A year ago

A year ago today, I found out I was pregnant with Puppet, our Baby #2. After trying to conceive for eight months, I promised myself I wouldn’t test until I was late, but we were about to head to the farm for the weekend and I really couldn’t wait any longer. I snuck upstairs and took a cheap internet strip test. The second line was super faint – a real squinter – but there was definitely something there!

On the way home from the farm, I made D stop so we could buy a FRER and a digital. Both positive. Woohoo!

I guess we never really expected that anything would go wrong after that. Right away, D asked me if I thought September would be a good time to have a baby. (Littleman is a January babe). We imagined what the summer would be like (me very pregnant, enjoying the new pool at the farm) and even stopped to check out some options for new, bigger cars (we finally bought one last month).

A year ago today, I never guessed I would be sitting here, at the farm, without that baby. I guess I’m still working on moving on from the loss. I can feel Baby Bo moving around inside me as I write this and it brings me so much joy. But I can’t help missing what may have been today.

Hurtful words

I know that many of us have encountered rude people who said dumb shit throughout our TTC or pregnancy journeys, but sometimes it still catches me totally off guard.

For example, I was talking to my aunt last weekend.  To give some context, she’s in her 60s, never married, no kids and lived with my grandmother until she passed away a few years ago.  She’s from the Italian side of my family and they’ve always had some strong (and rather old-fashioned) opinions. 

Our conversation started with her telling me about her 28-year-old god-daughter who got married last year.  Then she says, “I told them they better have kids right away.” 

Comments like that really irk me.  It’s none of her business.  Maybe they don’t want kids.  Or maybe they do and they want to wait a bit.  Or maybe they’re already trying.  OR maybe they know they can’t have kids.

Before I could even respond to that, she continued on.  “Because you know what can happen when people wait too long to have kids.”

WHAT?!  Is she commenting on my miscarriage?  Holy shit.  She totally is. 

I’ve never been good at coming up with witty responses on the spot but I did manage to say something like, “things like that can happen to anyone at anytime.”   To which she replied, “yes, but…” and raised her eyebrows.

That is when I found an excuse to get up and walk away.

I know I probably should have educated her or at least pointed out how hurtful and disrespectful it is to make comments like that, but I really didn’t want to ruin my Thanksgiving weekend by getting into it with someone who would likely never be able to understand what I was talking about. 

After she left the next day, I told D and my mom about it.  They were both appalled, which helped confirm that my reaction was appropriate.  (For a while, I feared that my pregnancy hormones were causing me to overreact).   

I know that some people – especially those who have never struggled to conceive or who have never miscarried – may not always think about how the things they say may impact another person.  But I don’t believe that you need to go through those struggles to be able to have compassion.  I don’t always begrudge people asking if someone plans to have children.  I know it often comes from a place of caring and true interest.  However, to me, that’s different than offering “advice” like my aunt did.    When I hear obnoxious comments like hers, I feel protective of those on the receiving end, even if I don’t know them.  I know how much those kind of words can hurt.

I guess this was a good reminder to me that hurtful words can come from anyone at anytime, no matter how close they are to me or how unexpected.  I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have said those sorts of things even without the experiences that I’ve had, but I also know that I’ve become more careful over the past few years about the words I choose and the questions I ask.  I’m going to work on standing up to people who say things that bother me so that, hopefully, they can learn from the situation.

Talking it out

I had lunch with one my former colleagues (who is also a good friend) yesterday.  She’s about to turn 30 and started trying to conceive around the same time that I did back in 2009.    She was one of the few people I talked to at the time about our TTC journey.  It was nice to have someone to talk to who understood what it was like to try and fail each month. A little over a year after we both began trying to conceive, I got pregnant with Littleman.  I know it was hard for her when I told her I was pregnant, but I think it also gave her some hope.

Now, four years after starting her journey, she is about to start IVF. 

It was interesting listening to her talk about what she’s been through.  She shared with me the guilt she feels in knowing that the fertility issues are with her body, not her husband’s.  She told me how nervous she is to start the IVF process.  She’s scared of the drugs she’ll have to take and what it will do to her body.  And, of course, I’m sure she’s nervous that it won’t be successful.  I hope so very much that this works for her.

We haven’t told people about my current pregnancy yet but I decided I would talk to her about it.  I know that I can trust her to keep it to herself.  She knows what I’ve been through and, although she’s never been pregnant and hasn’t suffered a loss, I think she understands the fact that the worry doesn’t end when you get pregnant.  For some of us, the worry and stress is only just beginning.  Despite the differences in our personal situations, it was good to have someone to talk to.  It helped me feel less crazy.

Right now, my worry and stress is about to get more intense.  When I got home from work, there was a message on my answering machine reminding me that I have my first ultrasound scheduled for Monday morning.  So, I’ll be on pins and needles all weekend.  Ultrasounds used to be exciting for me, but now they are just downright terrifying.    D will be working all weekend, so Littleman and I will be on our own.  I’m hoping we can stay busy so I won’t have time to stress about the upcoming appointment.  Fat chance.

An interesting turn of events

After writing about my questionable spotting at 8 dpo, I had one more day of on-and-off spotting and then it was gone.

In the interest of full disclosure here, I broke down and tested on Friday after work.  This was two days after the spotting began so I thought maybe, just maybe, there was a chance.  With my last pregnancy, I tested positive two days after my spotting.  Not this time.   It was, as expected (and feared), a BFN.  I was only 9 dpo, so I know it was silly to even try testing.  Except for in the very early months of trying to conceive baby #1, I never test that early.  In fact, most months I don’t bother to test at all.  But somehow I have this huge pile of internet tests in my drawer.  I totally don’t remember ordering that many and am convinced they mixed up my order and sent me extra HPTs instead of OPKs.

Anyway, the weekend was busy and kept me reasonably distracted.  We drove to the farm on Friday night (complete with Littleman getting carsick in the back of my parent’s car…so gross!) and then my aunts and uncles visited us there for a night.  D took the weekend off from doing chores at the farm so we got to spend some nice time together.  We visited a friend’s farm so Littleman could see the cows and sheep.  We stopped at a chip truck for a hot dog.  All in all, it was a fun weekend.  

hot dog

Chowing down!

On Sunday afternoon, I started to get suspicious that my usual pre-period spotting hadn’t started yet.  I was 11 dpo.  I tried to resist the urge to test again, but with that stupid pile of tests just sitting there and it being Father’s Day, I ended up going for it.  I mean, wouldn’t a BFP be a great Father’s Day gift?  Immediately after I dipped the test stick, I started kicking myself for putting myself through the torture of another negative test.  But then, right around the five-minute mark, I saw this:

11 dpo

11 dpo

Do you see it?  I barely did and thought that perhaps I was making things up.  So, rather than showing D (who I knew wouldn’t believe it because it was so faint) I did what any crazy, stressed-out, trying-to-conceive woman would do.  I posted it on canyouseealine.com for a bunch of crazy, stressed-out, trying-to-conceive strangers to judge.

I decided to keep this possible positive to myself until I had more firm confirmation.  I woke up yesterday morning (12 dpo) and tried again with the internet tests.  Twice (yep, I’m crazy like that).  Still pretty faint and didn’t show up until five minutes or so, but I was pretty sure I could see something:

12 dpo

12 dpo

I decided it was time to bring out the serious equipment, so I hit up the drug store for some (nauseatingly expensive) FRERs and a Clear Blue Digital.   I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait until morning, so I faked it by not drinking or peeing all afternoon.  I snuck into the bathroom as soon as I got home, while D was busy washing some windows.  I took one of the FRERs and got this:

12 dpo

12 dpo

Woohoo, this is real!  Holy shit, this is real.  I told D that I had forgotten to give him one of his Father’s Day presents and handed him the test.  He broke into huge grin and said, “First try?  Really?”  I’m pretty sure he was as shocked as I was.

So here we are.  Am I excited?  Not sure yet.  I want to be.  Am I nervous?  Definitely.  D and I talked a bit about it last night and I think we both feel the same way.  We’re obviously happy and hopeful but we know now that things can go wrong.  I guess you could say we’ve lost our innocence. 

I’ve left a message for Dr. P’s office and we’ll see what he has to say about next steps.  I’m definitely a little shaky and freaking out a bit.  But, for now it seems that I’m pregnant!

Too many weeks

Last night, I lay in bed assessing my attempt at distracting myself during my two week wait.  I did extremely well during the first week, but I’ve been failing miserably during week two.

As I lay there, I wondered how many two week waits I’ve endured.  When I add together all my pregnancy attempts, it turns out that I’m currently in my 23rd TWW.

That’s 46 weeks!!!

In the past four years, I’ve spent 46 weeks wishing, hoping, wondering, googling and stressing.  Holy shit.  That’s a lot of weeks.  Too many weeks.  That’s almost an entire year!

I know that there are people out there who have spent even longer (some much, much longer) in TWW limbo land.  What an unpleasant place to be.

I’m hoping this realization will knock some sense in to me.  Do I really want to waste any more of my life locked inside my head, over-analyzing and stressing myself out?  Or do I want to let things happen as they will and enjoy every moment, no matter what time of the month it is?

I think the answer to that one is pretty clear.

I’m officially restarting my attempt to ignore my TWW.  Bring on the weekend!

Could it be IB?

It appears that yesterday’s post was extremely timely.  This morning, after using the washroom, I had a spot of red mucus on the toilet paper.  It was actually more of a glob (sorry, that sounds gross) and was probably a bit smaller than pea-sized. 

My first reaction was minor panic.  Anything red tends to stress me out.  But then, of course, my mind went right to the very topic I was thinking about yesterday.  Could this be implantation bleeding?  According to Fertility Friend, I’m 8dpo.  And, according to FF’s Pregnancy Monitor (which, I’ve decided I hate, by the way) only “6.7% of pregnancy charts show spotting at 8dpo.  18.2% less than for non pregnant charts.”  Great.  Those are pretty crappy odds.

Up until now, I had been doing really will with my vow not to obsess about how I’m feeling or google random symptoms this month.  But this current development has driven me right back to the internet.  Damn, I have no willpower.

Implantation Bleeding: fact or fiction?

I’ve always been a spotter.  At least, I’ve spotted ever since I went off birth control in 2009.   I can’t remember if I spotted much prior to going on birth control many, many years ago.   I guess it wasn’t really something I would have cared about back then.

When we first started trying to conceive Littleman in 2009, I experienced some light brown spotting before my period was due.  I remember googling something like “spotting before period while trying to conceive.”  The results were my first introduction to the phenomenon known as implantation bleeding.  I remember thinking to myself, “this is it!  We did it!  I’m pregnant for sure!”

Of course, a couple of days later, my period showed up.  This went on for months and months.  And, although I knew the spotting was likely just that – spotting – I never really gave up on the hope that it would turn out to mean implantation had occurred.

When we hit our fourteenth month of TTC, I spent my two week wait in the usual way.  Waiting, hoping, googling.  All of a sudden, I realized that I hadn’t spotted.    When I finally gave in and took a test around 14dpo, I think I already kind of knew.  I didn’t have one speck of spotting and I got my BFP!  So, at that point, I decided that this whole implantation bleeding thing was a myth.

Fast forward to 2012 and TTC baby #2.  As usual, the spotting occurred regularly before my periods.  During some cycles it even happened for as many as 6-8 days before my period arrived.   The spotting was always such a disappointment.  It dashed my hopes each month because I knew right away that it meant I wasn’t pregnant.  On the positive side, it saved me some money on HPTs.  No point in testing early when I was spotting.

In December 2012, I wasn’t taking my temperature or using OPKs.  But I did monitor my CM and mark down my period.  I had some light spotting in the second half of my cycle.  I remember it being light pinky mucus and it happened a couple of times when I wiped over a span of two days.  Since I was pretty certain we had missed most of my fertile window due to holidays, sickness and D’s work schedule, I figured this was my usual pre-period spotting.

Turns out, I was wrong.  The spotting disappeared all together so I gave into my temptation to test.  BFP!  Looking back, based on our intercourse timing, I can guess that the spotting happened around 8-9dpo.  Implantation bleeding?  Perhaps.  Something else?  Maybe.

Now that I’m well into the TWW, I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for the inevitable internal debate: implantation bleeding vs. pre-period spotting. UGH.

4dpo: avoiding going crazy

So, Fertility Friend decided I’ve ovulated and tells me that I’m now 4dpo.  I don’t totally agree with her – I think I’m 3dpo – but, either way, it looks like I’m into the dreaded two week wait.

This time, I’ve told myself that I’m not going to spend as much time fretting over possible signs and symptoms.  I’ve promised myself that I won’t lurk on the TTC message boards or google every little strange feeling I have.  I know that doing that stuff is bad for my mental health.  I don’t have amazing self-control but I will try my best to keep busy and distract myself with other things…

Like reading blogs!  I love reading other people’s stories.  Some people are going through tough times and I feel like I can totally relate.  Even though I wouldn’t wish a miscarriage on my worst enemy, it’s reassuring to know that there are other people out there who know what I’ve been dealing with.  I’m so thankful to those people who have reached out and offered words of encouragement and advice.

And then there are the good news stories!  I feel so happy to read about people who are pregnant now after struggling with trying to conceive or dealing with a loss.  Or the people who are so strong and living through whatever life has thrown at them.  It gives me hope.

Anyway, I’m not sure how successful I will be with my moratorium on googling, but I’ll do what I can.  Right now, it’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon , so I think I’ll leave all my internet-connected devices inside and sit on the back deck to read my book while Littleman naps.



It’s CD 16 and I’m pretty sure I ovulated today.  As I whined earlier this week, I’ve cracked out all my supplies and am tracking my cycles on my Fertility Friend app.

I’ve decided that I strongly dislike OPKs.  I hate staring at them and watching the test line get darker, but not being totally sure if it’s actually as dark  as the control line or if it’s just kind of dark.  With all the technology available in our world, can’t someone invent a more clear test?

Anyway, yesterday I had two definitely positive OPKs.  I had decided to start testing twice a day so that I wouldn’t miss my surge.  I noticed when trying to conceive in the past that, during a couple of my cycles, the test line never got quite as dark as the control line.  I figured by testing twice a day, I would maximize my chances of catching my surge.  Seems to have worked!  Yesterday morning, the test line was as dark as the control line.  In the afternoon, the test line was even darker than the control line.  Woohoo, we have a surge!

I also had quite a bit of ewcm from CD 13-15, so I knew it was time to get down to business.

I don’t have high expectations of succeeding this month – and I still can’t really believe we’re back to this craziness of scheduling our “relations” – but it feels good to see that my body seems to be doing what it’s supposed to be doing.  At least that’s one step in the right direction.

I hate this stuff

I forgot how much I hate charting.  I hate when my alarm goes off in the morning and I feel like I’m going to pee my pants but I can’t get out of bed until my thermometer beeps to tell me it’s finished recording my temperature.  I hate when I drink too much water during the day so I worry that my pee is too diluted for the OPK to detect anything.  Or when I don’t have to pee at all and then I worry that I’m going to miss my surge. (And, why does all this stuff somehow always relate back to peeing??)


Stupid stash of OPKs and HPTs

Before we started trying to conceive Littleman back in 2009, I went to see my family doctor for advice.  Once we were ready for kids, I wanted to be prepared and make sure that we maximized our chances of conceiving.  She told me to just relax and enjoy it.  She told me not to make it too clinical.  But really, what did she know?  She was all of 15 years old!  (OK, maybe she was 20…25 max.)  Being the planner and worrier that I am, I decided to do some research on my own, just to make sure I had all the information I needed.

I had read about charting but, in the beginning, aside from marking down when each period started, I didn’t bother tracking anything else.  My cycles were a bit wacky after going off the pill but I still figured that unprotected sex would lead to pregnancy.  That’s what they teach you when you’re a teenager, right?

After six months (and a lot of reading about fertility) I decided to start tracking things more seriously.  I bought myself a basal thermometer and started tracking my cervical mucus (which, coincidentally, is not something I ever imagined thinking about let alone writing about!)  Of course, this was all back in the dark ages (i.e. before I owned an iPhone) so I would print out a hard copy of a fertility chart and mark it up by hand.

Three years later, when we started trying for #2, I already knew what to do. By this point, I had my Fertility Friend app all ready to go.  I started tracking my cycles as soon as my period returned after stopping breastfeeding, just so that we’d be ready.  I ordered a new stash of OPKs online so that I could start testing.

When I got pregnant with #2 in December 2012 after eight months (ironically, I got pregnant during the one month that I didn’t chart my cycle) I felt so relieved that I could officially stop all this charting nonsense.  We didn’t plan on having more than two kids, so this should have been when I could ditch all the TTC equipment for good.

As it turns out, things don’t always go as planned (much to the dismay of my plan-aholic self) so here we are again.  Back to taking my temperature in the morning.  Back to peeing on command.  And back to waiting for an iPhone app to add a stupid line to my chart, proving that I ovulated.

In the past few weeks, I was finally starting to feel a bit better about what happened to me.  I was having some good days and I think it was because I knew that there was nothing I could do about my situation.  But now that we’ve got the “all clear” to start trying and the time is upon us to “get busy,” I’m starting to feel sad again.  I guess all of this stuff is just a reminder of how much we want another baby and how excited we were that we were going to have one.  I know (and fully expect) that this may take a while so the fact that we are starting over again – pretty much exactly where we were a year ago – feels shitty.