Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Look, New Hopes

In the spirit of renewing my hopes for this cycle (and the ones to follow...but hopefully there won't be any, since hopefully this is the one! :), I've brightened up my blog. I never intended to stay with the black layout, I just got lazy and forgot all about it. But I realized that it's time to step up and start doing things, no matter how small, to help me continue to stay energized and optimistic. So, what do you guys think? :)

I'm also taking steps on a new look for me. I finally joined SparkPeople, and their tracking system is awesome. It helps a lot to track my food and exercise throughout the day to see how I'm doing. There's just something about being able to see your progress - I know I won't be shedding any pounds right away, so just seeing the calories I'm burning is motivating. I've gone to the gym every day that I could in the last two weeks, and I plan to continue.

In the midst of the renewed hope and optimism that is me, I'm still battling the Clomid monster that has set up shop in my body. I don't think I ever understood before when people would talk about depression or mood swings being out of their control, but now I finally do. When the mood strikes, it strikes hard and fast - out of nowhere, I'll get very angry, or I'll feel very upset and hopeless. It's frustrating because it seems like it is out of my control - I know it's happening, but I can't do anything to stop it.

I'm hoping that doing things to keep myself upbeat and finally taking care of my body will help me to fight off the mood swings. And if it means having a chance to have a baby, I'll gladly continue fighting them off for a few more months.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Feeling Better

Just got back from the clinic...ladies, thank you SO much for your help and advice! I was pleased with how today's appointment went, much better than last time in which I was told that nothing was wrong and I should just keep having sex. Since I'm sure that none of us TTC-ing have thought of that yet, right? :)

What a difference it makes to have all your questions/concerns clearly written out...which I could do, thanks to everyone's suggestions to me.

Basically, the plan is to move up to 100mg Clomid for my third and final month of Clomid. The doctor said that may help stimulate more than one follicle, since it seems like only one was stimulated this time. She said that the hot flashes and mood swings will definitely intensify, but DH and I agreed we'd be willing to risk that (poor him...he bears the brunt of both!).

She answered all my questions, and we have a pretty clear plan to move on to IUI with injectables if we haven't gotten pregnant on our own by that time.

I asked her about a post-coital test, since some of you suggested that, and she said none of the doctors in Canada do that anymore, because basically there is no point - our next step is IUI anyway, so even if my cervical environment is not friendly, it doesn't matter.

That said, I did ask her for alternatives to pre-seed for the next two months while I'm still on Clomid, since that stuff is not very economical at all! And she suggested...raw egg whites. Um, ya...sounds kinda gross. I have read about this before, but I didn't think people actually did it. Have any of you tried this before?? Or do you have any other ideas for pre-seed alternatives?

I'm feeling more optimistic than before...I had been feeling really down in the dumps since AF came this time, doom and gloom, what if it never know the routine. Having a clear plan definitely helps. And there's always a certain excitement about TTC-ing as O time approaches...;)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back to the Clinic

First, I'd like to thank you all for your input and suggestions on whether I should take the month off TTC or not...sounds like everyone is encouraging me to take a vacation! :) Since I like avoiding decision-making, I decided to wait to decide until after our appointment with the RE on Tuesday.

So we're back at the clinic on Tuesday morning to figure out what to do next. One round of Clomid gave me nothing but hot flashes and crazy mood swings. I'm on round two now, and if this doesn't work, I am only doing Clomid for one more month. The doctor prescribed 50mg, taken Days 3-7. She said I definitely don't need more than 50mg because 1) I have no problem ovulating on my own and 2) I'm so "tiny" (her words) - what she doesn't realize is that short does not equal tiny, and I'm at the upper limit of "normal" for what my weight should be for my height.

Sooo...I'm wondering...what should I be asking her? Should I request a higher dose of Clomid for the third and final try? Should I be getting more details on IUI? Do I have any other options before IUI? Test results were all clear for both of us, so there is nothing to actually treat. Since she was of the opinion to just wait and keep trying, I want to make sure I have some sort of action plan in my mind to suggest, otherwise I'll be sent home with a prescription to just keep having sex (since we're not doing that already, right??).

Thanks in advance ladies! :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Baby Dreams

Yesterday I had the most vivid dream I've had in a long time...or at least it was the most vivid dream that I was able to remember. I had just given birth to a baby, a girl, and I felt euphoric. I can't even describe how good I felt in the dream. Somehow, none of my friends knew I was pregnant, so it was a surprise, so everyone was extra excited. I woke up feeling so at peace and so happy.

Then I realized...I don't have a baby. And I'm not pregnant. And I'm an idiot - I merged the real lives of two of my friends into me in my dream.

Last month a good friend who moved to the States after she got married had a baby - we all found out that she had been pregnant after she gave birth to the baby. I have no idea why she didn't tell anyone...something about her husband being really paranoid...(I still don't really get that one).

And last night I got a message from my friend (and downstairs neighbor) that she had her baby girl on Friday night...she sounded so exhausted but so, so happy, like she was in another world.

I'm incredibly happy and excited for her, but I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about how everything is going to hit me, especially since my emotions are off balance due to Clomid. I can't wait to go to the hospital and see the baby, and I can't wait to pull out all the cute little clothes I bought for her and wrap them up...But will that familiar little pain tug at my heart when I hold the baby, wondering when my baby is coming? Will I fall into that pit of despair and hopelessness that Clomid has dragged me down into in the last month?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm Sorry, Mom

...for all the times I made fun of your hot flashes.

Because now I know.

Hot flashes SUCK!!!

And I'm way too young to be having them!

Ahhh...the lovely effects of Clomid...

To Go or Not to Go

For the last year and a half, I've been scheduling my life around TTC-ing. And for even longer than that, I've been planning around the possibility of being pregnant.

You know how it is...well, I don't want to start teaching now because I'll probably get pregnant and then I'd have to leave in the middle of the year...ya...WRONG...

Obviously, I haven't gotten pregnant in that time. But I have picked up a new obsession with my google calendar, which I use to plot predicted ovulation dates for "trying times" (those times are trying in more ways than one!) and anticipated AF arrivals.

I'm supposed to be going home in about a month for a few weeks; I usually have to go every few months to take care of some things for my family. Our trying times don't fall right in the middle of the trip, but they fall in a way that my trip would be a lot shorter than usual - less than 2 weeks verses 3 weeks.

Now I'm in a dilemma. We have missed months due to unavoidable circumstances (x-rays, work training for DH), but we haven't voluntarily missed a single month of TTC since we started.

At first I told DH I'd be going for 3 weeks because I'm so tired of planning around TTC-ing and scheduling my whole life around it. I figured the break that month might be good for me mentally too - a whole month in which I won't be fretting over TTC-ing and then the angst of am I pregnant?/am I not? in the 2WW.

But as I was about to book my tickets, I just stopped. I don't have to be gone for 3 weeks...less than 2 is doable. Not ideal, but it can work. And maybe I'll regret missing the opportunity of TTC-ing that month, and more importantly, maybe I'll regret pushing back my treatments even further.

So I'm undecided. I'm sick of planning around TTC, I want to just plan like a normal person would plan. And it will be difficult getting everything taken care of in half the time that I expected to be there. But I'm afraid I'll regret missing the month and the subsequent delay in the next steps of treatment.

I was going to avoid all this by just going earlier, but my SIL's engagement is the weekend of the week I planned to I can't leave any earlier than after that. And I do have to go by the end of August.

Any advice? Would you take the month off and force yourself to relax? Or do you think you'd wish you hadn't "wasted" a month?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The New Baby in Our Family

DH's cousin and her husband and 5 month old baby have just immigrated to Canada from the "motherland" (which must remain unnamed as DH is a stickler for anonymity). They arrived here on Friday, completely exhausted and worn out from the long journey. They are staying with my in-laws until they're able to settle in and find a place of their own.

So...there's a new baby in our family now.

They came to our place today for lunch. Today the full wrath of AF showed; I was in a lot of pain, and just in time for them to come, I developed two very attractive and prominent zits where no one could miss them. Sigh.

But my awesome DH did a lot of the work, so that helped, and everything went fine, more or less.

Just before they left, his cousin took the baby to our bedroom to change him. He was lying on the bed, and one by one, everyone just gathered in our room. My in-laws never come into the bedroom, yet, here we all were, all standing around the bed, laughing, and cooing, and playing with a baby around my bed.

How strange that what I had imagined would be happening one day was indeed happening...but so differently than how I imagined it would be. How strange to think that I was so sure that by now, we would have all gathered around to be playing with my baby...yet there is no sign of any baby of mine...

Maybe being around a baby will help my body get its act together...since being surrounded by tons of pregnant women hasn't seemed to help yet!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gave In

I gave in to temptation...

and was not rewarded.

I'm 15 I don't really have any hope left to hold onto - I'm pretty sure it would have showed up by now.

Stupid BFN. :(

ETA: It's lovely how AF always shows up on the same day that I test.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I Had Two Eggs (No, Three!)

Our morning chat:

DH: hi sweetums
DH: how u feelin?

me: um ok
me: why?
me: something wrong?

DH: your tummy was hurtin last nite, so im checkin up on my [nickname for me]
(referring to the cramping I've been having)

me: oh thanks
me: so far so good
me: i had two eggs
me: 1 real, 1 fake
me: i really want the other real one

DH: how u know?

me: noooooo
me: i ate two eggs

DH: hehe...

Lol! He's finally thinking in TTC terms! Of course he forgot that the whole point of the ultrasound earlier in the week was to see how many eggs had been released, so we already knew that. So he doesn't quite have all the facts of the process down...but he's trying.

Yes, I did eat three eggs (two real, one egg beaters), but it was breakfast and lunch, and I went to the gym this morning! So I think it was okay. : )

No AF yet. Cramping continues, but less than before. I don't know what to make of that. I resisted testing this morning. I did temp, and my temp is still high...but it doesn't mean much - I could easily get AF on Saturday or Sunday (+/- 1 or 2 days is not unusual for me).

I'm trying not to hope for now...though I got really excited after Mandy and RM said they cramped at the very beginning when they got pregnant. Don't you guys know I'm trying not to get my hopes up?? :) Thank you for trying to be hopeful for me. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What a Cute Little Pregnant Woman

That I am not.

But I sure do look like one.

I caught a side-ways glance of myself in the mirror just now, and I do indeed resemble a cute little pregnant woman. I'm wearing one of those maternity-type shirts that are so popular these days which do wonders to emphasize cleavage but also emphasize how much weight I've put on during this TTC journey.

I've probably gained about as much weight as I would have during a pregnancy...which can't be good. Most of it has settled in my lower belly area, and looking pregnant doesn't really help me feel any better about how not pregnant I am.

I didn't realize how much weight I had gained until recently. I decided to weigh myself at the gym, and the number was higher than I've ever seen in my life...a good 30 lbs. over my wedding weight 3 years ago.

It's rather ironic, because I'm guessing this extra weight I'm carrying around isn't helping in the TTC department, but at the same time, the weight has come as a result of all this TTC-ing. I guess I have turned to food to comfort myself for all the disappointments, and now I can't seem to break out of this cycle.

What's scary is that I know many women gain weight due to TTC drugs and their side-effects - but I gained all this weight all on my own, before even the first round of Clomid. So I have already gained all the weight I could afford to and still not be considered overweight.

I'm just having a hard time snapping out of it. Each month with each fresh new disappointment, I just give in and let myself eat however I want. I'm not binging or anything, don't get the wrong idea - I just don't have the active lifestyle I used to after becoming a SAHW (I was on my feet all day long as a teacher), and I also am over-indulging in chocolate and other comfort foods.

The good news is that the local gym is now open at 7am, so hopefully I can get myself into a more regular routine of going to workout. It used to open at 8am, which was tough, because DH would need the car by then to go to work, but this way I can take the car and still be back before he needs to leave on most days.

Have you experienced unwanted weight gain during your TTC journey? Have you been able to battle it? What's working for you? I really need some motivation and good tips.

And as for all that hope I had a couple of days ago...gone. I've been cramping since yesterday, and I rarely cramp before AF comes, so I'm preparing myself for an especially vengeful AF in the next couple of days. :(

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hello, Nice to Meet You, I'm just a SAHW

Today after playing around with Feedjit while continuing to avoid cleaning the disaster zone that is my desk (and my dresser, and the chair which is piled dangerously high with clothes, and...most everything else), I realized that I actually get non-IF related visitors! Of course they don't comment, because they probably quickly realize I'm not what they're looking for at all.

Out of courtesy to all those visitors who want to know what being a stay at home wife is really all about, I thought I'd do a post to share just that.

Once upon a time, I had a dream...of being a teacher. (I have dreams of being a mother too, but I'll avoid talking about those for this post.) I went to school and worked super hard and double majored in early childhood and special ed. I graduated early and was too young to start teaching, so said my parents at least, and they encouraged me to go back to school for my MS. Which I did (thank you parents for the good advice!), and during my final semester, I started teaching.

Thus began one of the loves of my life. I taught first grade at our university's campus school - the school attached to the campus where all the cool educational research takes place. My school looped, so I had my kids again for second grade. I don't even know how to express how much I loved teaching, and how much I miss it and my kids. I put in 12 hour days at the school and would bring work home to work on for the few hours I had before I fell asleep out of exhaustion - and I loved every minute of it (well, most).

Then I got married, moved to Canada, and realized that Canada is a different country and I couldn't just get a job until my immigration went through. And that folks, is as exciting as it gets - I'm a stay at home wife because I couldn't legally work here for the last three years.

I named my blog "Just" a Stay at Home Wife because that's what I hear all the time these days. "So you got a masters and now you're 'just' a stay at home wife?" As though being a stay at home wife is so...lowly and unworthy.

People also don't realize that I've worked from home for the past two years (just quit last month so that I could enjoy true SAHW status - well, actually because I was getting overwhelmed with working and studying), and I'm enrolled in a full-time online religious studies program. So I'm not just a wife who sits at home and twiddles her thumbs and obsesses about having a baby (um, though I do obsess...occasionally...;).

So the meaning behind the blog name is two-fold - I'm not just a stay at home wife, there's so much more to me. I hate it when people make a snap judgment based on outward appearance, though unfortunately many people are very wont to do that. And secondly, even if I were "just" a stay at home wife, so what? What's so wrong about not working and enjoying being at home?

I do enjoy being home, though I miss teaching terribly. But because I'm a restless-type, I probably wouldn't want to be at home if I weren't studying or working - if I had neither of those (nor children) on my plate, I'd probably go crazy being at home. I just never pursued my work permit that actively in the beginning after coming here because I was so certain I'd be a SAHM by now.

For any other SAHWs who are home not by choice, I would suggest taking up a part-time job or course online - the options are endless. Just don't get yourself in too deep, like I did - because I'm almost as busy as when I used to work full-time. Alternately, you can look at this as the time you have to indulge in your hobbies and pastimes, time that will mysteriously disappear when you return to a "real" occupation.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...of obsessing about the arrival or non-arrival of AF on Friday (thanks for bringing me back to my senses friends, I'm not testing. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I'm tempted... pee on a stick.

[I just paused to think, anyone who has not TTC-ed would read that sentence and definitely think I have issues!]

I stopped testing about a year or so ago, because the disappointment of stark whiteness was too much for me to bear. What I found most frustrating is that there was never a clear no, because "it ain't over till the old hag shows." One day may be a negative, but there was always the next morning to test (and be disappointed again), and the next, and so on...until AF would show up, mocking me for getting my hopes up for nothing. The yo-yo of up and down each day was just too much. I resolved not to test unless AF was at least a day late - never happened, so I never got a chance to test, and I haven't used a pregnancy test in more than a year.

But this time, I feel a bit of temptation to test...just to see. Though I don't want to see that whiteness, that nothingness that so blindingly stares back at you. I suppose I'm tempted to test because I am feeling a bit more hopeful than usual - for the first time in a few cycles, we did everything right - things couldn't have been better. But at the same time, I don't want to let myself have that hope, because I've had many, many perfectly-timed cycles before too. I don't want to get my hopes up only to be shot down again. That was what made TTC the first several months so acutely painful - so much hope, and that hope would be crushed time after time.

How do you balance having hope yet staying grounded, so you don't crash if your hopes aren't fulfilled? Should I go for it, or should I do what's been working for me for the last year?

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Ovulated

Yay. Woohoo.

Today was my third appointment with the fabulous vag cam. It's getting easier and easier, but it still doesn't quite fall under my list of fun or relaxing activities.

The techs were so excited to show me a big black blob, which is the egg that was released earlier this month.

"You ovulated!!!"

"Um...". I couldn't come up with anything more intelligent, because so what if I ovulated? I have been, most likely every single month since I was ten. I had to get the wand up my you-know-what to tell me what I already knew?

"Well, that's what we were looking for!"

I hated to burst their bubble, but I had to.

"Well, I don't have any problems ovulating, this was just supposed to give me a boost."

"Oh." That was all they could come up with.

Stupid Clomid has turned me into a hormonal lunatic, and I only got one egg out of it! One egg that I produce just fine on my own every month, thank you very much.

Sigh...I was secretly having twin fantasies...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pretty Words

Got this idea from Kym's blog...pretty cool, isn't it?
[Yes, somehow I have recovered from the crazy mood swing that occurred just 20 minutes ago.]

Clomid Crazy

Is Clomid supposed to make you crazy for your whole entire cycle?? These mood swings are driving me nuts! And I don't think DH understands what's going on either. I just had a big crying fit on the phone because he's going to play tennis with one of his friends, but I wanted to play with him today. I've been snapping at him all week. It's like suddenly, I'm on PMS squared 24/7 - there's no telling what's going to set me off, but for the most part, if it can, it will. I've already why am I still acting like a lunatic? Now I can see why people hate Clomid (or rather, it's side-effects) so much. When does this end??

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I missed you all. :)

I really did. I didn't spend much time thinking about IF and pregnancy or the lack-thereof, but I did think of you all and miss reading everyone's stories and finding out what was going on in your lives. I'm so, so grateful for this community.

[Done with the sap for now. :)]

Back to Reality

We had a lovely trip, filled with emotional mood-swings, hot flashes, dropping the camera into the Atlantic Ocean, running out of gas and getting stranded in the middle of the Everglades, leaving the iPod and memory cards in the rental (which have since "disappeared"), and getting a flat 20 miles away from the airport which caused us to miss our flight and be forced to shell out $200 to take a flight the next day and $60 for a hotel room.

It really was a great trip though. :)

I relaxed like I haven't in so long, and it felt so good. We had a lot of "lessons" (aka mishaps) on the trip (we also lost the cell phone in the Keys, but after a good bit of careful beach-combing, we did find it safe in the sand, thank God), but we took them as lessons, not disasters, and they made us more grateful for all that we have.

DH and I had been planning a Florida trip since before we were married. It took us about three years to get our act together, but we finally did it! We flew to Orlando, rented a car, and drove down the west coast, through the Keys, then back up the east coast. Our families think we're crazy, but we enjoy road trips, and it was the perfect mix for both of us - I love being at the beach and in the water, DH loves seeing lots of new places. I rarely thought about TTC or not being pregnant, which was really nice.

The only reminder I had of IF at all was the obnoxious hot flashes. Now I finally understand what my mom is going through (albeit at a smaller scale)! Instantaneously, out of nowhere, I would break out into a sweat. Then, a few minutes later, I'd be freezing. Thank God that a/c vents in the car open and close so easily. :)

We were stranded at the Orlando airport on our anniversary (3rd!), which we had planned to spend at home with my family (we got married in my home city). My parents were disappointed, but we pretended like we were having a surprise anniversary getaway and made the most of it, and we ended up having a pretty nice evening.

We went home for the weekend for my cousin's wedding - amazing how far blogging can take you. :) It was a nice, simple, at-home affair, and we all had a lovely time. I had no baby questions the whole trip!!

And now we're back, having escaped the heat wave in the South, and now enjoying the Canadian summer. I'm bracing myself for some baby questions this weekend; we have two big weddings of friends, and I know we'll see a lot of people who last saw me 25 lbs. ago.

Pictures to come tomorrow, or perhaps after the busy weekend. : )