Waiting

Today is 12 DPO. I contemplated taking a pregnancy test this morning, but then I decided not to. I think it’s because I don’t want the disappointing news of a negative test coming sooner than it has to. If I tested today and I were pregnant, the test would likely show a faint line. I think part of the reason I’m waiting is because I don’t want to make this any more emotionally tumultuous than it has to be.

I honestly don’t know what to think. My breasts do feel different–heavier, a little tender, but not incredibly sore. Yesterday I was having cramps that felt very menstrual, but today I don’t feel any. All of this could easily be PMS, as I’ve mentioned. I never used to have much PMS symptoms, but I think being on progesterone has changed that.

Anyway, I might just wait another two days before testing. If my period is coming, then it will likely be here by then.

I’m trying to stay positive–even if it turns out that I’m not pregnant. I feel more optimistic about getting my health and weight to a better spot, and I truly feel that I will get pregnant again.

In other areas of our life… I wish we could find a way that J and I could have more fulfilling jobs. It’s so hard to see him unhappy in his job. For me, I don’t mind my job for the most part, but it’s hard not to constantly think that I could be doing something else that I enjoy more and that I’m actually passionate about. I wish we could figure out a way to start a small business together and actually make enough to live on it. Something that would ignite our passions and give us meaning, while also being enjoyable.

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Mixed

I had a simultaneously good and frustrating day yesterday. I ended up staying home, and it really was what I needed. It was a soothing day. I got a Hypnobabies session in, relaxed without feeling guilty, and watched some soothing webinars about fertility. The frustrating part of the day is that I thought I would “treat” myself and I got some junk food. It doesn’t take long at all for toxic food to affect me—I felt so physically miserable for part of the day. Ugh.

Now it’s Friday, and I’m looking forward to a weekend. I think I’m really going to attempt the vegetable soup diet. I’m kind of excited about the simplicity of it, and the fact that it keeps me full and satisfied, and because I know that it’s full of all kinds of different nutrients.

I was thinking yesterday about my fertility, and I realized that there’s a part of me that feels hopeless and a part of me that still feels deep-down that I will have at least one more baby. The fact is, I’ve been successfully fertile in the past. I know it’s possible. So then the question becomes: if I were toreplicate my first successful conception and pregnancy, what changes would I have to make in my current life?

The first one I think of is my weight. The webinars I’ve been watching lately stress how important that is. I do believe it, but I think that I’ve also placed less importance on it because I know so many overweight women who seem to have had no problems having babies. But maybe I’m just not one of those women. I was eating relatively cleanly and I was at a healthy weight when I got pregnant the last time. I don’t think that’s entirely coincidental.

The other factor that really sticks out at me is that I’m hardly ever outside these days, let alone exercising. When I got pregnant, I was biking everywhere—I didn’t have access to a car. So automatically I got fresh air and sunshine that way. In addition, I was going for 3 mile walks several days a week—more fresh air and sunshine. These days, I feel like I go from one dark place to another, and I spend about 95% of my life indoors. I think that has a huge effect on mental health and general happiness. Our climate makes getting lots of sunshine challenging, but there are ways that I could incorporate more fresh air into my life, and I think my anxiety might lessen as a result.

Those are the two major factors. Together, I think they would change my life significantly. I keep thinking about doing all these little things: yoga, journal, meditation, special folate supplements, progesterone, baby aspirin, thyroid medication… What if all of those things aren’t even necessary, and all I really need to do in order to regain my fertility is eat clean and get fresh air?

The only other thing I can think of is that I had that horrible infection after E’s birth, and I ended up on a month of antibiotics. What did that do to my gut, and is that why I’ve had so many problems with cravings and eating clean since then? Is my immune system compromised because of it, and would it build back up again if I stopped eating processed junk?

Thinking about it that way makes me feel more hopeful. I just don’t believe that my fertility could have switched off so completely after my last pregnancy. I can’t reconcile that being true in my mind. I really do believe deep down that the potential is still there.

I’m not sure what that means for right now though. I think I will take this weekend to think about how I can make some changes in my life to replicate my old life. In addition, I think I need to simplify things, maybe cut out some things that I currently do (like watch so many YouTube videos every evening).

Ultimately, though, taking this angle orients me in a more positive direction, and I think that’s vitally important as well.

And that takes me to my current situation. I’m now 10 DPO, and this feels like the longest two-week wait ever. I’m definitely feeling something right now, but I don’t know if it’s PMS or early pregnancy. I think I’ve had a bit of cramping, and my breasts have been kind of sore. It could easily be PMS, but before being on progesterone, I’ve rarely had any PMS symptoms. So I just don’t know, and it’s kind of frustrating. At any rate, I have to decide if I will try to test in two days or so, or if I will wait the full 14 days.

Anxious

I didn’t want to come to work today. Last night, I had it all planned out that I was going to stay home today, but then I remembered I had to take care of getting ready for something important today, so I didn’t have a choice. I was feeling so tired and emotional yesterday, and it felt like it would have been so therapeutic to have been able to take it easy today, do some Hypnobabies sessions in order to calm some of my anxiety, etc. I’m 8 DPO now. If implantation is going to happen, it would be around today or tomorrow. I just felt this urge to try to relax as much as possible today, maintain a peaceful existence, but it wasn’t in the cards.

I’m definitely feeling anxious though. There’s so much longing in my heart. The hard part is that it builds up into anxious energy, and I’m not quite sure how to make that energy dissipate. It’s not like I’m going to do anything that requires too much exertion or that somehow stresses me out mentally or physically. I thought I could feel the faintest cramps today, which would be a good sign. But of course I have no idea if that was completely in my head or not. The whole thing is a total mind fuck.

I don’t know if I will test early this month or not. Perhaps not. My usual MO is not to, but each month also makes me increasingly anxious and more desperate to know.

I’m struggling right now because chocolate found its way back into our lives. MIL sent a package, and it contained chocolate, so it was in our house before we could stop it. I find those situations so difficult because my resolve basically dissolves. And once the wall crumbles, it’s like the flood gates open. I know that I don’t feel good when I get off course like this. Even my feet feel more swollen as I walk around today. So it’s time to get back to the big pot of vegetable soup that I made. I’ve been thinking of going on a vegetable soup diet! It actually sounds so easy and fuss-free to me—calming and peaceful, to be honest.

Better

I am feeling more positive today. The weekend went much better than it usually does—I managed not to binge on anything, and I stayed almost completely plant-based (some cream in coffee and some chocolate when we were at M & D’s house were my only offenses). Now, the SOS-free part wasn’t exemplary, especially the oil. But I felt good ending the weekend feeling like I hadn’t gone off the rails regarding nutrition.

Now my goal this week is to actually stay oil-free. I made a humungous pot of vegetable soup yesterday, which I had for lunch. I also made a big batch of pico de gallo, but I put too much onion in it—I don’t know why I do that since I know that I don’t like the over-powering taste of raw onion. I had the pico de gallo on a green salad and a big bowl of the soup for lunch. And now almost two hours later, I’m still somewhat uncomfortably full. I’m not sure if it’s the onion disagreeing with me, or if I really did eat too much soup. I filled up on the salad beforehand, so perhaps I shouldn’t have eaten all of the soup. Anyway, these are issues to work out this week as I attempt to eat more intuitively.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous this weekend, so that always lifts the spirits too. I’m on CD 21 and 6 DPO. I ovulated on CD 15 this cycle, which is actually really good. It seems like my cycles are gradually getting shorter so that they’re more in the optimal range now. Before, they were often 5 weeks long, which is okay if you’re not trying to get pregnant. But having to wait for a longer cycle while trying to get pregnant just makes you feel like you’re wasting time.

I’m trying to stay positive about getting pregnant this time around. It’s hard though, partly because there are reminders all over the place about babies, pregnancy, siblings, etc. It’s really hard. And I keep reading about how important it is to lower stress levels in order to conceive, and how important it is to have a supportive group. So naturally, I started getting stressed out that my stress is too high.

I watched a webinar about optimizing one’s chances to get pregnant last night. I’m not sure if I should keep doing this where I’m constantly on the hunt for fertility information. But the takeaway I got from it is that there are some important things I should be doing right now: ensuring I get more sleep, having more frequent sex, and getting my weight down. Those seem like doable things. What bothers me a little bit is that conceiving was never a problem that Josh and I had. All four of my pregnancies have happened within one to two months of starting to try. It’s not like we’ve been trying forever, and no month so far has been ideal in terms of timing and good health, but it’s still hard for me not to get impatient. I guess that’s where I need to be actively working on my stress levels and just trying to remain calm and patient.

Anyway, I’m starting to just ramble now. My heart goes out so much to those who suffer from fertility problems. It’s such an anxious, lonely, emotional roller coaster.

Not feeling successful

I’ve been making the opposite of progress lately. This is disappointing to me because I feel like I’m wasting valuable time. But I’m in a downward spiral of giving in to my cravings and binging. The sad part is that I can pinpoint exactly when the freefall started—when I ate a big, greasy muffin a couple of weeks ago because I was caught so off-guard when the person offered it to me.

I know this unhealthy eating affects almost every area of my life. I’m desperately trying to claw my way out of this pit because it feels so sad and hopeless in here. I’ve been routinely waking up at 3:30 most mornings, unable to get back to sleep because I’m so anxious. The anxious thoughts often lead to thinking about my past miscarriages and wondering if I’m ever going to get pregnant and have another child again. Meanwhile, the scale creeps up and up and up.

The maddening part is that I know the solution. I have all the answers and all the knowledge. But I’m allowing the impulsive, addicted part of my brain override all of that.

Aside from worries about pregnancy, I also feel the pressure to shed some pounds because of upcoming visits with people I haven’t seen in a while. I know I’ll never be at an ideal weight by that time, but at the very least I could be a little bit lighter, and, even more importantly, I could feel healthier and more vibrant. I’m trying not to let these deadlines apply pressure, because it stresses me out, but it’s hard not to.

In terms of my fertility, I’m at CD 18, and 3 days past ovulation. I think ovulation went okay this month—I got a positive OPK, and my cervical fluid dried up, and I got a spike in my temperature. However, all of those events didn’t exactly correspond in the time frame that I expected them to (ex. my temperature spiked a day later than I expected it to). But according to my chart, we timed being intimate well, so there’s not much more I could have done this month. I was more diligent about starting to be intimate a couple days ahead of when I expected to ovulate. I happened to read that it’s more important to do that ahead of the date, rather than right on the day of ovulation, since it’s good to have some sperm that are already there waiting so that they don’t have to do all the travelling and potentially miss the egg. Who knows. That could just be another “trick” that is a load of shit. After a while, all the fertility advice starts to get kind of exhausting and anxiety-producing.

So now I’m just in the place where I have to wait about 10 more days before being able to test. I want so badly to be pregnant. I think I need to find a way to lower my anxiety in this area, because I’m sure that this excess anxiety isn’t benefitting the chances of conception. Maybe listen to some Hypnobabies tracks this weekend. I got pregnant so easily every other time—I don’t want to add difficulty conceiving to my list of fertility problems. I’m definitely feeling my age right now.

Success

I had a positive week. I did end up writing a vision for myself, and I tried to review it every morning. I kept my food clean for the week, and it’s amazing how quickly that makes the body feel so good. I tried to frame it as loving myself, honouring my vision, rather than being focused on restricting myself and feeling shame and guilt whenever I mess up. That makes a world of difference–getting in the right mindset.

So I ate plant-based and oil-free for the whole week. And I lost 2.4 lbs in 4 days. I wasn’t ever hungry, and I loved the food that I ate. I didn’t focus on the things that made my diet/habits less than ideal this week (I used salt liberally, and I had a number of higher-fat little snacks when I was really hungry or feeling a craving, i.e. dates with peanut butter). Instead, I see them as things that I can improve for the next week.

In addition, I went to bed early every night and I slept well almost every single night. Whee! It was amazing! Altogether, I think the clean food and sleep just made my body and spirit feel so good this week. If I keep feeling this good, I feel ready to incorporate walking again too.

The big mistake I made yesterday is that I let someone talk me into eating a muffin. It was tasty, but it was huge and greasy and sweet. Then I had my big salad at lunch with tons of lettuce. I’m not sure if it was the muffin, followed by all the lettuce, or if it was the fact that I had a big of regular coffee in the morning because my decaf ran out, but I had the worst stomach cramps and diarrhea early in the afternoon. I had to go to the bathroom at work, and I was in there for a long time, in misery and sweating. And that was after a week of great digestion with no issues at all. I’m still not feeling great now. So that underscores just how important it is to keep my diet clean.

I went for acupuncture yesterday also, and it was really nice. I felt so positive this week, and that made me feel more at peace with my pregnancy journey as well. I have little hope that I’m pregnant this month, but I do feel hopeful that eating cleanly and starting to exercise will have positive effects on our trying to conceive. I’m curious to see if I’m pregnant next week, but if I’m not, I’m excited to get the next cycle started off on a great foot.

Limbo

That’s right, I’m in limbo right now. I have no idea what’s going on with my body now–it’s giving me a lot of mixed signals. It’s possible that I ovulated earlier this week. The signs that would confirm that are that my temperature has been higher the last two out of three days. In addition, my cervical fluid is completely dried up. However, I never got a peak with my cervical fluid. Once I got sick, it seemed to just stop. Having said that, I took a sleeping pill on Tuesday night because I was so sick on Tuesday, and I wanted desperately to sleep, because I thought that would help me get healthy again more than anything. Unfortunately, those sleeping pills also act as decongestants, which means it would have dried up my cervical fluid. That’s not only bad for trying to get pregnant, but it also mixes up fertility signals. Perhaps my cervical fluid would have been a lot more profuse on Wednesday, had I not taken the sleeping pill?

I’m completely frustrated about this. Every time another month slips past, I feel increasingly desperate about getting pregnant soon. It’s almost suffocating, like I get so anxious about it that I want to crawl out of my skin.

Perhaps I didn’t ovulate at all this month. Which doesn’t actually matter, because our timing was wrong and I have very little hope that I’ll end up pregnant this month. If I did, it would be a miracle. I just hope that my period will come sooner rather than later, so that I can get started with the next month. I’m not sure if I should bother to take my progesterone for the next two months now either. If I don’t, then maybe it will make my period come sooner.

Regardless, I’d like to orient things in a more positive direction now. I’m thinking of writing up a vision and then reading it every day. I believe that I’m capable of doing great things in my life–I just need to get out of my own way and let things unfold in a positive, forward direction.