breaking the silence – part 3

Earlier this year, I got an advertisement that I thought was hilarious, in a nerd humor kind of way, and forwarded it to a friend I went to university with. His girlfriend had sent me some text messages after A & C died, so I knew they were thinking of us and trying to stay in touch. His reply included that he just found out he’d be in my city next week, and if there was a chance to meet up for breakfast on Thursday? There was. He wrote back:

Great! Looking forward to seeing you!

Such a common expression, and yet it meant so much to me. Because I’ve noticed that many people are apprehensive of meeting me, meeting us, now. We went to our favorite but rather famous coffee shop – the rule is, whoever arrives first gets in line, and then you still have a while to chat until you actually get to the counter. First we chatted about “normal” stuff – travel, work, etc. But once we sat down with our breakfast and coffee*, he asked how we were doing. If I wanted to talk about that. So I told him about going back to work, where 50% of my colleagues have never so much as said a word about our loss, the family visit for Christmas with its good and difficult sides, and the upcoming FET and our hopes and fears around that. He acknowledged that healing will take a long time, and wished us luck for the FET. And then we went back to talking about other things.

* in case you’re wondering, I had decaf – I’m not sure this actually makes a difference, but I will do the few things I have control over


On the plane I asked for decaf with breakfast. Not that I’d slept much – it’s midnight “my time” when we arrive, but 9am locally. That situation seems to demand coffee. But last time I took this flight I was pregnant, and remembered that I really liked that decaf – in part because it was freshly brewed for me. When the flight attendant came back with my cup, I heard her mention a powdered coffee brand to her colleague. My recently developed coffee-snob-ego wanted to get miffed, but even when I smelled it I knew why I liked it: this was the kind of coffee I used to have with my mom on the porch after coming back from school. I have so many good memories of us sitting and talking and having (powder-based) coffee.


We went downtown, and H was taking pictures of me with the Christmas decoration in the background. He wanted to try another angle (he’s serious about this) and asked me to look more relaxed and to smile. “I can’t”, I said. “I’m sad.”. He apologized and hugged me, I cried some, and eventually we moved on, at least in the literal sense. This is how many of my days go – I’m okay most of the time, and then something triggers a reminder of our loss, and I become so sad again, for a little while.

unsurprisingly, that didn’t work

Negative. Again. Though I think I took it ok this time (as in, I did not burst into tears). And of course I had coffee — real, proper, caffeinated coffee — today.

There was something weird about this cycle though. Last week, I noticed that I lost much less hair when showering and combing than usual. And I had cramps — not bad, but of increasing strength over the week. Until Friday evening, when they suddenly stopped without any apparent reason (that would be 9dpo, I think). From Saturday on much more hair loss (back to normal really — I don’t know if it’s actually a lot, but I have dark and thick hair so it’s very obvious) and no more cramps. Could this have been a very early miscarriage? Or am I over-interpreting my symptoms? I only tested today, didn’t even think about it on Saturday, so I have no idea if there would have been any hcg to detect… I’ve had one sort of similar experience with symptoms until 9dpo, but again, I have no idea if I was pregnant then, or just symptom-crazy. If anyone has experienced something similar, or more ideas on how to interpret this (and what to do), please share.

off coffee, on progesterone

I haven’t had any for over a week now. Not that I expect this will get me pregnant, but just to be sure, just to have tried it. Even though I asked my doc about this very issue, and she said “as long as you’re not having 200 per day” …
I miss it. Not even so much the caffeine itself — I’m actually fine if I sleep enough, assuming work doesn’t get terribly busy, plus I still have 1-2 cups of green tea in the morning — but just this time that I set aside for myself. Just me, my coffee, maybe something to read or the sunshine to enjoy. Because sometimes it is the small things in life that can make me happy. And I don’t like cutting them out. Well, 5 days to go, then I can test and if it’s negative I’ll get myself a big nice latte.

BTW, any thoughts about decaf? I tend to say that I want “real coffee or no coffee” but maybe I could cheat and get some caffeine-free-me-time? Or is there anything bad in that, too?

In other news, (a) my skin looks horrible (it always does that on progesterone, but this time around it’s particularly bad, even H commented on it — just what I needed), (b) EPO is very expensive here, I’ll probably order it from back home and (c) there have been more pregnancy and birth announcements. Whereas my friend, the one who finally got pregnant after a long time trying? Is on bedrest after an episode of bleeding, and ongoing contractions. And she hasn’t even reached viability yet. I’m so sorry for her. I’m thinking of making her a baby blanket, hoping very much that she’ll need it — soon, but not too soon.

my favorite xenobiotic

Yesterday I had 3 cups of coffee accidentally. How can that happen accidentally, you ask? Well, I ordered a latte with just one shot of espresso (instead of the two they normally add), but got one extra. I did notice it was strong (which I don’t even like!)… but didn’t do anything about it. Only this morning when I rediscovered the bill with the charge for the extra shot I understood. Ouch.

So there, I haven’t given up coffee completely. Why? Two reasons, mainly. One is the lack of data showing that it’s harmful — I’ve found several resources saying that moderate amounts (1-2 cups) don’t seem to have adverse effects (even though others have seen growth restriction from caffeine during pregnancy, and I’ll be happy to cut it out if/when I manage to get pregnant — note that they consider all caffeine, and actually over 50% come from tea according to their analysis).
The other reason is that ttc can already take out a lot of the fun things in life. Hell, even sex becomes stressful when you follow the chart instead of the moods. I don’t want this “trying” to dictate my life even more than it already does. Normally I just have one cup per day, one short espresso (even before ttc). Hoping that this isn’t too bad. But of course, sometimes I wonder: am I hampering our chances? Would we be pregnant already if I had cut it out right when we started trying? Should I at least reduce it even more in the 2ww? (Here it would help to know what problems caffeine causes / is supposed to cause — I couldn’t find out.)

Then there are the alternatives. In the morning I usually have a cup of green tea — full of antioxidants. Should be good, right? Except that some say it blocks absorption of folic acid. Which would really be a problem. So for now, I have my green tea in the morning, and my folic acid in the evening.

What do you do about the drinks? No coffee, no tea at all? Different in the 2ww than pre-O?