Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oh, I'm awful...

On another forum I belong to, there was a post entitled "what are your kids going to be for Halloween?" and I couldn't help but think mine are going to be ghosts...

Apparently I'm not above black humor...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The anti-me?

Some people have asked me how I've been able to handle working in my friend's maternity store this week, and truthfully, it hasn't been bad. I'm very good with people, have a creative bent that makes it fun to rearrange the displays, and the amount of customers at any one time is minimal, unlike when I run into pregnant woman after pregnant woman in Target (usually when shopping for "feminine products," ironically).

Today was different, though: I experienced my first "lump-in-the-throat" moment today when a barely-pregnant woman came in with her mother. They walked around looking at everything, talking about how "this will work for the whole pregnancy" and "this is good for right now."

Right now. Barely pregnant. Only 10 weeks.

I remember coming to see my friend after I found out about pregnancy number one, when I was approximately six weeks. I was clearly not planning on buying anything at that point but I tried things on, using the belly pillow to visualize what they might look like. Ms. Ten-Weeks did the same. I heard her mother exclaim multiple times about how cute everything looked "with a full-term belly." I never made it that far.

She ended up purchasing four items and her mom bought her a special occasion top as a gift. I couldn't help but hope that Ms. Ten-Weeks was not jinxing herself.

Maybe I'm the only one who does that, though.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ten years ago today...

G and I met, through one of those "voice mail" personals services, believe it or not. Neither he nor I are the type to do such things but had both signed up on a whim. He was one of only three guys total that I met through the service, and I was the only girl he ever met. I like to think it was fate.

We didn't start dating right away after our first meeting, but it was clear that we had a lot in common. He plays guitar and I sing, so we mentioned possibly getting together sometime to "jam" (sounds so rock-star, doesn't it??). He called me a few weeks later to talk and we made plans to get together. We had a blast. From that first music-making attempt, we planned more regular jams, which eventually evolved into a) playing an open stage together, and b) spending a lot of time talking about ourselves. By November, I was seriously smitten. I worked up the nerve to invite him to a concert. In December we went to another concert, this time with dinner first. My friends kept asking me "are you dating??" I seriously didn't know, but didn't think so. "Does he pay for dinner?" Yes, I said. "Does he kiss you goodnight?" On the cheek, I said. Hmm. No clear answers there. We started dating in March of the following year, and I teased him often about the "just friends" attitude he took early on. But truthfully, I'm so grateful that we formed a deeper connection first. It has made all the difference through the past decade that I've known him.

So, as we move onto a new month of trying to make a baby (yes, it's soon to be cd1) I have to keep in mind that I'm glad that he and I are, first and foremost, wonderful friends. Through ups and downs, it's good to have friends like that.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Not so down today...

Both my temp and my mood have gone back up. Thankfully, as I was kind of cranky yesterday. I didn't even like me much. To be honest, it got progressively worse all day long, to the point where I was almost crying in rush hour traffic. I just felt so alone. That's a terrible feeling.

As for my temp going up, it's probably a fluke. I am hoping that the crimson witch isn't playing with me, getting me psyched up about the possiblility that I'm pregnant, when really she just wants to slam me from around the next corner. And yet I still allow a tiny bit of hope in... it's just that whenever I post such hope *here*, that's the time when I'm surprised by sudden spotting, or wicked cramps, etc. So I'm not posting any hope. Just say no to hope! No, nothing but doom and gloom from me, my period will be here any second.

If it doesn't come, I will feign ignorance for a week. Maybe.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

pass the salt...

Did I really just say "It really hasn't been that bad" in one of my comments?? Inviting something to come along and show me just how bad it could be? Yep, I did. Story of my bloglife, as it were.

And then my temp drops yet lower than the day before, signaling that my period will arrive right. on. schedule. -- so now I can eat my words. Cover 'em with salt and they're almost edible, plus the salt comes in handy for dousing those wounds.

I brought this -- working for my friend when I knew there was a good chance my period would come during my days there -- on willingly, so I have no room to complain. But the period thing in general, I wanna complain. G said "if this month didn't work, what will?" to which I told him "25% chance, hon..." and sighed.

Probably less than 25% now, though, given my age and his. Didn't tell him that.

It's probably time for "the talk", phase one, where we figure out how long since the surgery we've been trying (since we had to take some months off) and how much longer we want to try on our own before going to see my doctor. I know that's something G will be dreading, as he just wants things not to be complicated. I know we all do, but for him this is a real issue: he is not big on change.

I'm not so sure how I'll handle it, either.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Random thoughts

So far, working in my friend's maternity store hasn't been that bad, really. (Although admittedly, it has only been two days, and I'm still waiting to see if I get my period or not, but we'll go with the feeling, for now.) The worst part of it is when a size 2 woman comes out of the dressing room to ask me if something makes her belly look huge. Yeah, *you* look like a tubbo, lady. (glancing over at my friend's lone plus size maternity rack as I think this...) Better quit eating for two.
I don't have the exact path in my Statcounter page anymore, but I *swear* that the other day, I noticed that someone had found me by searching "why am I still not pregnant?" Hmmm. The tattoo was a big search engine hit, as I've gotten at least a half a dozen off that. And today I have one that says "success opk first time" - god I hope so.
Forgot to comment on the prgesterone cream issue -- it turns out that the stuff I had on hand from the compounding pharmacy had a limited shelf life - much more limited than the length of time I kept it. It was not pretty when I opened it. (Yuck.) I had some G.NC brand which I did start using, but period's due Thursday -- time will tell as to whether I even needed to bother.

Friday, August 18, 2006

To PC or not to PC?

Not talking political correctness or personal computer here. I'm talking about progesterone cream.

Now, normally, I have the same reservations about OTC progesterone cream that I assume most of us do. Doesn't work, isn't strong enough to make a difference, etc. However, instead of buying whatever Ec.kerd or G.NC have on their shelves, in the past I've purchased a jar that is compounded by a local pharmacy and sold (primarily, I assume, since they run seminars about it) to women who are using HRT. While it's technically "OTC," you need to specifically request it at the counter and the pharmacist keeps a database of those who are using it.

Notice however I said "in the past I've purchased." Yes, I've used it at the beginning of my two pregnancies, both of which failed. Granted, I don't *think* they failed because of low progesterone; I'm 99% sure on the second, although slightly less so on the first. But even still, that's not the best reason to consider using it again.

However, I'm seven days past ovulation, prime time for implantation and back in January, I suspect that my body may have *tried* to implant a fertilized egg but failed. The only time I've had my progesterone checked was after I got my second positive, when I was already using progesterone cream, and it was 120 or thereabouts. Higher than most progesterone readings I ever heard, except those using progesterone-in-oil.

So, my thought was this: start using it now (I have some on hand) and if we succeed this month, go to the doctor armed with the study that Vivien posted (which includes progesterone as part of a strategy to reduce miscarriage) and ask that I be put on prescription progesterone (in whatever form that may be, suppositories, injections, I'll do whatever if we're successful).

If you're reading and have any thoughts, opinions, etc... I hope you'll share them.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I passed

No, I'm not talking about a test of any kind. Well maybe not. Apparently yesterday while I was out, I passed for someone's mother.

I went with my friend J and her two daughters (five and six-and-three-quarters -- "not seven yet!" as I was reminded by the eldest! Geez!) to our local amusement park. This is another one of those "what were you thinking" type of activities but I was fooled somewhat with J's discussion of the last time she went with them, when she took them on adult rides. What she failed to mention (or mention loudly enough that I paid attention) was that they DID NOT LIKE said adult rides. Thus, a large percentage of my day was spent in Kiddieland.

However, while there, J and I split up, her with the younger child (M) on the swing ride, me with the eldest (S) on the airplanes. You remember them, they're the ones that can go up and down while going around and around. S was on the ride with another little girl, probably a few years younger, but who was clearly a precocious thing. When they got off the ride the first time both lined up to ride again and when the gate opened, the younger girl was off like a shot to get to her airplane. Her mother stood beside me and shouted encouragement as they went around for a second time. I did the same for S.

On their third ride, the mother turned to me and said something about how glad she was it was slightly overcast. I said, yes, it sure does keep it cooler. She then added "AND *they* won't get sunburned." Oh yes, right. Of course. Our children... they won't get sunburned. That was the implied meaning and it means that I passed! I looked like a mom! The mother chattered on about how glad she was that it wasn't crowded but I just basked in the glow... for another two seconds, because just at that moment, as the ride was slowing down, J walked up with M, and S yelled out "MOMMY! I rode this three times!" Obviously in J's direction, and not in mine.

I did not turn to look at the other mother, to see if her face changed. I know that mine did.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The hormonal roller coaster is not as fun as it looks.

We ended the "baby-making-sex" phase of the sperm-meets-egg plan. I suspect I ovulated two days ago, now I just need to see what my temps do to see whether the dates are right. Whether the plan was more than just a waste of money on OPK's and a lot of sex, remains to be seen. Time to wait for two weeks or thereabouts to see whether it worked.

G and I talked tonight at dinner about planning a fall trip. I complained about the cost of airline tickets, he said "well, you have to think about whether you'll want to fly if you're pregnant." (Where did that come from?) We talked a little later about my work status and whether I was going to temp right away. He mentioned not changing his withholding, and I said "if we get a refund, and we're pregnant, we can use the money for a crib."

And yet, I still have doubts that things will work out. I don't know why, but I feel like a phony talking about being pregnant and having a child and all the things that go along with it. Don't you know that your chances for success go downhill with each passing month? my brain mocks. G's not getting any younger, and they just pinpointed paternal age as possible cause for miscarriages, as well. Yes, the positive vibes are literally SURROUNDING me.

I'll have to try harder if this actually *works*, I guess.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

On not possessing a green thumb.

I'm afraid to plant bulbs.

Truth be told, aside from some container gardening I've done over the years I'm fairly afraid of gardening, period. The container gardening hasn't been without peril, either: I remember tomato plants with large white *things* bulging from their stalks - a result of overfeeding or plant disease or who knows what, but I was hesitant to eat the tomatoes. Pepper plants covered in whiteflies. Basil infested with Japanese beetles. The hosta we (and by we I mean G) split and replanted on our eyesore of a hill in the backyard, only to have them chewed to the ground by the deer.

I have two boxes full of bulbs that I got from Sam's Club. Stella d'oro and "red pirate" daylilies, waiting to be planted, since, oh, early May. Prior to now I haven't had the time.

Now it's just that I'm petrified to go out there. I don't know what I'm doing. Do I dig a hole and plop it in? Do I need to water first (since the soil up there is pathetic, full of shale and dry as a bone)? Will I accidentally plant them upside down? (Not hardly, since they seem to be sprouting.) Have I doomed them already by neglecting them for this long?

I could try to draw parallels to my attempts at having a child; gardening, like baby-making, doesn't seem to be my strong suit. However, there is a difference. I have educated myself on trying to conceive. It was my singular focus prior to convincing G to go for it, and after the losses I was a research hound, reading up on every study and treatment and option and medical opinion out there. I've not put that kind of effort into gardening. I read the back of the box the bulbs came in this morning, and that's about it. I dug part of a hole and thought "is this dirt too dry?" but have not, as of yet, commenced to Googling everything there is to know about planting bulbs and making them grow.

The thing is, I don't know that I really *want* to be a gardener. Sure, the idea is nice, planting pretty things; perhaps having a vegetable or herb garden and being able to use homegrown things in cooking; having great success -- but like many other things I've pursued and quit over the years, I don't think I have the courage or the focus to spend the time on it that is necessary to be successful. Not so with motherhood. I want it desperately, despite my fears that I will not be the best at it, and have done all I can to make sure I'm educated. As prepared as I can be. Fertile soil and all that. I may not receive anything but weeds for my trouble, but I am determined to keep trying until something blooms.

Now, if only I could calm down about planting those damn lilies.

Monday, August 07, 2006

First days

It's my first day post-old-job, so I'm reminiscing a bit.

First day of kindergarten: my dad was the photographer of the family, but my mom was the only one home. (The pictures are dark.) I need to get one of those from my folks though for my memory box.

First day at a new school, fifth grade: I remember feeling so out of place; I had lots of friends at my old school but knew no one at my new school. It took a while to adjust.

First day of junior high, two years later: friends from old school acted like they didn't remember me; friends from new school acted like everyone at the old school was weird. How I don't miss middle school!

First day of junior high chorus: Wow, so this is what it's like to fit in!!

First day of high school: Yes, I'm related to that teacher. No, he's not my dad. Yes, I'd *love* to hear what you think of him. (If only I'd known then what I know now about SARCASM. Hah.)

First day of college: My very first class was speech, at 8:00 in the morning. I missed a lot of speech classes that first semester.

What's your favorite first-day memory?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What happens after "happily ever after?"

I couldn't help but get upset when I went to drop off a library book this morning; I pulled into the lot at the same time as a woman and her young daughter and just got sad... not just because I do not have children of my own but also because at times I just don't see it ever working for me. I feel like I can barely take care of myself some days, and so thinking about having a child makes me feel panicky. Problem is, thinking about *not* having a child makes me feel worse.

I should be happier.

I have just shy of two days left at my job. G and I are gung-ho to try to make a baby this month (sperm meets egg plan, given Lola's success with it and the other positive results that have been reported). I am trying to lose weight and get back into shape and while I haven't been perfect, I'm doing much better than I thought I would be.

But at the same time that I am worried about not getting pregnant, I'm worried about what happens if I do, and actually make it through the whole 40 weeks and actually come home with a baby. I have heard from so many people that "don't worry, the maternal instinct will kick in" but I have to wonder, what if it doesn't? I daresay I've also thought "what if it never will, and it just isn't meant to, hence the reason I've never been able to have a child" -- but that is a defeatist attitude and I should not think that way. Whenever my mind goes down these paths, I am reminded of a scene from the Steven Sondheim musical Into the Woods:

Baker: Maybe I just wasn't meant to have children--

Baker's Wife: (enters as ghost) Don't say that!
Of course you were meant to have children!
The scenario in the musical doesn't relate to me at all (hmmm, lessee: man raising his child after his wife was killed by a giant... nope, doesn't fit) but a few lines later the Baker's wife says something that I hope and pray is right... "you'll know what to do."

When G was on the fence about having kids, one of his main reasons was not knowing how he'd be as a father or whether things would work out financially or whether he'd have the patience... etc. And when we would argue about it he always told me that "you just somehow know that everything will work out."

I just hope that part of me finds her way back.