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Period Purgatory

11 DPO (days past ovulation) and still spotting. I like to call this time period purgatory because it’s this in between hell space. The spotting tells me my period is probably still coming, but the lack of a full-on start makes me think “maybe I’m pregnant?!”

My day goes something like this:

Wake up, take temp. 97.3, which is right on my cover line. Quite a drop from yesterday, probably started my period. Go in the bathroom, brace for it…nothing. Check cervical fluid, tinted. Mark it as spotting. Sitting at work, cramping a little, feel something maybe moisture? This is it, it started. To to the bathroom with a tampon at the ready…nothing. Spotting. Every time I go to the bathroom; brace for blood. None on my panties, passed test one. None on the toilet paper, passed test two. Every now and then take it to the next level and check cm; tinted. Spotting.

Spotting spotting spotting. It’s coming but not here. I’m always thinking about it, noticing every little twinge in my abdomen. Right now I think I feel something and want to go check. Realistically I think I will get my period, but I’m hoping its tomorrow so I can have added one day to my LP. But I can’t help thinking I could be pregnant, and hoping against all hope that I don’t start, really start, by Thursday so I can take a test. One that might be positive.

But I’ve been here before, and I know how this will end. With tears and wine, and hope that next month will be the one.

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Mother Nature is a Cruel Hag and the ‘Two Week Wait’

These last couple cycles I have felt like the universe, or Mother Nature or whomever is in charge of this mess (I’m an Athiest, so I can’t blame god here) has been intentionally being cruel to me on the timing of my period.

Last month, I started my period on Mother’s Day. That day is always hard anyway and usually involves tears, but having to endure it on top of seeing all the ‘happy mother’s day’ facebook posts, and general mom-centricness just made it worse. The real icing on the cake, though, was when my husband and I went to dinner. Obviously, there were going to be lots of moms and kids, that I can handle. But at the end of our meal, the waitress came up to our table with her hand behind her back and kind of gave me an appraising look. She then took her hand out and offered me a rose, saying in broken English “are you a mother?” I said “no” and declined the rose. She tried to offer it to me again, like “eh, take it anyway” and again I insisted no. While my husband payed the check I went out to the car and had a quiet cry. The whole day was hard, but then to have to answer to a stranger “No, I am not a Mother” was just a slap in the face.

I suppose if I had really wanted to make her uncomfortable I could have said “No, I am not a mother, but I really want to be! We have been trying to get pregnant for 8 months and it’s not working. And you asking me that just really rubs it in, so thank you!”

That would have been rude, obviously. So this month, I started spotting yesterday, knowing from experience that most likely my period would start today. And guess what I had on my social calendar today? A fucking baby shower. no joke. Now, I haven’t really totally started yet (more on that in a minute) but still being in the place I’m in made it harder to be there. Thankfully two friends who do know about my situation were there and they were the ones I sat with, so I wasn’t close enough to anyone for it to be appropriate (not that it ever is) for them to ask me about when I am going to have kids myself. But there were some really cute little girls running around, and the mom to be got so many sweet little things for her baby boy who is due in a couple months. I just want it all. The only comment I got was from the mom of a three year old (who is a coworker) who as she saw me watching her adorable little girl running back and forth said “you can take her anytime you want.”

As in “oh man, she is such a handful, you’re free to subject yourself to her any time”

Of course I could tell and I know that she loves her child and would in no way ever want to not have her around. This is just a thing parents say to childless adults to make light of how hard is is to be a parent. But still, I would go lay in the middle of I-5 if you could guarantee me the chance to be run ragged by a sweet little girl of my own.

On to the ‘Two Week Wait.’ This is the name us TTCers (Trying to Conceive) call the time after you’ve ovulated until you can take a pregnancy test. 14 days after ovulation gives you about 75-80% (I think) accuracy on a home pregnancy test. Take it before that and even if you are pregnant it will be too soon to show. If you can wait until 18 days you will know for sure it will show, and by then you would be quite late getting your period so you’d know anyway. So everyone hoping for a baby has to wait two weeks not knowing, and it can be really excruciating. For me, because of my (self-diagnosed) luteal phase defect, it’s more of a 9-10 day wait. Which is not good, because I never make it long enough for a pregnancy to take place. I usually start spotting at 9 days after ovulation, so I know the jig is up.

Once fertilized, an egg takes 6-12 days to reach the uterus and implant. Once implanted, it takes about 3 days for it to send the signal to your brain (by way of the hormone HcG, which is what pregnancy tests detect) that will prevent your period from starting. So at very very minimum, 9 days would be necessary to get pregnant. But 12 or more days is optimal, so my 9-10 days is not conducive to getting and staying pregnant.

When I start getting that first spotting at 9 dpo I think ‘Okay, I’m out.’ But then sometimes it doesn’t turn into more for a couple days, or stops, and I think “hey, maybe there is still hope!” Which is currently where I’m at. The spotting has mostly subsided, and I am googling ‘lower back pain 10 dpo’ because my back hurts and I am hoping that it’s a sign I’m pregnant. Really it’s probably just the long walk I took wearing a backpack yesterday, but I can’t help wondering. I just want to know, is this cycle over or not?! Should I break out the wine and cry or not?

It’s true what they say. The waiting is the hardest part.

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Cycle Eight, Down the Hatch

Today marks another cycle ending, courtesy of my period crashing the party. I haven’t had my cry yet really. A few tears, but not the real good cry I know i will probably have tomorrow when she goes into full swing.

A bit of a back story…

In November of 12 I went of birth control. I told my husband it would take a few cycles for everything to start functioning as normal, which would put us on track for starting to really ‘try’ after the new year as we had been planning. The new year came and went, and after three months I was feeling a little less than confident. I purchased ovulation predictor kits and downloaded an app to track my cycle. I researched online and found out most people get pregnant within 6 months. So we were still okay. After 5 months I decided to start charting my basal body temperature (which I had swore I wouldn’t be desperate enough to do until after a year – but then again I really didn’t think it would take 6 months). After a few months of charting I have diagnosed myself with a Luteal Phase Defect┬ábecause the time between ovulation and my period starting is about9-10 days. My husband had a semen analysis done and it was normal, wonderful even. So we know it’s me. Reproductive Endocrinologists (RE) won’t really see you until it’s been a year, so I turned to a more natural approach of acupuncture. I saw her three times this cycle and I felt really positive, hopeful, and much more relaxed. That is until today when I started spotting and cramping, sure signs that AF (aunt flo) will arrive tomorrow. I am only 9 days past ovulation, so not only did my luteal phase not increase, it’s down a day from last month. I am giving acupuncture 3 months as recommended, and then I will try to get an RE to see me at ten months with no success.

So, I am just feeling really frustrated and looking for an outlet. My best friend is pregnant, and it is tough on our relationship because she doesn’t know really what I am going through, and I don’t know what she’s going through, so it’s hard for us to be there for one another. The last thing I need is someone complaining about their pregnancy when I want one so badly, and I also don’t want to make her feel guilty for having an easier time with it.

I’m not sure anyone will ever read this, but it will at least be a place to put it all down. So much of it just lives inside my head. I know a lot of people go through this, but no one talks about it. My husband is as supportive as he can be, but he isn’t really concerned and doesn’t think about it all the time like I do.

So maybe tomorrow after I have my cry and my consolatory bottle of wine, I will share more. Thanks for listening, internets.

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