Archive | December 2013

POAS Schizophrenia

Yesterday I looked for pregnancy test sticks in two different Dollar stores. They were completely OUT of pregnancy tests but had PLENTY of ovulation strips. Here’s the conversation I had in my head:

Me: Well, sh*t, why don’t they have any pregnancy tests?

Superstitious Me: Because it’s a sign that you shouldn’t test. It’s too early. You’ll jinx yourself.

Me: Should I buy these cheap ovulation tests? I might need them next month if I don’t get pregnant.

Frugal Me: Yeah, buy them here because they’re cheap. Or don’t buy any at all, because YOU’RE cheap.

Superstitious Me: Definitely buy the ovulation tests because as soon as you stock up on those, you’re guaranteed to become pregnant. It’s like carrying an umbrella to guarantee that it won’t rain.

Holistic Me: No, no, no, you can’t buy ovulation tests now! If you don’t BELIEVE that you’ll be pregnant this month, you won’t be.

Me: OK, you guys are confusing me. I’m not buying ANYTHING right now.

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Today, I spontaneously decided to stop at Target.

Me: All right, there is a 3-pack of FRER and a 2-pack of store brand. Which one should I buy?

Frugal Me: No matter how many tests you buy, you’re just going to pee on the whole batch within 3 days. Get ONE box of the cheapies.

Me: But aren’t the FRERs so much more accurate? I won’t believe the store brand and I’ll just wind up going back to buy FRERs.

Superstitious Me: Buy a big box of ovulation strips! They’re cheap! Stock up now! Do it!

Holistic Me: Noooo, you must BELIEVE!

Me: OK, let me check my ovulation date again to figure out what day I should test. Oh right, I wasn’t so clear about that this month. So, Cycle Day 1… that was around Thanksgiving. But with that whole spotting thing I get before full flow, I just never know when to start counting. 1, 2, 3… all right, we’re on Day 21-ish. Only 4 days before my expected period. Wait, what’s today’s date again? Did I count from Day 1 or Ovulation? No, Cycle Day 1, dumb*ss. What day is this again?

Superstitious Me: If you take a pregnancy test, you’ll ruin your chances of being pregnant. These ovulation tests are calling your name.

Holistic Me: Just POAS already! You were totally having pregnancy nose yesterday. You made K brush his teeth twice yesterday afternoon. And you’ve been totally cranky. And you’ve craved serious carbs over the last week.

Me: I’ll buy 2 boxes of store brand tests and one FRER. No, the store brand isn’t worth the ambiguity. I’ll buy 1 box of store brand and two FRER. No, why am I bothering with store brand at all? I’ll buy 2 boxes of FRER.

Frugal Me: Which FRER is cheaper per stick, the box of two or the box of three? How about when you figure in the $1 OFF coupon on the box? And for Pete’s sake, remind the cashier to ring up that coupon; I’m totally sick of getting home and finding the coupon still stuck to the box, unused. These things matter when you buy so many d*mn tests.

Me: This seems like a good blog post.

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Have a nice night, y’all. I’ll try to hold off testing until the morning. ❤

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Thanksgiving Tidbits

Happy Thanksgiving Tidbits

Thanksgiving with my parents went really well, better than K or I could’ve imagined.  It was so fun that I’ll be sad now every time we don’t host.  (Thanks to Alton Brown at the Food Network!)  Surprisingly, things are finally warming up after six years of my parents’ awkward, passive-aggressive and sometimes mean behavior towards K.  (They blame him for leading me astray from the Church.  In reality, he rescued me from a cult-like life.)

After they left, I asked K, “Do you think you’ve forgiven my parents for treating you like crap over the years?”  Happily for me, he said yes, although he doesn’t “endorse everything they’ve done.”  I’ll take it!  I  want my future children to know my parents, who are loving people but very brainwashed by extreme religion.  My childhood with them was very happy… it was my move to independence that killed them.  K and I will just have to figure out what to tell our kids about religion… no biggie.  (Ha.)

The best thing about the day was that my parents didn’t ask how “adoption” was going.  They have their heads in the sand and think that we’re done with TTC ourselves (because they don’t imagine we’ll consider TFMR).  They want us to try some adoption agency recommended by Focus on the Family (NO THANK YOU).  Maybe my in-laws’ way of never talking about personal stuff isn’t really so bad.

Thanksgiving Prep

…wasn’t quite as carefree as I’d hoped.  Our plan for Wed was to cook everything but the turkey and do all the house-cleaning/decluttering/making-things-presentable-for-guests.  I tasked K with peeling potatoes while I cleared the dining room table.  The table is where I leave a lot of stuff “to do,” so I cleared it by (gasp!) actually doing those things.  Meanwhile I washed, dried, folded and put away about 6 loads of laundry and put away all the painting supplies from our bathroom reno a couple weeks ago.  I’ll admit, it took a while, so K kept on cooking.

I wanted to switch places for a while, but we couldn’t because K is incredibly bad at decluttering.  So I tried to explain that I wanted his appreciation for making it possible for him to do the fun stuff.  Instead, he thought I was accusing him of not letting me cook.  He kept saying how every other woman in the world would appreciate that they don’t have to lift a finger to cook, and if I wanted credit for cooking the meal, we could *say* it was a team effort.  Grr.   I wanted him to THANK me for doing the sh*t he didn’t want to do, not give me his imagined charity.  (Since then, we’ve finally resolved this issue; he didn’t realize he had to VERBALIZE his appreciation.  Guh?)

Chocolate Pudding Update

Even AFTER the chocolate pudding incident, K made my chocolate cream pies WITHOUT TELLING ME!  (I was in the other room folding copious amounts of laundry.)  He was just being a dumb boy but he definitely got an earful about that.

And now, the kicker:  The two gluten-intolerant family members DID NOT THANK US for making them their favorite pie!  In fact, they each took home almost an entire pie, in a beautiful ceramic pie plate, in a special pie carrier, didn’t say thank you, probably won’t return the plates or carriers, and did I mention they didn’t thank us?  Next time I’m making the f*cking chocolate pudding and bringing it in a disposable bowl.

Thanksgiving Wisdoms

My dad had a couple interesting things to say at TG dinner.  First, he said that when someone (like my SIL) takes over all the responsibility for hosting, or always insists on paying the restaurant bill, they THINK they are giving everything, but they are actually taking something away from other people who want to contribute.

Then he told us about the first Thanksgiving he and Mom spent together.  Dad’s dad, to whom we secretly referred as “Grumpa” because of his short temper, was asked to say a few words.  He paraphrased/modified an old proverb about being thankful for your problems:

Say each person writes their troubles down on a slip of paper and throws it into a bowl.  The bowl is passed around and everyone pulls out whichever trouble they’d prefer to have.  Invariably, they  take back whichever trouble they threw in.

Anti-climactic Endings

That evening we went to K’s family’s house for turkey dinner #2.  I understand they’d just started eating when we showed up, but their reaction to our arrival was lukewarm and disappointing. (Thanks, by the way, for not telling us you’re starting without us….)

I’ve decided that there is just too much assumption that happens in K’s famiily.  K assumed that dinner would be at my MIL’s, and everyone assumed that we knew the location was changed to my SIL’s house.  There was still no actual start time, either, just “later.” Despite everyone being pleasant, there is something funny about the family dynamics that I’m not quite understanding yet.

And the most disappointing part of the day, as I briefly mentioned before, was that AF visited on TG.  Luckily I had plenty of distractions that day to keep me from wallowing in self-pity.  By now, I’m back in the 2ww, hoping that this will be the month.   ❤

OPKs

As I type this, I am waiting backstage with several other members of the orchestra (while the chorus sings their a cappella part of the program).  I’m trapped here in a small room, listening to three people discover that they all have children around 19 months old.  They’re sharing cute, adorable stories about their precious little kids.  And there is NO ESCAPE.

Anyway, on to the real reason I’m posting.  Do any of you have experience with the Clear Blue Easy Digital OPKs?  I like to consider myself an intelligent person, but I’m continually perplexed by the results I get.  It’s supposed to show me my 4 most fertile days, with 2 “high” days and 2 “peak” days.  But every time I’ve used these tests, I get a big fat “0” for two days and then it jumps straight to “peak.”  

When I pull the test sticks out of the holder, I see a variety of things.  Day 1: one line, blue fuzz on the other side.  Day 2: two lines, no fuzz.  Day 3: back to one line with blue fuzz.  The Clear Blue directions say that you can’t tell anything from the lines on the test sticks.

Since my hormone levels test similarly to pre-menopause, I’ve wondered if the OPKs are just kind of useless for me.  With that in mind, we started the sperm depositing yesterday, which is approximately Cycle Day 9.  Historically I’ve ovulated on Day 12, so starting early should be good, right?

On Being Happy and Sad (At the Same Time)

My good friend Jenny (a half-Korean, half-American ball-of-fire) recently fell upon hard times and was forced to move back in with her parents at age 28. She knew it would be difficult to get along with them (since they are emotionally abusive– in my words, not hers) and she called me the other night when she was at a particular low. She didn’t know if she’d be able to keep her sanity.

After about an hour of venting, she asked, “Haven, do you think I can do this?”

The first thing that popped into my head was “Yes! If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this infertility business, it’s that a person can feel happy and sad at the same time.” And furthermore, if you numb one emotion, you numb them all. (A round of applause for my therapist, please!) In Jenny’s case, she can simultaneously feel angry at her parents for their abuse AND feel excited about her new boyfriend and her tap dance lessons. In my case, I can feel frustrated about infertility AND feel gloriously happy to be alive on a beautiful fall day. Our hearts are big enough to hold every emotion, so we don’t have to pick just one. (I know, that’s totally cheesy, sorry.)

Later at orchestra rehearsal, my stand partner, who is 35 and divorced with three kids under 7, asked me, “And you don’t have any kids?” She used that naive tone of voice that says, “How on earth could you not want children?!” You know what I’m talking about. When there is any implication that I don’t WANT kids, I simply cannot let it go. They have to know that I am NOT some heartless, selfish, career-driven b*tch who doesn’t want to “settle down” and give up her high-end lifestyle (HA) to raise a bunch of snot-nosed, bratty little kids. (Note to self: I should really get better at letting people think what they want.)

Despite my not really wanting to get into it, it was actually not bad to talk with her. She said twice, earnestly, that she was sorry to hear about my (3 years of) infertility. In an attempt to nip this conversation in the bud, I mentioned how much I appreciate my husband since our relationship is so solid and we are very happy together. Other women would trade A LOT to be in my position. She nodded her head and said, “Happiness is all about balance. You have to balance being happy with your life as it is right now with looking forward to what the future will bring.”

It took a few seconds for me to process her statement. “Being happy now” and “looking forward to the future” don’t seem like opposites to me. And the great thing is… they aren’t!

So, if I’m choosing between two ways of being happy, where the hell does my grief fit in? Well, I think grief overshadowed my happiness for a long time. But the happiness was there all along. It was a candle in the dark, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Jenny said that in some cultures, it’s common to pray for suffering because suffering brings wisdom. If that is the case, we’re all very wise. ❤

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P.S. AF arrived on Thanksgiving. 😦