EPO – Feedback Wanted

In reading up on natural ways to increase fertility, I came across this interesting article on http://www.babyhopes.com: Will Evening Primrose Oil Help Me Conceive? | Articles about Trying to Conceive / Getting Pregnant.

Evening Primrose Oil is said to increase a woman’s “eggwhite cervical mucus,” which can help those little spermy swimmers to stay alive longer by providing a comfortable environment for them as they wait for Ms. Egg, and then try to get to her.

Being on a “dryer” side of cervical mucus myself, I figured I would give this vitamin with the beautiful sounding name a try.

I’d like to know…

WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN WITH EVENING PRIMROSE OIL?

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Wherefore Art Thou?

SOOOOO frustrating to wait, and wait…and wait for your period.

I KNOW she is coming… I have had dull to moderate cramps on and off since Tuesday night (it is now Friday – period due date!), accompanied by light spotting of watery fresh blood.  At around 5 this AM, I woke up with worse cramps and was sure *she* was here.  Ran to the bathroom – only more spotting.

According to some of the reading I’ve done, if I didn’t ovulate during this past cycle, then I may be spotting due to lack of progesterone.  This has happened to me once before during this calendar year, with the days and days of spotting, but I don’t remember the cramps. Hubs still wants me to test if my period is a no show today.  It’s a cute thought that he is still positive.  It’s so obviously our first month trying.  (Of course, he doesn’t know I have already gone through six internet cheapies that came free with my OPK strips).  I know today is the first day that is actually viable for me to test, but woman’s intuition… not preggo.

Figures there just had to be some abnormalities during TTC month #1, right?  Most months, I am pretty regular with maybe one day of light spotting if anything.  I just want to get my stupid period already so we can move onto the next cycle.  URGH!

Early Bird Special

Cycle Day 25, and lo and behold here she is. The wicked one.

I’d like to live in a fairy tale world of implantation bleeding, and to be fair, I did allow myself to do this for about an hour… but the plain honest truth is, she’s just here a bit early this month. It’s ok.  I’m ok.  It was only the first try, and I was prepared for this.

As a little “test,” I said to hubby, after emerging from the bathroom and announcing that this month was officially a bust, “Maybe we should put off trying until drama season is over.” (We direct the school musical together).  He looked up at me and shook his head “no way.” So that was good.  And that means I get to have more sex in a couple of weeks.  So yay!

I can tell this month is going to be a bit of a doozy with some heavy spotting for a few days before the main event, but that usually means a strong ovulation for me… so YEAH!  I am armed with prenatal vitamins and Evening Primrose Oil, and plenty of OPKs.

And now to bed, because I am WIPED and I am teaching not one, but two Jazzercise classes tomorrow.  xoxo

TOP TEN Early Pregnancy Non-Symptoms

Please don’t be mislead by the title of this post.

I don’t yet know for sure if I am pregnant or not this month, but my strong instinct is: not 

This has not, however, hampered my desire to symptom spot in the least.  I really needed a distraction leading up to a much needed Spring Break (which began today at 12:30, thank god). And yes, I celebrated with a glass of red wine.  After all, I really don’t think I am pregnant… By my novice calculations, I am on Cycle Day 21, and roughly 5 days past ovulation; I am expecting my next period one week from today, but my cycle ranges from 26 – 31 days (usually falling within 27-29 days), so who knows. Other than the stupid cheap strip I had lying in the drawer today, I am NOT going to test again until I am officially late next Friday.  Or maybe next Thursday night at midnight.  😉

But back to the “symptoms.”  Here is a quick list of the top ten early pregnancy symptoms that I may or may not have thought I experienced this week, and the real logical cause behind each one.

10) dull headache — stress of keeping 13 year olds reined in long enough to teach them anything the week before a vacation, rehearsing a full cast number for the musical with 80-something students, I can’t remember the last week I went “dull headache” free come to think of it

9) tired / dizzy – I wake up every morning at 5:15.  After dealing with hormonal tweens all day, I have rehearsal with the most dramatic ones until 5:30, then, three times a week, I’m off to teach high impact aerobics.  One day this week, I taught two in a row…  That’s enough to make anyone dizzy, and definitely enough to make anyone tired!

8) tired eyes – I was diagnosed with severe dry eye about a year and a half ago.  I can’t remember the last time I used the drops I am supposed to use twice a day.  So, yeah… my eyes are pretty much always dry and tired.

7) slight cramping – I may have actually been ovulating wicked late (which would put me in the “definitely not pregnant” zone).  That, or I should stay away from the school lunch.  Again, much like the headache, I get cramping throughout my cycle.  It is very dull and nothing alarming and has been happening since high school.

6) smelling things I don’t usually notice – this one I can’t explain, but it was only for a day or two, and it wasn’t anything that really jumped out at me.  This was pure and simple psychosomatic symptom spotting. And like I said, it stopped when I forgot to think about it. 🙂

5) tightness in chest / some gas – I never drink orange juice, but decided to start again this week for some extra vitamin C since R was sick with a cold last week. Orange juice and I have never gotten along.

4) one glass of wine made me tipsy – I have been cutting WAY back on alcohol consumption for the past few weeks (we are pretty big drinkers); that coupled with being tired and the drink being red wine…

3) lower back pain – I have been going to the chiropractor for this pain since before we were trying to conceive, but clearly this week, it is a sign of pregnancy. Oh, let’s not forget all of those high impact aerobic classes I taught this week with an already tender back… that SURELY couldn’t be the cause…

2) I am moody and easily irritated – this could describe me on any given day, at any time of the month; this will NEVER be a good symptom for me to use as a benchmark.  I am often dramatic and moody.

1) bloating – it could be the St. Joseph’s pastries we’ve been eating since last Sunday, the appetizer sampler platter today at lunch (followed by french onion soup), salty Chinese food, … you get the idea.  Though I am conscious about what I eat and try to stay relatively healthy, I am far from perfect, and the PMS cravings officially set in last night around 9 pm.

Well, there you have it folks, my top ten non-symptom-symptoms.  I quite expect that a week from now, I will be announcing official plans for entering round two of trying, and though in my heart I know this, I am sure I will still be somewhat let down when my period shows up.  There is the silver lining of actually getting to have sex with my otherwise drive-less husband, so it’s not all bad.  But I’d still rather make a little ‘a.’ 😉

‘Just So.’

Google is the devil, for people like me.  For OCD, anxiety ridden, somewhat controlling, and total perfection seeking women, that is.

Every post I read about timing and ovulation conflicts, and it is driving me insane.  And this is only month one. I  realize that everyone’s body and experience is different, but that is only minimally helpful to a person on a quest for the “correct” response.  The truth is, there is only one way to really know if you got it right, and that is to wait.  And to try. And then to wait again… until *hopefully* you get the new little bundle of joy you are hoping for.

In my mind, this was the PERFECT month for us.  R gets busier and busier with his side jobs in April, and that continues through October/November.  This week, my fertile week, my family (who we are living with for a few months to save some money) was in Florida, so we had the house to ourselves.  If this ended up being the month for us, ‘little a’ would be born right before Christmas, and my maternity leave could take me to the end of the school year and through the summer – giving me eight whole months of bonding time with baby!!!

So maybe I put a little too much pressure on myself to make sure to get everything        ‘just so.’  But the problem is, there is no such thing.  Every woman’s body is different, every cycle is different, etc., etc.  So if the sun and the moon and the stars don’t all align in perfect syzygy … no ‘little a.’

…and that is why, as difficult as it is for a control freak, like me (who was unable to have sex with hubby during her two most fertile days, for one reason or another), I am now turning the decision over to a higher power as I enter my two week wait.

Boy, I really hope we got everything ‘just so.’

Smiley Face

Smiley Face

THIS smiley face brought a smile to MY face… and the sex that followed brought an even bigger smile to my face! Today is the 14th day of my cycle, and a “peak” fertility day… so the timing really couldn’t have been better. We also had sex on CD 12. So now, I guess the wait begins. I’m sooooooo trying not to get my hopes up, but I now realize how utterly impossible that is.

Liftoff, but no landing.

R and I have been together for about seven years.  I have already alluded to the fact that we have never had sex very often (we once had a 7 month dry spell).  This has been the cause of our most major arguments because I, not unlike many, view sex as the ultimate act of love and intimacy that separates a romantic relationship from a best friend.  Needless to say, I have always had some insecurities about this, and any effort to talk about it openly with R has never led to a very happy evening for either of us.

I have done my homework… read “The Sex Starved Wife” by Michele Weiner Davis, visited a therapist (who told me after five minutes of meeting that we were both gay and should break up…?!?), talked in strictest confidence to my best friend, and visited countless websites.  Though none of these things have miraculously changed my sex life, they have helped me realize that I can feel fulfilled and intimate in spite of the lack of actual intercourse. It took me a while to get here, but I made it.

Enter: the plan to get pregnant.  Suddenly, this taboo, leads-to-a-fight-every-time topic is something we HAVE to be open about, and… <<gasp>>… something we actually have to DO…with some degree of consistency!  Need I wonder why my anxiety (and his, too, I’m sure) has spiked this week?   Naturally, I look for subtle (but clear) ways to give him the info. he needs without using too much jargon.  He knows this is the week and he is mentally prepared.  We both want to start a family and this is the month to start trying.  OK, phew; we are on the same page.

So when the alarm clock rings at 5 am this morning, and he rolls over for a morning wake up call, I AM BUBBLING OVER WITH EXCITEMENT.  …and passion, and hope, and love, and pleasure!!!  And folks, we have liftoff… !!!!!!!!!!!!!

…but ten minutes later I am telling him, “That’s ok; don’t worry…  we can try again later.” Liftoff, but no landing.

Que Sera…?

It is uncanny how many years of a woman’s life can go by without much thought to her cycle other than the cliche hating on her “time of the month.”  Then, suddenly, when the thought of trying to have a baby enters the mind, it becomes all encompassing.  And I know I am not alone, because I have been surfing the web.  A lot.

I am 32 years old, and from the ripe of old age of 17 when I first suspected that getting pregnant might pose a challenge for me, I have been known to say things like, “What’s meant to be will be.” That’s a decade and a half of self talk out the window, because, yeah, not so much anymore. Suddenly, it feels like there is no other option and that life without kids does not exist in my realm of possibilities.

So here is where all of my anxieties and insecurities start to rear an ugly head.  It does not help that DH is not a huge fan of sex (sounds weird I know, but I think he was just raised to consider it “dirty.” :/) and even thought we planned to start tonight, there has been NO talk about sex, lots of talk about  “tired…” and it is after 11:00.

So I guess I will sign off with “que sera,” but we all know that I don’t mean it.

“March is going to be a fun month…”

This was the response I had been waiting for.  I had just *gently* woven into conversation that if we happen to get pregnant this month, I would be able to teach until the holiday break and have enough days to stay on maternity for the rest of the school year.  And DH – let’s refer to him as R – responded with a smirk and “Well, then, I guess March is going to be a fun month.”

This has, of course, led to non stop thinking, on my part, about making a baby.  Instead of finishing lesson plans, or choreographing dances for this week’s rehearsals, I have visited endless pregnancy and try to conceive websites.  I have mentioned the possibility of starting to try to way too many people, and I have already peed on a plethora of ovulation test strips.

So, rather than change R’s mind about starting this month, with too  much obsessing, I decided to channel my excited, nervous energy into a blog.  Here it is.  And tomorrow is the first day of “March Madness…”  let the fun begin.