crazy since my return from London and I’m not sure I can trust it.

So we’ll see. It’s always wait and see with me, isn’t it?

The one thing I do know though is that, while I cannot lie anymore and say I have no hope at all, I am feeling sort of indifferent or apathetic towards this cycle. Because I’m really expecting it not to work. To me, it just seems like a cycle I have to get through before I go visit an RE for the first time and move on to a new plan. My mom, who knows everything about every cycle, keeps talking about how long these next two weeks will take and how anxious she is for what the second part of this cycle holds, but I don’t feel that way at all. The days will pass. The end will come when it comes. I have no anticipation for it. No hopeful butterflies fluttering in my chest. No excitement. No desire to symptom watch. No plan for when I’ll test if I’m late. I’m just trudging along, waiting for….what? I don’t know. Waiting for something different, I guess. I don’t know how long it will last, but I like this feeling. I like not hoping. Or at least, not hoping much. It feels safe.

Some day, I do hope I will have something more exciting to write about, though. Like my appointment with an RE.  Like a new course of treatment. Like a BFP. Oh…if only. What a day that will be when it finally comes.

On Waiting

I think I’ve said it before, but let me reiterate…I have no patience. None. I’m not talking about the patience required to handle a one-year-old when she is screaming in the supermarket (though sometimes I’m lacking in that area, too). No, I mean the patience needed when it comes to waiting. I fail miserably at it.

I’m the type of person who, when I want something, I go buy it now, instead of waiting for my birthday or Christmas or even next week. When I crave chocolate, I must. have. it. now. I cannot wait, even if I did just have a bowl of ice cream. And waiting for each Harry Potter book and movie to be released just about killed me…which is why I was almost always first in line at midnight at the theater or bookstore.

But I didn’t really understand the true meaning of “waiting” until infertility entered my life. And as all of you know, this stupid journey is all about waiting. We wait to ovulate. We wait for our period. We wait to start the fertility drugs. We wait for doctor appointments. We wait to hear from our doctor. We wait three minutes (the longest three minutes in the history of the world, I should add) to see if it’s one line or two. We wait to have our blood drawn. We wait for the results. We wait for an ultrasound. We wait for a heartbeat. We wait to miscarry. We wait to try again. We are always waiting.

And at 11dpo, this waiting is getting very tiresome. The good news is that this has been the fastest my two-week wait has ever passed me by. The bad news is that I’m still itching with impatience. This was the day last month that my period arrived and startled me with something new to agonize over: a short luteal phase. But so far, so good. No temperature drop and no signs of the monster in sight. But that doesn’t mean it’s not coming. I know that. Most likely, it will arrive this weekend. I’m trying to prepare my head and heart for it. Trying, being the operative word there.

I have thought about testing. But I won’t. I. Will. Not. Seeing that negative test last month just about broke my heart. I’m not feeling that brave, or that tempted, right now. And I think it will be easier to see red than to see only one line.

And so I will wait some more.

I have a problem.

It’s not the “OMG! I’m still not ovulating!” sort of problem. (And please do know — I don’t actually ever say “OMG.”) But it’s more like the “Hi, I’m Cassie and I’m an addict.” sort of problem.

And my addiction is charting. As in, charting my BBT.

I religiously chart my temp every morning. At the same exact time: 5:30 a.m., even on the weekends. I wake up on my own usually about five minutes before I take my temp and lay perfectly still so as not to inadvertently alter my BBT with any movement and, in the days after ovulation, this five minutes is spent with my heart pounding out of my chest and into my ears and throat because I’m so freaking scared that my temp won’t be as high as it should be. And on Sunday, after temping, I was seriously so sure I was going to vomit because of that beating heart and frazzled nerves.

I know I’m nuts. This is not something I can control. So I should not worry about it. But I want that thermal shift so much. I want it to stay and stay and stay and never go away (at least for nine-and-a-half months). And so I obsess. I cannot help myself.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that I do believe we can now officially declare Outcome 1 out of  the running. I have had a beautiful thermal shift ever since getting my positive OPK on Saturday and I lovingly admire my chart every day. For so many months in TTC-land, I never got a thermal shift and now that I do see one, I want to kiss it. Truly. (I’m crazy, I tell you. CRAZY!)

There are a few things that are bugging me in small ways, though:

  • My BBT since ovulation (four days ago) has not had a dip. This sounds like a good thing, but I had a dip in both of my pregnancies in the first four days. After my research about BBTs, I learned that this was probably an estrogen surge. I really, really doubt it was an early pregnancy sign (probably just a coincidence), but it’s the only pattern I know to be true for me so far.
  • The OPKs are back to negative, but that second line is taking its sweet time in disappearing completely. I do hope this is not a sign that my hormones are all wonky.
  • I’ve had a lot of extra CM the last couple days, but I think it has transformed into the sticky kind…not the “hey, you’re pregnant!” creamy kind. But I don’t know if sticky vs. creamy really matters this early on and, to be honest, I’ve never even been very good at telling the difference between the two. Mine almost always seems to be somewhere in between.

So while I’m trying to stay optimistic, I am honestly not putting a lot of stock in this cycle. It’s just not feeling like “the one.” Is that crazy, at 4dpo? Because really, how the hell do I know? I don’t. My past history has shown that, at times like these, my intuition is faulty at best. So it’s all a guessing game. Just like symptom spotting is all a game. Which is why I’m trying really hard not to play. This time, at least.

But I reserve the right to give in to the temptation at any given moment.

Losing Hope

Last night, I prepared a post about pregnancy “symptoms” I am and am not experiencing (like vomiting over the weekend), but after taking my temperature this morning, I don’t think I’ll be publishing it. I just don’t think there’s any point. Because, while my temp has been above 98.0 since ovulation, yesterday it dropped to 97.86 and today to 97.45. Right back to where it was before ovulation. There is a part of me (the part that’s in denial) that argues maybe this is a fluke. Maybe my temp will go back up tomorrow. But we know, don’t we? I know.

I am not pregnant.

Confirmed by a pregnancy test I took this morning just for the heck of it: BFN. No surprise there. Not now, anyways.

I can’t adequately describe to you what this has done to my state of mind this morning. Crying off and on. Periods of numbness in between the sobbing. Unmotivated to do anything. And sometimes thinking, Well, screw it. I give up. I’m not doing THIS again (which totally deserves its own post).

I feel so scared right now. If my temp is dropping, at 11dpo, what does this mean? That I’m not producing enough progesterone? That I have a luteal phase defect? Because of all my problems, that is not one I’ve ever had, as far as we know.

And what could have possibly gone wrong? I ovulated earlier than I ever have before and we timed our baby-dancing perfectly. Did we do it too much? Was three days in a row too many? Some recommend every other day, but with an adequate sperm count, there is no research that says we can’t do it more. Should my husband be tested? Again? And yet… Yet, just four months ago, we created a life — a beautiful life — in the same way with no problems at all.

For the first time in my life, I ovulated on cycle day 14. And I feel like I just blew the best chance I had. Because I don’t know what happens when I embark on my third round of 100mg of Clomid. I’ve never had to go there. Three rounds of 50mg? No problem. I know they will all fail. I won’t even ovulate. But three rounds of 100mg? I can’t even take a guess. I hope I will ovulate. On an acceptable day. But I have lost all my confidence in conceiving just because I ovulate.

In the days after my miscarriage, all I wanted was to have my mom here, so that she could watch my daughter while I went to our bedroom and cried myself to sleep. Today is like that. I just want to cry. And sleep. Maybe until next month, when I will be ovulating and can have hope again.

I keep thinking how easy life would be if I’d never lost our Teddy Graham. I can never change the fact of my infertility and that I can’t conceive naturally, but if he was still here…life would be okay. Good even. I would feel so happy. The future would hold so much hope. My heart would hurt so much less.

I guess, more than anything, today I just want my baby back.