Friday, March 14, 2014

Not There Yet

I can't believe it has been five months since I last updated. I knew I would get bogged down between work, classes, travel, and the holidays, but little did I know Life would throw more at me. Well, actually, us.

Through most of December and January, either me or the husband were ill. At one point, we were both sick. In addition to all of this, there was a death in the family and more travel. There were very few chances for us to "tempt fate", as he puts it. Then there were some surprising medical diagnoses for him that were a setback (nothing sterility inducing, just libido killing, as a side effect). Just as he is getting back up to par, I get so buried in work, I am literally staying up until 3AM or pulling all-nighters to meet deadlines...multiple days of the week. Over stressed would be an understatement.

It is because of this that I did not realize my period was late until I was almost three weeks late. I was due, at the latest, around Valentine's day. I realized I had seen nothing, no sign, no PMS symptom, around March 5th. Here we are, March 14th, officially FOUR weeks late, and almost NINE weeks since the start of my last period. It has been exactly THREE weeks since my husband and I had sex (and weeks upon weeks for the time before that).

I chalk the first missed period up to stress and/or a cyst. How can I not? But now, at four weeks late, the end of when I should have my second period, do I still consider the lack of Mother Nature's presence stress?

This week, I have had PMS issues, like the bloating, cramping, headaches, back pain, busting over my bra, acne, and utter exhaustion. But I have also had a lovely combination of constipation and ditzy-forgetfulness. And the constant bathroom breaks. Can I claim all of these as cyst-related symptoms? Of course. Do I dare to hope pregnant? Not really. Every stick I have peed on, including one this morning, has come up negative.

** I should also insert, at some point, the fact that my libido has been pounding strong this entire time. Even this past week, as miserable as I feel at times, I still want sex (in any form) to happen. **

I have set an appointment with my gynecologist/specialist for Tuesday next week. Per her orders, if I miss two periods with negative home pregnancy tests, I need to make an appointment to see her. I just hope she tells me "not a cyst, just stress!" I would be absolutely elated at that.

And, I know, she will be happy to hear that I am in the process of (as of this Monday), weaning off of my blood pressure medication (with my cardiologist's consent). Now to get de-stressed and lose some more weight...!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Comedy Sex Hour

You know how I know we're good and going to be ok? After what just happened, we're able to sit and laugh about it. -Mr.M

Another month down (and then some) and no positive. This is kind of expected; my work schedule has taken a lot out of me and I'm never home. It also seems that we are never alone. Then, when we finally have a few hours to relax, the unthinkable happens...

I promise you, the events that transpired recently could only be scripted in a sitcom. It was, seriously, the most awkward time ever. They say until the moment of conception, trying to make a baby is all about practice. There are times when you walk away feeling good, fist-pump the air, and shout for joy; practice was good, we got this! Then, there are moments, like that, where you shake your head and mutter, "I know we can do better!" and just heal up from the personal defeat and try again.

Practice makes perfect, but not every practice is perfect. Just a fact of life. Now, excuse me while I laugh a little more to myself and try to stay focused at work....

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Best Laid Plans...

Month two ended with nothing. No period, no positive. I shrugged it off; hormones, stress, possible cyst, everything collating into a storm of body hatred - and the feeling was mutual both from me to my body and from my body to me.

We planned to go on vacation starting this weekend. It was timed perfectly: between semesters at the university, coinciding with a big pay day, and smack dab in the middle of my theorized fertile time frame (or, the average "two weeks after the period began"). It turns out, Mother Nature is a complete bitch. After a no-show period, which came with plenty of bloating, exhaustion, headaches, back aches, and random twinges elsewhere, I began to get slightly worried; best case scenario: it's a cyst that bugs me after the vacation with a heavy flow; worst case: I start said heavy flow the moment I step foot on the cruise ship. We leave Saturday. As of today, Thursday, the missing period is here, late. I get to spend the first half of my trip feeling super self conscious of a damn tampon string as I lounge by the pool and dive into the ocean, and also worry about bathroom locations as we hike around some historical places. Not to mention the body paranoia of being so bloated my 'fat' pants are snug...and I am going out in public in a swim suit?!

A quick aside:
You would think that I would be used to the mood swings by now. The emotional arsenal array inside my head seems to be infinite -- and I can see, now, why some women are absolutely bonkers. The only thing I have determined is that telling Mr. M. what mood I'm in is the best way to preemptively kill any triggers that could set off a chain of events resulting in an even lower emotional pit of despair. There it is, again, folks: the key to a good, healthy relationship: communication.

I had originally planned to ditch my Metformin for the trip: Why worry about the side effects when I need to relax? Why worry over what I'm eating while I'm on vacation? The thought had crossed my mind that it would be wonderful to relax and have fun and not worry about anything, even have a cocktail or two, and maybe come home with a special souvenir. Now? I'm thinking 'to Hell with it', just so I can knock back a few shots. Not the best reasoning in the world, but certainly not the worst. Come to think of it, it would be one less thing to shove in my carry-on....

What's the famous war theory quote? No plan survives first contact with the enemy. Yea, the same can be said when dealing with hormones, planning for pregnancy, and facing off with Mother Nature.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Month One Done

I end this first month as expected (not expecting). Rome wasn't built in a day and I didn't foresee a baby so soon. Would have been nice, but realistically, I know the odds. Also, just because I'm off the birth control, there's no guarantee that it's completely out of my system yet. Which, I assume, is the reason behind the late period - only a few days, but still not clockwork. Probably why I was nauseated with huge, swollen, tender breasts and severe back pain from that load a full week before that pesky period, too. (Ladies, if you envy those of us naturally gifted with a large rack, don't. Sometimes, they're not worth the trouble.)

I grabbed lunch in the cafeteria at work today. A first in over a week (I've been out of office at lunch quite a bit lately). One of the baristas flagged me down:

"Are we pregnant yet?" She smiled.
"No, not yet."
"Oh, come on! What are you doing, then?" Her over exaggerated sigh made me giggle.
"Apparently just practicing."

She's got a four year old at home and isn't ready for another one, but she is super excited over every baby-to-be that wanders past her register. I think she is one of the few (read: less than 5) I know in person that know we're trying that I am happy to have told. Turns out, I needed a support group more than I realized.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


What makes any relationship, business or personal, work? The one key thing that takes the longest to drill into a person's head: communication. I'm not talking a short conversation full of grunts and "yea, whatever"s, but actual back and forth discussion and listening.

Ok, sure, that C word could include the nonverbal, too, but if you aren't on the same wavelength, a wave of the hand meaning a dismissal could be interpreted as a wave of consent. Talking is important.

It was through talking that I realized my husband was absolutely confused about what I meant when I would tell him about the internal events of my 'lady bits'. To me, I was saying "I'm in pain right now, but I would love a round of fun in a few hours." His ears would hear "I am indisposed for another few days." Major confusion, no?

What made things worse was the unpredictable nature of my periods and pms symptoms due to the cysts; yes, I was on the Metformin, and, yes, I was taking regulating birth control pills, but my hormones were somehow that out of whack. There were a few months where I would have a full two weeks of light bleeding, enjoy a short week-long break, then suffer a heavy week long flow. It was maddening.

We both devised, the same day, a way - the same way - to communicate on a much simpler level how I was feeling for the day. Great minds think alike (insert wink here). Our bathroom has a full vanity mirror and a mirror covered medicine cabinet; the medicine cabinet sits on an odd wall, so the mirror is pointless - until now. We have a habit of using dry erase markers to add important notes for the day or week on the vanity mirror, so why not do the same on the awkward side mirror?

The medicine cabinet is now a Mrs.M. status board: a happy, smiling face means I'm good to go, while  a sad, often crying, frowny face means there is a hold on any baby-making practice. Like I said: it's fairly simple. It has cut down on disappointing nights and has made for some fun adult coloring.

Sometimes, it's the little things that make the most impact.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

And So It Begins

The last birth control pill has been taken and Aunt Flo has left the building.

We will start slow on our journey to a family; for the moment, we're doing nothing different: no testing, no temping, no change in frequency (I mean, no going out of our way to go at it like bunnies). For this first month, at the very least, we will leave things up to chance - the Metformin and prenatals and healthier diet will be the only things on my mind. We'll see how it goes from here!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Keeping Me Honest

You would think that the desire and dream of having a baby, even if not immediately, would be enough to keep me honest on this diet business. I admit that, while it is a strong motivator, it sometimes isn't enough.

Isn't enough? Am I crazy? Of course not, but knowing that I still have a few weeks before I have to be on the strictly baby-conscious menu, I know that it won't be the end of the world if I cheat and have a coffee or a bowl of ice cream piled high with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Yea, the side effects of the Metformin help curb most of those cravings, but there are times that I can psych myself up and, knowing what's coming, power through and devour the food I want.

This past week, I wondered if I had made a mistake in letting slip to the barista at the company cafeteria the journey that I am starting on. I walked away kicking myself as I sipped down the last mocha frappuccino I told her I would buy for awhile. I never intended to tell anyone I know personally or professionally about trying to conceive.

A few days later, I found that it was a good decision. I had been having a relatively bad morning and found myself making crazy excuses for why I should be allowed to have another frappuccino, complete with a few extra espresso shots and about three or four Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares blended inside (trust me, this is heaven in a cup!). Instead of acquiescing, she smiled and jokingly scolded me, "Now, now, we're not having that; we're trying to have a baby." She then suggested a handful of options that I might like, none of which contained a lot of sugar, any dairy, or caffeine. She had even told the other baristas that I was limited on menu items. She said she did it to help keep me honest and hoped I wasn't mad.

I can't be mad, even if I wanted to be; she did it to help me and it is help that I most certainly will be needing. I know it can take a village to rear a child, but who would have guessed that it would take a village to prepare to try conceiving?