Yesterday afternoon J forwarded me an email from the president of his company (the company is Canada-wide, so I am always impressed by any recognition from the company’s president). It said that J had been promoted to Assistant Branch Manager! J is an Alberta Licensed Surveyor (ALS; unfortunate acronym) and project manager, but now he is the assistant manager for the entire Calgary office which means he is above 3 other ALSes (who were all licensed before him) and a bunch of other people in different positions. Apparently people aren’t surprised and they are happy for him (with the exception of one guy) because they know he works the hardest. J said it’s really just a title and his day-to-day work doesn’t change, but I am still super proud of him and thought I’d share :)
A friend of mine from grad school just excitedly told me that she and her husband are starting to TTC this month. She is excited, understandably so. I am happy for her, but I also feel a sense of dread. I feel like she’s bound to get pregnant before me and, although she has been married only one year less than and is a year older than me and fully deserving of being a mother, it just doesn’t feel fair. I felt dread because I feel that I will undoubtedly have to prepare myself for her pregnancy announcement before I even get my positive pee stick. This may not happen, but given my track record and the fact that she’s a fresh start, it just feels inevitable. I’m not getting super down about it, but I couldn’t feel super excited for her either. I replied to her text with a text saying good luck, but had she seen my face she would have seen self-pity cross it. Having just gotten my period today and going through cramps (a literally painful reminder of my empty womb) made it harder to receive the news. I doubt my friend would expect or understand my reaction because she recently asked me if it wasn’t too early to be worrying about infertility. I hope she has better luck than me. As hard as it will be to hear about her pregnancy news if I’m not pregnant, I will be happy for her and I don’t wish infertility on anyone.
So I think I am stealing the title of this blog post from one I read awhile back (in reference to the same topic), and of course Queen, but it’s what sprang to mind. Today is CD27. Yesterday I had a bit of spotting along with ewcm (why is it that I only seem to get quality ewcm right before my period?!). I figured it was just a matter of hours/a day and I was right. Today started out spotless, then a bit of spotting, and now there’s enough where I couldn’t deny it any longer and I reached for a tampon.
Strangely I am not that upset and still in a good mood (I think it’s my Christmas-y mood as of late). It is a bit ironic though that my period seems to come just as soon as I let myself get excited and start to daydream about how I’ll tell people I’m pregnant. Especially with Christmas coming up and my parents coming to visit from the 27th to January 2nd, the idea of being pregnant now seemed like it would be by far the best present I could EVER receive.
I had been really excited this cycle because my ovulation seemed to come earlier and at a much more normal time, but it seems that my luteal phase has decided to remain consistent. So instead of a normal follicular and luteal phase, I just ended up with a short (26 day) cycle. I know that my ovulation timing could be a fluke this cycle, but I feel like acupuncture and herbs are finally doing their job in getting my ovulation date moved up. So at my Sunday appointment, I plan on addressing the short luteal phase and my dearth of cervical mucus with my doctor of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In TCM they say that often when you treat one issue it uncovers another one that was underneath that first layer. So I’m guessing we’re making progress but there is still more work to do. I’m kind of hoping that doesn’t mean different herbal mixtures though as I have already spent so much on the ones I have used and I still have plenty left (especially since this is likely my last cycle of herbs).
Even though I had posted about being more “zen” with timelines and the whole process in an earlier post (see What’s Another Year), I think that was partially because I had high hopes for November. It started when I read a year-in-review type of horoscope that said November would be a good month start (“start”) trying to conceive. Normally I don’t read or believe in my horoscope (Barnum Effect) and I only went to the site because I saw it linked from another TTC blog, but something about November rang true for me. At the time I thought that November was a possibility for either starting with the RE or maybe even starting treatment (I had naive hopes of starting treatment as soon as we saw the RE) and it would mark my third month of acupuncture and herbs (which seems to be a turning point in the literature – although my doctor of TCM pointed out that the published articles tend to include the most successful case studies). So I did have my hopes up about this November. At the same time, I am still hoping for it to happen by next November. I feel like this month could be a turning point in terms of my follicular phase and if 85% of couples get pregnant in the first year of trying, maybe I’ll have an 85% chance within the next year now that things seems to be working a bit better in my system. This is probably warped logic and it’s not like we’re going to wait out the year and see rather than pursue medical intervention, but it gives me something to hold on to.
This may be the longest I have gone without posting since I started my blog. I have had a bad head cold that zapped all my energy and cognitive functioning. J was sick first and he missed 3 days of work (when he gets a cold his blood sugars go high and make him feel extra bad). The next week I got it and I missed 1.5 days. Some of the afternoons I was actually at work were more or less a write off because I couldn’t concentrate or think straight, and my memory was totally shot! Three other people in my department at work all have this cold too and apparently it can last 3-4 weeks. I am feeling better than I was, but still stuffy headed.
In TTC land, nothing to report really. Just waiting. It’s CD26 today – pretty easy to remember your cycle day when you start on the first day of the month :) I had acupuncture yesterday, but it was hard to really enjoy it like I normally would. Generally I start to drift off while lying on my stomach, but this time I was more concerned with my dripping nose. We meet our RE again and get our test results in 15 days!
I am really nervous he’ll say he didn’t find anything and that we are “unexplained”. For people not dealing with infertility normal results may seem awesome, but when you’ve already been trying a year you’re still infertile, they just don’t know why. By extension, this means that they can’t narrow in on the ideal treatment and it’s more of a crap shoot. I’ll have a hard time accepting unexplained if that’s what we’re told though because I didn’t have a lap done so they can’t definitively rule out endometriosis. I’ll push for one I think, just to be sure.
As I have previously mentioned, I have always been driven by milestones and deadlines. I placed some really arbitrary deadlines on myself with TTC. First it was to get pregnant by Christmas 2011 (we started trying in October 2011) so I could tell family in person. Then it was by the summer, then by October 2012 (the one year mark), then by this Christmas (which again, would allow me to tell my parents in person, but it would also mean that I’ll be a mother before I turn 30). Now that we’ve seen the RE and done a bunch of testing, I feel more confident that it will happen and less concerned about when it will happen. My new hope is that we’ll be pregnant by this time next year. Before, the thought of TTC for 2 years plus was daunting and devastating. Now, I’ll just consider myself lucky if it happens in the next year. Of course, I say this now while I’m on a “high” after having a more reasonable O date, and my moods are prone to change when it comes to this journey/battle.
It’s funny though, how the first year felt like torture, but the thought of another year seems palatable. Each month was one more stab to my heart and I really treated it as a month-by-month process in the sense that I put all my eggs (pardon the pun) in one basket each month. Now I’m looking at it as more of an end game, where the final product is what really matters and not so much the stumbles and bruises along the way. I used to often worry about every little thing leading up to ovulation and then even afterward. I would worry that J’s sperm might be old (if it had been awhile) and less effective; I’d worry that if I orgasmed in the 2WW that I’d dislodge any implanted embryo; I’d worry that we hadn’t had sex at the perfect moment. I have caught myself starting to worry about such things a couple times this month, but then I remind myself that what’s done is done. I have already ovulated and we had sex the day of my positive OPK and the next day. I can’t change the outcome. An egg either fertilized or it didn’t. It will implant or it won’t. Worrying about things out of my control certainly won’t help and it could hurt matters.
If it doesn’t happen in this next year, I am sure I will be devastated and very very worried, but right now I just have to believe that it will happen at some point. Whether it’s this month, next month, or 12 months from now, it’ll be the best thing in the world and worth the wait.
This month I used First Response’s Unmistakable Yes/No Digital Ovulation Test. You have to start using it on CD5 and it remembers your personal LH levels so that it can detect a personal surge. This can be beneficial for those who may surge, but not to the cut off point of other tests. Of course, this kit was more expensive and I didn’t really realize what I was buying when I bought it (I saw 20 test sticks and thought I could start using it at any time). Once the digital reader reports YES+ it stops working, so if you have extra test strips they are useless unless you buy another kit and then you’d get 20 new sticks anyway.
Today is CD16 and I got a YES+! This means that I am likely to ovulate today or tomorrow. That means that if I have a 30 day cycle (which is often the case), I’m just about perfectly timed this month. If I have a 28 day cycle, which is becoming more common, it should still make for a good luteal phase (that’s a first!).
I’m not taking my BBT so I won’t be able to confirm the ovulation, but this seems like it’s an improvement from past cycles. Normally I wouldn’t get a positive OPK until day 18 or 19 (I think once it was day 17) and then my temp would rise on day 21, suggesting a CD20 ovulation. I have read about how OPKs aren’t always so accurate (although I do put more faith in this personalized one I just used) and how even BBT’s accuracy can vary by up to 3 days, but I am choosing to see this as a positive step. I am especially happy because 2 months ago I didn’t even get a positive OPK until CD20 and last month my chart was completely wonky and I wasn’t even sure if I ovulated.
The only kink in the mix is that J has been really sick all week so no BDing for us. However, he went to work today for the first and only time this week and last night he mentioned that we’ll need to start with “sexy time” again soon (meanwhile I’ve been internally stressing about whether we’d miss our opportunity this month). So I am hoping that with news of my positive OPK he’ll be up for some action, even if we have to do it Pretty Woman style (i.e., no kissing).