six weeks

So here I sit, at six weeks (and one day).  Mostly, I don’t “feel” pregnant. Mostly, I just feel like me, only a slightly more tired version of me.  My stomach is a little touchy, I guess.  But I don’t have the stabbing pain in the boobs or the gut-wrenching nausea or any other torture I was promised.  My mom said that for two of her pregnancies, she had barely any symptoms.  For me, she tossed her cookies daily.  I am hoping that I will fall into the former camp, rather than the latter, although I must admit, I feel a little excluded from all the whinging on the message boards.

The most noticeable thing is the absence of the anxiety I had for almost all of the ten months we were trying to get pregnant.  I know I am supposed to be all mood-swingy, but the last real mood swing I had was the day before I found out I was pregnant.  Now that I know, I feel so much more relaxed, it’s incredible. I barely know myself!  In a good way.

I am so relaxed that I actually purposely failed to make my doctor’s appointment for this week.  I am supposed to come in for weekly ultrasounds, I guess because if you conceive through a reproductive endocrinologist the consider you high-risk even if you aren’t.  After the first of these, where there was literally nothing to see because I was barely four weeks pregnant, and the second, where there was a small white dot but nothing more, I decided not to go back until I was fairly confident we would see a heartbeat.  Which means next week, when I am 6 weeks and 6 days.  It just seemed invasive, all those sound waves poking around in my uterus, you know?  Somebody is in there, busy trying to grow from the size of a blueberry to a raspberry, without a lot of disturbance.

In other news, today is Boo’s birthday, and last night I stayed up late making her a birthday cake and decorating cookies for her to take to school.  She is the least-demanding of our kids, which makes it a little harder to make her birthday special, because she doesn’t really want anything. She shares a birthday with another girl in her class, who dibs-ed (is that a word?) the cupcake thing, so after laughing over the idea of her bringing fruit in for the class, she was ready to shrug it off.  But I was not having any of it.  I put her initials and an 11 on the top of 25 chocolate chip cookies with green icing (her favorite color) and sent her on her way. It’s hard to imagine any 5th grader not wanting a cookie because they already had a cupcake, right?  I was impressed with myself for getting it all done, but slightly less impressed with myself when I woke up 6 1/2 hours later to go to work and wanted to cry because I was so tired.

Anyway, it’s hard to imagine that 11 years ago, my wife was heavily pregnant, sitting in the nursery in the early morning hours after her water broke, waiting for the contractions to get close enough together to justify going to the hospital.  It is slightly harder to imagine that in about 8 months, that will be me.

optimism

half empty

This is my actual, current, real life water glass (well, technically it’s plastic, not glass, but we are not hear to discuss what a shitty environmentalist I am).*  As the trite expression goes, you will see that it is half-empty.  Perhaps more like two-thirds empty.  But not totally empty, because that would be too simple.

You see, floating around in the back of my head are all the stories.  You know the ones.  We totally gave up trying, because we thought it would never work for us/it was too late/it was too early/she got sick/Mercury was in retrograde/etc. and lo! and behold!  That was the time we got pregnant!

I really, really wish my glass was empty, but I can’t help holding out a liiiiiiiiiiittle hope that it actually maybe did work this month.  Even though I know it didn’t!  Still.  Which means the fog has crept back in just a little, as I try to remind myself not to be optimistic — not at all — because we actually know that this time we inseminated too early, and we therefore know that we aren’t pregnant.

This is why you actually take a month off. Hello, April, I am looking at you. Because even if you tell yourself it didn’t work, and even if you know, deep down, that it didn’t, someone keeps sneaking up and pouring just an inch or two of water in your glass when your head is turned. Which means it really sucks when the end of the month comes, and you knock that glass over, and it drenches a stack of mail that someone left on the counter.

Although we are also not here to discuss how neat and tidy I am, do you see how clean my desk at work is?  That is because I moved all my confidential lawyer-type documents out of the picture for internet posting purposes.  Note the eraser crumbs around the bottom of the glass. That is a bit more accurate when it comes to visualizing my workspace.  Yep, I’m a pencil writer.  At least they are not food crumbs.

bangs

It turns out that I have been stressed out lately.  This, I think, is a combination of seven (SEVEN) months of trying to get knocked up, currently being in the two-week wait, an annoying work trip that was hanging over my head, and also, out of the last eight months, having overnight guests for what adds up to five of them.  Yes, five out of eight, as in more than 50%.  We had my mother in law for two months, my sister for two months, a cousin for a week, various family members for 10 days at Christmas, and the odd weekend guests here and there. For a total of 5 months’ worth of houseguests.  Geeze.  And in all that time, I am stealthily sneaking off to the doctor to try to get myself pregnant.

Anyway, I had a meltdown yesterday on my way to work, during which I decided that I should do something nice for myself, to distract me from obsessively staring at my chart and also to reward myself for so patiently (ha!) enduring the people that I love, but that have been treating my house like a bed and breakfast for the last 5 months.  So!  I will Do Something For Myself and get some kind of hair treatment, I decide.  This left me with two options.  One, to dye my hair MSCL red, like I did in college.  In case you are not familiar:

my-so-called-life-claire-danes-dvdbash-wordpress3Appropriate, because that expression sums up how I have been feeling for about 3 weeks.  Also, my hair is that length.   I am not 14, though.  The other thing I could do is to get bangs.  Or maybe, MSCL red and bangs?

During a particularly boring but somehow also stressful day at work, I had a phone conversation with my wife.  I told her that (1) if not pregnant, I wanted to take next month off, and (2) I was dying my hair MSCL red, or else getting bangs.  Just like that, one after another.  Of course, she was all (1) don’t I get a say in whether you take a month off? (no) and (2) red?  Well.  I made a hair appointment anyway, for the next day (i.e., today) at lunchtime.

Later, we went out to dinner. The kids are all on vacation with He Who Must Not Be Named (their father), so we are relatively fancy-free this week.  At dinner, we revisited both topics.  I should say that, although my wife has not recently (like in the last year) expressed reservations about having another baby, a constant fear of mine is that she doesn’t really want the not-yet-existing baby.  So actually, her indignation at me deciding I was taking next month off was kind of nice, in a weird way.  And ultimately, after talking it through, I have reconsidered, and probably won’t take next month off after all.  It’s just that it’s been so hard, and actually kind of isolating, this trying to get pregnant business.  Also, am sick of peeing on things.  I would like a month where I just don’t have to think about it.  I don’t have to pee anywhere other than the toilet, I don’t have to count days past ovulation, I don’t have to go to the doctor, I don’t have to wonder if that feeling is implantation, because it’s just not.  However.  She promised to be very “checked-in” if we try during March, and also daily massages to help me relax.  You would be a fool to pass up daily massages, I think, so I am in.  Plus, it turns out that she is actually rather anxious for our little bundle, but has been avoiding saying this because she doesn’t want me to feel bad. Aww.

Then, we talked about the hair.  She expressed serious concern over me dying my hair a color that has not been in style since 1996 (even though I pointed out actually already dyed my hair this color after it had been out of style for several years, circa 2002).  On second thought, it was actually kind of a disaster the last time I dyed my hair red.  I had to paste-bleach it all platinum blonde before I could dye it brown again, because the red just would not come out any other way.  I decided maybe bangs were the best bet.

So this morning, I came into work, and cancelled the business trip that has been hanging over my head, which was actually for a training seminar that seemed really boring and hard and would require three overnights away from home.  I also trekked off to the salon to get my hair trimmed, and get those bangs.

After I sat down in the chair, my stylist came over to me and said, “Hi beautiful. So, when are you going to get pregnant?  Oh gosh, are you pregnant right now?  You’re not pregnant right now, are you?”

WHAT THE HELL.

“No,” I told her, “I am not pregnant right now.  And what do you think about bangs?”

So much for the distraction.  My bangs are cute though.

fallopian tubes and other two week wait thoughts

Because I am a lawyer, today’s blog entry, which is mostly a list of random thoughts, will have headings.  You’re welcome.

Fallopian Tubes and Lazy Eggs

Today is the second day past ovulation and insemination. This is the day where I start to get annoyed at how long it takes the egg to bounce its way down the fallopian tube and implant.  The sperm can make their way up there in a matter of seconds, but the blastocyst that is hopefully making its slow, meandering way down the tube takes days.  Annoying, right?

But, I will say, this annoyance is partially a result of the cartoon images of the female reproductive system that I saw in fifth grade, which depict the fallopian tube as being about a quarter of an inch long and perfectly straight and wide.  Today I remembered that when I had the HSG test, I saw my actual fallopian tubes.  Not straight.  Not short.  Not wide.  Instead, they are skinny, long, meandering tubes.  I actually tried to put a picture of my fallopian tubes on here to enlighten everyone, but due to my limited computer skills, I am unable to pull my protected health information off the CD-rom they gave me at the hospital and post it on the internet.  Probably for the best, I guess!

So, you will have to take my word for it.  Those sperm are so small, and mobile, compared to a drifting little blastocyst that is just sort of floating along, and the fallopian tubes are extremely (relatively, you know, considering how small the blastocyst is) long and winding.

Another interesting thing I learned from the HSG test is how small the uterus is.  It’s like the size of a walnut or something. The metal speculum shows up on the x-rays, and it looks gigantic compared to the uterus.  For some reason I always pictured the uterus taking up the better part of my abdomen, but I guess that would be a little ridiculous, considering how little use it gets.  And also! How amazing that it can grow and stretch enough to accommodate a whole human.  Now, this is getting a little too “miracle of life” for me, so I will move on to another fascinating topic:

Basal Body Temperature and Mean Guy

Yesterday, I had a humungous basal body temperature up-tick.  My temperature has consistently been between 96.9 and 97.1 degrees for the entire first half of my cycle.  Then, yesterday, it shot was up to 97.7, just like that.  In case you are new to temperature charting, the follicle that releases the egg begins producing progesterone after ovulation, which causes your temperature to rise.  So the day that the temperature rises is the first day after you ovulated.  Thus, a temperature rise on day 18 means that I ovulated the day before, on day 17.  Although you technically need three days of sustained increased temperatures to confirm ovulation, this seemed like pretty good evidence to me.  Now, I have no idea why Mean Guy measured that follicle at 17mm. Maybe he wasn’t careful enough, because he was rushing. Maybe he didn’t notice that it was actually already collapsing from having just ovulated.  Maybe he just sucks, whatever.  But the important lesson I took away from this is that actually, I do know my body.  The eight months of charting and watching how my body looks and reacts around the time of ovulation taught me something.  I am the expert on my own fertility, not some guy who barely looked at my chart, even if he does happen to be a doctor.

I took my temperature again this morning, and it was off-the-charts high.  Maybe this is because I am sick (which I am – I have a horrible head cold) or maybe it’s because I was up every hour last night because of a combination of a stuffy head and an annoying cat.  I am sure it wasn’t the half bottle of wine I drank last night at my early Valentine’s Day dinner with my wife.  Anyhow, it was up well over 98 degrees at 6 am, but by 8 am, it was down to 97.8, which is the temp I actually ended up recording for my chart.

More on Charting

Also: My friend Emily told me to use Fertility Friend to record my BBT and other chart items, rather than the app that I had been using and only sort of liked.  Fertility Friend is like crack.  Do not click on that Fertility Friend link unless you are prepared to devote about 10 hours a day to poring over all the information they have and obsessively staring at your own chart. They also suck you in with this one month VIP membership trial thingy.  The VIP membership, which normally costs about $10 a month, is about the best thing I have ever seen.  They take your chart and statistically compare it to other people who got pregnant to tell you whether it’s likely that you are pregnant before your period is due.  They give you little information tidbits.  They draw lines and stuff all over your chart to show you it’s bi-phasic nature and other technical sounding things.  I LOVE IT.  I also love that they use a grainier version of Courier font on your chart to make it look like it was created circa 1996.

Time Travel

Which brings me to my final thought for the day.  The other night at dinner, I was upstairs working while my family at chicken and couscous.  My wife asked the kids if they could go back in time to any time period at all, what they would choose.  And BT said that she wanted to go back to 1985-1996.  Because “I could be an 80s chick, and then I could be like YO.”  Now, 1985-1996 were good years, in terms of fashion and otherwise, but I can’t believe that is her choice, because those are the years that I was my kids’ ages, and I am so glad to not be in middle school anymore that I can barely stand it.  BC wanted to go back to the big bang.  MO never really answered, because she got distracted by thinking about how if there was a shrink-ray, and she was shrunk to the size of a hamster, she wouldn’t want to go on top of someone’s head, because scalps are disgusting.  See what I miss by working? Kids are weird. I want another one.

Only 10 days to go…