The Sweet Spot

Well, it’s CD12, try #4. Hope has bloomed again because how can it not? Another precipice of waiting – this is where the sweet spot is.

There are good things, here in this moment:

  • I got a really new, fabulous haircut. I have been rocking a modification of the same cut for a while now and feeling more like a soccer mom than I ever want to. I switched hairdressers (I have a lot of guilt about this) to La’s crazy alcoholic-but-super-creative hairdresser and got the femmpadour (femme + pompadour) that I have been longing for. Now its time to banish the glitter and get some color. Why is this so awesome? Because feeling like a stylish, hip, urban queer makes me feel like myself, and anything that pulls me out of the mustmakebabynow vacuum is a good thing.
  • I had the most awesome acupuncture appointment last Thursday! My coworker is in school for a degree in TCM and she recommended I go to the school clinic, which is inexpensive. Although I love the acupuncture clinic where I go, its a community space and they only do points in hands, feet and head and don’t do other treatments. At the school, I had  a crew of 4 students who spent a long time asking me questions, then did acupuncture points in my hands, feet, head and abdomen, and did a moxabustion treatment which is crazy and so great! The gist is that they use a mugwort herbal mix and light it on fire on acupoints! But it doesn’t hurt and it increases warmth and flow of chi. This was also on my belly. Finally, I got two big paper envelopes of herbs to make tea with. I have been drinking the pre-ovulation tea since then and I would swear my BBT temps have upticked just a little (which is good since mine are usually on the lower end throughout my cycle) So.excited.to.go.back!
  • I talked with my friend/pastor (she was my friend and classmate before we started a church together, or, I early adopted her church rather) and got some good spiritual perspective. Which OMFG I needed really badly.
  • We have decided to do a variation of the “Sperm Meets Egg” plan which we are lucky enough to be able to try because BFF is fucking amazing. I’ve adapted it because it assumes ovulation on day 14, and I usually O later than that (on day 17-20) So instead of started every other day inseminations on day 8, we started on day 11. This means last night was our first insem of this cycle. Crazy!
  • I am using the advanced CBE OPK which I am a little wary of (its super new and has very few reviews, but those that I’ve read say it flashes ‘high’ fertility for DAYS and then doesn’t register the ‘peak’ at all) and we got a flashing smiley face today (‘high’ but not ‘peak’ fertility) – so that’s a nice reinforcement of the plan. I am, of course, triple checking because peeing on things is just what I do now.
  • Tomorrow night (and into wednesday in the wee hours) La and I will, along with some friends, be among the first folks in Colorado to get a civil union! We are doing an insemination before we head out to wait in line, and I really like the idea that if this cycle works, it could very well be on that day. That’s the nice thing about so many chances and not knowing which one, exactly, will take.
  • Spring is here (at least until Tuesday night when we will get another  snow storm) and La and I spent all day in the yard, cleaning out the shed, planting trees, and getting things ready for chicken coops and garden beds. I have the influx of freckles and pinkish sunburn to prove it!

One more wave of hope . . .

The eternal wait

I’m not really sure what’s happening, but I feel like some sort of explanation is needed. For myself, more than anything . . .and because all of you have been so kind and I have maybe been a drama queen and I don’t want to take advantage of that kindness.

So here’s the latest:

After a hellish week at work (I LOVE my job, FYI, but I don’t like doing anything for 60 hours a week, into the wee hours of the night) and exhaustion from waiting and waiting and trying to get information, I had a particularly pitiful call with a nurse from my doctor’s office on Friday afternoon.

I’m lucky that I live in a pretty queer friendly world. My job, my family, and even my old timey neighborhood are all safe places for me to be out, and I am mostly met with a pretty high level of analysis and understanding about LGBTQ issues. And while my OB/GYN are certainly OK with queer stuff, they are also not very culturally informed – or, at least, not my doc and her nurses. Thus, my phone calls are usually infused with not only having to come out (over and over, everytime a new nurse calls) but also explain exactly what that means insofar as trying to get knocked up goes. I suppose the fact that we are going about this in a less than usual ‘artifical insemination’ fashion also makes things complicated.

So, while I am generally grateful that we have the ability to do this thing in a not-so-medicalized way, I am also longing to have a professional medical place that is somewhat cognizant of how our journey to conceive is unique from so many others. And I am especially tired of both explaining in depth everything I can and being patently ignored.

Reaching out for support from the medical profession has proved decidedly unfruitful. So I just keep tracking and temperature taking and peeing on sticks, hoping some sort of pattern will eventually emerge. As done as I have felt with looking at my cervical fluid (because it may very well mean nothing, and its hard to care when there is no discernable goal lurking ahead) I have kept doing it.

On Saturday morning,  stuck my fingers on up there and pulled out strands of clear slippery stuff. And I thought, “huh.” I looked at it so long that La half yelled “quit playing with your cervical fluid, I have to pee.” It was unusual, but nothing about the last few weeks has been usual.

Saturday afternoon, I came home from some errands and did my daily pee stick ritual. I have taken to peeing on both the ClearBlue easy smiley face digital OPKs and the cheap internet wondfo’s because the cost of amazon.com procured OPKs is worth having some sort of peace of mind. Even after the eggwhite cervical fluid, I wasn’t expecting anything. I happened to look down in the middle of cleaning my contact lenses and saw that big stupid grinning smiley face. And I thought, WTF? The wondfo was dark, not my usual positive, but dark enough to be considered a positive by internet OPK standards.

Apparently, my LH was surging.

I sent a text to both La and BFF and said, in effect, “um, sorry I have had no f’ing idea what is happening with my body but I think I’m ovulating? So maybe you can bring the swim team over tonight?” La called and was all like “um, what?!” and BFF sent back “Of course! I love you both!” And so, on Saturday night, we did our 6th insemination total, our first for this . . .uh . . .whatever it is.

Yesterday, even more eggwhite showed up, along with another smiley face (this is likely only because I had opened a new box of them) and an incredibly dark wondfo. Cue insemination #2.

And now, we wait. I wait to see if I get some sort of temperature rise (again?) to see what happens with my cervical fluid and the OPKs, to see if my period shows up . . .ever again, if a pregnancy test comes back positive. I’m not even sure what I am waiting for anymore. And that is oddly comforting.

I’m trying to retrace my data, look back at my chart, and figure out what’s going on. The first temperature shift was less significant than usual – although it was still there *and* corresponded to other fertility signs. The OPKs were never as clearly positive in February. All that cramping. All the nausea. The fact that this fertile patch is coming 28 days after the first . . .eerily ‘on time’ if I had gotten a period.

My best guess is that a cyst impeded ovulation, and this is my body’s second go at it. I certainly hope its an anomaly, anyway. Otherwise, I am currently on day 45, with ovulation likely to happen today – and that is a mighty long cycle, and probably not a good sign.

So . . .so. I wait. Like always. But now with no clear end in sight. A blessing and a curse.

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.

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!

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!

So close, so far away

Day 12. Negative OPKs (all three of ’em! I’m working on that major in peestickology!) but growing gradually darker. Got a blob of eggwhite fluid on Sunday night and again yesterday, although its otherwise been the less exciting ‘creamy’ type. Things are a’brewin’ but I’m not sure when the storm will be here. Yes, I fully intend to mix metaphors all over the place today.

I have been ovulating on day 18 or so, but I think it may be coming a bit earlier this time, thanks in part to getting my thyroid in check. I got a little freaked out when I got the egg white fluid and made La call BFF and see if he could come over tonight for our first insemination, but when the OPKs at 8am and 1pm were both negative, I called it off. Its hard to feel like people are re-arranging their lives based on what color my pee stick turns, you know? I don’t want to apologize all over the place but I also feel like an asshole when I can’t give a more specific window for La and BFF.

I’m super glad I didn’t get an LH surge today, though. This is one of the crazier weeks at work I’ve had for a while – I’m conducting a day long training on Thursday for the biggest school district in the state, and the future of my project is resting on the success of this training and the other pieces of the teacher preparation I’ve developed. So, you know, no big deal. The grant application that is due on Friday is just icing on the cake. I just finished the work I needed to get done and I can’t imagine it being a restful, relaxing or anything but anxious evening if I had to squeeze the first insemination in tonight too. Plus, we have to make sure the first time includes the ritual and laughing and awkwardness! You need TIME for these things.

And, with all of the crazy going on, I’m pleasantly distracted and merrily wandering along with my pee sticks in hand. I’m excited, but I have other things to think about as well – and that is an excellent space to be in. May the next few weeks continue apace.

So, still waiting . . .waiting for the waiting.

CD1: The Journey (really for real) Begins

I started drip-drop-spotting last night and woke up to full on gush this morning which means . . .we are officially in TTC Cycle #1! As, perhaps, a very special gift from my uterus to me to kick this whole process off, I have the worst cramps I’ve had in YEARS. I used to have very painful periods (that also involved intense bouts of depression) but the last couple of years they have really chilled out and been entirely manageable. This morning I could barely get out of bed without feeling like I was going to puke from the pain. I keep reminding myself that if we are lucky, this could be the last period I have for a year or more . . .but then I get another ass-kicking cramp and my uterus is all “ha ha F you!”

This past cycle was 32 days, with ovulation on day 18 (or 19 – Fertility Friend and I are in disagreement) and a 14 (or 13) day luteal phase. This is awesome! I am crediting the B6 and B-Complex I started taking in early December for lengthening my luteal phase, since I didn’t do anything else different this time around.

If things go as they have been, we will do our first insemination on Friday Feb 1st and continue until the 5th or 6th. Because BFF is awesome and will come over many time so long as we feed him well and let him choose what to watch on TV.

I got some instead cups for the inseminations and decided to practice using them during this menstrual cycle. They are shockingly easy to use and by far the most comfortable period protection I’ve ever used. I was a big fan of the Diva cup until my spaniel ate it for lunch (cause dogs are wonderful but totally gross) and before that, in my college radical lesbo days, I used sea sponges which were awesome but could leak when you sneezed. This is kind of the best of those things. So, go get you some is my advice.

La talked to our friend (who had a super hard time conceiving with her male partner and ended up having IVF with donor sperm) yesterday about baby making stuff. Our friend asked if La had considered how she was going to handle it if we didn’t get pregnant this first time around. La said, “No. Because we are going to get pregnant this time.” She’s is super confident but also not cocky about it, which is strange but also nice. I have tried to remind her that statistically speaking, its not likely it will work on the first go, but La thinks statistics are bullshit or at least not really helpful. It scares me a little that she is so sure, but I also trust that her certainty is not going to translate into devestation if things don’t happen this go. She is really just focused on this cycle and being positive and present and figure that if and when a negative test happens, she can figure out how to feel then.

I’m less certain that we will get knocked up right away, but I also haven’t thought about how I’ll feel if it doesn’t work. I suppose, right now, the whole thing is a big experiment and the first time around just feels like practice almost. If beginners luck hits us this time, it will be awesome – and if the more likely outcome happens, then we will be that much more experienced the next time around.

That said, a baby conceived in this cycle would be born smack dab between my birthday and La’s this coming fall. And that sure would be sweet.

How do you balance the need to be positive and confident and overtrusting that optimism and getting crushed? What is the sought after middle path of trying to conceive?

It’s a good week here at the Gayby Project.

On Wednesday, La and I went to our first couples counseling appointment in preparation for making, birthing and raising a child together. The counselor is fabulous – just enough woo woo but not over the top – and it affirmed for me that La and I have a lot of really good tools and strategies for handling things when they are shitty. I knew this, but having professional confirmation is always nice. We both have a lot of feelings and thoughts about so much – from La’s experience of, essentially, being a non-party to the legal contract between BFF and I relating to sperm donation, to my fear that I might be infertile, to our experiences with how people react when we tell them we are going to try and conceive. I’m very glad we are taking the time and spending the money to really parse things out before there is a wailing infant and lack of sleep making things that much more challenging.

Today, we had an appointment with the OB-GYN for a pre-conception visit. I’m also really glad we spent the money for this, even though I felt kinda silly about it. I talk a lot about my unsubstantiated fear of being infertile, so it really helped to have a doctor tell me that she didn’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant quickly and easily. We also asked questions about our plan with timing (she recommended every other day, instead of every day like we’d planned), the process after getting a positive home test, and about how to get involved with the Midwifery Center at the University (we see a faculty practice out of the University of Colorado)

She also got me a pertussis vaccine, since I didn’t have one and you need it prior to or during pregnancy, and drew some blood to check my thyroid (its always been slightly underactive, but managed with medication. She said my TSH was a bit higher than ideal at last check, so she wanted to review it again – but that would just mean upping my levothyroxine slightly – and a higher TSH could account for my lengthier cycles) She said I’m ovulating, my labs and other numbers look good, and that she thought we shouldn’t have issues.

The OB-GYN was such an awesome place to be – I genuinely enjoyed my time there, which is not something I often say about medical practices. I’m sure it has something to do with pregnant people waddling around and an overall feeling that there is more expectant joy than impending disaster than most other places, but I LOVED the Doc we saw, and we chatted with lots of the ladies in line for the lab, and everyone was chatty and happy and nice. I felt a little bit like a fraud, waiting in line with the pregnant bellies – a few of them asked when I was due and I had to blush and say, we’re not -yet. But, I’m hoping that a couple of months from now, we might be back and have an answer to that question.

Hung out with BFF last night. He is very excited, has been wearing boxers regularly for two months now, and said his last steam room visit will be next week. OMG, love that man. I really can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have a guy who is involved, excited, and willing to do stuff like not have sex for days or change the type of underwear he wears and he ALSO doesn’t want to parent. Its totally the best possible situation.

I’m on CD26, 8 DPO, with either 4 or 6 more days to go before I menstruate. I’m hoping that I might have a 14 day luteal phase this time, but am also expecting it to be closer to 12. In any case, I should be bleeding by next week, which will mean the start of our (actual, for sure) first cycle of trying to conceive. As disappointed as I was to miss January, I have to say I am actually so relieved it worked out the way it did.

So . . .here we go. I think I am just ready enough.

The Baby Avalanche has begun!

At 12:19pm, mountain time, one of my colleagues delivered her 6lb9oz baby girl, who is nicknamed Lou (which I tell you because I LOVE it) Lou is the first of what will end up being a virtual landslide of babies to come in the next few months. After Lou, there is the baby that is just about done cooking in my boss’ belly, the babies from La’s cousins, due just two days apart in March, my friend H’s baby due in April, my new niece or nephew in July and my cousin’s baby, also due in July. I may have missed one or two as well . . .that’s how many babies are coming.

Of course, I’m hoping that all of these pregnancy hormones swarming around me will give me a good shot come the end of january/beginning of February when we give it a go. But I’m also just genuinely so excited to have so many babies in my world.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the babyless trying/wanting baby jealousy that I think comes up a lot – at least, I see and hear about it a lot on the boards I’m a part of and in the conversations I have. My cousin, for example, was in tears (reportedly) when my brother and sister in law announced their pregnancy. They had a miscarriage in September and, I assume, had been trying before and since. Some friends of a friend have been trying (with a known donor at home) for over a year now, I think – they too had a miscarriage at the end of the summer – which seems just insufferably long. And there are countless others who I don’t know who hate that they feel jealous, even though they do. Its sort of a part of this process, I think  . . .especially when it ends up not being easy – or just isn’t easy from the start.

Right now, I’m not jealous – I’m overjoyed. I can’t think of anything better than having babies to love and cuddle, and, with any luck, having so many peers for the baby we hope to have. And while I’m not, in general, a jealous person (learned or natural, I don’t know; but I certainly honed my skills when I was in a long term non-monogamous relationship) I can imagine beginning to feel the burn if this process ends up going longer than we expect. I already have a bit of that hole-in-the-heart longing, although that tends to crop up most often in target in the diaper aisle, that I think can make me blind to the bigger picture. I’m scared of getting jealous – because I don’t think anyone *wants* to resent their friends and family for something so wonderful as a baby – but its also a human fallability to feel jealous when someone has something we want so much for ourselves – especially when we can’t get that thing through no fault of our own.

Tomorrow La and I go for our first couples counseling appointment. I’ve never been to a couple’s counselor before, so I’m nervous and excited. I’m glad that La and I are going now, when things are still so awesome between us and in our feelings about this adventure. Having babies is a big and super scary thing, and I love that I am married to a woman who believes as much as I do in the power of prevention. There is both hope and trepedation here.

Friday I go see the OB/GYN. I’m a little more nervous about this appointment. To start, I don’t have a real ‘reason’ for going – I’m going to frame it as a ‘pre-conception’ appointment. I made the appointment after AwkMD gave us a referral when she couldn’t sign the paperwork. I decided to keep the appointment even when that got taken care of because I’d rather have *some* sort of established relationship when I make a call to get a confirmatory pregnancy test. But going to doctors is always nerve racking for me, even more when it comes to this stuff. I just don’t have any trust that a medical practitioner isn’t going to make assumptions about me and my life based on my body. And as outspoken as I am about fat acceptance in so many other areas of my life, in a doctors office there is a lifetime of shame that comes with me.

I’m hoping to bring a really wonderful experience with me. Yesterday, a yoga teacher who I took a class from last year left me a link to a blog entry she’d written. It included this passage:

There was this beautiful girl in my Body Acceptance yoga classes, let’s call her Mandy. She’d come to class, and laugh and sweat and move and I liked her. One day during class I walked over to adjust a posse, and I caught a glance of one of her tattoos. It simply said fat, in a cool, bold, typewriter-ish font. In that little nugget of a moment, she was my new hero, and that was just the beginning of the unraveling of “Fat Acceptance”

That’s my tattoo. I got it years ago, when I hardly even qualified as “fat” by many standards.  It was heartwarming that I gave this women some support in loving herself – even if I didn’t know it then. What meant more to me was being seen as a person in a fat body who sweats and laughs and moves in the world in a joyful way. So often I think fat people are seen as sub human blobs living out pitiable existences in the world. Shit, sometimes that’s how I think of myself – in less than loving moments. But I’m not that. I am a yoga enthusiast, a runner, a dancer, and I live in my big beautiful body with joy and love and humor – most of the time. I’m very grateful that I was seen in that context.

Many milestones this week . . .even if it isn’t the one I was most looking forward to. The requisite cycle update is this: I definitely ovulated on Jan 4th, which was CD18. I got + OPKs on Tuesday and Wednesday (CD16 and CD17) and a sustained temp rise beginning on Jan 5 (CD19) This is all MUCH more in synch with a more ‘typical’ cycle for me. I’m hoping that I will have a luteal phase of at least 12 days (going for 14 this time around, with the addition of a B complex and B6 supplement) putting menstruation at 1/17-1/19, and, with another ovulation on CD18-20, the insemination process would likely be 1/30-2/3, since we are aiming for 3-4 days of insemination.

Which could mean a home pregnancy test (with reliable results) on 2/14. Now, just as a caveat, I am not a big fan of Valentine’s day. I am a religious scholar (by training) and I think what modern american society has done to this otherwise kind of bloody Saints day is really weird, which is why I was super resistant to doing anything for the holiday back in Feb  2009 when La and I were just barely dating. La, though, is a tried and true romantic. Which is why we ended up having a very schmaltzy date and deciding to be girlfriends (I call it the DTR or “define the relationship” talk) that night.

Dudes, what I’m saying is: if we DO have a one hit wonder and the dates DO line up, La and I could find out we are having a wee one 4 years after we decided we were an item! Or, we could be wicked disappointed . . .whatever.

But, in any case . . .I may just be grateful for the profusion of chocolate and an excuse to spend some extra time with my boo, for one reason or another.

Well, sh*t.

The last few days have been somewhat trying on the baby making front. . .which is funny, since we still aren’t yet trying to make a baby, technically. Har har har.

On Saturday afternoon, after too few hours of post roadtrip sleep, La and I went to pick up Eliot and Ed, our two older dogs who stay with my parents when we leave town (Ed because he is old and blind and doesn’t deal with rapid change well, Eliot because he loves my mom so much and he is too anxious to be left alone in a place he doesn’t know well.) We ended up sitting down and hanging out for a bit with my parents, filling them in on our trip to Indy and catching up on the family drama from Xmas.

Of course, my brother and sister in law’s pregnancy came up, as did my cousin’s pregnancy, and the many bellies waddling around Indiana. There are a lot of babies to talk about these days. In the conversation, I casually mentioned that La and I were going to be starting on our conception journey this month (something I have casually mentioned before, but this time I said more pointedly “we might be inseminating next week”) and . . .

NOTHING.

My mom did not ask questions, she did not get excited, she did not even complain or judge or make a snide comment, which somehow would have been better. She just sat there and stayed quiet.

I managed to wrap up the conversation somewhat quickly so I could get the hell out of the living room before totally losing my shit.I barely made it out to the car before I burst into terrible, inconsolable, hiccuping sobs. I hadn’t been so horribly hurt in years. We drove home and I cried and ranted and La was so good like she always is but it was wretched. I was considering really irrational things, like not talking to my mom or other promises I can’t keep.

She ended up calling on the drive home. Not, as I had hoped, to apologize for her silence, but to ask if she could help us out with some money for Ed’s medical expenses. I was adamant in refusing her financial help and tried to get off the phone before she heard the tears in my throat. No such luck.

30 minutes later, I didn’t feel better, although I did feel like I understood, a little. She assured me it had not been her intention to hurt me, that she was thrilled that we were thinking of trying to have children, that she was scared about her health and its impact on her ability to be a grandmother, that she didn’t know what was appropriate to ask. I don’t know what to think. I believe her, and her apology was sincere. But I can’t shake the feeling that she should have had some sort of response. That there should have been . . .something there and not just nothing.

La and I decided that as part of our plan for the TTC ride, we will be seeing a couples counselor (first appointment next week!) once a month, she’ll see her therapist once a month, and I’ll start going back to my beloved Rachel (um, she’s my therapist, sorry that wasn’t clear) once a month. Given the enormity of my feelings about my mom, I think this is a wise decision.

In other news, my almost -so-close-not-quite-positive OPK of 2:30pm and the slightly darker but still not fully positive OPK of 6:30pm today seem to point towards ovulation happening sometime between now and thursday – smack dab in the middle of BFF’s vacay in NYC. So, no dice in January.

This afternoon, when I saw the pee dipped stick I brought it out to the living room and showed La, who was sitting with a good friend of ours. I was a little shocked at how sad I felt. BFF is technically still in town until Thursday, but he won’t have his HIV/STI panel done until tomorrow, and the results probably not in until Friday. That’s a risk to take, but its also not fair to BFF to ask him to drop everything right before he heads out of town.

I’m consoling myself with a reminder that we were supposed to track three cycles before trying, that it will likely be the end of January or first days of February when we do try, which is only a week later than I had predicted for our first try back in October when I started tracking cycles. Plus, having a more normal cycle (after the wackjob of Nov-Dec) can be nothing but good, it allows me a full cycle on acupuncture herbal regime.

And, my CF is really obviously in the eggwhite category – clear, stretchy and slippery – which it hasn’t always been for the past few cycles (sidenote: I’ve been taking mucinex for the chest cold I picked up in Indy and I’m wondering if that has something to do with it . . .) my cervix is clearly in a good position, and I feel about 1000X more confident that I understand this process than I did in October.

So, bummertown for sure, but really not as bad as it could be. And, I imagine, this ride is likely to have some other twists and turns that will make this tiny blip of hard look like a flatline on the radar.