Day 7/14 When You Just Want To Cry

standingtall

I’ll explain the giraffe later.

 

You know why I want to cry? In fact, that’s a moot question because I am crying, and I cried a lot yesterday too.

Because I’m so sad and angry about how the last 2.5 years have turned out.

I am wallowing in a great big pool of feeling sorry for myself at the moment, and you know what?

It’s okay.

The future perfect me, the one that I always think of when I am at my lowest point, the one who has all her shit together no matter what’s going on in her life, she tells me that it’s ok. And so it is. It’s completely okay to cry your heart out for losing so many pregnancies. It’s completely okay to feel cheated, angry, bitter, exhausted and numb from the relentless pain. It’s completely okay to cry and cry and cry for catching a too-small-to-be-born baby in the palm of your hand in the midst of a bloody miscarriage.

I had hopes this month, with all the cramps and twinges, it felt hopeful.

But yesterday morning, it all came to a stop. And total radio silence has resumed.

Having been pregnant 10 times (5 of those didn’t even make 72 hours after implantation), I pretty much know that total silence from my uterus means NO PREGNANCY.

And I’ve walked around with such a heavy heart for the last 24 hours.

Because I really know, deep down, that it’s time to stop this. And I knew that at the start of this month, because to be honest, our trying consisted of two very perfunctory BDs and I was relieved when it was done.

So I’m grieving.

Grieving for the unfairness of everything I’ve been through. For the lost dream. For every time I’ve imagined five of us sat around the dinner table. For the fact that despite trying hard, I couldn’t make it happen. I failed.

Me – with my grammar school education and two degrees, my problem solving skills and my excellent grasp of english and maths, with my ability to dig deep and find reserves even when they aren’t there, to manage 36 hours of hard labour with no pain relief, to smile at the midwife when she sewed me up, to keep it together in the face of my mother’s attempted suicide, to cycle 1800km across Europe, to bunji jump off of Victoria Falls in Africa, to win £4000 back in bank charges for my little brother (don’t even ask), and to raise two boys, 21 months apart without a single piece of support or help from anyone other than my husband. Capable me – the person I believed could do anything I put my mind to, no matter what.

I failed to have a third baby.

This hurts me. As much as the loss of my third child does. It’s a broken dream AND a failure on my part.

So I am grieving.

But I don’t have trying in me any more.

I can’t stick to a healthy diet because the anger just keeps bubbling up and sabotaging my efforts – the anger that says other people can eat shit, and drink, and smoke, and still get pregnant, so what’s the deal?

I’m done with trying, and I think, deep down, I can accept that.

I’m going to take a break from this blog, and from all things pregnancy and baby.

I will pop back in a few months (maybe for my 40th birthday in December!) and let you know how I’m doing.

But for now, I need to learn how to be me without all of this.

So, just to reassure you that I am in fact, alright, this is what the next few months, getting back on my feet, are going to be like for me:

standingup

But hopefully next time we speak I will be more like this:

standingtall

Love and light to you all.

Day 5/14

The two week wait continues.

  1. Clean the entire house, including the entire bathroom, from top to bottom –started
  2. Sort out the kids artwork mountain in the spare room
  3. Write at least one short story for a future competition
  4. Finish my Tomb Raider video (I’m making a montage of my own in-game play) 19.9.14
  5. Finish the Glen Duncan book I am reading – started
  6. Finish the Networking book (computers, not people. Me? Network? Ha ha) I am reading.
  7. Do two more meal plans and online shop orders – done 1 of 2
  8. Go to a second gym class, in addition to my Monday night class – booked
  9. Reply to my friend’s email who I haven’t seen in ages. 19.9.14
  10. Reach inbox zero (again) 19.9.14
  11. Complete four levels of Tomb Raider – done 2 of 4
  12. Dig up all the flagstones in the garden and move the table onto the patio – done 1/2
  13. Tidy up the garage and put the kids garden toys away for the year. 21.9.14
  14. Create some screen shots for the app I want to develop.

So, since my last post I’ve made a start on number 5 (finish book), done half of number 7 (meal plan), done half of number 11 (tomb raider levels), half of number 12 (garden flagstones), and completed number 13 (tidy garage and put garden toys away for the year).

Phew.

I’ve been really busy. And happy.

But I am also really struggling not to symptom spot. Mainly because, unlike last month where my uterus was basically silent for 14 days, this month I’ve had twinges and cramps non-stop since ovulation.

It’s like my uterus is saying Oh you think you can ignore me, do you? Well, take that and see if you still can!

And my lower back is really aching and now my boobs have chimed in with a bit of soreness at the sides.

Of course, it’s still only 5dpo (although I’ve talked about early pregnancy factor here before), so I know logically most of this is hormonal (and not pregnancy related).

But last month I had none of it. Not an iota.

Meh.

Struggling on, doing my best to ignore it all.

Day 2/14

I got a great high temp of 98.3 this morning, so should get my crosshairs on fertility friend tomorrow. We are officially in the two week wait.

Again.

So here’s my two week wait to-dos:

  1. Clean the entire house, including the entire bathroom, from top to bottom – started
  2. Sort out the kids artwork mountain in the spare room
  3. Write at least one short story for a future competition
  4. Finish my Tomb Raider video (I’m making a montage of my own in-game play) 19.9.14
  5. Finish the Glen Duncan book I am reading.
  6. Finish the Networking book (computers, not people. Me? Network? Ha ha) I am reading.
  7. Do two more meal plans and online shop orders.
  8. Go to a second gym class, in addition to my Monday night class – booked
  9. Reply to my friend’s email who I haven’t seen in ages. 19.9.14
  10. Reach inbox zero (again) 19.9.14
  11. Complete four levels of Tomb Raider.
  12. Dig up all the flagstones in the garden and move the table onto the patio.
  13. Tidy up the garage and put the kids garden toys away for the year.
  14. Create some screen shots for the app I want to develop.

Today, instead of googling about progesterone, the two week wait and implantation, I spent an hour writing an email and then sorting through everything in my inbox. All done for numbers 9 and 10. This afternoon I finished off my Tomb Raider video, and even wrapped up a copy on CD to send to my little brother :-)

Yesterday and today I’ve also worked on numbers 1 and 8:

So far I have: cleaned the kitchen (including wiping down all the appliances and cupboards, cleaning the cooker and mopping the floor), tidied and cleaned the whole downstairs, including hoovering under the sofas and under all the cushions, and tidied away the 100s of tiny bits of toys that were all over the conservatory floor. Phew. Upstairs is still TBD.

house

I do love a tidy house.

shinysink

And a shiny sink :-)

I’ve booked a gym class for Sunday, so I’m planning on a Sunday and Monday class in future, in addition to my normal gym visit. I’ll tick that off when I’ve actually done it.

What shall I tackle next??

Things I Am Going To Do In This Two Week Wait To Stop Me Ruminating On Whether Or Not I am Pregnant

Oh sod it. I’m assuming I’ve ovulated today (at the latest). So here we are in the two week wait yet again.

So here’s 14 things I’m going to do instead.

I’ll give you an update – maybe with pics! – just so you know I’m really doing stuff and not just pretending to.

  1. Clean the entire house, including the entire bathroom, from top to bottom
  2. Sort out the kids artwork mountain in the spare room
  3. Write at least one short story for a future competition
  4. Finish my Tomb Raider video (I’m making a montage of my own in-game play)
  5. Finish the Glen Duncan book I am reading.
  6. Finish the Networking book (computers, not people. Me? Network? Ha ha) I am reading.
  7. Do two more meal plans and online shop orders.
  8. Go to a second gym class, in addition to my Monday night class.
  9. Reply to my friend’s email who I haven’t seen in ages.
  10. Reach inbox zero (again).
  11. Complete four levels of Tomb Raider.
  12. Dig up all the flagstones in the garden and move the table onto the patio.
  13. Tidy up the garage and put the kids garden toys away for the year.
  14. Create some screen shots for the app I want to develop.

 

97.9

That was my temperature this morning.

It is the most ambiguous temperature in my cycle. Historically it tends to be the first post-O temp that I get. But it also makes an appearance a few times before ovulation. It’s like the mid-point of my body temperature, and my pre and post ovulation temps pivot around that point.

Which means that I am never really sure if I have ovulated when I get this reading in the middle of the month and so, we never really know whether we need to BD that evening or not.

It’s just annoying. Why can’t it just do a great big jump up to 98-something so I know for sure what’s going on?

So, here we are, CD16, trying not to obsess (but clearly failing), and wondering if I am going to be able to step away from ovulation next month.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog too, and wondering if a small part of my difficulty in moving on is because I love to write on here. It’s the only place, in the whole wide world, where I can sit and pour my heart out without fear of judgement or pity. It’s just a matter of fact record of what’s going on with me, and I like that a lot. It’s the only place I can write about my obsessions and fixations and not have to listen to people saying “don’t you think it’s time to let go?” or “it’s all for the best, just think how lucky you already are!”. I know these things, but that doesn’t change the way I think and the time that it takes to genuinely move on from these things without ending up in the loony bin.

So, to recreate this environment, I have been thinking about blogging more personal things under my real name, because I really do love to write about what I’m doing. But my main problem with that is that I don’t want my family and friends to read it.

Bah.

I have this need to talk about my feelings and to connect with others, but I can’t do it in real life. Crazy.

Yeah.

So that’s me on this rainy autumn morning.

How To Miss Your LH Surge With OPKs

I’ve noticed the last couple of cycles that my LH surge has been much shorter. This month has been the shortest so far and I wanted to post some pictures to show how easy it is to miss your surge if you follow the traditional instructions.

OK, so opk tests tell you to check once a day from a few days before your expected fertile window. I tend to test around 2pm as you don’t have to use FMU.

So here are today’s and yesterday’s opk tests:

opksurge

Both are clearly negative, right?

So, if I was going on these alone, I’d be assuming my surge hadn’t happened and then I would get a temp jump and say WTF? I ovulated without even getting a surge this month!

But then look at what happens when I test more than once every 24 hours:

opksurge2

There’s my positive – in the middle at 7am this morning. Note that these tests are now dry, and the lines were all darker when they were read within the limits. The middle one was clearly positive this morning (although it does look borderline now).

So there you go.

How can you make sure you don’t miss your surge?

  1. Test daily, at the same time, from around 6 days before you anticipate ovulation.
  2. As soon as you see a line that is slightly darker than the first test you took, test every 4 hours (3 times per day).
  3. Don’t worry about how much you drink, or how long you hold: I’ve drunk litres of water before testing and tested an hour after the last go and the surge still shows.
  4. Remember that the surge may happen 2-3 days before ovulation, or as little as 12 hours before ovulation.

Two and a half years of opk fun condensed into one post.

Have fun!

At The Preschool Gates

As I waited outside preschool this afternoon to collect DS2 (the only mum there without a baby in a buggy), I had the opportunity to listen to this conversation:

Yeah, I wanted mine close together. 20 months between them. What’s the age gap between your three boys?

Three years each time.

Oh yeah, that’s good. Time for another soon, ha ha!

Ha ha ha! No I don’t think so.

You won’t have any more then?

No. I just feel like I’ve been really lucky, you know. I don’t want to push my luck. When I was doing the night feeds with my third, I was like… I can’t believe I’m doing this again, ha ha ha.

Ha ha ha. Yeah. We’ll probably wait til this one is at preschool before we have a third.

And so it went on.

Two women, one with three kids, one planning three kids, not a hint of trauma or worry between them. They just get pregnant, and out they come 9 months later.

How lovely it must be to be like that.

Sometimes I wonder what the gods are playing at up there, sticking conversations like that in my day when I’m trying to get my shit together.

My Monthly Oestrogen Crashes

Every month, I get two brief periods where I basically just want to cry all the time. The first is (naturally) just before my period. The second is (annoyingly) in the immediate days after ovulation.

I’ve worked out that these are probably due to the dip that we all get in oestrogen levels at those times, but knowing why I want to cry at everything doesn’t stop me from wanting to cry at everything.

I got a brief positive opk test this morning (late!), and it’s CD14 CD15 (I can’t count), so I’m guessing I will ovulate tomorrow. Or tonight at the earliest. Which means by the end of tomorrow, I’m going to want to put my head in my hands and cry over everything.

Which is a shame, because at the moment, I’m feeling super-duper lovely and the last couple of weeks have been really good.

I talked to DH about calling it quits.

I told him I’m a much better mother to older children (as opposed to babies) and that now our youngest is 3 I’m feeling more and more reluctant to go back to the beginning all over again. I really am not very good at the mind-numbing baby stuff. And I have to be honest and say I am selfishly loving the bit of free time I’m getting now both boys are at school/preschool each week. I could write more fiction! I could write that app I’ve been working on! I could write some software! So much potential.

I am in all honesty cultivating the idea that I could walk away with a smile and say we’re done. I never thought I’d get to this point. The bitterness and anger and loss – it has seemed insurmountable at times.

As far as my soy experiment goes, I’ve had barely any ovulation pain this month, which is a good thing (I don’t think pain of any kind is supposed to be a regular fixture). I haven’t noticed anything else so far. Maybe they didn’t do a damn thing, who knows.

Anyway, I might be back here in a few days, sobbing my heart out for a baby, but at the moment it’s all good.

The joys of being a woman.

I Have Stopped Saving Clothes

Since my youngest started growing out of his babygros, I’ve been storing everything away for number 3.

A little while ago, in the light of still not having managed to have a baby, I sorted out the loft and got rid of over half of the stuff I’d put away. The rest sits patiently above our heads, neatly packed in boxes.

Since then I have postponed sorting through the boys current clothes because it was a decision I couldn’t face. Save the good stuff this time? Or not?

DS2 has been getting bigger and bigger and his drawers fuller and fuller, packed with things he doesn’t wear anymore.

Today, as my sense of self is being gradually restored by some much-needed me-time while the boys are at school and preschool, I realised I could face it.

I sorted through both of their chests of drawers and made a huge pile. Not to keep, but to recycle. I didn’t save anything.

You have to draw the line somewhere, right?

I think given DS2 has just turned 3, this is a good place for the line.

And it’s a small but important step in gradually letting go of one dream and hopefully making space in all our lives for a new one.

Not that I’m giving up just yet.

Letting go? Gradually. Giving up? Oh no ;-)

Soy Isoflavones, Oestrogen and Depression

So this cycle, which I’m thinking is probably (?) going to be my last shot before I put a lid on all this broodiness (supposedly), I’m finally giving soy isoflavones a go.

I’ve resisted them for years. Years! Why? I’m not even sure now. Because they operate in the same way as clomid. And I ovulate like clockwork every month. And (hows this for stats), I worked out that over my total family-building time, I have a 61% success rate of falling pregnant in any given cycle if we have sex at least twice in the three days before ovulation. Yeah – I actually work out stats on my own fertility for fun.

Anyway, clomid tends to be for helping absent ovulation, or irregular ovulation, but it’s also used with success in regular ovulators, giving your hormones a boost and (in theory) helping your eggs along.

So why the hell not. I’ve tried everything else under the sun* (apart from assisted conception), so why not throw some soy in there too.

I’ve taken 152mg (non-GMO) for 3 days (CD2 – CD4).

It’s actually recommended for 5 days, like clomid, but 5 days seems like a long time to be messing around with my hormone levels.

And not only that, but soy has made me the weepiest woman in the world.

Yes, I have cried at everything for three days straight.

Soy (just like clomid) works by binding to your oestrogen receptors. But is is inactive, which means that your body thinks your oestrogen levels are really low. This increases a hormone called FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) which tells the ovaries to wake up, make some eggs and produce some more oestrogen.

Once you stop taking the soy, your oestrogen levels rise up quickly and strongly, in theory giving you a great ovulatory experience.

It also has a knock-on effect the following month (which is why many people get pregnant the month they stop taking clomid), and results in extra oestrogen for the cycle after you take it.

Anyway, the effect of having inactive oestrogen in my oestrogen receptors has made me so sad. Honestly – I am just DEPRESSED. Luckily I stop taking them tonight, so I should be back to normal tomorrow, but it’s made me think.

I get really down just after ovulation and just before my period – both times when oestrogen dips. And I’ve really struggled with low mood since having children (probably a bit of undiagnosed post-natal depression).

And it made me wonder if my oestrogen has always been a bit on the low side.

My periods are shorter now than they used to be when I was younger.

Maybe I’m on the first step of the staircase to menopause?

Well, whatever is going on, once I’m done with the soy, I’m going to try and put all this out of my mind and focus on other things.

 

*Vitex, maca, n-acetylcysteine, prenatal vitamins, DHA, vitamin D, flaxseed, green smoothies, extra water, vegetarianism, primal eating, exercise, no exercise, laughter, meditation, visualisation, lunaception, wishing, hoping, giving up caffeine, giving up alcohol, going gluten free, going chemical free, testing, not testing, trying, “not” trying, sperm-friendly lubricant, progesterone, baby aspirin and anti-histamines.