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CDWHAT???

I realized this morning, for the second time this cycle, that I have no clue what cycle day I am on. It feels liberating! I had to figure out when CD13 was to start using OPKs and when CD21 was because I was getting my progesterone tested again. But otherwise I haven’t felt chained to my cycle days. Not charting this month has really helped with that and I think it’s made me more relaxed in general. I know that I should start my new cycle sometime between Sunday and Tuesday, so I’ll be ready for it, but other than that I’m just living my life.

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Cleaning is the bane of my existence

If you haven’t guessed by now, I could be described as neurotic (in the most lovable way, hopefully). I have actually been diagnosed with depression, but it’s quite well-managed. I’ve always been high strung and a card carrying member of the type A personality club. I was an overachiever throughout my schooling and I hold myself to a very high standard. Cleaning may be the area where I fall short though.

I’ll start by saying that I hate cleaning! My mom is a sweet, dear woman who in most respects was the best mom ever, but she spoiled me in the sense that she did everything for me. She worked a highly professional, demanding job, yet still kept a very clean, well-functioning home. And she did pretty much all the daily work, so my dad and I were able to indulge in our couch potato nature. At the time, I loved it, but now that I have my own home to maintain, I feel like I would be much better at the upkeep had I had to do more chores as a child. So part of the reason I hate cleaning is that I’m lazy!

The other reason I hate cleaning is because it doesn’t stay clean!!!! And it’s never clean enough. If I really let my freak flag fly and turn into my pseudo-OCD self, cleaning just might drive me crazy. If I actually managed to get every square millimeter of space cleaned (i.e., not a speck of dirt in the whole house), it would just get dirty again within seconds. Actually, by the time I got done cleaning that last millimeter of space, I’m sure my starting point would already be collecting dust. So my compromise, the only way I can keep myself from getting overwhelmed by cleaning, is to let it go. My idea of “letting it go” is to clean the (almost) bare minimum. Basically, I keep the house from looking like a pig sty (most of the time) and I clean the bathrooms, kitchen, dust, and vaccuum on a biweekly basis. The biweekly thing is actually fairly new and it used to be more of a “when I can’t take it anymore” or “we’re having company” kind of thing. As it stands now, I’m confident that when we have kids no one would take a look at our house and call social services, but I certainly don’t earn a gold star for cleaning.

Cleaning is something that stresses me out though when I think about the future and having kids. I’m always tired after work, so cleaning is usually the last thing I want to do. Instead I devote time (sometimes several hours) to it on the weekend. But when we have kids, especially once my mat leave is over, I’m going to want to spend my weekends playing with them and going on excursions. So when will I find the time?! Or energy for that matter, as I seem plagued by fatigue. Also, I picture them crawling around on the floor and I get to thinking about how I’ll need to keep it extra clean. I have these grand ideas of how I’ll be super scheduled with my cleaning when I’m on mat leave, but from the stories I hear from friends, I’ll be lucky to get out of my PJs. Also, I think about how as the kids age, they can help out more and more. I truly hope I do put them to work, for my sake and for their own, but I have such a hard time asking J to pitch in (i.e., I usually just do it myself to avoid becoming the nagging wife), I worry that I’ll just do for them as my mother did for me.

At the end of the day, striving for perfection is an unattainable goal and I expect that motherhood will make that all the more certain for me. I figure something’s gotta give and for me it just might be having the cleanest of homes.

Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

– The Beatles

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Countdown to Vacation

I am sitting here at work, counting down until lunchtime (it’s only 10 am right now). I have work to do, but I am not in the mood to do it. I am so ready for a vacation! At my job, May and June are normally crazy busy and then it calms down in the summer. This year it has been quite busy from December through June. Luckily it has calmed down, but I am feeling stir crazy. That could have something to do with the fact that my work place is undergoing some major construction, so I went from sharing one large office with one person to moving into a midsized office (which should probably house 1-2 people) that I share with 3 people. Luckily, I get along with my coworkers, but sometimes it is a bit stifling and difficult to concentrate (especially with all the ambient noise and thinking aloud that seems to happen). I find that I go out for lunch a lot all the time now. I’ve come to an epiphany that it’s because I need a break from my claustrophobic surroundings. It’s certainly not a healthy habit, especially since I gravitate toward the greasy fast food (Arby’s and McD’s being my faves), but I seem to need it for my sanity.

Happily, I am going on vacation soon! I will be spending a week on the other side of the country in the wonderfully peaceful and quaint Maritimes. J and I are flying into Fredericton (my hometown) and then borrowing my mom’s car so we can drive to Halifax (J’s hometown) for a few days. We have so many people to see including numerous family members and friends. We have several babies to visit which makes me very excited! I know some people struggling with TTC avoid babies because it reminds them of what they don’t have, but I can’t get enough of babies! I love spending time with them, seeing pictures of them, hearing about them, etc. It’s only after I am away from them that I feel lonely.

After a week in the Maritimes, we’re stopping in Ottawa to visit with one of my bestest friends and her lovely boyfriend! We fly back past Ottawa (and often would make a connection there anyway) so we decided to book our flights in a way that we could spend the weekend there. While there, we also have plans to meet up with another dear friend and her husband. She is the fabulous woman behind In The Fives (another blog on my blog roll).

I am getting excited for our vacation and the chance to see so many loved ones! A break from work and our regular routines and chores will also be good. I am hoping that we’ll both feel quite relaxed following the trip and that we can carry that relaxation with us for a few months at least (doubtful though, knowing J and I – we’re both a little high strung).

Although I am definitely hoping to be pregnant, I’m not holding my breath. And it wouldn’t be the worst month to not get pregnant. I’ll actually find out if I’m pregnant while we’re away, so if I’m not, drinks with friends sounds like a great plan! Also, I have a friend getting married in Mexico next March and we already paid a deposit. This is the last month that a pregnancy would mean we couldn’t go. So I guess, either way, I’m ok with it this month. A pregnancy definitely trumps drinking and a trip (although I would really LOVE to be able to support my friend on her wedding day), but I don’t anticipate tears this month if it doesn’t happen. Maybe August can be our month . . . here’s hoping!

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J is in on it . . .

J now knows I am writing this blog. I don’t know why I really kept it a secret at first. I guess I was self-conscious about whether he’d want to read it and what he would think if he did. I was also worried that he would be against me airing our TTC laundry online. I didn’t actually come out and say, “So, I started this blog . . . “. Instead, he was teasing me about this pseudo-blog I had back in the day (i.e., almost 7 years ago when we met). As someone who vividly remembers the days of ICQ, I would hope that all my readers are at least old enough to remember MSN messenger. At one point MSN came out with personalized “spaces” for each user and it was basically a myspace/blog format. I created one, as did most of my friends, but they died out pretty quickly. Well, in the time that I actually used my MSN space, I wrote a little post about Miss Canada winning Miss Universe. I was pretty excited about it because usually Canada doesn’t make it very far in the competition and I am a proud Canadian. As much as I love Canada, it’s almost like we’re the US’ annoying kid sister and the US always gets to do everything first, get first pick, and will never let us win. So at the time, I was excited – not a top moment in my life kind of excited, but rather a “the Bachelor picked my top choice of the girls” kind of excitement. Ever since seeing that, J thinks I have an obsession with pageants (definitely not, but I enjoy watching Miss America, Miss USA, and Miss Universe if I see that they’re on – mainly for the evening gowns and talents, even though I think talent only counts for Miss America). So he teases me about it and says things like “Are you going to blog about it?!” with mock enthusiasm. After a walk today, he said something about blogging to me and I said, “What if I had a blog?” and he asked if it was about pageants and then proceeded to guess a few other things. Finally, he said, “Let me guess, it’s about trying to conceive a baby.” So I told him it was and he seemed fine with it. He didn’t ask to see it and I’m not sure if I want to share (since his opinion would matter most to me and I haven’t even told most of my close friends that I have started this blog). I guess because it’s so personal and about something very sensitive, I feel in a very vulnerable position whenever I send the link to someone.

TTC can be a tough journey, and for some a heart-wrenching, seemingly never-ending journey. Those who conceive and carry to term as soon as they start trying or within 2-3 months are lucky and I definitely envy them. At the same time, I am thankful that we haven’t (as yet) been trying for years and years and I am hopeful that we’ll conceive before it comes to that. I’m sure that everyone deals with TTC and fertility issues differently, but for me, talking about it is cathartic. I have always been someone who shares my personal experiences and some would probably say too much. I find that talking it through and getting feedback and validation from others helps me to process the most emotional and monumental experiences in my life.

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Finding My Voice

I was reading a fabulous blog about another couple’s journey toward parenthood last night. It’s called Our Road to Baby (see the blog roll at the bottom – again, links aren’t working for me). I was really impressed with a) her writing style and b) how open and honest she was. She is letting it all hang out in an amazing way.

Personally, I don’t feel as free on this blog. When I started writing it, I thought of it as a bit of a diary, but with the knowledge that others may read it. I have sent the link to a few friends and I’ve had positive feedback, but J doesn’t even know I’m writing it (I guess I’m self-conscious) and I’m not sure if he’d support having his dirty laundry aired out in (semi) public. So I feel like, for his sake, I should guard what details I divulge and how much I bring him into these posts. At the same time, it is my nature to be really open and forthcoming with personal information. So while I’d love to write about all the nitty gritty for myself, I do feel restrained.

Furthermore, I feel like I haven’t truly found my voice or blog style yet. I am very new to blogging and I don’t anticipate that this will become a popular blog with many followers (although I entertain daydreams of becoming a famous blogger whose words are gospel to millions . . . or some other grandiose outcome). For the most part, I figure it will just be my friends who want updates on how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. So that brings me back to the above; I don’t feel anonymous, so I don’t feel entirely free. In turn, I find myself editing and censoring some of my thoughts. Moreover, sometimes I feel too stiff and formal on here. I think that comes from writing client reports all day and my many years of academia. Moral of the story is to bear with me while I figure out all this blogging business !

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Mish Mash

So this post has no real theme. There’s just a couple things I thought I could update my loyal readers (all 1 or 2 of you) on.

J and I went to see Spiderman last night for our anniversary. My dad said we’re an old boring married couple already, but I had a nice evening. We don’t really do anniversary gifts (although J bought me a watch last year since I had lost mine not too long before that), but I decided to make something. Sentimental gifts seem to be more of a girl thing than a guy thing, but I decided to risk it and hope that J appreciated the thought behind it. I borrowed an idea from pinterest (http://visualheart.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/52-things-i-love-about-you/). Luckily, he did appreciate it and reading through my reasons I love him reminds me of all the wonderful things about him.

This month, after 3 months of tracking my BBT, I decided to put the thermometer and charts in the drawer and enjoy sleeping in when I can. I had some leftover First Response OPKs and had just bought a bunch of cheap ones from http://www.early-pregnancy-tests.com (for some reason the link wasn’t working for me), so I decided that I would keep using OPKs until I run out (or get pregnant – hopefully the latter happens first). Today is CD19 and I peed on the stick first thing when I woke up. The test line was much darker than the control line, so that’s a BFP (Big Fat Positive) – unfortunately this is the only type of BFP I ever get. I’ve had positive OPKs every month that I’ve used them, so it’s not like getting a positive is a direct path to pregnancy, but it is nice to see the positive all the same. So since I got the positive today, that means I should ovulate between this morning and 7:30 pm tomorrow night. That is pretty consistent with the BBT charts that showed I ovulated on CD20 the last 3 months. One thing for sure, I’m consistent. Consistency is good, but since I keep having short luteal phases it’s not the best in this case. BUT ovulation is certainly better than an anovulatory cycle.

Ever since I got my blood test results from my doctor and she said she’d refer us to the fertility clinic, I have felt more positive and calmer. It’s been nice and made this month much more enjoyable. My head is clearer in general, and especially when spending time with J. It’s comforting to feel more in the moment again. Hopefully it lasts. That being said, I was emailing one of my best friends today and I tried to describe how wanting to conceive and not being able to feels to me. I described it as a knot in my stomach, a primal, guttural longing and a sensation like I am going to rip from the inside. Sometimes I just want to scream to try to release the tension. Luckily that’s not how I feel right this minute. So I’ll cling to that.

There, that’s the end of the randomness that was this post.

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Feeling Lovey Dovey

Tomorrow is our 3rd wedding anniversary! In some ways it is hard to believe that it has been 3 years (my hairstylist seemed impressed with 3 years “in this day and age”) and in other ways it feels like it’s been so much longer (in a good way). We have been together for almost 7 years, which far surpasses our previous relationships. We have been such a big part of each other’s lives already, both by the nature of our relationship and by the percentage of our lives that we have spent together so far. Sometimes when I think of all of our experiences so far and the things we’ve been through together, I think we’ve already survived so much and created a lifetime of memories.

Thinking toward the future  about when we will have been married 10, 20, 50 years seems so surreal in some ways, but I can’t imagine my life any other way. It will be crazy when we have been together longer than the time before we met! I think of marriage as a partnership, friendship, and love that continues to develop over time, and it’s a pretty amazing thing to spend the majority of your life loving the same person, becoming that person who knows them best and having someone who knows you almost as well as they know themselves. When you’ve made a lifetime commitment to someone and each year you get closer to fulfilling that lifetime, it’s like your life becomes inextricable from theirs (again, in a good way).

J and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary at a beautiful hotel in the mountains not too far from where we live. It was a very romantic and special weekend. Last year we went to dinner and took a trip to Las Vegas within a couple weeks of the date (it was unrelated to our anniversary though). So far we haven’t discussed what we’ll do this year. I said from the beginning that I wanted to make our first anniversary special and then every 5 years I’d like to celebrate in a bigger way (e.g., a trip, nice gifts). So this year, I am perfectly happy with dinner or going to a movie. The important part is spending quality time with J and acknowledging the day that marks the happiest day of my life thus far.