An update. Not necessarily a lot of answers.

Hello gentle readers. Welcome to CD42, 26DPO.

I got the blood test results back:

HCG quantitative: less than 0

TSH: 3.55 (old normal, that most labs use = between 1 and 5; new clinical normal = .05-3, ideal conception range = under 2.5) Despite my asking multiple times, including while I was in the chair looking a needle in the facethey did not do a full thyroid panel, and so now I wait to see if #1 my doc will order the full panel like she claimed she already did and #2 if they will do the draw and lab without charging me. Ugh.

In other news: Today my temp jumped from 97.1 (its general above cover line range for this excessive luteal phase is about 97.1-97.4) to 97.6 – so, that’s weird. And, I have been getting very weird spotting for the last three days. This spotting is, literally, a drop of bright red blood in a dollop of clear cervical fluid. I have never had this before and its kind of weirdly unsettling. Today, I have also been experiencing pink tinged creamy cervical fluid.

I am hopeful that all of this menstrual madness is due to a cyst that is on its way to resolving itself. My ‘symptoms’ all point to a cyst of some kind – the nausea and cramping/pain quite soon after ovulation, the spotting, the delay in menses, the dizziness – all can be attributed to a cyst. It also might explain why my temperature shift was not as significant as usual, why my BBT temps have been lower than usual in the luteal phase, and why my OPKs never showed as clear a positive as they historically have.

The good thing about a cyst is that they are common, resolve on their own, and as long as they are fairly isolated, don’t indicate any ongoing problem. Our luck was shitty – to get this the first cycle trying to conceive. But, of all the possible issues to have, this is probably the best one.

That said, I still haven’t bled. And I imagine that until the blood comes gushing, I won’t be entirely free of my anxiety. I haven’t been this anxious to get my period since I was 11 and everyone except me was buying tampons and I was so jealous.

Tonight my acupuncturist did everything she could to get all my chi and blood flowing. I hope my uterus gets the message.

Thanks so much to all of you for keeping hope afloat and offering your words of wisdom, kindness and perspective. If you’ve got the time, put in some prayers that this never ending cycle is coming to a swift and speedy close.

CD 36, 20DPO

No period. Temp above coverline. Negative HPT. Acupuncturist described my pulse as “strong and slippery” which is often described as a “pregnancy pulse” but she couldn’t recall if this was normal for me or not, as her notes weren’t clear from prior sessions. Called and spoke to a nurse at the GYN who is going to speak with my doc and ask some questions to see what I ought to do.

After two weeks of feeling embarrassingly obsessed with the possibility of being pregnant, I am happy to return to a state of mind which includes more coherent and complex thoughts than “omigodwhatwasthattwingeinmybelly? whatdiesitmean?!” My type A personality keeps me productive at work, but once I was home for the day, it was no holds barred.

Saturday was long and sleepy and sad. But Sunday was fine, even with La leaving for California for a week, and today I am cheery and lighthearted. I am more sure now, after a negative result, than I was before we started trying that we will be parents – and soon. So I am trusting that calm and letting it guide me for now.

We went to game night at A+K’s house (they have the twin girls) and they gave us bags of baby stuff to look through. We had to do it then because it was going to a consignment sale and we didn’t want to hold them up. It was a little bittersweet, but I appreciate the thoughtfulness and am grateful to already be stockpiling hand-me-downs. Another friend told us there is a ton of items in her mom’s basement waiting for us whenever we are ready. I’m nervous about collecting too much – I don’t want to have a room full of baby stuff before there is a baby, it just crosses some line for me – but I’ve never been known to turn down free stuff. So, for now, we’re trying to figure out a line to walk.

In awkward news, a guy at my church approached me and actually asked  if I was pregnant.  He did it because of some posts I’ve made on facebook which, I guess, are very ‘first treimestry” (please note that when you have to try real hard to get knocked up you sometimes do things prior to conception that others do during the first trimester but, whatever.) I had to smile and say, “oh no, not yet. but we are trying.” He’s kind of a well meaning fuck up, and really it could have been worse but, for the love of God dude, you don’t ask people if they’re pregnant.

So now I’m just on the lookout for my period, which hasn’t shown yet. I’m 16DPO, which is kind of crazy for me (out of the four cycles tracked, I have had 1 13 day LP, 2 14 day LPs and 1 11 day LP.) I also still have milky-watery-creamy cervical fluid, which is also unusual for me. I’m chalking this up to my body’s first encounter with sperm in about 10 years. In any case, I would like to start bleeding so that I can have a formal end to this cycle and move on to the next. Its also somewhat important that I be able to project out ovulation so La and I can decide whether we are going to ditch her cousin’s fancy-ass straight wedding to inseminate or just dress up super gay and go. So, clearly, it is very IMPORTANT that my uterine lining pack up and leave already.

Onward, ho!

Dinosaur in the mist

Well . . . Neither plastic dinosaur nor tarot card nor persistent nausea can tell you if you are pregnant. Only a pregnancy test can.

And ours told us that we are not.

Of course I’m disappointed. More than that, I feel crazy. Crazy because I was, and still am, dizzy and nauseous. Because I thought what I felt meant I was pregnant. And it turns out it just meant I was overly hopeful or slightly neurotic or maybe sick. It’s hard not to feel slightly ashamed, that my mind could trick my body or my body could trick my mind but in any case they colluded to keep the truth away.

So, now I wait for my period to come and seal the deal. Now that I know it’s coming, I think I can feel it. And of course, after cringing at every potential opportunity to see evidence of blood or a bbt drop, now I am seeking them with a vengeance. Because the sooner it comes, the sooner I can move forward and try, try again.

I’m grateful to have learned some lessons that I hope will make things a bit easier in the next go: not to test until late, not to get too hopeful at symptoms since symptoms can be total bullshit, and that while its hard to see that blank white window stare back at you, I have had far more tragic experiences in my life.

And so . . .onward. La will just have to get used to the idea of a Sagittarius baby.

Short ‘n’ Sweet ‘n’ Ambiguous

Took a test today – negative. Its only 10 (or possibly 9 – ovulation is in dispute) days past ovulation, so really too early in any case. But, lesson learned: seeing a negative blows and I don’t intend to keep the testing up. So, I’m holding off until Saturday to test again – which will be either 13 or 14 DPO, and a much more reasonable result.

Today I am tender hearted and weepy. Probably because I am having a lot of hormone induced feel-feels (whether they are PMS or early pregnancy caused), I slept SUPER poorly last night and I am still feeling incessant nausea and some vomiting. 

Finally . . .for what its worth . . .I submit for your consideration: I did a super quick online Tarot draw this afternoon. I drew one card instead of doing a spread, and I asked “am I pregnant?” (which is NOT the type of question I usually ask because the tarot is not a fortune telling agent, it is a tool for uncovering what you already know) and I drew the Empress (Reception in the Collective Tarot, which is the deck I use at home.) The Empress is the most straightforward mother/pregnancy/fertility card in the tarot: creativity, productivity, fruitfulness and motherhood. Despite my title, it is a pretty unambiguous card.

8DPO: Potential Dinosaur Sightings

8DPO. Going on my 5th day of pretty consistent nausea. Added to this (or perhaps just adding nuance): Food aversions/cravings/something. I say it this way because more than craving anything or being particularly averse to anything, its just a struggle to find anything that sounds *good* or even something that won’t make me vomit.

On Friday night, the only thing I could stand to think of eating was, essentially, ramen noodles. We don’t eat ramen in our house because La had a horrific accident in college and got 3rd degree burns down her legs from spilling hot ramen – and she has the scars to prove it. So, suffice to say, I did not get ramen. We did find the next best thing at Tokyo Joe’s – a noodley soup that was mostly non-offensive, although the hard boiled eggs inside of it were hard to handle. Yesterday at lunch with my mom, I saw a picture of a turkey sandwich and almost lost it right at the table. In general, I’m staying in the most neutral zone possible. Mostly I am grateful that my long term standby, oatmeal, continues to be as satisfying as anything.

Another addition is a heightened sense of smell. I don’t tend to be very aware of smells. La has a super sniffer all of the time. Usually, I can be somewhat blissfully aware of, for example, the bulldogs stinky booty issues, while La is gagging in the corner. The last few days have been a little different. On friday driving home there was an awful sweet-chemical smell outside the car and when I remarked on it, La looked at me and said “You should NOT have been able to smell that!” Other things that usually don’t bug me have been overwhelming, too – the air freshener in my mom’s car, the smell of ketchup, a cigarette lit outside the car at the intersection 100 feet away? You guys, I just quit smoking two years ago and really, if I could keep smoking and NOT kill myself/the baby I want to bear, I would totally still smoke. While the smell has gotten increasingly yucky to me since I quit, I have never had a reaction like that to a cigarette that was located so far away.

So, you know, I’m really trying to stay neutral and not read too much into anything. But the nausea is OOC! (that’s out of control, FYI) I otherwise don’t feel sick. I know anxiety can make the belly feel funny and while I’m excited and hopeful and a little nervous I don’t feel anxious to the extent of making myself sick for days on end. But, time alone will tell (and, I guess, depending on the outcome and how long this nausea sticks around, a trip to the doctor!) I sure hope this isn’t all in my head.

Both La and my mom are convinced I am pregnant, which is not making things any easier. They tend to deal with these types of situations differently than I do – I prefer not to hope too much in order to avoid disappointment. They embrace the hope and the potential disappointment. Its good to have balance, but nervewracking still.

OK! Final update!! Last week, La and I were looking at pictures of fetuses (?) in utero and the earliest sonogram picture we saw and something that looked quite a lot like a little dinosaur. So, La has started referring to the maybe-bundle-of-cells in my uterus as the dinosaur. Just moments ago, she sent me a picture of a tiny dinosaur toy that had been left? put? on top of a door – out of primary sight – in the coffee shop where she’s working. And yes I totally believe in that kind of woo-woo stuff.

Thanks for bearing with me . . .assuming anyone actually made it to the end of this post!

IMG_1663

I am not a big believer in ‘pregnancy’ symptoms occurring just a few days after ovulation but OMG I have been nauseated for the last three days, and its getting worse every day. I realize that there could be a lot of reasons for this aside from the possible blastocyst maybe getting ready to implant in my uterus but when I feel like I’m gonna hurl all day the only thing that makes it not just feel disgusting and distracting is the idea that it might mean I’m knocked up.

Still haven’t actually puked . . .but if things keep going the way they have been, I fully anticipate I will soon. Blargh.

 

3DPO or, now I’m really not in control

Sorry for the shitty/sporadic updates, but I wanted to wait until I had had the Total Insemination Experience (c) before getting too elaborate in the ol’ blog. That said, the wordpress app makes it WAY to easy/fun to update while my feet are in the air.

I am on day 19 of my cycle, 3 days post ovulation if Fertility friend and their supposedly ‘expert analysis’ is to be trusted. I feel strongly that FF is consistently guessing my ovulation a day early, based on pain/feeling in my uterus and cervical fluid. So, maybe it would be more accurate to say I am 2.5DPO, as that would be the average.

We did a total of 5 inseminations this cycle – on CD 13 (O-3), CD15 (O-1), CD16 (O), CD17 (O+1) and CD18 (O+2) – all of the data is based on FF prediction of ovulation. This is, according to my research, excellent timing. Ah, if timing were the only factor . . .

Overall, I’d say the experience was about as charming/awkward/ridiculous as I would have expected it to be. BFF is so excited and happy to help, even putting up with my ‘biology lecture’ after I felt like I needed some extra support in determining ovulation. La is, of course, the girl of my dreams in every way: from her incredibly beautiful plan for our ritual tong lin meditation, to her hilarious but not too harsh jokes with the syringe in her hand to her quiet encouragement of sperm and egg as she rested her head on my belly.

BFF’s BF (I’m SORRY, I KNOW how awkward that is) came over a few of the days, too – which could have been weird but was actually somewhat pleasant. In case I haven’t mentioned, BFF’s BF hasn’t really been involved in anything for a variety of reasons but mostly because BFF doesn’t want him to be. I didn’t particularly care, whatever was gonna help the goods get delivered! But I think it brought up some interesting things for me about just how far the ripples of this experience can go. Try as we might, it’s never just us in this world.

I do feel like we have a solid technique for moving forward (the hope is, of course, we won’t have to use our perfected technique for another few years, not until we want to get La knocked up) which makes me feel like, regardless of outcome, we achieved something this time around. Bonus: we got to hang out with BFF way more often than usual AND we had sex way more often than usual. I think we are lucky in that having sex for us is a part of this experience in a really different way than for straight couples. We don’t technically have to ‘do it’ to get it done so I think it feels a little more like we GET to do it. If that makes any sense at all.

And now we wait. And I try to quietly and not obsessively pay attention to everysinglething happening in my body and then decide if everysinglething means anything or not. I will do my damndest to stay off the computer, dear readers. Today (FAR too early for any ‘symptoms’) my back hurts. This is very likely because I spent most nights of the past week with a pillow shoved under my hips and my feet propped in the air while reading “A Song of Ice and Fire.” But we’ll go ahead and play the game and call it a symptom.

La leave for a conference in Sacramento on 2/17, so we will be testing then for sure if the ol’ menstrual period hasn’t shown up (someday I will talk to you all about why I don’t use and have a lot of feelers about using ‘aunt flow’ to talk about bleeding) although that would be 14DPO and areyoukiddingme? does anyone wait that long?? La really doesn’t want to have the false negatives to contend with which I understand and even agree with but that just feels like such a long time to wait when there are ladies on the boards testing at 8DPO! I don’t even always have a 14 day luteal phase (although I did last time and sure hope it continues to stay long)  I was thinking 12. Seems like a nice number, right?

Anyway, here goes. All y’all can laugh and jeer – I know I’m a newbie to this whole thing! Hopefully, I don’t get too much practice!

May the odds be ever in our favor!