Thankful

What a difference a year makes. It is hard to imagine that this time last year I was still physically recovering from the loss of A&C, let alone trying to cope with the emotional aspects. Now I’m cluster-feeding a little person who seems to be having a difficult day (we alternate between the easy and the more difficult ones). Would it be nice to have taken a shower or had breakfast by mid-day? Sure. Does it matter? Not really. I even snuck in a quick yoga practice (weird priorities, you may think… but in my usual timeline, yoga happens before showering and breakfast…)

The picture below gives a pretty good summary. I’m eternally grateful that we got to take home our little Strawberry, and that she is thriving. Her real name means “dark”, matching her eyes, which are blue-gray and looking at the world more alert each day.

IMG_0036.JPG

The blanket is a gift from a dear blog friend, who sadly has also experienced the loss of two babies. I’m grateful for all the support I received online from all of you, as well as for the people in my life who stepped forward asking about the twins and sharing their own stories.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the blanket has two stars. For A&C. I’m thankful for every minute I had with them and everything they taught and are continuing to teach me. I also miss them terribly. SB’s middle name means “little sister” in their honor.

I’m thankful for a team of doctors who know how to get me pregnant and keep me pregnant for long enough, all the way to full term! Grateful that, given a healthy embryo and some extra progesterone, my body knows just what to do. Thankful for what appears to be one of the easiest possible birth experiences, leading to a healthy living baby in my arms.

And so many other things. I’m still amazed how different my life is just a year later, and it is my hope that, if this Thanksgiving was hard for you, the coming month may bring the sort of change you’ve been longing for.

overdue (but not the way you think)

See, I couldn’t put this title without a clarification — according to FemCal my period is due today, but given how much my luteal phase length varies depending on vitamin B6 (on), progesterone (off) and perhaps other factors, that doesn’t mean particularly much. No, the thing I’m waiting for is an answer regarding money I’ve applied for, work-wise. The estimated date for getting back to us isn’t really long ago, so it might not mean anything that I haven’t heard from them… but I’m kind of hopeful, nevertheless (and scared that blogging about it will jinx my chances) — see, it’s just like with the bloody period.

I haven’t been around much, and it likely won’t change for a while, as we’ll be moving soon. Lots and lots (and lots) of stuff to do, I kind of don’t know how my head is supposed to handle it all. While sorting through my clothes I found a cardigan… a maternity cardigan. Bought in blissful times when I though I’d be glowing and happy. Years and years ago, when I was still on the pill and far from married. I had forgotten about it. And, maybe, forgotten about the carefree girl I once was.

I decided to keep it, just in case.

no surprises

It was negative again. :(
I should have taken the result from last week and moved on.
Why that didn’t happen, you may ask? Well, I told H about it, and he was like, “Where did you buy that test” (ebay) ” — and you trust it?!” (well, yes…) and he convinced me to keep up the progesterone. (I probably wasn’t too hard to convince.)

Why I don’t bleed through the progesterone, no idea. Maybe the dose is too high for me? Maybe my body just reacts in a weird way? I’ll ask my doc. But, as I realized yesterday, my stock of cheapies is “best before” the end of the year. So I can use them up by testing at the end of each 2ww without regrets.

Next week I’m off to a conference, and I’ll have all the coffee I need (how does anyone get through a week-long conference without coffee?) and all the alcohol I like. Which usually isn’t much as I get hungover much too easily. But I’ll enjoy it and forget about tcc for a little while. And then back to the doc, to see what she says, if we do more tests and what kind. (Don’t you see me forgetting about tcc already?)

when the 2 in 2ww isn’t a 2

Thanks for all your kind comments on the last post. I’m still not bleeding (though I had another horrible dream, with amounts of blood that would easily qualify for the ER).

For a while, my 2ww was really a 1.3ww — hello LPD. That clearly was a problem. Now with the progesterone though, I’m 21dpo. That’s 3 weeks. Some cramping (middle, left, right), some pain in the boobs, but nothing that seems like a “real” symptom (and even if real, it might be caused by the progesterone). I need to pee a lot, but maybe I’m just drinking more? I don’t really want to take another test for fear of disappointment. (I do realize that this is sort of silly.) Argh. I have no idea how to interpret this, how much longer to wait.

Meanwhile, there have been so many bad news in the blogosphere — Adele, Alex, Jess, and several more. I’m sad for them, and find it difficult to be hopeful. Go over and let them know you’re thinking of them, if you haven’t visited already.

negative

Thanks for all your crossed fingers! Unfortunately, it seems this wasn’t my cycle. The test was negative this morning, and as it’s 14dpo and I don’t have any strong symptoms to speak of, I guess it’s correct. Sigh.

This morning I dreamed I was peeing on a stick (a very fancy one, actually), and it was negative. When I woke up, I was first all confused of whether that had been real or not… sadly enough, the result on the internet cheapie was the same. Sometime last week, I dreamed I was bleeding/spotting. For some reason, I told H about it — and he said he had dreamed that I was bleeding, too. That was weird. He’s also previously dreamed that I was pregnant, but so far that part didn’t come true…

3 letter abbreviations, or when to test

The jury on this cycle is still out. My symptoms are neither here nor there. Breasts not really sore, but whenever I think that this cycle wasn’t it, I get stabbing pain in Breast Central. 2 days ago I suddenly had to pee every half hour — sounds more like an UTI than anything else. It was painful and annoying, but just when I was seriously thinking about emergency care, it got better. Weird. (And the fact that UTIs can cause miscarriages just scared me more.)
I don’t really want to test, thinking that a BFN would be more depressing than CD1. But, if I want to keep up the progesterone (still waiting for my doctor’s answer), I should know… because if it’s negative, then the sooner I can start the next cycle, the better. So I checked this fertilityfriend article to find out when I should test. They say that right around the expected period is most reliable (low risk of false negatives). The expected day of my period, though, is 5 days after I stop the progesterone, so that doesn’t work. My normal luteal phases are too short, so that doesn’t work either. I’m 13dpo today, so tomorrow could be ok, what do you think?

Regardless of the test outcome, though, I’ve added three letters to my name this month, three letters I’m very proud of :) To celebrate, I probably had more alcohol than anyone serious about tcc should (2 glasses of champagne and 2 glasses of wine… not a lot in absolute terms, but still). I’d love to get a BFP in addition to this, but I feel like I cannot complain if I don’t get it this month.

And just because it’s another 3 letter thing, we’re off to my MIL’s birthday celebration next weekend. For which I’d like to know if I can drink or not. About a year after our wedding, this is bound to lead to questions revolving around our future offspring. And I’m not looking forward to this part.

distractions, looking for

Boobs: hurting/sore. Not all the time, but more than usual. Ute: crampy. This is 7dpo though, can this mean anything at all? Other than that I’m obsessing over symptoms, I mean.

So far, having the Big Event distract me from the 2ww doesn’t work. Instead I’m fretting over two issues instead of one.

Yesterday I went to exercise. Which did distract me, as it requires a lot of attention. But, as we’re not talking about something smooth as swimming here, I’m also starting to worry. Truth be told, it’s martial arts (don’t scream) — I’d say the impacts are similar to running, though less frequent (if you can do it really well you have much stronger impacts, but I can’t and have no desire to learn it at the moment). Still… should I take a break? What do you do?

Also, sort of unrelated: do you take progesterone until you test, or do you stop when it’s taken you “far enough” to allow for implantation? As I’m getting sort of hopeful (and scared at the same time…), I don’t want to screw anything by stopping too early. My doc told me 10 days, which is what I’ve done so far. I could check back with her, too…

sprung

Thanks for all your opinions on the coffee. I’m glad I’m not the only one that wants to enjoy such a kind of treat every now and then (which may or may not be every afternoon — though I can go for days without, provided that I sleep enough), even if it’s not what the it-can-all-happen-naturally experts recommend and when the scientific data is unclear at best.
On Tuesday I went back for another u/s. The follicle was still there, but “ready to burst”, as my doc said. Lining looking good, EWCM** at the cervix. And that it was a good day to make a baby. Well, if that’s not a motivation ;) My temps even obliged and rose (somewhat) the next day, and strongly another day later, actually higher than I’ve ever seen them before. So at least we should have good chances (assuming there are no other issues like blocked tubes or what-not). Of course I’m now getting scared that high hopes will lead to a deeper fall… but I can’t help it.
The next week will include a big event, one I’ve been working towards for four years, which should keep me distracted for much of the 2ww. Not enough not to obsess about possible sore breasts* or other symptoms, probably.

* In one of my first charted cycles I had really, really sore breasts from about 5 or 6dpo on. Sore as in cannot-walk-down-the-stairs-without-hurting-sore. And got hopeful. But then LPD kicked in and that was that…
My hope is that I was/would have been pregnant that cycle (timing was really good) meaning that we can get pregnant ourselves… a girl can hope, right?

** ETA: what I found interesting is that the follicle was still there, though I was feeling “dry” already — I have EWCM for days after ovulation (or, more accurately, after my temps rise), so it’s not a very good indicator whether I have ovulated already or not, and with the dryness I actually had assumed that the egg might be gone already.

2ww (at least it seems to be long enough this time)

12dpo. I have stopped the progesterone, this should be enough time. Given that I have no symptoms (except some kind of evening nausea that I get from said progesterone), I’m not particularly hopeful any more. In fact, I went out for drinks yesterday…
The week was exhausting, work-wise, and I’m looking forward to getting some rest, and hopefully some sunshine. If (see, some hope left!) CD1 arrives, I plan to visit my ob/gyn next cycle, for monitoring and to ask for some more tests, mainly for possible immunological issues that have been associated with endometriosis. I very much hope that it hasn’t returned, given the exam results and lack of symptoms, but figure that it cannot hurt to test for these things. After all, I am ovulating regularly, H’s sperm is not amazing but should give us a chance, and yet we haven’t seen so much as a faint second line. Maybe there are implantation issues? Or maybe my doctor has different ideas of what to test for, let’s see.

crampy

I finally ovulated on CD17, and started progesterone after two days of high temps, to counteract the luteal phase problems (yes, I know, I’m supposed to wait for 3… patience is not my strongest character trait ;).
I also stopped charting for the rest of the cycle, as the progesterone raises my temperatures several tenths more than they usually are. (Is it like this for everyone? Or could that be a sign of low progesterone?)

In the last couple of days I’ve had cramps on and off. Not strong ones, and at least some seem rather digestive than (anti-)reproductive, but still, they don’t make me feel any better. I was/am kind of hopeful for this cycle though, and mentioned this to my husband. He said he rather wouldn’t get his hopes high, because he’s always so disappointed when it turns out to be nothing… The poor guy. I feel so sorry for him. He’s always very supportive of me when the bad news come, but hardly ever mentions how he feels. I so wish to have better news this time.