Two Good Eggs

Two cracked eggs find the sunnyside (and funny side) of trying to conceive

My “Moonstrual” Cycle

full moon
Admittedly, I’ve been a little lackadaisical and uninspired with conception efforts and cycle tracking the last few months. I still want a baby badly, but after more than a year of obsessive tracking, peeing, temping and charting, it has become frustrating.
I was sitting in my backyard by our fire pit a few nights ago and noticed the moon was getting close to full. It got me thinking. Do I ovulate on the full moon? The next morning, I pulled up the moon calendars back to November and, sure enough, I have ovulated within a day of the full moon and started bleeding a day within the new (or no) moon. That’s odd, I thought. How have I not noticed this before? Is this normal? My cycle averages 29-31 days and the lunar month is 29.5 days long. I just didn’t bother to put two and two together.
february 2013 moon lunar calendar
My acupuncturist consulted the moon calendar each time he set a new appointment for me, but I didn’t make the correlation. I just thought certain moons had certain effects on a cycle, not ever realizing my cycle followed the moon cycle so closely. I knew the word “month” was originally “moonth” thanks to the History Channel and that the words shared an origin. I did not know that “menses” and “menstruation” were of the same root. Obviously, I should have picked up on all of this a lot sooner, and paid a little more attention to the in-your-face etymology.
Google time. It turns out that early women (think huts, loin cloths and monoliths) ovulated and bled according to the moon. The light energy of the full moon, to which they were readily exposed, triggered ovulation and, when the sky fell black with the new moon, menstruation began. These women, all living in close proximity, were completely in sync with the moon and each other. Even better, the full moon acted as a bat signal to the men for sex and procreation.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “Watch out. It’s a full moon. The crazies are out.” Yeah, crazy horny people that is. Perhaps, the sexual link to the moon in early times served as the foundation for what we think of now when we see a full moon. We think, “Watch out for the drunks, werewolves and freaks,” but maybe we should be thinking, “Let’s get it on!”
I found an interesting site that explained what each moon phase means, and I couldn’t believe how much it correlated to the menstrual cycle and the accompanying emotions. This site includes information on bleeding during different moons, so feel free to check out how your cycle matches up.
Here’s a break down. I’m adding personal notes parenthetically, the rest is word for word from this site.
(Ovulation) The full moon represents fire, abundance, power and vitality. It’s time to claim one’s own power, make decisions, work changes, and bring something into being. (This is definitely the time of the month during which I’m most confident and productive.)
(Two Week Wait/Luteal Phase) The waning moon represents maturity and harvest. It’s time for persistence, for making reality out of the visions and impulses. (I spend quite a bit of time during this phase attempting to stay positive and convince myself good things are in the works.)
(Menstruation Begins) The new moon represents the dark and mysterious power of the deep. Existing structures have fulfilled their purposes, and need to be destructed, or reconstructed to make room for the new. (Wow. If that doesn’t describe your period, I don’t know what does.)  The energy of new moon bleeding is inwards, self-nourishing. During this time, anxieties, memories, and experiences may rise up, eager to be dealt with. It’s a good time to take stock, and to draw conclusions from them. New moon menstruation is a strong time of healing and renewal. (Yes, yes and yes. Dealing with emotions, anxiety, and darkness? Check!)
(Follicular Phase) Waxing moon represents new beginnings and growth. New ideas are being planted. New processes are coming into play. New experiences and events are within reach. (I make new plans and decide to try new things regarding TTC. This seems to be the time of the month I’m most creative, too.)
moon cycles explained meaning
Pretty cool, right? I was excited to see how closely I followed the moon cycle, but not all women do. Times have changed, we no longer live by the moonlight, and artificial light can cause women to follow different moon cycles. I found a website with tips on how to get back in sync with the moon cycles. One suggestion was to sleep in complete darkness (no TV, night lights, etc.) during the new moon.
I mentioned above that I compared my charts to moon calendars dating back to November. Since November, when I left my job and started my own company, I have spent much more time outdoors than usual. I work on my patio throughout the day and night, instead of sitting indoors. I’m not sure if this had an impact on regulating my cycle, but it’s intriguing nonetheless.
moon menstrual cycle chart calendar
I found an interesting study regarding moon cycles, ovulation and the resulting gender of the children conceived. I’m including the abstract below, but you can find more information here.
Effects of full moon and no moon on the birth of male and female offsprings were studied in Indian Couples of the age group 20 to 40 years. It was observed that 42 wives who were conceived within 24 hours of ovulation at full moon gave birth of 40 male and 2 female babies. On the other hand 40 women conceived on the day of ovulation 3 days prior to full moon gave birth of 13 male and 27 female babies. But only 5 women conceived on no moon, all of them gave birth of female babies. It was also observed that vaginal pH of the ovulated women during full moon was alkaline (pH 8.7 +/- 0.4) while pH was weak acidic in women ovulated 3 days prior to full moon and no moon (pH 6.4 +/- 0.5; 6.2 +/- 0.5). The basal body temperature (BBT) was increased 0.7 degrees F to 1.3 degrees F during the ovulation period when compared with women during the absence of ovulation. But there is an increase in temperature 0.5 degrees F more in women ovulated in full moon than no moon. Together, these results indicate that alkaline vaginal fluid medium and more rise of BBT during full moon favour conception of male [corrected] babies. This method gives the couple more chance of having male child if conception occurs in the day of ovulation in full moon and having female child if conception occurs in no moon.
This was a small study, but the findings were considered statistically significant. Some interesting take home inferences:
-Full moon ovulation resulted in a much higher rate of male births
-Ovulation three days before full moon resulted in more female births
-New moon ovulation resulted in all female births
-Only a small percentage of women ovulating on the new moon conceived at all
-The moon may have an impact on vaginal pH and body temperature
I could spend years researching the moon and tide effects on the body, but I won’t. It was fun to learn what I have included here and now I know to buckle down and get to business as the moon begins to grow. And to prepare myself when the sky gets dark. I don’t think any of this means I have a better chance of conceiving just because I ovulate with a full moon. I do, however, have a lunar reference if I run out of OPKs.
What do you guys think of this? How does your cycle match up with the moon?  Have you heard of any other moon/menstruation/conception myths, studies or theories? 
Time to run! It’s a full moon today, baby. Owwww owwww owwww! (That was supposed to be a wolf howling.)
wolf howling full moon
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Train of Thought (WTF)

We’ve all done this: You’re driving in your car, maybe singing along to the music, and you realize you’re thinking about something bizarre. You stop and try to trace it back to its origin. Z came from Y, Y came from X, X came from W, and so on. You try to get back to A. Good luck. It’s a pain in the ass. By the time five minutes has passed, you have forgotten the “bizarre” thing that ignited your puzzle and you’re in your driveway. “Did I run that last stop sign?”

This is how my twelve minute drive went heading home from the grocery store today.

I haven’t had sloppy joes in ages. Quick simple meal. I like it. 

manwich

Should I toast the Hawaiian sweet rolls? 

kings hawaiian sweet rolls

BBQ or oven? 

weber grill bbq
Oven. 

vintage stove oven

Oh, Facebook yesterday. Eww. 

The sign is hard to read. This food has been sitting our for 2 years!

The sign is hard to read. This food has been sitting our for 2 years!

And eww. 

Wanted to vomit watching this movie in college. Went to McDonald's the next day anyway.

Wanted to vomit watching this movie in college. Went to McDonald’s the next day anyway.

Reminds me of all that crap that came out about school lunches a while back. Pink sludge. 

pink slime school lunches fast food chicken

I’m making lunches for my kids once they start school. 

vintage mom kid baking cooking

I loved PB&J when I was little. 

PB&J peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Shit. Peanut allergy restrictions in schools. 

peanut allergy in schools restrictions

Almond butter.

almond butter

“Green light! Go asshole.”

When can toddlers eat almonds? 

google picture

Thoughts of baby choking. 

baby choking heimlich

I look into my rear view mirror. 

imaginary baby in backseat rear view mirror

FANTASY

“It’s okay sweetie. We’ll be home soon.” (SAID OUT LOUD)

Humiliation. 

I’m Pathetic. 

I’m Delusional.

There’s no baby back there, idiot! 

empty back seat

REALITY

I need to rake my front yard. 

Not my house

Not my house

Why did I just speak aloud to an imaginary baby? 

imaginary friend baby picture quote

Trace train of thought back to sloppy joes while sitting in my car. 

manwich

I’m blogging about this. 

wordpress logo
I’m fucking crazy. 

crazy blonde

Shit! Frozen food! 

frozen food aisle grocery store

Welcome to my _______ life. You can choose the adjective. I can’t decide. 

I’VE OFFICIALLY LOST MY MIND. 

I just spoke aloud to an imaginary baby in the back seat of my car like I was a seasoned mother just going about her day. Seriously? This did not just happen.

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Infertile/Struggling to Conceive & Engaged?!

If you are struggling to conceive and you’re engaged to be married, please let us know! We may have quite the treat for you 🙂

You can send us an email at TOOGOODEGGS@gmail.com or private message us on twitter. We will have more details if we can find enough couples to participate. Just let us know how long you’ve been trying to conceive and your wedding date, if you’ve set one. We’ll take it from there! 🙂

We always have a few tricks up our sleeves. And for those of you who are already married, do you know of any couples you might want to nominate?

The two of us have some great things in store for ALL of you in the coming months!

everyone married pregnant someecard

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Destination: Sanity

We are back on the baby-making train and I’m starting to look at and feel differently towards the whole situation. Last year was ruled by our desire to get pregnant, and if this takes another year or two, I don’t want to look back a see a giant PAUSE in my life. For heaven’s sake, women are fantastic multi-taskers, but why does this endeavor become so encompassing that we seem to achieve so very little otherwise?

We all know that in terms of actual time, trying to conceive is not very burdensome. Most of the things involved take only a matter of minutes to complete. Whether its testing, temping, dosing, or charting, we’re only looking at a few minutes a day. No big deal, right? Sex may or may not fall into this category, but we can probably all agree that three minutes can sometimes feel like forever–for both parties involved. I’m just sayin’.

If the actual process is not very time consuming then why are we so inundated and exhausted? We have created, and fed, this life/faith/time/energy-sucking monster! It is not a necessary inclusion. We think about it ALL the time! We are planning, researching, comparing, judging, googling, testing, questioning, recovering, preparing, and reading way too much, in my opinion. This is where the whole damn thing gets ugly. A good friend of mine often says, “over-analysis is paralysis,” and I believe I have paralyzed myself over the last year. Rarely a thought pops into my head that does not involve or lead to thoughts of a pregnancy or baby. Does all this extra time lead to better results in the end? Maybe. Perhaps, we are more educated, more in tune with our bodies and partners, and more understanding of others who similarly struggle. However, I believe the negative impacts outweigh the positive here. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of beating myself up, questioning my every move, acting/thinking selfishly, and doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result. Isn’t that the definition if insanity? Aha! That’s what I’ve become. Insane. And I hate it.

Scrambled is definitely on to something here. I received my copy of Love and Infertility and I can’t wait to jump in head first. Having not read the book yet, I have a list of changes I’d like to make as I venture toward reclaiming my sanity.

1. No temping. My charts freak me out and blur reality.
2. Plan a pregnancy around my life, not the other way around. No more “I can’t travel that week because I’ll be ovulating.” I need to enjoy the present instead of trying to live in an idealistic future. Will missing one month really impact me enough that I need to prevent my life from happening? Nope.
3. No premature testing. I have wasted too much money to continue testing every time I pee from DPO 10-15. Enough is enough.
4. Start running again. I was a competitive runner all through high school and college and I miss it. Truthfully, I don’t miss the actual running, just the competitiveness and the stress-reduction benefits. Maybe this will help put me back in touch with my true self.
5. Think about OTHER people, and not from a “them v. me” point of view. Go out of my way to be there for others. My struggle is not the center of the universe!

I need to get a grip on my sanity. Pronto!

My sister and I used to go to garage sales with our grandparents growing up and have since adopted this pastime as a great way to bond on Saturday mornings. This is exactly how my out-of-control collection of baby items grew from a small box to an entire room. Last week, I thought it would be a nice gesture to reach out to someone in need of such things, someone who is actually pregnant, and donate some of what I’ve amassed. I went through all of the bins and had a hard time choosing what to give away. I held the little onesies in the air, rattled the toys, and rubbed the blankets against my cheek.

I started to feel jealousy creeping up as I searched and sorted. I was so attached to these material things, that I started to question the family in need. “Why give up my things, that I paid for with money I earned, to people who are not working and probably shouldn’t have a baby anyway?” What. The. Fuck. Is. Wrong. With. Me?! I have no problem donating clothes, household items, and my time for people in need for other reasons, yet I question someone in need because they have something I don’t have. Reality check! Am I someone who deserves a baby then? Am I acting in a “mothering” way by judging others and being selfish? Is this how I behave in non-baby-related situations? It’s embarrassing, really.

I slapped myself a few times, made a pile to give away, and called the soon-to-be parents in need. It was the right thing for me to do. When the time comes for us, I’ll buy what I need. They need it more than I do right now.

While at a garage sale this weekend, I overheard a woman haggling for lower prices on baby bottles and clothes. I was trying to avoid buying any more myself so I perused the non-baby stuff while they spoke.

“Ten dollars sounds great. I don’t actually have a baby yet. We have been trying for a while. I’m want to stay on a budget until I know if I can get pregnant,” she shared with the homeowner. “Please pray for us and thank you so much!” She was so open, happy, and optimistic.

Yes! I’m not the only one who shops WAY ahead of time. (Although, I’m not as brave. I usually pretend I’m buying for someone else’s baby.)

It’s nice to not feel all alone, especially when it comes to the silly things. 🙂 I feel her pain though, and from that point of view, I wish we weren’t in the same (shitty) boat.

I feel like I have to keep having these “get a grip” conversations with myself every few months. Maybe this time I can make the changes stick. This is not about getting what I want when I want it. It’s not about having or not having. It’s not a race. This a time in my life, shared with my husband, to be happy, giving and grateful. I need to capitalize on all the things that make us happy, better people, not just future parents. It’s time for me to see the bigger picture.

How are you feeling about your progress and methods in this new year? Is there anything you’re trying to change? How do you stay sane?

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Research: Infertility is Painful

I’d like to thank Ria from www.fillmynest.wordpress.com for introducing me to this very interesting article. Please check out her blog. She has a beautiful, spiritual, positive perspective on dealing with the harsh reality of infertility.

The Bible and The Pain of Infertility by Kimberly Monroe & Philip Monroe 

A few poignant excerpts:

“In one study, 63% of women who experienced both infertility and divorce rated their infertility as more painful than their divorce. In another study, women who experienced either chronic or life-threatening diseases ranked the emotional pain of infertility at similar levels to that of terminal illness.”

Amazing. Sadly amazing, but it makes me feel as though we are not just getting “all worked up” over something minor. I wish this information was better known. As I mentioned in Suggestion Box at Maximum Capacity, if people better understood the struggle, we wouldn’t feel so isolated and different.

“One unique thing about infertility is the hope/despair cycle. At the beginning of her monthly cycle, a woman has great hope. I’m going to get pregnant this month. I know it. The month ends. No pregnancy. She despairs. The next month comes. Great hope again. But no pregnancy. Hope careens down to despair. When she’s in treatment for infertility, the woman has hope. She forces herself through the process, trying more things, doing more things. She hopes. But, the higher the hope, the deeper the fall. The despair side intensifies after each failure to conceive.”

Isn’t this the truth!? Everything is a cycle for us. The neat thing is we keep getting back up, rising to the occasion, and opening ourselves to possibility with renewed hope. Although many of us have whispered (or screamed) the words “I can’t do this anymore,” we continue to fight and, in turn, strengthen our bonds with each other.

“Hormone crazies. On the upside of your cycle, when you have estrogen, you’re moving along, thinking clearly, and acting with purpose. You’re on top of things. But on the progesterone side of the cycle, you react in a different manner. It’s hard to think, easy to get stuck, and easy to be depressed.”

Thank you, science. I wish I had found this statement long ago. What we feel and how we act is just a magnification of our hormones’ natural properties. It’s not just because we are struggling to conceive. Sure, our emotions and anxieties are elevated, but infertility is not the only culprit on those days when we feel helpless, frustrated, and in despair. Oh, the beauty of hormones.

“Grief. No funeral. No burial. No flowers. No cards. Yet there is a death: the death of hopes of the wonder of a child emerging from your love.”

This is a tough statement to read, but I think it gives a fairly accurate overview of the darkness we feel when another month passes and pregnancy is not achieved. It’s something few understand. It may seem morbid, or even naive, to compare our struggles to death, but the emotions are eerily similar.

Here is some supporting research:

Many Couples Struggle with Infertility in Silence

An anonymous epidemic 
Having difficulty getting pregnant can cause as much grief as losing a loved one, says Linda D. Applegarth, Ed.D., director of psychological services at the Perelman Cohen Center. “But it’s different. It is chronic and elusive,” she adds. “There’s a fear that life will be eternally empty. Some feel a sense of damage and brokenness; it goes to the heart of who they are.” The result is the dread and shame that Applegarth sees in her waiting room. “Patients slink around and sit in corners because they don’t want to see anyone they know from their work or social circle,” she says, “even if it would mean they would know someone going through the same thing.” Only 5 percent of patients use the psychological support services their clinic offers, despite data showing how helpful they can be.

Because no one wants to discuss infertility, “nothing gets done about it,” says Lindsay Beck, founder of Fertile Hope, a program run by the Lance Armstrong Foundation in Austin, Texas, that supports cancer patients whose treatments threaten their fertility. “Infertility is where breast cancer was in the 1970s — completely in the closet.” Beck’s treatments for her tongue cancer and its recurrence aged her reproductive system by possibly a decade; she ultimately had five IVF procedures and two children. She’s undergoing fertility treatments again in hopes of conceiving a third. “In my experience, it’s a much lighter atmosphere in the cancer waiting room than in the IVF waiting room,” she says. “Cancer patients talk about anti-nausea drugs and what worked for them. They look at each other as a means of support. For some reason, fertility patients tend to ignore each other in the waiting room.” Beck says that “the cancer card” makes it easier for women to talk about their difficulties trying to get pregnant — and to find financial assistance to pay for treatment — after chemotherapy, radiation or both have ravaged their body. “Everyone relates to cancer and is supportive of helping cancer patients,” she says. “For the average fertility patient, there is no united front.”

The Psychological Impact of Infertility and its Treatment 

While the causes of infertility are overwhelmingly physiological, the resulting heartache may exact a huge psychological toll. The physical and emotional ordeal of infertility treatment often make matters worse.

Many women who have been through it and some of their male partners have said that infertility was the most upsetting experience of their lives.

Other research has suggested that women with infertility feel as anxious or depressed as those diagnosed with cancer or hypertension, or who are recovering from a heart attack.

Men tend to report less distress than women. However, one study found that men’s reactions may depend on who is diagnosed with infertility. When their wives or partners are infertile, men do not report being as distressed as the women do. But when men learn that they are the ones who are infertile, they experience the same levels of low self-esteem, stigma and depression as infertile women do.


Research: The Relationship Between Stress and Infertility

The psychological impact of infertility can be profound and depressive symptoms are more common in the infertile population than in matched fertile women.Approximately 10 percent of infertile women meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, 30-50 percent report depressive symptoms, and 66 percent report feeling depressed after infertility treatment failure. The majority of infertile women report that infertility is the most upsetting experience of their lives. Infertile women report equivalent levels of anxiety and depression as women with cancer, HIV status or heart disease.

…the findings of a 2000 Harvard Medical School study, which showed that participation in an infertility support group can actually increase a woman’s chances of conceiving in a given menstrual cycle over 50 percent, jumping from 20 to 54 percent. Dr. Linda Applegarth, Director of Psychological Services at the Center for Reproductive Medicine, explained that not only are support groups important for women to find common ground with others and a safe space to share their feelings, but they can also be a wealth of knowledge regarding appropriate information about where to go for good infertility treatment.

Check out this link for more infertility related research:
Infertility and the Mind/Body Connection

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I Get My “Baby” Fix in Many Ways…

Babies are EVERYWHERE!

Babies are EVERYWHERE!

I do not have a baby yet. Well, I don’t have a human baby. Much to my surprise, my life is actually rich in “baby.” I work at a daycare center and on the weekends I volunteer for a children’s shelter. I attend an average of two baby showers each month, and I can’t get enough of tiny tot birthday parties. Babies are all around me! No, thats a lie. All of it.

However, here is a list of the “baby” things I can enjoy without a baby

Baby carrots with homemade ranch dip
Baby drinks (aka shots) and being hungover for two days
Baby vitamins: I take gummies like a child. There are just some things I prefer not to swallow. Get your mind out of the gutter 😉

It's no coincidence that "gummy" and "yummy" rhyme.

It’s no coincidence that “gummy” and “yummy” rhyme.

A baby laughing: I don’t care who you are, if a baby laughs you can’t help but smile.
Sleeping like a baby: Ambien-induced sleep is preferred.
Being a cry baby during sad movies without the worry of freaking out a kid.
Baby corn: No. Not a chance. Creeps me out.

Okay, fine. This "baby corn" doesn't creep me out.

Okay, fine. This “baby corn” doesn’t creep me out.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Perfect for the holidays. Oh, and Santa Baby!
Baby-sized travel toiletries: I can still pretend to travel light. My husband would disagree.
Baby animals: Obsessed. I saw a cute pic of a baby platypus today and quickly added it to my Christmas list.

...and I will name him...Sherman.

…and I will name him…Sherman.

Baby pencils: I can play putt-putt without a stroller and the sharp points are only dangerous if I’ve had a few too many drinks.
The Babysitters Club: I had EVERY book. Man, I miss those girls.

babysitters club book

I’ve got a great idea. Ann needs to write a sequel. I want to know what these chicks are up to now. Is Kristy a lawyer? Is Claudia an escort?

Baby silverware: Addicted to these miniature utensils. Plus, they make gelato last longer.
Baby talk: It’s how I communicate with my dogs. It’s also how I try to get something out of my husband.
Baby soda cans: 8 ounces is plenty because I don’t need to share.
Baby gates: These ingenious restraints keep my dogs out of the kitchen and my cats out of the guest room. DH refers to them as “baby fences” because they don’t have a door. It’s a heated debate at our house.

Well played, Lab Parents, well played.

Well played, Lab Parents, well played.

Baby-sized candy: The superfluous unwrapping slows me down. Sometimes.
Baby wipes: We all love that fresh feeling. Don’t pretend like you don’t know.
Baby Got Back: I can blast it and shake my ass like a fool. We don’t need to talk about the time I split my pants on stage  in a booty shakin’ competition. I retreated quickly. No victory there.

Baby, Baby by Amy Grant: Bonus: there’s a puppy in the video. Double “baby” points.

Dirty Dancing: Unedited. On a Sunday afternoon. Nobody puts baby in a corner.
Baby making practice:  “Brown chicken brown cow.”  (My interpretation of porn music.)

Baby sign language: The “poop” sign made famous in Meet the Fockers is a staple around here.

Ah, classic!

Ah, classic!

Baby boomers: Love my parents and in-laws!
Baby Mama: I could watch that movie for days straight without losing interest.
Baby doll lingerie: Who am I kidding? I don’t wear that crap. Anymore.
Hit Me Baby, One More Time: I refuse to give up on Britney.

britney spears fan club
Celebrity baby names: A great idea list for future pet names.
Ice, Ice Baby: No justification needed.

What “baby” stuff do you enjoy? I’m sure I missed a few good ones!

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Have you held a newborn, lately?

I completely forgot to give this simple fertility trick the credit and attention it deserves. How can I be so naive? I grumble about all the new babies popping up everywhere, but they are THE ticket to having a baby of my own.

Innocent Friend: “Have you tried holding newborns?”
Me: Scoff. “Yeah, I don’t think it’s working.”
IF: “But I’ve heard that newborns make you more fertile.”
Me: “I’ve held plenty. I think it’s bull shit.”
IF: “But didn’t you get pregnant right after holding Kay’s newborn?”
Me: “Nope. Miscarried a few days before he was born.”
IF: “Oh. Well maybe try other newborns.”
Me: “Yeah…we’ll see.”

I know she wasn’t acting with malevolence, but I had to shake my head after hanging up. Do people really believe this is an honest, tried and true recommendation? Maybe. Lets see what “experts” have to say about it.

I searched ten different phrases and ended up with nothing but this:
Does holding a newborn make you fertile? 

I did find some other interesting topics, though.

Will it hurt my baby if a woman holds him while she’s on her period?

Women addicted to being pregnant is a severe psychological disorder. 


Can I mix Drano with urine to determine baby’s gender? 


Sewing while pregnant will injure the baby’s guardian angel and leave him unguarded.



We live in a crazy world, my friends. Perhaps this is not the most enlightening post, but I bet you feel pretty intelligent after reading all that nonsense.

So go hold a newborn, but not while you’re menstruating. Good luck!

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‘Tis the Season…for Baby Announcements

Amidst the rich foods, lights, football and parades part of my mind inevitably wanders to children during the holidays. I think of my friends who are celebrating their first Thanksgiving with a new little one and the ones whose children are old enough to really enjoy these weeks. I envy the parents rushing about to buy gifts for their tots and their efforts to hide every last one until Santa arrives. I want to develop a tradition and revel in the excitement, but until we have a little one of our own, the holidays just don’t feel the same. And no amount of bourbon-spiked egg nog can change that. Well, maybe a large amount for a brief reprieve.

Oh, great. Christmas Shoes just came on the radio. It’s my favorite, but geez does it get me!


…and it’s a song from a child’s perspective. Even better.

The holidays are a tough time for those who are longing in some way. 
-The twenty-something who will miss Christmas with her family for the first time because she can’t take off work.
-The infertile couple.
-The man who lost his mother earlier this year.
-The family who cannot afford gifts for their children due to a recent job loss.
In spite of the joy and hope in the air, it can be a difficult few months for many of us, for many reasons.

But guess what?! It’s also a very happy time as couples announce engagements…and pregnancies. Oh, joy! I had a conversation with my Dad on Thanksgiving about how rough this holiday season may be for us even though we’re stepping off the baby-making wagon for a few months. I was terrified to check Facebook because I KNEW there would be baby announcements. The same announcement I had planned to make if I were pregnant. (Side note: I will NOT make any type of baby announcement publicly during the holidays to protect fragile folks like me in the future.)

My announcement will look something like this…

And sure enough….

When He taketh one, He giveth one…..

July 2013 our family will welcome yet another blessing! Our God is AMAZING!

(Maybe wait a week to announce your new bundle after Grammy passes?? Just an idea…)

And another…

[Husband, daughter] and  I would like to announce what we are most thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend…the newest addition to our family! “Nugget” is due to arrive June 5, 2013 and we could not be more excited!

…and go ahead and pass me a noose.

And another today…yeesh…

Well [daughter] may get her Christmas wish after all… I’m Pregnant!!!!

Congrats, ladies. I’m thankful for your fertility and openness. God bless!

I’m sure there will be more before the ball drops in NYC. Guaranteed. 

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‘Tis the season for happy family moments and announcements. I just need to find some of my own, without children.

“So excited to announce that this Christmas I will polish off several bottles of wine, chase them with White Russians, cry while singing sad carols, binge on a giant cheese ball platter, and sleep ’til noon… five days in a row…because I can.” 

I dont need those glasses. Straight from the bottle is fine.

Obviously, food and spirits do the trick for me 😉 What gets you through the holidays when your unfulfilled wish is a little one? 

PS: I’m so grateful for all of you. Though we have not met, each of you has helped me through a very trying time and I’m extremely thankful for your support. 

Just please don’t do this…

umm..no. No.

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Suggestion Box at Maximum Capacity

Deciding how and to whom we open up about TTC and fertility problems, and how we will deal with the responses is a real and difficult part of struggling to conceive.

I’m a very open person. Yes, I understand that’s a bit ironic since I’m writing under a pseudonym. 🙂 I find comfort in conversation, but this topic has been a tricky one for me.  Like many women, talking it out makes me feel better, but for some odd reason people squirm, avert their eyes, and blurt a hackneyed phrase as soon as the words “We have been trying for a while” leave my lips.  It’s as though I have told them I’m growing a tail and will be featured in a Discovery Channel documentary with my new appendage. “Weird Science: Woman grows tail, but no baby.” It’s SO awkward. Why? Millions of couples are struggling with the same thing, but if you talk about it in real life, you’re quickly led to believe infertility is a rare, horrible condition and you’re served a fat platter of pity and poor suggestions. Thank goodness for the blogosphere to keep us sane and help us realize we’re not alone or (completely) crazy.

I appreciate the genuine, heartfelt suggestions and words of encouragement, but they can be easily lost in the giant pile of crap dealt out by the majority.  Just when I think it’s safe to bring it up, it backfires and I want to shove feet in everyone’s mouth, including my own. After nearly a year, I’ve learned the hard way to keep my lips zipped more often than not. It’s unfortunate, really.

When someone shares a job loss, death in the family, or serious problem in their life, the responses are generally sympathetic, despite the sensitive and unfortunate nature of the situation. We listen, take pause, and carefully craft a loving, albeit brief, response. We often hear or say:
I’m so sorry. What can I do to help?
I’m here for you, no matter what.
What do you need right now?
Will it help you if I give you some space or would you like to talk about it?
I love you and I know you’ll get through this.
You’re a very strong person, but lean on me as much as you need to.
Do you want to go somewhere and get your mind off things for a while?

Why is the topic of infertility not dealt with in a similar fashion? I think any of those responses would be received well by most men and women struggling with conception.

Now, lets talk infertility. You share your story or mention your struggle to a friend, coworker, or family member. What do you hear in response?

Have you heard any of these?

I’m sure it will happen soon. 

At least you can have fun trying. 

Ooooh, fertility treatments are expensive. If you can’t afford that, how do you plan to afford a child?

Maybe you’re just thinking about it too much.

Maybe you’re trying too many things. 

Sometimes it just takes a while. Be patient. 

Have you thought about changing your diet? Exercising? Relaxing?

You guys are young. I’m sure nothing’s wrong. 

Are you sure you want to have kids? 

Are you sure he wants to have kids?

Why is now a good time to have a baby? 

Your job is too stressful. 

You can’t plan your whole life around TTC. Let it happen naturally. 

Oh, that sucks.  Did you see Suzie’s new baby? So cute!

You know being a parent is going to change your life, right? 

I know how you feel. I had an abnormal pap once.  It was so scary. (WTF?!)

Ugh! WHY do people think this is a good next move??

You’re lucky. I totally wasn’t expecting this pregnancy. I’m so busy already. 

Some people try for years and years. Why are you so stressed already? How are you going to handle it a year from now if you’re still not pregnant?

It’ll be okay. One day. At least you can sleep now. You won’t later. 

You can have my kids!

 

WHAT?! Can you imagine a variation of these statements being offered to someone who lost a job or loved one? I’m not saying that death is the same thing as infertility, but there is a common emotional thread that runs through both. We experience a degree of sadness, denial, anger, frustration, emotional outburst, failure, stress, loneliness, and a sense of loss with infertility, death, and job loss. I wish others better understood the emotional correlation. I know who to lean on now, after much trial and error, but maybe if people were more delicate in their approach, I wouldn’t be so reluctant to speak up. Until that time comes, my suggestion box is at maximum capacity. I can’t take another “just get over it, no big deal” offering. I’m at my limit.

What are your thoughts? (My suggestion box is wide open to you guys!)

(I just said my box is wide open.)

(Thats what she said.)

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The Anatomy of a Cycle

Day 1: The bitch arrives with fury and my idea to not buy tampons and jinx myself is now officially the worst idea ever. I drag my puffy-eyed ass to the grocery store to buy tampons, wine, chocolate, frozen burritos, hot sauce, Little Debbie cakes, ibuprofen, and more wine. I curse my body, vitamins, and anyone who crosses my path. I’m gonna adopt another dog.

If only feminine products were this fun for us!

Day 3: I start to think of what I can do differently this time around. Exercise more? Nah. Eat better? Sure, I’ll try. More sex? Exhausting, but fine. I rattle off a dozen more ideas. SOB…why didn’t it work LAST time?! How creative and unrelenting do I need to be to get pregnant. I bet the pregnant sixteen-year-old down the street has a few tips. Bitch!

Day 6: Ahh. New hope. Order new OPKs and PreSeed online? Check! I’m going to try X,Y,Z this month. New possibilities! My smile has genuinely returned. I start temping again.

Day 9: The EOD sex begins until I start seeing fertility signs. Then it is on like donkey kong for a few straight days! I look up estimated delivery dates and think about how I might announce our pregnancy depending on holidays, etc. Inevitably, I find an excuse to buy MORE baby stuff to add the embarrassing collection I’ve amassed and stored in the guest room closet.

Day 12: I hope I ovulate like a normal person this time around. I don’t have the patience to wait another week. Hello? Egg? Come on! I begin to stalk TTC forums.

Day 15: Yay! Ovulation is near and I start to feel like this is THE month, as usual. OPKs are getting darker. I become best friends with my peekachoo and her CM rub the tatas far too often. Wheres that tell-tale slip ‘n slide?

Day 18: The Two Week Wait is in full swing and my chart finally confirmed an egg. Now, it’s hands off for a little while. No more legs in the air! Come on boys, get that egg!

Day 21: Only five days into the TWW and it’s already dragging. Too early to test, but not too early to obsess. I notice every twinge and watch my temps like a hawk. Pregnancy charts are now always open in a window on my iPad. “Mine looks like that!”

Note the title of her chart…of course!

Day 24: I think the little eggie implanted last night. I felt a sharp stab while I was playing online poker. This “baby” likes to gamble, too. I ask DH if I have a glow yet. He laughs and tells me I’m always glowing. Hmmff!

Day 27: I’ve probably gone through an easy ten tests by now. Every time I pee, I test. Then examine. Then obsess. Then reexamine with a flashlight and a magnifying glass. All BFNs damnit. That’s okay. It’s still early, despite the fact that every girl on the forums can get a positive at 9 or 10 DPO! Whatever. My baby’s just a late bloomer.

Day 30: Mild cramps are incessant and my temperature is dropping. I won’t give up. I research anything and everything related to each of my insignificant symptoms. I get pissed. Why the hell is this so hard?! I empty all the pregnancy tests from the shelves at Target, CVS, and the Dollar Tree. I try six brands and drop 80 bucks. B…F…N.   I cancel automatic emails from the TWW Buddy Groups. I can’t stand to hear another BFP announcement, or the “I’m not pregnant, but we weren’t really trying so I’m cool with it!” GFY (Did anyone decipher that last acronym? I’m going to hell.)

I imagine this kid punching me in the face every time I get a BFN

And it starts all over again…

And for future reference:

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