Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Heh, I'm not crazy, really.

Reading back through some of posts, I realize that I sound a little (or a lot) manic. When I post, I let things flow out into what I'm writing. So it may read as wound up or as tense or as overly fearful or paranoid or panicked over small things, but that's because I'm pushing that emotion outwards in this medium. Oftentimes I feel far, far better after posting because I've gotten some of the toxicity or crazy out of my system, and I go about my day feeling much happier.

Of course, you don't see that part.

I have another (private) blog that I use as a free-flow journal and that is even more jacked up than this. But it really helps. And since I've long had issues with bottling my emotions until I explode from pressure, I'm really pleasantly surprised by how much this has helped me. Journaling on paper never did it for me; I think having the instant availability of the internet and the ability to later edit, if I choose, what I've written makes it a lot more open to me and allows me to get things out as I'm feeling them.

Last night I had what my old therapist would call a breakthrough moment. I was feeling a bit sad because I recognized someone when they posted that they are expecting their second child. I remember them trying to conceive their first! who is now 14 months old! When I did the month, I felt sad. I posted elsewhere about what I was feeling and 10 minutes later, felt enormously better. Dealing with it then, acknowledging the emotion, and the logic around it and getting it out and moving on - what a novel concept. But something I struggle with a lot. I place a lot of judgements around my emotions and analyze whether or not I should feel a certain way, whether or not it's right to feel that way.

There is a place for that, of course. You can't fly off the wall and express every emotion in the instant you feel it or live on emotion, or you would hurt people and be pretty selfish. But not everything requires an instant analysis or effort to push it aside or squash it down and pretend it doesn't exist. It may not be right or nice to feel that sadness about someone else's joyful news, but taking a moment to acknowledge it was there and then conciously pushing it away (rather than trying to force it away or pretend I wasn't sad for a moment about my choices and life situation) - that was better. It was the right thing to do, and made me feel better without hurting that person.

That is what this blog can do for me in moments of turmoil. It allows me to feel it, to acknowledge it, to express it, and then to deal with it more appropriately. It's a good thing.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mental Health is Overrated.

This is the last line from one of my favorite songs ever, This Is Where It Ends by the Barenaked Ladies. It's feeling awfully appropriate right now. I feel like I'm hanging onto sanity by a mere thread.

Right now I feel so depressed. Things were so crazy last week, rushed, flustered, crammed. I worked late every night and I worked my first of four Saturdays. I felt good Friday evening, that I had accomplished what needed to be done, and we were getting close to the end.

Saturday didn't totally suck and I got some stuff done, and I slept in until 10:15, so that was ok. I had mentioned to my husband that it would be really great if he could get some housecleaning done, and he said he would. I was gone for 8 hours. I returned and not one goddamn thing was done.

Oh, excuse me, he swept the kitchen floor. Not that you could tell at all. He says he did a load of dishes (ok - but then why not do a second load or hand wash the remaining dishes and take five minutes to wipe down the counters, sink and oven with Clorox wipes? I wasn't asking him to clean the refrigerator, though God knows it's needed. He claims he cleared the table (our catch all, as we mostly eat in the living room), but I could not have sat down to a meal for one. No space at all.

He didn't put a single load of laundry in the wash (granted, it's my chore, but how hard is that?). He didn't put any clothes away. He didn't straighten up any room, or dust, or vacuum, or clean a sink or toilet or bathroom counter-top. We're talking about basic stuff here that is getting overlooked for way too long.

Now, to be fair, I didn't ask him specifically to do any of these things. I haven't done them myself in awhile, because I've been so exhausted. But dude, I'm dragging my ass to work on a Saturday in order to get more money for our anniversary trip. You know I'm stressed out and tired. You know a dirty house makes me more stressed out and tired. The least you could do as a contributing member of the household is one goddamned chore from the extensive list. The least you could do as a loving husband when your wife is doing something to equally benefit the two of you is clean a single room.

I was so disappointed and upset, but I figured that I had not specifically asked, and these are things I usually do, so next week I'll ask. I optimistically thought we could take an hour, hour and a half to work together and get it clean Sunday. Ha.

DH works at a college in a job he hates. Classes began today and he was feeling depressed that he wasn't working elsewhere. I understand that, I really do. I tried to be sensitive to his mood, since he's been so supportive. We slept very late, so most of the morning was gone when we got up. I asked when he wanted to go to the store, since that needed to be done prior to cleaning. He wanted a nap. So he took one. After his nap, I put the grocery list together (cause I needed his input on the menu). We don't get to the store until nearly 7:00 pm. The day is pretty well shot, and I try to take comfort in having at least relaxed for a bit. We get home, he starts making dinner and I do a load of laundry.

Then the phone rings. It's his brother and before I know it, he's made plans to go home and visit his mom the weekend after next. Let me be clear - he agrees to all of this without one word to me about it. And then didn't understand why I was angry. Um, you need to ask me. At least make sure that there are no other plans and that it's ok with me for you to leave for two days. I'm not going to say no. The only time I've ever said now was when we had previous plans we couldn't reschedule. Even when I was clingy and vulnerable, I've never said no. But you need to have the respect to at least let me know this is a possibility. Even though I'm angry with your mother and don't think you should cater to her this way by condoning her poor behavior and overlooking it by traveling there for her birthday, I will keep that opinion to myself and wish you a safe trip, as I always do. But fucking ask me.

I was furious. It was this with everything else. I feel like he's unhappy at work and just coasting at home. He couldn't even fucking vacuum? I am tired of having to be his mother and tell him what needs to be done or do it myself because he thinks it's dumb. I'm tired of the house being a wreck and him not caring enough to do anything about it. I guess it makes me feel unloved and unimportant.

And then there is work. I'm behind all over the place and all my accomplishments from Friday faded when I realized that I botched some stuff. Easily fixed (and already corrected), but it doesn't matter. I'm feeling flaky and wrong-footed and behind, and remembering my boss's nice words from last week only made me feel worse. I'm tired of split departments and feeling so unreliable and I'm quickly realizing I need a break badly. It's like I am fine, fine, fine (if a little busy or stressed or tired) and then suddenly, with no warning, there is no rope left and I am freaking the fuck out. Every little thing is amplified.

I can't even talk about ttc without welling up with anger and frustration. I hate the jealous way I am feeling and the uncharitable thoughts when people who have been have trying for less time than I get pregnant (as if there is any sort of connection). I'm angry with myself for how I've allowed old bad habits back and for how poorly I feel. I'm angry with my body for not being better and working right. I don't know what cycle I'm on. 4 I guess, but it's so unfair. I never had a chance to conceive last time because it was anovulatory. So at this point, I'm just doing cycle 3 over again, I suppose.

I hate that I am thinking less than nice things about people who get pregnant easily. We're hardly at the trouble trying to conceive stage, but we are approaching the 'yeah, it's not happening like I thought it would stage' and it scares me because it's short hop from there to the 'it's not happening like it should stage' and the 'we need to see someone and we can't possibly afford it stage' and that scares the pants off me. I know a whole lot about reproductive systems and about maximizing chances and all that jazz. I know so many people who got pregnant quickly and easily with the aid of charting, and I figured all that knowledge had to mean something. Well, we're doing our best and it hasn't worked yet. Which really means, twice the sperm and egg didn't get friendly and once I failed. Hardly much to complain about, but the fear is there. Why isn't it happening quickly? Are we doing something wrong? What more should we be doing, and if we do it, are we obsessing and letting this take over our lives or is it too late for worrying over that bit? I'm tired of ttc. I'm guessing I may need a break soon, but I find that difficult to maneouver. If I know I'm fertile, I have a compulsion to have sex or feel guilty about not having sex and losing our chance.

It doesn't feel good. It's not fun. But I feel all this pressure. I know it's self-imposed. But cycle 4 (or cycle 3, take two, as you will) - that's longer than anyone I know in real life except my sister (who is missing a fallopian tube) and one friend. Seriously. All my friends got pregnant quickly and easily but one. And when she started charting, she was pregnant in two cycles. So here I am, have done everything right but my weight, and nada in cycle 4. It's scary and I'm scared.

And tired. And emotional. And feeling like a failure. And feeling angry with DH. And knowing much of this excessive emotion rates right back to stress and fatigue at work. I hate this so much.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ok, so there is a first time for everything.

My temp dropped over half a degree. I started light red flow yesterday, and it has continued today. It's actually sort of borderline between heavy spotting and flow, but my general rule of thumb is that if you need a product (pad or tampon or cup or whatever), it's flow.

So, yesterday become cd 1, and I had a 33 day anovulatory cycle. That means I'm now on cycle #4. If I'm being honest, I have to admit that I'm sort of shocked. I really thought we'd have gotten pregnant by now. Still early in the game, I suppose, but I'm beginning to feel the first stirrings of fear. This only makes it more clear that I really need to get back to working out regularly. We were supposed to go tonight, but will be hitting the store instead, so I will do at least 20 minutes from a video tonight. MUST.

I'm also focusing on writing more. And I'm going to do yoga again this weekend. I will get more relaxed and hope this cycle works out.

The good news is that four is my lucky number. So yay for that! I might get very lucky on this one and be able to tell the news in person on our trip. Of course, coming off an anovulatory cycle, who knows. It could be very early and fast or very long. Hopefully better eating and regular exercise with forced relaxation will help. It can't hurt anyway, right?

Monday, August 18, 2008

What a mindfuck.

So, I started spotting Friday. Brown spotting internally, but enough that I couldn't tell if I had actual cm and what it might be. Disappeared on Friday evening, but there was enough there that I wasn't into sex at all.


Spotting continued Saturday, brown externally, but red internally. I thought I might have some ewcm, but again, too much blood to confirm. Not enough to meet the definition of flow, but enough to be annoying. Definitely no sex. I waited to see what was going to happen. There was no way to know for certain - spotting could mean ovulation, could mean excess uterine lining shedding (especially likely given that if things had gone as they had previously, I was due for my period this weekend), could mean infection, could mean nothing. Yesterday was lots more brown spotting. Cervical position was generally not fertile, and yesterday became low/closed/firm. What fun for me.

And then, as I've resigned myself to no period (wouldn't have been real anyhow), and to an extended vacation in no-woman's land - my temp spiked today. 97.3. That is firm in post-o temps for me. It's a very clear thermal shift. Now I get to wait and see if it's a sustained thermal shift. Joy. If I did in fact ovulate yesterday, that effectively ruins this cycle, because while we had tons and tons of sex during periods with lots and lots of ewcm, we actually only had sex 5 days before ovulation. Even in ideal conditions, it is unusual for sperm to live so long, and these were not ideal conditions.

It makes me angry and upset. It also means we could be looking directly at my period on vacation/anniversary. All I can do is hope not. It may be just fine. If I went back to a 34 day cycle, we'd be looking at Oct. 2 for my period to start, which would be ok. Even my period a day or two early would allow for a generally good vacation (lots of wine). And maybe there is some hope of finding out on our anniversary trip that we are expecting our first child. That would be a pretty spectacular anniversary gift. And I could still drink plenty of wine in advance of that. Do you see the wine theme here?

Well. I'm bitter about this cycle - and while I've never had that high a temp pre-o, it's possible it's just one more mindfuck from my body. But who knows. I'll try to stay positive. It's really hard not to think about all the people I know (and there a good number) who got pregnant from sex four to seven days before ovulation. But if we can't get pregnant from well-timed sex, our odds now are pretty freaking low. At least I won't have to worry about phantom symptoms or early testing, right? That's a bonus I suppose. The odds of pregnancy from our intercourse pattern are ridiculously low, so peeing on anything would be a total wate of money.

Still an end would be nice, saving some money will be ok, a decent chance at a mostly period free vacation (with a possibility of an anniversary gift beyond belief), and freedom to booze it up on our trip are all positive things and I need to focus on those.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Something funny at my expense.

Since I've been all doom and gloom, allow me to share a funny.

Yesterday, I fell down.

I mean, DOWN. I was standing one moment, I shifted my weight, my ankle turned and my leg buckled and suddenly I was flat on my back staring at the pretty lights. I fell in front of the entire administration of the department I'm assisting.

No, that wasn't embarrassing at all. It's happened before, just a weird balance thing, and I have a healthy attitude about it - in fact, I was laughing the second I hit the floor. Cause, it was funny to me. All they saw was one minute I was standing, the next I was flat on my back. They thought I might have had a stroke or something, it was so random.

I assured them I was fine and returned to my office. I walked into my boss's office and dramatically burst out, "I can NOT go back there ever again. I am done with department X!" She was horrified and asked me what on earth happened.

I sighed, placed a hand on my forehead and said, "I fell down." My boss looked like she wanted to laugh but wasn't sure she should. I then said, even more tragically, "I sprained my dignity. I cannot go back there until it's healed." Then she really did laugh. She urged me to take some Advil so I wouldn't be so sore.

I should have listened to her. I was fine until I tried to get out of bed this morning. Apparently, I bruised my right thigh (on the rear side, near my butt cheek) pretty badly and letting go all stiff all night made it hurt pretty badly. I'm limping around today, but the longer I use it, the better it is.

Grace is my middle name, clearly!

* * * * *

Ok, a brief update on other stuff. Still no ovulation action, and I'm doubting there will be. We did an every other day thing over the past four days. I feel dried up today and my cervix is moving progressively lower - I had some ewcm this morning, and there is little there but creamy fluid now. Tomorrow morning will let us know if it could potentially be ovulation, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm guessing my body is giving up the fight after 17 days. Whether that means a period or another go in a week or so remains to be seen. Blah. It's possible it's just another psych out.

Sad though, since yesterday and today are the first days in awhile that I haven't felt ridiculously overstretched. I'm nearly cheerful today. I think making some tangible progress has helped tremendously. I also agreed to work official overtime for additional compensation. Well, I'm salaried, so I can't officially work overtime, but I agreed to work 6 hours on 4 Saturdays (not this weekend) to help them get caught up and they are paying me my hourly rate and a half per hour to do this. So I'll be earning another $700 to use for our trip. I was hesitant about this, since I hate working weekends, but I figured if I haul my lazy ass out of bed and show up at my normal time, I will be out of here by early afternoon and home for a nap. And I can wear jeans and flip flops and there will be no one around to distract me, so I can also play music. YAY! It should go by pretty quickly.

And attempting to remain cheerful . . . here are 5 good things about today:

1. It's a beautiful sunny day, with a breeze, very bearable in the shade.
2. My husband brought me coffee today.
3. I've marked stuff off my to-do list.
4. I got a good night's sleep.
5. I will have the house to myself this evening while DH enjoys some time with his friends.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Oh holy hell.

The afternoon and two hours late I stayed on Friday? Were for very little.

I'm in the midst of a massive tracking project and it seems to be going nowhere. I have to find money that was never properly applied to our account by the credit card company. I was told it would be found in one of two fund sources - that I needed to find the original submissions and then update. Seemed easy enough - there were 4 charges totalling $X charged on 9/25. So there should be a ledger charge on or around that date with at least 4 charges and at least $X.

Except I quickly found that I might find September charges in January ledgers and that I couldn't trace the amounts so easily. I ended up going through each ledger charge in the two funding sources one by one to write out the receipt dates covered by that ledger charge. Let's not forget that the receipts had to be mapped out. In theory they are run everyday, but I've found weeks missing. Does that mean that batch receipts were run everyday and never credited to the ledger? Or does it mean that the receipt for 10/19 covers everyday between 10/14 and 10/19, so that is the only receipt between the two dates?

This is a nightmare and I mapped everything out only to find that it didn't help. The amounts are still not showing up. If it was charged 9/25, then it should be in a receipt between 9/10 and 9/25. Not somewhere in October. The batch resets after it's run. I could scream right now. I'm trying to recover $40K - and I can't find any of it.


I'm a big FAIL. I feel just wretched over my body right now. I was actually depressed over things yesterday. Lots of ewcm Thursday and Friday, just as it normally is before ovulation. Some ovulatory pain on both sides, but more on the left. We had sex both nights and I was feeling good about our prospects. Intense, pinching cramps on the left side very late Friday night (or Saturday morning). And no temp rise. But other fertility signs are pretty much gone - cm is scarce and less wet and cervix is down. I'm feeling confident that I ovulated, just too late to catch a temp rise. Throughout the day it stays the same - cervix is lower and more firm, and there is little fluid. What is there is more wet than creamy, even spots of ewcm, but nothing like the Niagra Falls of the previous two days. So I'm feeling better about things - even to the point of taking the night off from sex as scheduled. I really believed it would be too late to do any good.

Imagine my horror when Sunday morning brought not only no temp spike, but another drop. I started crying in bed. I'm so sick of this. Constant monitoring, constant doubting that I'm recording correctly. I mean, who has TWO WEEKS of fertile fluid?!?! Me, apparently. I've been doing this long enough to tell the difference. All I can guess is that I am discovering borderline fluid earlier by checking internally and that is contributing to the problem. And I know how stressed out I've been and how stress negatively impacts my cycle. And I know that putting five pounds back on and not working out can affect my cycle negatively. The stress has caused weird sleeping patterns and that can affect my cycle. I'm not eating as well when I'm stressed, which can affect my cycle. Onwards in a mean spiral.

But I'm tired of it all. I'm tired of the sex. We are once a week (if that people). Due to odd circumstances, we've gone months without sex without complaint. Tonight will make 10 times in 15 days. I can't keep this up. It's not relaxing, and it's beginning to be not enjoyable, despite our best efforts. I'm not feeling closer to DH, I'm feeling like I need a break. TEN TIMES in the last 15 days. We've had more sex in the last three cycles than we had this calendar and last combined. I'm past the point of enjoying it right now.

We did have sex again last night. My cervix was back up again and open, though fluid remained watery and there was less of it, but I did have more pinching pain around my left ovary. This morning brought loads more of ewcm and a cerix too high to reach. I didn't believe it was really ewcm, but it passed the water test when it balled up and didn't disappear. I'm having sharp, pinching pain on both sides (though not at the same time) today. I need to go to the bathroom for another check of things and see where they are. I expect we'll have to have sex again tonight. And that we'll keep doing this until we know for sure. With my luck this will all have been for naught and I'll start my period (anovulatory or not) just in time for next cycle to fall during our vacation.

So all of this makes me feel like a giant fail. I wasn't even all about having to get pregnant this cycle. I was just wanting things to go smoothly for our trip, which is fast becoming desparately needed. So the fact that I'm so stressed and fat, and not eating well and not working out and not sleeping well and throwing off ovulation and feeling lousy and dumb at work and not wanting to have sex anymore and ruining our vacation and so on has left me feeling like one giant, spectacular FAIL. I fail at life, is how I feel right now and I'm so tired and grouchy all I want to do is cry.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Feeling down and depressed and headachey.

I went to bed too late last night (again).

I'm sure that is a contributing factor. Dh was in a mood last night, mostly he was tired. I was very, very fertile - cervix was too high to reach, I was swimming in slippery, eggwhite fluid (I know that was the image you were seeking). We should have had sex last night, but I was tired, he was exhausted. It wouldn't have gone well, and according to the pattern it should have been an off night anyway. So I let it go.

Temp down this morning. So, as I expected b/c of the fertile signs, no ovulation yesterday (and now my cycle is officially delayed). But this morning. . . cervix is much lower. Still high-ish, but not like yesterday. Opening is medium, as is texture. There is still slippery fluid, but far less of it and the consistency is different. Now, I'll try not to worry over that until later (after I've had the opportunity to hydrate), but I just don't have a good feeling about all of this. I am not expecting to see a temp spike tomorrow. I've had fertile quality fluid for almost TWO WEEKS now. This can't be normal! Granted, I'm checking internally, and if I go back to externally, it would read differently. That's what I think I need to do, really. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it - but I don't mark eggwhite if I don't see eggwhite, you know?

I'm getting so tired of the ups and downs involved in this process. I'm trying to take it easy, because I'm so stressed out about other things, but it doesn't seem to matter. I'm at a point where I don't care if pregnancy happens, I just want to ovulate. Granted as soon as I do, I'll start freaking out about possible pregnancy, but right now. I'm so over this.

I don't even know what I'll do in a few more months. Take a break I guess, if I'm still feeling like this. I expect being exhausted and overwhelmed and stressed at work is contributing to this. I really just want to crawl into bed and collapse and wake up pregnant. Hey, I can dream, I guess.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I can't deal with this much longer.

I am not good at dealing with stress. Fact of the matter, reality, whatever. In one sense, being up against a deadline pushes me and I am far more productive than otherwise. I thrive on that challenge. But too much pushes me into the realm of overwhelmed. I can still function (usually) and can even blow through stuff relatively quickly. However, I quickly lose the ability to prioritize and seem to rush, frazzled, from one fire to the next without being able to see how well the previous one was put out nor seeing which one is doing most damage. Just rush from one to the next. My to-do list is scattered post-it notes and half-jotted notes on my note-pad. My once lovely list in Outlook with due dates and notes and reminders is history. I haven't had time to be that organized.

Because we were off yesterday for the lamest tropical storm ever (separate issue), timesheets weren't in on time. They didn't extend the deadline for submission to payroll, so I had to spend the morning corralling them and checking them and I ended up completely scattered. Add to that other random things of importance (someone's resigned, we need to terminate and do a job posting, money isn't where it should be, monthly timesheets are due, these orders need to be processed). Today would have been busy on its own without the addition of having to cut my day in half and go to the other department. Pushing a busy 8 hour day into 4 hours and then rushing over to try and get caught up (with no workstation) and working on things that are totally out of my depth (hey, at least I'm learning, right?) and semi-training the new guy without trying to overstep the actual dba's boundaries . . . and I'm a wreck.

I started out feeling relaxed, rested, refreshed, and ready to ovulate. Now I'm feeling harried, stressed, frazzled, scattered, and completely behind. I'm already half an hour late to the other department and trying to choke down scalding hot chili that my dear husband brought. Very thoughtful, but really not what I was hoping for (which was a cheeseburger I could eat as I walked). I haven't even had time to pee yet (sound familiar?) and I'm definitely not drinking enough water (I'm going to try and slam a bottle before I leave). AUGH.

We've been continuing the two nights on, one night off approach, and it seems to be working. I think we've also isolated the major problem with Dh - exhaustion. When he was well rested, no problem. When he was tired - it was an issue. We've gotten adept at working around it (and actually managed a very satisfying real life quickie this weekend) but still. If ttc must continue, I'm relieved we know what to fix now. For awhile, I was having scant but fertile fluid and since Friday evening, I've had plenty of slippery fluid and sharp ovulatory-related pains, but thus far - no ovulation. I'm worried it won't happen and this stress isn't helping. I'm doing what I can to breathe deeply and relax, but that has had limited success so far.

I'm just ready to scream. After working 4 hours this week, and this morning, I am already desparately counting the hours until this weekend (and wondering how to con my husband into cleaning the rest of the house). At least I have some fabulous co-workers stepping up all around me and offering to help however they can. That is a relief and I am trying hard to express my gratitude to them. I think I need to bake some bread and/or cookies as a special thank you.

For now, wish for my ovulation to occur relatively on time (that would be around today - by the end of the week would be sufficient) so I have one less thing to stress about. The yoga dvd is definitely coming out after the floor is vacuumed tonight.