Monday, April 28, 2014

Ballin'

I did ovulate this cycle, which is good news I suppose. However it was pretty late. Like Day 22 or 23. I think we had sex the day before the temperature spike or maybe two days before (I'm so good at this, right? It's a total shock I haven't gotten pregnant with this accurate measuring!), so I'm not sure if we caught it or not. I'm not feeling very good about this cycle anymore, but I'm okay with that.

Next week I'll start playing sand volleyball two nights a week and softball one night. Summer is very busy for us, because Bobby also plays on a men's softball team, in addition to a co-ed team we're both on. So that means we're playing something four nights a week. It's a good way to get outside, and a fun distraction from infertility (I think I will have ZERO pregnant teammates this year--probably the first time that's happened in four or five years!). The summers do go quickly, and we're not able to vacation much. And then it's right back into coaching in mid-August for fall volleyball pre-season. But I love it. I'm a crazy competitive person, so I'd much rather be playing sports than just going running or lifting. Plus, I'm more likely to run and lift because it makes me stronger and faster for the games--which motivates me more than anything else.

Last summer, I was convinced it would my last year for softball. I thought I'd at least be pregnant by this summer, and I feel way less confident about playing softball pregnant than volleyball (of course, my mother often reminds me that she played softball when she was pregnant with both me and my sister--why? I don't know. My mother is basically identical to Ross and Monica's mom Judy Geller in Friends. But she treats me waaaay more like Monica than Ross. I am not the favorite). The base running that makes me nervous. Or more specifically, the opposing team's infielders' ability to accurately throw me out and not hit my stomach. I've been hit in the arms and legs while running; and while painful, it doesn't do much damage. But I'd be very nervous about hauling around a pregnant belly. Do you see how crazy I am? How much I've already over-thought this simple hypothetical. I annoy myself.

It's been raining nonstop here for a few days, and the forecast is solid rain for the rest of the week. I'm antsy to get out and hit some bp. At a park near our house, there's a decent batting cage where Bobby and I like to hit. It's where the high school's JV baseball team practices, so the cage is a little short for slow pitch softball, but still effective. It's a great option when just the two of us want to hit, because we don't have to spend 90% of the time chasing down balls. Neither one of us is a great pitcher, but it's a fantastic stress reliever. I know many of you have success with massage and yoga or whatever, but I'd seriously recommend pounding the crap out of a bucket of softballs for an afternoon if you're looking to release some stress.

So, I have a few questions for the more experienced infertiles out there. I'm not ready to go to an RE yet, and apparently according to my GP, that's the next step. She won't refer me to an OB at my local clinic, I'd have to drive at least an hour to the nearest RE. Should I try to get a (local) OB referral first? Or just wait another six months or so until we're ready to seen an RE--if we decide to even go that route? My GP said she didn't want to put me on Clomid or Femara because she's worried about multiples. Is that a serious concern when I haven't been consistently ovulating at all, and I haven't conceived on my own after trying for almost two years?

What can I do about my late ovulation and short LP (outside of prescription)? Are there any supplements/teas/herbs/diets/exercises I should be doing? This may not be the issue, but if there's something harmless I could try, I'd be willing to give it a shot. Or is a slightly shorten LP not that big of a deal anyway, as long as I know I ovulate late and adjust our scheduled coitus (thanks, Jane) accordingly?

Any other advice that's better than bundle up and go hit the cover off some softballs?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

And the Universe Laughs in My Face

Well, it's about time the Universe got even with me for writing my last post, filled with naive optimism. I suppose this is what I get for thinking that I have any sort of control of my own fertility.

A year or so ago, a friend mentioned she and her husband were thinking about having a second child. "We'd like a summer baby, so we're waiting to start trying for a few more months." I almost laughed in her face, as we'd been trying for over a year already for an anytime-of-year baby with no luck. But I kept my mouth shut. She's due in the middle of June. People do things like that. Plan for "summer babies." It blows my mind.

As I mentioned in my last post, I had planned out which days we were going to have sex to maximize this fertility window. Basically our plan was to shove as much sperm in there as possible and hope one of them is suave enough to successfully chat up the egg when she shows up.

Except last night failed. We try to make timed intercourse sexier than the phrase "timed intercourse." But it's really not. Neither of us was in the mood all night. We were marathoning House of Cards, and kept putting it off. We'd try to flirt and keep it interesting, but it sounded more like Chandler flirting with Pheobe ("Are you ready to have all the sex?"). It was not attractive, or hot, or interesting. We made a good effort, but as Jane at Mine to Command would say, the rocket was on the launch pad, but wouldn't blast off.

I was too tired to keep going since we'd waited until we were ready for bed to start. I was annoyed at Bobby, annoyed at myself, and annoyed at the Universe. I went to bed upset, woke up still upset, and that's why this post is all over the place. My temperature hadn't spiked this morning, so it's probably okay. We'll just have to try again. Which is exactly how you want to describe your sex life.

I'm feeling much less optimistic about this cycle now. Not because we missed ovulation, because we probably haven't. We probably have a few more chances to get it done. I'm feeling disappointed because this is how this infertility struggle has gone for me. Just when I think I'm making progress and controlling my own destiny, something like this happens, and reminds me that I'm helpless. I'll never have a summer baby.

To make matters worse, yesterday I was approached by the administrator of the school where I coach about teaching Creative Writing classes there next year. I've been bugging Bobby a lot lately about how I need to finish my master's degree because I want to think about getting into teaching. This is the perfect opportunity! I'd teach two classes, they'd fit them around the lunch hour at my current job (which is flexible), and I'd get the best of all possible worlds. If I hate it, I won't waste my time finishing my degree.

But...here's where things start to get unfair again...if I get pregnant in the next few months, I'd be due in early 2015. They wouldn't want to hire a teacher for one semester. The only thing I have going for me is that I probably wouldn't have to sign the contract until the end of July. So even if I conceived in August, I would be able to get through almost the entire school year (and could plausibly deny knowing I was pregnant until the end of September or so). I'm sure when I'm finishing up teaching at the end of next school year, I'll laugh at this whole paragraph...that I was crazy to think I could possibly get pregnant and not be able to teach.

In fact, I'm sure the Universe is laughing at me right now.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tonight, on Letterman...

I'm convinced I'm going to get pregnant this cycle. I hate that about myself. Because at the same time, I know that there's an overwhelmingly more likely chance that I will not get pregnant this cycle. I wish I could stop torturing myself.

Right now, it's fertile week. Neither one of us is sick, or out of town, or overly busy. We have scheduled sex (hot, right?) and it's going to happen. I just have a good feeling about this. Which we all know is the deciding factor that leads to pregnancy, am I right? So while I'm feeling annoyingly optimistic about this, here is a Letterman-style list for your viewing pleasure.

Reasons I'm convinced I'm going to get pregnant this cycle:
(Could also be labeled: "A list of totally irrelevant, unscientific reasons this crazy girl is using to live in denial")
  • My periods have finally regulated. I went off birth control in April 2012. In two years, I had no semblance of a normal, regular cycle. While I'm still not exactly hitting the 28-day perfect cycle, I'm actually having a period every month. 
  • We probably only have enough Pre-Seed left for this cycle. I'm so sick of buying expensive lube. We only use it during the fertile week, and stick to the cheap $1.98 Walmart brand that comes in a pump bottle for the rest of the month. I realize that those of you who are paying for IVF out of pocket are laughing at me for calling Pre-Seed expensive. But seriously, $24 for a tiny tube? That's ridiculous! There's many more things I'd rather spend $20 on than fancy lubes that don't even warm or tingle (which I have also never used - that weirds me out).
  • I lied to my best friend about being on the pill. So that would totally be my luck that I get pregnant and have to admit to lying about something so dumb because I didn't want to admit to my infertility. That just sounds awful.
  • I would be due in January. That means, I could still coach volleyball next fall (I'd be large, but it's totally doable). So baby would be over six months old by the time the next fall season started. It's like it's meant to be!
  • Bobby just got promoted at work, and has now reached the cap where we decided (several years ago) that I could quit working if he was making this amount. Of course, I like my job and may work here forever, but we could reasonably live on only his income, and I'd have the option to stay home with the baby if I wanted.
  • I've started working out more recently and dropping some of my winter weight. So of course that means I need a big life-changing event to undo all of this progress I've made. 
  • I just feel like it's been freaking long enough. We've been married for nearly four years. We've been trying to have a baby for close to two. It's about time this works. 
So really, there's no actual reason why this cycle should work over any other. I don't know why I feel good about it. I shouldn't, really. There's just as many or more reasons why this cycle is exactly like all the others. Yep, another list.

Reasons why I'm not going to get pregnant this cycle:
(Could also be labeled: "A list of totally depressing, though accurate reasons this emotional girl needs to keep her hope in check" )
  • I have no idea when I ovulate. I use an app on my phone that tells me, but it just guesses when I should based on the average length of my periods. So all this well-planned sex is pretty much for nothing.
  • Tracking my temperature is a total crap shoot. It's all over the place. It is not helping me determine ovulation. So while it feels like I'm doing the right things, I'm really not doing anything helpful.
  • I haven't used OPKs because I don't have time to test in the afternoon when it's recommended. I'm either at work or volleyball practice. I've said I'll start in the summer, if I'm still not pregnant. So until I know more accurately if/when I'm ovulating, this cycle is no different than all the others.
  • I'm too emotionally invested in this cycle. I know I'll cry my eyes out when it fails, which sucks. Or more likely, I'll cry my eyes out because my shoelace snapped, or I lost a button off my favorite cardigan, or I dropped the ice tray on the kitchen floor and keep stepping in water in my socks.
  • It's never worked before. This is the number one reason why I can never be too hopeful. My body doesn't know how to be pregnant. Sure, that's not really a valid excuse, because no body has been pregnant before it is for the first time. But there could be a whole host of reasons that my body will never make a baby - and I'm convinced I have all of them. 
So, it would be pretty freaking amazing if this cycle worked. But let's be real, it probably won't. Can you tell how much infertility screws with my mind?

How do balance your hopeful optimism with your sad realism?  Where are you in your cycle, and can we please commiserate together?

In an unrelated note, I had a dream last night that I had a slumber party with a bunch of you infertility bloggers. Yes, like a real, sleep-on-the-floor slumber party with total strangers who I only know by usernames and thumbnail photos. Maybe I'm thinking about infertility a little too much...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Some Day One Word Vomit

This weekend I visited my best friend Emma and her six week old baby Rorschach. Okay, that's not really his name, but it may as well be. (Please don't be insulted if you intend to name your baby Rorschach. But maybe re-think your decision.)

I was a dick of a best friend. I'm not proud of how I behaved. I'm still sort of confused by my current emotions. This post is going to be a jumbled reflection of that. Oh, and it's also Cycle Day One. So happy cramps and leaking uterus to me!

Let's back up. A few months ago, I went down to visit Emma by myself (without Bobby). She was about 8.5 months pregnant. I stayed at her apartment and we had some awesome girl time. We chatted about life, love, babies, and generally commiserated that we both had really terrible experiences after coming off from birth control and we wished someone would have warned us before we went on it that it may take close to two years to once again get regular periods. I didn't exactly say it outright, but I think Emma accepted the hint that we were trying to get pregnant and failing.

This time, Bobby and I both made the trip and we stayed in a hotel (to make up for this experience on Valentine's Day). I'm glad he went with me. I probably would have been even more of an awful friend if he wasn't there. That man keeps me sane.

All four of us love thrift shopping, so on Saturday we made a day of going to about seven or eight thrift stores. Bobby and I shared some "Happy Not-A-Father's Day" looks when Emma and her husband would briefly argue about who had to carry little Rorschach's monstrosity of a car seat. They ended up trading off every other store, but whoever got stuck with the kid had a significantly less fun trip. Bobby and I are nice people, but not nearly nice enough to offer to take a turn dragging around that kid's carrier. Instead, we held hands and browsed through the antiques and had a lovely time.

Both nights when we were hanging out in their apartment, Emma had to nurse little Rorschach. And both nights he screamed bloody murder into her boob until she gave up. I sat in her room with her while she did this, since we were both working on some sewing projects from our thrifted clothes. I pretty much ignored the screaming. I felt like a jerk. I didn't ask if this was a regular occurrence. I didn't sympathize. I didn't reassure her that she's a great mom. I didn't offer any kind words. I didn't do anything but focus on the seams I was picking. I thought about offering to hold him for a bit--but I'm not sure if would have been any use. Babies don't generally like me anyway, it's not likely I would have been able to soothe her little screamer any better than she was.

Emma casually brought up the conversation of children on Saturday night. It was late, this was post-Rorschach screaming and we were both tired. Maybe we were getting sick of each other. I don't know. This is when I mentioned that I didn't think people should have kids if they can't afford them. I'm not saying everyone should be millionaires to procreate, but if you can't afford to feed and diaper your kid, can't provide a decent space for them to grow up, etc., then maybe you should wait a bit.

And Emma disagreed. She NEVER would have disagreed with this statement a year ago when she was still battling infertility. She would have joined me in making fun of the women who just can't seem to figure out that reliable birth control exists. But now, she's on the other side. She's pro-kid. She's firmly entrenched in Babyworld and I'm still stuck over here in Infertility Hell.

She casually brought up birth control, asking if I thought I would ever go back on the pill (recalling our last conversation about how much going off of it had screwed up my cycles). And do you know what I said? This was the opportunity to confess my infertility to her and have a real life friend become a supporter. I didn't take that opportunity. Instead, I said: I'm on the pill right now. 

Why? Why did I tell her that? I don't even know. It was out of my mouth before I even made the decision to lie to her. She sort of stuttered a response of, Oh...okay....? I could see that she wanted to ask about our plan for children, but thankfully she didn't. She let it go and we eventually changed the subject. It was seriously a dick move to lie to my best friend, and I honestly don't know why I did it. It just happened. I don't know what I'm going to tell her if I get pregnant in the next few months, but with the way things are going now, that's not really my biggest concern.

In some ways, I thought hanging out with Emma and seeing her and her husband with this little tiny baby would make me ache for a baby even more. And then as I watched them grumble over having to drag this kid around shopping, and watching Emma struggle to breastfeed, I thought I might change my mind about wanting kids at all.

Instead...I feel ambivalent.

I came home feeling like I just don't freaking care what happens anymore. I don't want to go through all of this effort to have a baby. Yes, I want one. But I don't want to have to do any more research. I don't want to feel like I'm buying a kid. I don't want to waste money on failed IVF attempts or an adoption that falls through. I don't want to have to worry that if we adopt an older child, he'll be able to overpower me and hurt me. Or that an older daughter will never feel connected to me, and constantly have her scream at me: You're not my mom!

I don't want to give myself shots. I don't want to take pills or shove them up my hoo-haw. I don't want to keep taking my temperature every morning and monitoring the discharge in my underwear. I don't want to pee on any more sticks. I don't want to have any more sex when neither of us is in the mood.  

I'm so sick of whining about this. I look over this post and I'm annoyed with myself. I want to grab myself by the shoulders and yell: Get a grip! Either suck it up or give up. Stop feeling so damn sorry for yourself.

And then maybe slap myself across the face. One of those huge, full wind up, soap opera-style slaps.