Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

TWW and Kindness Friday Part III

After months of missing the big O because of hubby being sick and some weirdness in my cycles, I am officially one week into the two week wait. I feel like this is our first full-hearted attempt since my last pregnancy, and as much as I make excuses about why we couldn’t really try each month, I think the truth was that I wasn’t ready. I want a baby, but I wasn’t ready for the emotional roller coaster that is TTC, and as much as I hope and pray that our next baby will be our rainbow, I have to acknowledge the very real possibility that I could have another mc and I couldn’t face that possibility. Now, I’m ready to try. I’m ready to hope. I’m ready to risk great heartache for a chance for our rainbow. I’m ready to hurry up and wait I have begrudgingly resigned myself to waiting.

Whenever we aren’t trying or I’m not currently in the TWW, I always think that it’s not that bad–I can stay calm and be patient and stick to my POAS plan. Seriously, I’m an intelligent, reasonable person, and I can conquer the TWW with grace and sanity. Then, starting just a few days after ovulation, I feel the desperate need to start peeing on all the things. No matter what I’m doing, the upcoming peestick day and everything it represents (the possibility of a baby growing in my ute, the possibility of another mc, the possibility of our lives being forever changed) is always in the back of my mind. The harder I fight it and try to stay calm, the more forcefully it drives itself into the forefront of my thoughts. It’s ridiculous.

So, in an attempt to distract myself from obsessing about the current state of my ute, I’m going to spend the next week doing things that I enjoy and will leave me feeling content and empowered. Let’s think of it as a whole week of kindness that will keep me mentally (and possibly physically?) happy and healthy. Here are some of the things I plan on doing over the weekend and during the evenings next week:

  • I would like to spend as much time as possible outside. I haven’t posted about it, but hubby and I have been busy little bees getting a garden ready for this summer. First, we built a fence to keep out the pup, then we built two raised beds, and two potato towers. We also used the extra lumber from our fence to make some small boxes for me to grow herbs. Now that it looks like we have had our last frost (I hope), I’m ready to plant some seeds and some of the seedlings that we have been growing in our house. I absolutely love the feeling of the dirt under my hands and watching the miracle of life coming from these tiny seeds. It really builds up my self esteem and also makes me feel more connected to God. Unfortunately, it is supposed to rain all weekend, but that’s ok because I have a back-up plan:
  • I’ve been spending some time lately reading blogs and watching youtube videos on how to make my own cloth pads and panty liners.  I spent my winter knitting, and now that it is summer, I am ready to start sewing again! Sewing makes me feel so calm and empowered–it’s like the whole world disappears for awhile, and there is nothing but the whir of my machine. Also, wearing something that I made is an incredible feeling! I’m planning on taking aspects that I like from different patterns and products and meshing them into a super awesome hybrid that’s just for me :o)  I know it may seem silly to make these during my TWW, but maybe I can jinx myself into pregnancy…
  • Over the past few months, I have slacked on my reading and replaced it with watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix. In the past week or so, I have worked on remedying that and revisiting my “to read” list. I’ve started a pretty hefty epic fantasy series called that Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson, and I’ve enjoyed it so far. I’ve almost finished the first book, and it feels really good to lose myself in a series again, which I haven’t really done since I finished reading the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin (can I mention that he needs to hurry up with the next book?). I’m also doing daily bible readings (following the OWNit365 plan), and reading different nonfiction works, like those by C. S. Lewis.
  • The last thing I want to concentrate on is spring cleaning. I’ve gotten a little bit of a head start, but there is still plenty to be done–we bought a fairly large house with the intention of filling it with children (because we are responsible and couldn’t possibly start trying before we had a place to put a baby), so there is lots to clean. Once the nice weather hits, I actually enjoy cleaning–opening all the windows and smelling the fresh air while I organize, sort, scrub, and fold.

So that’s it. My be-kind-to-myself-by-attempting-to-salvage-my-sanity-during-the-TWW plan. What do you think?

Also, here is a bonus picture of our little Molly hanging out in one of the raised beds before we filled it with dirt. She’s not so little anymore!

Our sweet little furbaby!

Our sweet little furbaby!

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Fear vs. Hope

Infertiles deal with a lot of fear. During my journey, I’ve been afraid that I wouldn’t get pregnant, afraid that I would miscarry, afraid that I would miscarry again, afraid that we would never have children, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to function after multiple mc’s, afraid of BFN’s, afraid of BFP’s, afraid that my friends would move on without me, afraid that there is something seriously wrong with me, afraid that hubby will give up on me, etc. Fear is just a huge part of this whole process, and it is something I have been struggling with a lot. There is one big fear that has been consuming me for months.

I’m terrified of hope.

Terrified.

I’ve been apathetic and disconnected. I’ve used reason and stuck to the facts, writing lists and making back-up plans. I’ve mentally beaten down any symptom spotting. I hesitantly post about our plans, thinking they sound too naive and unrealistic, but they are met with so much enthusiasm. I get comments full of smiley faces and exclamation marks, and it reminds me of how far I have fallen from hope. I am so grateful to have this community to be hopeful for me because I seem to be incapable of it right now. It’s like I’ve been in the darkness too long and can’t stand to be in the light because it is so painful.

But at some point, I have to let myself hope again.

I have a beautiful friend who always seems to understand my heart, and she told me a few months ago that I have to stop prophesying disaster over myself. She’s right. This is no way to live. The question is, how do you move away from the fear and allow hope back into your heart? Are there maybe some magic sunglasses that make the transition from the cave into the light a little easier?

I noticed yesterday that I was spotting. I’m pretty sure yesterday was 9 DPO, and I have only had mid-cycle spotting three times before. Two of those times, I was pregnant. Ever since I saw it, I’ve been using all of my mental and emotional energy trying to suppress hope, and it is exhausting. Would it be too much to hope that this is our month? Would it be too much to see the spotting as a good sign of implantation? Would it be too much to pray that we get a BFP and our take home baby? Would it be too much to hope that this year will be different–full of joy instead of pain?

Thanks you for leaving encouraging and enthusiastic comments–they help more than you know. I hope I can feel that same enthusiasm soon.

 

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TTC Pregnancy #4–Cycle #1

If you think this post seems terribly apathetic, that’s because it is. That’s where I am right now. Bear with me, I’m hoping it will pass soon…

For the first time since August, I am officially in the two week wait. I wrote awhile back about how I felt stuck, and you would think that starting TTC again would help me feel like I’m achieving some forward motion. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I had a rough New Years. I have a very vivid memory of going on vacation with my very pregnant friend and our husbands on New Years last year. I remember crying to my husband because I wasn’t pregnant yet. Sure, we had only been trying for 4-5 months, but I had this gut feeling that something was wrong and we would never have a baby. It’s been a year since that moment, and we are essentially in the same place. So TTC may seem like progress, but we started TTC well over a year ago,  I’ve been pregnant three times, and the end result is that we’re in the same place we were last year.  You could even say that we’ve backtracked a little because now we have  more heartache and less hope. I’m fairly certain I won’t feel like we are moving forward until I am solidly into a viable pregnancy or we move on and start the paperwork and classes for the foster adoption plan–Plan H (seriously, there are only so many letters in the alphabet).

I’m not really holding my breath for this cycle because hubby and I haven’t been particularly diligent in our baby-making efforts. The timing wasn’t perfect–we had sex around the general time of ovulation, but we might have missed the exact window. Hubby hasn’t been feeling well (he’s going to the doctor tomorrow to figure out what could be up with his stomach), and I have stayed true to my promise of not pressuring him when he doesn’t want to. I didn’t even tell him when I was ovulating because I didn’t want to upset him or stress him out by making him think that he has to have sex with me. So we are basically only having sex when we feel like it and I’ve been watching for ovulation and hoping that he feels like it at the right time. It’s not really the perfect recipe for baby-making, but at this point, our relationship and hubby’s emotional health is much more important to me.

Even though I make it sound like I was tricking hubby by not telling him when I was ovulating, he is fully up to date and well aware that I am in the TWW. He also knows the official POAS date: Friday the 12th. I’ve been taking my progesterone in the evenings and I have enough to make it until Thursday before I need to refill it which is perfect because I think Friday is 14 DPO. So I’ll take a HPT on Friday morning, and if it is positive, I’ll refill my prescription that day. Then I will follow the “BFP Plan” that I have comprised over the past four months since my last mc. I’m planing on posting about it in detail tomorrow, so be sure to check back in, because you know you are on the edge of your seats.

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Staying Busy

I have one of those personalities that are prone to anxiety and worrying. Remember my post about charting? I tend to obsess over things (like temping) and sometimes I have to make some adjustments to my life or the way I do things so that I don’t feed those tendencies. One thing I have worked on is taking all of that energy and applying it to a healthy distraction like cooking, cleaning, or playing with my new puppy :) Here are some of my favorite ways to stay busy so I don’t worry too much, especially during my TWW. These are in no particular order (Can you tell I like lists? Because I really like lists):

  • Cleaning up the house We bought our house in September of last year, and I love having a home we can call our own. Surprising at it might be, I’m not a neat freak. Hubby and I are actually both big slobs, and I’ve never really enjoyed cleaning. Ever since we bought our house, however, I take pride in having a home to take care of, so I try to keep it looking nice. It is definitely not the cleanest house on the block, but it is consistently cleaner than our apartment was. Every once in awhile, I will start to clean up the kitchen or something and get in the zone, realizing hours later that I’ve deep cleaned half the house. This has been happening more lately–probably because I’ve had so much going on mentally and emotionally and it is so nice to just turn off my brain and concentrate fully on physical labor. Although, I do have to confess that I’ve been really lax in cleaning since we brought home the puppy because she takes so much time and energy. So despite everything I just said about cleaning, my house is a disaster right now. Maybe I should do something about that this weekend…
  • Sewing I don’t have a ton of experience sewing (or doing anything that can be classified as domestic), but I have started working on some projects lately and I have really enjoyed it. I started a Pinterest account in July and have since made two skirts with matching headbands. I am also in the middle of making a cute dress from a pattern I bought a few weeks ago. When I start sewing, it’s like all of my thoughts and worries just float away and are replaced with a calm contentment–I’ll put my head down to work on a project and not even notice as the hours fly by. Plus I end up with cute things to wear and show off!
  • Cooking/Baking Once again, I wasn’t really raised to be domestic so this is fairly new territory for me. Because I didn’t cook much growing up, I have to concentrate really hard and double check myself to make sure I don’t screw up recipes. So it takes quite a bit of concentration to cook or bake, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I love being able to see a recipe and make it that night. Or when I get a craving for something sweet after dinner, I love being able to just whip something up. Lately, hubby and I have been trying meal planning, and we’re still trying to get the hang of it. It takes some effort, but I would rather direct my energy to planning meals for the week and putting together a shopping list than worrying at 6:00pm about what we are going to eat that night.
  • Playing with my furbabies :) We have two furbabies. Gaia is a dilute tortoiseshell cat that we adopted about two years ago. We couldn’t ask for a better kitty–she is very friendly and loves to snuggle. We also have Molly who is a little ball of energy and takes quite a bit of time and attention. She’s a labrador/australian shepherd mix, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at her–she looks all lab. We take her outside and run around with her multiple times a day, so not only is she a good distraction but she also encourages me to get some exercise (hello endorphins!)
  • Readinglove reading. My mom is a librarian, so I was constantly exposed to good books as I was growing up, and reading is my passion. I especially enjoy reading the classics: Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas, Matthew Gregory Lewis, Fyodor Dostoyevski, etc. but I also have a special place in my heart for Harry Potter :) Right now I’m reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Every night that we don’t have something planned, I take a long bath and read a few chapters. Talk about relaxing and clearing your head. I started doing this a week or so ago, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in a my stress level.
  • Spending time with hubby Not only is my husband supportive, loving, fun,  sexy, and a hard worker, he is also the funniest person I know. Whenever we go somewhere, my favorite part is almost always the drive where we just talk about our days and whatever we are thinking about, and he almost always has some story from his day that makes me laugh until my stomach hurts. In those moments, I forget about the crap that has been bothering me. Usually, spending time with the hubby entails grocery shopping or some other errand, but as long as I’m hanging out with him, I’m fine. I am so content spending the rest of my life with that man.

I think that’s a long enough list for now. Maybe some of these things can help you get out of your head and be productive.  Storkchaser has started a Lazy Pinner’s Challenge where she encourages everyone to actually make something from Pinterest every month for three months, and I think that is a great idea that really coincides with this post. Check it out and maybe even join us (I’m making pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies because I love anything with pumpkin in it!).

I feel like I can’t write this post without also saying that I am sometimes guilty of distracting myself too much and not actually dealing with my emotions and the problems facing me. Sometimes when I am staying busy, I get this panicky feeling like something is creeping up on me and will catch me any moment. I can’t escape the reality of our difficulty getting pregnant or the loss of two pregnancies. That’s another reason why I started this blog. I can  sort through everything I’m dealing with and articulate my feelings in a safe way that doesn’t involve crying in the fetal position on my bathroom floor (although I sometimes do that too–everyone needs a good cry sometimes). I’m working on finding that balance of dealing with my struggles but not allowing myself to wallow and sink into a deep pit of self-pity.

How do you distract yourself from fertility issues or loss? Do you sometimes find that you distract yourself too much and need to slow down to face some of your emotions?

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A Confession (and a little math)

Remember how I said hubby and I weren’t going to TTC this month? And I was at peace with that?

Well, on Friday I noticed some EWCM, and that evening I got a positive OPK. Why is this significant? First, any woman who has dealt with fertility issues knows how hard it is to know that you are ovulating and not do anything about it–especially when you are going to try a new drug once you get back on the TTC wagon. So that little smiley face on my OPK was awfully tempting, but it wasn’t just tempting, it was also a little disconcerting. Why? Before my first mc, my cycles were 32 days long with ovulation on day 21, so they were already a little longer than the average cycle. Longer cycles=longer to wait and less opportunities per year to get pregnant. Four days doesn’t seem like a long time, but in a year’s time, a 32 day cycle means that I will have almost two full cycles fewer a year than a woman with the average 28 day cycles. And my cycles seem to be getting longer after my mc’s. My first cycle after my mc’s was 38 days long. When I ovulated this weekend, I was on day 25. This means  instead of being a few days away from my next cycle like a “normal” woman, I was two weeks from my next cycle. So at the rate I’m going, I still have five or six weeks that I have to wait before I ovulate again. Once I realized this, all of that calm and zen just went out the window. Seriously.

We were planning on waiting two cycles to TTC again, but when you do the math, two average cycles would be 56 days. With my crazy long cycles, it has already been 61 days. So even if we haven’t waited two cycles, we have waited the average length of two cycles. The main reasons we were waiting (allowing my iron counts to go back up to normal, giving us some time to emotionally deal with our loss, etc.) depend on time not cycles, so I feel satisfied that this was a long enough wait. So here is my confession: we have officially tried this cycle. We had a fun weekend trying to make a little baby, and I started my progesterone supplements last night. Now I’m crossing my fingers and hoping, hoping, hoping that this is our month, but I’m also trying to stay realistic. Statistically, we have a 25% chance of conceiving when we are doing everything right. So now that I’m trying the progesterone, we have a 1 in 4 chance of conceiving, assuming that there is nothing else wrong. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: how the heck do women get pregnant by accident?!?!?!

So there you have it. We are officially in our TWW (what? more waiting?). Everyone keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer for hubby and me.

-Danielle

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