Saturday, April 19, 2014

Maybe This Time

I started a new cycle yesterday. To tell you the truth,  I have mixed feelings about it this time.

See, for as much as I want this fight to be over, I was hesitant about having a December due date again. A dear friend of mine told me that if it happened, to take it as a good thing--a chance for joy to come in where there has previously been pain. And she was absolutely right. But that would have taken some time, and until that happened I could see myself having a lot of anxiety.

Of course, it didn't happen. I honestly have a lot more hope for this new cycle than I did for the last one. The cycle after I tried the shots the first time I had a chemical pregnancy. Obvious ovulation signs. Increased CM to the point where I was a little confused. Ovulation/implantation spotting. I did the shots last cycle and I had obvious ovulation signs again. Good CM. Lots of symptoms during my LP. Similar to the first time on the shots.

In my head, it makes sense to me that this cycle will be "it". But I feel like I am setting myself up for a whole lot of heartache by even having those thoughts.

To me that is the hardest thing about TTC. Not having the privilege of just hoping like a normal person. Because a little disappointment never hurt anyone. Being disappointed the same exact way so many times that you've lost count? That changes you. Significantly.

I'm not really in a bad place right now. I'm just tired. I'm sick of it. But my choices are to keep trying or to just give up. So...what exactly am I supposed to do?

I'm just telling it like it is. It's just the facts of what I'm dealing with. It's not to bitch and moan or complain. It's just...This is my reality. This is my every day, every month choice. And I truthfully don't know how many times I can make it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

{Currently}

I've been clearing out clutter inside and out lately! I am working on collecting items for a garage sale (pricing as I go to save time later!) and I am also getting the flower beds and garden ready for planting! Needless to say, that also involves digging. I'm hoping to have at least some of my herbs planted (in containers just in case it gets cold again!) before Easter.

I have also been mixing up more homemade cleaners this week. Spring cleaning, man! I made some of my lemon kitchen cleaner, window cleaner (better than windex and SO easy!) and I also used a really simple trick to freshen my carpets and furniture--baking soda. I sprinkled it all over my living room floor and on my furniture (I removed what cushions I could and did those separately) using a fine mesh strainer to break up any clumps. I let it sit for...awhile. Honestly I don't really know because Kitchen Nightmares started in the middle of it and dinner was ready so I ended up taking a long break. But it certainly didn't hurt! Anyway, the minimum wait time is an hour and then you just vacuum it up! I noticed that it smelled nice and fresh afterwards, but without any chemically odors.

I have been reading A Feast for Crows, book 4 in the Song of Fire and Ice series. Aka, Game of Thrones. I'm close to halfway through and this one has been the most difficult to read so far. I'm not sure exactly why! When I'm not working through that book, I've started rewatching House on Netflix. I watched a lot of it but never got all the way through and I've been waiting for it to come to Netflix. Chris is watching a lot of Top Gear on Netflix as well. I actually don't mind it!

Otherwise, we are just getting ready for Easter. My car has been stuck in the garage all week because Chris did some repairs on our driveway and we desperately needed more rock to levels things out (there is about an 8 inch drop from the concrete pad in front of the garage to the ground where Chris dug it out) and get rid of the mud but we got more rain the night before it was supposed to be delivered and we had to put it on hold. The rock came today so hopefully he can finish it up tonight! My big project has been to clean and freshen everything because both of our families are coming for Easter--together! I'm actually excited and really hopeful that I will have both my nieces here together!

So there it is! Be sure to check out our hosts Ot & Et and Harvesting Kale




TTC Thursday: Keeping it Fun

Disclaimer: this post is all about sex. If it makes you uncomfortable, I totally understand if you pass on it! But sex is kind of the main event when it comes to TTC, so I don't think it's possible to discuss TTC without bringing it up. In any case, there's the warning! 

It was suggested that I blog about how TTC is overrated and the very first thing that came to mind was this picture...
Don't get me wrong...it's not completely unpleasant. But that right here is the most overrated comment about TTC that I've heard. I mean really...
That is what TTC is, friends. Timing, peeing on sticks, examining cervical mucus and then laying around with your legs up in the air (I'm only halfway kidding!). Never mind meds, supplements, shots, and taking your temperature daily. 
Yes. Trying is the fun part. 

In all seriousness, TTC can put a drain on the romance, which doesn't end up being good for the couple. Even my doctor reminded me that you need to be with your husband because you love him and you want to be--not just because the calendar says that the "baby makin' days" have arrived. 

So when you're a long-term TTC couple, how do you keep things fun?

I'll admit, we haven't really reached a point where it feels like a chore. Part of that has to do with the fact that Chris has only recently been really invested in TTC. (It's not that he hasn't been, it just took him a lot longer to realize that we were different.)

I think that the biggest thing for us is to keep things lighthearted and humorous. We joke about things, and Chris has compared me to a character in The Big Lebowski (the lady trying to get pregnant...who I now remember is Julianne Moore!). I try to make sure that I do my OPKs before Chris gets home, or while he's in the shower. I don't make those a big deal, but I don't hide them either. I try to be casual about letting him know that "it's a good day". The point for me is to not put pressure on either one of us. But it hasn't always been like that. 

A year ago, I wasn't in this place. I remember having lots of anxiety when it got close to ovulation. I would get really angry and frustrated if it didn't happen. But I wasn't exactly communicating about it with Chris either. It was a learning process for me to figure out how to communicate while not piling on the pressure. It helped a lot when he finally understood that we aren't normal and that we were actually going to have to work at getting pregnant. 

Now that we have worked out that communication issue, things have been a lot better. I found that talking about it relieved some of the pressure because we both know what is going on and I don't feel like I have to nag about it. 

We also make sure that we spend time together doing things unrelated to TTC. Simple things like running errands, working on projects together, making dinner together, watching our favorite shows and laughing together...all of those help us stay connected on a different level apart from TTC. Basically, it's making sure that TTC isn't the only part of life. 

One last thing that has helped us has been to take breaks from actively TTC. If I start feeling anxious or stressed out about things, I take a step back. I do the bare minimum for charting and just go with the flow. Doing things to lessen your stress does not hurt. It took me awhile to understand that because it felt like not actively trying would be a waste of a cycle. But I've learned that you have to give yourself breaks so that you don't get worn down. It's exhausting! It's hard on you emotionally, mentally and even physically! So give yourself a break once in awhile. 

To sum it up...humor, communication, connecting outside of TTC and letting us take a break from actively TTC (if needed) are all things that have helped us stay out of the "feels like a chore" rut that many TTC couples fall into. That's not to say that we are perfect, but I'm really happy with where we are. TTC is a rough road and staying connected with your spouse is so important! 

How do you stay out of the ruts during TTC or other stressful life events?

EDITED to add the following picture. Chris told me that I reminded him of this one day and it made me laugh! 
Julianne Moore as Maude Lebowski 


All pictures were found on Pinterest and Google. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Anti-holiday Me

I'm feeling very anti-holiday. In fact, I downright hate them all right now. 

I promise that this time it has nothing to do with TTC. Nothing remotely. 

It has everything to do with scheduling. And conflicts. And trying to make everyone happy. And failing. 

I'd rather just skip them all entirely, but that's generally frowned upon. Unless you have sick children because nobody wants them around to spread the germs. 

At this point, I'm thinking of moving away. That's the next best solution. 

Yep. I'll just have to move.


Friday, April 11, 2014

{Currently}

For more {Currently} posts, please visit our hosts! Harvesting Kale and Ot & Et.

This week our themes are dropping, making, wearing, kissing and keeping.

I'm dropping the clutter this week! I gave the living room bookshelf a once-over and pulled all the books I wanted to purge. I sorted them yesterday and got about 30 books to either donate or take to a local used bookstore. I also boxed up some other items to donate and I'm starting to get ready for a garage sale with my mom and sister later this spring.

Chris and I are also making plans for the garden and flower beds. We totally revamped the big flower bed out front but need to repair and refresh the ones on the side of the house. Seriously, they get ratty looking. They are weed magnets and have started sinking really bad, and the retaining wall supporting them has all but washed out. Plus I made the mistake of planting strawberries and mint there. Traveling plants they are, and impossible to get rid of. I'd like to see the dying bush go away, the retaining wall and outer walls dug up and refreshed, and plastic and rock laid down. I'm planning on using containers for whatever plants we want because they'll be mostly herbs and I could move them into a greenhouse (which I admit has yet to be built) during the fall and winter. Just an idea.

Yesterday I was wearing flip flops for the first time this year. Yay! I also had all the windows open and it was awesome.

I think it goes without saying that I like kissing my hubby. It's also pretty funny when Kinley gets so excited about riding in the car that he spends 5 minutes licking my cheek. While I'm driving. Probably not the greatest idea ever.

And of course, life right now is all about keeping busy because I'm about halfway through another two week wait--but who's counting? I'm actually super relaxed about it this cycle which is all kinds of awesome. Of course I already have my hopes up about next cycle (for reasons that I'll explain...sometime. I need to do some research on some stuff first.) so I'm actually kind of ready to get on with it.

And that about sums it all up. Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

TTC Thursday: Question for You

Hey all! I've honestly been in a little bit of a funk about TTC Thursday. I mean, there are only so many times that I can rattle off my cycle day and say "nothing happening over here!"

So...what TTC/infertility/miscarriage recovery related topics would you like to hear about?? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Play Dates

The other day, my mom mentioned a play date that she had set up for my niece and sister with a couple of moms. She met them through a local gym where she babysits. Anyway, she was talking about how my sister needs friends and my niece needs friends...which is true. But then she mentioned--almost as an afterthought--that I could do too, if I wanted. I didn't really say one way or the other, but the truth is that I don't want to go for a play date with women my age and their kids.

I mean, why would I want to do that to myself? I would stand out. The only one without kids. I couldn't participate in conversation. I have no birth story that has a happy ending. I have no percentiles to compare or accomplishments to share. I can't offer advice on sleeping schedules or nursing.

It's already difficult enough with my friends and family. I love them, but gatherings sometimes make me sad. Not enough to avoid them, but sometimes I just feel so completely out of place. Left out.

What's even worse is that outings like that are the things that I can't wait for. The things that I wish I could do. I've confessed before that I have kid fever as opposed to baby fever. Well, this stuff is part of that.

So...no. I'm not going. I just don't see the point in putting myself through that.

Is that bitter and angry of me? Maybe. I just know that I have to have boundaries about certain things. My heart can only take so much.