Posts Tagged 'basal body tempurature'

Well Trained, But No Bone

One of the weirdest parts of this whole process is seeing signs in everything. Not faces in toast, but “see, because of that, I must be pregnant.” It’s constant during the two waiting weeks of each cycle. This time the sign was brought to us by our dog… in her mouth.

Last weekend, we had an unusual weather day in the Northwest and decided to walk to our nearest dog park to let the pooch run and for us to enjoy the strange, warmth-giving orb in the sky. The park was filled, and our anti-social girl takes off to the tree-shaded area where she likes to hunt but never catch squirrels. We usually follow a pace or two behind to keep an eye so she doesn’t decide to run out of the park altogether. This one time, we were so D deprived that we decided as long as we could see her tail, we could stay way on the opposite hill and enjoy the sun. Well, after a minute or two, we see her tail making strange spazzy movements. K said it looked like she was doing the crouch-n’-pounce with a small dog; this seemed likely because, if she’s gonna deign to play with any dog, she’ll do so with small dogs. But then we decided to start walking toward her and see what was what. At the same time, she starts trotting toward us, in sight of all the dogs and people and god, lifting her legs like a show pony, proudly displaying the fattest squirrel I’ve ever seen hanging limply in her mouth. We were horrified (I have a strong aversion to rodents bordering on a phobia). We got her to drop it, and I grabbed a big stick to keep her away from it while we panicked about what to do. A very unhelpful male human informed us that we’d better get rid of the very fresh kill before other dogs start messing with it. Well, we only had the plastic newspaper sleeve we brought along for Killer’s poop, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to use my hand to lift that thing and try to shove it through the 6-inch diameter hole of the trash can. I asked a stranger to use her cell and called the Park dept., but of course they were closed. We had no choice but to suck it up, put the leash on, and take that park-length walk of shame in front of all the judging eyes — leaving the carcass right where it was. After getting home and calling around, we realized no one was going to clean that thing up but us. So we drove back this time, with a shovel, garbage bag, and no dog. Having to do a disgusting thing, having been horrified and humiliated by the action of our dog, I was sure that we passed some huge universe parenting test. I saw the big, furry, glassy-eyed sign that I had to be pregnant this time.

Alas.

A couple days ago, the PMS signs started rolling in. And as much as everyone tells me they are the same symptoms as pregnancy, I say that I have come to this point in so many cycles, in my own body, thank you very much, that I know what these signs were saying. I won’t go into them here, but once my temperature dropped, I knew. The negative pregnancy tests were just the verification I needed to stop taking the twice-a-day progesterone pills that have been fueling this latest loop of my hormone roller coaster.

With all my crying, poor K had to ask my mom, who was here a couple weeks ago, to come back and take care of her baby. I feel 12, but I have to say I am really looking forward to some more sympathy cuddles. In the meantime, I’ve decided that I’m emotionally and mentally nearing my limit. I want to move directly to IVF. If that doesn’t work, then I feel we’re done. I’m only 35 for fuck’s sake. And I’ll be done trying to have a baby?!

Is this really my life?

I’ve been seeing and hearing physicist Brian Greene making the NPR and Colbert Report rounds this week about his new book on parallel universes. I totally buy it, even if it’s just based on math at this point. Because somewhere along the way, my life switched with another “my life” that I am less familiar with. In that other life I’ve been leading, we are all at the park: me, K, our kid, and both my parents, and we are enjoying the sun while our dog chases squirrels from tree to tree — and, as always, failing to catch any.

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So Close/Far Away

Riddles:
How many times did I hear that many women get pregnant the cycle after having an HSG?
How many people would assume that, if you’re actively trying to get pregnant, inseminate after an HSG, and miss your period, you’re pregnant?

Now, take both of those numbers and subtract them from themselves.
The result? Zero! The number of pregnancies I’ve had!

Let me explain… We were on a break(!) when we discovered our donor is planning to move away soon. Since we’ve tried so many times unsuccessfully, we decided to have a look inside my stuff to see if there were blockages keeping the sperm from getting to the egg. I was hesitant to get the HSG because I heard it could be painful and because I didn’t want to know if I did have blockages. But, in fact, the test wasn’t horrible and my passages are free and clear. So we inseminate. And inseminate. And… no clear ovulation. No temperature rise. No dark, solid line on the ovulation pee stick. We just kept throwing sperm up there (on his last visit, our donor said I had so much sperm in me I could probably score at a gay bar).

On days 19-21, I had spotting and cramping. I dreaded the period that was to follow because the pain has been so hysterically bad in the recent past and I was due to be either on a plane or at my father’s grave site when it hit. But check this out: the period never came. Like, ever. I don’t only not miss my period, I am very regular (in a short-cycle kinda way). The whole time I was in my hometown, I was sneaking pees on pregnancy tests and feeling a little giddy. The tests kept saying NO, but my lower abdomen felt different (psychosomatic says “what?”). Once I was back home, I began to realize this period wasn’t coming. I wanted to know for sure and right away that I was or wasn’t pregnant so I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to inseminate. My doc ordered a blood test (stat), which confirmed, despite the week of feeling really cool—like a girl with a fairy in her pocket—that I am not pregnant.

So, do it. Inseminate! Had I gotten my period when I was supposed to, I’d be just about to ovulate. The catch? No donor. Still out of town on holiday. I peed on sticks regardless. I saw a couple of lines get close to an LH surge and saw a rise in temperature. All too late.

What the heck? How could a little test mess me up so I skip an ovulation and a period? I know people sometimes skip periods. But not me. Ever!!! Am I done ovulating normally now? Did I embody the youngest and quickest menopause in the history of womankind?

The quandary leaves me spinning (happy sixth night, btw). I feel so out of whack. When I do get another period, what do I do? What timetable do I count on? Should I just find the cash and do an IVF and have twins and be done with all this?

Finally, I had a birthday last week. I was sure, so freakin’ sure, that with my dad’s spirit now fully on the other side where he could put in a good word for a daughter, that I would discover—on my birthday—that the missing period meant I was pregnant. I joked with myself that it would be like going to get your hair cut: You say, “whatever you do, do not give me a short hair cut.” The stylist turns your chair around at the end and says “just what you wanted! a short hair cut!” I made myself a deadline of having a baby by 33 and no later than 35. I thought, the universe is so funny I’ll find out I got pregnant just days before my 35th birthday. Alas, my desperate sense of humor is not shared by mama universe.

This Part Again, Part Two

Well, shit.

In some ways I’m getting used to the drill, and in other ways it’s getting harder each try.

I could tell form earlier signs that I wasn’t pregnant this month. But to screw with my head, my temperature stayed relatively high (until this morning) AND I got a highly questionable pee stick last night.

It’s a million degrees plus a million percent humidity with a million point mosquito index here. Last night, after we took some cold showers just to survive going to sleep, I looked over at the test I’d taken a couple hours earlier. While there was only one line when I looked at the thing after 3 minutes, there was a definite vertical line (though faint) when I looked again this time. We freaked. I immediately peed on a different kind of test, which said NO. So I rubbed the damn progesterone cream on one more time and tried to sleep.

Today, I scoured the interweb for information about fertility. And guess what? While trying to be all earth-friendly and chemical-free, I may have been pumping up my estrogen, making it harder to conceive! I was reading about herbs and conception when I saw that lavender oil should be avoided. Who knew? Not the person who puts homemade deodorant featuring lavender oil under her pits every freakin’ day!!!

Speaking of sad… I went to my first ever grief support group last night. It just gets more fun ’round these parts! Well, the group is just starting, so it was just me, a guy who just lost his partner of 27 years, and the group leader. The poor guy is only 49, and he was a teary wreck before we even got in the room. I did my share of tearing up—pretty much any time the facilitator asked me a direct question about my dad or whenever I had to say the words “my dad.” But talking with the grieving guy, I realized that, though traumatizing, I got such an amazing gift when K didn’t die in ’08 and that we still have opportunities ahead of us, like having a child. While every egg that bites the dust is like a slap in my old, wrinkly face, at least K and I are still both here to try.

Suck on that, grief.

No Shame

I blatantly took over the holding of a friend’s baby at a 4th of July party for my own selfish purposes. Sure, the baby is adorable and I would want to hold him anyway. But I was using that little guy for his weight in baby juju. I sniffed the head (and kissed it, too!), really concentrating on the yummy feel of him. It’s funny how the longer this process takes the more superstitious I’m becoming! If I’m not pregnant by the end of the summer, you’ll probably find me with a Ouija board or reading my tea leaves.

Actually, I’m feeling kind of down today, and not just because we’ve had cold cloudy days for the past I don’t know how many. My basal body temp has dropped 3 hundredths of a degree each day for the past three days. I know that is minuscule, but the downward trend is what has me funkin’.

I appreciate the reminder that each unsuccessful try is getting us closer to the successful one, but for right now I’m shamelessly singin’ the progesterone cream blues.

Happy Crampiversary

In my imagination, our eight-year anniversary goes something like this: I hand K a wrapped gift, probably in one of those nice boxes for diamond bracelets, and inside is a pregnancy test with a plus on it. She screams and throws her arms around me, and then we go out to dinner.

Instead, K is popping pain pills for her cramps (sorry, hon, nobody’s menstrual cycle is private on my blog) and I am a depressed shell of a woman who has watched her basal body temperature drop the past two mornings. We’re still going out for dinner.

Don't even think about it!

K surprised me this morning with a delicious looking rose body butter, her first massage appointment tomorrow, and a beautiful card. In spite of my plummeting temps and mood, she continues to smile and be lovely and supportive. I hope by the time I pick her up for dinner, I will be in a better head space. She deserves a present wife (and a wife with a present) who can revel in the occasion.

The thing is, I’m used to working my butt off for something and then getting it. So this business of doing everything I’m supposed to and failing to conceive leaves me feeling like a right failure. I know people try to get pregnant for a much longer time and take much more drastic measures… I guess my depression is really less about these past few failures and more about fear of this exact thing—that I’ll have to try “for a much longer time and take much more drastic measures.”

The downward spiral is a tricky thing because once you step off the ledge, the centrifugal force starts pulling other things in (imagine flying cows in a tornado). Suddenly, I have no faith in the charting I’ve been doing over the past three years; I’m sure that my idea of when I ovulate is completely off, or, as I’ve mentioned before, I have super man-hating ova that fight off sperm with a jellyfish-like protective shield.

Could it be that I’m PMSing?

I regret spewing my mood all over the blog post, but it helps in some using-this-crazy-technology-to-virtually-connect-with-people-who-are-out-there-reading-and-supporting-me cathartic kind of way. I’ll get my act together by tonight, don’t worry. After all, it’s not every day I get to celebrate the eighth anniversary of the coming together with the love of my life. It’s all about the journey, right?


(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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