CD22, and happy 2008.

January 1, 2008

Hi all; happy new year! Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous 2008.

There’s not too much to report here–as I mentioned last post, I turned 33 on Christmas day. I’m not feeling particularly different, in a good way or a bad way. I still feel pretty “young,” which I guess is good, and I’m glad that I still have most of my thirties ahead of me. And yet I am also feeling more and more confident and comfortable in my skin, which I think is something that comes along with age, so I’m glad that I’m getting older, and hopefully a bit wiser.

I’m not sure what, if anything, all of this has to do with fertility. Many days, I still don’t feel “ready” to have a child. Parenthood seems like such a sacrifice, especially for the mother. In all honesty, I can’t say that I’m looking forward to giving up a huge chunk of my autonomy. But I do, more and more, enjoy the babies and toddlers that I’ve had the chance to get to know, and in the process I feel like I have a much clearer sense of what G and I may be getting ourselves into. And of the joys that exist there. So I’m feeling very zen about our future parenthood possibilities right now, whatever they might be.

On that note, it’s CD 22 for me, here on January 1, and so I’m expecting my period to start sometime soon, as early as Friday, but probably more like Saturday or Sunday of this week. Of course, if I have a particularly long cycle this month, Aunt Flo’s arrival might hold off until Monday or even Tuesday of next week. We’ll see.

Even though I know my hopes are supposed to be up because of the post-HSG fertility boost, they’re not, since this was a pretty low-sex cycle. My mom was here, which made finding the time and space to have sex a much more complicated affair, and after my mom left, I was out of town at a conference from CD 16 through CD 20. I think G and I squeezed in some lovin’ on CD 13 and 15, but if I ovulated late, as I sometimes do, that’s not going to help much. And anyway, what are the chances, really? “A little bit better than 2%” is still pretty slim!

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T-minus _?_ days.

December 9, 2007

Well, here we are at CD24, which means the countdown to my period has begun. As you probably recall if you’ve been following along, my shortest cycle in recent history was 24 days, which means I could bleed tomorrow, or possibly Tuesday. On the other hand, just last month my cycle was 28 days, and the one before that was 26 days. So the bleeding could hold off until Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday of this week and be well within the range of normal. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

I vote for Tuesday, though, because I have to go into the city for meetings on Wednesday anyway, and that way waking up at 6:00am so as to make sure I leave by 7:00am and get to the clinic for my bloodwork by 8:00am will be much less painful. Although I suppose any day this week except Thursday would be fine–Friday is the only day that I’d rather not begin with a crack-o-dawn trip to the city, as Friday is the day of G’s office’s big holiday party, and I’d rather spend the morning sleeping in and then working on getting glam.

Of course, this likely means that dear old Aunt Flo will show up on Thursday evening, just when I’ve decided I’m safe for the day. But Dr. No-Nonsense was very clear that even if I don’t see red blood until 11:30 at night, that still counts as CD1, and I should come in for testing the next day. Actually, Aunt Flo arriving on Friday night would also be fairly inconvenient, as the next morning I’ll be hung over and exhausted from the party the night before, and not particularly interested in getting up early. But at least G will be around and with enough cajoling I can probably convince him to give me a ride into the city.

ANYWAY.

Huge thanks to those of you who commented about my last, babylust-related post. Yes, while out holiday shopping I have been seeing ALL the adorable infants wrapped snugly in their strollers and/or baby carriers, wearing their little knitted caps and their little tiny shoes and mittens, and yes, they are awfully darling. But really the worst has been the older kids, the toddlers–and not the strangers, but the ones I already know.

The other day I finally, FINALLY had coffee with a dear friend of mine with whom I’ve been trying to catch up for months, and during the last fifteen minutes of our date, her hubby came by with their 19-month-old, and oh, man. Not only is he such a beautiful little guy, but he looks so much like my friend and her husband both–which is an interesting feat, as the two of them look nothing like one another. He has a zany little grin, and he TALKS now. He said “bye bye Ditypof!” and did that cute little baby hand-flapping wave. Swoon.

Then, quite without meaning to, I have been torturing myself by watching YouTube videos of the adorable toddlers of my online friends. (Hi online friends, if you are reading!) One video features the sweetest little girl running around with a spatula and repeatedly jumping onto her knees (this really, really is SO much cuter than it sounds in my description–you’ll just have to trust me), another, which practically broke me, is a friend’s husband playing the guitar and singing, accompanied by their little boy who is perched on his dad’s knee. SINGING! A dad and son acoustic guitar DUET! Oh, the humanity. I am tearing up a little just thinking about it.

Of course, this is probably because G plays guitar; in fact, one of his guitars is about ten feet away from me as I type this. I so want that for him, the father-son (or father-daughter) musical duet, the chance for him to share his love of music, along with all the other things that make him him, with our child. Watching this video made it so easy for me to imagine that for him, but of course just envisioning it was somewhat torturous. G is going to be such an amazing father. I can’t believe it’s been so hard for me to give him that gift.

It’s funny, when I think about becoming a mother I often think of the many things that I will lose, but thinking about G as a dad, I can see how beautiful parenting could be. I mean, I know toddlers are a lot to deal with (every mom of a toddler I’ve ever talked to has expressed insane levels of frustration), and I know I will be as frustrated as the next woman–this is not me doing that “if only I could have a baby I would NEVER complain about my child EVER” thing–but I am pretty bummed that we haven’t even had a chance to try our hands at it yet.

My grandmother, who lives in Texas, turned 90 years old last weekend. Although I wanted to, I didn’t manage to go to see her for the occasion–partly, the $300 plane ticket was just too expensive for us this close to the holidays, and partly, the weekend of her birthday was incredibly over-burdened with work, as I had two different batches of papers that needed to be graded and I had a new text to teach that Monday. But, and this is tough to admit, I also felt a little bit like the trip would have been more worth taking if I’d had a child to bring down with me, a little one who needed to meet her great-grandmother before she passed on. I have never lived in the same town as my grandmother, and my mom hasn’t lived there since she was in high school–she left for college and never really went back there to live–so I don’t get back there very often anyway. G and I went down after the wedding in 2005 to celebrate with that part of the family, but before that I hadn’t been in over five years. And I guess I felt like going back again so soon wasn’t worth it if I didn’t have a new baby in tow.

Especially since the big question when I got there, without a baby or an obvious baby bump, was definitely going to be “so, when are you and G having kids??” When I called down there on Thanksgiving to say hello, people could barely wish me a happy holiday before starting in with the third degree. Things would not be better in person.

Still, of course I feel somewhat guilty for not going. But I hope my grandmother is still here to celebrate her 91st birthday next December. And I really hope that G and I can be there to celebrate with her, and introduce her to her (fifteenth*) great-grandchild.

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*Yes, you read that right: my Grandma already has 14 great-grandchildren. Given the fecundity of my first cousins I suspect that she may get a couple more before G and I manage to join the party.

Signs…?

September 18, 2007

Well, today is CD20. This afternoon I had some strange period-like cramping, and then, while I was on the elliptical machine doing an afternoon workout, I could have sworn I was starting to spot (panties check later was inconclusive, though). I’m even feeling a little bit crampy as I type this.

It’s possible I’m on track for another short cycle, perhaps my shortest yet–I usually have symptoms like this no more than two days before my period starts, so that would mean real spotting tomorrow and bleeding on Thursday–a 21-day cycle, which is unheard of in the Land of Me. Especially when I’ve been working out, since in the past, regular exercise has lengthened my cycles by a few days.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that these are somehow signs of implantation, or even my uterus expanding because of the recent arrival of a tiny embryo. Then again, because of my cold we only managed to have sex one time pre-O this month, so that would be some tenacious little sperm and egg who found their way to each other in there.

But it’s certainly nice to imagine the second scenario, isn’t it?

Still waiting for Aunt Flo

August 29, 2007

After that quick but generous episode of brown spotting on Monday night, I didn’t see any more spotting all day Tuesday. I went ahead and took my temperature Tuesday morning when I woke up, and again this morning, and both days the temp was still high, temps that would definitely be “above coverline” if I were charting properly (98.13 one day, 98.11 the other).

Pretty exciting, right? Spotting which starts 7 to 10 days after ovulation and quickly stops again, then continued high basal body temps–it’s right out of a Toni Weschler novel! (Oh wait, you mean all of that, “have sex around the time of ovulation and you’ll get pregnant” stuff isn’t science fiction? *shrug*)

So, once again I’d allowed myself to hope and fantasize about being knocked up–but today there was more spotting. I’m not sure when it started. Sometime in the afternoon, because when I went to the restroom before leaving home today at around 11:00am, I was still spot-free. When I got home tonight at 6:30pm, though (and no, I hadn’t been to the bathroom in nearly seven hours. I told you I have a bladder of steel!), there it was, plain to see. More of that godforsaken spotting, harbinger of menstrual doom. Ironically enough, I had a similar false alarm last month–the day after I reported a temp dip and spotting, the spotting stopped and my temp went back up to around 98 degrees, only to plummet again the next day when AF finally arrived.

Today’s spotting is still brown, though, so I’m still waiting for the official arrival of scarlet, which will herald day one of our 12th and final cycle as so-called “normal” people. If cycle 12 is a bust, it’s on to actual “infertility treatment”; we can finally seek a diagnosis and figure out why TTC hasn’t been working for us.

I’m assuming my temp will drop tomorrow morning, and I’ll see red blood–making this month a much more normal 26-day cycle. I wonder if it’s a good sign that my temp has stayed high for a couple of days after the first bit of spotting started? My completely uninformed thought is that the higher temps for longer would indicate a better hormonal balance between estrogen and progesterone–maybe now that I’ve lost some weight (13 lbs as of this morning!) my fat stores aren’t flooding my body with as much excess estrogen, so my progesterone levels are better able to keep my temp high. Or maybe weight has nothing to do with anything, and the high temps are just a fluke, who knows. I am most certainly not a medical doctor.

Anyway. We’re having a big party this weekend–the only good thing about not being pregnant is that I can guzzle champagne with impunity. Oh, and eat deli meat again! Do you know how hard it is to be on a diet and unable to eat deli chicken or turkey on a sandwich? Ah, the two week wait, she is a cruel mistress.

Busy, busy, busy.

August 27, 2007

Yet again I am slow to update, but this time I have a moderately good excuse–today was the first day of classes, so over the weekend I was busy preparing for the semester. You know, by purchasing various important supplies. I wore that second pair to teach in today, and actually survived fairly well for the full six hours I was on campus–but I was very glad to put my sneakers back on for the commute home!

Happily, my students are adorable. No obvious troublemakers or crazies (I’ve had both in the past, and once, both in one class), and they are such a diverse and fascinating bunch! I hope this semester continues to go well.

Meanwhile, this past weekend we also attended a baby shower–and we have another one coming up in a couple of weeks. Contrary to expectation, I loved seeing our two pregnant friends, and even indulged in some energetic fantasizing about when it’s “my turn.” It helps that we didn’t get any intrusive questions about our reproductive status. For once! That was a relief. And once again our friends’ gorgeous almost-three year old daughter took my breath away with how perfectly sweet, bright, healthy and well-adjusted she is. I really hope when we become parents we can raise a child so well.

Interestingly enough, while there I overheard a related conversation among some other party guests, none of whom I know personally. The woman speaking was saying to a couple of other, much older women, “My hubby and I don’t have any children yet–but we do eventually want a couple.” The other women assured her, “Oh, you have time–” and she replied, “I know, but if you can believe it I’ll be 40 this year!” To which at least one person said, “Well, you’re still young.” She sounded relieved–“That *is* still young, right? I’m glad to hear you say that!” Everyone in this conversation was a black woman.

Of course, as I eavesdropped, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Well, 40’s not THAT young.” But in keeping with my new attempts at more positive thinking, I immediately squashed that thought, and replaced it with, “I really hope she has absolutely NO trouble conceiving.” And honestly, I do. Still, I am very surprised when I hear these kinds of conversations–my mom recently told me about an acquaintance of hers whose 42-year old daughter still talks about their plans to have kids “in the future,” much to her mother’s chagrin. Of course, I don’t know if such seemingly naive women are only talking this way to deflect unwanted attention to their fertility–maybe they’ve been trying for years and just don’t want to tell the world about it.

If such talk is not a clever ruse, though, then I can’t help but worry for folks like the woman I overheard at the party. She could really be in for an unpleasant surprise. But as I said–I hope she’s yet another miraculous black fertility success story. For that matter, I hope *I* am, too.

A propos of that–no sign of Aunt Flo yet, although today’s only CD24. No particularly promising symptoms, except some throbbing pains in my left breast the other night, and similar but less intense pains tonight. I was also woken up out of sleep by a desperate need to pee last night at about 3am–something that almost never happens to me, and I’m in the habit of drinking a tall glass of water each night before going to bed. I have a bladder of steel, I tell you! Not last night, though.

Still, all that seems pretty dubious. And again, only CD24, and depending on when I ovulated, only 7 or 10DPO. As you may recall, though, this time last cycle I was already cramping, and my period started on the equivalent of CD26. So it looks like this month my cycle just might stretch a bit longer than last. But I’ve been eating better and exercising regularly–in years past, I have managed to forestall my period’s arrival slightly with regular exercise. So I might just have fitnessed myself into a longer cycle, meaning I could start bleeding by the end of the week.

One surefire way to know whether we’re headed for pregnancy or period this go-round is to start taking my temperature again, but, well, I guess I just don’t want to know. I’ve been enjoying the fantasy that I might have magically gotten knocked up this month, so I’m going to keep it up until I have incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

Delusional? Maybe. But I’m comfortable with that.