How to Deal

This week has been a long one. Last weekend feels like a lifetime away; I can’t even remember how I spent my time.. was my hubby even home? Hah. I can’t remember now.

I felt oddly peaceful all day today. I woke up exhausted, got dressed half-asleep, dropped the hubby off at work and said goodbye to him for thirty-six hours. It’s a duty day for him, as is every third day, so he has to spend the night on the boat. By the time I was almost home, I felt mostly awake, and so instead of rushing back to get laundry started and dishes put away, I took Graham down to the little rocky shoreline and watched the sun come up over the hills. It was so nice watching the colors dance on the water and listen to the tide as it went out. I had all 150 feet of shoreline to myself.

Felt crummy a little while after getting home. Hot and sleepy.. I think my body is fighting a bit of a cold. I tired Graham out with a game of ghetto-fetch [[which means I throw the toy and end up getting it myself half the time, and trying to convince him it’s not the same game as tug-o-war the other half]] put him in his kennel so I wouldn’t have to worry about him getting into trouble and climbed into bed. Slept like a rock for three hours and dreamt weird dreams that I can’t remember now.

My mind feels slow today, and I don’t mind that one bit. I feel two shots of tequila happy and calm but without the alcohol. Prayer has helped heal my heart from the bad news we received only four days ago. It is oddly comforting knowing this is all in God’s hands; that nothing I did or didn’t do would have, could have changed anything. I did the best I could by following my gut and having those tests run; and my mind doesn’t have to go crazy wondering if something is wrong anymore.

There’s an old saying about that.. that the truth will set you free. I suppose this is what free could feel like..

Pandora’s Box

The decision to have a baby was an easy one. Before we were married last April I had a feeling that I wanted to start trying soon after I graduated from college in June. It’s almost funny looking back now and remembering my scheming to work baby stuff into otherwise normal conversations with my then fiance; or doing the same shortly after we were married and I was totally bogged down by school and really should have been thinking of other things. I knew one thing for certain – that I wanted to have our kids in my early to mid-twenties and that meant starting to try as soon as possible.

You probably won’t believe me if I tell you now, that I always felt like we were going to run into trouble on our trying to conceive journey. Given my history of irregular periods I swore up and down something was wrong with me, when month after month instead of buying pregnancy tests I instead purchased chocolate bars and boxes of tampons. I had basic blood work done and when that all came back just fine and I thought they must have mixed up the samples because it had been months of trying already. I wanted more blood work, more tests, an ultrasound to make sure I didn’t have a bum uterus. We don’t need those now.

Before the hospital would do any more testing on me, they required that my darling husband (DH – can also be dear husband) have a semen analysis done. Yesterday we merrily set off for the hospital so he could provide the sample, fully expecting stellar results. But when I called for results and the nurse that answered the phone said the doctor was flagged to call with the results of this case my heart sank. Even now, I can’t believe I am typing this. It has to be a bad dream like the ones I’ve had of car crashes and memory loss and wolf attacks.

But there is no waking up from this. There is no going back to yesterday – you can’t take back what you find when you open Pandora’s Box.

We rushed the results and chose to see them on paper before waiting for a doctor’s analysis. I am still waiting for the call this morning where my not-so-nice family practice doctor will let me know my husband falls in the class of severe male infertility. The benchmark for normal is 20 million sperm per milliliter of sample provided, subfertile is classified as less than 10 million, infertile is less than 5 million and my husband has less than 2 million. That news is a crushing blow. During the test they look at a small drop of semen under a microscope to analyze morphology, motility, etcetera.. These lab techs normally watch the movement of hundreds of sperm and DH had just 26 on his slide and eight were already dead.

I don’t know how to handle this. I’m supposed to be ovulating soon! But the chances of me getting pregnant are lower than the average woman’s risk of getting pregnant with perfect birth control pill use. I feel like we just joined this elite club that no one wants to be a member of. Thank God DH is just hurt, not embarrassed, and is ok with me talking/writing about this because writing is how I process things. In one afternoon we went from OPKs to IVF and it’s scary and it hurts and I don’t know where God is leading us with this one. I don’t know where to go from here.

One Chance

After a long discussion with my hubby last night, we decided that we are going to continue trying for a baby…but more importantly, this month only has once chance of working out. Some background for those not familiar with trying to conceive…

Women aren’t fertile all month. Fertility Friend (.com) is a great resource for those interested in charting their cycles and becoming more aware of what their bodies are doing all month long.. It describes the time a woman is able to get pregnant as the “fertile window” and goes on to say,

“Your fertile window is made up of the days in your menstrual cycle when pregnancy is possible. The length of this fertile phase is determined by the maximum life span of your partner’s sperm and your egg. Sperm can survive a maximum of five days in fertile cervical fluid and your ovum can survive for up to one day. Your theoretical fertile window is thus six days long, comprised of the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. You only have a chance to conceive when you have intercourse on these days. This means that pregnancy is technically possible from intercourse on any of these six days. The likelihood of actually becoming pregnant, however, is dramatically increased when you have intercourse in the three days immediately leading up to and including ovulation. This makes a practical fertile window of just three days.”

Today is cycle day twelve and the last few cycles I have ovulated on or around day eighteen. Given my doctor’s advice, we should only be baby dancing, “BDing”, (having sex) every two days, which seems crazy, but it’s what she said given that we have had trouble conceiving with a more traditional every day or every other day schedule. I’m not one who usually likes timing BD opportunities but given my hubby’s work schedule, my doctor’s advice and  his 24 hour duty days at work, we realistically have one chance to make it happen this month.

One chance for the little spermies to knock me up. Hahah.. That’s probably way too much to share on the internet, but that is my life, so there you go. :)

I’m not too confident this month will be our month but I am 100% OKAY not having a December baby given that I am a December baby and that month is crowded as it is!! Five more months of trying before Logan leaves for a six or seven month deployment. And please don’t paint me in your mind as some pathetically desperate woman; I am not, because this is all in God’s hands.

Cycle Day One

I have gone back and forth on whether I was going to post about today about a dozen times this morning…but I think I am ready to start being more open about this. It is cycle day one, and for those not familiar with the terminology, means I am not pregnant because my period just started. Probably too much information for some people, I know, but get ready for a whole lot more of it because month nine of trying to conceive our first has just started.

Last month, cycle number eight was a bust, because Logan was out of town the entire month, so this visit from AF (“Aunt Flo” aka period) was totally expected. I think having no hope that last cycle might lead to positive pregnancy test was exactly what I needed. After months and months of negative tests I was starting to feel really defeated, but no more of that. I know some day I will be a mother, some how, and right now I just need to have faith that it will happen exactly when God wants it to happen.

I wasn’t sure I was up for trying this month. But after not charting last cycle and not knowing when to expect my period, I realized that I like knowing what is going on with my body. So I will be using my clear blue easy fertility monitor to track my cycle this month and I will obviously be “baby dancing” with my husband because we are newlyweds after all and if that leads to a positive pregnancy test in a month, I will be thrilled. And if not, well then, maybe next month..

Positive outlook only.

Rambly Rant

I have a lot of thoughts swimming around in my mind, but too many of them seem inappropriate to post online. This post should probably only be read by my TTC (trying to conceive) girls, or best friend, and maybe sisters. The content will probably annoy/bother/offend anyone else. If you choose to keep reading, you have been warned.

In all, I’m not really sure how to say what I want to say. I wish I could ask my friends to cool it with the “we’re expecting” announcements on Facebook. Or duplicate postings of early ultrasound pictures where all you see is a blob inside a bigger blob… I know that probably makes me come across as insensitive, but you try trying for a baby for six months and being stuck with breakouts as bad as a 13 year-old with bad hygiene, horrible PMS and stark white pregnancy tests (except that once, which is a different story) and then we’ll talk. Luckily, there is some reprieve from the  onslaught of all things baby on Facebook via the “unsubscribe” button. I’ve been using that one a lot lately. I want to be happy for my friends that are just starting or adding to their families; be happy for my sister-in-law who announced her pregnancy the moment she got a positive test despite the well-documented risk of losing a baby in the first trimester. I feel torn between being real to myself and living up to societal expectations. What I mean is that I am happy for them, but I would be happier for me at this point. Selfish?…somewhat, but very honest. I promise it was not always that way.

Wanting to start a family is a feeling I have become familiar with over the past few months, but at the same time still feels foreign to me. I guess it makes sense though, seeing as I was raised to put school before boys, a career before marriage. I must have gotten lost somewhere along the path my parents intended for me to take because I got married before graduating college, and am hoping to have kids before being very well established in my career path. To be fair, I am considering a major change of pace. Thinking of leaving the animal medical field and dabbling into photography as some sort of profession – a topic which I do not take lightly and will be discussed in more detail later.

I do hope if you’ve read this through to the end that you don’t feel any less of me. I am just a regular person like you or anyone else with real feelings and problems I face every day. Part of why I started this blog was so I’d have some place to let it out.